Thanks for the Article. I always enjoy feasting on words of truth and encouragement found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; helping with our journey in this world of untruths and dispair...
Very well written, and I appreciate your quotes and references. As a youth on a military airbase, before I was a member of the Church, I saw the following on the wall of a Post Exchange. I was so taken by it that I stood there and memorized it.
"I dreamed I died the other night and heaven's gates swung wide.
With kindly grace an angel, ushered me inside.
And there to my astonishment, stood folks I'd known on earth.
Some I'd judged and labeled as unfit and of little worth.
Angry words rose to my lips, but never were set free.
For every face showed stunned surprise - no one expected me!"
Perhaps this is not 'doctrinally sound', but always gives me pause to ponder, in judgmental situations.
Thank you for this! It was like a hug and a "hang in there"! I needed this.
Thank you for this beautiful article. Those that accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ have one imperative when it comes to dealing with those that do not accept the gospel: to love them as Christ does.
It is common to feel hurt when someone leaves the church. It can feel like an assault on our own faith. I felt sorrow recently when a friend left the church in a rather public manner. But I was further saddened by the sharp responses of some active church members. I understood that they were lashing about because they felt threatened. I wish, however, that they would have extended love, care, and concern.
Some other active church members went too far in their attempt to express care for the wayward soul, condoning and even celebrating their friend's estrangement from the church. Neither approach strikes me as something the Savior would do. This article points out a better way.
And excellent article; very instructive and inspiring. I do have one correction ... The story of God and the clipboard with B+ on it is from S. Michael Wilcox in his talk "When All Eternity Shook."
It is too bad you did not include the rest of the quote in footnote #5. The half-quote above reminds me of proof-texting. Here is the remainder: "and at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be." (Teachings, p. 257.)
This article brought me to tears. It perfectly describes the infinite perspective of a God who never gives up on us, who believes in our innate goodness, who has offered (and is still offering) His life, His grace, His "last and great sacrifice" to us all, for us all. It is true that mercy cannot rob justice, but mercy can, through persuasion, patience, kindness and long-suffering, eventually satisfy justice. Thank you, Andy (and all the Proctors) for this exquisite testimony of God as the Restoration reveals Him to us.
To stevie mckenna: The phrasing was, "will have the OPPORTUNITY to have it." Perfectly clear.
Stevie, it's well within the purview of the gospel to provide for the salvation of those who choose in this life to follow one of the well-worn but false paths. As pointed out in the article, Christ wants all of us to accept Him, on His terms. But what you, and many others, seem to be missing is that this life is not a 'do it right or die' proposition. My mother remained faithful to her Lutheran upbringing her whole life, even though she had many contacts with the restored gospel, had seen the positive changes in the 2 of her 4 children who embraced it, and knew that what the missionaries told her was true. She felt she needed to remain in the church, and with its people, that she loved and knew best. She did a great deal of good there, and was beloved by all her friends there. After she passed away, my sister and I did her temple work and sealed her to our father, who had passed several years before. She was there as we did the work, and I have felt her presence there several times as I attended the temple over the years.
The whole point to the article is that our understanding of salvation is incomplete and constricted by our lack of perspective. It would behoove us to be as forgiving and loving as we possibly can, and leave the decision-making up to the Lord. The laborers in the parable who were hired first were angry because those who had only worked an hour got paid the same amount as those who had worked all day. There is nothing misleading. What the Lord looks at as being "acceptable" to Him is obviously not what we look at. But His opinion is the only one that truly matters.
My husband and I are the only members of the church from each of our families. Our six children have chosen not to be active in the church. We are sandwiched between generations who don't embrace the Restored Gospel. I have never forgotten a comment by a brother-in-law who said he thought God sent him to earth just to annoy and challenge his family members. I've often thought of that and how the virtues of patience, learning unconditional love, and serving and enduring without family support, has made us stronger. I wonder if balancing these relationships with our understanding of the Gospel is what we needed in our lives as a refiners fire, and I have learned that the mercy and provisions of the Lord extend further than I could have imagined. I pray every day for my family who are members to return and those who are not to listen and embrace the fullness of the Gospel, but in the meantime, I am the one who needs to love and have deep gratitude for the faith of my "fathers" which brought me to the point of joining this church.
I would be more clear in your comment that "all who desire eternal life will have it whether Jewish, Catholic,Hindu, etc." Clearly since the gospel was restored it has to be embraced by all Heavenly Fathers children. The highest kingdom requires all the ordinances as you know. There has to be change not just the attitude of "it's ok whatever I choose to believe because God loves us all'. It's just a little misleading.
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