Living in the state of Utah, I am witnessing something troubling which has brought me to write this post.
Neighbors, friends, and family are choosing to walk away from the dominate religion. But why? The church teachings, structure, friendships and lifestyle have been so positive for many. The people have been so dedicated to their church, even serving missions, giving of their tithes, and offering service like no other group. Many families here have been of this faith for generations. Why would they choose to give all of this up?
I have asked many this question, for it was my intent to understand how someone could give up life’s precious gem. Although the answers were unique and personal to each, there seemed to be common emotions expressed…the emotions of “Betrayal, dishonesty and the lack of Christ like love towards minority groups”.
New Light has been shed upon the facts of the history and beginnings of the church. Changes have been made by leaders of the church, throughout time, to the realities that occurred in history, in order to fit a more desired story line.
This has created a sense of betrayal felt by many. A church, an organization teaching of Christ’s ways, has chosen to deceive us in hopes for a better story.
Dishonesty is not found in the gospel of the Savior. Many of the members are emotionally set back, questioning how this could happen with the church that they have sacrificed their very soul in defending, supporting, and giving of all of who they are. Why would they deceive us?
To my brothers and sisters who are of the same sex attraction, I feel that many church members understand you… They love you and want to offer their support. They too see the unjust policy that was implemented… and since retracted, as hurtful, destructive, and against the teaching of a Savior who loves ALL… the same.
God does not make mistakes. He has created many boys and girls who will say unequivocally that they were born this way. Can you only imagine how they would feel, knowing that they do not have a place in the church? They question if they have a place in the relationship with God as well.
Don’t exclude them. Help them understand. Explain how they should proceed in life… Do it as the Savior would explain it to them. Help them know that they too can receive revelation as to their creation, as well as how He wants them to live. Guide them. Be understanding. Could you change the way that you feel about the gender of who you are attracted to? Give that a try for 6 months… IMPOSSIBLE. There is medical evidence to support their feelings.
For all, it is important to understand that churches have a business side to their organization. It has to be that way. To govern so many people in so many different areas of the world, it needs to create policies at times which are influenced by legal counsel. The leaders seek inspiration, yet they are mortal men and women as well. All decisions from church officials are not a result of God appearing to our leaders with specific instructions.
A stake president announcing that members should no longer play the game bonco (as was the case in our Ogden state years ago), is not the gospel. It is one man’s decision based upon what he felt was important for his stake members.
The church is FILLED with the gospel teachings of the Savior. In my opinion, there is no better way for me to stay closer to God than to worship with my church. I am filled with the spirit while there. I find truth in many of the unique teachings taught from the pulpit.
I can testify to the truthfulness that the priesthood is indeed the power of God… given to some on the earth to be used for His work of healing, enlightenment, direction, and earthly ordinances necessary to complete while we are here. I have literally seen miracles through the priesthood which I cannot deny. I am not aware of Gods priesthood offered through any other church on this earth.
For those who have chosen to leave the church, based on some of the reasons listed above, I must ask for you to honestly consider the quality of your life after leaving. Has it changed for the better… is it similar… or are you missing something?
I get that you have been hurt… quite honestly… I too have felt this deep sorrow of being deceived. I’ve held up pictures of Joseph Smith translating the Golden Plates that were incorrect…. The teaching at the time. But don’t use this hurt as the reason for walking away from all of the other things that benefit YOU, which the church provides. Don’t loose the majority of the goodness of the church, as a result this emotional sorrow.
The churches gospel teachings are paramount in the raising of your children. Who doesn’t want a ward family helping you raise your child in loving the Savior? Youth groups, camps, activities all focused on fun ways for the youth to bond, learn service, and see the Savior through the eyes of their peers… All too important to ignore.
We are all better people when we focus on serving others. The church offers countless opportunities for that to occur. I invite you to seek out the right choice for you, yet consider the positive things that are important to you which the church offers.
The health code of the church is important to me. I have seen many people struggle with addiction, leading to a very ugly side of life. To see others leave and choosing to ignore these principles always leads to the same outcome. Their life is negatively impacted due to this choice. Personalities change. Moral choices are influenced as well, and it’s not long until that person begins to realize that they were a better person by abstaining from these things.
So, is your church the gospel? The answer is not a simple yes or no answer is it? We must all realize that we can use our own relationship with the Savior to recognize gospel teachings. We must too recognize that there are business aspects of the church as well.. Some might conflict with gospel teachings. However, there is not any other organization that I am aware of that provides gospel teaching more than this church. This has been based upon my experience of being a member for 60 years.
You have your testimony of what you believe. You have been taught how to identify the truth, as well as decipher what might not be. Use it!
My final thought… Don’t be of the thinking that things must be 100% correct, and if not… it is 0%. This thought should not be applied in any aspect of life. Perfect does not exist. If we spend our life chasing perfect, we will lose out on many benefits from incredible organizations, teachings, and principles.
Ok… a final.. final thought. =) Let’s be kind to one another. We all have different opinions, thoughts and ideas. We can mend relationships with LOVE, KINDNESS, and most of all… UNDERSTANDING. Let’s build on those principles… shall we? Let our teachings, decisions, and policies center around those principles. Let’s all come together and understand ALL of God’s children. How can we help ALL people continue their journey with God?
I hope and pray that we might be able to do this. If it’s not offered through church leadership, it certainly can be achieved through each one of us. Our world consists of those around us. We can change OUR world. I invite you to reach out.
Please share this post with those who are struggling… https://wordpress.com/view/riverwilde.blog