pwrfrk

Setting aside the church to keep a career?

Recommended Posts

Is it morally or ethically permissible for anyone baptized in the church to set aside the gospel and conduct expected of Mormons so they can "keep" their career?

I have seen this with a few cops I know, they said they set aside the church and church standards so they can keep their jobs.  I feel that if they-be it doctors, lawyers, cops and politicians, too-set aside their standards so they can do their job, then it is conduct unbecoming a priesthood holder.

I reflect on it like this- when you do wrong to someone, it is worthless to ask God to forgive you until you have asked the person you wronged to forgive you.  Then, if when you wronged them there were damages, you must compensate them accordingly.  Then, and only then, will you be forgiven.

What would the expected standards be?  Is it morally acceptable to set aside God for a job?  What about when you retire and return to the church?  Do you somehow have a special prayer to say so God will forgive you, even though your victims don't have to?  

To me there is nothing else about setting the church aside for a career could mean, but the commission of immoral and unethical conduct.  What else could there be?  Does that make it any mor right if no one is harmed and it's just immoral or unethical conduct?

Edited by pwrfrk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no double standard.  Priorities should be: God, Family, Employer, Church, in that order.  Setting aside Church callings, etc, is one thing; setting aside the Gospel is another.  It is never acceptable to set aside the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and especially our covenants.  However, God said, "Thou shalt not kill," and yet, He also commanded Nephi to kill Laban.  Sometimes what one person may perceive as 'setting aside the gospel' may not be, depending on the circumstance.  Ultimately, our responsibility is to God; however, I feel it fairly safe to suggest that a sincere disciple should be able to come to this conclusion on their own by the influence of the Spirit.  If someone claims they are setting aside the Gospel in order to keep their career, they are probably doing exactly that, by acting outside the bounds of what is appropriate, in some way or another, and trying to justify their reasons.  One cannot justify their own actions, Christ does that (or doesn't); but one can receive the witness from the Spirit that their actions are just.

The answers to questions about ambiguities are so numerous that it is not reasonable to try and treat every case in a legalistic code of behavior.  We are taught correct principles and then we govern ourselves.  We will know long before the last day if we are guilty before God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pwrfrk said:

When you see something like this, is it wrong to confront the other person and tell them their conduct is improper?

 

Unless the person is under the *umbrella* of your stewardship, you should NOT confront them.

person0 - I would change your order of priorities to: God, Family, CHURCH, Employer. Then again to me, personally, God & Church go hand-in-hand.

I know of one man who fell away from the church when he was a detective assigned to the Vice Squad. For way too many years he was under cover with-in a drug ring. When his wife divorced him and his Bishop came to him to discuss just how far down the slope of multiple sins he was traveling, he realized that it wasn't his 'mission' in life to catch the bad drug dudes. He spent many years fighting to come back into the "Light of God". Re-married his wife, and requested excommunication to wipe the slate clean, repented, was re-baptized and his priesthood keys were restored to him. He did however do a career change of sorts, he became a CHP officer. I have seen pictures of him, all in uniform sitting on his motorcycle. What a sight! ☺️

The ONLY person(s) in his life to confront him were his Wife, then his Bishop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, pwrfrk said:

When you see something like this, is it wrong to confront the other person and tell them their conduct is improper?

 

I would disagree with @Iggy. It is our responsibility to minister to all. When we see others beginning to act in such a way that takes them from Christ, we should step in.

If you read the talk “A holier approach to ministering” (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/neil-l-andersen_a-holier-approach-to-ministering/) Neil L Anderson lists many situations in which we ought to reach out to others that appear to be struggling. None of these situations fit under any “umbrella” beyond that of friend.

“Let us not be self-righteous, but let us be spiritually courageous in ministering in a holier way, specifically by strengthening the faith of others.

To stir your thinking, consider these possible situations:

• You notice that a roommate spends an inordinate amount of time playing games on an iPhone but rarely engages in conversations relating to gospel topics.

• You have a sense that a friend may have a problem with pornography.

• You are in a conversation with friends and notice that the language being used is edgy and inappropriate.

• You smell alcohol or marijuana in a friend’s car.

• You see prescription drugs that you know are not being used properly.

• Your friends are spending enormous time taking and posting pictures of themselves that move to the edge of immodesty.

• You notice that someone who once seemed to love to talk about the Book of Mormon now never mentions it.

• You notice that a friend who once seemed to love to go to the temple now is not going.

• You notice a friend who once spoke with faith about the prophet’s counsel now speaks critically.

• You have a returned missionary roommate who has become very casual in wearing clothing that reflects temple covenants.

• You notice a friend who finds reasons to go places on Sunday other than your ward.

• You have a sense that a friend has started to be dishonest in small things.

• You have a classmate who began the semester very engaged in your religion class but who now seems disinterested and disengaged.

• You know someone who had a light in his or her eyes after returning from a mission, but now that light seems to have faded.

• You have a friend who jokes about sacred things.

• You have a friend who came to BYU with the expectation of finding an eternal companion and hasn’t. The discouragement with dating has moved to “God doesn’t love me.”

• You see a friend’s faith being affected by compromised worthiness and his need to repent.”

Edited by Fether

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, pwrfrk said:

Is it morally or ethically permissible for anyone baptized in the church to set aside the gospel and conduct expected of Mormons so they can "keep" their career?

I have seen this with a few cops I know, they said they set aside the church and church standards so they can keep their jobs.  I feel that if they-be it doctors, lawyers, cops and politicians, too-set aside their standards so they can do their job, then it is conduct unbecoming a priesthood holder.

I reflect on it like this- when you do wrong to someone, it is worthless to ask God to forgive you until you have asked the person you wronged to forgive you.  Then, if when you wronged them there were damages, you must compensate them accordingly.  Then, and only then, will you be forgiven.

What would the expected standards be?  Is it morally acceptable to set aside God for a job?  What about when you retire and return to the church?  Do you somehow have a special prayer to say so God will forgive you, even though your victims don't have to?  

To me there is nothing else about setting the church aside for a career could mean, but the commission of immoral and unethical conduct.  What else could there be?  Does that make it any mor right if no one is harmed and it's just immoral or unethical conduct?

Employment should NEVER come between  you, your family, and God. God doesn’t care if it is a $100,000 raise, he comes first.

There is a God, there is a heaven, there is a Hell, and there is a you. If all those things exist and you don’t put God first in your life, then you have damned yourself. If you don’t believe in God and think church is nothing more than a social construct then by all means, abandon church and pursue work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Fether said:

I would disagree with @Iggy. It is our responsibility to minister to all. When we see others beginning to act in such a way that takes them from Christ, we should step in.

If you read the talk “A holier approach to ministering” (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/neil-l-andersen_a-holier-approach-to-ministering/) Neil L Anderson lists many situations in which we ought to reach out to others that appear to be struggling. None of these situations fit under any “umbrella” beyond that of friend.

Where in @pwrfrk's post did it say minister to all? What was posted was:

Quote

is it wrong to confront the other person and tell them their conduct is improper?

To be very clear:  pwrfrk, yes it is WRONG to confront the other person and TELL them their conduct is improper.

@Fether: Where in Neil L. Anderson's talk does he say it is okay to Confront? I

Ministering is in no way to be confrontational. In each and every one of those points, you DO NOT CONFRONT, you pray for,  pray with,  & love unconditionally.

Right now, in my real life, I have made friends with a sister at church. She moved here about two years ago with her two youngest children, a daughter and son. Both were teens. She is an amazing woman in my eyes. She is a bricklayer, handy-woman (comes with an amazing array of power and hand tools and she knows how to use them) Her husband at first refused to give her a divorce, and she moved here 550 miles from him to get herself and the two teens away from him and his mistress, whom he had moved in with. They are all members of the church.

She took all the money they had and invested it in a Do It Yourselfer home and then gutted the interior, room by room, and rebuilt/refurbished. 90% of the interior is reclaimed from other buildings that were going to be demolished. While this work was going on the three of them lived in a motor coach, using the bathroom in the house and the tiny kitchen in the mc.

She struggles with the WOW - and of low self esteem. With the love she received from her sisters in Zion here in the branch, she garnered enough strength and courage to file for divorce and follow through. NOW, even though she was living here, she had to file from the county seat of where they had been living. So that meant she had to go there every three months to file each phase of the divorce papers. We all took care of her two teens while she was gone. She just recently applied for and received her state contractors license, so now she can do larger contractor jobs which means she can bid on them, charge more than the measly $15.00 an hour she had been charging, and begin the healthy process of getting out of debt.

Never was it any of the Branch members responsibility to judge her, or to confront her regarding her not following the WOW. NOTE: She is not endowed, and she knows that unless she quits smoking totally, she cannot receive her endowments.

She has not come to church the last two Sundays because she has been smoking more than the occasional cigarette a week. Me thinks it has been like up to a pack a week. She is stressed, her ex-husband has been calling their daughter to brag about all the material toys his new, much younger wife, much wealthier wife has been giving him. THIS stresses both the daughter and Mother tremendously.

The way I minister to her and in a filter down way her daughter, is to shower them with UNCONDITIONAL love. and to leave the confronting & judgement to the Lord.

She didn't come to church because she didn't feel worthy to take the Sacrament, and others would see that she wasn't and thus they would judge her. I told her that if she would come to church - whether she felt worthy or not, come - and I will sit in the back row with her where NO ONE can see if she takes the sacrament or not.

 

 

Edited by Iggy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Iggy said:

person0 - I would change your order of priorities to: God, Family, CHURCH, Employer. Then again to me, personally, God & Church go hand-in-hand.

I base my order on statements made by the Church and it's leaders.  One example:

Quote

In the worldwide leadership training meeting held on June 21, 2003, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught us that as priesthood holders we have a fourfold responsibility. He said: “Each of us has a fourfold responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to our families. Second, we have a responsibility to our employers. Third, we have a responsibility to the Lord’s work. Fourth, we have a responsibility to ourselves.”
Priesthood Responsibilities - Claudio R. M. Costa (April 2009 General Conference)

Our responsibility to God is always #1, that is a given,  that involves keeping His commandments and living up to our covenants and the laws of the Gospel.  However, after fulfilling that obligation, everything else to do with the Church comes last, except for being just before our responsibility to ourselves.  This is the order of priorities I was taught in Church growing up.  When I list Church separate from God, I specifically am referring to any ancillary responsibilities involved in Church membership.  People should not even consider putting their employment at risk to go clean the chapel on a Saturday, or to go teaching with the missionaries, or similar.

Edited by person0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, pwrfrk said:

Is it morally or ethically permissible for anyone baptized in the church to set aside the gospel and conduct expected of Mormons so they can "keep" their career?

I have seen this with a few cops I know, they said they set aside the church and church standards so they can keep their jobs.  I feel that if they-be it doctors, lawyers, cops and politicians, too-set aside their standards so they can do their job, then it is conduct unbecoming a priesthood holder.

I reflect on it like this- when you do wrong to someone, it is worthless to ask God to forgive you until you have asked the person you wronged to forgive you.  Then, if when you wronged them there were damages, you must compensate them accordingly.  Then, and only then, will you be forgiven.

What would the expected standards be?  Is it morally acceptable to set aside God for a job?  What about when you retire and return to the church?  Do you somehow have a special prayer to say so God will forgive you, even though your victims don't have to?  

To me there is nothing else about setting the church aside for a career could mean, but the commission of immoral and unethical conduct.  What else could there be?  Does that make it any mor right if no one is harmed and it's just immoral or unethical conduct?

Please provide some examples form the cop world -- thank you,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um, there shouldn't be any reason to break the laws of God. If you mean working on the sabbath then that is an easy one. Some civil servants have to work on Sunday to provide care and protection to people. If you are talking about taking drugs to convince dealers you are a customer then of course the answer is get a new job. Plenty of other ways to catch someone committing a crime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Iggy said:

Where in @pwrfrk's post did it say minister to all? What was posted was:

To be very clear:  pwrfrk, yes it is WRONG to confront the other person and TELL them their conduct is improper.

@Fether: Where in Neil L. Anderson's talk does he say it is okay to Confront? I

Ministering is in no way to be confrontational. In each and every one of those points, you DO NOT CONFRONT, you pray for,  pray with,  & love unconditionally.

Right now, in my real life, I have made friends with a sister at church. She moved here about two years ago with her two youngest children, a daughter and son. Both were teens. She is an amazing woman in my eyes. She is a bricklayer, handy-woman (comes with an amazing array of power and hand tools and she knows how to use them) Her husband at first refused to give her a divorce, and she moved here 550 miles from him to get herself and the two teens away from him and his mistress, whom he had moved in with. They are all members of the church.

She took all the money they had and invested it in a Do It Yourselfer home and then gutted the interior, room by room, and rebuilt/refurbished. 90% of the interior is reclaimed from other buildings that were going to be demolished. While this work was going on the three of them lived in a motor coach, using the bathroom in the house and the tiny kitchen in the mc.

She struggles with the WOW - and of low self esteem. With the love she received from her sisters in Zion here in the branch, she garnered enough strength and courage to file for divorce and follow through. NOW, even though she was living here, she had to file from the county seat of where they had been living. So that meant she had to go there every three months to file each phase of the divorce papers. We all took care of her two teens while she was gone. She just recently applied for and received her state contractors license, so now she can do larger contractor jobs which means she can bid on them, charge more than the measly $15.00 an hour she had been charging, and begin the healthy process of getting out of debt.

Never was it any of the Branch members responsibility to judge her, or to confront her regarding her not following the WOW. NOTE: She is not endowed, and she knows that unless she quits smoking totally, she cannot receive her endowments.

She has not come to church the last two Sundays because she has been smoking more than the occasional cigarette a week. Me thinks it has been like up to a pack a week. She is stressed, her ex-husband has been calling their daughter to brag about all the material toys his new, much younger wife, much wealthier wife has been giving him. THIS stresses both the daughter and Mother tremendously.

The way I minister to her and in a filter down way her daughter, is to shower them with UNCONDITIONAL love. and to leave the confronting & judgement to the Lord.

She didn't come to church because she didn't feel worthy to take the Sacrament, and others would see that she wasn't and thus they would judge her. I told her that if she would come to church - whether she felt worthy or not, come - and I will sit in the back row with her where NO ONE can see if she takes the sacrament or not.

 

 

Oh so we are going to play the nit picky game of “Define that word”?

From what I hear of your situation with the mother, you seem to be doing great, not sure I would do it any different. But we don’t know the circumstances of the reason pwrfrk is asking this and I’m not about to wrote every possible scenario and every possible application. The general rule is if you see someone who is struggling with the gospel, reach out to them and help them. I agree, confront is a strong word, maybe not the right word. In my response I was not putting as heavy of an emphasis on the that word. 

We should never be afraid to stand up for God and tell others that their sins are sins and they shouldn’t be doing them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay!  Another thread on how we get to judge others, and discussion on whether we can tell them they're wrong or not!

Required reading for anyone who wants to do it righteously:  “Judge Not” and Judging - By Elder Dallin H. Oaks Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

It's a very good article.  If you figure you ought to go tell someone they're doing it wrong, all you have to do is pass these seven tests, and God agrees with you.  If you're missing one of the seven, then you're basically judging unrighteously and should knock it off.  But if you've got all seven, it's not only your right, but also your duty to pass the judgment and act on it.  God commands it, in fact.

Edited by NeuroTypical

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, NeuroTypical said:

Yay!  Another thread on how we get to judge others, and discussion on whether we can tell them they're wrong or not!

It's fun to do that. It makes us feel better about our own weaknesses and failures. Oh sure, we give lip service to not being self righteous-but it's about being self righteous and telling others that they will never be as holy as we are. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Fether said:

We should never be afraid to stand up for God and tell others that their sins are sins and they shouldn’t be doing them.

Don't think that's what He means by standing up for Him. The only people who gets to hold us accountable for our sins are Jesus Christ and God. Mercy and Justice. We, mere humans, are to hold the standards high so others can see what they are. But if one of our own begins to stray and is sinning in front of us, you do not tell them "you're in the wrong! stop sinning!" We love them, we care for them, and let them know we are here for them. That we want them back into the fold. (unless this is a parent-child situation--that is done in a different way). 

There are right ways and wrong ways to go about befriending and approaching those around us who are doing things they shouldn't be. 

Edited by BeccaKirstyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, BeccaKirstyn said:

Don't think that's what He means by standing up for Him. The only person who gets to hold us accountable for our sins is Jesus Christ and God. Mercy and Justice. We, mere humans, are to hold the standards high so others can see what they are. But if one of our own begins to stray and is sinning in front of us, you do not tell them "you're in the wrong! stop sinning!" We love them, we care for them, and let them know we are here for them. That we want them back into the fold. (unless this is a parent-child situation--that is done in a different way). 

There are right ways and wrong ways to go about befriending and approaching those around us who are doing things they shouldn't be. 

Perfectly said. Knocked it out of the park. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, BeccaKirstyn said:

Don't think that's what He means by standing up for Him. The only people who gets to hold us accountable for our sins are Jesus Christ and God. Mercy and Justice. We, mere humans, are to hold the standards high so others can see what they are. But if one of our own begins to stray and is sinning in front of us, you do not tell them "you're in the wrong! stop sinning!" We love them, we care for them, and let them know we are here for them. That we want them back into the fold. (unless this is a parent-child situation--that is done in a different way). 

There are right ways and wrong ways to go about befriending and approaching those around us who are doing things they shouldn't be. 

I see a lot of posts where people are correcting those who are correcting others. By all means I don't mind seeing Fether corrected but it seems you are skirting on the same behavior. As long as someone isn't being viciously rude, whether direct or passive, then I see no harm in pointing something out.

When people say stuff to me I can either ignore it completely or ponder on it to perhaps improve. Even people I find "annoying" in real life or even here I often think about their responses and ignore or apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Overwatch said:

I see a lot of posts where people are correcting those who are correcting others. By all means I don't mind seeing Fether corrected but it seems you are skirting on the same behavior. As long as someone isn't being viciously rude, whether direct or passive, then I see no harm in pointing something out.

When people say stuff to me I can either ignore it completely or ponder on it to perhaps improve. Even people I find "annoying" in real life or even here I often think about their responses and ignore or apply.

I see what you mean, but directly approaching someone about a specific sin is not your place. 

Can you lovingly show them that you care about them and love them despite their weaknesses? Yep. But directly saying "stop sinning" is not what we're here for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BeccaKirstyn said:

I see what you mean, but directly approaching someone about a specific sin is not your place. 

Can you lovingly show them that you care about them and love them despite their weaknesses? Yep. But directly saying "stop sinning" is not what we're here for. 

It boils down to relationships. If my close friends sit me down and tell me they are worried about my cocaine use or wearing immodest clothing, I'll listen to them. If some lady I've never met online wags her finger at me for using foul language, it's more because she wants to show everyone else how righteous she thinks she is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Overwatch said:

I see a lot of posts where people are correcting those who are correcting others.

Truly, that link I posted above made the complex topic pretty dang simple for me.  I wholeheartedly recommend a read.

In fact, when they make me emperor of the mormons, that article will be required reading for all adults. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

it's more because she wants to show everyone else how righteous she thinks she is. 

How can you say that?? Sounds like final judgement toward her. The only motives we know are our own.

If I’m sitting in Sunday school and someone starts to openly sin, whether I know them or not, I’m going to say or do something. What that is exactly I don’t know. It will probably bold and loving (or at least I would try).

15 minutes ago, BeccaKirstyn said:

Can you lovingly show them that you care about them and love them despite their weaknesses? Yep. But directly saying "stop sinning" is not what we're here for. 

Again, there are numerous ways to respond to an infinite array of situations. We can’t go through them all one by one to satisfy all loop holes and counter arguments you have.

The point is this, this is not an “everyone for themselves” match in which the people on top win. We need each other. If a stranger came to me and said “You need to keep the word of wisdom!!!” And then I see him 10 minutes later smoking, I’m not going to cry “you are judging me!”. I’ll say “I sure have drunk a lot of soda this week:.. maybe I should stop”

We can’t be so soft to be offended by correction. I’m sick of seeing people accuse others of judging them when correction is extended. And that is in any fashion. If someone yells at me or sits me down and calmly rebukes me, I strive I respond the same no matter how difficult. 

Crying “judgement” or “hypocrite” is just another smoke screen to cover your own short comings and turn it back on the person.

 

All this being said. I don’t agree for a second you should go up to someone and say “stop sinning”, that is a phrase you made up to win this argument. I do however know that it is our duty as brothers and sisters to reach out to those we see struggling. Like the talk I mentioned above. If I see a friend or even a fellow stranger that I believe is not reading acriptures or praying, you better believe I’m going to go talk to them. I’m not judging them, I’m concerned for their well being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'll be the first one to admit that i think (and sometimes say) otherwise, but i think it's very rare that telling someone to repent or change does any good.  After you subtract that times when i am the one who is wrong about them being wrong, the times when they already know what i am reminding them of, the times when i wouldn't convey what i actually was trying to say, and the times when they are not "repenting" because their "sin" it is a necessary/protective coping mechanism whose sudden removal would spin them into a much worse place - there just aren't many reasons to tell people that their attempt at being their best selves isn't cutting the mustard for me or my interpretation of God.

At least not a reason that does them any good.  Jesus can talk to people and work with them in a way that doesn't get their fists raised.  Every time i try, i fail - pretty spectacularly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Fether said:

Errrrr... did we read the same New Testament?

Hah!   Good point!

i could say that *can* doesn't mean He always *does*.  But, in fairness, that wasn't what i was thinking at the time - so you got me :) .

Though i guess what i am trying to say is that letting Jesus do the rebuking, or lack thereof, and just providing a gentle, kind, (some will call snow-flakey) kind of environment has, for me at least, proven to be way more effective than when i try to reverse those roles.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now