It's amazing to me that we have a prophet and we talk about following the prophet but then either don't or feel that we need to fact check him.. We fast and pray for a vaccine and then when we are blessed with it in record time (a miracle) we feel that it may be ok for you but not for me. I think that there are lessons that can be drawn from the Parable of the 10 Virgins here.
There is no reason for conflict nor judgement amongst the members of the church concerning the recent announcement. If we adhere to the direction given on this matter from the official church handbook we would not be dealing with so much divisiveness with our membership :
Official Handbook of the Church: 38.7.13
"Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life. Members of the Church are encouraged to safeguard themselves, their children, and their communities through vaccination.
Ultimately, individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. If members have concerns, they should counsel with competent medical professionals and also seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost."
As someone who has sought counsel with multiple competent medical professionals and also sought the guidance of the Holy Ghost as per direction from the First Presidency, the instruction I have received is different from many, but right for me. Could this be an opportunity for the members of the church to consider the uncut direction in the handbook concerning vaccines and have the confidence each of us will do the work of researching and receiving spiritual guidance, and then show respect for each other even if our answers might look different?
I did not start wearing a mask until I was required to do so. Because of conflicting information, I resisted getting the vaccine. It was not the Prophet's words that cause me to finally get the shot, it was his example. Learning that he got shot himself, I decided that if anyone on earth knew the right thing to do, it would be the Prophet of God.
Very early on when the various vaccines began distribution, I vowed that I would not be vaccinated because I did not trust that they were safe. As time went on I became even more firm in my decision. But when I heard President Nelson's recommendation, I made it a matter of prayer during evening prayers with my wife. Almost immediately after that prayer, I distinctly heard a "still small voice" repeatedly speak the phrase "Follow the Prophet" resounding in my mind. I immediately scheduled an appointment to get the vaccine.
I think we all need to remember not to judge people, some people's health will not allow them to be vaccinated. Also I find that when people wear a mask they feel safe and come too close and touch and hug and mess with their masks, and get germs all over their hands, spreading virus everywhere. Trying to understanding a person wearing a mask is more difficult so people come closer to be heard or understood...I say stop keep your distance, take the mask off so I can understand what you are saying..I prefer social distancing.
Wearing masks is easy, even if you don't want to be vaccinated. It wasn't too long ago the prophet advised us to seek personal revelation. On this matter my wife and I (both in our 70s) have counseled together, pondered and prayed ....and continue to do so about the matter. Thus far, we feel the vaccine is not right for us. It may be for most people but we are avoiding the vaccine as we continue to be open to promptings to do otherwise.
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