Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wheat and Tares and Gay People

This has been an interesting test for the members of the church I believe. It has shown in a great respect who has faith in the prophet of the Lord and a personal testimony of the truth of the church and who does not. I believe it is impossible for anyone to understand the full implications of what may have happened if 8 was put down. Hopefully we will never know, for when the Lord speaks through his servant the Prophet, it's serious and the consequence of not heeding that council is always serious. I believe there was prophecy fulfilled with the reaction of some of the members of the church. The Lord is separating the wheat from the tares.

-- Deseret News reader comments: LDS official lauds work for California's Prop. 8

How nice of this person - and so many others - to think so.

I wonder if the faithful felt the same way about the Prohibition
About Civil Rights
About Blacks and the Priesthood.

Just gotta wonder.

I can't help but think that those people might represent more of the "tares" than some of those who voted against Prop 8.

Tares: The word denotes darnel grass, a poisonous weed, which, until it comes into ear, is similar in appearance to wheat.

In other words, a person who isn't who they say or pretend to be. They look like wheat, but they aren't.

Might I enlighten you to the fact that those against the Church often like to regard members as tares? We resemble Christians, but in the end we're really the anti-Christ.

Yeah.

I have to admit - this crap really picks at my conscience. I resent that. It picks even more when people throw the "the guilty taketh the truth to be hard" scripture at me.

You don't know what I've gone through.

Am I a tare? Seriously? A person who lives according to what her gut tells her - a gut that, so far, hasn't misled her?

Yes, I'm angry about a few things with the Church. I've had some experiences in past years to make me question a few things. I put the Church and some of its members on such a high pedestal, thinking they were perfect and could do no wrong. I've made this mistake with people before. Every single time, that person or thing proves itself to be fallible and, depending on the heighth I gave it, it has fallen. Hard.

You think the Church is perfect? I say it's not.

You think your leaders are perfect? They're not.

I say the second you put anything on a pedestal is the second you tempt it to prove to you it is not worthy of it.

When I investigated the Church nine years ago, I was told only to pray about everything I was learning, and I would know the truth of it for myself.

Does baptism nullify this concept? You might think so the way some people act. So many are quick to accept any calling that comes their way without thought. I've received callings before I didn't feel were absolutely necessary. That doesn't mean you should turn them down, you should absolutely check your motives in saying no, but lightning doesn't always strike. It's good to serve.

It's better to be sane while serving.

I turned one down a few years ago. I was brand new in the ward in a brand new city, alone all of the time with three little ones in a small apartment, and was swiftly called to the nursery. I was about to have a mental breakdown over constantly being alone with my own kids six days a week, and now the nursery?

But he's the bishop, right? He should know. He's prayed about it. He receives revelation...right?

Not always. In this case I'm certain he acted as a human being heading a ward desperate for a new nursery worker. Here comes a young mom who knows kids - why the hell not?

Some callings are not given in the spirit of revelation.

After some serious struggle, a talk with a husband who thought at the time you always accept callings, and an emotional breakdown, I told my bishop no. It was empowering. That was a revelation.

Yes, there are times when we should have a blind faith in our leaders and just do. It's like if my kids were about to cross a busy street. They may not see it or understand it, but they need to stop the minute I yell STOP!

But where is growth and confidence and true understanding if it does not come from within? Otherwise we are merely robots, without brains, and perhaps after a while, even without hearts. We do what we are told and only what we are told without question.

That sounds like a really awful existence to me. It's a safe one, to be sure, but if we don't give thought to anything, then what is that faith? It's nothing.

I don't know why Prop 8 is such an issue for me. I think some of it is due to how much of an issue the Church and its members have made it. It's the realization that lies were perpetuated in its name. Prejudices were not shut down. Nobody worked to de-mystify things. All we did was put in our life savings (yes, one family put in $50,000) to work against homosexual couples who just wanted to marry. It was the realization that the Church worked against Prohibition and many in the Church were against the "negro" movement for civil rights.

Do I think I could be wrong here in my vote? Absolutely. But I have to live with myself. I already know of at least one person who voted "yes" and is now kicking themselves for it. Why are they doing that? They followed the prophet, right? Right. But they didn't believe it.

Remember, faith is the belief in things not seen, as we so often love to quote.

I am not a tare. I am who I say I am. I didn't pretend to vote yes and then voted no. I'm not pretending to be something I'm not. At least I'm trying my best to not be. And I hate that I feel I must defend myself.

Enough with the judgements. Those who insist they are wheat and then go home and spread lies and hatred through their words or lack thereof are not who they say they are. People who have no problem getting up on their own pedestals are the ones who will eventually fall.

A little humility, please? Less judgment upon those you do not know - even those you do know? While in the end it is the person's decision on what they do, your self-righteous rhetoric only serves to push people away.

So just shut up already.

10 comments:

Chedner said...

A-freakin-MEN!

I am who I am; I am not trying to be seen as anything other than who I am.

If I am a tare, unbeknownst to myself, so be I. If you are wheat, unbeknownst to me, so be you.

But there's frankly only one way to truly find out: Who can be used to make bread and nourish God's children... and who is stifling the production of this meat?

Chedner said...

(and, of course, my use of "you" isn't targeted toward YOU, Lisa, but those who profess that which is quoted in this post)

Amanda said...

In the summer of 2006, I was struggling. We'd moved across the country 9 months prior, and I'd become a full-time stay at home mom for the first time. My three kids were all under 5 years old. I'm not the most patient person, especially with under-5s. I was bursting out of myself with anxiety.

After spending almost six months living with my mom and stepdad (two rooms for all five of my family, and a storage unit), we bought a house and moved across town. We entered a new ward. I was really excited about my new ward. It felt a lot more hopeful than the one I'd gone to when living with my mother. It felt a lot more like the tiny branch we'd left behind across the country. Two months later, I got a calling - primary secretary.

This involved not only making phone calls to people I didn't know (which gives me panic attacks just thinking about it), but spending my only two kid-free hours of the week with primary kids. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I left the church less than two months later.

I told the bishop, when I was called, that I worried about this calling. That I was afraid it would push me away from the church. I told him I was willing to accept, if he really thought that was what I should do, and i would trust him and the Primary presidency. I would pray and ask the lord for guidance and strength. I went into it with honest, though scared, intentions. In retrospect, I should have gone with my gut, because that calling destroyed my will to go to church. It caused me to go into panic attacks so badly I needed medication and counseling. It caused problems so bad in our home that my husband and I almost divorced.

That gut feeling - that whisper of the holy spirit you get when you pray - is there for a reason. Now, I know not all gut feelings come from the holy spirit, but some do. You have to listen to that voice. We are not meant to follow blindly - in fact, the missionaries that originally taught me said that following blindly is what the church is AGAINST. that was what was required of me in the Catholic faith I'd grown up in - and the LDS church didn't require it. I needed to be an active participant on my own path.

You have a courageous voice. Don't let the editorials beat you down. ;)

jenniferwoodbury said...

You took the words right out of my mouth. I read on one friend's blog that those in the church against Prop 8 are the "weak ones". Ouch. I never thought of myself as weak!

Lisa said...

Chedner: That's damned interesting. I like what you said; I've never thought of it that way before. "Who can be used to make bread and nourish God's children... and who is stifling the production of this meat?"

And I know you're not talking about me, haha.

Amanda: The gut instinct is really fascinating - and important to heed. Obedience to church callings should never go above family. Never. I'm pretty sure most in the Church would agree with that (most).

Jennifer: Yeah I got the "weak" comment too. Or the "trying to be cool or of the world" comment. Naw. People don't often understand the required courage in dissenting from something as huge as this. My whole circle is 99% LDS. To dissent from that is not an easy thing. It's frightening.

And, if I wanted to be considered cool (again, my circle of friends are 99% LDS), I would've been for this thing and chatting with friends/family about how gay marriage will destroy traditional marriage. Right now I would be considered much cooler if that's where I was sitting.

Frankly, as much as everyone wants to be popular and accepted, I've always struggled with fitting in and with crowds. ;)

Noe said...

Lisa, you're totally cool. At least, I think so. Your perspective on things, and ability to so eloquently articulate your thoughts and feelings... Sometimes I feel like I'm reading a transcript of my own brain. Except I'm an agnostic who is married to a Jew and other than almost marrying a Mormon a decade ago I have no ties to the LDS church. lol

Keep it up babe.

Marianne said...

Thank you for your refreshing view on this matter. You articulate yourself very well. I admire the fact that you are willing to speak out on this topic and still keep your core beliefs.
I grew up in Utah as a Mormon and still carry some of my believes despite not attending church anymore. I am passionate about my support of same-sex marriage and unfortunately have lost friends and made waves with family members but stand by my beliefs. Thank you again for speaking out.

M

Natalie said...

Yeah... how about the time when someone said to me...

"I feel sorry for your poor husband. If you question the Priesthood authority of the Prophet this much, I can only imagine how much you disrespect his patriarchal authority."

Ick. Ick. Ick.

I think you are a glorious wheat, Lisa. :) Like, the kind of wheat they use to make the delicious bread I buy at Farmer's Markets, not at the grocery store. Lol.

Yes. You are Amish-quality wheat. Not corporate-owned farm wheat.

I think I've officially carried the analogy too far.






And the word verification says "Press". I'm taking that as a signal that we should all press on. :) Yay!

Lisa said...

Marianne: My beliefs are definitely being uhm, put through the ringer...I'm discovering more and more each day.

But thank you, and welcome :)

Natalie: lol, YES! That must be what it means.

Ah, Nat, what would I do without you telling me about my verification words? I lie awake nights wondering... :) hahahaha

Amish quality wheat. Yes, that will do.

Neither are you corporate owned. Too much preservative crap. Not good for anyone.

Scott's an ass for saying that. I have no problem using strong words for that guy. Dang.

My word verification says "riverasp" river snake? huh.

Is that a sign?

Natalie said...

Hmm.... serpents mysteriously pop up in your all-knowing word verification in the same post you mention Scott?

Definitely a sign. :)

And I probably shouldn't bring this up, but.... mine says "inate". Suspiciously close to innate.... as in your word verification system has an innate sense of meaning, or knowledge, or direction, or..... erm... something. :)

This is too much fun.