Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Inspirations May 3, 2009

Our little family has been on vacation the last several days (if you knew us at all you'd know what a miracle that was in and of itself, ha!). We headed down to Zion's with a bunch of stops along the way. It was amazingly fun, and I'll be posting tons of pictures and stories over the next week.

We had an experience on the vacation that really got me thinking about one of the things (yes, among the billion) I absolutely love about being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Before I go into this, I need to make it clear my knowledge of the workings of different religions is by no means great. The few things I do know stem from what I've read and what I've gleaned when chatting online with members of other churches. I thoroughly respect the different religions of this world, even if I don't always agree with them. So if I get something really wrong, or you'd like to take a moment and share with us your own personal experience, I wholeheartedly encourage you to share. I only ask you do so with respect and a sense of getting to know one another better.

As I wrote in the previous post, my husband has been in considerable pain for the last several weeks. Even after going to see the doctor and getting extra-strength-put-you-out-like-a-light pain meds, he's still suffering. Perhaps the harshest part is being in pain no matter what position you try.

My husband is not one to complain, so when he started bringing up the possibility of visiting a nearby wardhouse (church building) just to see if someone there might be able to give him a priesthood blessing, I knew he was doing quite poorly. On the evening of our third day I noticed a church house just down the street from where we were staying. Friday nights at a Mormon church house are typically pretty quiet. We weren't hoping for too much when we drove into the parking lot, but were pleasantly surprised to see a good number of cars there.

He walked in ("crashing" a wedding, lol) and was able to find two priesthood holders who gave him a quick blessing.

What struck me as absolutely beautiful about this experience was the simple fact we knew what to expect. No matter what Latter-day Saint church house we might walk in to, we know what we can expect. Oh sure as we go from culture to culture there might be little differences, but the continuity of this Church can be seen in every building, in every meeting.

In listening to the words of others as they've talked about their churches, they talk about how one might be more traditional while another is more modern. Things vary from church to church, and people so often find themselves having to pick and choose until they find one that fits their own wants and needs.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this isn't the case. Certainly the way certain organizations do things might vary (like what activities the youth do, or whether or not classes are combined due to the number of teachers are available). But when it comes down to the structure of the Church, how things are run, and the way ordinances are to be performed, there is a tight rope of continuity running throughout. What you get in one meeting in one church building is what you'll get in the next. Why?

We are all united under the President of the Church, who is currently Thomas S. Monson. He guides us with the help of the other General Authorities of the Church. When the president of our Church feels inspired to start something new, or set something straight, we know it needs to be followed. To some this may sound harsh, or restrictive, but allow me to testify what a comfort it brings. At least, I know it does to me. If I take a trip from my little home here in Utah and head out to, say, California, or Canada, or South America, I know for a fact when I go to Church anywhere I will not need to worry about what to expect. For the Church is led by one man, who leads us under the direct inspiration of our Lord and Savior.

If someone out there doesn't necessarily believe this to be true of our Church, I say that's all right. I say this for the simple fact that my testimony is not yours, and your testimony - the cumulation of your life experiences - is not mine. We do not have to agree, but at least we can respect one another.

I find great comfort in continuity. I find great peace in knowing this Church is united under God. Most of all I find myself with a greater witness of the amazing Church this is simply because no matter where I go, I can rest assured to find exactly what I'm looking for.

1 comment:

Momma Ellen said...

Hi Laurie, I've appreciated your last couple of posts--about walking in someone else's shoes, and about the truthfulness and continuity of the church. Something so simple yet so meaningful. Anyway, I'm sorry that Dave has been struggling with so many pains and different health problems. As you describe his personality, I feel like I'm reading about Jim. You and I are blessed with wonderful husbands who were "born of goodly parents", and I'm so grateful for that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You guys are in our thoughts and prayers. Love you!