When you have several children, you discover you have to adjust your parenting style to fit each child's unique personality and needs.
(There is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to raising kids.)
It reminds me of one of my favorite bits from comedian Jim Gaffigan:
Bedtime makes you realize how completely incapable you are of being in charge of another human being.
My children act like they’ve never been to sleep before. ‘Bed? What’s that? No, I’m not doing that.’
They never want to go to bed. This is another thing that I will never have in common with my children. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is, ‘When can I come back here?’ It’s the carrot that keeps me motivated. Sometimes going to bed feels like the highlight of my day.
Ironically, to my children, bedtime is a punishment that violates their basic rights as human beings.
Once the lights are out, you can expect at least an hour of inmates clanging their tin cups on the cell bars.
Now imagine you're Christ. How will you raise such a diverse group of children?
Well, that's where the Doctrine of Christ comes in (or, as I like to call it, The Parenting of Christ: Common Sense Baby and Child Care.)
Who's In Charge at Your House?
1. Rank the authority of the following individuals, from greatest to least, in the life of a child:
a. Nanny b. Mother c. School Teacher d. Sister e. Grandfather f. Aunt Freida g. The Mailman h. Father i. Pediatrician j. Barney the Dinosaur
2.Rank the authority of the following, from greatest to least, in the life of a Latter-day Saint:
a. Mark E. Petersen b. Joseph Smith c. Current bishop d. Living Prophet e. Dead Prophet f. Church Handbook g. Holy Ghost h. Standard Works i. Ministering Sister/Home Teacher j. Sister Workman, Relief Society Service Coordinator
3. True or False. Whenever the babysitter contradicts an essential and foundational rule of the home that has been taught by the parents (in this case, the rule against playing with matches and toilet paper to set the family dog's tail on fire), you should follow the babysitter since she/he is in charge while the parents are away.
4. True of False. Whenever the Church Handbook contradicts a clear and unambiguous teaching from the scriptures, you should follow the Handbook because anonymous and uncanonized textbooks are always superior to the word of the Lord.
Legal Doctrine of Preemption
Today the Utah legislature is in session. As part of my job I review the proposed bills.
One of them I looked at yesterday was a bill called "Firearm Preemption," seeking to prevent local municipalities from regulating guns. The proposed bill reads:
"The Legislature finds the need to provide uniform civil and criminal firearm laws throughout the state and declares that the Legislature occupies the whole field of state regulation of firearms."
What does it mean for a governmental entity to "occupy the whole field?"
This preemption doctrine arose from the federal/state issue of dual sovereignty. To quote the US Supreme Court:
"Under the Supremacy Clause, from which our pre-emption doctrine is derived, any law, however clearly within a state's acknowledged power, which interferes with or is contrary to federal law, must yield.” Gade v. Nat'l Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass'n, 505 U.S. 88, 108 (1992).
So what is the "Supremacy Clause" in a Christian's life?
Three Times the Fun
There are three types of preemption:
1. Express preemption is when the Federal government states explicitly that they intend to preempt everything else.
Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the Lord.
[F]or unto this day they . . . obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you.
Here we see the Lord saying that His word preempts what our "fathers" say. His word is Supreme.
2. Field Preemption is when the federal government has so thoroughly regulated an area that they leave no room for lesser authorities to do anything.
For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.
Here we see that Christ has "occupied the whole field" when it comes to our redemption.
Let me repeat:
Christ has "occupied the whole field" when it comes to our redemption.
I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
Salvation cannot be accomplished by man, or a Church, or a religion, or effort.
It can only be accomplished through Christ Jesus.
3. Implied conflict preemption exists when lower laws stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment of Congress's objectives.
The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.
Here we see that man cannot interfere with God's designs (as Joseph Smith and Martin Harris famously learned when they lost the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon).
So What "Occupies the Whole Field" for Christians?
What is the Constitution (the highest authority) for Christians?
There are always competing and/or conflicting rules, laws, policies, procedures, cultures, traditions, and practices.
Since Christ is everlasting, and his gospel is eternal, we need to find a Constitutional Authority that is:
-The same for Adam and Eve as for you and me; - The same in 2000 B.C. as 2000 A.D.; and
- The same for Victorian, British lower-class living in London circa 1820 as for the Mayans in 500 A.D.
What can Christians cleave to that is the same for everyone, everywhere, everywhen?