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The Relief Society President in our ward just published a new post on her blog. (How cool is that?! Our Relief Society President has a blog. *grin*) The following is an excerpt from that post (emphasis added):
During a conversation recently someone called another person "strange" and I had to point out that we are ALL strange in one way or another. Because we didn't all grow up in identical homes, raised by some universal manual of child-rearing we all view the world in different ways and tend to see others as being "strange or weird" when in reality we are just as strange and weird to them as they are to us. In the end it doesn't matter because we all have to learn to love and get along with others, no matter how differently they view the world. Besides, we might just learn a thing or two from their perspective, if we give them a chance.
(http://betchadidntknow.blogspot.com/200 ... tions.html
She gets it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)
Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
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That is a mature response and viewpoint. What a great person to be in charge of compassionate service.
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.
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That makes me think of Elder Haight's talk in GC in 1981 called People to People, one of my favorites. One part says:
Driving to the Los Angeles Airport with a busy radio executive, I learned that he and his wife, though born in the Church, had never participated. Their social life of parties and weekends for fun and escape dominated their lives.
After eight years of marriage and three children, they were becoming concerned about their lives but did nothing about it.
Different sets of home teachers came and went. A new home teacher—a true shepherd—came into their lives, and after a time this new home teacher committed this man to go to Church once. Brother Adamson said he would not give up smoking and drinking. He had made a firm resolve not to live the Word of Wisdom, and if he was not welcome in Church because of it, that was fine. The home teacher said, “You are welcome, and I will pick you up.”
The first Sunday Brother Adamson attended Church he waited for someone to move away from him because of the strong tobacco odor, but that didn’t happen. “They will ask me to pray or work in the Church,” he thought. That didn’t happen either.
The home teacher did not phone on Sunday mornings to give him a chance to make an excuse and back out but drove to his home and would say, “Are you ready?” This home teacher picked him up every Sunday for over a year.
The Adamsons began reading A Marvelous Work and a Wonder and found that the Church consisted of much more than just the Word of Wisdom, which he had heard so much about all his life (and because he didn’t live the Word of Wisdom, felt the Church had nothing to offer him).
This couple soon learned it is a Church of love, not a Church of fear. They learned of the mission of the Savior and of our Heavenly Father and of repentance. They became so proud of the Church they had been born into that the Word of Wisdom no longer was an important issue. He didn’t go through the pangs of quitting. It just happened. There were so many other principles of the gospel that now were so important in their lives.
He said, “I found myself working on our new chapel and then one day quietly telling the bishop, ‘I’m ready, now. You can call on me to pray.’ ”
I think there are examples of people in church who really "Get it" - and know people are more important than rules. Everyone is different, and that should strengthen the body of the church, while at the same time asking people to change to continue to progress at their own pace and to their own levels. Not to become all the same, but to become better (whatever that means).
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."