Middle-aged Mormon Man: I am a Mormon, and I have questions
Being a member of the church is not like having a job at Dunder-Mifflin, where you can stuff your complaints and ideas into the suggestion box mounted on the break room wall. This is God's kingdom on the earth, and the Lord runs it the way he chooses through His prophets.
4) I have faith in God, and in His servants. I have been trying to follow their counsel my entire life, and they have not led me astray. In fact, my faith in them, and the Lord, is bolstered in knowing that the times I have disregarded their counsel, I have suffered for it. Every 6 months, as I listen to their counsel in general conference, I am uplifted and guided, and my faith is bolstered. (5 days!!! Wahoo!)
(I stole this next one from one of my own posts, here.)
*IMPORTANT NOTE: If your leader is doing things with you, or to you, that you know are wrong, please leapfrog to the higher authority. Don't keep quiet just to get along or out of fear. Don't be afraid to shine light on darkness.
Finally, the grand prize of this entire structure is that we are entitled to receive revelation from the Holy Ghost as it corresponds to our stewardship, or anyone else that we are responsible for along the line of authority. But it only works in one direction.
A simple test: If someone is claiming inspiration that goes UP the line of authority, they are sadly misled. (If you ever hear me claim to have received revelation on behalf of the entire church, close this window, delete my bookmark and never come back.)
And finally ...
6) I am grateful. God has blessed me with so much. It is impossible for me to get bent out of shape over the things I don't like or don't understand if I am constantly aware of what I do enjoy and do understand. I am forever in a net gain situation. Being self-focused on what I lack does not make me happy.
I will admit that I lack a certain empathy with those who would try and pressure the Lord or his servants to make changes in how he runs his kingdom. Personally, I have never felt so strongly about my own personal concerns that I would be willing to "counsel the brethren" through letters, protests, the media or gossip. Especially in order to impose my views on a church that I have no stewardship over — a church that I am not entitled to receive revelation on behalf of and that is run by those who I already know represent the Lord himself.
Neither could I bring myself to leapfrog that line of authority — partly because I truly believe in that structure, and partly because I have been at various places in that very chain. I know from my experience that good does not come ignoring the organization that the Lord has put in place.
And so you see, I'm not going to be giving President Monson or the rest of the prophets any counsel. I have enough faith in God and his servants that I can leave them alone and let them fulfill their stewardships. But rest assured, I will be glued to the TV next weekend as they counsel me.
Why? Precisely because I'm not that smart.
Middle-aged Mormon Man is a husband, father and all around regular guy. He blogs at MiddleagedMormanMan.com. He is seriously Mormon, but not always serious.
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