How should I proceed with my book club?

How should I proceed with my book club?

Question

Gramps,

I hold a Relief Society Book Club in San Diego, CA. I feel terrible because I recommended our group read Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Lyman Bushman. I just finished reading it and I think it is likely to weaken testimonies of the prophet. The book is interesting and educational, and it could be viewed as objective, but I think the potential to damage faith makes it a dangerous book. How should I proceed with my book club next week?

Kimberley (more…)

Wouldn’t playing poker, drinking fake alcoholic drinks and smoking fake cigars be just good clean fun?

Wouldn’t playing poker, drinking fake alcoholic drinks and smoking fake cigars be just good clean fun?

Question

 

Hey Gramps,

My main question is in regards to clean fun. You see, my friends and I love to get together to play poker (we don’t play for money, just for fun) and while we play we enjoy drinking O’Douls and smoking Swisher Sweet Cigars. Now obviously O’Douls is non-alcoholic and the swisher sweet cigars are not meant to be inhaled so we’re not actually breathing any tobacco. Lately, my wife has been giving me a hard time saying that I’m evil and going to hell. What is your opinion on my behavior?

Blake

 

Answer

 

Dear Blake,

Listen to your wife! She seems to have a lot more sense than you do. It surprises me how many people try to walk just as close as they can to the line of evil without crossing over. The minute they move in that direction they have crossed the line. As we read in Thessalonicans 5 :22—

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

And President James E. Faust has written the following—

“Some of you young men may be letting others set your standards. You defend yourselves by saying, Who said we shouldn’t do this or we shouldn’t do that? There are so many shades of right and wrong that each of you has to decide where the line will be. I strongly urge you that if there is any question in your minds or hearts about whether your personal conduct is right or wrong, dont do it. Each of us has moral agency, and the gift of the Holy Ghost will sharpen our impressions of what is right and wrong, true and false. It is the responsibility of the prophets of God to teach the word of God, not to spell out every jot and tittle of human conduct. If we are conscientiously trying to avoid not only evil but the very appearance of evil, we will act for ourselves and not be acted upon.” (President James E. Faust, The Devils Throat, Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.51)

Some people like to walk as close to the edge of the cliff of evil as they can. They think that it is a thrill to look over they edge and perceive the evil without partaking of it. But the danger is real! One little slip of the foot (or the conscience) and over they go, beaten and bruised on the rocks below, with a tremendous struggle to get back on top. While other more sensible people walk as close to the brow of the hill of righteousness as they can, enjoying the peace and the direction of the Holy Spirit. If they stumble or get caught on a snag there is no real danger, they merely pick themselves up (repent) and continue on their joyful path.

Your little game is more than flirting with danger; it is involved with evil. You say that the cigars are not meant to be inhaled. It’s actually impossible to breath in without inhaling something. And the argument that the cigars “are not meant to be inhaled” is about the weakest excuse for indulgence that one can come up with. My advice to you is to avoid the very appearance of evil.

 

Gramps

 

 

Is it OK to play card games with face cards?

Dear Gramps,
Has a prophet told us not to play with face cards? We are grandparents and remember hearing it when we were younger. Our children and grandchildren say they have never heard this, so they think it is all right to play games using face cards. We would really like to know if a prophet asked us not to play with face cards.
Joan, from Idaho Falls, Idaho (more…)

It is really gambling if my husband plays poker for only small amounts of money?

Question

 
Dear Gramps,

My husband wants to play poker at a business partner’s house. He says they play for money, but it is never too much. It is still gambling no matter how much money they play with. What do you think?

Monica, from Phoenix, Arizona

 

Answer

 

Dear Monica,

Is it still breaking the Word of Wisdom if you only smoke a few cigarettes? Is it still being unfaithful if you only cheat on your wife a little bit? Your husband is a gambler! The degree to which he gambles doesn’t change the fact of the issue. And if he gambles at his business partner’s house today he will gamble at a casino tomorrow. Count on it! And when he starts gambling in the casinos it will not be for just a small amount of money. And when he doesn’t have enough money left over to maintain the family he will either find some illegal way to get it, or the family will break up. That is the heartbreak road that he is now traveling. And the longer he is on that road the more difficult it will be to get off from it. If he has any modicum of wisdom or good sense, he will announce to his business partner tomorrow morning that he has given up gambling in any form for good, and then be ready to take the consequences.

 

Gramps

 

Is NHB style fighting against the doctrine of the Mormon Church?

Is NHB style fighting against the doctrine of the Mormon Church?

Dear Gramps,

First of all, I would like to say, I like the website. It has a great layout.

OK, now to my question. I am a NHB style fighter. That is like the UFC fights on TV. It is a bit of a brutal sport, but it is done with respect and honor. I was wondering If this sport is contrary to the doctrine of the church, because of the brutality of it. When we fight, we do not, usually, do it because we hate each other. We do it because we enjoy the sport. And if it is contrary to church doctrine, then what about Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, and the traditional arts? Thank you for your time,

Josh, from Yelm, Washington (more…)

Would fishing be considered the wanton killing of animals and therefore sinful?

Dear Gramps,

I have been struggling with some information that I have recently received. I have been an avid fly fisherman for several years now. I practice catch and release fishing and I know that even then, some of these fish will die later on. I have recently read that it is sinful to use animals for our own pleasure and that the wanton killing of them is a sin. Knowing this, I don’t know if I can continue to participate in something that I know will result in fatalities. I have read though of one of our prophets that enjoyed fishing as his pastime, and also in Mormon Doctrine it states that a healthy family activity is to go fishing. I don’t know what end is up at this point. Thanks for any light you can shed. I will do what is right. I will give up this activity without hesitation but I just need to know what is the right way or if there is a middle ground. HELP!

Curtis, from West Valley City, Utah (more…)

Does the Mormon Church have an official stance on hunting?

Does the Mormon Church have an official stance on hunting?

Dear Gramps,

I have a question regarding hunters. My husband was raised in a family that have been hunters for centuries. Today it is not necessary to hunt to obtain meat. Today people hunt for sport and for trophies. People rationalize that it is “okay” because they are eating the meat and not wasting it. However, the purpose for the hunt was not because they wanted to eat the meat, but rather they wanted a head to hang on the wall, or the fun in tracking and killing an animal. And what about mountain lions? People don’t eat the meat. The reasoning for killing those is because there are “too many that are killing off all the deer, and people’s livestock. They are going into towns and become a threat to people.” The real reason is to have one in your dead animal collection. Does the Mormon Church have an official standing on hunting?

Sherie, from Utah (more…)

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