Friday, August 16, 2013

Dare To Be A Mormon

*The following is not a hypothetical situation. It is based on several actual events and communications that are taking place on a churchwide scale.

Open Letter from a church member to a local church leader:

Dear Brother ----------,

    If the wicked world weren’t what it is, and supposedly righteous people weren’t increasingly bending over backward to accommodate it, I would be astonished at the email you sent me this week. Underneath all the smooth talk, in essence you are attempting to use your priesthood position to stop me from appropriately teaching and commenting in church meetings on how pervasive current wickedness applies to the gospel, and also from sharing my beliefs with friends and fellow church members outside of meetings.

   It may surprise you that all the arguments you are using to persuade me to avoid essential gospel topics (man's sinful nature, Christ as Redeemer, the possibility of repentance, and how the current trend to accept homosexualism applies) have been tried on me many times before. If nothing I say is untrue, if I say it in an appropriate way in an appropriate setting, you must be acting on complaints you have received or because you yourself feel uncomfortable. If the saints feel uncomfortable with truth and reality, all encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have a problem. And the problem does not lie with the messenger but with the hearers.

Here are some brief responses to your points:

You say that talking about sin may tempt someone toward it. Again, this is up to the hearer. In a Church of Jesus Christ setting, this excuse is a total cop-out. Today, the church and the family are the last holdouts where principles of truth and righteousness must still be expressed and applied freely.

You say if I talk about these things I'll lose my audience. Another cop-out. If we stand for any sort of absolute truth nowadays (for example, if we're brave enough to stand against the gay juggernaut), many people will turn their backs on us no matter how nicely we put it. So we have to decide whom we will serve. Pretending there is no sin doesn't help anybody; it actually condemns us all.

You say the members know all this stuff and don't need to hear it. It upsets them. Yes, some may understand what's happening, but most do not. And it is upsetting. But we need to care enough to fight this fight rather than bury our heads in the sand. Evidence shows that none of us are immune to the cunning craftiness of the devil and many are gradually being taken in. Naivety and pride make us especially vulnerable.

You warn me to be careful,expressing your personal decision not to speak up on current sexual morality issues because of the harm it might do to your professional reputation. Whoa! We aren’t supposed to care about our social position or what people think of us when it comes to taking a stand. We have made covenants to sacrifice any and everything.

You seem to think that Zion can be built up using the methods of Babylon, as in neglecting to stand for God and goodness. Whoa again! Christ and morality are inseparable. If we leave out morality, we leave out Christ. In this way Zion can quickly and easily become Babylon.

   Dear friend and brother in the gospel, do you really want to live in a ward that chastises and silences the few who are brave enough to occasionally and appropriately testify against the wickedness of our times? Where will that take us? I, and my family,  would love to feel a fellowship with the saints as brothers and sisters in Christ. But increasingly, we no longer feel it. My wife still has the little plaque she hung on her wall as a young person that said,

Dare to be a Mormon
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known.

She thinks it should now be changed to:

Dare to be a Mormon
Dare to make it known
Funny, it’s in church today
You’ll find yourself alone!

Still steadfast,
A member