I didn’t watch a lot of conference this weekend. I don’t intend to put forth any extensive commentary on specific items, at this time, but I may return to the words of this weekend at some point in the future. I have been on somewhat of a hiatus these last months as I have explored my life and what mission I may have. When I have figured out what I want to be when I grow up, I will let you know.
Here we are in the middle of the ‘Mormon moment.’ As President Monson stated in his closing words, if effect, the world is watching us. In the light of the additional emphasis of all things Mormon, I had expected that the 182nd General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints would be a concerted effort to convince the general Christian world that we are one of them. Yes, we bring some flavors that may not be familiar to the typical born again Christian, but we worship the same God, we serve in His name and we equally value His children. So, let’s dispel the ‘cult’ thing, link arms and move forward – let’s be friends…
This week, I made my way up Santa Monica Boulevard to the Los Angeles Temple grounds; spending some time exploring the visitors center located behind the temple. There were the customary missionary couple at the front desk and missionaries keeping watch for the unwashed. I walked around the exhibits and attempted to position my frame of mind as one not exposed to the message of the Mormons. The missive of the visitors center, in summary, that I found was was family and service. Our families are where we learn to serve and we practice it with our neighbor. Not a bad story, one that should be easy for our neighbors to absorb.
But, was that the purpose of the restoration? Was the mission of Joseph Smith to restore the idea of service to a waiting world? As we vacate our need to gather to Zion, as we morph the law of consecration into the church welfare program, as we sweep the couplets such as God as once a man behind us; what has the message of the restoration become?
The nagging question remains in my mind: Is it a good thing to be accepted of the world? Are we fulfilling the objective of filling the world with the gospel when we bring ourselves into acceptability by worldly standards, even though they be Christian standards?. Are we the leaven of the earth that will bring about a renewal of the good news? Or, has that leaven lost its ability to raise bread from the dough of man?
I am reminded of the words found in book of James, chapter four:
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Is the LDS Church, attempting to become friends, culturally, socially, financially, and politically, with the world? If so, do we face being at enmity with God?
What enmity is created when we seek friendship of the world? Can we serve two masters? Can we strive with all our might, mind, and effort to build a home and put two cars in the garage and still fulfill the pleadings of Christ to “come unto Him?”
Each of us must arrive at a personal answer. Am I a friend of the world or am I striving to establish the works of man?
What think ye?