Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Misguidedly seeking for a "voice in the church"

I read a well intentioned blog post about women worried about "having a voice in the church" that made well intended arguments, but in reality I felt that while the poster meant well, the key issues seem to really be the question of whether we have faith in the following two scriptures, one of which teaches that the Lord hears his children's pleas and responds with good things, and one of which teaches that the Lord leads this church. It is his church, not the church of a mortal man. This is not a grassroots church, it is a church led by revelation.

JST Matt 7:17-20 What man among you, having a son, and he shall be standing out, and shall say, Father, open thy house that I may come in and sup with thee, will not say, Come in, my son; for min is thine, and thine is mine?
18 Or what man is there among you, who, if is son ask bread, will give him a stone?
19 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
20 If yet then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

D&C 1:38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

The question asking women to tell whether their voice has been heard from the church seems like a step back from these two principles. After all, trying to "have a voice" in the church and trying to "steady the ark" are close relatives. 

I am not one that has any prominence in my local ward or stake. But I think the way we really have a voice in the church is by silencing our own voice and listening to the whispers of the Holy Ghost. Then we will have a voice in the church, but it will hardly, if ever, be the voice of influencing administration, of making big visible decisions. Instead it will be the voice the Savior chose, healing the man at Bethesda, who was beneath everyone else's help. It will be the voice the Savior chose, teaching the gospel to strangers and friends. It will be the voice the Savior chose, comforting the suffering and teaching the gospel to all who will hear. It will be the voice the Savior chose, speaking out against the sins of our day, and admonishing individuals to sin no more. It will be the voice the Savior chose because it will be the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, speaking to us the will of the Father. 

It will also be the voice that comforts our little children's sorrows, rejoices in their joys and teaches them the doctrines of the gospel. That voice wants the little children to gather round us, and be blessed by our hand, rather that worrying about whether it influenced local administration. 

Do we love Christ for his tenderness for the forgotten individual, but want to ensure we ourselves are having enough influence in church decisions? Turn to President Monson's story of the man getting his mansion in heaven, who finds that all his well known good works were rewarded on earth, and there is only a small shack left for him in Heaven. 

I honestly think those God calls to prominent positions are those who have not sought for voice and influence in the church, but have silenced their desire for self assertion in meek submission to the whisperings of the spirit. Remember that Joseph could not even touch the golden plates until he had put aside any temptation to use them for anything but building the kingdom of God. All desires for self aggrandizement had to be vanquished. That is also the epitome of how Christ lived. 

As one who has no prominence I would say that as I see it, our doctrine is that there if one wants a voice in the church, silence your own self assertion and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, building the kingdom without regard to your audience as Christ did.

I close by making an observation I am fond of. There are a few activities one can do in the church that are accompanied by a raw spiritual power not found in anything else. I think it is no coincidence that none of them require a calling. The real powerhouse experiences are not administrative. Instead they are kept open for all to partake of freely. They are preaching the gospel (not merely being polite to nonmembers) redeeming our dead ancestors, and saving our families. God has prepared the truly great spiritual activities for us as a feast as it were for us to dine on at will. No calling required. One might say, it is as if the field of spiritual power is white, already to harvest, and anyone with desires to serve God is called to help with that work.

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