"When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable. " - Walt Disney
Question #89260 posted on 04/01/2017 2:32 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have several coworkers who are LDS but they don't have the same standards that I do. They don't bat an eye at shopping on Sunday, swearing, making dirty jokes, wearing immodest clothing etc. I really try not to be judgmental because I know that it's not my place, but I honestly cannot understand how people can be taught the same standards as me but ignore them completely. Especially when it comes to these outward standards that for me are the easiest ones to follow. I'm much more understanding when someone struggles with pornography or drinking or something along those lines because the temptations are so much stronger. But my coworkers don't even seem to care that they're not living up to church standards. Can anyone explain to me what it is that I'm missing? Are these standards much harder to live than I think?



Dear C,

Here's the thing, you're right when you said it's not right to judge. I think not everyone follows standards in the same way because while the principles of the Church are consistent, the way in which they're taught in different homes is not, and even people taught the same way have different things that they personally don't consider to be as important to follow. I think this all comes down to the fact that we're each different from one another, and each decide to make different choices dependent on a variety of factors that aren't always readily observable to outside parties.

Another point to consider is that maybe these standards are easier for you to follow, but harder for them. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, which result in different levels of difficulty in following certain standards.



Dear Confused,

The way I see it, these standards have the least relation to actual theology. That's not to say they aren't divinely sanctioned, but in the grand scheme of things dressing immodestly is likely to matter less to eternal salvation than drinking or watching porn. I think these sorts of commandments relate more to the principle of obedience than they do eternal doctrines. It makes more sense to me to believe that God is testing our obedience than to believe he really cares about occasional swearing or wearing a miniskirt. Again, that doesn't mean these principles aren't important, but I can easily see the perspective of someone who considers them less crucial in day to day life.

But no matter what, you can prescribe to all the basic tenets of LDS theology like belief in a loving God and the possibility of eternal life and still not think something like cursing is cause for censure.




Dear person,

I don't think that you are a hypocrite and this answer isn't meant to sound like I'm accusing you of being one. Actually, I think it's very likely that most people who scrupulously adhere to the standards understand their underlying principles and try to refrain from judging those who do not adhere to them (like you!). I'm just trying to explain why some people don't buy into the standards and have such strong negative feelings toward them. It's difficult for some of us to not be cynical about others sometimes (which is, ironically, a kind of hypocrisy unto itself). 

Standards can feel pretty hollow to some people for at least two reasons that I can think of. First, while they are (or are intended to be) edifying and instructive, they have the unfortunate side effect of providing grounds on which we can judge each other. In other words, the standards can be very divisive in a manner that seems contrary to many of the essential teachings of Jesus Christ (e.g. love your neighbour). Second, the underlying principles of the standards often seem to be obscured in people's minds by their outward manifestations (e.g. keeping the Sabbath Day "holy" sometimes leads people to not help an ox in the mire). Such was the case with the Pharisees, a group which Jesus famously denounced.



Dear dia,

To build on what's already been said, 

"Many of our daily choices are not intrinsically hard, but we make them that way. Some choices are matters of preference, not principle. We have a way, at times, of exhausting ourselves and the supply of goodwill while struggling over what are preferences—not principles!" -Elder Maxwell

I'm coming to find that most people have nearly similar if not congruent principles; it's often just a matter of current preference that creates subconscious dissonance. 

Take care,