The word Sabbatical comes from the Hebrew word ‘shabbat’ (the Anglicized term "Sabbath" which means “day of rest). The root word literally means a "ceasing". It is a rest from work, or a break, often lasting a long duration. (sometimes from two months to a year.) The concept of sabbatical is described a few places in the Bible (Leviticus 25) where there is a commandment to desist from working the fields in the seventh year.
One gains a better perspective on life after taking a sabbatical… but not just from work…. But from anything that depletes our energy.. including social media, blogs, forums, online discussions, chatting, texting, and google groups. If we spent more time talking to our families, our children, our spouses instead of texting, tweeting, posting, blogging, emailing to others in cyperspace.. we might have stronger families ties and better real-life relationships.
Driving home from our ‘sabbatical’ on the West Coast, we saw this semi-truck.
The Church’s Public Relations/ Marketing/Advertising once again have magnified their callings/jobs by beginning to promote one of the LDS church’s websites on large moving vehicles. Some of the biggest issues that the Church deals with is Race, Priesthood and Plural Marriage. What better way to show that we have “changed” then to show an African American male with a link to our website that highlights traditional families.
Polygamy has always been something I have never really understood. Personally, it is something I have put on the shelf. To better come to grips with the doctrine that was preached especially from Brigham Young.. this might help some as an explanation. After Joseph Smith died, many of the leaders of the church were practicing polygamy. In my opinion, it very likely that Brigham Young made a mistake by teaching polygamy as a doctrine.. when Joseph never did. In order for a large number of the leaders who had plural wives, Brigham Young needed to find a way to make polygamy legal. For the practice to be legal and protected under the first amendment, the Church and it's leaders need to advocate that it is a fundamental part of the religion. If you can establish that it is essential to your religion, then it doesn’t matter if the laws of the land prohibit it. It would be unconstitutional to prohibit it, because the first amendment protects religion and the freedom to practice it.
Brigham Young’s teaching of plural marriage were couched in terms that were designed to win a law suit. Brigham Young is quoted by saying that plural marriage (ie “celestial marriage’) is a fundamental part of our religion, it is essential if you are going to get into heaven, it must be done… or you can’t get there.
So for forty years, 30 years under Brigham Young, and for another 10 years under John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff… it was a fundamental part of our religion and it was taught that we couldn’t get into heaven if you didn’t have plural wives.
Then came the last law suit, and the Church lost it. It is now over with. It is now illegal to practice polygamy.
So Wilford Woodruff, the President of the Church (what we call today as the current Living Prophet) has the dilemma of how do we take with what we have been saying for 40 years that this is a fundamental part of our religion and say.. you know what.. not only is it NOT a fundamental part of our religion , it never was, and it would be best to discontinue it.
Instead they go to all the trouble and say, the Lord has given us a “revelation” to take it away.
So the question is… if it was a revelation to take it away, why did many of the leaders continue to practice it?