ON MORAL ISSUES OF THE DAY

A Fifth Sunday Lesson Given To

THE YM, YW, RS, EQ, and HP MEMBERS OF THE
STERLING PARK WARD
ASHBURN, VA STAKE

By

D. Calvin Andrus
acadac@aol.com

30 October 2005


[Note to readers: This is the text version of the powerpoint briefing. Thus the narrative and transitions in this version are a little jerky. Please bear with me.]

I. INTRODUCTION

Before I get to the subject of Moral Issues, I want to discuss four principles. I hope that we can use these four principles to help us see how we resolve Moral Issues in our own lives.

As an introduction let us talk first about deductive and inductive logic. Deductive logic, as described by Aristotle, goes from the general to the specific as in the following example.

All bishops sleep in church
Brother Andrus is a bishop
-------------------------------
Brother Andrus sleeps in church

Inductive logic, as described by Francis Bacon, goes from the specific to the general as in this example:

Bishop Andrus sleeps in church
Bishop Hale slept in church
Bishop Andros slept in church
Bishop Roueche slept in church
--------------
All bishops sleep in church

Deductive and Inductive logics are two examples of several logics we use to "make sense" of the world around us. The world around us is a Telestial World and the logics we use to understand this world are Telestial logics. These logics do not necessarily apply to the Celestial Worlds (Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore, it is likely that many of the Celestial principles we learn do not "make sense" by the reasoning of the Telestial logics.

Is understanding a prerequisite for obedience? Does a Celestial principle have to "make sense" in order for us to live it? No.

So what is the prerequisite for obedience? FAITH.

PRINCIPLE #1:  Faith--not understanding--is the prerequisite for obedience

The fourth Article of Faith says that Faith is the first principle of the Gospel. In hymn #19, we declare our thankfulness for a prophet to guide us in these latter days. Today we will receive some of that guidance. I hope we can still be grateful by the end of class.

Celestial principles are understood ("make sense") through the Spirit, not by Telestial reasoning. Spiritual understanding comes after the trial of our faith, not before (Ether 12:6). In order to get a testimony (spiritual understanding) of a principle, we first must live it (John 7:17).

Faith--Obedience--Spirit--Testimony

Most of us have testimonies of many principles, and take other principles on faith. This is one definition of eternal progression -- starting from what we know and acquiring more spiritual knowledge (testimony of more principles) through personal revelation by the exercise of faith.

Faith--Obedience--Spirit--Testimony
Faith--Obedience--Spirit--Testimony
Faith--Obedience--Spirit--Testimony
Faith--Obedience--Spirit--Testimony

We share one another's burdens; we rejoice in others' successes; we help each other live the gospel. But, individual righteousness is won person by person; each one of us must have a personal change of heart; we each repent of our own sins. The group moral codes have no efficacy until they are adopted and implemented by individual members of the group.

PRINCIPLE #2:  The moral issues we will talk about are personal
               to you -- you must decide what you will do.

You know people who do not live by the moral codes I will present. These moral codes are NOT a yardstick by which we judge other people or their behavior. Nor is their behavior the yardstick we use to measure our behavior.

PRINCIPLE #3:  We will not stand in judgment of others' adherence to these moral codes

I will be explaining WHAT the moral guidelines are, not WHY we have them, and not HOW to implement them in your own life. How quickly and how strictly we implement them is a conversation we each must have with Heavenly Father. When we act in accordance with His will, our confidence will wax strong as we approach His judgment bar.

PRINCIPLE #4:  We will be sure the Holy Ghost confirms that our behavior with regard
               to moral issues aligns with Heavenly Father's will


II. BUILDING USAGE


III. CLOTHING


IV. BODILY DISFIGUREMENTS


V. TEMPLE


VI. DEATH AND DYING


VII. BIRTH CONTROL


VIII. GENETIC MATERIAL


IX. BEARING CHILDREN


X. HOMOSEXUALITY


XI. THE OCCULT


XII. MISCELLANEOUS


XIII. CONCLUSION

Brothers and sisters, remember

  1. Faith--not understanding--is the prerequisite for obedience
  2. The moral issues we've talked about are personal to you -- you must decide what you will do
  3. We will not stand in judgment of others' adherence to these moral codes
  4. We will be sure the Holy Ghost confirms that our behavior with regard to moral issues aligns with Heavenly Father's will
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



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