When I was a Ward Mission Leader recently, one of the Assistants to the Mission President (“AP”) had the idea for a quarterly theme to help motivate the missionaries and to bring down the blessings of God for our mission. The unfortunate title he chose for this campaign: “BIND THE LORD”.
Obviously, this campaign slogan referenced Doctrine & Covenants 82:10, promising that “I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” I certainly understand the premise behind the campaign- to invoke the Lord’s blessings that often come as a natural result of obedience, etc. (see, e.g., D&C 130:20-21. Still, I think the idea that we humans could actually “bind” the Lord to anything (as opposed to asking for his blessing or just expecting the natural consequence of certain actions) somehow rubs against God’s divine nature. And “bind the Lord” just sounds so- well, . . . arrogant! As if we could somehow place the Lord in bondage!
For the most part, I just thought the unfortunate wording of an otherwise good idea (calling down the blessings of heaven through increased faith and devotion) was kind of funny. Another part of me thought that perhaps someone along the line misunderstood what these scriptures were all about, and that others were simply too accommodating to suggest changing the slogan. “Bind the Lord….”
Any other examples of some absurdly worded or otherwise absurd propositions floated by missionaries? I love these kids but sometimes they come up with some pretty crazy ideas to impose on us (though we admittedly need and welcome the kick in the pants to do missionary work). Or thoughts about whether there is actually truth behind the phrase “Bind the Lord?”
UPDATE: I know, I know, I just posted this. But I have already found numerous usages of the phrase “bind the Lord” by speakers in General Conference and elsewhere. Here are a few examples for your consideration:
- “Let us have the faith to bind the Lord to bless this people because we are following His order to care for the poor and the needy among us by being generous in our fast-offering contributions.” (L. Tom Perry, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 1986, at 31).
- “For a few more minutes now, let’s speak of how to qualify for his help or, in other words, how to “bind” the Lord to his promises. There is a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants that, when understood, opens up a whole new world of understanding on how to “bind” the Lord. Remember, he has said that he is bound when we do as he says.” (H. Burke Peterson, “Come Unto Christ Through Your Trials, Devotional Address Given at BYU on Feb. 16, 1996).
Apparently we do “bind” the Lord, though that particular turn of phrase still bothers me somehow.