The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
I thought I’d also note that the same is true of the Church. The Church was made for man, not man for the Church.
The purpose of the Church is to support us in seeking God. I guess it is easy for people to forget that, but in approaching the Church it is important to realize that it is only a support structure, a tool, designed to help us become Saints. I’ll do my second half on polygamy next week, but in the context of a number of posts, I wanted to repeat a core orthodox teaching.
I agree with you. Elder Ronald Poelman of the Second Quorum of the Seventy gave a talk along these lines, and it was heavily edited afterwards when it came out in the Ensign, so not everyone does agree with you at Church headquarters… http://www.lds-mormon.com/poelman.shtml
Thanks for that link. Two talks for the price of one 😉
This is an interesting paradox in Mormon doctrine. On the one hand we commit to build God’s kingdom by sacrificing even our own lives. That expectation of sacrifice ostensibly used to include our families’ well being also, as demonstrated by the early Brethren leaving their families destitute as they went away for missions 2, 3, and 4 years at a time.
However, the Apostles’ current counsel is that we should NOT be sacrificing our family time or employment for Church service. (See Elder Ballard’s “O Be Wise” GC address.)
I think maybe the two ideas are best reconciled by saying man is not made for the Church, but man IS made to love and serve his fellowman. So we should feel obligated to serve our fellow man in the Church as long as it is not jeopardizing our first priority–our families–or our ability to provide for them–i.e., our employment. (However, I wish we Mormons would become much, much, much more involved in serving en masse in our communities on a regular basis–we need to serve so much more outside the Church as well.)
I think one of the greatest areas for potential improvement in the Church is the apparent compulsion to create “make work” and “busy work” and hold unnecessary meetings to make us all feel like we’re magnifying our callings. God bless Elder Ballard for recently pointing out that to magnify does not mean to embellish; often it means to simplify.
Nice reminder, Steve!
Has anybody ever spoken more eloquently on this topic than Eugene England in his “Why the Church is as True as the Gospel”? I would love to see every new convert study this essay upon joining the Church, and every member read it at least quarterly. Perhaps then we would be closer to being a Zion people.
Andrew, I agree about the busy work.
If I am ever called into a Young Men presidency, my first initiative will be to increase family time for the youth and leaders by giving everyone the last week of the month off, as a bye. That time could also be used to have a presidency meeting, instead of adding that on top of weekly activities. But I take family time more seriously than some folks.
BTW, a good quote:
Joseph B. Wirthlin. “The Great Commandment.” Ensign, November 2007, 28-31.
The Poelman incident is one that has rankled for years. You can be sure that all talks at Conference are now vetted long before they are prepared for the teleprompter. As a matter of fact afterwards Bother Poelman was obliged to record the revised(inspired) version as if the first had never happened. I know because I borrowed the TV- recorded version form our Ward library and compared the the two. Needless to say, I am glad that the church would never try that today.