Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Man Knows My History

Lately I have been accused of being in the wrong Church for my views on various things. This isn't the first time. A lot of people have this idea that you got to either take it or not take it. I don't agree with this. Let me illustrate why.

Let's say that a young Japanese woman from Hawaii who moved to Utah who saw racial inequalities in the doctrine of valiance and skin color left the Church. Many people would have said to her, lump it or leave it. To many members at the time, that was just accepted doctrine- that white skin represented superiority. Do you know who our Church would have lost?-Chieko Okazaki. Ultimately she elected not to leave the Church, but imagine if someone told her very strongly that she had been told lump it or leave it? Who are we choosing to alienate today? Are we alienating members by telling them to leave it or lump it? Who are we alienating? Who have we alienated already? Now clearly we can't please everyone in everything, that's not the purpose of the Church. But if we tell people that we must think exactly alike in everything, who are we forcing into submission? Just because they believe differently doesn't mean their claims are any less valid than yours are. Just because I view things differently doesn't mean that I should leave the Church or that I am in the wrong Church. Just because I view x, y, and z slightly differently doesn't mean that I am not entitled to that right.

People often say to me, then what's the point of having a Church? The point of the Church is to administer the Gospel. That's why I am going on a mission to preach the gospel of faith, hope, charity, repentance, baptism, judgment according to our works, atonement, and salvation through one Jesus Christ. I desire to bring souls to Christ, forming friendships and finding allies. I don't desire to be lured in by my enemies to fight a "common enemy" that is just counterproductive. What purpose does it serve? People claim we form "friendships" as we alienate. But I really don't think we do.

But I digress. Ultimately, why do I stay in the Church? Because dang it, the Gospel is true. The Church is a flawed institution trying to connect with the divine. And for those who scorn me for staying in the Church, I say, like Joseph Smith, no man knows my history.


Janessa said...

You are going to be an amazing missionary! I'm excited for you to go because I know that you will be able to influence others in a way that no other missionary can... based on the missionaries I've known thus far.

I completely agree with your title. I've said that colloquially before and it really does hold a lot of power.

Erik said...

I feel your frustration brother. I too have sometimes felt like a round peg being pushed into a square hole. I take comfort in the wide variety of people Christ was able to love, accept and welcome with open arms into his church. Anyone who is telling you that you shouldn't be in the church because of your beliefs either doesn't understand your beliefs or is so full of pride that they can't accept anyone with a differing opinion. The church is better because of you. Keep the faith.

Catherine Agnes said...

Here I disagree.

The church is not "a flawed institution trying to connect with the divine"

it is a divine institution deeply connected to and constantly guided by Jesus Christ who overseas all its administrations.

Seagulljaap said...

"Revelations from God . . . are not constant. We believe in continuing revelation, not continuous revelation. We are often left to work out problems without the dictation or specific direction of the Spirit."

Yes, I believe we are in Christ's church. But this doesn't reconcile history, theological leanings and problems of the past. Some problems were not divine and some will never be viewed, at least in my mind, as of Divine Origin. To me this is irrelevant because the Church is to me what it is: a Godly institution but still a flawed one trying to connect with ultimate truths.