Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Confidence In The Gospel
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was converted and baptized at the age of 19, that was over 35 years ago. As time has gone on, my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ grows daily. I have had ups and downs in my life, and know that is why I am here...to have these experiences and to learn and grow from them.
Lately, there has been a lot of misguided people questioning some of the standings of the church. One is gay marriage. Many have made comments that because we do not believe in gay marriage that we are homophobic. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we not only believe in the Book of Mormon, but we believe in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. There are several places in the Bible that talk about how wrong homosexuality is. Here is a good website that has a couple of scripture references and a statement from our church leaders about this.
As members of the church, we also believe that sex outside and before of marriage is wrong. Yes, even in today's world. God does not change the rules midstream. Wrong is wrong.
Now this being said, just because the church has a stance on certain things that the world sees otherwise, does not mean we "hate" those who are gay, or who have sex out of wedlock, etc. As a parent of four children, I think I know how God feels, at least somewhat. My children have done things that have displeased me...we all have sinned...but I don't "hate" them for disobeying. I still love them, and want what's best for them. God doesn't "hate" us for our sins, he still loves us; he is hurt deeply when we do sin, hurts even more deeply when we turn from him or don't repent. I use the word "hate" because so many jump to conclusion that because we don't look upon gay marriage in a positive light that we "hate" them. Nothing can be more far from the truth. We don't hate them, we may hate their actions, but we don't hate them.
Each of us are God's children, which means we are all brothers and sisters. As members of the church, we love all mankind. A lot of us pray daily for the safety of this world. In our temples, we pray for our world leaders, we pray for our countries, for peace in the world, and this means EVERYONE and everywhere. But, just because we pray for all of mankind, we all still have our agency to choose what we think and do, therefore, the world is the way it is. There is a lot of wickedness going on, and there is also a lot of good that goes on.
I read something the other day that really hurt me. Basically this person said that she could not understand how "intelligent people stay Mormon." It's because we have a testimony. No I did not have angles or some other Heavenly being come down and visit me. Faith is not a perfect knowledge. Heck, if we had a perfect knowledge wouldn't it be too easy? That was Satan's idea, for us to KNOW, and to be told what to do...No agency. We would just come down here, have perfect knowledge and then return. What would be the purpose of that? We are sent here on earth to learn and grow. To succeed and to fall. To fall, and then get back up and repent.
I know many will read this and agree with what I say, others will read and think I am just a crazy person that follows a religion blindly. No, I don't follow my religion blindly. I have spent many years reading and praying. I cannot deny the Gospel. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to choose right. I hope that I can make good choices and return to His presence someday. I am by NO means even near perfection. I struggle on a daily basis with my patience and many other things. I know that when I have daily prayer and daily scripture study, my days go much better than those times when I don't give time to the Lord. He is always there for us, all we have to do is ask. He will not push Himself on us, so we do have to ask...and LISTEN.