Comments about ‘Friday Minute: Choosing to follow God's laws or not’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 5 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

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RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

I guess it matters which God one chooses to follow.

Your god says that YOU shall have no other god before him. That is between You and Your god.

I have a problem when you try to force your god's rules on the rest of us. Yes, perhaps many of them are useful to society. But many of them apply to your own god only (no Idols, for instance).

What is my god has no objection to "redefining marriage"? What then?

Please follow what is probably the most important of your god's rules: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

This rule means, quite clearly, that if you want to strip civil equality from your neighbors, then they have the right to strip civil equality from you (As you WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU).

Why not follow your God's rules and leave everyone else alone?

MarieDevine Divine-Way
Kansas City, MO

In Doctrines and Covenants God told Brigham Young he could not behold His glory until He follows all His words from Adam to Joseph Smith, Jun. whom He called. (D&C 136:37)

In 2 Nephi 29 God said He gave same message to all nations. The evidence is available.

Jesus said, man shall live by every word out mouth of God, as Moses said. Genesis in the Bible is our first mention of God speaking, directing and judging. Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3, 4:2

Muhammad was told, "Say O People of the Scriptures, you stand on nothing till you observe Torah and Gospel and all God sent down to you." Qur'an: 5.68, 69

Bahai speak of establishing Mosaic dispensation and Jesus.
Gita says do all things according to scriptural injunction and performance brings rain for good crops, like Leviticus 26, rain in due season.
In D&C 76 and 88 Jesus gives laws and details of resurrection and rewards in the celestial, terrestrial and telestial kingdoms. Each has a law; your end will be according to the laws you were WILLING to follow. The Apostle Paul mentioned the kingdoms, but gave no details.

J-TX
Allen, TX

Ranch Hand;

Your post illustrated perfectly the author's point. You have invented a god that is convenient to your desires.

BTW, you are mistaken. The "Golden Rule" you cite is a cultural axiom. The two great commandments, on which hang all the Law and the Prophets are:

1) Love the Lord thy God with all heart, might, mind and strength.
2) Love thy neighbor as thyself.

I love you, but love does not imply condoning the breaking of God's commandments. To do so, I would have to follow your lead, and invent a god which is convenient to my desires. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Bountiful Boy
ALEXANDRIA, VA

Although the expression "procreative power" sounds good and makes sense in one context, it is a "power" that is actually rarely used for procreation, even among the most devout Latter-day Saints. You have to admit that if sex, even among the most faithful of Mormons, were used exclusively for procreation, it would not get used all that much. There has to be a better expression for sex than "procreative power" even though we all agree that it can be procreative on occasion. But in a healthy marriage, procreation is certainly not the main or even central purpose of sexual relations.

Could we maybe call sex something like "Advanced Relationship-Building Power?" For most people, that's what it is, even if they don't use it carefully or wisely.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

J-TX:

"Your post illustrated perfectly the author's point. You have invented a god that is convenient to your desires."

Beyond bald assertion that your Mormon leaders are called of God, you have no means of demonstrating that your Mormon God is anthing more than a contrived illusion "that is convenient to your desires". And that is why articles like these are so useless. They prove nothing, but use fear to try and rally loyalty to Mormon leaders who pretend to speak for God.

TDuval
Elk Grove, CA

Mr Monahan is right on. It's a struggle we believers have -- follow the ways of the world or follow the laws of God. Sometimes we want to fit in or revert to old habits temporarily to help relieve stress or be a part of the group or avoid criticism - but acting contrary to what we believe takes away the blessings we would receive and in the end weakens us and can even make us bitter and angry. We can pretend that God doesn't care what we do, but it won't make us happy because we know that He does.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@J-TX;

Actually, God is an invention of man. You choose to follow this invention because it fulfills some need you have.

"I love you, but love does not imply condoning the breaking of God's commandments."

The funny thing about that is that since your god is an invention, his commandments are also inventions. You can't condone me breaking silly conventions. Who cares what you condone? I certainly don't. You are not my judge nor I yours. You follow your beliefs and I'll follow mine.

The point of my previous comment is that YOU are responsible for what YOU do about YOUR beliefs in YOUR god. It is between YOU and YOUR god. You do not have the right to force anyone else to follow those beliefs. The 1st Amendment guarantees that I can worship, who, what or what I choose; just as it guarantees you the same privilege.

What it doesn't do is guarantee YOU the right to force ME to follow YOUR god's rules. Period.

byu rugby
Crystal Lake, IL

How can the church profess to be in concert with the will of the lord when the brothern blatently disregard the laws of this country? I am an active convert who is troubled by the fact that we are told through the scriptures, articles of faith, and teachings of modern-day prophets that actions have consequences, love the sinner-hate the sin, and "will mercy rob justice?", while they have actively provided illegal aliens blessings of full fellowship.

It is a blatent double standard. When I have a temple recommend interview with my priesthood leadership, I am specifically asked about my honesty, integrity, etc. What is the reason for providing illegals with a pass on this?

I have asked all of my local and stake leaders about this. Many of them wonder the same thing, while some others question my ability to love these folks. I do not avocate anything not in keeping with the spirit. I just think the brothern need to provide an honest answer for this break with our teachings. It should be broadcast to general membership, not limited to local and stake leaders. I still go to church weekly but, this is problematic.

welcomethemall
Nampa, ID

Ranch-

Your point is well-taken, and for the sake of discussion I will happily stipulate that God is my fevered invention (since I can't prove to you He exists and you can't prove a negative).

Neither I, nor my church, are trying to force anyone to do anything. We seriously don't feel that we are. However, there is an ancient human tradition of living within a social contract - all parties to it have a voice in the wording of said contract.

It is just as correct for me to say your "side" is trying to force me to accept your beliefs and your manufactured worship of self by your logic. Please live happily as you choose (gay and lesbian people *should* share in the basic human rights I enjoy), but as soon as you ask to codify your choices into the contract, then I get a say whether you like it or not. Let the debate continue in peace.

And frankly, it perplexes me how upset you all are anyway. You know you will ultimately win, just like we lost the debate on gambling, etc. And, we'll both disagree as to why my side will have lost. Chuckle.

welcomethemall
Nampa, ID

Rugby -

Sorry this bothers you. The Brethren are very consistent in their application of principles here... One may declare bankruptcy without fear of church discipline. However if one were to be convicted of bankruptcy fraud, there is a possibility of sanction.

The nuance here is there are laws of convenience, and moral laws (I use these distinctions for the benefit of RanchHand). It is convenient to organize our terretories with boundaries, but they are arbitrarily defined. (One could note here that the caucasian community is here illegally from the perspective of the Native American, or from the perspective of the Mexican people because the US stole the Southwest in an illegally prosecuted war.)

Church fellowship is based on the effort to live according to moral laws. Illegal immigration, while by definition is illegal, is not a moral issue in nature. Suppose we denied illegal aliens temple recommends, and then the law was changed. Do we suddenly reissue recommends? Nothing has changed except the law. We differentiate the gradation of law-breaking all the time. What it really comes to is you feel immigration laws are more moral, or sacred than do the Brethren.

jans
Pickerington, OH

Byu rugby, look at church history - we have been at outs with "the laws of the land." Joseph Smith served jail time. How many polygamists kept full fellowship while serving jail time? We have also often challenged laws that we felt were bad laws - current immigration laws included.

Try to understand the differences between criminal and civil law, and also what constitutes making someone "illegal" in the US. This is a civil violation, not a criminal one, which is why deportation is the primary penalty.

There are a lot of active LDS people who commit civil violations - speeding and causing a car wreck is a civil violation. Should a person loose full fellowship for speeding? What about underage drinking? I think it is best left up to the individual and his or her Bishop, don't you?

40% of immigrants come legally then "overstay" - and if our laws were clearer and more manageable, 40% or more of our immigration problems would disappear because visas would not be the huge headache they are now.

NightTrader
Colonia, Yap, FSM

RanchHand: "What it doesn't do is guarantee YOU the right to force ME to follow YOUR god's rules."

Let me see. You, have have chosen to read an "LDS Church News" component, of the "Faith" section of a church owned newspaper, who's primary target audience is LDS members. You live in a predominantly LDS area of a country that is predominantly (like it or not) still Christian.

Just what part of that is being forced upon you?

On the other hand, as part of DN's target audience, I bring up an article that is of interest to me, only to have to sift through your daily derision of everything I believe in. Who is forcing is views upon who here?

MormonCowboy: "And that is why articles like these are so useless."

Similar to my comments above, they are not useless to me! It is articles like these that keep me coming back.

William Monahan (author): Thanks for the article.

J-TX
Allen, TX

@ Ranch Hand;

Want some salsa for that chip on your shoulder?

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

"gay and lesbian people *should* share in the basic human rights I enjoy"

And yet there are states that ban civil unions like Utah and I assume Idaho. DOMA prevents civil unions from having those "basic human rights" at the federal level and yet I just don't see the people against gay marriage who support DOMA repeal.

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

One size does *not* fit all when it comes to living creatively, rather than by a religion's self-proclaimed "God's laws." And if God is the Creator rather than someone working a photocopy machine and tossing any copies that don't come out as faithful reproductions, then God means us to explore life, not force ourselves into any religion's box. Certainly we're meant to do that exploration lovingly, never destructively. But, as Creation wishes, we're always seeking new wisdom and new territory.

As for "God's law of chastity," it's so obvious that the sexual drive was meant for much more than procreation, otherwise it wouldn't be so strong within us. Our challenge is to always use this powerhouse lovingly too, for the expansion of the Life within us--which doesn't exclusively mean more procreations. Nor does it exclusively mean heterosexuality. And really, how many more "procreations" can our planet handle?

How did I reach these conclusions? Not by being "rebellious against God's word," but through one of Mormonism's greatest dictums: "The glory of God is intelligence."

EduardAE
BUENA PARK, CA

Sooo, Why does God make no demands? I believe in God, the Father in heaven and His Only Begotten Son - Jesus of Nazareth. Free agency means that we can say anything to prove something true to ourself and even our likeminded neighbors.

Under these circumstances even, Jesus, Christ, should He make any demands, would violate His Father's will. He was born to teach us His Father's commandments and that would allow us to receive immortality and everlasting life.

If you want to know what Jesus "demands" are -- prepare for a Temple recommend interview with your Bishop. You will have His ears in His House.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

"Neither I, nor my church, are trying to force anyone to do anything. We seriously don't feel that we are. However, there is an ancient human tradition of living within a social contract - all parties to it have a voice in the wording of said contract."

For the record, the most ancient form of Marriage is actually polygamy. Interestingly though, now that this model is no longer popular, your Church has dropped its defense of the oldest model and allegedly God inspired forms. Furthermore, the relative variance in this "social contract" is quite wide, if one is going to make an anthropological argument by hearkening to "ancient human tradition". So yes, you can spin it how you like but the Church is trying to force "things" onto society. Denying consenting adults the rights to marry is an act of force that imposes itself against the free-will (or "agency" for the sake of Mormon theology) of others. Conversely, allowing gay marriage does nothing to impose against the will of heterosexuals. It is well documented that the campaign funds which supported Prop 8 came largely from Mormons. So it is untrue to say that Mormons do not force their will!

byu rugby
Crystal Lake, IL

"Jans & welcomethemail" thanks for your insights. Unfortunately they don't hold water. My kid's constantly use the old "They did it first" justification. Furthermore, I am referring to those who come into the country illegally, w/o documentation. I am not referring to "overstays" and those with beaucratic issues. Thirdly, Laws are laws, deciding which we live by should have consequences. Also, we are not discussing parking tickets or minor lapses of judgement.

We are talking about "well intentioned" folks who who come into this country w/o documentation (federal offence), and make themselve's at home. They have no respect for our soveignty and are a major drain on our economy. The brothern by their willingness to extend full fellowship to federal law breakers are aiding and abbetting criminals. This is wrong. I DO NOT espouse treating them inhumainly or w/o dignity. I completely understand that they are trying escape poverty but, they are breaking the law. We should not support them while they break our laws.

Wayde Miller
Stephenville, TX

! ! ! ! !

Makoto13
SAINT CLAIR SHORES, MI

Two questions that have been bothering me is: If God is so powerful, why does he need an organization on Earth to represent him? and If I can receive revelation from God for me as a person, why do I need a church (any church for that matter)?

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