Note from Tevya: this is another guest post from Curtis Ross. Curtis is an amazing web developer who’s put together an incredible webapp that makes scheduling home teaching and visiting teaching, super easy. He also likes to study the doctrines of the gospel and has kindly volunteered to post some of his thinking and the results of his study here.
Saturdayswarrioritis is a very common disease among members of the church. And by definition those who have it, don’t know they have it. The worst part about this disease is that it is hereditary; so many latter-day saints have been affected by it because their parents initially contracted the disease.
Before you stop reading this let me explain. Saturdayswarrioritis is when a member of the church believes in a romanticized, false version of Gods plan. This disease is an epidemic; a very large portion of the membership of the church is affected.
I chose the name Saturdayswarrioritis because this play/movie is one of the most massive scale false doctrinizations (if that is a word) in the history of the church. It is in many cases the source of the disease, and if it was not the source it definitely fueled the flame. You may be thinking “well I never saw that play/movie it was before my time,” it doesn’t matter most likely someone in your circle of influence has, so you may have been affected.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not faulting the play/movie. It would have been great in fact if people would have taken it for what it was, entertainment and nothing more. The disease comes by the choice of the member who believes the false doctrine without questioning its source. There are plenty of sources of false doctrine written by imperfect members of the church and it is up to us to recognize those cases and gain truth through the spirit.
Here are a couple of the symptoms (beliefs) associated with Saturdayswarrioritis. I’m not going to source these, so I challenge those of you who have the disease to prove me wrong.
In the pre-mortal world we knew our spouse and committed to finding them and marrying them here on earth.
False, it has been said on many occasions, there is not just one person for you. However it has also been said that there are some select cases where the couple was foreordained to be together. Some of these include Adam and Eve, Mary and Joseph, and Joseph and Emma. This list of couples represents the exception rather than the rule. The reason for those exceptions seems obvious. For the vast majority of us we do not have this foreordination. If you think your marriage warrants making that list, your disease state is more than likely incurable, sorry.
In the pre-mortal world we chose who our parents would be in this life.
False, this belief is absurd. Our life on earth is a very important part of our progression to becoming like our heavenly father. Who our parents are affects that more than just a little bit. You think our Heavenly Father would put a decision so crucial into our inexperienced hands. Even if he did let us choose, there are some less than stellar parents out there why would someone choose them. Did we play rock paper scissors to see who got the good ones and the loser was stuck with the drug addicts? I imagine the decision of who our parents would be was very thought out and included things such as what our strengths and weaknesses were, and what situations would best help us gain the knowledge we needed. We did not have the capacity to make such decisions.
There are more symptoms than these of Saturdayswarrioritis but I believe I’ve made my point. Part of the problem with Saturdayswarrioritis is that it shows our ability to act, believe, and teach out of a response to culture rather than a will to fulfill God’s plan. By “out of a response to culture” I mean that often we just accept what others do and say as right because it seems that is how it has always been done and said. I’m not saying all of our culture is bad or wrong. What I am saying is that it is bad when we blindly do things without thinking about them first.
For example, often church functions are followed by refreshments. I can’t even count the number of times someone in prayer has blessed the brownies that they will “nourish and strengthen our bodies.” This is a perfect example of just doing something because that is what everyone else does. But if you stop and think about it, it doesn’t make sense. On the subject of praying before meals, I think it is a great practice to pray at meal time when the place and time are appropriate. Because we have to eat on a regular basis it is a great way to remind ourselves it is important to give thanks. Having said that, why do parents get mad when children sneak a bite before the prayer? I’m sure it’s because that is what their parents did, but why? Is the food bad if we don’t bless it?
Some of these types of actions sound very much like the problems the Pharisees had. Of course I don’t think those who want to bless their food before they eat it are like the Pharisees. I don’t even think those who bless the brownies are, but I do think that following rules for cultures sake is getting to close.
Something else that contributes to the problem of acting out of a response to culture is our desensitization due to repetition. There are many true things about our church that are repetitive. After years of repeating something it can lose its meaning for us. For example in church meetings I have heard many people end a talk or lesson with “In the name of thy son…” I can’t help but try to find who they are looking at so that I know whose son they are closing in the name of. I know they didn’t mean it that way and it’s not a big deal. The point is, that person is just quoting words which at that moment have no meaning other than they know what they are suppose to say to end. I have also heard people start to say the same thing but then correct themselves; they are the ones who still see meaning behind the words.
The answer to this problem is to simply think about things when we do or say them. Don’t be afraid to ask why. Our generation is blessed with the ability to find answers to questions by prophets and apostles in our time by simply typing it in a search box. The topics spoken of in this article are not issues that are going to keep us out of the Celestial Kingdom but they are things that hold us back from having a better understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we stop mindlessly acting out of response to culture we can step out of the trees and see the principles behind the true organization of Christ Church. We can also develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father where we rely on him for answers, just as a child would. Anything that can help us do that is something we should pursue.