The 12th Article of Faith relates our belief in sustaining our government. It says, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
In the Doctrine and Covenants 58:21 we read, “Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.”
In Colorado, the legislature passed a law prohibiting new drivers under the age of 18 from transporting any passengers for the first six months after they receive their driver’s license. After the six-month period, drivers are allowed to drive one passenger until they have held their license for a full year. After that, there are no passenger restrictions.
The reason the legislature passed this law was to prevent young drivers from piling the car full of other teenagers who may distract the driver and, hopefully, avoid an accident with a car full of kids. While this makes sense, isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to make sure their children are driving safely and only driving with those who the parents feel can drive responsibly? The message from our state government seems to indicate that they don’t trust parents to make sound judgments about their children.
Another problem with this law is that our high school is more than 25 miles away. Instead of being able to carpool, kids must each take a vehicle to town if they need to stay after school for activities or want to attend other school-sponsored activities like football games or theater productions. Not only is that using more fuel, but now we have four or five inexperienced drivers on the road instead of one. We also have that many more drivers looking for parking places in a city that already has a shortage of parking spaces.
This law has created problems as well as an inconvenience for many of us that live outside the city limits. Nevertheless, it is the law and it is my responsibility to obey it. If I don’t like a law, I must work to change it, not break it.
Another law that I believe actually tramples on the rights of another is the right for a woman to abort a baby. In Colorado this year, we will vote on an amendment to the state constitution that defines life as beginning at conception. Those who oppose this amendment are claiming it’s unjust and denies a woman her right to terminate a pregnancy. I have asked opponents to define when life begins, but have yet to receive any kind of an answer. When does life begin? Is it when a baby first moves? Its heartbeat can be detected? It breathes on its own? Exactly when does life begin if not at the moment of conception?
As a mother of ten, I can honestly say that after fertilization, nothing else happens to the baby inside my womb, except that it grows. Just as any living thing needs time to grow, so does a child.
If this amendment passes, it will then make abortion illegal in the state of Colorado. That would be a great thing. Too many women use abortion as birth control. Too many men and women want to engage in procreative behaviors but refuse to take responsibility when a baby is conceived. Too often, our society condones irresponsible behavior and encourages escape from consequences of our actions. This amendment, if it passes, will finally give rights to the child that’s been created. Those who create babies should be required to either care for that child or give it to a couple who will, not exterminate it because it's an inconvenience. It’s very simple. If you don’t want to make a baby, don’t have sex.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we value all life. We do not support the practice of abortion, but we still must honor, sustain, and obey this law because, unfortunately, the law of the land allows abortion.
I hope that Amendment 48 will pass in Colorado. Not only will we then be able to save thousands of babies each year, we will see that we can and should change bad laws through the proper channels.
Return to the neighborhood.