Thursday, November 19, 2015

Helaman 2-3

(November 6, 2015)
                There is an expectation that we have that people within the Church (or even the Church itself) will treat us fairly.  I can certainly understand that expectation, and for 99% of my experiences with the Church that has held true.  And even for the 1% of the time when it is not true, that doesn’t make the Church untrue – just because there are those who treat the Church as their own personal billy club doesn’t mean that it is not the Kingdom of God on Earth and more than the fact that some people misuse their physical bodies doesn’t mean that God didn’t create them.

                In my case, I can empathize with those who are described in these chapters.  Like them, I am struggling through a time period when the pride that has crept in to some people within the Church has led to a great deal of pain in my life.  I can only describe what has happened to me as persecutions generated by pride, as those who would hide what they did instead cast stones at me.  I will also admit that, as of today, I was struggling quite a bit to deal with those stones and in my mind being quite focused on the ‘unfairness’ of it all (as if the Atonement doesn’t fully and completely make everything already unfair in my favor).

                But reading this today I feel to be a great blessing.  I was able to see the response of those who had to wade through much affliction brought about by their fellow Church members – people who should be supportive of them but who, for reasons of their pride, instead became their persecutors.  But in spite of (perhaps because of) these persecutions those who waded through this affliction ultimately received purification and sanctification of their hearts from yielding them to God.

                The template is made clear for me.  I am in the same position they found themselves in.  Will I fast and pray oft?  Will I wax stronger in humility and firmer in my faith in Christ?  Will I continue to strive to yield my heart unto God?  If so, this time (even with the persecution and the affliction) will be a great blessing to me and something that I will look back on with gratitude.

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