Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Thy Will Be Done"

I have had an epiphany this week about why it is so hard for me to pray in a "formal" manner privately, but I need to think about it some more before I post about it - if I do. Suffice it to say for now, it revolves around my acceptance of "Thy will be done" and how I view asking for intervention to influence what I naturally want to happen in my life.

Instead of a normal resolutions post, I am going to post something I wrote recently about the need to value each other and the unique voice and view we can bring as individuals to the orchestra that should be the Church. It was written to address the question of how those who struggle to accept something about the Church or the Restored Gospel can overcome their tendency to want to break free from what they initially see as the cause of their struggle:

I know this is simplistic, but it really is about learning to be comfortable with yourself enough that you are willing to sacrifice some things for the group - even some things that seemed important when it was all about you. I'm NOT saying it is "wrong" to be in the stage when it is all about you. That's a pretty good definition of the initial reaction to things that challenge one's faith, and it simply is inevitable for those who run headfirst into a wall at some point in their lives.

The key, in my opinion, is to stop trying to get around or over the wall, so you can be on the other side. The key, in my opinion, is to learn to take apart the wall so there no longer is anything separating you - no "sides" to cause competition and clash, if you will.

Elder Wirthlin spoke of valuing all instruments in the orchestra, not just the piccolos. Joseph Smith said that we "claim the privilege of worshiping God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow ALL men (and women) everywhere the same privilege, let them worship how, when or what they may." It's easy to forget that "all" and "everywhere" includes those who struggle and worship differently than the "norm" inside the LDS Church just as much as it includes those outside the LDS Church. Of course, there are certain lines that can't be crossed without causing someone to be excluded from official designation of "member", but the natural (wo)man tends to draw those lines far too narrowly and ends up excluding the trumpets and bassoons and bagpipes that otherwise would add beautiful harmony to the orchestra if allowed to stay and play with the piccolos.

In these matters, too, I believe we need to be willing to say, "Thy will be done."

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