Thursday, October 17, 2013

i would walk 500 miles.

Can I just say, I think it is incredible how far the church has come.

Let's check the facts: we have had a Mormon (a good one at that!) run for president. We have had thousands [74,900 to be exact] of young people change their whole lives around because the missionary age requirement has been lowered. There are 141 operating temples with 15 under construction and 14 announced. We have more than 14 million members. And now we see things like this. Complete strangers who actually know something about our church! It really is a miracle! *More statistics here*

I am so humbled when I think about everything that the early pioneers had to go through just to get to a place where they could live in peace & righteousness. Persecution beyond what I could ever imagine, family members & friends dying left and right, time that I'm sure seemed to pass so slowly that it was painful. I'm sure it was a lonely time for every single member of the church. It's hard to maintain a testimony among extreme trials and tribulations...but they did. And with a joyful heart! It's just beyond moving. to me. 

What is hard for me to see these days are those that mock us. You see, I don't think we're much different than these truly inspiring pioneers. We may have more than they were ever given, but our trials are all the same. We are given what seems to be an impossible task--bringing the gospel to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” We have obstacles in our way, just as the pioneers.

Let's just say for kicks that we all die and the gospel turns out to be a big fat hoax. I have to say, I won't feel gypped! People think everything we do is so weird and everything we have to give up is so much and that our leaders force us to do all these things. Lemme tell ya something--no one makes us do anything! That's part of the whole point. We are given a choice. We can choose to follow Jesus Christ and his teachings given through the leaders and the scriptures, or choose another way. The gospel is not about sacrifice. The gospel means "good news." And the whole message can be wrapped up into two words: love & kindness.

I love this picture of the Savior. What I see is Jesus healing this man, who needs him and came to him for help and who believes in him. Christ is doing it in front of everyone, even though there are people murmuring and whispering around him. I feel like that is a perfect symbol of today. How desperate are all of us for help and healing? Or for answers? And yet, every time we try to get closer to Him, there is something that wants to say it's wrong, do it their way! Follow them! But that's not what we are taught. We are taught to come follow him. He will stand up for us and help us and be our redeemer even among those that mock him. He isn't swayed by them. He loves us so much that he is there for us any time, any place.

The picture above is one I love, but it's not my favorite. THIS one is.

I don't ever doubt the Savior. He has felt everything I feel--the good, the bad, and the ugly. He's been there next to me through it all and has still always greeted me with forgiving & loving arms. Everything in this world is changing and moral standards are shifting, everything is shifting! But the love the Savior has for everyone is exactly the same. In fact, I think it's has just increased as He's watched us stumble through life. I can't even imagine the heartbreak he felt for those pioneers and for us today. The whole environment we live in is an amazing, beautiful place, but it can feel lonely and scary too. I never got the chance to serve a mission, but I am still a member of this church. I have friends and I have family and as long as I know what I know, I don't think I could stand next to them in heaven and say, "Sorry I didn't tell you. I just thought..." That's not what the pioneers paved the way for. That's not what our prophets, old & new, paved the way for. That's not what missionaries have paved the way for. There were others brave enough to have a voice in a time when it wasn't the "cool" or "proper" thing to do, but they defended it with everything they had. I don't want to be a fence-sitter. I never really have been, but I need to make sure that I am passing my same blessings onto those who need it. I think it's pretty awesome that people are still standing as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. Yeah. We've come far and I'm excited for all that we have left to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What are you thinkin...?