Monday, June 22, 2009

When a knock goes unanswered

One of my biggest struggles with the MoHo Dilemma has been the lack of answers. Growing up I was told Ask and ye shall receive, Knock and it shall be opened unto you. These verses have hurt me as I haven’t received answers and I have seen these verses tear many of my friends away from the Church. I have stood at the door and knocked until, like Spencer W. Kimbal suggested, my knuckles were bruised bloody and bare. I had even gotten to a point in my life where the need for these answers and the lack of them led me to try and take my life because I saw that it was the only way to gain knowledge.

The only consolation I have received that makes sense as to why there hasn’t been any answers is this; that by obtaining answers on my own, through faith and study, I will grow stronger than if I was just handed the answer from on high receiving perfect knowledge. As Sarah’s cousin’s quote from Galileo states, “I do not believe that the same God who imbued us with our minds and intellects would then expect us to not use them.” To me this is why I have struggled for the answers and has led me to believe that President Packer is wrong in stating that intellectuals are one of the biggest threats to the Church.

All too often we seek to be spoon-fed the answers to our dilemmas by what C.S. Lewis states as our Grandfather in Heaven someone who says as you will as long as your happy. What we should be seeking is to grow through hard work serving for our Heavenly Father. We want to be handed the prize of knowledge without putting in the full effort to obtain it. We all need to struggle in faith in order to grow spiritually. If we do not continue to grow then we atrophy through apathy.

This has taken me a while to get to this point of understanding but the next observation is the next linear progression of this line of thought so bare with me. Why do we expect a different set of principles, and patterns to apply to the Church as a whole than to the ones that apply to us? Shouldn’t the Church, like us, have to struggle at the door knocking and asking with sincere faith before receiving an answer? Shouldn’t the organization of the church, like ourselves, grow in understanding not through the revelation of perfect knowledge but through the struggle of hard work in faith that leaves us bruised and bare? Why is it that we expect differently from the Church what we apply to ourselves?

We as MoHos need to stick with the Church, pushing them to greater faith and understanding rather than simply walking away from the door when there are no answers given. We as members of the church need to use our minds, guided by the spirit, to seek after and struggle to find the truth through faith and study, not simply expecting our Heavenly Grandfather to imbue our minds with perfect knowledge. When you think about it which has caused you to grow more, external pressure or internal pressure? For me external pressure can be ignored whereas internal pressure continues to influence my life until I have been molded to the proper shape. If we leave the church, then we become external pressure against which we will be crushed like a wave upon the rocks, but if we stay, if we work on opening up the hearts and minds of those around us then we become an internal force for change. And perhaps, just as we have struggled, the church will struggle with their own dilemma regarding MoHos and that through us the church can grow.

Please do not give up the fight, continue going, and continue believing in the Lord. Keep pressing forward.


  1. I like the idea of the church being in a constant state of progression, itself struggling with what it was set on earth to do. The church is made up of fallible members with their own unique weaknesses and strengths, hopefully trying to better themselves and the church concurrently. With every positive thought I have though, an equally cynical rebuttal emerges. What if this is all perpetual semi-delusional rationalization? And even if it is, does it matter? Perhaps lying to ourselves in the short run is a fair price to pay in order to maintain hope for the future. And does this mean we can start to pick and choose other issues to disagree on? The trust and faith that individual members hold dear could be strongly and permanently affected by the church carrying out reversals on positions it has entrenched itself so firmly in (gay marriage/homosexuality). It could open the floodgates so to speak. Suddenly being a faithful member would simply involve "waiting them out", where instead of beliefs and actions being influenced by the church, the opposite would be hoped for. This reminds me of the "silver chair" C.S. Lewis post, near the end it goes on about how at the very least having the illusion of something better, a Narnia, an Overworld and acting accordingly is better (even if it is an illusion) than accepting the permanency of a rather unsatisfactory present reality.

  2. I don't think I could have said this better than it has already been stated. I agree

  3. Wow! That awesome quote is really making the rounds! :)

    You sound like you are in a peaceful state of mind at the moment. I hope you can continue to find peace in your life!

  4. Wise words, wisely spoken. The Church is no more perfect than the people that constitute it. Both should always be searching, questioning, testing, winnowing, refining, learning. It's damn hard work sometimes. But the alternative is worse.

  5. David,
    I appreciate your thoughts. I too feel that we can be more of a force for good and change from within. In addition to more open lines of communication with members and leaders, hopefully our examples will give some pause to reconsider their some of their previously held thoughts.