Suffering

The LDS Church has changed its doctrine on apostasy to now include those who “are in a same-gender marriage.” By extension, the children of such couples are also being punished: they can not be blessed in the Church, and in order to receive ordinances must disavow the marriage of their parents.

My heart aches over this. “Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.” How can we be so blind to the teachings of Christ? “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” How can we punish children for the actions of their parents? “Men shall be punished for their own sins.” Why do we hedge up the way to those who wish to receive ordinances? “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Witnessing this, I feel like Amulek, when he was compelled to watch the executions of others with Alma:

And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.

Like Amulek, I weep for those who will suffer because of this monstrous change. I weep for the men, women, and children who will be persecuted by the ignorant and idolators. I weep for my children, who are growing up and heard this hatred and bile spewed forth from those who should be their guides. And, I weep for those who perpetuate hatred and intolerance, whether knowingly or not.

And like Amulek, I want to stretch forth my hands, and exercise the power of God which is in me, and save them from the flames. I desire strength like Nephi, when he cried “O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.”

But, like Alma, “I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.”

I must stretch forth my hands, and exercise the power of God which is in me, and save them from the flames. No “miracle” from God is needed: just the miracle of one who is willing to act.

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One thought on “Suffering

  1. I had an epiphany recently about 3 Nephi 18:25: “And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.”

    Usually when we talk about temptation, we are referring to lust and various physical appetites like sex, drugs, food, wealth, power, etc. But that doesn’t make sense in this context. What I realized is that any time we turn someone away or exclude someone, no matter the reason, we put ourselves in grave danger of becoming proud and condescending, just like the worshippers on Rameumptom. In some ways that is a worse sin than indulging physical appetites. Just see D&C 46:7 for more about the spiritual consequences of exclusion and pride…

    Thanks for the post!

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