What do you do if you are a member, but your parents ask you to break commandments? The 10 commandments say honor thy father and mother, and we are told that our duty as children is to be subservient to parents. If they make you choose between disobeying them or breaking another commandment, is there really a correct choice? I was just wondering if church leaders have ever spoken about this.
Elder David A. Bednar, in his book “Increase in Learning” specified two relating sentences of our individual responsibility in learning and understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
1) “Our individual responsibility is to learn what we should learn, to live as we know we should live, and to become what the Master would have us become.”
2) “Our individual responsibility to learn truth, to love truth, and to live according to truth is increasingly important in a world that is ‘in commotion’ and grows ever more confused and wicked.”
In order to accomplish this we must avoid a common misconception that commandments are able to be isolated from all other commandments. As we increase in learning we begin to realize how commandments are interwoven, intertwined, with other commandments for our profit and learning.
The question you ask is similar to a question women in the Church also ask, “If my husband begins breaking the commandments should I follow him as directed in the covenants I have made”? There are two great commandments which all other laws and words of the prophets are weighed. The first is to love God. The second is to love our neighbor.
The commandment given to children to honor their father and mother honors also the second great commandment; however, it does not replace the first great commandment to love God and to put God first in our lives. The first commandment is intertwined with the grace of God. The grace of God is our ability to do all that lies in our power and then rely on the mercy and grace of our Lord in aspects of our lives that are not in our power.
A teenager might have more leeway than a 6 year old regarding breaking the commandment of keeping the Sabbath day holy. A sixteen or seventeen year old could easily say to a mother and father, “I will keep the Sabbath day holy.” A six year old on the other hand…well…will have a hard time keeping the Sabbath if their parents are not. In this case, the sin be upon the parents.
Then the question a teenager must ask himself, what do I know? What have I been taught? Am I in a position of autonomy that I am able to honor both commandments, or is my Ox truly in the mire? Will the grace of God abide in me, or will this be something I will have to repent for?
The individual responsibility you have Zero is to learn and then to act, no matter the opposition, according to your individual circumstance. In each case, God is love. God is compassionate. God is understanding. For example, what happens when a 16 year old is allowed to take the missionary discussions and then discovers for himself/herself that the Gospel is true. They feel the need to be baptized (a commandment), but their parents will not allow them to be baptized. They will have to wait until they are an adult. In this case, the Lord is understanding, and honoring our parents is important. The grace of God will be upon this individual and the spirit will remain with them as long as they keep other commandments they know and have been taught.
Do your best and let God handle the rest.