JOEL - We first need to separate what is doctrine and what is advice, intended to help us live the doctrine. Whether or not we have playing cards would never be a point of doctrine. The sin of gambling is a point of doctrine. Not having playing cards in our homes is advice given with the intent to remove the temptation to participate in gambling. President Kimball did not specifically tell us to not have playing cards; he said he "hoped" we didn't have them; intended as good advice from a loving prophet who wants to help us stay valiant and strong in the Gospel. In my opinion this type of issue falls under the council of the scripture which says;
"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward." (D&C 58:26)
Neither the prophet nor God is going to tell us, "Thou shalt not have playing cards in the home!" But they may advise us to not have them to help us stay on the straight path and to avoid even the "appearance of evil."(1 Thes 5:22) What I do with this advice is up to me. What someone else does with the advice is their business and it is not my place to pass judgement on them for their decision. I am sure that somewhere in the dark recesses of my garage there is probably a box that contains a forgotten deck of face cards. Am I going to face the impossible task of cleaning out my garage just so I can find and throw away that deck of cards? I don't think so. And I don't know how to remove that game of solitare off my computer. So I'm just not going to worry about it and do the best I can working on those things that are of most concern to me regarding my eternal life.
CARRIE - I'm Garen's wife, and was a party to the reply regarding Pres. Kimballs
talk. Upon reading your answer, and my husbands question, a couple of
issues stand out. The first we read an answer to another post in which
you stated, to your knowledge no prophet had ever made a statement against
cards. You sited other church leaders, talks,and quotes on gambling.
Our response should have more clearly shown that a living, modern day
Prophet, during his years as Prophet, in general conference over the pulpit in
his opening address made a clear statement on the face card discussion.
Yes the word used was hope, but that does not mitigate the option, of
President Hinckley rarely says "Thou shalt and Thou shalt not." Often he pleads, we Hope you will not, or we Hope you will be kinder to your spouse.
Many of the documents which we now canonize i.e. The Procalamation on the Family never use Thou Shalt or thou art commanded. Yes we will not be commanded in the brushing of our teeth, but we have be counciled to keep our bodies clean.
I wrote this in hopes that you would share on your site the reference to a modern day prophets plea to his people. If a comment has been made by one in authority, and you have the information, and people look to you for insight, don't you think you hold an obligation to fully inform people, so they can pray, research and decide for themselves. You opened the websight, as a brother in the gospel, you took on a responsiblity to do something for others. Don't brush past it, you can do so much good with your sight, share the whole story and people will govern themselves.
JOEL - I do not mean to brush aside anything that any prophet has to tell us. We should
hearken to everything they tell us and apply it in our lives. In fact I
will add your reference to president Kimball's mentioning of it in the response
to the questions about face cards. I guess what I am trying to convey in how
I treat the subject is that, in my opinion, the subject of not having or using face cards
is very low on my list of priorities of what are the most essential and important
teachings of the gospel to be concerned about. Perhaps to someone who might
have tendencies towards compulsive gambling it might be important. But I guess I
just have a hard time understanding why people would want to concern
themselves so much about something that seems so unimportant. I guess I have
lived too long and have seen too much to give it much thought.
Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of playing different types of games, some involving face cards, with my parents and family. We never associated the games with any type of gambling; just having a fun time together. And no one in my family has ever played any games that involve any form of gambling. Anyway, thanks for the reference and your thoughts.