Friday, March 21, 2008

Children Will Listen :: Heavy

Dear Family,

Mom, Dad, and I were able to finally sit down and talk most deeply about what we are feeling, and my heart is finally starting to heal.

I was also able to finally figure out how to express what I was feeling – which is basically this: I feel I have found – via sincere study and seeking out what the Lord would have me do in this life – a possibility of Good News, which news brings me great joy and peace and hope.

I was getting frustrated as I could not share this good news, even just the possibility of such, with those who matter most to me – because, based on what you already believe, what your years of experience told you, you cannot believe such will ever happen or be possible, and, therefore, the door is closed without any sincere effort.

And I became angry in my frustration as I saw a people who would hand a Book of Mormon to someone and say, “No matter what you believe, no matter what you think can / can’t / should / shouldn’t / will / won’t happen or be true, please just read this book with a sincere heart to know whether it is true or not” refuse to do the same with someone else’s message.

I was not angry because my message was not being believed or accepted. I was getting angry because my message was not at least given a sincere chance, no matter what you believe the Lord will or won’t say – it was not given the same chance LDS Missionaries hope an ardent evangelical minister would sincerely give the Book of Mormon (that, despite his 100% conviction that God does not need another Bible, that despite his 100% conviction being based on years of experience, study, and prayer, that he will just give the Book of Mormon a sincere chance, however small of a chance it may seem to him, that it is the word of God).

I have been seeing this ardent minister in the hearts of those whom I love absolutely, and this minister will not let anything different than what is already believed enter into his home – no matter how much the missionary would explain, “This does not negate what you believe about Christ and His godliness, but adds to it, gives it even more depth and fullness and brightness.”

And this is what I believe I have found – not a ‘necessarily so’ (I don’t have any authority to know a ‘necessarily so’) – but a possibility of a ‘necessarily so’ that gives me extreme hope and peace and comfort and joy, it lifts my head when low and carries the burden when I can no longer walk... and I have seen how this possibility does not change, as I have seen it, any doctrine, but adds to it, gives it even more depth and fullness and brightness.

Again, I was not hurt that this message was not being accepted, but that there has been no sincere effort to, as Alma advised, plant the message within our hearts with sincerity, to honestly and sincerely seek to know whether it is of God or not.

This sincere effort is all that I’m asking. And, if after planting the seed and nurturing the seed with all sincerity, you still do not believe, then I will have nothing but gratitude and joy, and I will not hurt – at all – because I will know that you sincerely sought to know, instead of knowing by default. I will know you did the work you (we) expect of any non-member we love and desire to know the Gospel.

I hope this analogy helps you understand the discouragement I have been feeling (especially those of you who have served missions). You know how frustrating it is for someone to reject the offer to merely read the Book of Mormon, something that has brought you great joy and peace and comfort, based solely on the premise of existing, permanently cemented beliefs that will not and must not change as it would insult God.

This is the discouragement I have been feeling.

Anyway, at the end of our discussion, Mom and Dad agreed to sincerely plant in their hearts the seed of this possibility I have found, to sit with me in study and prayer and meditation to seek, without prejudice, for themselves, if it could quite very well possibly be the word of God. And that is all I ever wanted of them. That is all I ever wanted of you.

I have also agreed to not pursue a relationship while we are working together on this, that I will retain my membership in the Church... and I couldn’t be happier with such an agreement...

Please forgive me if, in my frustration and discouragement, I have caused any ill feelings, any pain. I really do not intend to be the cause of any contention. I love you all dearly, and I would do anything to ensure and seek out your joy and happiness and peace, and I never want to infringe upon such. Again, forgive me if I have already done so.

You are all also more than welcome to join Mom and Dad in our seeking to understand. In fact, I would really hope you would. If it is so desired, I will compile my “discussions” and email them to you (though I will not do so without your explicit ‘go-ahead’) for you to ponder and pray about. All that I ask is that you approach what I have to share with the same spirit as you would want an investigator to approach the Book of Mormon.




I have never, before tonight, received such a hug from my father... my heart is healing.

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