Friday, June 19, 2009

Thoughts to Ponder

I had an great conversation with a cousin this week as our children played together. She and her family stopped attending church about five years ago due to their own issues with church policies and subsequent disagreements over such with local leaders (not gay related, but liberal thinking). I was sad to find out that her husband's family have reacted much worse to them leaving the church than Scott's family has reacted to our changes in thinking. It is very sad that stalwart members of the church that call themselves by the name of Christ would forgo inviting family to events like Thanksgiving and Christmas over something like church attendance.

She has an awesome quote from Galileo on the wall in her home:

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

She pointed it out to me in response to my telling her about a talk at the recent women's conference in my stake. I also mentioned the talk to my sister today, who is a very active member of the church with a strong testimony. Her response: false doctrine. As members of the church, we are not to act as sheep, following blindly to whatever our leaders ask of us.

So where has this attitude come from? And how do we know that the leaders of the church are not wolves in sheep's clothing leading us astray unless we pray about it, seek the guidance of the spirit, and follow what the Lord would have us do?

How many of the rules and regulations that we follow as members of the church are truly inspired? Either my mom or Scott told me once that the reason coffee was against the word of wisdom is that Brigham Young thought it was too expensive, and so it was on a list of things that they should not purchase to bring across the plains with them. So thus it was banned. I have no idea if this is really true or not, but it is interesting.

Another thing that Scott has found interesting lately is tithing. Tithing began in the early church as an easier law following the law of consecration. It started as 10% of ones surplus after living expenses, not 10% of gross income. That changed with Lorenzo Snow when the church was in need of finances for building temples, etc. But I believe the church is no longer in need of all the tithing income they bring in, especially if they can spare so much of it for funding things like campaigns against gay marriage. For some people, they can barely live on the income they bring in without paying tithing, so paying 10% on their gross income is a harder law than the law of consecration. 10% of someone's increase, or extra money after necessary bills are paid, makes much more sense, doesn't it? Something I will have to ponder and pray about, I think.

Hmmm. The gospel is true. The purpose of the church is to help us live the gospel, and I suppose also to obtain the necessary ordinances. But if it gets to the point that the church is not the best thing to help us live the gospel, then is it better to leave and find our own way of living as Christ would have us live?

Wouldn't it be better as leaders and members of the church if we paid more attention to love and service than to rules and regulations?

No, I have no plans to leave the church, but who knows what the future might bring.  I only pray that my future path will be the one that God wants me to follow.


HappyOrganist said...

Holy cow. People dropping like FLIES !

Anonymous said...

I LOVE that quote from Galileo! Love it!

HappyOrganist said...

Sarah, You are *so depressing me. Stop it, stop it, stop it!
Go to church tomorrow. Have fun. cheer someone up (not me. go FIND someone in your ward and CHEER them up!)
ever yours (well not really)
- Joylin ;)

[that said, and lest you get the wrong impression of me or us as a family, my husband and kids will probably be home tomorrow while I'm playing in sacrament meeting. then I'll probably come home and trade places with my husband. he has to teach gprinciples tomorrow. we have a hard time getting all three of the kids ready lately..and baby likes to nap right when it's time to leave. those are our excuses. we have more if you need 'em]
anyway - just giving a clearer picture of who I am (and who we are). ;-)

really. be more Positive! so depressing...

you can leave - and blame your local leader for 'making' you leave. i'll blame you for 'making' me depressed. [see how rational it all is?]

Anonymous said...

I know it is hard but please please don't leave we need you!

Sarah said...

Goodness gracious, people. Not leaving. Already said that. Chill. Let me vent, let me blog, let me ponder and explore.

Church was good--blog post later IF I have time. Lots of stuff to do today!

Happy Father's day to all you men out there!

drakames said...

I really like reading your blog, because it seems to me that you put a lot of thought into the things you write, and I appreciate that. I find too myself thinking a lot about the church and the gospel and wondering if they've drifted too far apart. It's nice to read your perspective on it. Thanks Sarah!

Sarah said...

drakames, thank you for your comment.

I was thinking just a few minutes ago that maybe I should remove this particular post, but I like to stay authentic to my blog and post what I am thinking about and dealing with. I guess I was feeling guilty about what might be thought of as evil speaking against my stake president. I think he is a great man and has given some wonderful talks; I just happen to not agree with his most recent one.

Thank you for reminding me, though, what my blog is really about, and helping me to stay true to its purpose!

Good to be Free said...

Thank you Sarah for not deleting this post. I'm glad that are able talk honestly and openly about what you are thinking about. Don't censor yourself, it won't help you sort through stuff. My wife and I both really appreciate your insights and always look forward to your posts.

Over the Rainbow said...

You know Sarah, one of our mutual friends is worried that all the people he touches lose their testimonies! :P

I know how you feel though, but I don't think the Lord will let us stray too far. He will compensate for any problems that are a result of us following His rules, including all current revelation (whether its from Him or just the prophet).

And the law of tithing comes from the Old Testament, it was a Jewish thing way before it was a Mormon thing :P I agree that the Church might not be using our tithing for the correct purposes, but I have a testimony that when I pay tithing I always receive financial blessings.

Things are going to change, and for now we have to walk the thin line of following Christ and the Church leaders to the best of our ability. The Church will collapse without the last of the truly Christlike people. We need to open the door and keep reaching our hands out to those who've been pushed away.