A couple months ago I wrote my feelings on President Hinckley’s conference talk about gambling. Before his talk I understood why I didn’t gamble:
1) The Prophets have said so, 2) it can lead to worse things, 3) it can be addictive, 4) it’s really easy to lose a lot of money. Then in his talk the Prophet did more than offer counsel, he gave reasons why not to gamble. A few of them aligned with mine, but there were some additional ones. The bulk of my post was an expression of my confusion at these new reasons for not gambling (not the counsel to not gamble). I’m still a bit confused.
Jeffrey Giliam has an interesting discussion going right now about tattoos. The counsel to avoid tattoos is fine but the reasoning (your body is a temple and shouldn’t be defiled) doesn’t make much sense to me. What about decoration? What about makeup/haircut/white shirt/nice dress? (To discuss tattoos please visit Jeffrey’s post)
There have been a few posts lately (best discussion here) about the Word of Wisdom and the reasons we obey it. Do we need these at all? It appears that under inspection most of these reasons fall flat. Can’t we not just obey it?
Do the Prophet’s/class manual’s “reasons” help us in our quest for obedience? Is it better to know “why” or not?
In the scriptures we have examples of the Lord sometimes giving commandments with explanations (Nephi to kill Laban) and other times without explanations (Abraham to kill Isaac). Does this tell us anything about either man? Would Nephi have cut off Laban’s head if the Lord didn’t tell him it was better that one man perish than a nation dwindle in unbelief? Was Abraham more faithful because he didn’t need a reason from the Lord, he just obeyed?
Sometimes the Lord gives us reasons and sometimes He doesn’t. Why? Is it because certain people need them and others don’t? Is it the avoidance of justification? Or are the reasons from my above examples just the prophets’ (wise men with life experience) reasons and not the Lord’s?