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 sister is sick and desires to be administered to, is it right for another sister to anoint her and call on an Elder who may be present to seal and confirm the anointing?
If it is an ordinary anointing of the head, according to the established ordinances of the Church, it should be done by one holding the Priesthood; not by a sister when an Elder is present. It is clearly out of order to do so. The Scripture says: “is any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick.” James 5:14, 15.
There may be occasions of disease or accident when it is desirable that other parts of the body be anointed. it would be obviously improper for any but a sister to attend to such an anointing; but when this has been done, it is quite consistent for the Elders to anoint the head in the usual form, and then to seal the anointing.
If a child becomes eight years of age in the winter and baptism is postponed until warm weather, and the child dies in the meantime, is it necessary for that child to be baptized for, by proxy?
Yes, and the parents should not delay having the ordinance attended to. if they omit to do so, they place themselves under a very grave responsibility, for the Lord will not hold them guiltless, and they will have to bear the burden resulting from their neglect.
In some places good water for drinking purposes is very scarce, and as a consequence some of the Saints have got into the habit of drinking very weak tea, cooled with ice. Is this breaking the Word of Wisdom?
It was held by competent authority in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, was so preached by President Brigham Young, and is a doctrine of the Church today that the drinking of tea and coffee as beverages is contrary to the spirit and meaning of the Word of Wisdom and that they are the “hot drinks” more especially referred to in that revelation.
With this understanding it would be fair to presume that if the practice in the early days, when this revelation was given, had been to drink tea and coffee cold instead of hot, the wording of the revelation would have been slightly different from what it is, as the essence of its meaning, without doubt, is the habitual drinking of tea and coffee or any other stimulating beverage. Therefore to drink tea or coffee cold instead of hot with the idea that it is not a violation of the word of Wisdom because it is a cold drink, and not a hot drink when thus indulged in, would simply be an evasion.
But it is one thing to make a practice of drinking tea and coffee, and especially of taking those beverages strong, and another thing to drink tea or coffee as a medicine. All such things were created in the beginning for the wise use of man, and it is for the Saints to know what constitutes a wise use and to govern themselves accordingly. This is the spirit in which the revelation called the word of Wisdom should be understood and taught. But human nature is so frail that many are easily led to believe that they cannot do without certain things declared by the Lord to be not good; and the giving way to weaknesses of this kind generally results in the formation of habits which, too often indulged in, are injurious to the body.
There are in the Church children who have been baptized before they were quite eight years of age, the time varying from a few days to a month. Should such baptisms be considered valid, or should they be set aside and the ordinance repeated?
In reply we will say that it has been decided by the general authorities of the Church that such baptisms are valid; but they advise that all children should be baptized as near as possible when they are eight years old. It occasionally happens that the monthly baptism day comes a day or two before the eighth birthday of certain children, in which case their parents, eager to have their children baptized, have the ordinance performed. Some children are more advanced, both mentally and bodily, even at seven than others are at eight years old, consequently in our opinion a few days either before or after the eighth birthday makes but little, if any, difference. Indeed we would prefer to have a child baptized a few days before its eighth birthday than to have it go without the ordinance being attended to for some indefinite time after it had reached that age. None of us know what a day may bring forth, consequently we do not feel that it is wise or proper to put off or postpone any known duty.
Is order heaven’s first law?
No, obedience is heaven’s first law. Without obedience order cannot exist. Many seem to suppose that the saying “Order is heaven’s first law” is to be found in the Bible. This is a mistake; it is a quotation from the writings of the English poet, Pope.
This question has already been answered more tan once in our columns. Many questions sent in do not appear for this same reason – they have already been answered, in some cases again and again.
Paul (1 Cor. 14:34, 35) says: “Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
Why do the Latter-day Saints ignore the apostolic instruction and encourage the women to speak, exhort and bear testimony in the public meetings of the Church?
The following is the version which the Prophet Joseph Smith gives of the passage quoted above:
“Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to rule, but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to rule in the churches.”
The Apostle Paul here addresses himself to a custom which obtained in his day. In those times the Jewish women wore veils in public, and when they entered the synagogue they removed the veils, since a separate place was provided for them which kept them from the gaze of those from without the places reserved for women. They were simply asked to respect the law and customs of the Jews.
The Prophet Joseph uses the word rule instead of speak. This change is important when it is known that in those days women, Greek priestesses, presided at the oracles and other religious rites and therefore ruled in certain religious ceremonies. The Apostle Paul was addressing the Corinthians who lived in the center of Greece and no doubt a large part of those he addressed were of Greek nationality and disposed to confound the order of worship in their new faith with practices which existed in pagan Greece and by which women presided or ruled in the exercises of their religious rites.
Matthew 22:11 reads, “And when the king came to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.” What is here meant by a wedding garment?
The wedding garment is the knowledge of having done all required of a saint to be worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven; that kingdom being typified in this parable of our Savior by the king who made a marriage for his son and invited the people to come to the wedding feast.
Should teachers prepare lessons during devotional exercises in the Sunday School?
No; preparations for the lesson should always be made at home. If a teacher’s attention is not with his class, he loses the influence and control that he would otherwise exercise over the students. Class discipline is always disturbed or greatly diminished when teachers allow their thoughts and feelings to dwell on matters foreign to the students and the class work. In other words, the teacher should always be with his class in thought and feeling. The teacher who sits before his class with his thoughts on them individually and collectively will be much more likely to gain the sympathy of his students and retain their attention. If he is with them, they are likely to be with him.
Does the Church sanction the marriage of cousins; if not, why are the Saints not advised to abstain from such marriages?
There are generally laws of the land that limit marriages to certain degrees of consanguinity; and within and including the third degree, marriages are prohibited by law in this country. The Church has never felt it necessary to be more strict in regard to the matter than the state. Whether cousins marry or not is largely a matter of their own feelings and views on the subject.