I have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating, I am conflicted many times in Church. But something mentioned in an earlier Relief Society lesson really spoke to me. It was something former President Lorenzo Snow said:
Stick to the ship of Zion. If boats come to the side, showing beautiful colors and making wonderful promises, do not get off the ship to go to the shore on any other boat; but keep on the ship. If you are badly used by any of those that are on the ship, who have not got the proper spirit, remember the ship is allright. We should not allow our minds to become soured because of anything that the people on the ship may do to us, the ship is allright, and the officers are allright, and we will be right if we stick to the ship. I can assure you it will take you right into the land of glory.
This really spoke to me. There are so many times that I hear things that bother me. That seem to fly in the face of Christ's teachings. I so often go back to what Christ taught in the 22nd chapter of Matthew:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
So many things I hear in church and in the news from Christians seem to fly in the face of this. My reading of this is that God wants us love to all His children. Not just those that look like yourself. I feel that one of the reasons there are so many different peoples on this Earth is because God is testing us. If everyone were the same, it would be easy to love your neighbor. But when your neighbor is different, whether a different sex, race, gender, or sexual orientation, it shouldn't matter.
The other problem I have is when they condemn all those outside the church. There are so many good people that are not just not Christian, Jew, or Muslim, but they are violently anti-religion. Yet they have some (if not most) of the same ethical mores as the rest of us do. Why is this? Perhaps it's because some of the things churches teach are in conflict not just with their ethical viewpoint but also conflicting with the things that the prophets and the Savior teach in their holy books.
Was Christ intolerant? Is God a respecter of persons? No. He is not. The Bible does not teach that. Not at all.
Many Christians state that the world today is immoral and the family is being harmed by these godless atheists and liberals. Well, this god-fearing liberal says no. The problem is very simple. It's when men and women put material concerns and money ahead of God. It's when men and women put their carnal comforts and pleasures before God. Why do people commit crimes if not for their own personal comforts and pleasures, after all?
I will say, of course, that belief in God and the acceptance of Christ as your Savior will help in this. But beyond that we need to be teaching the correct things in our churches. And we need to stop teaching things that God would not thank us for spreading in His name.
There are many people on my "ship of Zion" that are spreading things that I believe are not in God's nature, but I'm sticking to the ship regardless.
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