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I Have a Question, 1902

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 14, 2010

George Q. Cannon, who was primarily responsible for answering queries in earlier volumes of the Juvenile Instructor, died in April, 1901. It is unclear who is providing the answers to queries in 1902.

If a woman be sealed to a man who provides for her and is kind to her, and who is a good Latter-day Saint, but she tires of him and does not love him, and obtains a legal separation from him, and marries another man who is also a good Latter-day Saint, whom she loves, but her first husband still loves her and claims her for eternity, whom will she belong to in the next world?

The simple answer to this question is: The husband who has the best claim on her.

But we would not have it understood that we use the word “claim” in the ordinary sense, the sense, for instance, in which it is used in referring to a chattel, a piece of land or an animal; for it must be borne in mind that a woman is a free agent and that she will forever enjoy the freedom of that agency, as man himself does and will.

A couple who are properly married and in whom the principle of love is developed through the marital relation, may claim each other in this life as husband and wife, and the propriety of the use of the word “claim” will never be questioned, for the reason that the principle of love unites them as one. But if either of them should, for some reason or other, with or without justification, take it into his or her head to separate, and be fixed in that determination and remain in this state of mind, for one to claim the other under such a condition would amount to little or nothing. if the separation in a case of this kind should be found to be justifiable it would be within the power of the injured party to make the state of separation perpetual, or on the other hand to condone the transgression and become reunited with the offender; provided, of course, that both parties desired to be thus reunited and that they were found worthy of each other. But if the separation should be unjustifiable, say, on the part of the woman, no self respecting man would desire to compel her to live with him against her will, even if he had the power so to do. After reaching the perfected state men and women will have no desire other than to live in harmony with 4every law of righteousness, including that which unites them as husband and wife.

A woman may say, “I do not love my husband in this world, and I know I shall not love him in the world to come.” This may or may not be true; it will depend largely upon his worthiness. Those who attain to a resurrection in the celestial glory must necessarily be pure and holy; they will also be perfect in body. In other words, every man and woman that reaches this exalted condition will be as beautiful and glorious as the angels of God; and therefore there will be no reason then for a woman not loving her husband or a man his wife, for the weaknesses of the flesh will have been overcome and forgotten; and both he and she will be in harmony with every law of their being.

Should missionaries be required to pay tithing on the moneys given them to purchase clothing, books, tracts, and to meet their railroad fares, etc.?

We do not consider that a missionary should be required to pay tithing on the money which he receives from his home. … It is admitted that such money as a missionary receives as a gift from persons outside his immediate family can be classed as his income or “interest” (the word used in the law of tithing), and that persons should pay tithing on their interest; but the Elder who is exclusively engaged in the Lord’s work and who spends all the money he receives in necessary expenses to prosecute his labors, not only pays one tenth of what is given to him, but also the other nine tenths. He devotes his whole time and all else to the cause of the Lord, and we do not think the Lord requires more of him in regard to tithing while thus engaged than He does of the rest of His people. The custom of Elders paying tithing on the money received from home has been introduced in some missions in order to show the Saints a good example. The brethren are worthy of praise and honor who have been willing to pay tithing on such money, and no objection can be raised to their continuing to do so, if they themselves so desire; but it should be distinctly understood that this is not required of them by the law of the Gospel.

When missionaries in their travels receive money from strangers it is right and proper for them to pay their tithing on such amounts. In case they receive clothing, shoes and other necessities to help them in the discharge of their duties, they should not feel conscience smitten if they have not the money to pay tithing on such gifts.

I have noticed very many in ending their prayer or the blessing on the food will say, “In the name of Jesus,” instead of in the name of Jesus Christ. Have we the right to abridge the name given by our Father, through which every promised blessing comes? I know people do it unwittingly and without intention to do wrong, but is it right?

Our brother has erred in his conclusion from a too limited knowledge of the holy Scriptures. It is true we are commanded to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, but we are also commanded to pray to the Father in the name of Jesus, and again in the name of Christ. Indeed, we believe that the command to pray in but one of the names borne by the Redeemer in His earthly life partakes somewhat of the nature of that admonition which requires us to avoid the too frequent repetition of the divine name. We have not the slightest doubt of the efficacy of the name of Jesus or of Christ when we appeal to the Almighty Father in faith in either name. …

In several instances in modern revelation the Lord himself gives us the example of abridging the name of the Redeemer by speaking of Jesus, and of Christ, instead of using the full name, Jesus Christ. Sometimes the Gospel is called the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” (page 266), then in the same revelation the “Gospel of Christ” (page 269). A little further on we read of those “who received not the Gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus” (page 272), and so on.

Was Cain the first born son of Adam and Eve?

The idea that Cain was the eldest child of our first parents is widely spread among the Saints, but there is no direct statement in the Scriptures to that effect. it is an idea that we have brought with us from the Christian sects, originating with them in the fact that his birth is the first one mentioned in the bible. But the passage does not state that no other children were previously born to Adam. His birth was a necessary prelude to the important story of the murder of Abel, and forms a portion of that story. But if Cain was Adam’s eldest son numerous difficulties arise regarding the after life, the marriage, etc. of the first murderer, that have caused considerable thought and much discussion amongst uninspired Bible students. The idea conveyed in the Pearl of Great Price that Adam had other sons and daughters before Cain was born is much the more reasonable and consistent. We are told in that holy record some time before the birth of Cain is mentioned: “And Adam knew his wife, and she bore unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and replenish the earth. And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide, two and two, in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks; and they also begat sons and daughters.”

Which was it, President Brigham Young or President John Taylor, who stated that from that time henceforth the Word of Wisdom would be a commandment to the Saints, and not simply given by way of counsel or advice?

It was President Brigham Young in a discourse delivered in the tabernacle, Salt lake City, at one of the general conferences of the Church.

Are members of the Church justified in resigning a position or duty in order that they may move to some other ward with a view to improving their health or bettering their financial condition, or should they wait until the local authorities take notice of their circumstances and advise them to move?

That depends upon circumstances. if persons are duly called to reside in a particular place or ward they should not remove to other parts without consulting the authority that called them, and obtaining an honorable release; and at all times it is wise, safe and consistent to counsel with the local authorities before taking such a step. There is, of course, no reason why any person who wishes to change his place of residence, for any ordinary cause, should not take the initiative and present his wishes and the reasons thereof to his Bishop or President.

Is it in accordance with the order of the Priesthood for a president of a stake or a bishop of a ward to take turns with his counselors in presiding or taking charge of meetings when said president or bishop is present?

No. The officers mentioned preside; though, if they deem it desirable, they can request their counselors to take charge of the services, give out the hymns, etc.; but the presidency is with them, and whenever they wish to resume charge of the meeting they can do so. There is no such thing as taking turns in the presidency by any right possessed by the respective counselors when the president or the bishop is present.



9 Comments »

  1. great stuff, as usual. thanks.

    Comment by g.wesley — October 14, 2010 @ 7:50 am

  2. I’m particularly impressed by the clarity of the first answer:

    But we would not have it understood that we use the word “claim” in the ordinary sense, the sense, for instance, in which it is used in referring to a chattel, a piece of land or an animal; for it must be borne in mind that a woman is a free agent and that she will forever enjoy the freedom of that agency, as man himself does and will.

    Comment by Paul — October 14, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  3. Fascinating as always. Thanks, Ardis.

    Comment by Christopher — October 14, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  4. The thoughtful wording of these answers makes one wonder who the author was.

    Comment by Stephen Taylor — October 14, 2010 @ 9:29 am

  5. Unlike several similar posts, I find these answers logical, well-stated, and still relevant in the 21st Century.

    I’m aware of a case similar to the first question; and the answer was much the same as the one GQC gave a century ago. I learned that “no power or authority can… be maintained by the priesthood.” Only by kindness, long-suffering, etc. A temple marriage is only eternal if everyone involved wants it to be eternal.

    Also, the WoW answer was new to me. I had always thought that it was H.J. Grant who elevated the counsel to commandment.

    Comment by Clark — October 14, 2010 @ 9:55 am

  6. Nice answers that would not seem out of place more than a hundred years later.

    This statement, though, made me do a double take:

    Every man and woman that reaches this exalted condition will be as beautiful and glorious as the angels of God; and therefore there will be no reason then for a woman not loving her husband or a man his wife, for the weaknesses of the flesh will have been overcome and forgotten; and both he and she will be in harmony with every law of their being.

    Am I to understand that because of our perfect beauty as resurrected beings, we will be irresistible? So we will all be threats to eternal fidelity because of our physical beauty? Also, what does this say about how beautiful Grace Kelly may be in the resurrection?

    I can’t wait to see the ever-patient Mrs. F in the millennium, then.

    Comment by kevinf — October 14, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  7. I once came across a John W. Taylor sermon (of all people) that was reported as follows:

    Said where women desired in the next world they would have a chance to choose and where men were cross & stern they would be apt to be deserted by their wives.

    Comment by J. Stapley — October 14, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  8. I enjoyed GQC’s reasonable responses to these questions, especially that full-time elders shouldn’t pay tithing, and the answer where he resisted the temptation to argue in favor of the virtue of “uniformity” and instead allowed folks to end a prayer using any one of Jesus’ titles.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by David Y. — October 14, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  9. I thought it interesting that people wishing to move to another ward (unless they had been called to reside in the current ward for a reason) should tell the bishop or stake president why they wanted to move.

    Comment by Maurine — October 14, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

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