When Explaining It is More Difficult than Living It

Rusty - October 17, 2006

In the comments of my Word of Wisdom Exception Game post Amira says that explaining the Word of Wisdom is the “worst part” for her. In other words she feels like having to explain to her friends/co-workers/non-member family why we have/live the Word of Wisdom is more difficult than actually living it.

Yeah, same here.

Of course this isn’t limited to the WoW but has a much further reach into our Mormonism. In addition it seems that the relationship between the difficulty of explanation is inversely proportional to its importance to our eternal progress.

In other words:
Why we need charity = easy to explain = very important
Priesthood authority = easy to explain = very important
Eternal families = easy to explain = very important

Why we don’t drink tea = difficult to explain = not so important
Polygamy = difficult to explain = not so important
Past racist leaders = difficult to explain = not so important

What are some others that fall in line with this rudimentary hypothosis? Can you think of any that don’t fit this mold? See how fun this is!

23 Comments »

  1. Why I spend do much time blogging
    Difficult to explain (ask my wife!)
    Not very important

    Comment by a random John — October 17, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  2. I’m amazed that you find “priesthood authority” easy to explain. Or even “eternal families.” I have a hard time understanding either one, myself.

    Comment by ed johnson — October 17, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  3. Chastity, easy to explain, hard to live

    Comment by Don Clifton — October 17, 2006 @ 5:38 pm

  4. Opps, that should read easy to explain = very important

    Comment by Don Clifton — October 17, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  5. One that doesn’t fit your concept:
    Atonement difficult/impossible to explain = very, very important

    Comment by Don Clifton — October 17, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  6. Gee Rusty this is fun!!! Wheeeeee

    Baptism easy to explain = very important

    Comment by Don Clifton — October 17, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  7. Ed,
    I guess I think of this as an explanation to non-members and I think the concept of priesthood authority and eternal families is pretty easy to grasp for them. And they would likely understand the importance of either one (or at least understand why I would find them important…if that makes any sense).

    Don,
    Yeah, I think you’re right, the Atonement is difficult to explain and it’s extremely important.

    Comment by Rusty — October 17, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

  8. In my experience from my mission (in Germany) people do not understand “priesthood authority.” For example, why would God reject your baptism just because the person performing it didn’t belong to the right club? Why would God need to send dead people from the past to grant this authority? (Even in the BOM it seems that Alma gets his authority straight from God.) Lots of religions have dietary restrictions, but few have a concept of authority much like we do.

    Comment by ed johnson — October 17, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

  9. I think the WoW is fairly easy to explain – you just say it Mormon kosher. People know that jews don’t eat bacon cheeseburgers, though they aren’t exactly sure why. We don’t drink coffee.

    I agree with you about the historical stuff and I think it is because history is complex.

    Comment by J. Stapley — October 17, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

  10. Why do we need an explanation?

    God said so. Kosher. The end.

    If anyone wants more explanation than that, I say:

    “Well, some people have theorized that….” and you go from there.

    Comment by Seth R. — October 18, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

  11. The four don’ts we call the WofW is intellectually embarrassing. If the church is true, some day we will reform back to the original intent of Section 89 as a good practice, not the roadblock in the path to Jesus HJG turned it into. I can just see the Almighty thinking “Where did these bozos get that idea? I even told them beer was good. What can you do? These guys are stuck on stupid.”.

    The one that embarrasses me the most now is our over emphasis of the LofC and all the ensuing sexual dysfunction in the church. While I had weaknesses before marriage in that regard, the LofC seemed like a good ideal to me, my failing aside. Now after visiting the Nacle and reading about so many people suffering in sexually incompatible marriages, while my wife and I have been so blessed, I no longer believe in the LofC as promulgated by our church.

    Comment by Steve EM — October 18, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

  12. Becoming Gods, very important, dificult to explain

    Or maybe it’s just difficult for people to grasp.

    Comment by Bret — October 18, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

  13. But isn’t #12 from uncanonized Mormon apocrypha (KFD) that has been correlated out of the church?

    Comment by Steve EM — October 19, 2006 @ 3:51 am

  14. the church’s stance on homosexuality>
    hard to explain in NYC>SF>
    easy to explain everywhere in between>
    important in both

    Comment by cj douglass — October 19, 2006 @ 9:23 am

  15. No Steve I don’t believe #12 is out of the church. In fact it’s the very core of our existence. If not, then what are we to become, chior members for eternity?

    Comment by Don Clifton — October 19, 2006 @ 10:53 am

  16. Don,
    For the record, I don’t sweat doctrine because it isn’t the essence of my faith. But the KFD is Mormon apocrypha, not doctrine, alhough I’m aware the NT says the saved will reine with Jesus. When was the last time a church pres discussed #12 before GBH hammered the nails in the coffin? Given the silence, when the question is raised by non-LDS, I think it is accurate to reply we don’t teach that.

    Comment by Steve EM — October 19, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  17. Rusty,
    Somehow my husband stubbled onto your website. I am an old friend of Sara’s from Arkansas. I was wondering how I could contact her? email? Thanks, Amy

    Comment by Amy — October 19, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

  18. Amy, email her at saraclifton1 at gmail dot com.

    Comment by Rusty — October 19, 2006 @ 7:24 pm

  19. Steve,

    Read the last chapter of the Gospel Principles Book (penned by GBH, interestingly ebnough). Not Cannnonized but most definitely part of our official stnace and doctrine, being that we teach it at least once or twice a year in Gospel Essentials class.

    Comment by Bret — October 19, 2006 @ 11:39 pm

  20. Steve, just what does being a “joint heir with Christ” mean?

    Comment by don — October 20, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  21. Guys, whoa! I never said what I believe on the matter, just that it’s pretty low on my totem pole and when the question is raised by non-LDS, I think it is accurate to reply we don’t teach that. Why hold me to a higher standard than GBH on Larry King?

    Perhaps you guys are upset the KFD wasn’t canonized? I’m not. If it were up to me, there’s some our stuff I’d decanonize, but that’s a different issue.

    Comment by Steve EM — October 20, 2006 @ 10:33 am

  22. Steve, Sorry!

    Comment by Don Clifton — October 20, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

  23. Steve,

    I think of the KFD as an ultimate expression of what the atonement really can mean, hence difficult to understand, but very, very important. I seriously doubt GBH would get into a heavy discussion about the atonement of Jesus Christ or any other subject he could not do justice to in a soundbyte on Larry King. I don’t understand those who think he should, or that anything more complex is somehow false. However, if my argument really does not grab you it is your perogative to disagree.

    A careful look at Preach my gospel and the gospel principles manual shows that deification is taught subtly from the beginning and explicitly at the end of GP class. this is very much one of the crowning doctrines that a member who understands the basics grasps.

    I am a little troubled not so much about the substance of your argument that perhaps the WoW is not so important, but at the condescending tone with which you criticise HJG. Do you think there is a way to express the same thought without placing all the blame squarely on the shoulders of a prophet? In short, speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed-easy to explain=very important.

    Comment by Doc — October 24, 2006 @ 8:36 am

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