I have had a lot of time do do some thinking. It was some thinking that has taken some time and experience.
I feel like I have been given a lot, especially lately. And for me that is what I have wanted for years. So, to have sought and found all of that is just exhilarating and precious to me. It was work! I had to navigate my own personal barriers and I had to navigate past all of the most sincere and well-intentioned voices that surround me to be taught by the the voice of the Lord. I just want the same blessing for everyone else that I sought for myself.
In hindsight, though, I treasure them because I sought them. I found them because I sought them. The truth is that even in the gospel we don’t all seek the same thing; our prayers may have similarities but they are all unique. I hope and pray that parts of them are consistently focused deeply on the highest purposes of our being here. I feel that many of our earnest desires focus on immediate goals insomuch that our pursuit of goodness and tackling each and every obstacle prevents us from discovering our true purpose.
I fear that we get distracted and feel frustrated or immensely accomplished playing spiritual “whack-a-mole.” This isn’t our purpose.
According to the Desire of Our Hearts
But this great Plan of Salvation that God has given us is designed to give us what we want and everything that God is able to bless us with after we have demonstrated what the desires of our hearts really are. We are all taught sufficiently and directed to scripture often enough that we are completely able to decide for ourselves.
The lessons I have learned have proved immensely effective at opening my eyes to the faults and sins and failures of our people. As such they prove equally effective at offending and infuriating many of the brothers and sisters around me… it shocked me. Likewise, I was surprised at the resistance our people have to repenting of nearly universal and easily observable sins we reserve or ignore for ourselves as Latter-Day Saints.
Such a scenario isn’t uncommon for God’s people in scripture, but we rarely recognize it as true for ourselves. So, I yield to desires of our people; being heard comes at great cost and with little benefit. As such, I won’t be writing to be heard, I will be writing to study, remember, treasure, and develop myself in the blessings that the Lord has given me. I’ll still write, but writing for others and myself is like trying to serve two masters – it can’t be done.
I need to be prepared to do the work that God has given me and apply those spiritual lessons and gifts I have yet to learn or acquire to bless those who God sends my way when the simplicity of the gospel naturally begins to give way to the complexity of the Gospel. For me that was a difficult transition – insomuch that I fully believed I was alone in actually observing and being attentive to the the truths that tend to burst the bubble of simplicity.
Most people I have encountered in the church have little understanding what I was thinking about, others tried to quickly and smoothly navigate me around such topics, while others appear to casually dismiss them without even processing them. I felt that there was truth and understanding I needed to incorporate in order to maintain my personal integrity, but I felt like there was nobody out there who could really discuss these complexities objectively; people appear too busy attacking or defending to acknowledge the whole situation. I hope to be that person whom I never had to whomever the Lord will send me.
They (we) need to know that we have a place among our people that we’re valued and that our contributions are welcomed more than they are feared. But we also need to learn and understand how to love, contribute, and serve among those who would naturally find us and/or our complexity threatening.
The Church does contain the fullness of the gospel though there are still many “great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” that we as a people and as and individuals are not prepared to receive. Surprisingly there’s a lot of such beauty plainly written in scriptures that we just need to “see.”
To me, there isn’t much more beautiful or exciting to me than discovering some massive life-altering, perspective-shifting, truth in the passages have read what feels like hundreds of time. It’s like spending my life driving through some amazing part of this earth and only noticing that trees are a beautiful green until one day – I see it! It is amazing how God hides truth in plain sight and I still feel like some adventurer in some exotic land.
But yes, the trees still are a beautiful green.