I’ve been trying to write all night.
Since the new March Issue of the Ensign came out online last night and broke the Internet, (at least the LDS corner of it), The article in question, titled “When Doubts and Questions Arise” wasn’t that bad. I got what he was trying to say…. I just don’t wish he had said something other than “doubts”. “Questioning is fine,” he said, but if a person has doubts that means they refuse to even try the Lords’s way just like Korihor in the book of Mormon. Yup he went there. He compared good members of the Church who maybe have had their testimony rocked a little. Sure they may have doubts about the Gospel, they probably have doubts about themselves, and he compared them to an Antichrist. I somehow don’t think that is going to give a lot of comfort to anyone who is uncertain. Maybe the author’s only intent was to comfort those who haven’t ever had doubts? “Look at us we are being so kind and forgiving to let you have questions, just as long as you don’t ever doubt…oh no don’t do that, because once you doubt you are a son of perdition. Yea I think he could have worded it better. Sooo….
I have sat in front of my computer fighting to write this article. I don’t honestly know how many of you are deep into the Bloggernacle, and in truth it doesn’t matter to me, because I am grateful that you like to come visit my little corner of it sometimes and keep me company. I, personally remember a time before we started calling it the Bloggernacle. I wasn’t an active participant at that time. I was afraid of including my voice, even in comments, because I didn’t think that anyone would be interested in my voice. I still don’t I’ve just gotten old enough at this point to not care.
I started crying around midnight.
I know that it is silly at the best and down right self-indulgent and stupid at the worst, but the last couple of years has been really horrible to watch. I have cried on more than one occasion. I feel like a little kid whose parents are getting divorced. They just won’t stop fighting. If you aren’t sure of what I am talking about, lucky you! What I am talking about is Ordain Women, Kate Kelly and John Dehlin. I honestly don’t know where Kate came from. She was excommunicated a several months ago, we all heard about it because she decided that she was so upset, that she just had to go cry on the shoulder of her best friend the New York Times Newspaper. I swear I’m not rolling my eyes but here and here are links to a couple of the stories. John was the founder of Mormon Stories Podcasts, and this was before anyone one was really doing podcasts let alone Mormon themed ones. And I will be one of the first ones to say that he did ruffle feathers right from the beginning, and I LOVED IT! I was inactive then, but that isn’t why I love listening. No matter what anyone tells you. It wasn’t like that in the early years. He was telling the truth, not to hurt or cause damage, but to tell the truth and sometimes the truth is hard and people don’t want to hear it because it messes with they way they want to see the world. I really do believe that he did it to help people find their testimony again. He believed, I believe, that questions weren’t bad things, and if what you believed in was truly good, the truth wouldn’t hurt that faith, it would help it. In much the same way, at the October 2013 General Conference, that President Uchtdorf said, “A question that creates doubt in some can, after careful investigation, build faith in others”. (emphasis added). A talk that I wrote about a couple of times in earlier posts, here and here.
But that was then.
I don’t know what happened. It had been so well-balanced in the beginning. For every person that had “proof” that the Church was wrong, he had amazing scholars and academics come on that we’re believing, faithful members of the Church to share the other side often far out shinning the nay Sayers. But at some point, I don’t really know when, it was more and more negative, more people coming on and accusing the brethren of all kinds of things that I don’t believe for one instant. President Uchtdorf was right, one of us let the questions become doubts eating away at faith and the other used those questions to grow closer to the Father.
I’ll tell you I have never spoken to the New York Times or been excommunicated, so I think you know where I stand. In fact it was almost 2 years ago now, that I sent John and e-mail (I doubt he even read it, he doesn’t know me, and there is no reason for him to care about my opinion) telling him that I was subscribing from the Podcast. I told him that I didn’t understand what had happened but the tone was more and more negative, more hateful, and not being supportive of everyone’s feelings pro or anti, it sounded more and more like those that believed where just either stupid or deluding themselves. I thanked him for his part in helping me find my faith again, and I was sorry that something that used to make me feel so good, even when it was the hard stuff, now made me feel so bad.
I have been so proud of the Church I belong to!
While I am obviously upset at the way the author of the Ensign article worded it, (I REALLY don’t think his intent was to harm), and upset that John and Kate where excommunicated, because no matter what they did they are still our Brother and Sister, still the Father’s children and deserving and in NEED of our love. The Church, specifically the General Authorities have stood up, and saying it really well, like was quoted in “Times and Seasons” earlier today. They stated that they would
simply identify a few alternative sources treating this topic more productively. First, this recent statement posted at LDS.org, issued by The Council of The First Presidency … which states in part:
We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding. …
Simply asking questions has never constituted apostasy. Apostasy is repeatedly acting in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its faithful leaders, or persisting, after receiving counsel, in teaching false doctrine.
Second, President Uchtdorf’s Conference talk “Come, Join With Us.” He counseled:
Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?”
It’s natural to have questions — the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith — even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. …
Therefore, … first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There were a couple more truly wonderful quotes after that as well if haven’t been over there to check out the article.
I don’t understand why everyone keeps putting their foot in their mouths.
While Times and Season’s handled it really well a lot didn’t. And I am tired of everyone being so angry and hurt, and mean to each other simply because they don’t agree with each other. The one thing though that I am more tired of than anything is the accusations pointed at the GAs. They are men and they are not perfect, only Christ was, but they were called of God, called BY God, to do the job they do, and they do it really, really well because they first, Love the Lord with all of their souls, and second love us. Each and every one of us even the wayward ones. And I just don’t understand HOW they could accuse the 12 and the First Presidency of being in it for the money, the fame, the power. I don’t see how you can fall so far, and it breaks my heart for them. Because I have fallen pretty far away from the Church in the past but never so far that I became apostate. NEVER. As lost as I was, they must be so much more. And know one deserves that.
Now back to what I was supposed to be talking about in this post 🙂
Brother Eyring spent a good amount of time on not only personal revelation, but how we are supposed to know the truthfulness of the revelations and God directed words of love and censure they give us. Because we all know that they are here to call ALL of us to repentance as well and that can be hard to hear. But I believe that most of us want, “That personal revelation of acceptance, for which we all long, does not come easily, nor does it come simply for the asking, ” and I think many have forgotten that part, so they blame instead, because maybe they just couldn’t be still long enough, brave long enough for the miracle to come.
Nephi is a usual one of the perfect examples. President Eyring told us all that day that:
You know the words: “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”
When Lehi heard Nephi speak those words, the scripture says that “he was exceedingly glad.” He was glad because he knew that Nephi had been blessed with confirming revelation that his father’s dream was a true communication from God. Nephi did not say, “I will go and do what my father told me to do.” Rather he said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”
It is up to us to get that confirming revelation. We have to actually ask for it, sometimes even work for it, The Holy Spirit isn’t just going to hand it over without that broken heart and contrite spirit. How does someone tell the Prophet of the Church that they know what he should be asking Heavenly Father about? They know what Heavenly Father really wants to reveal to his Church, but these old men just want to keep the status quo and so won’t ask? Again, I just don’t understand.
What I do believe though is that though just men, servants of the Father just like we all are, I love President Monson. I love his councilors, and I love the 12. I read, read mind you an interview that Elder Holland gave, and I was filled with such warmth and LOVE for him, just like I am every time he gets up to speak at conference.
Really all of them. Elder Christofferson hasn’t been an Apostle that long and I already love to hear what he has to say, and Elder Packer, oh my! He can be gruff at times and he says it the way it it, never holding back, but you also know without a doubt that he loves all of us, prays for all of us, and wrestles with the burden of wanting nothing more than to say exactly what the Spirit needs us to hear, and I love him for it. But what some outside the Church don’t understand, and some even that are members don’t understand, is;
Don’t take lightly the feeling you get of love for the prophet of God. Wherever I go in the Church, whoever the prophet is at the time, members will ask, “When you get back to Church headquarters, will you please tell the prophet how much we love him?”
That is far more than hero worship or the feelings we sometimes have of admiring heroic figures. It is a gift from God. With it you will receive more easily the gift of confirming revelation when he speaks in his office as the Lord’s prophet. The love you feel is the love the Lord has for whoever is His spokesman.
May you continue to love the Lord thy God with all of thine heart. May you continue to love support and sustain all those who have been called to do his work, both men and women. And may you be blessed to always know that if you have questions, even if you have doubts, the Lord still wants you hear, the Prophet wants you here, and the Apostles still declare, doubts or not, questions or not, there is a place for you in Christ’s restored Church, and you are the only one that can turn your back on that, because we all belong to our Father and Jesus.
And I say these things in Jesus name Amen.
All Quotes unless other wise stated came from: