Fether

How will you follow the Prophet’s Counsel?

Recommended Posts

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/first-presidency-message-covid-19-august-2021
 

“To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.

We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Please know of our sincere love and great concern for all of God’s children.

The First Presidency

Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring”

I am in Utah and in a massive small town conservative bubble. I had a conversation about this with my Latter-day Saint co-workers. In the past they have always spoken about being faithful about everything the prophet says and how it’s confusing when people don’t follow even basic counsels from the Prophet.

In this conversation, the consensus was that (1) if it isn’t a temple reccomend question, it isn’t important and (2) it was a PR move only so therefore we don’t need to follow. I was not Convinced this was so… though admittedly I still didn’t want to follow the counsel. we ended up having a spirited conversation about it.

I figured I would pass this discussion to the board.

How will you react to the prophets counsel? Wil you start wearing masks even where it isn’t mandated? Will you be getting the vaccine?

If you are not going to do either, what is your reasoning 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am satisfied that both are, to some degree, “effective”; though not 100% so.  I do not think that they will succeed at eradicating the pandemic (maybe they would if *everyone* did them, but not everyone’s going to do them, so whatevs); and I am thinking that at some point we’re just going to have to live with this and go about our lives.  I was vaccinated in March-April; I largely stopped wearing masks in public about a month or so ago and probably won’t start wearing them again while shopping or working (unless I’m in a work-mandated meeting; but mostly I’m just holed up in my office all day).  I’m still kind of fanatical about hand sanitizer.

But for the time being—I’m my ward’s Sunday School president, staying home isn’t an option, and given the new counsel I feel like I need to set a good example; so I did wear a mask to church today.  I was rather surprised that I was one of maybe ten people to do so, and only one other member of the ward council was doing it.  I mean, I can get Church members being “lukewarm” on masks generally; but to walk into a church meeting and cavalierly, visibly not be doing something the prophet unambiguously asked us to do in the venue where, more than any other, he unequivocally has the prerogative to ask us to do it—

—Well, I trust folks have their reasons; but I confess I have a hard time understanding it.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, NeuroTypical said:

Every good zombie movie ever made, says you're wrong. :)

The best thing to come out of Covid-19 is that I can now watch first run movies in my home without having to listen to my neighbor eat popcorn.

Worth.

Psyched for Dune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Fether said:

Wil you start wearing masks even where it isn’t mandated?

Only in meetings where I can't socially distance. Which I can. So I won't.

And as throughout the entire "pandemic", I won't wear the mask properly, because wearing it properly is not, nor has it ever been, part of any directive or mandate from anywhere.

1 hour ago, Fether said:

Will you be getting the vaccine?

Yes.

1 hour ago, Fether said:

I am in Utah and in a massive small town conservative bubble. I had a conversation about this with my Latter-day Saint co-workers. In the past they have always spoken about being faithful about everything the prophet says and how it’s confusing when people don’t follow even basic counsels from the Prophet.

It's such an interesting thing. The problem is the politics. Those who have politically aligned with the fear-mongering, must-mask-or-we're-all-doomed views tend to also align with the destroy freedom, murder babies, and illicit sex and drugs for all folk. So it's natural that those who stand against the destruction of freedom, baby murder, and illicit sex and drugs for all are skeptical of the fear-mongering must-mask ideology. But then the prophet urges the usage of masks. (I'm leaving vaccination off the table for this reply, because I'm not that bothered by my concerns over the vaccine. But I fully understand the mask frustration.) So suddenly those whose natural principles align against a certain faction are being asked to align with that faction on this matter. And not only that -- but it feels SO obvious that evil, greedy people have elected evil, greedy people to positions of authority, who have then appointed evil, greedy people to positions of authority -- and the First Presidency calls the recommendations from these people "wise and thoughtful". Frustration over that is, I believe, understandable.

I find myself dealing with some serious cognitive dissonance on the matter over the masks. Particularly where we're asked to wear masks -- but we're (in my ward at least) still meeting without social distancing practices in place, and no care or restrictions other than the stinking, stupid masks. Seriously? So the one change we saw today in "policy" from the warad is the deacons and priests were wearing masks again for the Sacrament, but still passing the trays for everyone in the congregation to touch (while removing their masks, of course), to then pass any "virus" on to everyone else who touches the trays as well.... But the deacons were wearing masks (that they all put on just before the sacrament) so.......you know....safe!

Regardless, I will follow the prophet. And even with the mask thing -- if they rephrase it and remove the "in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible" part of it, then I'll start wearing a mask according to the counsel, even if I find the logic unreasonable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it curious that we are treating COVID-19 like it is one of the ten plagues.  

This will pass.  

There are horrible atrocities occurring in the world on an ongoing basis that don’t even get any play time on prime time news.

“there it is”

Edited by mikbone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

but to walk into a church meeting and cavalierly, visibly not be doing something the prophet unambiguously asked us to do in the venue where, more than any other, he unequivocally has the prerogative to ask us to do it—

—Well, I trust folks have their reasons; but I confess I have a hard time understanding it.

For myself I was quite scrupulous in social distancing. I think that's the equivocal nature of the statement.....er......I mean the word wrangling I used to justify my masklessness.

(Edit: Incidentally, FWIW, I am the Sunday School President in my ward as well. At the next Ward Council meeting, assuming it's held in the Bishop's office again, where I will not be able to socially distance, I will, indeed, wear a mask, because I've been asked to by the prophet.)

Edited by The Folk Prophet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Fether said:

he past they have always spoken about being faithful about everything the prophet says and how it’s confusing when people don’t follow even basic counsels from the Prophet.

I hope some people who used to lecture others about following the prophet but now are refusing to do so when it’s something they don’t like end up with more empathy when they encounter other members struggling with this or that teaching. But I’m not optimistic. 
 

For some of us, it’s sort of validating. We knew once the prophets came out with something that the right wasn’t comfortable with they’d do the same thing as those of us who struggled with this or that teaching pre-Covid. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Fether said:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/first-presidency-message-covid-19-august-2021
 

“To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.

We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Please know of our sincere love and great concern for all of God’s children.

The First Presidency

Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring”

I am in Utah and in a massive small town conservative bubble. I had a conversation about this with my Latter-day Saint co-workers. In the past they have always spoken about being faithful about everything the prophet says and how it’s confusing when people don’t follow even basic counsels from the Prophet.

In this conversation, the consensus was that (1) if it isn’t a temple reccomend question, it isn’t important and (2) it was a PR move only so therefore we don’t need to follow. I was not Convinced this was so… though admittedly I still didn’t want to follow the counsel. we ended up having a spirited conversation about it.

I figured I would pass this discussion to the board.

How will you react to the prophets counsel? Wil you start wearing masks even where it isn’t mandated? Will you be getting the vaccine?

If you are not going to do either, what is your reasoning 

First,  the First Presidency is urging the use of face masks [a] in [Church] public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. Each stake will have its own, more specific guidance as their presidencies deem necessary.

Second, they are urging vaccination. This sounds kind of like the original spirit of the Word of Wisdom, and it is instructive how the "first laborers" responded to that in the School of the Prophets (see this week's Come Follow Me).

Third, they are recognizing that medical experts and government leaders in general provide wise and thoughtful recommendations -- this would be on top of abiding any executive or medical orders, even while challenging them with due process.

Fourth, they aren't asking to mask-up where it isn't mandated. I don't need the prophet's counsel to wear a mask where mandated (but I do) or to get the vaccine (but I did).

Fifth, when someone older, wiser, more spiritual and has the keys, I would listen to their urging/counsel, and if the Spirit tells me I'm an exception, it wouldn't tell me it is for the reasons given in the OP (not important, manipulative).

Edited by CV75

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

But for the time being—I’m my ward’s Sunday School president, staying home isn’t an option, 

Why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, mikbone said:

Why not?

Because I’m basically on tap to teach or sit in for two-deep leadership if a Sunday School teacher no-shows.  (We could combine classes, I suppose, but our classrooms are already full enough to render “social distancing” nothing more than a bad joke.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work in life or death situations.  I am replaceable.  EVERYONE is replaceable.

If this was a truly deadly serious pandemic all churches would be shut down by government mandate.

We have general conference on multiple media platforms, zoom, means to obtain teaching materials in the home.

We will survive COVID and we can survive much worse.

I love Oregon’s solution.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/oregon-governor-signs-bill-suspending-math-reading-proficiency-requirements-for-hs-graduates

Edited by mikbone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How are we going to feel when 80 year old Ms. Smith dies from COVID that she likely got in church.  And although we wear masks and have been vaccinated it is possible that we were the vector that transmitted the virus to her?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, mikbone said:

How are we going to feel when 80 year old Ms. Smith dies from COVID that she likely got in church.  And although we wear masks and have been vaccinated it is possible that we were the vector that transmitted the virus to her?

This is all well and good, but that could have happened before too. In the past, when I was sick, I ALWAYS went to school and church. I never stayed home due to sickness. I’m sure I got plenty of people sick, and by some distant connection, I’m sure something awful happened to someone.

Personal experience: my previous ward was one of those old folks home. No one hated the masks more than the old people in my old ward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

For myself I was quite scrupulous in social distancing. I think that's the equivocal nature of the statement.....er......I mean the word wrangling I used to justify my masklessness.

(Edit: Incidentally, FWIW, I am the Sunday School President in my ward as well. At the next Ward Council meeting, assuming it's held in the Bishop's office again, where I will not be able to socially distance, I will, indeed, wear a mask, because I've been asked to by the prophet.)

I'm also the Sunday School Pres. Ha. In our ward council this morning the group of us sat around without masks discussing this very thing. Ha. The consensus was that we would read it in sacrament mtg as per stake request and then leave it at that. I think only about a third of ward council members actually wore a mask (I did). I'm curious to see how many members wear a mask next week as social distancing went the way of the dodo bird a long time ago and so that excuse does not exist for those who come to church.

I think its interesting how often we don't speak of agency until we don't agree with something coming from those above, as though agency is not in play when we follow the council of our leaders. I personally don't like wearing a mask but I made the CHOICE a long time ago that I want to be on the side of the prophets every time. And no I don't feel the need to get a personal witness about everything they say. I have concerns I will take it to the Lord but otherwise If I live close to the Spirit I have complete confidence the Lord will tell me if circumstances necessitate the modifying of prophetic council. 

As for the vaccine, the prophet has pretty much said it is the answer to our prayers. Whatever concerns I had, and I did have some, went out the window when I heard that. Of course, I took care of someone with Covid (without a mask) and never got sick and I didn't have any reaction to the vaccine so my Celestial O-negative blood must be doing it's job. 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, mikbone said:

How are we going to feel when 80 year old Ms. Smith dies from COVID that she likely got in church.  And although we wear masks and have been vaccinated it is possible that we were the vector that transmitted the virus to her?

If I was sitting near this woman, and somehow she got Covid from me, yes, I would feel incredibly guilty. 
 

Fundamental to being a Christian is “Whatever you do to the least of my people, you do to me.” 
 

I’m honestly baffled by someone who could possibly pass on Covid, get someone deathly ill, then go about their day. 

Edited by LDSGator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Fether said:

This is all well and good, but that could have happened before too. In the past, when I was sick, I ALWAYS went to school and church. I never stayed home due to sickness. I’m sure I got plenty of people sick, and by some distant connection, I’m sure something awful happened to someone.

Personal experience: my previous ward was one of those old folks home. No one hated the masks more than the old people in my old ward.

So you are one of those people huh? I would wish a pox upon you but you'd just go to church and give it to everyone else. Next time just stay home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who may be interested, here is a brief summary of what's happening where I live.

After no active cases of community transmission at all since June last year, at about lunch time on Thursday our Chief Minister announced that a student at a large school had tested positive for covid. At that press conference, on the basis of that one single case, he announced a lock-down for the whole territory. (bSee below for a summary of what the lockdown involves.) By late Thursday afternoon, the number of cases had grown to 4 and today it is 9. As a result of the lockdown, there was no church on Sunday. Our Stake Conference, scheduled for the weekend of 28 - 29 August is now in doubt. Even if our Stake Conference goes ahead, attendance at the Sunday session will be limited to 260 people and will be limited to those who have pre-booked tickets. When the sacrament is passed, the Deacons all wear masks and they use small tongs to pick up a piece of bread and drop it into the recipients hands. Ever since we started having face to face church again last November, people are stronly encouraged to sign in using an app that every shop and business and organisation in the whole Territory is using. 

 

People are being asked to stay at home to assist in our response to positive cases of COVID-19 in the ACT.

The lockdown restrictions came into effect from 5:00pm Thursday 12 August 2021, for 7 days.

These restrictions are to help slow the spread of the virus and allow contact tracers to do their work.

The restrictions will also ensure that we don’t put additional pressure on our health services.

The six essential reasons you can leave your home during this lockdown are:

  • to buy essential groceries and medicine
  • to access essential healthcare including in-home care
  • for essential work
  • to exercise outdoors for one hour per day in your region
  • to get a COVID-19 test
  • to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

You can view more details on the reasons you can leave home here.

Essential retail will remain open for the duration of the lockdown. We encourage all Canberrans to buy only what they need, maintain social distancing and be considerate.

Anyone aged 12 years and over must wear a mask at all times upon leaving home. For some people this is not possible. For full details on face masks and exemptions here.

You should stay up to date on the evolving situation on this website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have consistently worn my mask as required by my work, and by all governmental mandates long before the First Presidency spoke on the matter. I do this despite knowing that:

1. Masks ARE effective, and

2. Mask mandates are NOT effective.

If you search on Google for pre-2019 articles about the effectiveness of mask mandates you will see that there was universal agreement that while masks can reduce pathogen transmission, mask mandates rarely result in meaningful reductions in case load because we do not wear them 24x7. It's a bit like having a bag of black ink in a swimming pool. If you only keep the bag closed while people are in the pool, but open it when they are not, the end result will be a pool full of black ink. Hence, both statements above are true.

Below is a graph of three neighboring Southeastern states. One had a mask mandate and the others did not. Can you tell which is which? Nope, and nobody can. It's the same for all states that had mask mandates. You can't tell when the mandates started or see any meaningful reductions in hospitalizations or deaths when you look at the graphs. The pre-2019 science is still true in 2021 and will be going forward.

When I was a missionary in Japan long ago there were many people who would wear masks on the trains and in public places, but the medical advice we were given was that it was not necessary because it was not effective overall in reducing case load. Funny how we still see the same results today, but we act as if something has changed.

It is these types of sudden changes in the recommended "science" that has reduced confidence in our current health leaders, and unfortunately possibly in those that repeat their false advice even if it is done with good intentions. Nevertheless, I wear my mask at church and in my calling 'religiously' because I'd rather promote unity than fight the battle over the effectiveness of the advice.

image.png.8e6d3a8052e1b1701819124cf870b8ad.pngimage.png.6f1f7a45546b3636c35af71c0a9a744d.png

Answer: In July 2020, Alabama added a statewide mask mandate to its already stringent lockdown measures. Florida and Georgia never had mask mandates. Georgia was decried as an "experiment in human sacrifice" when Governor Kemp lifted lockdown restrictions in April 2020. Despite this, all three states followed the same trajectory.

 

Edited by clwnuke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, laronius said:

So you are one of those people huh? I would wish a pox upon you but you'd just go to church and give it to everyone else. Next time just stay home.

In my defense, public school rewards you for coming to school, even when sick. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now