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» Nauvoo Forum » Nauvoo Classic Forum » General Discussions » Breaking one commandment to keep another?

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Author Topic: Breaking one commandment to keep another?
Dyany
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I had an odd dream last night (I am the queen of odd dreams, though this one was relatively mild). I dreamt I was acting as a spy in WWII. I had to infiltrate and gain the trust of a certain military camp leader or else thousands of people would die. One of the ways I had to gain his trust was to drink alcohol. I didn't like it, but I did it, so that I could save those people.

The dream later morphed into something akin to college, where I was working with/looking at dating Mike Rowe (I watched WAY too many episodes of Dirty Jobs yesterday. I think I'm developing a crush. :b ), and he was LDS, and I was LDS, but each of us drank something like a wine cooler (ok it was some Pepsi product with cola and hard lemonade. which sounds beyond gross.) because we didn't know what to expect of the other person, or in what we needed to do to maintain an good professional relationship.

I realized when I woke up what an interesting juxtaposition these 2 scenarios posed, in where we draw the line and pick our battles and the like. It's like, Judith in the Septuagint presented herself to the commander of the invading armies, lied to him about the righteousness of the Israelites and made him think he would get to sleep with her, all to get close enough to him in private to stake his head to the ground and escape. Not to mention Nephi who committed murder of Laban and lied to Zoram in order to get his people out safely.

So...where are some of your lines? Have you ever had to draw lines like this in your life? Or do you think lines should NEVER have to be drawn, that you will be able to keep ALL of the commandments ALL of the time in order to achieve the Lord's purposes?

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hansemann
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quote:
I dreamt I was acting as a spy in WWII.
"I know nothing, I hear nothing, I see nothing!" - Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes".
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hansemann
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Actually, if you are talking about weird dreams, I had one about 15 years ago that was the creme de la creme of strange dreams. I don't mean to offend anyone or seem to be lightminded or sacriligious but this one took the cake!

I dreamt that I was at a party at this humungous condo at Park City (it was actually the one owned by by wife's former boss in SLC who was part of the Gallivan family, as in The Gallivan Center, Salt Lake Tribune, etc.) Anyway, it was a hot summer day, we're all out on the back deck barbequing, for some reason I'm having a nice cool beer when Jesus himself comes up to me and we start talking...nothing heavy or doctrinal, but just two guys shooting the breeze...then I notice He's having a Coors and I woke up! Talk about weird...

[ September 04, 2007, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: hansemann ]

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boardmadd
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quote:
"I know nothing, I hear nothing, I see nothing!" - Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes".
"I know nussink! I vuz not here! I didn't even wake *up* zis mornink!"

I loved John Banner [Big Grin]

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Hobbes
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On my mission I had a dream that I my mission wasn't to convert, but to kill. I participated in several assassin operations in which I deftly took care of various names the Church had given me.

...or was it a dream...

Hobbes [Smile]

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Dyany
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well I also had a dream once where I brought a friend of mine who happened to be some vampire monster or something back to life just to see what it was like, but he had to kill people on the carpet for it to count, killing them on vinyl or tile didn't count. So we went around killing people, but then I felt guilty so I asked my dad for a blessing to help me get out of this mess, but I asked him to give me the blessing in the carpeted living room....
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Curelom
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I'm not sure any of us, as well-intended as we are, would be able to keep ALL the commandments ALL the time for ANY reason! But we do try.

We tend to be more conscious of the need to obey commandments when it comes to weighty matters like "fulfilling the Lord's purposes." But disobeying His commandment for the purpose of fulfilling His purposes (as we see it & as the Spirit directs us), should be something carefully pondered & prayed about.

Nephi didn't just rush in & whack off Laban's head as soon as the idea came to him; obviously he was highly troubled & had to be told three times by the Spirit to slay Laban for a much higher objective of eternal importance--that an entire nation not perish in unbelief.

Joshua, who led Israel into Canaan, was told to be of good courage & always meditate on the law. And then, many times, God sent him into battle to wipe out everyone & everything. Because he had always meditated on the law & kept himself spiritually sensitive, he was able to know that these directions truly were of the Lord. In another episode, "Samuel worshipped the Lord" (1 Sam. 15). We can sort of presume that his worship included receiving directions on how to deal with Agag, since the next thing Samuel did is similar to what Nephi would later do.

In similar events wth other scriptural figures, we often see that they balked, tried to get out of it somehow, perhaps questioned or tried to argue with the Lord. When it comes to major disobedience (not "little white lies" but murder, unchastity, deceit, violence of any kind), I think it's good that most of us would lose sleep over it. It shows that we have a conscience & are doing our best to be obedient.

The last instructions the Savior gave on earth were to take the gospel to the world (Matt. 28). Earlier, He had said to "render unto Caesar"--IOW, to obey civil law. These two commandments come into conflict in places where the Church is not allowed to proselyte. In Jerusalem, the Church has become a solid presence in the community because it chose to go in the front door & work with Israeli civil & religious leaders, not try to disobey "render unto Caesar" because "go ye therefore and teach all nations" is a greater commandment.

The Church could sneak around & circumvent civil law, taking the position that teaching the gospel is a higher objective--and then end up with a mess like this that may impact the purposes of God for years to come.

I think it would have to be an extreme situation. Disobeying a commandment must really be the absolute last resort; AND the consequences of failing to disobey must be so drastic & disastrous as to tip the scales in favor of disobeying. The Spirit would have to testify emphatically of this, & the people involved must have a very strong witness that they are doing this for the Lord's reasons & not their own.

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hansemann
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quote:
"I know nussink! I vuz not here! I didn't even wake *up* zis mornink!"

I loved John Banner

Me too. I always thought that it was very ironic that most of the Nazi guys in "Hogan's Heroes" (including "Schultz" and "Klink") were portrayed by Jewish actors, many of whom had been in the concentration camps. Of course they made the Nazis look ridiculous.

In one of my favorite episodes Klink and Schultz are speculating what they will do after the war is over. Klink, the Prussian aristocrat, asks Schultz what he did before the war. Schultz replies that he worked at the largest toy factory in Germany. Klink says "Do you think you could talk to your boss and get me a job at the toy factory?" Schultz replies, "Sure, I am the boss!" [Big Grin]

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Sweet William
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...but I asked him to give me the blessing in the carpeted living room....

Very wise. [Wink]

See, now a good LDS-themed movie would be about a Mormon vampire (named LaVon, Moroni, or Bronco) who you can ward off with a CTR ring instead of a cross.

Instead of being burned by holy water, he'd get burned by fruit punch.

How could you replace the whole "stake through the heart" thing, though?

Make THAT movie Richard Dutcher. [Razz]

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Curelom
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Did I derail this thread, or did I just misinterpet the OP's intent? [Wink]
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dianoia
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I've got a theory (it could be bunnies...) about how this works. Of course, I could be totally off, but here goes:

We are told in the PoGP that we were sent here to see if we would do all that we are commanded to do. Elder Maxwell talked about post-graduate discipleship, that if we are willing, we may be asked as disciples to give more than the average Joe-on-the-street.

And we've also been promised in the scriptures that as we contine to improve, we will obey simply because we love the commandments we are obeying.

So what if one of those post-graduate discipleship tests could be the Lord asking us to GO AGAINST a particular principle after we've grown to love it, because He asks it of us? Here's some examples:

1)As mentioned previously, Nephi killing Laban.

2)Elder Maxwell's biography tells of a time when he was counseled by his senior brethren in the quorum to purchase a house (can't remember why, too lazy to go looking right now). He and Colleen lived the principle of living within your means and avoiding debt, and this house seemed to be beyond their means. It took a real leap of faith to make that purchase.

3)Husbands who love their wives and children and love spending time with them, and the Lord asks them to serve in heavy Church callings that really cut into home time.

This is the territory of Abrahamic tests. Welcome to the big leagues.

So in terms of breaking commandments, I really strive not to. But if I'm sure that my Heavenly Father asks something different of me, I'll try to do it. Of course, that also means I must continually work at listening to the Lord and improving my own spiritual sensitivity.

[ September 08, 2007, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: dianoia ]

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ketchupqueen
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I'm going to go with "there are times to break the rules, and there is a right way to do it." [Smile]

The Holy Spirit is there to guide us, and if we know how to listen, it will not lead us wrong.

As for dreams, well, I'm having ALL KINDS of weird dreams lately, being pregnant, most of which end in me waking my husband. [Wink]

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beefche
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quote:
See, now a good LDS-themed movie would be about a Mormon vampire (named LaVon, Moroni, or Bronco) who you can ward off with a CTR ring instead of a cross.

Instead of being burned by holy water, he'd get burned by fruit punch.

How could you replace the whole "stake through the heart" thing, though?

Make THAT movie Richard Dutcher.

[ROFL] SW, excellent!

Actually, the "stake thru the heart" could work....one would have to break his heart (think in contrite spirit context) in the stake center....maybe Dear John him by telling him you're in love with his best friend, the werewolf?

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beefche
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Dyany, this is a subject that I was pondering lately while attending the temple. We are taught that Adam/Eve didn't sin--they transgressed. My understanding of transgression is to break a temporary law to fulfill a higher law. Adam was commanded to multiply and replenish the earth and to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But, Adam couldn't fulfill one law without breaking the other.

I was thinking that a commandment such as what Nephi experienced with Laban isn't something that is going to be given very often. I honestly don't think HF thinks of ways to command us to break a law. However, in His wisdom, there are times when it is wise to do so. That is when He will send the Spirit to us to direct us. But, honestly, I can't imagine when a situation like that would occur. I agree with KQ--if it is needed, we need to be guided by the Spirit. Perhaps that's one reason why it is so important to know what the voice of the Spirit is for us--that way if we are commanded to do the Nephi/Laban thing, we KNOW it is the Spirit and not a spirit.

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yungmom
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quote:
Elder Maxwell's biography tells of a time when he was counseled by his senior brethren in the quorum to purchase a house (can't remember why, too lazy to go looking right now). He and Colleen lived the principle of living within your means and avoiding debt, and this house seemed to be beyond their means. It took a real leap of faith to make that purchase.
I hadn't heard that before. I'm going to have to look into it.

quote:
We are taught that Adam/Eve didn't sin--they transgressed. My understanding of transgression is to break a temporary law to fulfill a higher law. Adam was commanded to multiply and replenish the earth and to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But, Adam couldn't fulfill one law without breaking the other.
lol I was thinking of this as I read the thread today. I went to the temple this morning and was having similar thoughts. It's interesting how the commandment was given to Adam. Later though I was a little confused by some of the wording. So now I need to get back and listen again.

quote:
Perhaps that's one reason why it is so important to know what the voice of the Spirit is for us--that way if we are commanded to do the Nephi/Laban thing, we KNOW it is the Spirit and not a spirit.
I heard a lot about the Spirit of the law verses the letter of the law on my mission. I noticed that those who tried to follow the letter of the law except when the Spirit directed them to follow the Spirit of the law had a great recognition of when the Spirit was speaking to them. You could feel the Spirit strongly in their words and actions. I noticed that when the Spirit directed them to follow the Spirit of the law miracles happened. They never needed to say anything about following the Spirit of the law. It was completely evident.

However, I also noticed that those who spoke most about following the Spirit of the law had little regard for following the letter of the law. I didn't feel the Spirit as strongly with them - even if I didn't hear the Spirit of the law talks from them till later.

So my theory has been that in order to hear the promptings of the Spirit we need to be following the commandments as best we can. If we are doing that and we have our heart open to the Spirit we will best be able to know if the Spirit is speaking to us even if it is against commandments we have already received.

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dianoia
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Yungmom, I finally got off my duff and went looking for that source.

And as is so often the case with my brain -crammed full of meaningless minutiae like the toxicity of polar bear liver - I got the gist right and the details wrong.

It was Boyd K. Packer, not Neal A. Maxwell. He was an Assistant to the Twelve at the time, and needed to move his family closer to SLC. The perfect property was found, but he couldn't afford it. Finally, on the counsel of Elder Harold B. Lee and President David O. McKay, he took the leap and acquired it anyway. (Pages 137-138 "Boyd K. Packer: A Watchman On The Tower" by Lucile C. Tate)

ETA: And I second that bullseye on your observations about the Letter and the Spirit of the Law.

[ September 04, 2007, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: dianoia ]

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yungmom
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Roper - thank you! I have often heard that they are different, but getting the meaning of the word helps so much in understanding the difference. Our Sunday School teacher will often say things about different words like you just did and it really opens my eyes.

dianoia - thank you, I'm going to see if the book is in the library. It is awfully similar to what we went through last year. We could afford our house here, but it was certainly more expensive than our last house. Little by little I am seeing why we are here though. Just the experience my son had last year in kindergarten brings tears to my eyes knowing how the Lord has blessed us in having us move here. So I am curious to read about Elder Packer.

quote:
I just wish I was a whole lot better and following that council!
I know! [Smile] It's funny because as I look back through my life I see that in the times when I was stronger about following the commandments I felt the promptings of the Spirit much greater, but I lose track of that again and again and again. You would think I would learn it sometime!
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dianoia
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We've had a similar experience as well, yungmom. DH was unemployed and got two job offers. One where we're living now, and another in a place with far cheaper housing prices. But the answer was unmistakably that he was to accept the job here.

We also got a very clear answer that I was to stay behind so Son3 could complete his kindergarten.

I'm glad we got such a strong answer, because living apart for nine months was hard, and a lot of people felt we were making a bad decision. And in principle I agree, it's not good for a husband and wife to be apart if they have the choice.

Also, having that sure knowledge has given me peace of mind about what happened to the housing market. House prices rose $100,000 down here in the intervening time. We went from a home that would be paid off in a few years back to square one mortgage-wise.

I still don't know why the Lord wanted us to move here, although I've grown to love this place and our new ward. I don't like the increased house debt, but I know we made the right decision. And I'm so grateful to have my husband walk through the door again every evening at 5:30.

Hallelujah for personal revelation and the peace it brings.

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