Saturday, November 7, 2015


My thoughts come because of the recent controversial topic of the new policies by the LDS church concerning same sex marriage and children. I have felt bothered, though not surprised, by the response of the news and social media to this new policy. I am concerned  when I see so many people express disappointment and anger geared toward leaders they have before trusted so immensely. I am an active member of the LDS church. I have not always understood the reasons behind policy changes. I have not always liked the policies of the church, especially when I have been on the receiving end of church discipline. But I have always known that they came from a loving Heavenly Father. I have not always been able to see the love behind policies, but when I ponder them with an open and willing heart I always find the love and compassion behind them.
I have recently been studying a talk by President Deiter F. Uchtdorf entitled, "What Is Truth?" I am glad I had an opportunity to study this talk right before this new policy came out.
President Uchtdorf asks the question, "What is truth?" He stated, "The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it."
Some would argue that truth cannot really be determined. Everyone has their own truth and who can argue that one person is right above another, unless proven? What about the things we can't prove? What about the existence of a God. An atheist's truth is that there is no God. A Christian's truth is that there is a God. But it goes further than that. A Catholic's truth is that there is a God, but that God is a spirit that includes both the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. A Mormon's truth is that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three different and distinct beings. So, which is true? Can we know? How can we know?
President Uchtdorf said, "Our Heavenly Father knew how difficult it would be for us to sift through all the competing noise and discover truth during our mortality. He knew we would see only a portion of the truth, and He knew that Satan would try to deceive us. So He gave us the heavenly gift of the Holy Ghost to illuminate our minds, teach us, and testify to us of the truth." 
Jesus spoke of this Spirit in John 14:16-17, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
As a Latter Day Saint we are encouraged to seek for a testimony of our own whether or not the principle of the gospel are true. We are taught that the Holy Ghost will confirm truth to our minds and hearts. We are taught to trust in that Spirit. We are taught to live worthy of that Spirit so we can continue to receive it and trust it and obey it. We are taught that this is the way to true happiness. 
The problem is that too often we confuse "truth" with "belief" which is mostly acquired through personal experience. No one has the exact same experiences in life and so each person's version of truth is likely to be different and to change. President Uchtdorf said, "When the opinions or “truths” of others contradict our own, instead of considering the possibility that there could be information that might be helpful and augment or complement what we know, we often jump to conclusions or make assumptions that the other person is misinformed, mentally challenged, or even intentionally trying to deceive."
Satan is constantly trying to skew the truth. President Uchtdorf said regarding the great deceiver, "The adversary has many cunning strategies for keeping mortals from the truth. He offers the belief that truth is relative; appealing to our sense of tolerance and fairness, he keeps the real truth hidden by claiming that one person’s “truth” is as valid as any other." This is one of the biggest tactics Satan uses regarding this particular issue. This is the most common reason I see that people are "shaken" in their beliefs. 
The ironic thing is that if people would really listen with unbiased hearts they would feel the Lord's meanings and purposes behind the principles and yes, even the policies of the LDS faith. 
President Uchtdorf counsels, "If you follow the Spirit, your personal search for the truth inevitably leads you to the Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, for He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” This may not be the most convenient way; it will probably also be the road less traveled, and it will be the path with mountains to climb, swift rivers to cross, but it will be His way—the Savior’s redeeming way." I believe this principle with all my heart. 
I would like to say that I do sustain the prophet and apostles. I know they are called of God. I know that the Lord directs them and they follow His word. I can see the compassion and mercy in this new policy especially for the children involved. I feel so grateful that the Lord cares so much for His children. He loves our little ones. He is the only source for absolute truth. I know truth exists. I know God has given each of us a way to know the truth for ourselves. I know that if we come to Him seeking the truth of this matter and any other we may want to know He will let us know through the power of His spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

No comments: