Monday, October 3, 2016

Competing Messages during General Conference

I had one particular thought from General Conference that I want to share here. It isn't new to me, but I think it is important at a time when different views often cause strife and bitterness: 
As often is the case, there were two talks about God and his love that showed the different views of individual leaders. One was closer to universal, long-suffering love, grace, and mercy, while the other was closer to conditional love leading to judgment dependent on obedience. (Those are broad approximations, so please don't nitpick them.) 
I know it drives some people nuts to have such different perspectives taught at General Conference, but I WANT differing views preached by the leadership, specifically because it illustrates that differing views among the membership are okay. In this case, I can focus on one and set aside the other - and the person sitting in front of me in church can do the same thing but focus on the talk I set aside. That is a good thing.  
Seriously, I LOVE the fact that not all the talks contain similar messages and that some simply don't move me - or even that some teach things with which I disagree. 
I hope none of my friends want total uniformity and homogeneity in the Church, since there is a richness in full orchestral music that is absent strictly in a melody, so we shouldn't pine for it in these talks. We should celebrate the simple fact that even our top leaders see some foundational things differently, be thankful some of them resonate more deeply within us than others, and be happy that there can be something for everyone at some point in the meetings.


ji said...

I tend to think of these differing perspectives as complementary, rather than competing. Like the blind men and the elephant. The same person will appreciate different perspectives at different stages in life. The young mother sees a difficult child and has a valid perspective from her stage and role as mother -- but her own mother sees the same difficult child and has a different yet still valid perspective. Two different and complementary perspectives -- who is to say which is right?

Papa D said...

I agree, jI.

I like a both/and approach much more than an either/or outlook in most cases.