I had a conversation with a friend of mine. Actually a sister. Cuz now she's considered family. She's not a member of our church but has spent time with church members. She, like myself, is secure in her faith and is therefore not timid or afraid to venture out and learn, study and enjoy other churches. She could get behind many of our teachings, however one of her biggest issues is that we, as LDS are not of one accord. I had to bite my tongue and listen...and I mean REALLY HEAR what she was saying. And when I finished listening to her and her experiences... I determined she was absolutely right We LDS ARE NOT OF ONE ACCORD in our teachings and even living the Gospel.
For example.... Seven Day Adventist, all of them that I know don't celebrate holidays. While we, LDS some of us don't shop on Sundays, don't drink caffeine, believe the woman should be given the priesthood, believe priesthood ban on blacks was Policy, others stick to it being doctrine and on and on and on. Sometimes if does feel like a crap shoot or a gamble depending on who one might ask about the Gospel & the Church. (I separated the two because they are different and also not always of one accord.)
, When she asked members in Idaho why the singles had their own ward, she was told it was because there was so much adultery going on that the church removed the single adults so as not to be a temptation to to those who are married. When the missionaries came to her mother's house, her mother was ignored and treated like a 2nd class citizen in her own home and the missionaries only address the male friend she had invited over. And SHE was the actual investigator. (well not anymore) When her male friend asked the missionaries if he could one day qualify a Bishop in the LDS church as a black man, the missionaries said... "we don't know how to answer that." WHAT THE HELL? If my younger brother, who currently IS a bishop has the potential, than any righteous LDS man can "qualify" to be a bishop." I had heard enough.
I must have looked at her like she had two heads. Then I started laughing. The singles explanation was a trip. I'd never heard it before.
And then the question of if a black member could ever be a Bishop, in the church, well I know primary kids who can answer THAT question. I had to let her know, I thought she was right, we aren't of one accord how we should be. I got to thinking... What the hell are they doing up the in Idaho, trying to run black folks away from the church cuz this is some new doctrine I've never heard. Nor had my sister or daughter who live with me. I liked the perspective it gave me on another way we are perceived by others. We LDS need to get our crap together. Sometimes we get so busy trying to prove each other wrong with links and quotes and scriptures that can and cannot be taken out of context that we forget to nourish each other in the things we do believe. One of the Saddest things about being LDS is seeing how the saint tear each other down. Like some misguided dysfunctional sibling rivalry on crack. We get so caught up in trying to be right that we fail to remember the importance of WHAT is right instead of who is right.
There were PLENTY O MISTAKES made by Prophets in the scriptures: Abraham, Balaam, David, There was a reason Jonah was swallowed by a whale,
even in the end he sat on a hill waiting for the destruction of Nineveh even after the people repented.
Moses didn't even make it to the Promised Land and not because his GPS ran out of juice.
The brother Of Jared was called up into a cloud and chastised for not praying or talking to the Lord for 5 years. Can you imagine a Prophet not seeking guidance of the Lords people for 5 years? Yet he worked it out and ended up seeing the finger of God.
I could go on but I think you get it: Men of God screw up just like regular people. Oh, wait...they have some regular in them too. I don't say these things to justify those mistakes I say them so as not to be disillusioned when it happens because it will happen.
God made one perfect man, Jesus Christ. And as long as the rest of us have agency there will be mess ups, even in the Church. And Every church has them. Well then if every church has them, why stick with the LDS church? That's for you to figure out. I'm not in the business of convincing anyone that my Church is the church to belong to. I leave that to The Lord and his Holy Spirit of promise.
Even member from time to time need to take a time out to come to the conclusion of what they really believe and stand for. I've had non active members come up to me and say "Because the blacks couldn't have the priesthood I left the church." Um... Ok. or "I'm leaving the church until.....(fill in the blanks)" Alrighty... see ya. Just as there is a difference of being in the world and not of the world, there is a difference of being In the church and not of the church. Or even of being in the church and not in the church building.
Confession: Lately I have been on to be in the church but not in the building. Some consider me less active and that's fine. Because my membership is in my testimony not the pew. And when I do make it to the building it's my own desire and thirst that gives me the strength and desire to want to be back in the building. Sometimes when I do go I'm sick to stomach, and popping mints and anxious. And other times I'm fine. Right now it's a crap shoot, but it's MY crap shoot and I can't succeed if I don't try.
For those of us who are conditional members I say this:
Part of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Sticking with the Gospel
and the Church Through it's growing pains, struggles, weaknesses and awakenings and strengthening and Joyful times. If we believe this is truly The Lord's Church, then we truly believe that He is going to make the needed corrections and adjustments when we, the people of the church are ready to abide. If we don't believe it's truly the Lord's church, then personally, i think it best to leave, then to wait for it to be 100% correct because it will never happen as long as man lives to make mistakes. But that's also part of our Faith and Testimony... Hang around until we get it right. I'm reminded of our parenting. We can't just throw away and turn our back our children as they learn and grow only to reconnect with them years later down the road when they have come to proper light and knowledge. The reason we're asked to ENDURE is because it can and will get tough and ugly before it is blessed with the full perfection of the Lord. * and yea it sucks. But so does life sometimes and many of us aren't trying to opt of of life... so get a helmet*