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Secondary Education.
Education for Mortality.
 June 17, 2005

Aaron — June 17 @ 3:05pm

Some may have gotten a wrong impression from my first post. Namely that I don’t think education has any value. This is not correct. Some commenters pointed out how much President Hinckley talks about education. Which I agree with. But we have to listen carefully to what he says. And place it in an overall eternal perspective. Clearing up this misconseption is the first of several points raised by my commenters that I will dignify with a post. So don’t despair those of you whose deep insiteful comments seemed to go unanswered. I may just be biding my time to address them in a post when I can set aside enough time.

Do I think worldly learning has no value at all. Of course not. I just think it should be kept in its proper place. As my title indicates with its clever pun, it is of secondary importance. It is a necessary chore for us in this probationary state. But nothing more, a means to an end, not an end in itself. Worldly knowledge is just a sideshow compared to our great purpose here.

And what is that great purpose. Let’s get our bearings strait. Our great purpose is to multiply and replenish the earth, to provide tabernacles for the hosts of Father’s children who deserve to be raised in light and truth. This is the great commandment given to Adam and Eve. As the scriptures teach Adam fell so that he could have children which is also equated with joy. What could be more joyful and a greater contribution to the world than a large number of little Aarons and Aaronettes running around.

And so to fulfil this great purpose it is necessary to be able to support a family. And this is the purpose of education in mortality. President Hinckley is anxious to get the xbox generation off their keysters and prepared to support a family. So he gives strong blanket statements to motivate the teenage slackers into getting marketable skills. And also he is particularly concerned about education in the developing world, people being able to support families. So he starts the Perpetual Education Fund. But is all this to raise up a class of intellectuals. Of course not. It is for trade schools and so forth, training for a couple years in something useful to enable them to support a family. And that’s all. Is it for graduate school, I highly doubt it.

Will there be doctors in eternity. No. When the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment was healed she was healed automatically as virtue was sucked out of him. This was directly through his priesthood power. Did he have need of any medical knowledge. Obviously not.

Will there be businessmen in eternity. What are businessmen of the world trained in. Captalism, dog eat dog, profit by any means necessary, false and seductive advertising, and the like. Things utterly contrary to the sacrifice, charity, cooperation, and consecration of the United Order and Zion that will operate in the celestial kingdom. The worldly business training will not be only not be used, it will have to be shed to get through the eye of the needle.

Will there be lawyers in eternity. Here it is sufficient to quote a previous comment of mine on another thread. “For can you point to a single good thing the scriptures say about lawyers. Or Joseph or Brigham for that matter. No. Lawyers are always stirring up the people to wickedness, in their case its not just about worldly learning itself but using it to get gain and grind upon the faces of the poor. An unholy fornication of worldly learning and greed for luchre. ”

Will there be intellectuals in all the humanities and social sciences in eternity. Is it not clear that these philosophies of men are behind the worldly attitudes by which Satan seeks to destroy the sanctity of the family in the latter days. Feminist theory, queer theory. Socialism and communism. Degrading arts and media. Atheist philosophy. All under the banner of secular humanism, instead of the banner of heaven. Under the banner of secular humanism the creature is worshipped more than the creator as the apostle Paul warned. Needless to say this so-called “learning,” really vain imaginings generated unto themselves, will not be part of the order of heaven.

Bottom line. People should not think their worldly learning is some kind of eternal mission. It is only to support a family here in mortality. People seeking to excel is warned against in the Doctrine and Covenants. And Joseph was told he would not have strength in temporal matters and this is or ought to be a type for the whole church. To excel in Babylon requires too much time away from family and even the awful spectacle of delaying or even refusing to have children. Which takes away from our real purpose in this life, to have a family. Which is practice and testing for our real purpose in eternity, to populate worlds without number with posterity as innumerable as the sands of the seashore and the stars in the heavens.

74 Comments

  1. Two sentence summary of Aaron’s post : Book learning detracts from baby-making. For shame.

    NFlanders — June 17, 2005 @ 3:23pm
  2. Aaron, I started to agree with you and then I kept on reading. And although I agree to a point, do we not need to know how to heal the body in the hereafter? Will we not need to know get goods from one point to another? Will we not have any art or means of transportation? I can continue, but even if it is not as we now know it, we will still have to know how to do certain things, but that leariing comes line upon line. You can’t learn how to eradicate cancer until you understand the body. You can’t have light until you discovered and understand electricity. I agree that there are some professions that will die with mortal humanity, morticians are probably among them. But even in that, will we not need to know these things? Do we not need greater knowledge to help us create worlds? Priesthood power works miracles, but miracles only because we can’t explain how it works. God knows and allows it to work. It doesn’t just happen, there are eternal principles of knowledge at work.
    Now, with that being said in that knowledge is needed in the hereafter, I believe you are right that there are more important things to learn while in this world. Creating family units and learning the gospel (among others, I’m sure) is right at the top and would agree with you that knowledge is a secondary need to assist us in accomplishing what should be our primary focus.

    N Miller — June 17, 2005 @ 3:26pm
  3. There will most certainly be businessmen in eternity. People who learn how to succeed in the modern world, run teams of people, turn an operation into a successful one, will use those very skills in the eternities! There will be organizations full of people, projects that need completing, at least in my celestial kingdom.

    Learning is the one thing above all else that we will be able to take with us from this life. And we really have no knowledge of what branches of learning will prove more useful than others, (although it can be safely assumed that gospel learning will be the most useful) But how do we know which branches of learning might help us in the afterlife? I would conclude that we shouldn’t disparage any of them.

    Karl Butcher — June 17, 2005 @ 3:56pm
  4. Aaron, I agree with you substantially about what is eternally important, but I disagree that worldly learning is not eternally important.

    The Doctrine and Covenants clearly tells us that the glory of god is intelligence and that whatever intelligence we attain in this life will rise with us and work to our advantage. Does that necessarily mean book learning? Of course not! We can all gain the necessary intelligence by study and by prayer- and we should all strive to do so. So I agree with you there.

    However, I completely disagree about the usefulness of the learned professions. Especially with your very hateful, judgmental, and sweeping statements of all lawyers. Did the prophets and even the Savior himself condemn wicked, greedy lawyers? YES! Did they ever condemn all lawyers who would ever live? NO! They have the mercy and compassion to judge each individual according to his/her own thoughts, words, and deeds, REGARDLESS OF THE PROFESSION PRACTICED! I can only thank my God in heaven that it will be my Savior who judges me and puts my talents to use and not some narrow-minded, judgmental, unmerciful, ungodly personage who would make a sweeping judgment about how I live my life based only on my chosen profession.

    But to show that your sweeping condemnation of many righteous people involved in an honorable profession are completely beyond the pale and in direct conflict with those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators, I offer these words.

    First, the words of President Packer, after warning against the type of greed that can accompany any profession:

    The Lord needs you who are trained in the law. You can do for this people what others cannot do. We should not need to go beyond the members of the Church to find superior legal counsel.

    . . .

    There occurs from time to time reference to the Constitution hanging by a thread. President
    Brigham Young said: The general Constitution of our country is good, and a wholesome government could be framed upon it; for it was dictated by the invisible operations of the Almighty. . . .

    Will the Constitution be destroyed? No. It will be held inviolate by this people; and
    as Joseph Smith said “the time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a
    single thread, and at this critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the
    threatened destruction.” It will be so.

    I do not know when that day will come or how it will come to pass. I feel sure that when it
    does come to pass, among those who will step forward from among this people will be men who hold the Holy Priesthood and who carry as credentials a bachelor or doctor of law degree. And women, also, of honor. And there will be judges as well.

    . . .

    I conclude with my fervent testimony and invoke a blessing upon you who are lawyers and judges and who have great power to defend this people.

    I invoke the blessings of our Heavenly Father upon you in your studies, in your practice, and
    more particularly in your home and in your family, that the Spirit of the Lord and the spirit of
    righteousness will be with you.

    I pray that you can take justice and mercy and find a balance in them and fix them firmly with absolute integrity . . .

    “On the Shoulders of Giants,” BYU J Reuben Clark Law Society Devotional, February 28, 2004. http://www.law2.byu.edu/Law_Society/events/packer.pdf

    I was very impressed that President Packer would take the time to warn lawyers and to bless them and to tell us that the Lord does need us. I am glad that the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is not as sweepingly condemning in his approach as you are, Aaron.

    If you can’t accept the words of this prophet, seer and revelator, let me give you the words of President Faust. He speaks of lawyering as having a real potential for peacemaking perhaps not found in other fields, among other things:

    There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no
    young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief—resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.

    . . .

    While as a group, lawyers are often criticized, as individuals most are appreciated.
    As Lincoln said, “They are accorded honor and confidence.”

    . . .

    a lawyer who helps make peace becomes something of a healer.

    “Be Healers,” BYU J Reuben Clark Law Society Devotional, February 28, 2003, in Clark Memorandum Spring 2003 (quoting Abraham Lincoln).

    Consider this lawyer who, according to Aaron, is “always stirring up the people to contention” simply by virtue of his profession, incorrigible simply because he is a lawyer, never mind how he actually tries to live his life in accordance with gospel principles:

    John K. Edmunds had a distinguished legal career. He served as a stake president in Chicago. David M. Kennedy, later Secretary of the Treasury, was his counselor. Brother Edmunds later served as president of the Salt Lake Temple.

    He told me that a widow once came to him for help on a property matter. When he completed the papers and gave them to her, she asked, “How much do I owe you?”
    He looked at her and said, “Why don’t you pay me what you think it’s worth.”

    Relieved, she got out her coin purse and produced a quarter and put it in his hand.
    He told me, “I looked at the quarter and looked at her. Then I got out my coin purse and gave her ten cents change.”

    Only a wicked lawyer would take advantage of a widow or orphans or anyone else.

    SeePacker, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” supra at 9.

    “Only a wicked lawyer…” That actually is a statement coming from the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that there might actually be lawyers on this earth who stand a chance of not being thrust down to hell? Who are good, virtuous men and women? But I huess, according to Aaron, good President Edmunds is doomed, unless he repents of his terrible crime of being a lawyer.

    Look Aaron, I could quote many more of our “prophets, seers, and revelators” on this topic. Do lawyers need to be careful in their profession to be scrupulously honest and obey the laws of God before the laws of man? YES! ABSOLUTELY! Are they more susceptible to not doing so than others? Probably. But are all lawyers under condemnation of the Lord or His holy prophets simply by virtue of being lawyers? NO! There is simply no support for this sweeping condemnation anywhere in scripture or modern revelation. There is support for the notion that unrighteous lawyers are under condemnation, but not ALL lawyers.

    Aaron- I sincerely hope you will soften your heart towards lawyers and no more speak evil of the Lord’s annointed (many of whom are and were “unholy fornications” or lawyers) by sweepingly condemning in one fail swoop that which the Lord would not.

    It saddens me greatly to know that people in the Church, like you, will judge me to be evil simply because I follow the spirit in choosing the profession I sincerely feel the Lord wants me to have.

    Sincerely, your brother in the Gospel, Jordan T. Fowles

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:02pm
  5. NFLanders,

    Even that purpose is not delayed by education. I had three kids before I finished school, and am expecting a fourth right now. So if that is Aaron’s point, he is wrong. Actually, my wife and I sacrificed substantially to not put off having a family for the sake of book learning.

    Of course, if Aaron were the supreme judge, (thank heavens he is not) this would all be completely lost. The sacrifice would be nullified by my, I feel, inspired choice to practice law.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:08pm
  6. Worldly learning is only to support a family here in mortality? So, if you could rely on Daddy’s trust fund you’d do nothing but read scriptures and procreate? Education is a good thing for its own sake.

    And, to say that delaying or refusing to have children is an “awful spectacle” is pretty out there. Or, maybe I’m more on the fringe than I thought.

    Laura — June 17, 2005 @ 4:10pm
  7. I would just like to know who will be taking care of all these babies Aaron is determined to have? Non-Mormon doctors, presumably.

    NFlanders — June 17, 2005 @ 4:12pm
  8. NFlanders-

    you should not knock Aaron for wanting to do what the Lord has asked.

    But you should reprimand him for condemning that which the Lord has not seen fit to condemn.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:14pm
  9. Aaron-

    Learn this: One does not need to delay having a family to have gain lots of education. I should know- as I said I have two masters degrees and one law degree, in addition to 3 1/3 children. No waiting here. Your premise is flawed- it is possible to heed the Lord’s first commandment AND heed the Lord’s inspiration in my personal life to attain higher educational degrees.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:16pm
  10. Aaron, think you may be misinterpreting the scripture you cite. “Men are that they might have joy,” does not mean simply “Men are that they might have large families.” Adam and Eve took the fruit so they would be able to differentiate between good and evil. It was necessary for them to do this not only so we could exist as their descendents, but also so that they and we could have the agency necessary to fulfill God’s plan for us to learn to be like him. And his plan isn’t just to have millions of children, although that’s part of it in the eternities. Practical skills are important here and now, but nowhere are we told that any knowledge we gain in htis life will be wasted, or that intelligence and knowledge of all things is suddenly bestowed upon us at death. Quite the opposite is true.

    Also, I know you don’t mean to imply that anyone who is unable to find a righteous person to marry and have children with or anyone who is married but unable to have kids is wasting his or her life, but maybe you should think a little harder about the implications of your argument for situations like these. :)

    Mari — June 17, 2005 @ 4:21pm
  11. (and any typos are due to furiously fast typing and posting in between other tasks…)

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:21pm
  12. AHHHHH! Aaron, you keep digging your hole even deeper. “Seek not for riches but for wisdom.” You are teaching the exact opposite by saying that learning isn’t to gain wisdom (learing being an end in iteslef), but is instead only useful for gaining riches(means to an end), what we call jog training. WRONG. Debunking your claim is the secondary target of Nibley’s “Approaching Zion”, especially his “Zeal Without Knowledge.” But then again, you may not be a Nibley fan at all, he being the epitome of what you are debunking. (Weren’t there a number of apostles which spoke very highly of him at his funeral?)

    Yes, our purpose here is to gain a body, but for what? Not only that, but Adam fell so that he could become as the Gods, Knowing good, evil and a lot of other stuff as well. We get to take two things with us into the next life: 1) our family if we are faithful 2) our knowledge not matter what. (See sec. 130 for details.)

    Will there be doctors in eternity. No.

    Thats true, because everybody will have all the knowledge of doctor’s and then some. Here’s a few quotes which I like on the subject:

    Our religion embraces chemistry; it embraces all the knowledge of the
    geologist, and then it goes a little further than their systems of argument, for
    the Lord Almighty, its author, is the greatest chemist there is (JD 15:127). - Brigham Young.

    If one of our Elders is capable of giving us a lecture upon any of the sciences, let it be delivered in the spirit of meekness—in the spirit of the holy Gospel. If, on the Sabbath day, when we are assembled here to worship the Lord, one of the Elders should be prompted to give us a lecture on any branch of education with which he is acquainted, is it outside the pale of our religion? I think not. If any of the Elders are disposed to give a lecture to parents and children on letters, on the rudiments of the English language, it is in my religion, it is a part of my faith. Or if an Elder shall give us a lecture upon astronomy, chemistry, or geology, our religion embraces it all. It matters not what the subject be, if it tends to improve the mind, exalt the feelings, and enlarge the capacity. The truth that is in all the arts and sciences forms a part of our religion. Faith is no more a part of it than any other true principle of philosophy. Were I to give you a lecture today upon farming, would I be speaking upon a matter that transcends the bounds of our religion? Agriculture is a part of it as well as any other truth. Were I to lecture on business principles of any kind, our religion embraces it; and what it does not circumscribe, it would be well for us to dispense with at once and forever. JD 1:334. _Brigham Young

    The study of science is the study of
    something eternal. If we study astronomy, we study the works of God. If we study
    chemistry, geology, optics, or any other branch of science, every new truth we
    come to the understanding of is eternal; it is a part of the great system of
    universal truth. It is truth that exists throughout universal nature; and God is
    the dispenser of all truth–scientific, religious, and political. Therefore let
    all classes of citizens and people endeavor to improve their time more than
    heretofore–to train their minds to that which is best calculated for their good
    and the good of the society which surrounds them (JD 7:157). - Orson Pratt

    If we plan on becoming like God in any significant way then we will have to learn everything that those Professors, Doctor, Economists and Lawyers know and then some, just like He had to learn them at some time. (BTW, the lawyers in the scriptures are interpreting the law of moses, they were church leaders. Of course the scriptures only mention these people when they have done something bad. Can you one things positive which the scirptures say about construction management?)

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 17, 2005 @ 4:22pm
  13. I also have to ask: what is “queer theory?” I sincerely hope it is not what I think it is.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 17, 2005 @ 4:26pm
  14. Aaron,

    Look, you have to see that I am not trying to be mean and nasty here. Your attitude greatly distresses me. Though I am far from perfect, I don’t think this is an instance of the wicked taking the truth to be hard. I don’t think that your calumnous words are the entire truth. There are some nuggets of truth there, to be sure, but there are also sweeping and unjust condemnations of scores of people whom the Lord has called, annointed, and set apart as leaders in His Kingdom here on Earth.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:28pm
  15. To excel in Babylon requires too much time away from family and even the awful spectacle of delaying or even refusing to have children.

    Not if you PRIORITIZE! Not if you put the precepts of God first! Believe me, it is within all of our power to do this, no matter our chosen profession. You are right that things can become a distraction from what is eternally important, but wrong to assume that it must happen.

    (I just keep finding more and more here…)

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:30pm
  16. Talk about embracing mediocrity with a vengence. He wants us all to compound the impending problem of overpopulation while rejecting the only tool which we have to avoid it, technology.

    What could be more joyful and a greater contribution to the world than a large number of little Aarons and Aaronettes running around.

    Indeed.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 17, 2005 @ 4:37pm
  17. Jeffrey,

    I actually agree with Aaron about having great joy in posterity. But I don’t think obtaining a higher education is at odds with this great joy.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 4:40pm
  18. I wasn’t trying to say that having posterity is bad or not where the joy is found. I’m simply saying that it’s not the only thing in which joy can be found. Probably not even the primary thing. But shouldn’t we try to make it possible for our posterity to have joy 200 years from now? I don’t really want an answer to that, for it could lead to a hopelessly long thread jack.

    BTW, if we will have limitless posterity in the eternities, who will deliver those babies if not a doctor? We can say that Gods don’t need a doctor to do it, but this only says the Gods ARE the doctors.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 17, 2005 @ 4:46pm
  19. Your comments about the perpetual education fund are irrelevant and misleading. That is meant to help save our members from the despair and hopelessness of poverty by obtaining some basic skills, so you are correct that it is not meant for masters degrees, etc. It would be completely inefficient to use it otherwise during this initial saving of that first generation from the poverty cycle.

    That says nothing about the rightness or wrongness of decisions made by those whose circumstances are different to obtain higher degrees of education, which the Lord’s prophet DOES in fact encourage us to do.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 5:16pm
  20. Ned Flanders, your comment (while HILARIOUS!!) seems unfair. Aaron’s post is a little more complex than that!

    Jenn — June 17, 2005 @ 5:23pm
  21. I agree with Jenn.

    Yet, as mentioned, even that basic premise, which does appear in Aaron’s post, is flawed as evidenced by events in my own life.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 5:28pm
  22. The words of Elder Oaks, after warning of the potential for corruption of lawyers (which could probably occur in ANY profession when one puts the precepts of man before the precepts of God:

    You [law students] are in training for a noble profession, which our society could not do without. It has served humanity ably, responsibly, and effectively throughoutmy lifetime and for many lifetimes before me.

    . . .

    I know that the gospel is true. I know this Law School is pleasing to our Heavenly Father. I was close enough to the current of inspiration in the founding of this Law School to have my heart tingle. I know that it serves a purpose. And I am certain that the purpose is not pecuniary [to get gain].

    Dallin H. Oaks, “Bridges,” in Life in the Law: Answering God’s Interrogatories 103-111 (JRCLS 2002). (emphasis added).

    Hmmm.. Can that be? “pleasing to our Heavenly Father…”? Law a “noble profession”? This from the mouth of one we sustain as a prophet, seer, and revelator.

    Note that he also says that the skills we learn as a lawyer are not learned in the long run for a “pecuniary” purpose, in other words they are not used to get gain.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 7:08pm
  23. Jordan– There have been 21 comments on this thread (not counting this one) and you’ve made 10 of them. One might get the idea that you’re a little defensive about this. I don’t see why you are so anxious to get your “but I’m learned AND I have lots of babies” out there. The whole post was ridiculous, not just the parts that apply to you.

    I am still not convinced that all these Banner of Heaven bloggers are real people. They are just too reliably them to be real.

    NFlanders — June 17, 2005 @ 7:16pm
  24. Make that 11 of 22. You’re batting .500.

    NFlanders — June 17, 2005 @ 7:17pm
  25. Uh… thanks a ton NF :) Would it make you feel better if I were unreliable?

    You are being too aggressive in your replies to Aaron, IMHO. Don’t be so quick to dismiss those that disagree with you.

    ….and what am I doing blogging on a Friday night?! Fighting for my existence, apparently, instead of going out. crap.

    Jenn — June 17, 2005 @ 7:25pm
  26. Jenn, it could be worse: you could be stuck at work on a friday, desiring to extinguish your own existence.

    p.s. Flanders is right — Aaron. is. a. wack-job.

    Steve Evans — June 17, 2005 @ 8:19pm
  27. Aaron, I noticed that scientists were left off your list of learneds who will be superfluous in eternity. Was that intentional? Will there be scientists in eternity, or was that just an oversight?

    Also, congratulations on your, er, joyful contributions to humanity. Already three, and you look so young in your profile picture. And judging from your virile mein, I can only suppose you have plenty more where they came from.

    Survival of the fittest indeed. I have been puzzled by evolutionary biologists’ statements about evolution having no vector of progress—How could that be, I wondered, when evolution has culminated with humans as, obviously, the most advanced organisms on the planet? But against all expectations, I’ve learned something from your post. It made me “see the light”; I can now see at least one sense in which they may be right about the absence of progress after all. (Actually, I feign ignorance. I can see their point: in spite of our presence, this earth is still owned by bacteria, and will remain so long after a super-plague, or the next massive-bolide-impact-induced mass extinction, or our own suicidal stupidity erases us from the picture.)

    Speaking of evolution, have you taken the poll on my blog about how God created humanity’s physical bodies? I’m on pins and needles wondering how you think he did it. Let me take a wild guess—the procreation option?

    To be a little more conciliatory, I come nowhere close to you in the way of conviction about things spiritual, but I do agree strongly with you about the value of posterity—but for an entirely opposite reason. Very unsure about the existence of life after death, I see children as possibly the closest thing to immortality that’s actually real. For all my secular tendencies of late, I think this is one area where secular attitudes can be way off base.

    Christian Y. Cardall (TSM) — June 17, 2005 @ 9:05pm
  28. I’m sorry for seeming defensive. This really has gotten under my skin because, hey! I’m a lawyer! And I try very hard to live in accordance with God’s will. It is really discouraging that people who are supposed to be my brethren in the priesthood of God would judge me wicked just because I decided to become a lawyer.

    I’ll let it go now- I was just trying to show that Aaron’s sweeping condemnations of all lawyers really are beyond the pale- not that it needed illustration, I guess.

    Jordan — June 17, 2005 @ 9:21pm
  29. Oh, and one more thing, Aaron. You boasted that your blog visitor count would surpass mine last week, or at the latest this week. Now I may be counting my chickens before they’re hatched, but it’s not at all clear you’re going to reach that illustrious milestone by Sunday.

    And also, sorry if my last comment seemed too antagonistic… I don’t perceive genuine meanness or ill will in you, and in what I’ve said I don’t mean ill will in return. All in good fun, what’s a little trash talk between friends on the basketball court, right? (I do actually think we could be friends, at least to the extent of enjoying, oh I don’t know, a barbeque or a good game of hoops. And even philosophical or theological discussions could be, um, interesting—you have some, shall we say, exceptional perspectives!)

    Christian Y. Cardall (TSM) — June 17, 2005 @ 9:37pm
  30. Christian, it actually remains to be seen whether intelligence is an evolutionary advantage. Intelligent animals have only been on the earth for a short period of time. And there are an infinite number of scenarios under which intelligence is a substantial evolutionary disadvantage. I’ve heard it said that animals who are smart enough to build nuclear weapons will inevitably end up using them. Also, lets say we send a probe to Mars and bring it back, but when it comes back it brings with it some contaminate that kills all vertibrates on the earth. Bacteria run no such risks.

    But don’t get me wrong. Aaron’s response does not speak to the rather lengthy comment that I made on his first thread at all. Specifically, my point was that learning (including wordly learning) is part and parcel of eternal progression and that there is an absolute continuity between learning in this life and learning in the next.

    DKL — June 17, 2005 @ 10:38pm
  31. Yeah!! Who’s up for some babymakin!!! All you guys and gals have it all backwards: the gospel is not about understanding, being tested and tried to eventually become like our Father in Heaven, it’s about gettin it on!!

    I really smpathyise with Mari’s comments: what about all those who are not ‘fortunate’ to procreate? There life, obviously, means nothing before god, for it is those who are forordained to parenthood due to their exemplarly call to righteousness in the pre-life. I love Saturday’s warriors.

    Seriously though, we really won’t have any need for education in the next life; the scriptures tell us so. We’ll have magic wands and zip here and there with the smigent of the nose.

    I remember Brigham Young saying that if we wanted streets paved with gold in heaven, it will be because we went into the mountains and mind out the gold ourselves and paved the streets with gold ourselves.

    Just Joe — June 18, 2005 @ 2:13am
  32. Jordan et al.

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the greatest lawyer of all: Jesus Christ. He was certainly trained in the scriptural law of his time, as his familiarity with the scriptures and his conversation at the temple shows.

    And let us not forget that he is our advocate with the Father. Check out the entry for advocate in the Bible Dictionary, Aaron. (It’s on page 604.)

    Justin H — June 18, 2005 @ 2:48am
  33. (Of course, my advanced studies in the humanities, which have contributed to my reading and comprehension skills, have nothing at all with my ability to read and understand the scriptures…)

    ;-)

    Justin H — June 18, 2005 @ 2:49am
  34. LOL.

    That’s
    …nothing at all to do with my ability…

    Apparently my training has nothing to do with my ability to write coherently… :-)

    Justin H — June 18, 2005 @ 2:51am
  35. When we die, and we have our life review with Jesus (and we all when, there are those who will take awhile to recognize him, but it’s inevitable), He won’t ask, “how’s your math?” He won’t even ask, “which church did you join?” He will ask, “how well did you love. how well did you serve.” That is my opinion.

    Although I love learning and I hope to take it with me.

    I probably missed lots of point because I don’t always read every word of long posts.

    annegb — June 18, 2005 @ 9:13am
  36. Sorry for my neglect of this post after writing it. Now I am reading the comments.

    N Miller. Jeffery. Karl. Anyone else I missed who claimed God actually needs worldly learning. What do you make of the point I made in my post. That virtue was power was sucked out of Jesus automatically to heal the woman who touched the hem of his garment without thought or learning.

    And Karl and Jeffery. If business knowledge and medical knowledge are needed to be a great Organizer and Father when we are gods, why are these not taught by the Church.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 21, 2005 @ 3:57pm
  37. What about your mean-spirited and hateful remarks about the profession practiced by many of your brethren?

    Jordan — June 21, 2005 @ 4:06pm
  38. Jordon. Understand that in speaking of lawyers I speak like the Lord in D&C 1 who said he was pleased with the Church collectively and not individually. In like manner I am displeased collectively and not individually with lawyers. You are an individual, I do not doubt that you are a good and righteous man. And yes you will be able to do good. The saying is true, everyone hates lawyers until they need one. And our company of course has needed them and we are greatful for their service. But sadly when people need one they don’t want an honest one like you, they want one who will win at all costs.

    You came up with some good quotes on lawyers. But they do not satisfy my initial challenge of words from Joseph and Brigham or the scriptures. Can you find anything outside of talks to the law school. For they sound a little bit like in youth conference when everyone is told they’re the special spirits reserved for the last days. They told this to my parents and they’ll be telling it to my children. So there is a tendency to ham it up a bit to motivate one’s audience that tends to be wayward. Like this example of how people talk to teenagers, maybe also with lawyers if like teenagers they tend to get into trouble. Is it sincere praise or just to motivate those at risk to stay in the fold.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 21, 2005 @ 4:11pm
  39. Aaron, since this thread hasn’t died, I’d like to take issue with your assertion that when President Hinckley urges the saints to get an education, he’s referring to trade school, or to learning just enough to get by. I don’t get that from this statement of his:

    It is so important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith. Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you… My dear young brothers and sisters, take advantage of every educational opportunity you can possibly afford, and you fathers and mothers, encourage your sons and daughters to gain an education which will bless their lives. (”Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, June 1999, p.4, my emphasis)

    If I have the opportunity to go to law school, or grad school, or med school, and the Lord doesn’t tell me not to (as he did with you), how am I fulfilling prophetic counsel by not taking “advantage of every educational opportunity” I “can possibly afford”?

    Justin H — June 21, 2005 @ 4:59pm
  40. Aaron writes:

    You came up with some good quotes on lawyers. But they do not satisfy my initial challenge of words from Joseph and Brigham or the scriptures. Can you find anything outside of talks to the law school.

    What, then, of my comment 32? The scriptures specifically refer to Christ as our advocate with the Father. Look up this word and its synonyms if you need further proof that the scriptures do speak highly of lawyers.

    Justin H — June 21, 2005 @ 5:04pm
  41. It’s also well established that Brigham Young sent women–women!–can you imagine!?! Shouldn’t they have been home tending the babies?–to medical school in the East.

    And what about the law school at BYU? President Hinckley probably just hasn’t noticed it yet, right? I’m sure he’ll shut it down as soon as you write him a letter describing how bad that profession is. Along with all the other non-trade-skill related programs at BYU, -I, and -H.

    If lawyers were so close to apostasy already, why would the Church put so much money–some of it from tithing–into pre-law (pre-med, and pre-grad) programs at its own schools?

    Justin H — June 21, 2005 @ 5:13pm
  42. Jeffery. Christian. Most of Jeffery’s quotes from Brigham Young pertained to science. Which as Christian said I didn’t say anything about yet. Indeed science merits a post all its own which I hope I will get to next week.

    Jeffery. Worrying about overpopulation doesn’t make sense. Would God sire more spirit children than this earth could handle. The word of the Lord in the D&C is that the earth is full, there is enough and to spare. And doesn’t it say in Acts the Lord has determined the bounds of their habitation beforehand and so forth. He is able to do his own work.

    Christian. Yes. The procreation option. One thing I will say about science now is that the evolutionists are so far off its not funny. Exactly because Adam was born of God like any other man, evolution doesn’t make sense.

    Buddy yes I’d enjoy a good game of hoops. Enjoy taking you to the rack time after time that is. Just Kidding. I don’t know if we made it by Sunday or not. I wasn’t paying attention. But now its Tuesday and we passed your visitor stats convincingly.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 21, 2005 @ 7:01pm
  43. Mari. Good point. I do not know the meaning of all things. But I know the Lord loveth his children. I am sure the Lord will make it up in eternity.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 21, 2005 @ 7:02pm
  44. Justin. Thanks for the reference. It made it easy to confirm my suspicion. Which was that the passage you sited was from a talk in Hermosillo Mexico. In the third world “get all the education you can” has a far different meaning than it would here. They’re lucky to get to trade school.

    DKL. I will address some of your other points in my next post. Stay tuned.

    Justin. In our society law and medicine are good ways to make a living. Which as I said is of importance. I’m just saying don’t think of it as some kind of great eternal mission or something in and of itself.

    Jesus as Advocate is just a symbol for our mortal understanding. Similarly God was compared to an unjust judge for our mortal understanding. Does this mean we should all run out and become unjust judges. Of course not. Does it mean there is some kind of eternal significance of lawyers and judges. I don’t think so, that’s not the point of these sayings.

    Aaron B. Cox — June 21, 2005 @ 7:12pm
  45. Boy, Aaron, I sure hope there’s eternal significance to Jesus calling himself our advocate. I’m going to need some serious advocacy.

    Whether the talk was originally given in Hermosillo, Salt Lake, or the moon, it doesn’t matter. In addressing members of the Church, he told them to get “as much education as they could.” Are you trying to suggest that only the Saints actually in the chapel in Hermosillo to hear President Hinckley are his intended audience? He didn’t say, “You saints in Mexico get all the education you can.”

    The talk was reprinted, if you didn’t notice, in the Ensign, which goes out to the entire world. There now has been a clear statement to the general membership of the Church telling us to “get as much education as we can.” The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that President Hinckley wants the Saints not in attendance at that meeting in Hermosillo to stop their educations to trade school.

    Justin H — June 21, 2005 @ 8:05pm
  46. I should also note, Aaron, that I drew the quote I cite above directly from the Gospel Doctrine manual. There is no indication in the manual itself that President Hinckley’s counsel applies only to saints from Hermosillo.

    Shoot, if it can get through correlation, it ought to be good enough for all of us, right?

    Justin H — June 21, 2005 @ 8:49pm
  47. Aarwrong,

    If you think that you are going to be able to create planents in the hereafter and populate them without the slightest concept of physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy, etc. then you are on one amazing trip. Of course our “worldly” learning pales in comparison with what our Heavenly Father knows. But you seem to disdain those that even attempt to scratch the surface in these subjects. I agree with DKL, and note that you have yet to respond in any meaningful way to the many ojections raised against your attitudes and opinions in previous posts. I think I am giving up on this blog expect for the occasional chuckle.

    a random john — June 22, 2005 @ 10:38am
  48. Aaron,

    The reason why those things are not taught in church is because the church has received no revelation on those subjects. There is nothing for the church to teach other than what the universities are already teaching so they leave it up to them. That was the very conclusion which the first Pres. came to in the 1930’s evolution debate: leave the science to the scientists and so on, we will focus on the “safe” stuff.

    The idea that Christ was able to create this world with all of it’s over whelming complexity without learning is absurd and deserves no extended response. I imagine that you are at least somewhat into the “intelligent design” movement. How intelligent does the creator need to be in your opinion if all he really needs is “virtue”?

    Also, given your position on evolution, I must say that I am very excited to see what you have to say about science given that evolution is the most conscilient idea ever devised by science. There is a reason why religion vs. science debates always focus on evolution, because nowhere will you find religious people so willing to dismiss without investigation such solid science.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 22, 2005 @ 10:54am
  49. Worrying about overpopulation doesn’t make sense.
    I maintain that no only does us worrying about over population make a lot of sense, but that the casual manner in which you simply dismiss the matter is what doesn’t make sense.
    Would God sire more spirit children than this earth could handle.
    Yes, that’s why he has lot’s of world going on at once.
    The word of the Lord in the D&C is that the earth is full, there is enough and to spare.
    It’s true there was more than enough and to spare about 200 years ago. The worlds population has grown by leaps and bounds since then Do you honestly believe that in 200 more years there will still be enough and to spare. If you do then I think you are pretty much the only one. All the people who study these things for a living are all more than a bit worried. Shouldn’t we, the ignorant, be?
    And doesn’t it say in Acts the Lord has determined the bounds of their habitation beforehand and so forth.
    Fine, but since when does God step in to regulate what people do? Don’t we have free agency according to the theodicies commonly employed?
    He is able to do his own work.
    Right, but I’m not talking about his work, I’m talking about our work. God has rarely , if ever, stepped in to interfere when people have gotten themselves into a jam. Why would He now? Why should we follow your advice and make matter worse?

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 22, 2005 @ 5:32pm
  50. I’m with Aaron. We really don’t need to understand anything beyond our relationship to Jesus; the rest is superfluity.

    Just kidding. I’m not in the middle ages, so I can’t agree with his cult of death mentality, i.e., we’re here to die and serve Jesus, that’s all!

    Is it any wonder Aaron thinks this way? I mean, he’s just a tool. He’s a tool of the church’s establishment. He takes it all literally, and so he can see no farther than his nose. Now, I’m not picking on Aaron, I’m actually on his side. It’s not his fault that he thinks the way he does, he just goes along with the party line and he does not ask any questions; the extension of his logical reasoning comes directly from the SLC church offices. So give him a break, he’s not saying anything more than what he’s been told to think his entire life.

    bboy-mike — June 22, 2005 @ 7:25pm
  51. Mike-

    You are wrong to turn this into a platform for criticizing the Church of Jesus Christ. If you were raised in the Church or are at all familiar with it, then you would know that the statements you have just made are false. There is no “party line” along the vein of thought you (mis)represent. The Church does not “tell us” how to think- the assertion is assinine.

    If anything, Aaron has NOTunderstood the words of the scriptures and of the Brethren in this area. The “logical reasoning” from the Church is that we should get as much education as possible and challenge our mental faculties. If anything, I have been a “tool” by following that directive and getting as much education as possible. Not Aaron.

    If you call heeding the words of the Brethren and the holy scriptures being a “tool”- then I would be happy to be called a tool, even a “tool” or an instrument in the hands of the Lord for bringing to pass much righteousness on the Earth. Call me a tool any time. In this respect, it is not an insult, but a great compliment (and in this case, one which I do not think Aaron deserves, at least in so far as his views on education are concerned).

    Mike- Aaron’s thinking in this matter may well be erroneous (and I think it is) but that is not due to any teaching of the Church as far as I can tell. And you should know that.

    Jordan — June 22, 2005 @ 8:59pm
  52. Jordon,

    “but that is not due to any teaching of the Church”

    So, where exactly does Aaron get this understanding? Did he make it up? Obviously not, because of his own admission, he does not speculate. He was born and bred within the church, and he was never exposed to outside ideas (because if he were to espouse such ideas, it would be to go against the church).

    Basically, he is extending his line of reasoning and taking three steps further into the ‘light’, and he pats himself on the back for it.

    “The Church does not “tell us” how to think- the assertion is assinine.”

    Jordon, are you implying that the church teaches us how to use the Socratic method to critically analyze our implicit and explicit assumptions and beliefs? I would disagree.

    “is that we should get as much education as possible”

    While I agree that the church teaches us this, it is dubious to claim that the intention is for us to challenge our mental faculties, or to be able to think for ourselves, no, the intention is for us to gain intelligence to serve the means of the church; tools, if you will. To say that the end is upon the individual is not correct; the individual is the means to bring about the policies of the church. The education is always in the context of serving the kingdom, not on the intrinsic development of the individual (or would you say you the church believes in humanism?) Furthermore, the fact that you are happy about being a tool proves my point. When we see ourselves as tools, we obviously see ourselves as the means, and not the ends.

    This is why Aaron does not seek education in the first place; he understands that the end is not on the individual, it is the church; and if the individual is being developed by education, that really is beside the point. So, you should give Aaron more praise than you have, Jordon, because he can see the logical extension of the church’s line of reasoning.

    Aaron’s position is a logical extension of his upbringing within the church. Talking down to Aaron without realizing the source of the problem is to mistake the particular for the universal.

    These are real questions that I have in my life, Jordon, and if you think that my intentions are malicious, you would be mistaken. Please try to analyze my ideas and not dismiss me with ad hominem attacks.

    bboy-mike — June 22, 2005 @ 11:56pm
  53. Mike- I have always used the socratic method to analyze things, have been raised in the Church my whole life, and I have never glimpsed this “logical extension” of which you speak. It simply does not exist. You are mistaken, and neither you nor Aaron understand the gospel if you thinks it would prevent learning and inquiry in any realm.

    I am not dismissing you with ad hominem attacks, but your ideas are precisely what are in error. Having grown up in the church my entire life, and having never been discouraged in any way from any sort of intellectual inquiry, I must disagree with your unfounded assertions that the Church is trying to manipulate us into tools. However, if by “tool” you mean “instrument in the hand of the Lord,” then there is nothing wrong with this.

    Jordan — June 23, 2005 @ 9:42am
  54. Mike,
    I understand your concerns, but I am with Jordan on this. I have also pursued an advanced education, primarily out of a desire to heed the teachings of the Church. I don’t think that the teachings, or more importantly, the history of the church, bear out your proposition. One of the very first things that the Church did on arriving in new places since the Restoration was to establish schools and universities. When President Hinckley urged the members to get all the education they could, he was not announcing new doctrine, but rather reiterating a teaching that is at least as old and consistently taught since the days of Brigham Young. Further, the lives of the brethren themselves demonstrate that the Church values education for its own sake. Every time I read the doctrine of the Church, I am impressed by just how forward-looking it is. The hostility that Aaron feels towards education is not a product of the teachings of the Church, but rather a hostility towards his misinterpretation of the teachings of the Church. While I acknowledge that the Church has always cautioned members to avoid teaching that is mixed with falsehood, Aaron seems to take the position that to avoid the falsehood that often comes in advanced education today, he is going to avoid education altogether. This is nothing more than throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I think we are stronger, though, if we can confront and overcome challenges than we are by simply avoiding those challenges. I recognize the limits of that argument (we don’t go to a donut shop if we are on a diet), but I am talking about a cost/benefit analysis, which is, I think, the exact calculus performed by Church leaders when discussing education — the danger from falsehoods is outweighed by the benefits, both institutional and personal, accruing from education. Aaron seems to have performed a cost/benefit analysis for himself that arrives at the opposite conclusion, contrary to the teachings of the Prophet. He may be right — as Sir Thomas More so famously tells Richard Rich in “A Man for All Seasons” — “go where you won’t be tempted, Richard” — so Aaron may have a special susceptibility to false doctrine and may have made a correct decision in this way. I doubt it, though.

    The Church is not responsible for the misinterpretations of individual members. There is enough doctrine out there that would correct the studier who approaches it honestly, rather than with preconceived notions to which they are comparing the doctrine versus the other way around, that Church leaders can feel secure they are not the source of error in this area. That, quite frankly, is my problem with blogs. People often end up relying on their own lights or the lights of their fellow bloggers rather than turning for answers to the words of the prophets, the primary source.

    Daniel — June 23, 2005 @ 10:40am
  55. Mike,
    One more point. Sometimes the educated individual is both the means and the end. Christ’s goodness is a blessing to Him alone, but it also blesses others. That, I think, is one of the wonderful messages of the Gospel — that is, when we are following the teachings of the Gospel we are giving ourselves long-term benefit (or “self interest rightly understood” to borrow de Tocqueville’s classic phrase) and helping others. Church teachings spell this out in some detail.

    Daniel — June 23, 2005 @ 10:42am
  56. I think that I almost agree with Mike on this one, as much as I really don’t want to let Aaron off the hook here. It isn’t very hard to imagine Aaron’s ideas being the logical consequence of the very conservative Mormon environment which he grew up in. The Church does say a lot about education, but as of late (the past few decades) most of these statements ARE intended to convey job training. Now I don’t really think that Aaron’s position is the one which the leaders want us to get from their message, but it is very easy to see how Aaron did get that from it. In cultural Mormonism there is quite a bit of anti-intellectualism which fosters a distrust for anything not acknowledged over the pulpit. If this weren’t the case then we wouldn’t have to seek refuge on the internet for stimulating conversation. Aaron’s ideas certainly seem to be a product of this envirnoment just like (beastie boy?) Mike was saying, though I don’t attribute this to the “official church.”

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 23, 2005 @ 10:59am
  57. But I/we don’t have to seek refuge on the internet for “stimulating conversation.”

    Jordan — June 23, 2005 @ 11:02am
  58. I sure do in my experience. Trying to bring up the topics which we discuss here with most members tends to either result in blank stares followed by “faith is what’s most important” or accusations of apostasy. Now of course this isn’t universal in the church, but I would suggest that it is the norm.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 23, 2005 @ 1:08pm
  59. Maybe you live in Idaho or something. Not to knock Idaho or anything.

    Jordan — June 23, 2005 @ 1:36pm
  60. Mike,

    To paraphrase Aaron, “Get off the logical extension train!”

    a random john — June 23, 2005 @ 1:59pm
  61. I live in Davis, California, a University town.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 23, 2005 @ 2:00pm
  62. LOL. I used to live in the most liberal state of the union and I second what Jeffrey Gilliam has to say in post 58.

    MA Molly — June 23, 2005 @ 2:01pm
  63. Molly, what state is that?

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 23, 2005 @ 2:19pm
  64. Not sayin’, but ’twere’nt Ideeho…

    MA Molly — June 23, 2005 @ 2:36pm
  65. Jordon: “Having grown up in the church my entire life, and having never been discouraged in any way from any sort of intellectual inquiry.”

    Well, Jordon, I guess you haven’t been paying attention:

    1. Elder Oaks, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, 67 . He states, “Criticism is particularly objectionable when it is directed toward Church authorities, general or local. Jude condemns those who ‘speak evil of dignities.’ (Jude 1:8.) Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed is in a class by itself. It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true. As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947,

    “ ‘When we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.’ (In Conference Report, Apr. 1947, p. 24.)” (Address to Church Educational System teachers, Aug. 16, 1985.)

    Jordon, how can you practice the Socratic method, or intellectual inquiry, in a church that tells you not judge the implications and ramifications of the decisions of the men in charge? Honestly, I would really like to know.

    Robot — June 23, 2005 @ 6:30pm
  66. Robot, sit back and listen while I tell you something about those talks that denigrates them and is true: Church leaders are not above criticism, and the implication that they are is patently unacceptable. The primary interest of those who want to keep a lid on their mistakes is control and cover up. We’re not the Catholic Church, and Elder Oaks needs to come to grips with the post-Watergate era of ethics.

    Miranda PJ — June 23, 2005 @ 6:40pm
  67. Jeffrey’s point regarding where education has gone in the Church in the last 3-4 decades is right on. What Brigham had to say with regards to the purpose of education is much different than what we culturally practice in our day. A great read are two chapters from Nibley’s “Brother Brigham Challanges the Saints” that are filled with powerful condemnations regarding using education specifically for earning money instead of for expanding the mind and making the world a better place to live.

    Having already fallen into the trap the Brigham warns about, I am now trying to get a real education (at age 35).

    Robot and Miranda, maybe I am trying to have it both ways, but I think we have to ask fundamentally what the purpose of the church is. I think that it is to get as many people to participate in the saving ordinances and covenants as possible and to keep them in the right way. Guarding against criticism of leaders is part of this purpose. You both may be able to crticize and still obey, but there is likely a significant portion who are not and hence the protective stance.

    Mike W. — June 24, 2005 @ 7:37am
  68. To Mike W.

    1. Are church ordinances the end or are they the means?

    2. Is obedience the end, or is obedience the means to another higher end?

    Dr. Robot — June 24, 2005 @ 12:28pm
  69. Robot,

    They are not the end, but they put us on the path of discipleship. They are indeed only a means to the end of becoming like God, being joint heirs with Christ. That said, without the means, there is no end. Therefore, in order to allow as many as possible to make and remain in the covenant framework, there needs to be consistency and proper authority. The gospel, after the framework provided by the ordinances and covenants, is an incredibly and beautifully individualized endeavor and that is where investigation and healthy skepticism and discussion have a very important place. I know that my model is simplistic and likely unfulfilling for many, but I think it works as the church nutures along those of us who are still dealing with faith, prayer, and repentance.

    Mike W. — June 24, 2005 @ 11:11pm
  70. Mike-

    1. If the end is for humans to become independent, moral agents (Gods) , how can that potential be realized without personal critical examination of given commandments? How can one understand the principle behind a commandment if the person is never allowed to critically analyze it? How can one govern oneself without understanding correct principles?

    2. Moreover, if you take what E.Oaks has stated about questioning leaders, you have no moral justification to question a leader’s worthiness (not to mention his decisions) even if he truly is an adulterer, child molester, etc (I wish I was exaggerating). Do you think that is right?

    Robot — June 27, 2005 @ 2:32am
  71. Robot,

    To critically analyze commandments is very appropriate and requisite in order, as you say, “for humans to become independent, moral agents (Gods).” However, that critical analysis should most often take place after the command has been initially sumbitted to; then we are in a position to verily judge the commandment. This is the general rule, but there will be exceptions, most often when the commandment is incongruent with one’s critical reasoning.

    As Brigham Young stated, “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.”

    We must learn to judge for ourselves. This learning comes through obedience and understanding “the whispering of the Spirit of God.” And then we will be better able to judge those specific, sad, horrible situations that are not as uncommon as we all wish when the red flags are flying and the “wolf is sheep’s clothing” radar is going off. This judgment will be right and appropriate if we are accustomed to the sweet peace that comes by obedience to true leaders and disciples of Christ.

    Am I an idealist? Yes. A dupe? Maybe. And I also feel the frustration of dealing with decrees delivered as absolutes in a church filled with imperfect people where each situation must be approached as BY commands. So for now I will continue to seek the Lord’s guidance in those situations when the commands and my critical analysis are in opposition to each other.

    Mike W. — June 27, 2005 @ 5:29pm
  72. See this for more quotes along the lines of Brigham Young’s regarding blind obedience.

    Mike W. — June 27, 2005 @ 5:32pm
  73. […] nish the earth and not for selfish pleasure trying to avoid posterity. Remember how I have posted about our great purpose in this life. But then the crapping pleasure reader went off track. […]

  74. […] In my Secondary Education post I left out one branch of learning. Science. Why did I leave out Science in explaining why the various other kinds of learning I discussed will not be needed in eternity. Well because it seems to be more closely related to God’s created works. It seems at first like something that will actually be useful in eternity. To create worlds without number. So I felt good about this when taking science and engineering classes. Which I had to take a few. Because construction management is in the College of Engineering. I liked the thought of God being the great Architecht and Engineer of the universe. […]

    Pingback by Banner of Heaven  Power of His Word — July 27, 2005 @ 3:54pm

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