Sunny 9 for 2009 May 31 (entry 0)

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[Comments] (6) Church stuff: Today in church I hear this quote that I thought pertained to our day and time. What a testimony that the leaders of our church really are being Divinely inspired.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell "Meeting the Challenges of Today" Oct. 10, 1978. "Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.'

"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.

"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself."


Posted by Joseph D. Walch at Sun May 31 2009 22:48

Very prescient.
not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ.

I think that too often people like the salad-bar type of discipleship where they are able to be valient in those things that happen to be trendy at the time, but in the things that matter (i.e., those things that are most salient to us today precisely because they represent the most vulnerable and exposed) they become wilted violets. The 'enlightened' seek to reinforce the heavily guarded front gate of "God's love", as they happily see it; while the rear scantly defended pallisades of The Family (including childbrearing/rearing and wholesome sexual relationships) face ever vicious attacks from the adversaries minions. It has been worse though and we good saints are stronger then we've ever been in human history.

Posted by John at Mon Jun 01 2009 09:56

I'm curious as to what is constituted as following the prophet, Kristen (or Joe, or whomever cares to comment). Above, you point out specifically the concepts of abortion and family. I think I've made it clear in the past that I agree with the church's statements on abortion (which, incidentally, mirror the Democratic party platform statement and are in stark contrast to, say, the Sarah Palin version of abortion). While I may be considered less "in-line" when it comes to the family, I neither support political groups whose comments contradict the church, nor do I openly criticize the brethren in my ongoing attempt to marry the ideals of family virtue, human rights, and agency. And, regardless of my feelings, my family is traditional insofar that I have a wife, 1.6 kids, and a white fence, though it is not a picket fence.

But my real point is this: if I wholeheartedly agreed with the brethren on the above two points, am I heaven-bound? That is, can I slack in temple attendance? What about home teaching? Food storage? Live without my means? Shirk on service? Not fulfill my calling? Not return calls from the EQ Secretary so that he, his wife, and two year-old daughter can almost single-handedly clean the chapel two weeks in a row? (My dear wife cleaned the bathrooms both weeks, bless her heart, since she knows I detest bathroom cleaning.)

I'm not trying to be cheeky; however, I hear the above two items mentioned frequently when a discussion of following the prophet is mentioned. So do they really trump all the other "stuff" I mention? I understand these two points are mentioned frequently because they encourage a more glamorous discussion than does cleaning toilets on a Saturday morning or lifting your neighbor's piano down the street when they move out. But are they really more important? Am I missing something?

I am currently reading the April conf Ensign, and I don't really see these two points hit on, though there is much talk of helping those affected by the economy (which can't fully occur without regular home and visit teaching), attending the temple, having family home evenings, etc. So am I reading the wrong magazines?

I've been considering this discussion in my head for some time now, so I thank you for the opportune forum to solicit responses on the subject. I apologize if I have deviated from the point of the post, in which case, you need not publish the comment.

Posted by aaron at Tue Jun 02 2009 14:08

I don't think Kristen's post was intended to start a family debate, nor do I feel it was directed at any one person or family. I believe the focus of Elder Maxwell's statements was putting aside our differences, political or otherwise, and standing firm in the faith we place in our religious leaders. The topics of abortion and and the disintegrating family were in the hotseat in the 70's, and whether you agree or not it is now becoming "untrendy" or "non-p.c." to speak up regarding them. Contentions aside, I am glad Kristen pointed out these statements that clearly demonstrate the fulfillment of prophecy in these latter days.

Posted by Kristen at Fri Jun 05 2009 14:33

I think the statement "follow the prophet" is what it is. I don't think anybody has said anything about not fulling the other admonishments of the brethren. I also don't believe in the excuse of justifying bad behavior by pointing out someone else's bad behavior.

I am sorry that your ward slacks on home teaching and doesn't clean the chapel. Our ward runs into that problem too from time to time. I really feel for susie having to clean bathrooms. It sucks and I was sick the rest of the day when I was pregnant after cleaning my bathrooms. I am just glad that it is up to Christ to judge others and not up to me because it's tough. People do things that disappoint and you can lose respect for a person after having worked with them in certain callings...I know, I've worked with slackers before. The point is, only the Lord can judge our "best". Our best is not Jane Doe's best, not mom's best, not uncle Billy Bob's best, but our best. Just do your best, and let the Lord worry about everyone else.

I love whining and complaining with the best of them but in the end I am the only one that can put on my big girl panties and take care of my life, regardless of how others treat me or what they say or how lousy of an example they set.

Like I said, I point out that quote because it really affirmed to me that our Church leaders are being lead by the head of the church, who is Jesus Christ, and it feels good to know we are in His hands.

Posted by John at Fri Jun 05 2009 21:16

I certainly did not think that this comment was directed to my family, nor am I trying to start a debate. I said that if Kristen felt my comment was contentious, then she need not post it. Since she did, then I assume that means she did not find it offensive or picking a fight.

My point is that I keep hearing members mentioning the idea of following the prophet on abortion or on Prop 8 as being some sort of catalyst in the latter days. And I am curious what makes members think these commandments sift the wheat from the tares any more than, say, tithing, or home teaching, providing service, etc.

And I didn't mean to insinuate that Kristen thinks Prop 8 or abortion are these catalysts; however, considering that her "church stuff" post concerns these two items, I wondered if there was a correlation between what I'm hearing in my geographic location of the church from what you are hearing in yours.

My question to ask "what am I missing" was sincere, not meant to belittle the post or the poster. I suppose I will continue to peruse Nate Oman's affiliate site timesandseasons for my intellectual discussions on various Mormon discussions and refrain from trying these discussions on your post.

Again, I am sorry that my post caused such a reaction.

Posted by Kristen at Sat Jun 06 2009 11:50

I didn't think it was offensive or whatever. Aaron doesn't understand you (John) because he doesn't read your blog or discussions that we have had on there. I gave him a chill pill. But I think you are right that it isn't the end all of church devotion and practices. We should try hard to get it all in there despite personal weaknesses.

I would say that living in Utah is way different than living where the church isn't as prevalent. I have never heard an abortion discussion brought up. I don't know of anyone in my ward that didn't support Prop 8. At least no one that said anything. We don't live close to Cali though.

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