Why do we do this?
Do we believe the journey is a race to be won by scriptural knowledge and intellectual parsing of the scriptures rather than, if we think we know more...kneeling to serve and teach through the Spirit of Truth and elevate another so we can all move together?
Is Priesthood obtained by how many baptisms we have under our belts and how many angels we we have heard and received?
Why is another's time of anguish and pain, or a fallen moment funny to us and why do we make fun of the person with others privately?
Why do we think it is okay to laugh at the passing of a person who struggled with false spirits, unbelief and discerning the truth but it was said, he had a heart for the poor and afflicted and think we are justified and better because we said "Yes" to the Covenant, and they did not. Why do we laugh and consign him to hell while we think we are going to Zion as we neglect the of the poor and afflicted and look upon them with distain?
Why do we mock those who have passed on without taking covenant, in the presence of those who have had loved ones depart who, before passing didn't comprehend the importance of the Doctrine of Christ.. and Covenants, but we laugh and say well its too late now! What if we were to have compassion on the living relative and inspire them to continue on, because our repentance is not our own and our righteousness will bless our deceased loved ones and future posterity when we have a functioning temple with the High Priest officiating in sealing and binding ordinances.
Why do we vomit our fears and incorrect understanding on those who are babes in their comprehension of the Gospel but they believe on Christ in a simple and pure way... we muddy their faith by our vomiting and then turn on them for not wanting to participate with us in our 'worship'
What if we were the problem in the first place. What if because of trauma from the church and cruelty and unkindness by those claiming to be followers of Christ, many who would have received this gospel being dispensed by way of invitation in kindness and love today, are now too scared to go another round with those claiming to be followers of Christ in this movement because of our unkind backbiting, harshness and cruelty?
What if we cannot use the Doctrine of Christ as a crutch? What if Joseph Smith really meant it when he said things about baptizing a bag of sand ...if it is not preceded by real and sincere repentance and actively striving to receive understanding through the Holy Ghost, after the ordinance has taken place; avails us nothing? How might this process enable us to change our ways? If this process is not followed will the ordinance be efficacious to us? How many times can we crucify Christ?
What if we incorrectly label each other as "playing victim" or 'anti-social" or "adultery" or "strongman'" or 'deceived' or 'loner' or say that someone simply makes us 'feel bad' when we are in their presence because they are 'too depressed' or too hopeless. How might it be different if we simply removed the labels of Babylon and held space for another. What if there is/was significant trauma in their life from past touches of others who scarred them? What if instead of trying to fix each other, we walked with each other. How can we become harmless and trusted enough to hear the cries of another's heart? What if we took time to hear each other stories, uninterrupted? When someone opens up and confides in us, how can we not set ourselves up as a light but rather confess our own brokenness and point them to Christ?
Why do we pat ourselves on the back for 'rescuing' the single mother with our tithing occasionally, or the widow. What if we were not so occupied changing the way fellowship and meetings are conducted because we believe we know what the single mother and her children need and we can be the great priesthood holder to 'save' her and bring her to Christ, because she doesn't have a man to do that for her! What if, we would be the one to benefit from her wisdom and her council and her life experience and let her lead our in teaching. What if she can help unlock the answers we are seeking for our own life, through that relationship of trust, and seeing her value as an equal and not a tithing drain and receiving her wisdom. What about the single fathers, and the men who have lost their spouse...they are often forgotten too. How could you develop a Christ centred relationship with them.
What about those who have a criminal tag to their name, what if they were innocent or have repented? Why laugh at their struggle and past weakness. Do prior sins that Christ has forgiven define a person their whole life? It is our right to bind them down with labels?
What if the way to know the character and attributes of our Lord and the mysteries is to walk equally with those the world considers 'lame' or 'unclean' and burdensome on society. What if we were to flip that false label on its head and allow them to teach us about humanity, the strength of spirit in adversity and resilient faith?
What if it is not all about fear and burning and judgement but rather hope, light and truth. If this is NOT a race, would it not be better to walk with those being left behind because of others who think it is a race and they don't want to be left out of the blessing...would it not be more wise to walk at the back of the group with others and take time to see the beautiful flowers, pick up precious stones and dip our toes in the cool waters together as we grow in relationship and care for each other?
Why does it seem some are trying to run and fly, without first mastering the fundamental ''motor' developmental stages of loving one another, forgiving one another, labouring with each other, being of one heart, measuring our words in wisdom and tenderness, obtaining a new heart with manifestation of that in our words and actions. Being tender, pursuing correct and merciful judgement, kindness, persuasion, meekness and respect of each other and above all Charity, the pure Love of Christ. If we skip over these integral development stages, how might that cripple us going forward, might we have to go back and relearn and connect these pathways?
How can we obtain the circular perspective that Christ sees through, how might this understanding help us become laborers in the vineyard.
What if there is so much more you can do for the sick and afflicted, the poor and the broken hearted than just money. What if you could...
Write a letter
Send a card
Travel to minister to them to show how important the person is
Compose an edifying email
Order a meal to be delivered (can be done despite state lines)
Send flowers or a small gift
Pray for them, with them being present or over the phone
Read to them scriptures or light filled posts
Listen to their story, confess your own brokenness at the appropriate time and point to Christ
Intercede for them in private, fast and pray...and let them know you are holding that space.
When someone is struggling with severe health issues how can we be extremely sensitive and not try to fix them or recommend different treatments that are unhelpful? How can we avoid putting down their current treatment plan or refrain from belittling advice such as, they should do yoga, or take up a hobby or go for a walk to get out of their funk. These comments can be insensitive and make the person feel like they haven't tried enough or are over exaggerating. How can we tread carefully and tenderly and not presume they are self sabotaging or lazy or do not have enough faith to be healed. Rather, how can we validate what they are sharing and experiencing? If suffering is a gift from God, how can we remind them about perseverance and healing and hope that is coming in the appointed season and that they do not walk alone? If we can be trusted enough and we are asked, how can we make sure we share only what is helpful in suggestions and advice and not speak from a condescending all knowing place? Is it better to listen, hold space, touch the person and pray for them sincerely and look for opportunities to lighten their burden and bring beauty and happiness into their life.
What if instead of laughing and mocking those who use different pronouns, come from different cultures, or race, legal status or or have a lifestyle we might find uncomfortable, what if we instead walked with people and loved unfeigned so that we might become trusted to learn another's walk and their experiences, to see what is in their heart so we can be added upon through their experience and come unto Christ together despite the differences. What if we have more in common than we could possibly imagine.
What if some of the 'bigger' sins that we label each other with... and then allow that sin label to justify avoidance with each other, were to have better understanding. What if time, understanding at that time, circumstances, triggers, trauma, fear, brokenness, DNA, hearts intent, support and options available as well as many other factors...influence a persons choice at the time and what if they were doing their very best with what was available to them at the moment. Can Christs atonement cover all sin and mistakes while we are clothed in the flesh? How might we begin to understand each other in a real way to see we all mirror each other?