Friday, October 15, 2010

A Modern Day Church

I wrote this recently in a letter to a friend. It's a response to the increasingly hostile views towards the LDS Church and its doctrine regarding Gay Marriage. This blog is more directed towards members of the Church who may be more familiar with its doctrine...

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...Regarding conference, I was also struck by the numerous times "The 14 Elements of Prophets" (originally by Benson) was referred to. There was a lot about sustaining the Prophet and having faith that our Church is a covenant church (and remembering that covenant amidst the many persuasive secular voices of the world).

I thought it was especially important to hear in these times when the Church is under so much pressure regarding issues such as Prop 8 and gay rights. Many members find it hard to strike a balance between aligning with the issues of the world and sustaining the Prophet and Church's direction.

That being said, Pres. Packer's controversial talk was so important for members to hear. I was one of the many who was praying and searching for the appropriate way to balance my faith and political views. Packer put it bluntly, as he always has, claiming that the Church would never waver against pressure to change its core doctrine. I had never thought of it in that way. But it makes complete sense. The Church cannot and will not change an integral part of the doctrine given to us directly from Jesus Christ and the scriptures.
At first, I was offended. I thought Packer had no right to say something so bluntly. It didn't seem fair to draw a line in the sand. Especially in light of the media attention gay suicides have been getting. And I think that's why people were so offended. They thought the timing was wrong. I had a friend who told me they didn't want that "unloving mindset" dirtying the waters of a faith they belong to.
But as I prayed and pondered about my reaction, I realized that he was provoking people to do just as I had done, reevaluate our faith in what we know. It was a hard message to hear for some, but it was nothing more than a restatement of the Family Proclamation.

And it is a message of love...and of hope. I think this guy puts it best, and he's a Mormon who happens to be Gay,
http://gaymormonguy.blogspot.com/2010/10/president-packers-talk-from-gay-mormon.html?spref=fb

As my LDS Church History Institute teacher put it, "We can be loving disciples without watering down doctrine." This means we are to be as loving and UNDERSTANDING as possible. We are not to call out people on ways we may disagree with. We are to stand by our convictions without forcing them upon others.

We Latter-day Saints have always been misunderstood and persecuted. Since our very beginnings, we have been persecuted and in many instances run out of town (and even states) by protesters and a secular world. Our doctrine has always been misunderstood because it requires much deeper thought and scriptural backing than the average non-member (or member in some cases) wants to spend time on. Which is understandable. We can't just expect people to be well versed in our doctrine. We must expect this sort of mainstream backlash by now. The Church knows what its talking about not only because it is led by Jesus Christ, but also because it has dealt with issues like this for nearly two centuries.

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I don't mean to sound self-righteous throughout all of this. I just want people to understand why we believe the things we do. I'm not any better than any other person in this world.

2 comments:

casey j. ross said...

this is wonderful austin.
it does my heart good to read your testimony :)
we can always be sure that what the prophet and apostles say comes directly from God. they are called of Him and are so inspired

the church is true!

Kelsie Lynn said...

baym.