I have been doing a lot of searching and pondering lately – but probably not as much praying as I should.
My mind has been full of thoughts in the past several weeks, which may be why I have postponed writing anything for the blog. I guess I just feel like there is too much to write, I don’t know where to begin. There is so much confusion in this world that I believe could be resolved with a clear understanding of the doctrines of Christ – an understanding it seems some very public members of the Church are lacking.
Ironically, one of the other problems with much of the public discussion I have found involves members of the Church either making claims of doctrinal issues with the Church when the actual doctrine says nothing of the sort, or making a statement about perceived attitudes and behaviors that “the members” of the Church or “the culture” of the Church produces. It just seems as if the most vocal members of the Church are those who are dissatisfied. And that is anyone is fully satisfied with the Church, they are considered to be “unintellectual” or somehow brainwashed, or chauvinistic, or otherwise criticized. But those who would criticize Church culture and speak negatively about Church doctrine, or suggest that the general membership of the Church does not understand Church doctrine are lauded as “intellectuals” and has somehow having a point.
I think there is significance in asking questions. After all, the pattern of revelation is that we ask questions. However, I feel that far too often the members in the public eye who are asking questions are not seeking revelation, but are rather seeking change in doctrine, or they simply want to complain about how wrong they thing the Church is… yet they still want to claim they are faithful members of the Church.
As I have been exposed to these influences (those who would criticize the Church while claiming to remain faithful to it) I have asked similar questions to the ones they have posed, yet in a spirit of seeking revelation and inspiration – and the beautiful thing is that I have received personal revelation about gospel principles. I feel as if my understanding has been enlarged in a substantial way in the past several months, and I am grateful for that opportunity.
At the same time, my soul is still in a little turmoil wondering how I can reach out to those who seem confused or those who lack faith. How do we encourage those who are not exercising faith to do so? When Elder Perry asked us to follow the spirit as we decide to add our voice to an online discussion, I didn’t think it would be so heartbreaking to refrain when required. I have added my voice to a few discussions in the online world where I have felt prompted to do so, yet even in doing so I remain in a state of turmoil, wondering what I can do to help those around me see what I see.
How do we help people see what we see? How do we help them have what we have? Can we ever do it?
I feel so blessed with the understanding of the gospel and testimony that I have, and my greatest desire is that others can have the same understand and testimony. I do not know everything, but I feel like what I have helps me understand even more complex principles of the gospel – which are all actually very basic, once you get over looking at them through a mortal lens.
I don’t really even know if this post made any sense beyond just me rambling – I just felt like I needed to get some of this out of me and on paper where it mattered (not that it really matters on this blog – but maybe someone will find this and read it and maybe they will be able to help me, or maybe this will help them, or maybe a comment one of you will make will help someone – who knows).
So I guess my point is that in all of these questions and issues that have been coming up in the public forum I have done a lot of searching (the scriptures, books, articles, websites, etc) and a lot of pondering on these subjects, and yet in spite of my feelings of testimony and understand I still feel disquieted.
And as I thought of a title for this post, I realized that the missing key is prayer. I have not prayed about all these things that have been a whirlwind in my mind. Perhaps as I take my turmoil to the Father in prayer He can help quiet my soul and put me at peace and help me find a way to express these thoughts that are laying deep inside me, waiting for something.