A few months ago founding author of this blog posted the following statement in several social media venues:
As expected, there were those who understood and appreciated the statement, and there were those who immediately rejected it. Be that as it may, Solomon, one of the wisest men that ever lived, phrased it right when he said, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring” (Proverbs 25:26).
In this brief article, I openly expresses my thoughts on what it means to live the tenets of our faith.
As part of its tenets, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon” Church by the media and others) has 13 Articles of Faith. The one that really stands out to me is the 12th Article of Faith which states, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
What does that mean? In layman’s terms, that means that we are commanded by God to be obedient to the laws of the land in which we live, and we are to also respect those who have been appointed over us. It does not matter whether we agree with our leaders, or even if we like them, but we must respect the decisions that they make and not demean and degrade them at every turn. The Apostle Paul taught,
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation (Romans 13:1-2).
Scriptures also teach us that the Lord has the authority to appoint people to positions of power for a season, and He also has the authority to remove those same people from their positions of power. In Daniel 2:21 we read:
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.
Those of you who will read this article know that President Barack Obama is not very popular at the moment with the American populace. I can’t help but wonder if the sole reason for the dislike is because of what people have deemed to be absurd political moves on his part, or because people are out of their comfort zones and have not fully accepted the idea of having a person of color as President of the United States. Perhaps it is a mixture of the two concepts.
In considering the issue of race, let us consider that prior to the last election, world-renowned Evangelist, Billy Graham, took the time to meet with Republican incumbent, Mitt Romney, but yet, President Obama has been in office for 6 years now, and Graham has not once tried to meet with him. Graham has met with several presidents over the years and has even given the invocation at the Inaugural Day ceremony of a few, so why has he never met with President Obama? I am not judging Billy Graham as being a racist or anything of the sort for I do not know his reasoning, but it does beg the question about why a well-known Evangelist who has spent his lifetime preaching the message of the gospel around the world to people of all races, has never had a conversation with President Obama. It clearly sends a very confused and mixed message.
What is even more alarming is that after meeting with Romney who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Graham made the instantaneous decision to remove the statement from his website that Mormonism is a cult. A statement which he has defended for decades, along with declaring Catholicism to be a cult as well. One can’t help but wonder, “Why the sudden “change of heart?””
As members of any faith or denomination, we must follow that which we profess to believe. Either we believe what our faith teaches, or we do not. We cannot straddle the fence and continue to switch sides every time the winds of adversity blow. We cannot pick and choose what parts of the gospel we believe or accept, or which parts make us feel the most comfortable. Either we believe and accept it all, or we believe and accept none of it.
Part of that faith – that believing – is accepting the fact that God appoints people to certain positions of authority when He needs them to fill those positions, and for the length of time that He so chooses. We must further realize that those who are appointed have their free moral agency, and so they set the tone of whether they are obedient to the Lord’s commands or not. Throughout scriptures there were good and faithful rulers, and there were wicked and unfaithful rulers. Nothing has changed. Either we respect God for His decisions or we don’t. If we do not, it begs the question of how true and loyal we are to the gospel. Something to definitely think about.
Karlyn Stebbins; 27 March 2014
Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:
Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.