Sunday, November 8, 2015

I'm Here Because I Asked

There is so much going on in the world today that hurts my head and my heart.  So much hatred coming from so many different places.  Those far away, those near and dear to my heart.  So much misunderstanding and so many conclusions jumped to.  Love and kindness, or hatred and meanness?  Real? Perceived? Misguided?  Uninformed?  I don't know.

The LDS church of which I am a member, has recently made a change in the handbook concerning the ordinances of Blessing (giving a name and a blessing of an infant to be known on the records of the church) and Baptism of children being raised in a same-sex marriage household.  There are many different opinions going around as to the right and wrong of this decision.  My purpose in writing today is not to judge either way.  I am not interested in debating the rights and wrongs, perceived or real, in this change.  I don't have all the information.  I don't know all that went into this decision.  But I do know that it has made facebook explode with conversations about it.

So what is my place?  That is the question that I continually ask myself.  Where do I fit in this mess of religion, politics, and social media?

I first asked myself this question when the whole "pants to church" episode exploded people's minds.  I didn't know all that much about the movement at the time, but I was absolutely appalled at the hatred that showed up.  Women condemning other women for wearing pants to church and vice versa.  It hurt my head and my heart deeply.  The hatred.  And I found myself questioning my faith.  Questioning my belief.  Did I want to be a part of this?  

I sat in church one Sunday pondering these questions.  Pondering whether this church was the place for me.  Women whom I knew and loved were so full of anger on this topic, readily condemning those who were a part of this movement as faithless.  I did not feel the same way.  So where did I fit?  Where did I belong?  What was I to do?

I was in sacrament meeting, sitting on the front row, heart hurting, when I decided to ask.  Not my bishop.  Not my husband.  Not my parents.  Not my friends.  I asked God.  My Heavenly Father.  I said a prayer in my heart and asked Him where he wanted me to be?  I really wanted to know.  Where would He have me be, what would He have me do?  And guess what folks... I got an answer.  Peace descended on my heart and words came to my mind telling me that He would have me here.  In church, partaking of the sacrament and renewing my covenant to always remember Him, to follow Him, to keep His commandments.  I felt very strongly that I was right where the Lord wanted me to be, doing what He wanted me to do.  Which is strive to be like him. To learn his ways and practice loving like he does.

Practice. Loving.

Keep trying.  Keep learning.  Keep loving.  Keep going.

I do not have all the answers.  I don't think I'm ready for all the answers.  Living the gospel is given to us line upon line, precept upon precept.  Milk before meat. (Isaiah 28:9-10)  The lesser law (the law of Moses) was given before the higher law when the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ fulfilled the law of Moses.    Men were then commanded to sacrifice their will to God.  A broken heart and a contrite spirit.  A heart willing to follow God.  Something that was much more difficult to sacrifice than a lamb on the altar.

So I will stay here.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because I asked God if it was still the place for me and he answered. I do not understand everything.  But I do know that God, my Heavenly Father, wants what is best for me, always.  And best does not always mean easy.