This morning my wife and I attended a meeting with our bishop, Charles Ah You. When we arrived, the bishop asked us to sit across the room from him, so that we are facing one another. On a side note, it was the seat most distant from him, and directly opposite him. He stated that a prayer was not necessary, as they had already prayed in an earlier setting, which we were not a part of.
He began by stating that we had come into the ward with two other families: The Olayan’s and the Chandler’s. He told us that they also pay their tithes anonymously. I thought it was none of my business how someone else paid their tithing, so I asked what the purpose of this meeting was. He responded by stating three accusations that he considered to categorize my wife and I as “dissenters”:
- Paying tithing anonymously
- Claiming not to follow the bishop, the stake president, and the prophet, and following Christ only
- Participating in the John Denver Snuffer movement and some other group I never heard of
The bishop proceeded to explain that we were restricted from:
- bearing testimony in church
- saying prayers
- mentioning the reasons why he took our temple recommends to anyone else
If we break those restrictions, then he would schedule a disciplinary court, that would lead to excommunication. And if we did not attend, they would go ahead with the discipline procedure, without us.
Conclusion: Laws are made by men, initially with a purpose in mind. When the purpose is forgotten, and the laws take on a life of its own, it is the law that has no value, and must be abandoned. America suffers from the same dilemma. The constitution had a purpose, and laws were formed upon it. However, the laws have over-run the constitution’s purposes, and America has chosen to abandon purposes, in the name of the law.
The law is dead without purpose. And when purpose has been abandoned, power hungry men seek to control the laws, in an effort to exercise unrighteous dominion; supposing they have a little authority. This is evidence of secret combinations, in any institutional setting.
Christ too understood and maintained the purpose that God intended. And that put Christ “against the law.” Christ was crucified for understanding the purpose, being immovable and steadfast, even in the face of the law-enforcers. We are given scriptures, not to claim our authority over the world, but to learn the mind and will of God, so that we too understand the purpose of God, so we can align with it. As we abandon the necessity of being counseled by the words of Christ, we too abandon the mind and will of God, and will choose to follow a dead law. And we will follow it to our own condemnation. We will be as guilty as those who crucified Christ.
As for me, I will follow the example of Christ.