As many who read my blog on a regular basis, know I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have never intended this blog to become a forum where I go on and on about my personal religious beliefs, and I don't plan on it becoming that in the future. If ever I am asked a question about my religion, I will answer it. But, put very simply, I believe that a persons religious and spiritual experiences are personal....to be shared only when inspired to so.
Even with that thinking, there have been a few things that have been kicking around in my head lately. I can't seem to come to a firm resolution so I thought, perhaps, if I put these ponderings "out there", maybe, with your words of wisdom I would be able to make sense of them a little better.
In brief summary, our religion is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
We believe He stands at the head of our church.
As members of our church, we strive to develop Christ-like attributes by the decisions we make.
We look to Christs example and try to exemplify Him in our daily lives.
It is this reason that has got me thinking.....
How are we able to have or develop Christ-like attributes?
Do they come automatically with our conversion?
Am I personally making decisions that reflect my belief system?
Are the choices I am making in line with our teachings?
I firmly believe that our thoughts and actions reflect our true feelings about Christ.
Just for fun, I would like to pose some rhetorical questions.....
You see a homeless man holding a sign on the side of the road. It reads, "Hungry and broke".
a- Immediatly decide he is in this predicament by the choices he has made and ignore him.
b- assume that he will use any money you give him to buy drugs and/or alcohol.
There is a new family in your congregation that come smelling of cigarettes. They look unkempt and are noisey during the meeting.
a- look scathingly at them hoping they get the hint to be quiet.
b- immediatly assume they must not be members due to their smell.
c- go to them and introduce yourself and welcome them to the meeting.
A person in your congregation recieves an opporunity to serve within the church. This opportunity comes with much responsiblity.
a- immediatly think you could do a better job than they can.
b- tell others about your feelings concerning this persons personal unworthyness.
c-support and edify this person to the best of your ability.
There is a family in your congregation whose Daddy doesn't always come with them.
a- assume the Daddy is inactive.
b- automatically think that the Daddy has no belief system or testimony.
A person comes back to church after a long stint of inactivity.
a-think to yourself that they will certainly have a lot of repenting to do now.
b-act so surprised to see them and make a joking comment about how the roof of the church just might fall in because they came.
c-tell the person you are so happy to see them and that you have missed them.
You feel that you are receiving your fair share of trials and then some.
a- constantly bemoan your existence.
b-think that your trials are far worse than anyone elses and that no else suffers like you do.
c- lose yourself in service so that your trials seem trivial compared to others.
Did your answers surprise you?
(another rhetorical question)
I do not want to appear that I am getting on a soap box here.
These are questions I have asked myself these last few months.
It is my hope that we ask ourselves "what would Jesus do?" before making a choice that could potentially hurt another.
Have I hurt another with my words and actions?
I know I have. And I feel truly sorry for that.
Have others hurt me or another family member with their words and actions?
After all, people say things without thinking sometimes.
However, from these times,
I have learned
I have learned
more about myself,
realized my capacity to forgive,
and gained a knowledge of the healing power of the Atonement.
Please. Feel free to share your personal thoughts on this subject.