It's going to be a rehash, probably. I've already mused about R rated movies and the pros and cons of following strict guidelines vs. the "spirit of the law". But watching States of Grace brought the subject back to mind again.
A powerful line in the movie was when Elder Farrell was reluctant to take Louis into their apartment and Elder Lozano says, "Do you want to follow the rules or follow the commandments?" Here's a place where there seems to be no room for argument. Disregarding the rules seems to be unavoidable to really be a follower of Christ.
Later in the film, after Elder Farrell had sex, I couldn't help but imagine to myself that the course of events that led to him being enamored with Holly all started because they disregarded the rules. Had they not started having roof-top family dinners and hanging out with Louis and Holly (Elder Lozano mainly talking with Louis and Elder Farrell left essentially alone for romantic heart-to-hearts with Holly), it probably wouldn't have happened.
I can already imagine some consternation... "What do you want them to do, L? Leave Louis in the street to freeze to death? Oh, yeah, murder's a lot better than losing your chastity!" But, my point is precisely that they could have kept the rules and still rescued Louis. Rationalizing things here and there leaves us open to embracing false dilemmas when we're not paying attention. They could have had him in the house that night, then found an alternative arrangement when he was better... or gotten permission... or called an ambulance... or whatever.
Ought one to follow or be self-sufficient in winging it? Are there ever any really easy answers?