Friday, May 24, 2013

Lots of time on my hands....

So for anyone not aware, I've been at home drugged up after a tonsillectomy this week (and a lap chole two weeks ago), friends have been watching my kids, and I've slept all day most days this week.  In my spare time, I've been sparring online.  

My question to you all, is do you think I've been rude?  I really have been trying not to be.  And have I made sense?  I feel pretty loopy so, it's questionable.  

ME (after Carrie's last reply)
So if we rationalize that we’re obeying the spirit of the law, we can do whatever we want?

Reply (someone other than Carrie)
Kami – the point is we should never “just obey”. This means we are turning off our brains and not think about anything. Are you suggesting blind obedience?

Adam offered sacrifices without understanding why. Abraham was ready to sacrifice Isaac without understanding why. Given those examples, yes, I think sometimes you have to trust the faith you do have in the gospel, and trust that the Lord knows more than you, and yes, just obey. I have had specific instances where a principal or practice has been confirmed to me that it is truth, such as with tithing and visiting teaching. However, there are many times that I do things in the church simply because I know the Book of Mormon is true and that we are led by prophets, not because I have unshakeable faith in that one small doctrine (like modesty). I also believe that until you obey a law through faith, you won’t have a witness of validity. My testimony of the truth of tithing and visiting teaching came after I was already doing those things, like in this scripture.

Ether 12:6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.


So if you were asked to do something by our leaders that you knew as morally wrong, like Abraham having to kill his son you would have no issues with that? Can our leaders do no wrong ever?

Or like practicing polygamy (á la Nauvoo)? This would be a better example for your question, I think, since Abraham wasn’t following a leader, he was asked by God, two very different things. And he alone in all the scriptures was ever put to such a test. So if I was asked by the prophet to say… start practicing polygamy again, I think I would have to do what other saints have done before me and pray and fast to receive a spiritual confirmation that the counsel was correct. And if I received an affirmative answer, then I would hope I have the spiritual fortitude to follow that counsel. Polygamy is not the *best* example I realize, because it is part of our doctrine already, but back when it was first introduced it is exactly what you describe of being “asked to do something by our leaders that you knew as morally wrong.”

As for your question, “Can our leaders do no wrong ever?” I think it’s pretty clear from church history and people I’ve known, that everyone has their agency, regardless of their position in the church. General conference addresses from apostles are edited occasionally. And all people are a product of their time. However I don’t believe the Lord would allow the prophet to do anything that would separate us from the Lord or hinder our exaltation. Because basically it boils down to either there is a prophet guided by revelation or there isn’t. This is the one and only true church or it isn’t. Without latter-day prophets our church can’t be possibly be true.

Other Reply
If you have received a confirmation of the principles of tithing and visiting teaching, then you are no longer “just obeying”. If a mother tries teaching her children modesty as the church has outlined it, and she notices a deterioration in her child’s confidence and/or attitude towards others… that would be the opposite of what Moroni was talking about, right? So, it would make no sense under those circumstances to keep “just obeying”.

For the record, I don’t think anyone her is arguing against the principle of modesty. Just the way it is approached and taught to children. When so many people who have tried living the hard lines drawn in For the Strength of the Youth have come away with less than ideal results, at what point is it okay to question it? “Just obeying” until you get the confirmation of the Spirit only works if there is eventually a confirmation of the Spirit…

I actually disagree with your statement that you don’t think anyone here is arguing against the principle of modesty. As I see it, Carrie is taking a straight forward principle and rationalizing it away, so that she feels comfortable dressing her children in whatever she wants. And I know I just sounded really mean and judgmental, when in honest truth, I don’t care if little girls come in sundresses to church without sleeves etc. I know a lot of people think that little kids don’t need the same standard. As I said in my first comment, I teach my kids young because I think it’s good for them to learn to obey young. Plus, what would then be the cut off for them to start obeying? When they’re 12? That seems so arbitrary to me. And what really bothers me the most about Carrie’s article is not that she’s suggesting a different standard for young kids, but that’s she’s suggesting it’s wrong for anyone to teach immodesty/modesty to kids, because of possible peer judging. I know kids can be hurtful and cruel to their peers, but if your child’s confidence is based on wearing sleeveless vs. sleeved dresses, I think there might be other issues besides modesty involved, such as a huge bullying problem or body image issues.

I honestly fail to see how “people who have tried living the hard lines drawn in For the Strength of the Youth have come away with less than ideal results.” What do you mean, less than ideal results? I’m not being sarcastic, I just don’t understand. What results are people expecting? To me, it’s just the way you dress, and it sometimes makes it harder to find clothes you like when shopping. End of story. I don’t expect any other results. So what do you mean?

Other Other Reply

Carrie is not arguing against the principle of dressing modestly. She is presenting an argument about the pedagogy and the etymology of modesty.

In your argument of obedience, as you have presented, you have committed the classic logical fallacy of presenting a red-herring argument.


Carrie’s main points as I understood were A:

“As we teach our children to focus on their clothing choices, we are also teaching them to focus on the clothing choices of their peers.”


“When we think of modesty in it’s true manner- that it is a way to dress to prevent sexual attraction of others, then it seems absurd that we are teaching our children that other children dressed in a tank top are immodest and thus, dressing in a way to encourage sexual attraction of others.

And C:

“We need to take a step back and examine what we are really meaning to teach our children, which is probably that it’s important to keep our bodies covered…..I think that the use of modest/immodest terms while our children are young need to go. At the very least, let’s get rid of immodest. We need to stop drawing a line in the sand because what is immodest in one family, is not immodest in another.”

I think I addressed all these points in my first comment. A. I don’t think kids are overly critical from teaching about modesty, simply being in a peer group makes kids aware of clothing.
B. I don’t think modesty is about anything sexual.
C. I think we should follow the prophet and live the standards outlined in FTSOY–as opposed to what Carrie says of living whatever standard your family sets.

Red herring or not, my point was that I disagree with Carrie’s arguments in their entirety and I outlined why.

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