Once again, I find myself attempting to find the right words to convey the thoughts that have been swirling in my mind since yesterday morning when I first saw the article from the Salt Lake Tribune on a recent policy update that affects homosexual couples and the children raised by them. One of the things I find most intruding is the way that this issue swirls controversy and contention like few others. I have observed people on Facebook arguing the way this position seems contradictory to the idea of a loving God and a church that espouses the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
These storms of controversy are opportunities either to see one’s faith strengthened. And when I talk of faith, faith sits on either side of the issue. Either it strengthens your view that the position taken by the church is an outreach of the mercy of a loving God, or it strengthens your view that the Church is in error and continually leading its members contrary to a loving God and the way he would have people who claim to believe in him to act.
Now is a time to remember the words of Helaman who taught his sons to “…remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall (Helaman 5:12).”
Regardless of how many times others try to claim otherwise, I believe that the LDS church has at its core an earnest desire to bring people to Christ. The paths we take to reach him are varied and diverse. My own path seems to have led further from him than closer in years past due to my desire for independence and autonomy and my own lack of patience with the often slow way that the atonement works. And therein, I think, is so many other’s struggle with some of the positions the church takes.
The entire purpose of the atonement of Christ, as I understand it, is to literally make us “at one” with him. The atonement is provided to cleanse us and purify us in a way that our thoughts, words, and actions become his. One of the great foibles of today’s generation is the desire for instant gratification. I am no exception. Anybody with access to these words is likely in a position where food is readily available, shelter is overhead, numerous comforts are afforded us that even 100 years ago, the inhabitants of that time would never be able to imagine.
In such an environment, I suppose it is easy to see why God would take his time in making certain things happen. If God wants us to be “at one” with him, why does it take us so long to get there? Why does even the church seem to put what seems like barriers in the way of us reaching him? Why would someone who says he loved his children so much that he provided his only begotten son as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire human race communicate delays to people achieving all the blessings they desire?
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Provers 3:5-6).”
These words can provide either comfort or frustration. They can provide comfort in the fact that if we put our faith in God and trust that he truly loves us and desires nothing more than to provide all the blessings we hope to have will be given, we will receive them; but it’s the timing that can be frustrating.
God’s will cannot be bent to ours. He may appear to meet our selfish desires as he did in the case of Martin Harris when he was granted the opportunity to take the translated pages of the Book of Mormon, but ultimately that appeasement led to those pages being lost. Ultimately, our will must bend to God’s. The media and popular culture are seldom interested in such an endeavor. They seek only what they see as just only in the way they think it should be meted out to them.
The plan of salvation ultimately has at its core the, “immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39).” One of the fundamental bases for this work is based on the family and its continued growth. Considering fundamental biology, it is difficult to see where homosexuality fits into the plan. However, the promise is, and always has been, that all those who seek to fulfill this plan for themselves will have the opportunity to do so. We must be patient. And I think this is the entire reason the church has taken the position it has. The policy is not derived from a desire to deny anyone the blessings of God, but only to ensure an appropriateness of timing.
It is important to remember that we are not only who we are now. Just as God is an eternal being, so too, are we, though we are a little further back on the train of progression. We existed long, long, long before we came to exist in this state of mortality. We will go on to exist long, long, long, loooooooong after this state of mortality and the storms of this life will ultimately be forgotten or will be put into perspective of a chance to either grow closer to or further from a God who only wants to bless us.