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Liberty: A thoughtful essay
Al_M Offline
#1 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 8:40:52 PM(UTC)

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I encourage forum members to read this essay. It is very well written. It is an essay on the responsible exercise of Christian liberty. I have posted another essay in another post on this thread.


Handle with Care
LazerusLong Offline
#2 Posted : Saturday, January 12, 2019 11:03:41 PM(UTC)

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Thanks for posting. I've not yet completely digested it, it's a very dense. It is going to require some repeated careful reading and some pondering.
The ways of God, government, & girls are all mysterious & it is not given to mortal man to understand them. - LazarusLong
Al_M Offline
#3 Posted : Sunday, January 13, 2019 7:19:24 AM(UTC)

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I should have introduced it. Here is a summary quote:

"The apostle Paul, likewise, argues that it’s possible to use the right thing in the wrong way. He applies this adage to Christian liberty. Previously, in Rom 14:1-12 Paul stated that we are absolutely free to decide for ourselves on non-essential issues like eating, drinking, dancing, music, and movies. We learned to “be slow to judge others; be quick to judge yourself.” Now in 14:13-23 Paul presents the “other side of the coin” in our Christian liberty. Those who are free to enjoy their liberty are responsible for not having an adverse effect on other believer"

The article is about exercising liberty responsibly so that we do not injure the faith of others and even more importantly that we do not injure our own testimony.

The second is very important. I see a lot of young LDS who feel like the choices are either stay faithful or reject the faith. They have invented restrictions to rebel against. We must not invent choices that are either the church or...fill in the blank. Certainly there are some absolutes but they can be summarized in a page or even these two sentences.

Do everything possible to include Christ in your relationships and conduct yourself in his example. Do nothing to exclude Christ from your relationships.

Of course including Christ means receiving his servants.

But let's face it. Every day we make choices about how to keep the sabbath, how to perform our duties, how to teach our children, how to live the word of wisdom, how to calculate tithing, etc. etc.

Our choices are not the gospel that we lay down for others.

On the other hand there are others who lay down a stricter choice than we would make. We should not injure their faith by rebuking them nor should we flaunt our choices before them. They need love to.

Ps The article is written by a non-LDS so it does not reflect all of the range of choices we would consider.



1 user thanked Al_M for this useful post.
Roamer on 1/13/2019(UTC)
Al_M Offline
#4 Posted : Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:04:41 AM(UTC)

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I probably should have posted this first.

Mind Your Own Business

Each of these are lessons and they have thoughtful questions at the end.

At the beginning of these articles the author lists some behaviors and avers that he could split any church by getting people to argue them.

Some of the behaviors are very clearly wrong to me based on my assessment of how that behavior will promote the inclusion of Christ in my relationships. Others are trivial and even comical.

Worth reading!
Al_M Offline
#5 Posted : Sunday, January 13, 2019 12:22:40 PM(UTC)

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Just so I am clear: I think that is very important, even necessary, for the saints to claim and exercise their liberty in Christ. But we must do it responsibly.
Roamer Offline
#6 Posted : Sunday, January 13, 2019 3:09:16 PM(UTC)
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• Drinking alcohol
-Against current interpretation of Word of Wisdom
• Smoking cigarettes or cigars
-Against current interpretation of Word of Wisdom
• Gambling
Church Authorities are strongly on record as opposed to it.

• Dancing

Which kind of dancing? 19th Century Mormons were considered rather scandalous for the time for their encouraging it.

• Watching R-rated movies
Church authorities have well known positions on this, and they're anti.

• Listening to secular music
Again, which kind? Not all "secular music" is bad, although not all of it is good either.

• Watching MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
No clue, this can go both ways, "depends" on some things.

• Using birth control
Again which kind? For which reasons? IIRC the LDS Church position is pretty straight forward on this, (most) birth control, condoms, etc are just fine(in the context of marital sex). Its where you get to termination of an existing pregnancy that things diverge.

• Sporting tattoos or piercings
Advised to not do it, considered to be a defacement/defilement of the body.

• Sending your kids to public school

What? I guess that would depend on the Public School District, or even specific School in question...

• Owning a luxury car or other extravagant possessions

Depends, although clearly has potential to run counter to "Be thou humble" and the idea of consecration.

• Working on Sunday

Depends on the work being done.

• Observing Halloween
LOL, I can see some members going for that, but they're a definite minority.
Al_M Offline
#7 Posted : Sunday, January 13, 2019 3:38:45 PM(UTC)

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Roamer wrote:
• Drinking alcohol
-Against current interpretation of Word of Wisdom
• Smoking cigarettes or cigars
-Against current interpretation of Word of Wisdom
• Gambling
Church Authorities are strongly on record as opposed to it.

• Dancing

Which kind of dancing? 19th Century Mormons were considered rather scandalous for the time for their encouraging it.

• Watching R-rated movies
Church authorities have well known positions on this, and they're anti.

• Listening to secular music
Again, which kind? Not all "secular music" is bad, although not all of it is good either.

• Watching MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
No clue, this can go both ways, "depends" on some things.

• Using birth control
Again which kind? For which reasons? IIRC the LDS Church position is pretty straight forward on this, (most) birth control, condoms, etc are just fine. Its where you get to termination of an existing pregnancy that things diverge.

• Sporting tattoos or piercings
Advised to not do it, considered to be a defacement/defilement of the body.

• Sending your kids to public school

What? I guess that would depend on the Public School District, or even specific School in question...

• Owning a luxury car or other extravagant possessions

Depends, although clearly has potential to run counter to "Be thou humble" and the idea of consecration.

• Working on Sunday

Depends on the work being done.

• Observing Halloween
LOL, I can see some members going for that, but they're a definite minority.


The author just offered his list as examples. Alcohol and tobacco are pretty non controversial but decaffeinated coffee and tea could be seen as wrong by some and okay by others. I think we could come up with a list of controversial items for LDS that could spark a row in Sunday school.

How about one that is particular to members of this forum?

Is it okay to remove all clothing for strenuous recreation and swimming?

I think most of us would say yes but I, for one, would never assert it in Sunday school even though I think that it is just fine (if it isn't done in the presence of others who would be offended or where it is legally prohibited).

Some of us may have the caveat that it's okay to be nude for such recreation but not around the opposite sex. I am not one of them but I respect their reservation but ask them not to judge me because I think that it is okay.

As you read the linked articles it is clear that the motivation for our choices must come from a conviction that they fit within the exercise of Christian liberty and are not intended to be transgressive or rebellious or just a willful expression of one's individuality. It cannot be done with a spirit of "look at me, I can do what I want".


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