Friday, October 15, 2010

"behold, I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord"

Some of us have questions in life we struggle to find answers to. Even questions in the gospel. I'm a believer that everyone owes it to themselves to do their homework, to study the scriptures and words of the prophet, and most of all to PRAY - everyone owes it to themselves to form opinions and know where they stand. Yet there are some areas we mere mortals find to be gray - that's when I have to remind myself that thankfully the Lord has no gray areas. He draws a firm line between black and white. When I have difficulty finding that line, those issues then become "backburner" issues. Issues I'm willing to put on the backburner and wait to receive answers to, because not knowing the answer is not enough to rock my faith or testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and of His restored gospel. These are the issues I'll ask my Maker about face to face...who knows? Maybe I won't even have to ask...maybe I'll get to the other side and some knowledge or memory might be restored to me and I'll think, "Silly me, of course that's 'why' makes total sense now..." Gratefully, I don't have many issues that need to rest on that backburner - most questions I have are answered precisely and clearly. The Lord is wonderful like that...that stuff we absolutely need to know, we get to know, as long as we do our part.
In the hearts of many of our brothers and sisters, there seems to be a controversy surrounding a talk given by an apostle of the Lord at the recent General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was lucky enough to be present when President Boyd K. Packer gave this address, and let me tell you, being there in person I will witness 'til the day I die that there was the Spirit of the Lord in that room and that love, yes LOVE, was there. As he spoke, you could literally feel the love and compassion he has for all of God's children. However, I realize not everyone is feeling that love, and since I do not qualify myself as someone who has the right to offer my opinion on this subject (other than to say I agree with President Packer's talk and wholeheartedly offer my support of it), I did come across a blog post from a fellow member of the church who is striving to overcome feelings of same-sex attraction. My heart goes out to this brother, who should be admired for his honesty and faithful ability to see beyond himself, recognizing that the Lord's plan truly is the Plan of Happiness and that trusting in his standards is the path to true peace. He has given permission for others to repost his words, so I want to include THIS LINK so that others might read the perspective that comes from someone who has a testimony of the gospel and has courageously acknowledged that in order to reach his full potential and receive all blessings that are promised to him, he can and must refrain from any thoughts or activity that goes against the Lord.
Our temptations might be different from his, but in all other ways we are the same. We're all imperfect people striving to do the right thing. Each of us has our demons, our vices, we're struggling to control and destroy. We are all held to the same standards - just because we as mortals are drawn to certain feelings, whatever they may be, does not mean we, as children of God with a divine inheritance, have the right to indulge in those feelings or desires. Resisting the "natural man" that is in all of us and eventually overcoming ourselves is what will refine us and help us reach our Divine Potential.
What this man says on his blog is not "gospel". He is not an authorized mouthpiece for the Lord nor is he an authorized representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But I feel his point of view is eloquent, humble, and valuable. President Packer is not perfect. He is a man, a mortal. However, he is an apostle of the Lord, therefore whatever he or any other apostle says, those baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who have commited themselves to accept these men as men of God, should consider prayerfully and with a willing heart. If you have struggled to reconcile yourself with President Packer's words, I encourage you to read this man's perspective.

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"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson