Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Fullness" Includes Both the Beautiful and the Ugly

I have participated in hundreds of formal blessings in my life with the LDS Church - and some of them have been extraordinary.  

I love those experiences, even though they don't happen every time I participate in a blessing. I love the fact that "we" believe in practices like that, where people get together and pray over someone. I love the principle that underlies it and the communal faith-joining it provides. Also, there have been a handful of times over the course of my life when I really do believe the heavens were opened, so to speak, and I caught a glimpse of what being a conduit for pure revelation really means. I really cherish those experiences - but I had to participate in the mundane many to taste those unforgettable few.

Do formal blessings mean anything more than that - and are they possible elsewhere? Maybe, maybe not, but, deep down, I don't care all that much. I just appreciate the opportunity - and the fact that the opportunity is institutionalized in a way that gives me plenty of chances to be there for the special moments when they occur.

There really is a lot of unique beauty in this faith tradition of Mormonism - and the irony is that the more available we are to experience the beautiful, the more exposed we will be to the ugly. When we run away from the ugly, we also are, in a very real sense, rejecting the beautiful and settling for the bland.

Opposition in all things drives some people batty, but I've learned to appreciate the "fullness" of such a journey.  Thus, even though I want it eliminated, the ugly is just as important a piece of my faith as is the beautiful - and experiencing the beautiful makes the ugly bearable. 

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