Friday, July 18, 2014

Why Can "Outsiders" Sometimes See the Beauty Among Us Better than We Can?

I was participating in a group discussion once in which one of the people asked the following question, and my response follows the question:

Why does it take a non-member sometimes to remind us of why Mormonism is so wonderful?

Because a non-member can admire Mormonism from (somewhat) afar without having to work in the trenches amid the tension between the ideal and the real.

He can be the observer; we are the farmers - working in the mud and the muck and the manure trying to grow something beautiful and sweet. We need the observers, but we need the farmers just as much, if not more. Without the farmers, the observers would have nothing to observe.

I also loved the focus on "pure Mormonism" in his article. Yes, it gets messy in the trenches, when "The Church" (the collective "We actually are") doesn't match the ideal for which we long - but the underlying grandeur and mind-blowing expansiveness of the core, pure theology shines through our pitiful attempts to understand and live it when the light hits the diamonds just right, so to speak. Even after all these years, I still get blinded by the light when I step back a bit and let it shine.

To change analogies, it's even more brilliant when the full orchestral sound washes around me and penetrates my soul (body and spirit combined) - when I experience those moments of communal harmony that make my heart-strings hum and vibrate in tune with it all.

I wish so badly that the entire Church was like that - even if only somewhat regularly. I wish each ward and branch and stake had those moments on a somewhat regular basis - when Zion emerges and flows inward and outward - when the concept and the principle of the City of Enoch (another grand allegory and symbol, in my opinion) comes into focus a bit more clearly and I actually can understand what it might be like to be caught up into heaven with people I love and who love me. I know it's not like that fully, even in my own ward that really is wonderful in so many ways - and I understand why others get disheartened when they never experience it week after soul-numbing week - but I have seen it, can see it and know it's possible - and "pure Mormonism" is why I have seen it, can see it and know it's possible.

It's easy to forget our own positive experiences in the middle of other, more difficult experiences, and, sometimes, it takes an observation by someone not immersed in those difficulties to remind us of why it's all worth it. 

No comments: