Friday, March 16, 2012

Dealing with Members Who Let Us Down

Perhaps the greatest irony or paradox within the LDS Church is that the foundational theology of Mormonism allows for exaltation of those outside the faith throughout time (and that's pretty easy for nearly all members to accept, since they don't see and live and are hurt by and deal with those people's weaknesses on a daily basis) - and that same theology also allows for the exaltation of those inside the faith (but it's harder for many members to accept that - since we tend to judge most and most harshly those whose weaknesses we see most clearly and are hurt by most directly, with ourselves often at the top of that list).

Perhaps the greatest test of real charity inside the Church is how we deal with members who have let us down from inside the Church - who can't live up to our expectations of them. Think about that in relation to how someone sees you who does not approve of your beliefs or actions - perhaps a less active or inactive friend, or perhaps a family member, or perhaps an evangelical co-worker - someone who can't seem to understand and accept and value you fully for who you are - someone who seems to judge you as being "less than" she is.

Are you doing the same thing to her?  

In a very real way, each and every one of us has let God down.  He could judge all of us as being "less than" He is - and He would be justified in doing so.  He knows our faults and weaknesses even better than we do - and, yet, He loves us regardless and is patient with us.  If we are striving to be more godly - more Christ-like, this is one thing we should strive to emulate above almost all else. 


Grant said...

Yeah. I think the Celestial Kingdom is going to be full of people we will be surprised to see there, assuming we actually make it. Of course, the attitudes leading to that surprise probably won't help us get there.

I mean, if the atonement really works, which I believe it does, that means it will be compensating for all kinds of mistakes that people made down here including some that people made that hurt us. And I certainly hope it works to cover the harms I have done to others!

Thomas Parkin said...

I loved this, Ray. Even more than I usually love what you've written. It was a timely read, for me.

Matthew said...

That is a really interesting take on imitating Christ, Ray. Very well put.