Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

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SilentDawning
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Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by SilentDawning » 19 Jun 2010, 05:39

I've thought about this a lot over the years. A wise home teacher once told me that "when it comes to life, you start out black and white, but then, decisions quickly fade into many shades of gray".

I think this is because gospel principles do compete with each other. For example, Adam and Eve were faced with the decison whether to give up their innocence so they can have children (obeying the fruitful and multiply commandment), or they could give up the knowledge of how to multiply and obey the "abstain from the Fruit of the Tree of Good and Knowledge" commandment.

People often face the question -- do I work on Sunday because my employer demands it, or do I refuse and then lose my ability to be self-reliant by getting fired, and losing my income?"

Do I go to the priesthood leadership Church meeting on Saturday evening, or do I stay home with my kids who haven't had any quality time with their father for two weeks due to work commitments?

Do I take this extra money I have and put it toward my child's mission, or do I pay an even more generous fast offering given the Bishop's request that we clear off our Ward fast offering deficit?

How do you decide between competing gospel choices like these?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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SamBee
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by SamBee » 19 Jun 2010, 13:44

I think members of the public should have the right to have one day of the week to themselves, so that they can be with their family on that same day. I think this is the case whether or not we are talking about a Sabbath. Western secular society is completely wrong on that score.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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cwald
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by cwald » 19 Jun 2010, 19:08

You listen to the advice of your ecclesiastical leaders and then use LOGIC, REASON and SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE to apply their counsel as one see's fit in the best interest of one's family.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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cwald
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by cwald » 19 Jun 2010, 19:15

SilentDawning wrote:I've thought about this a lot over the years. A wise home teacher once told me that "when it comes to life, you start out black and white, but then, decisions quickly fade into many shades of gray".

I think this is because gospel principles do compete with each other. For example, Adam and Eve were faced with the decison whether to give up their innocence so they can have children (obeying the fruitful and multiply commandment), or they could give up the knowledge of how to multiply and obey the "abstain from the Fruit of the Tree of Good and Knowledge" commandment.

People often face the question -- do I work on Sunday because my employer demands it, or do I refuse and then lose my ability to be self-reliant by getting fired, and losing my income?"

Do I go to the priesthood leadership Church meeting on Saturday evening, or do I stay home with my kids who haven't had any quality time with their father for two weeks due to work commitments?

Do I take this extra money I have and put it toward my child's mission, or do I pay an even more generous fast offering given the Bishop's request that we clear off our Ward fast offering deficit?

How do you decide between competing gospel choices like these?

SD - there is no "correct" answer for these questions. Most people, 85% of them, like to be told EXACTLY what to do (TBM) - hence, the black/white culture of the church. From your comments, IMO, you don't fit in that category anymore. You may wish you could go back to that stage - but I don't think so. I don't think you can unlearn what you know. IMO, It seems to me that you are using logic and reason AND getting answer to your prayers. You just don't like the answer because it doesn't fit the TBM answers that you are use to? :evil: One must find his/her own path now - you cannot rely on others to tell you exactly how to do it - and I'm afraid that includes church leaders.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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bridget_night
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by bridget_night » 19 Jun 2010, 20:17

It's called, "Emotional or Spiritual Maturity." When you are a child, having things black and white or simple rules are how you learn best until you develop the maturity to live by principles which have more grey areas. Like the scripture, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." People like things black and white and to be told what is right and wrong because that is easier, but God expects us to grow up and do more of the difficult things like live by the greatest commandment, "The principle of Love."

I attended a Bible study class not too long ago where the discussion was on being honest and "Thou shalt Not Lie." I brought up the situation of Nazi soldiers going into a German home and asking if they have any Jews there, would you be honest? This is when I brought up the idea of living by principles and what is the most loving thing to do in a given situation.

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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Jun 2010, 23:47

and to go with bridget's example a little more, the command is not, "Thou shalt not lie." It is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Those are two very different things.

Often, there is an inherent need to prioritize. Hence, the "Good, Better, Best" talk and Pres. Uchtdorf's recent talk about how easy it is to have things in the Church itself that compete with the core principles of the Gospel and are mistaken for those principles.

Often, however, the need to prioritize comes about because of misunderstandings, misinterpretations and misapplications of something - like refusing to lie about something when lying is the correct thing to do because of a mistaken idea that the command is, "Thou shalt not lie." In bridget's example, there might not be a need to prioritize - since there might not be competing commands - or commands that conflict with reasonable ethics.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Cadence
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by Cadence » 20 Jun 2010, 07:32

Use a cost benefit analysis. Make the decision that is going to bring you the best results, with the least cost.
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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SamBee
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by SamBee » 20 Jun 2010, 15:29

Another one - how can a LDS run/work in a restaurant/cafe without violating the WOW? Such a business would fail in most places.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

PressingForward
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by PressingForward » 21 Jun 2010, 12:44

Ray Degraw wrote:the command is not, "Thou shalt not lie." It is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Those are two very different things.
Out of curiousity... how are you separating these two?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Competing Gospel Principles: How Does One Prioritize?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Jun 2010, 14:14

To "witness" means to:
"testify to; give or afford evidence of".


A "witness" is an:
"individual who, being present, personally sees or perceives a thing; a beholder, spectator, or eyewitness".


Therefore, "bearing false witness" means:
"testifying falsely to something that one has seen or perceived".


The key in this definition is that it is a legal definition - where someone is "testifying/witnessing" for or against someone else. In that setting, the reason for the "witness" is to establish a punishment or lack thereof on someone else - to judge as guilty, innocent or not guilty of something. Thus, bearing false witness causes an injustice to occur - either by removing a penalty that should be enforced or imposing a penalty that should not be enforced. In modern verbiage, it is perjury - and perjury is a crime specifically because of the effect it might cause. It really is a serious action to subvert justice in a legal setting - either by assisting in the punishment of someone who is not guilty or the escape from punishment of someone who is.

A "lie", otoh, simply is a statement that is known to be false by the person making it. It can have nothing whatsoever to do with justice. It might be telling someone their hair or dress or shoes look fine - which might or might not be a good idea, depending on the person and the situation. It might be saying you are fine when someone asks - even if you feel lousy. It might be protecting someone from unncessary harm, torture or death - which I can't see as a bad thing. It even might be a social convention that is understood to be meaningless by everyone who hears it.

I agree totally with the injunction that forbids bearing false witness; I try to avoid lying whenever possible, even if I have to be a bit evasive or ambiguous in some cases to not lie; I am totally fine with some lies. That's why I always answer, "I try my hardest," when I am asked that question in the temple recommend interview.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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