Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anyone else feel

That the Mormon Church is starting to become like the Pharisees? Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?

I feel like there's too much worrying about rules, written and unwritten, and not enough thinking about how to follow Christ's example of love for everyone. It's a little depressing to hear people worry about what color shirt I wear to church, or if I wear shorts, or what hand I use to take the sacrament, or what are the exact rules for having the missionaries be able to come to my house for dinner.

What happened to the simplicity of the Church that Joseph Smith founded? Sometimes I feel like I wouldn't be shocked to see someone praise the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud)'s clarity from the stand on Sunday, and how we can learn a lot from the Law of Moses about how to know God's Will for us. Is it lawful to replace straw that fell from one's pillow on the Sabbath? Is it lawful to go trick or treating on Sunday?

I don't think God really cares too much about most things I do. As long as I'm trying to love my fellow man, I feel like I'm pretty good. I don't think he gives a damn whether or not I wear long pants to Church or if I say "thee" and "thou" in my prayers instead of "you."


1 comment:

brent said...

"I feel like there's too much worrying about rules, written and unwritten, and not enough thinking about how to follow Christ's example of love for everyone. It's a little depressing to hear people worry about what color shirt I wear to church, or if I wear shorts, or what hand I use to take the sacrament, or what are the exact rules for having the missionaries be able to come to my house for dinner."

You're conflating three different things here: (1) actual commandments; (2) certain policies; and (3) cultural expectations. If you're talking about No. 1, then I'd disagree that "love for everyone" somehow eclipses the need to follow the commandments. For example, we don't get to fornicate just because we mowed our neighbor's lawn. If you're talking about No. 2, then I think you need to accept that some people--both in and out of the church--like bright lines, and policies provide that. I personally don't get exasperated by such people as much as ignore them. And if you're talking about No. 3, then, to put it bluntly, who cares? Wear your blue shirt, drink your Diet Coke, conspicuously take the sacrament with your left hand, and thumb your nose at the people who don't know their doctrine from their culture. I do, and rarely feel compunction about it. (It's also a good way to stay out of callings.)

"What happened to the simplicity of the Church that Joseph Smith founded?"

It never existed. As soon as we had a church, we had to have policies/doctrine in place to govern it. Sec. 20 was revealed the very month the church was organized, and it has all kinds of requirements necessary for running even a small church.

"I don't think God really cares too much about most things I do."

I believe there's room in the church for those who are more Deists, like yourself, and those who are more teleological, which is where I find myself. I actually do think God cares what I do with my time and labors, how I treat my family, and how I serve my fellow man. I think he's intimately concerned with the choices I make on a day-to-day basis, otherwise I wouldn't spend much time praying.

But again, what you seem to mean is whether he cares about long pants at church and proper addresses in prayer, which, again, are not exactly good examples for whether "God cares about things I do."