A response to members of the church who wear masks and get vaccinated- from someone who does not.

In response to comments I have received about THIS letter and other church endorsed announcements like it.


I'll preface with a little Background:


I have been called

-A Grandma Killer

-The Reason the Temples are Closed

-Disobedient and Stubborn

-Prideful

-Dismissive of God's Council

-Uneducated

-Unhealthy

-Annoying

-Bad for public health (to quote directly, "You're bad for public health. Staaaaap.")

I have been told by an amazing member of the church, who I greatly respect, that if I give someone Corona Virus and they die I will be responsible for their death in the afterlife at judgment because I could've done something (referring to being vaccinated) and I didn't.


Someone close to me shared that today their bishop announced his thoughts on the first presidency letter by telling them that if they were not vaccinated they were like the Israelites that would not "look and live" referring to the story of the serpent staff and how the people only had to look at it and be healed and many did not because it just seemed too easy.

I have heard others called an Anti-Christ and Anti-Prophet (my dad... my dad was called an anti-Christ... if you know him you're laughing right now), faithless, lazy, prideful or unwilling to let go of their own ideas to follow God.


So my first point is- if you think that we just aren't wearing masks and getting vaccinated because no-one has made us feel bad enough about it yet then sorry... that's most likely not our issue.



One of the reasons I am able to so willingly and faithfully follow guidelines is because I accept that they are for my good and the good of others. I can not in good conscious follow something that is the opposite of what I believe in and have felt that I have received revelation on personally.


This explains why the comment that I am not a faithful member of the Church and Disciple of Christ BECAUSE I am trying to live up to my conviction to seek out, receive, and act on personal revelation bothers me so much.


No amount of "I work at a hospital, my husbands a Pharmacist, and the prophet's a Dr", can make me deny my personal, educational, and spiritual conviction for this.



For me it's not about making excuses for the church.


...Maybe the government is threatening tax-exempt status, or maybe the Church is making a global effort paying more attention to other countries that I don't understand, Maybe the prophet made a mistake...


It's about having the opportunity to practice what we preach- namely Personal Revelation.


YOU SAY:


"Personal Revelation is great and all but it will NEVER tell you to go against the council of a Prophet because the Prophet is always right".


"If there were exceptions to this council, they would have told us. NO ONE is exempt! We ALL need to follow the Prophet".


"Disagreeing with the Prophet is a sin or a sign that you don't have enough faith to do small things the Lord asks".


{There is so much I could say, and have said to each of these but I have felt prompted to focus on this one point:




Disagreeing with the prophet is not a sin- in fact it doesn't even mean you have less faith than other might think you should have - sometimes it can require MORE faith.


Here is a story for illustration :


There was a young lawyer who wrote a book called "The Wall Between Church and State", it talked about the emerging legal decisions regarding prayer in school. The book received more praise than expected which lead the author (a Latter-day Saint) to write an article for lay-readership, unfamiliar with law, to explain the Supreme Courts school prayer decision and expound upon his ideas that favored this decision to exclude prayer from school.


His mother voiced concern to him over the article as he prepared it because, at the time, there was a statement attributed to the then-prophet David O. McKay stating a strong opposition to the courts ruling.

He explained in response to his mothers concern that the remarks of the Prophet "unsettled" him (that specific word definitely resonates with me), "more because I could see that whoever wrote it has never read or had any correct advice on the meaning of the decision than because of any fear about the wisdom of taking issue with him. I am confident that on this matter I have done nothing that will jeopardize my good standing or respect for the Brethren."


To further assure her he added "By the way, I talked to my stake president about this, and he just asked me two questions about it: "Do you really believe what you say?' and 'Does anything you say or anything in President McKay's statement prevent you from sustaining him as a prophet?'


His written comments in favor of the courts ruling and contradictory to those of the prophet were eventually passed onto the Prophet... and later on published in the Improvement Era (What would now be our Liahona Magazine).


Oh and did I mention he is currently serving as president of the quorum of the twelve apostles. Yes, I am referring to Dallin H Oaks.


The man who would be the prophet today should President Nelson suddenly pass away, was unsettled by and disagreed with a public statement made by the Prophet of his earlier adult life.

Surely he is a great example of a faithful life.

He openly disagreed and stood for what he believed in. With the wise council of his stake president he was reassured that if he truly believed what he was sharing in contradiction to the Prophets statements and that if he could continue to sustain the man David O McKay as Prophet he had nothing to worry about.

(In the Hands of the Lord, The Life of Dallin H Oaks, Richard E. Turley Jr. p. 90-93) << I encourage you to get this book and read it if you haven't! BUY IT HERE (affiliate link)


So what's the difference in disagreeing with the prophet and not following the prophet?


There are two general types of announcements that come from the Prophet/Brethren: Administrative Council and Prophetic or Revelatory Direction.


God wants all of us to act with our own knowledge and common sense- if we sat around waiting for revelation on every little decision we made in our lives we would just be sitting around all the time. God trusts us and gives us authority of our own life- AGENCY.


It's the same in the church. Not every announcement or policy is Revelatory, some is just good intended leaders using their personal experience, knowledge, and the agency God has given them.


Let us all make sure we keep ourselves in check and ensure that we don't become so in love with our own ideas, or even our own personal revelatory experiences that we are blind to the difference and condemn friends, family and ward members who have received personal revelation contrary to administrative council.


The problem is not in the first presidency making this statement it is in the mis-interpretation of members and even leaders who, often with good intent, misunderstand this distinction and demand that others obey with no thought to their own personal convictions ideas or conscious.


Whether administrative council or revelatory direction it is important to recognize the great and necessary role we as members of Jesus Christs Church in the Latter-Day have to seek out understanding for ourselves.


Moroni 10:4

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.


Do we truly believe this?... Do we believe God is a Personal God?...With revelation for each of us?


Brigham Young is quoted to have said:


"I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not insure for themselves of God whether they are lead by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purpose of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelation of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not." (1862)



Dallin H Oaks boldly stood for what he believed and I can do the same- we are after all members of a church that constantly encourages us to do so! It doesn't make me prideful. It doesn't make me wrong, or bad, or unfaithful or an anti-Christ or anti-Prophet.


Ok, one more:


The Eleventh Article of Faith states: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may".


Often, we read this article in reference to respecting the beliefs of those of other faiths- read it again.


All means ALL.


I can participate in a global effort for improved health with the unique perspective, skills and life experience I have "according to the dictates of my own conscious".

One of the most beautiful things about His Church is our ability to stand together in times of any sort of crisis.


Let's stand together in our focus on the WHAT ( world wide health and healing) rather than fighting amongst ourselves on the issues of HOW (vaccines and masks vs. promoting healthy lifestyles and natural immunity).


Finally a word of warning to those on either side of the issue- I'm convinced that of all the tactics satan loves distraction is his favorite.



<3 Alyssa


If you are looking for an amazing read that also drives home the point that personal revelation trumps all other direction given read Three Against Hitler (affiliate link) one of my favorite books about a boy who defies the government and church leaders to make and distribute anti-Nazi information in pre-WW2 Germany, along with two other teens in his ward, using the ward's typewriter. The book describes the intense spiritual struggle Rudi endured, knowing it was directly contrary to the council of General and Local Church Leaders given to the German members at that time, and the pressure, and eventual betrayal of his fellow ward members, many Nazi's. I love this story because it reminds me that although the church is not perfect the Gospel of Jesus Christ is and that is worth fighting for.


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