Are rules are made to be broken?

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Imagine a scenario where someone has been called to a position and has the qualities of the average man; s/he makes mistakes, possesses an ego, and can be self-interested and partisan ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù with the purpose of this calling being primarily for that individual’s personal and spiritual growth.

Now suppose the ordinances and decisions this person makes in their calling has a direct impact on other members of the congregation?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù they are in a position of oversight.

It’s already been stated that if there are personal or spiritual problems with the person conducting the ordinance, that the recipient of the ordinance will still receive the full effects of the ordinance ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù God will know and make things right. For example, being baptised by a child molester would not mean your baptism is null and void.

This implies that it is not the letter of the law that must be followed but merely the spirit of the law; an exacting procedure is not required but instead just recommended because God can pull up the slack.

If it is the case that strict adherence is not required, then why is it that such an emphasis is put on perfect obedience of rules both written and un-written in the LDS faith?

There is a perception by non-members that there are many rules to be followed by members and the faith is fairly ‘rule-ladened’ when compared to other faiths which are less rigid when it comes to adherence to their respective rules ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù lapsed Catholics, unobservant Jews, etc.

The other side of the argument being that the strict observance of ritual is an absolute requirement – i.e. temple work. If it *is* a requirement, it flies in the face of the ‘God will make it all correct’ argument and calls into question the concept of appointment to callings being for the called person’s personal and spiritual growth.

Any thoughts, on Our Thoughts, about this?

4 thoughts on “Are rules are made to be broken?

  1. First,

    I use to be a strong believer in the “unwritten order of things”. I’m glad I woke up. If it’s unwritten, it’s “out of order”. If they want it to be “in order” then they should get off their lazy arse and write it down. The one thing we need less of in the gospel is all the “secret knowledge” floating around out there.

    Second, I don’t buy it. We are told, scripturally, that authority, worthiness, and proper procedures matter. Dismissing them like you mentioned above means that any baptism, marriage, or other gospel ordinance (regardless of who performs and regardless of authority) is acceptable because the Lord will sort it out in the end. If we accept that, then we should accept that “true religion” doesn’t matter. I can be a Baptist, Anglican, Catholic, Hindu, etc… and it will all get sorted out later.

    There aren’t degrees of doing it wrong. It’s either done correctly or it isn’t.

    How is having an unworthy priesthood holder bless the sacrament any different than letting a non-member bless the sacrament? Neither of them have, or are acting under the authority of the priesthood (at least according to D&C 121:37 in the case of the unworthy priesthood holder).

  2. The difference between an unworthy priesthood holder blessing the sacrament and a non-member blessing the sacrament is that the unworthy priesthood holder would be authorized–he represents God and the church, not himself. Of course, it’s the church’s job to make sure it does not use unworthy men as its instrument.

    Heaven may withdraw and grieve over the unworthy priesthood holder, but the faithful receiving ordinances at his hand are not punished.

    It does seem to me that rules were made to be broken. Life under the Fall guarantees you will break some rules. None of us is perfect. It seems to me the unwritten LDS idea about obedience is that we are in training or learning to be perfect like God. Personally, I’ve given up on this idea because it doesn’t square with my experience. What is relevant to me is living with hope and joy and earnestness while perpetually falling short.

  3. Hey Rick,

    Do you have a reference for this blog?? I have the same question asked of me but they need a reference.

    Thanks,

    Ross

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