Monday, November 9, 2015

And By the Power of the Holy Ghost, Ye May Know the Truth of All Things

Due to the flurry of opinions, accusations, and rebuttals that have flooded the world of social media concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints recent policy changes, I felt impressed to document my personal feelings regarding these changes.

As a firm believer that "man will be punished for his own sins..." I struggle to understand some parts of the policy change.  After the Supreme Court ruling on same-gender marriage, it seemed obvious that the language used by the church in certain policies and procedures would need to be changed, but the baptismal requirements for children of same-gender couples felt harsh and overbearing.  I knew that I needed to seek understanding, and I also knew that the understanding I was seeking would not be found on Facebook.  I knew that the understanding I sought would only come through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Since that time my mind has been inundated with a cluster of thoughts and ideas, some shaking my testimony, and others strengthening my testimony, but in the end I am on the Lord's side.  In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland, "We must constantly remind ourselves that He is God, and we are not." (Morgan, I stole this quote from you.)  Do I have all the answers?  No.  Do I understand the reasons for the changes?  No.  Have I gained MY OWN confirmation to trust the Lord?  Yes.

To my "church" friends who feel the policy change is un-Christian, and discriminatory, or really, any friends who are struggling to process the changes, I ask you to consider the young widow. Does she not carry an undeserved burden?  Is she not an innocent?  Carrying only the "sin" of marrying someone who died too soon?  What advice do you give to her?  Should she remarry and deny her new partner the opportunity of an eternal family? She should remain single and live out the rest of her life alone?  Raise her children as a single mother?  Would it shake your testimony, and cause you to question your church membership? And what about the man that fall's in love with her? Should he abandon her because she cannot offer him eternity, or should he sacrifice what he could have in the next life, for what he has in this life?  Or do you tell them that things will work out, that the Lord has a plan; that He loves them and is aware of their unique circumstances?  Or would you not give it a second thought because it doesn't push any of your personal hot buttons? As a member of the church whose life does not fit into the neat, tidy, Mormon box, I know that there will always be policies that are exclusionary, but more importantly, I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father who more than compensates when you are innocently excluded from receiving certain blessings.

Now, I could list a slew of reasons why I have come to terms with the policy changes, but in the end, they don't really matter to anyone but me.  They are the oil that fill my lamp, and as much as I want to, I can't give you that oil. We have to fill our own lamps.  We can do that by relying on the promise given in Moroni 10: 4:
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

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