Last year as I sat in a large (stake) conference hall held for our church members, I listened as these heartfelt words were spoken, (I don't remember who said it, I only remember the way it touched my soul)"We do not walk blindly. We follow our leaders because we can see. This isn't a church that asks it's members to follow blindly, to walk without choice. That is not God's plan for us. We follow because our eyes have been opened and we can see."
I've thought about this statement over and over, and especially how my eyes have been opened to truth the past 14 years since I decided to come back to the Mormon church. I've been accused of being brainwashed, and I've been accused of following a cult, but I know I'm not an idiot. I can see as clear as day the choices put before me, and the path I choose to walk. This is MY spiritual journey, and something I chose consciously, openly, and wholeheartedly, because I can see.
I can see the abundance of humility and love in our modern-day Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I can see the loyalty and devotion he has to care for, and bless, and pray for the people on this earth. I can see the goodness and integrity in our Priesthood Leaders, and their desire to serve and bless others through the organization of this church. They are willingly following their duties to God in a tough and oppositional world.
I can see a husband and father who loves and upholds his Priesthood responsibilities in our own family. It's not easy to be a righteous, honest, God-fearing, commandment-following male in this world, but each day I see this man strive to do his best-- For me, for our children, for God, and for his church.
I can see the heartfelt love and sincere care that every Bishop I've ever had, has had for the members of our wards. He isn't haughty or arrogant or caught up in titles. He doesn't drive a fancy car paid in full by the member's tithing money.
(I mention this because a non-member asked me once if this was true of our Bishop's cars. hehe. In fact, our last Bishop lived in a small bedroom with his wife and 3 kids in his mother-in-laws house, and drove a piece of junk. So no, this is not true.)
Our Bishops are humble, concerned, and bursting with love for each brother and sister that comes into his presence. They volunteer their time, energy, and service to the happiness of other people. I've seen this over and over again, and I choose to follow their wisdom and council in my life.
I can see and feel the equality between males and females in our church. Never once have I felt overpowered or out of place or "less than" because I am a woman. I belong to a church that praises and adores women, encouraging women to strive for their absolute best. I belong to a women's organization that inspires women to be strong, courageous, and virtuous in all that we do. Whether we are single women, young mothers, grandmothers, widowed, or old and decrepit, we know that our individualism and divinity is honored. We are all children of a God who loves us, and I can feel that love each week I attend church. I see and believe that the Priesthood holding-males honor us, and we in turn, honor them. We may not have the same responsibilities, or titles, or duties in the church, but collectively we build something more beautiful than ourselves. Together in our uniqueness we create an organization of love and nurturing for all who walk through these doors.
When I go to the Temple and sit side by side with my husband in the Celestial room, I feel God's love for both of us, and the sacred importance each of us has in His Kingdom. We are not separated into different gender-affiliated rooms. We are together, both male and female, in the house of God.
There is some dissension in our church right now (mostly here in the good old USA) because of the strong belief's certain groups are pushing on church Leaders to change church doctrine.
Asking questions and seeking answers is an acceptable part of spiritual understanding and growth, but many of these people are not happy with the answers they receive, so they protest, campaign, nag, and seek public attention in the media until confusion and chaos breaks loose. This goes against everything we stand for as an organization! Our church Leaders are then pressured, coerced, and ridiculed because of their spiritual obligations to follow modern revelation from the Prophet, and furthermore, God's absolute council.
We do not walk blindly. We follow our Leaders because we can see.
I can see others faults, and weaknesses, and failures, including my own. I can see that we are all human, and humans make many mistakes. We belong to a wonderful church run by imperfect people, but that doesn't stop us from believing truth.
We forgive. We move forward, and we humble ourselves to understanding.
I can see that some people are being led away from the church because of these issues in the media, but most are not.
Most people are not walking blindly because they can see.
They can see that God knows what He is doing, and that through a strong, wise, and loving Prophet, He gives modern-day-revelation and answers that are complete.
I do not walk blindly because I can see there is no room in my life for protesting or campaigning over things I may disagree with in my church. I instead choose to pray, seek answers through revelation, then serve, love, and uplift the brothers and sisters in my church, and wait patiently for God to reveal all things.
|"MY CHILD" by David Bowmen. One of my favorite paintings depicting the love God has for me.|