|some make it.....|
I read a blog entry about the recent move by feminists within the LDS church to demand the priesthood.
The author commented on how their actions are now preventing people from joining the church.
In the Book of Mormon we read in Alma how Corianton's sexual sins kept the Zoramites from receiving the word of God, they wouldn't believe Alma's words.
I did not want to join this church. I was looking for a reason for it to not be true. My very first prayer in asking to join the church was "Is everything everyone in the Mormon church does good, true, virtuous, upright, pure and holy before you?" and God said "No."
And I said, "GREAT! I'M OFF THE HOOK!" And I told my family that God told me the church wasn't true.
Good job. (Written with the sarcasm font)
On two accounts. One, my prayer was dishonest (and notably God cannot lie and did not). Not only that, I knew it was dishonest. I wanted to ask my question in such a way that would get the answer I wanted so I could justify not becoming LDS.
Two. I effectively threw a hurdle in front of my family as well with my "testimony."
When I went to ask the question sincerely.....I had to wait a while. I wasn't answered until I was sincere and willing to follow and repent if this was truly true. I became desperate to know. I was willing to do anything to know - including repent of all my sins if needs be. Not until then did God answer me because I was going to be accountable once I knew.
However, I saw hundreds of people, dishonest as I was, when I was a missionary. People who wanted the praise of the world for being a seeker of truth, but who did not want to be disciples or to sacrifice whatever it would take to become a disciple.
The feminists in the news are only the most recent reason people might be swayed against joining the LDS church. Nevermind their families and friends all tell them the church is a cult (like mine did). Their religious leaders tell them to stay away (like some of mine did). That there's historical issues that are sensational like polygamy. That there's more to the religion like another volume of scripture which is considered blasphemous by much of Christianity.
Everyone's going to have a test of faith to join the LDS church, be it the loss of a job, family, friends, prestige, a favorite past-time, or much much more. Many are looking for a reason to not join. "Seek and ye shall find." Others will sincerely want to know if this is true regardless of what pops up as they are truly vested in their salvation. "By their fruits ye shall know them."
The feminists have been given their free agency, but when they use their church membership to disrupt the faith of others and hinder the work, they do not have the right to do that and the church - the Lord - has the right to protect His work and from His name from being used to harm the work.
But, the feminists are not the only ones hindering the work. Many of us struggle with unseen sins, callings we do not fulfill faithfully, harsh words in sacred settings.....the onslaught against this work is continuous and constant!
I think we make a mistake to overly focus on a high-profile incident such as some public protests and overlook the smaller things that do much more harm on a case-by-case-basis but whose damage spreads far and wide!
We need to be diligent in our individual callings and not let the bigger things distract us into overlooking our own faults, pray for those who are struggling, forgive, make amends however painful it may be, and keep pushing this work forward. And above all, remember, that it is God's work and it is His church and cannot be led by anything other than His inspiration. If we do that....we will be okay!