Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why The Church Is As True As The Gospel

Every member of of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ought to read this article at some point in their life...

The Church is as true as--perhaps truer than-- the gospel because it is where all can find fruitful opposition, where its revealed nature and inspired direction maintains an opposition between liberal and conservative values, between faith and doubt, secure authority and frightening freedom, individual integrity and public responsibility-- and thus where there will be misery as well as holiness, bad as well as good. And if we cannot stand the misery and the struggle, if we would prefer that the Church be smooth and perfect and unchallenging rather than as it is, full of nagging human diversity and constant insistence that we perform ordinances and obey instructions and take seriously teachings that embody logically irresolvable paradoxes, if we refuse to lose ourselves whole-heartedly in such a school, then we will never know the redeeming truth of the Church. It is precisely in the struggle to be obedient while maintaining integrity, to have faith while being true to reason and evidence, to serve and love in the face of imperfections and even offenses, that we can gain the humility we need to allow divine power to enter our lives in transforming ways. Perhaps the most amazing paradox about the Church is that it literally brings together the divine and the human-- through priesthood service, the ordinances, the gifts of the spirit--in concrete ways that no abstract systems of ideas ever could.

I felt quite keenly the truth of it's message as I was reading it today... And it seemed especially pointed as these were the very struggles and 'exasperations' I was experiencing and pondering during a RS lesson on charity this afternoon.

I have to admit, it is at times very hard for me to 'be charitable' in the face of what I see as hypocrisy or stupidity...but it is that exact struggle "to serve and love in the face of imperfections and even offenses" that allows "divine power" to come into my life "in transforming ways" -- the struggle to be charitable is what helps be to be changed. I definitely can see the opportunity that the "paradoxes" of being part of the church are to grow in meaningful ways.

Anyhow, READ the article! It explains all of this much better than I have. You won't regret it!

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