Wednesday, January 21, 2009

But We Went on Our Way Rejoicing-101st Post

I love Spencer W. Kimball. He will always have a very tender place in my heart. He was very progressive for the Church with increasing focus on missionary work , temple building, The Miracle of Forgiveness and perhaps the most important thing to me, the extending of the priesthood to all worthy males and forever changing the role of blacks in the Church.

When Jane Elizabeth Manning came to Zion, she came for the Gospel. After converting in Connecticut, she walked to Nauvoo with her family. She said about this "Our feet cracked open and bled until you could see the whole prints of our feet with blood on the ground." Her feet literally bled so she could meet Joseph Smith. So she could be with the Saints. When she came with the Saints to Utah, what many people believed to be Zion, her troubles and sorrows were truly not through. She was denied the endowment and was allowed to be sealed to Joseph Smith as a servant. Her temple blessings were later revoked and then reinstated. What did she do when she was unjustly judged? She remained faithful in the Church and served faithfully throughout her life. I weep every time I think of the struggles of the blacks in the LDS church. In fact, I am weeping as I write this post. I feel deeply touched by the Spirit of the Lord.

And yet until 1978, the priesthood was not extended to the blacks. I don't know why. I don't intend to focus on that. And I don't want any debate about it. President Kimball did the right thing and was guided by God to end a policy that, frankly, I don't know actually was established by God. But that's not really the point of this post. I want to focus on Sister Manning's example.

I think when we look at our daily life, we often see the problems in the little things- the time when we didn't do as well on that test as we had hoped,when we wake up late, feel lonely- and often we develop a pessimistic attitude that our lives are ever so difficult. Imagine if you will, a day in the shoes of Sister Manning. Imagine walking until your feet bled until you are so weary, ready to give up, but you still press on because of your belief in Jesus Christ. Imagine being denied blessings for an unknown reason. But in the end she said this: "But we went on our way rejoicing, singing hymns, and thanking God for his infinite goodness and mercy to us." When we ponder our lives, are we going on our way, rejoicing, singing hymns, and thanking God for his infinite goodness and mercy to us? I hope and pray that we are.


PolarBeccaBear said...

I needed to hear about something rad like that.


Catherine Agnes said...

The things we have to deal with are different from the pain Jane Elizabeth Manning endured, but just as we discussed last night, testimony overcomes all the imperfections of the church as an institution and calms hearts that would otherwise feel bitter. In spite of everything, the gospel is still true, and that's good reason to go on our way rejoicing and singing hymns of praise. I like how you so often focus on the joy of the good news.

Seagulljaap said...

Amen. And amen. Did I already say amen?