Wow! It’s kinda late, but I wanted to write this post, so here we go. This morning, I was reading in 2 Nephi 28 for my scripture study. Verse 21 caught my attention. In the past, I’ve had discussions with one of my friends (let’s call him Calvin) about problems we’ve seen in the church. One concern he’s brought up is that (especially in priesthood) we act as though none of us have problems.
All is well in Zion?
Let me tell you, those people couldn’t be more wrong. If I can be blunt, what kind of rock do you have to live under to realize how many problems we have in the church? In our quorums? It irks me at times to have lessons about home teaching in elders quorum and hear some guy say that it’s more important for us to home teach the girls we’re assigned to than the guys. Really? I’ve heard that viewpoint explained that it’s because the girls don’t have roommates who can provide a priesthood blessing. That may be a reason to ensure that the girls get home taught. However, it’s not good enough for me.
All is well in Zion? No.
|Palmyra Temple (July 2012)|
What is it with our society that tells that that we can’t have problems? Even in the church, where we’re taught that each of us will experience trials. Yet, it seems so common that I see people around BYU that have smiles almost surgically plastered to their face in a way that I honestly don’t believe they’re happy. Pride? Is that the problem? We can’t look weak? Or do people really believe that there aren’t problems? Are many of us actually in denial?
All is well in Zion? Not even close.
I have friends who deal with pornography problems. I have friends who deal with depression and anxiety. I have friends who are stressed out on a daily basis by their classes. I have friends who are distressed by family problems. I have friends who are lonely because, despite their efforts, they are single. I have friends who have been down because of a bad breakup. Am I saying that we should announce our struggles and our problems over the pulpit during testimony meeting? No. I’ve been guilty of that; I’ve been prompted to mention my SSA over the pulpit while bearing my testimony (usually in reference to something it has taught me about the Atonement). However, we should be able to be authentic with those we trust. All of us have friends (even if your only friend is your bishop, you have a friend). Why not be a little vulnerable and feel the support that comes from being authentic with those we love? Being vulnerable and being authentic is scary (trust me; I’ve had some VERY scary days because of it).
As I finish off this post, I’m not sure what to really say. Don’t let the adversary let you believe all is perfect and Zion has no problems. That was never part of the Lord’s definition of Zion. In fact, the most Zion-like places I’ve been have been full of people that have been open to each other about their flaws and have been authentic with each other. However, at the same time, don’t be distressed. Things may not be perfect; we live in a fallen world. The amazing thing about that is that that is why Jesus Christ performed the Atonement, so that we could find that peace amongst affliction and so that we can have hope that it gets better.