Laws of the Land

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Well now that I have edited this I will repost ;)

On Sunday in our Gospel Doctrine class, we discussed the laws of the land versus the laws of God. I asked the question “If the laws of the land go against what you know to be the laws of God, and He requires you to follow the laws of the land, which do you follow? Answers were given about Egypt, slavery, days of Joseph Smith etc. I kept saying that the days of Joseph Smith pertained to trying to write the constitution and give religious and personal freedom to all. None of the examples that were given (IMHO) had anything to do with us as Canadians living today.

As there are always such great answers here I thought I would post my question here and see if I can get an answer that would satisfy me. Thanks

12 thoughts on “Laws of the Land

  1. Follow the laws of the land. If you don’t agree with them, try to get them changed through the proper legal channels. In the meantime, follow the laws of the land.

  2. no my question is if the laws of the land differ from the ?laws of God and he tells you to live of Him you have to follow the laws of the land.. but when one does not go hand in hand then whose do you fioller

  3. Follow the laws of God when they follow the laws of the land. I cannot think of an instance when he expects us to do something illegal.

  4. OK how about in the unlikely event that the laws of the land require us as a church to marry same sex couples?

    I realize that we do not have that requirement now, but what if that were to become the case?

  5. Then we do it.

    When the law required we stop practicing polygamy, we stopped it. I see no difference.

    I think a good example of following the law of the land is the Church in East Germany. By using diplomatic means instead of lawlessness, the Church was able to get a temple in a country run by an oppressive regime, and to get members to serve full time missions.

  6. The answer to this can be found in the 98th section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

    “And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
    Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;
    And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil…And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.”

  7. The question is difficult to answer because the so much is unknown.

    If the law required you to bow down to a graven image would you do it?

    If the law required you to commit adultery would you do it?

    If the law said you can’t pray would you do it? Think of Daniel in the Lion’s den?

    The problem I have is that even without such wicked and stupid laws as I proposed above I still have trouble being righteous.

    I give in to peer pressure, false gods, vain philosophies without any legal compulsion at all.

  8. I believe the answer would be:

    First follow the prophet and then if he is silent seek personal revelation.

    That would solve most difficulties.

  9. Kim, I do think there’s a difference between the abandonment of polygamy and the hypothetical performing of same-sex marriages.

    We abandoned polygamy because the Lord told his prophet to bring it to an end. Clearly, this revelation came in answer to the circumstances faced at the time, including the conflict with the US government over the question. It’s worth noting, however, that President Woodruff said he would have gone right on with the practice but for that revelation.

    In the case of performing same-sex marriages, I don’t think we would do it unless the Lord revealed to his prophet that we should. In addition, there’s a difference between ceasing to do something you wish to continue and beginning to engage in a practice you don’t want to take part in.

  10. My best guess is that if a particular government actually required all organizations that perform marriages to perform same-sex marriages, then the Church would probably cease to perform marriages in that place and perform them elsewhere (while seeking, lawfully and patiently, to change the law).

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