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?

4 Responses to “A Friend of the World”

  • aka:

    I find your observations interesting.

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    Saturday Morning Pres. Packer:

    “The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.”

    Sunday Afternoon Elder Ballard said 100 years ago Pres Smith connected happiness to the family. He also talked about Christ centered service.

    So if this has been a teaching of the church for 100 years, the teaching on the family is likely to be one of the foremost teachings of the church. Has it displaced teaching from the Book of Mormon?

    One must answer for themselves if we put these teaching before “Come unto me” and “Return unto me”.

    P.S. For fun I read 2 Nephi 25: 23-28 and Alma 25: 15,16 and replaced “law of Moses” with “church” or “membership in the church”.

  • Spektator:

    I don’t know if the general membership is looking forward with steadfastness. Rather, there are a set of rituals and activities that are perceived to be necessary for salvation.

    If the end goal is a happy family, we certainly shouldn’t follow the example of Lehi or Alma. Christ taught that we may have to be at odds with our family in order to follow Him.

  • Rob:

    “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.”

    That’s it. The membership in general believes it’s important to be successful in the world. The apostles believe it as well, when speaking of dedicating a new law firm building, Elder Dallin H Oaks said, “Lawyers and the legal profession have served humanity ably, responsibly and effectively throughout our lifetimes and for many generations before us. The continuation of that service, which is essential to the children of God and the work of the Lord, depends on the conscientious performances of lawyers like you and law firms like Kirton McConkie.”

    Even as a missionary, the language and phrases used among missionaries, “we believe in the same God as you, we have have the same values…” One day it clicked, we don’t believe in the same God. That is soooo important.

    I really don’t see where the line is anymore. If I had to draw one based off how the LDS differentiate themselves from Zion, their teachings base it off of alcohol, pornography, tithing and declaring the president as the prophet.

    • Spektator:

      How is the continuation of the service of lawyers essential to the children of God and the work of the Lord? I am aghast…

      A number of years ago, I am aware of a man who sought legal counsel regarding an action of the church. He talked to over 20 law firms along the Wasatch front and found the almost all of them were on retainer from the LDS Church and, therefore, could not assist him. Is this how the LDS Church protects itself through lawyercraft?

      According to the Book of Mormon, it was the lawyers who were angry in 3 Nephi 6 when there came among them ‘men inspired from heaven’ testifying of the sins of the people. Again we find lawyers united in a cause to protect their livlihood…

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