Monday, May 25, 2009

Discusion 1: Unified in a plan

As you know, we have been discussing how fun it would be to have a MoHo ward, and wondering if we could do so virtually. Also, we have discussed having some sort of Family Home Evening type of gathering in our home once a month or so.

I'm afraid we have been too busy working in our yard and (for me) wrapping up the school year, so we have not made any definite plans yet for the latter.

However, it occurred to me the other day that we often discuss gospel topics through commenting on each others' blogs. I have a couple of gospel topics that I have wanted to present to this community for comment, and so I am going to start with those and we can get a virtual Sunday School class started right here!

So don't be shy! Give your first impression, or ponder it first and then post later, or think about it and keep your thoughts to yourself. But like a regular Sunday School class, I hope we can all benefit from each others' thoughts and experiences.

I would like to start with a quote from George Q. Cannon.

Several months ago in Sunday School (I believe it was in October or November, right around the time of the election, and we were studying the Book of Mormon)--I don't even remember what we were discussing--someone summarized the quote I am about to share with you. I asked him more about the quote right after class, and the following week he brought a copy of the quote for me to have.

Here it is. What do you think? What comes to your mind? How does this quote apply to your own ward or stake or the church in general?

"It is better to carry out a plan that is not so wise, if you are united on it. Speaking generally, a plan or a policy that may be inferior in some respects is more effective if men are united upon it than a better plan would be upon which they were divided...When they carry that counsel out unitedly...God will supplement [their] weakness by His strength." (Gospel Truth, pp. 207-8.)
I personally, of course, thought of the church's involvement in Proposition 8 in CA, and the division that it has caused amongst the members of the church. Please enlighten me with your own thoughts!

(Speaking of Proposition 8, tomorrow is the big day, isn't it? I wonder what will happen. Whatever decision is made, it will be huge either way, and will lead to greater efforts by gay rights activists, don't you think? Somehow I believe that gay marriage will not be illegal forever in CA, regardless of what happens right now.

I do believe that God has a hand in it, and I pray that a decision will be made according to his will at this time, whatever it may be.)

Okay, sorry for the tangent (I am a math teacher after all, and tangents come naturally :) ... but what do you think of the quote?


HappyOrganist said...

I think I'm gonna watch. You guys talk amongst yourselves ;-) I wanna see this.

Ned said...

OK, this sounds fun. Here few questions to get the conversation rolling:

Is our's an either/or world where you have either an unwise plan that people can agree upon or a wise plan upon which they disagree?

How about an experiment? One group tries one plan. Another group tries another. Maybe a third group tries something else. Then compare the results?

In fact, aren't we doing that right now in our nation and the world with regard to same sex civil unions, marriages and constitutional bans?

Are families in Canada and Kansas worse off than they are in Utah or Hawaii? I think Cog may have something to say about this. :)

Anonymous said...

First and foremost, this is my first time commenting here, and I'm so excited! I'm the girl who emailed you a couple months back, and I'm happy to say that I took your advice, and my posting here is symbolic of me no longer having to anonymously lurk. For that, I thank you greatly.
As for the statement, I partially agree with it. I certainly do think that carrying out a weaker plan is easier to do through unity, but I don't always believe God will "supplement" the weakness.
I immediately thought of the ratification of the Constitution, which was achieved through many unwise compromises (ex: the 3/5ths Compromise, which stated the value of a black person was only 3/5ths that of a white). In this situation, where was God to "supplement" the bad parts? He didn't make an appearance until 81 years later with the 14th Amendment, and even now we're still struggling with relieving our country of it's racist roots.
I guess my main point is that I feel it's dangerous to sacrifice wisdom for unity with the belief that God will undoubtedly mitigate any unwise thing. Sure, it has happened before, but it also hasn't, or at least not in time to avoid significant damage that the unity created.
So in cases like Prop 8, I didn't want to sacrifice my rationale to be in accordance with the Church. Unity can be great, but it can also be dangerous. Compromise is good, but it's important to be aware of and weigh the realistic ramifications of the compromise. If the ramifications are something that you can live in peace with, then by all means, compromise. However, I couldn't live in peace knowing that I deprived rights to other people, and I certainly am not ignorant enough to think God would allow gay marriage as long as I was a part of the unity that outlawed it.
Anyway, that's my opinion, and I absolutely love this idea of virtual Sunday School. Thanks for getting it going.

Sarah said...

So, H.O., how are you enjoying it so far?

Ned, thanks for the further questions to ponder. Anyone have any answers?

Sarah, I am so excited for you! Email me the details of how it all went. Thank you so much for your insight!

Anyone else have anything to say? So far, lots of quiet time in this Sunday School class...anyone, anyone, Buhler? :)

HappyOrganist said...

Hi Sarah, it looks good so far. As usual the arguments have inundated and overwhelmed my one functioning brain cell...
;-D I knew there was a reason I never choose to debate some things. ;-)
one brain cell. Count it.
oy vey
I blame child number 2. and 3. And a few other factors ..

HappyOrganist said...

For the record, it is usually hard to get me to shut up in normal sunday school. I'm so full of myself.

Ron Schow said...

I have been trying to think of a way to find common ground, i.e., achieve unity on this subject, for everyone, regardless of their position on this issue. In the new Church pamphlet, God Loveth His Children, it says "No one is, or ever could be, excluded from the circle of God's love, or the extended arms of His Church, for we are all his beloved sons and daughters."

The decisions surrounding this will be decided in the privacy of balloting, in the courts, in court appointments, in legislatures and so forth. So how would it be if in the Church and certainly in our virtual ward, we decided that gays in or out of gay marriage and in or out of straight marriage are absolutely welcome in Church and in sunday school. Wouldn't that help if everyone were actually welcome and we extended our arms to all.

Since this statement appears in the current Church pamphlet, it seems like something where we might all be unified.