Honoring the law vs Commandments

Our belief in following the law is a belief in additional things we submit to, more than a belief that our obedience to the basic commandments can be altered by government. We DO NOT break fundamental commandments at the whim of government.

The scriptures, as well as early church history, are full to the brim with examples of this.
What do you think Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the furnace for? What was Daniel thrown into the Lion’s den for? What were most of the early church leaders in Utah imprisoned for? Were the laws they broke not real? Weren’t three virgins sacrificed on the same alter Abraham was offered on because they refused to give up their virtue? The early apostles broke the rules laid down by local rulers not to preach the gospel. How was a yet unconverted Paul able to get members imprisoned? Because their practices, and probably their very religion, didn’t conform to local laws set by the Jewish leaders.

We also don’t back down from fundamentals like prayer and scripture study, and certainly not the fundamental commandments, at the whim of governmental constraints, and we most certainly don’t commit serious sins, such as participating in abortions, just because there is a law that insists on it.

Sure, we believe in honoring, upholding, and sustaining the law. We also believe in a lot of other commandments. We often find ourselves choosing between good, better, and best. Good principles conflict all the time for us just as they did for Adam and Eve at the fall. But when it comes between a good principle, like honoring the law, and doing something horrific, like participating in abortions, we, like the three virgins, have no question where we stand. Recently in the US there has been very insincere use of governmental power and lawsuits intended to limit and eventually quash religious freedom. In the decision of what principles to abide by we must not decide that “honor the law” means “willingly lay down your religious freedoms”. Instead, we must stand for our religious freedoms with the same bravery shown by those who won them for us.


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John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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