Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Talk on Obeying Your Parents

Back in early 2003 the bishopric of my family ward asked me to give a talk on 'obeying your parents.'

I guess they deliberately decided to get me to speak on a topic that I would obviously not be in agreement about in the content with the leaders about, so that sunday, when I was supposed to give the talk, was the first time I left the LDS church.

So, obviously the bishopric wanted me to exhort the young people to obey their parents and do what they're told or asked to do.

You know what I would have spoken about if I knew it didn't disagree with the bishop's position so much?

1) Matthew 10 allows children to fight against their parents.

2) The priesthood is only supposed to be used by virtue of persuasion and longsuffering. You have to be PERSUADED to obey, not just blindly obedient.

3) LDS believe in Agency, often called "Free Agency", based on Free Will. We all have the right to choose for ourselves if we will obey and follow or reject and rebel. The LDS church thinks obeying and following is the right thing to do all the time but I disagree - there is such a thing as a false prophet.

So yeah, those are three points I could have talked about in my talk if only I knew it wasn't going to directly contradict the bishop's position.

Some of the issues about obeying parents in my life at the time were:

1) Annie Liability's parents forced her to breakup with me - they prohibited her from communicating with me, and I had no idea why, and well, they were forcing us to not be friends and there was no freedom of choice (we had already previously chosen to be friends) and there was no respect for our rights to liberty or freedom of association.

2) The bishop through my parents was trying to force me into psychiatry. If I followed psychiatry like the bishop (and thus my parents) wanted me to, I would have been denying the LDS church, my belief in God, my belief in miracles, and all that. The bishop and my parents were actually telling me to reject and deny the church. I had previously loved the church so much, I grew so confused.

Yes -- that brings me to another topic:::: the LDS are not allowed to criticize their local or top leaders in any way.

The bishop accused me of making a deal with the devil over a year before that 2003 talk I was supposed to give.

If I can't criticize my local leadership, then I can't tell him he's wrong about the devilish-deal-making. But if I can't tell him he's wrong, what am I supposed to do? Say he's right even though he isn't?

Telling him he's wrong would have been critical. I would be against my leader by telling him he's wrong. But by not criticizing him, all of the sudden I'm in a position where I'm against the church anyways. It was all very much a stupid thing.

So yeah, I have my justifications for why blind obedience to parents isn't necessary, and why God allows us to choose for ourselves in all things, but that would have gone against the grain of what the bishop was trying to get me to teach, so I left the church.

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