Saturday, August 11, 2007

In the End . . .

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

It’s a fascinating quote. It’s also from a very famous man who had enemies by the millions and friends in even greater numbers. It seemed to resonate from several different angles.

Of late, I have difficulty viewing anything beyond the issues which face the Restoration. This is as it should be. Staying focused keeps the edge on to identify those who, for whatever reason, work to thwart the aims of the Lord. It is also important to identify those faithful who valiantly strive for Zion. As a result, the biggest task is to separate the two. As a man, I can in no way be certain of the intent within the hearts of all the Saints I know. I hear the pleas and prayers of some and infer their desire to serve the cause of Jesus Christ and the ultimate gathering by labor and sacrifice. Others offer nearly the same pleas and prayers but there is a hint of self before the outright commitment. Thank God I am relieved of the responsibility for the final judgment; it is His and His alone. It is not my province.

Is it my business to even be listening that carefully to separate the wheat from the chaff? More important, is it yours? I submit, with the full knowledge that it would be sinful for me to infringe upon that which God has declared as his own, it would also be sinful for me to ignore obvious breeches of faith in those around me. Why does this concern me? Here, the old history thing rears its ugly head. If we pay no attention to those who would corrupt the faith with words ever so subtle we silently endorse their plans by silence. By not insisting that organizational changes be meticulously explained and approved by the consent of the greater body of Saints we risk taking a course of action not in concert with God’s laws.

One of the characteristics I detect frequently is impatience of leadership at all levels. Please allow me the liberty of paraphrasing a quote I heard recently from a very wise old man who holds a very high post in God’s army on earth. He observed the impatience of elders who were bused to Kirtland, parked, entered the temple, offered prayers and sat and waited for the Lord to appear and share His wisdom. While they claimed to have the good spirit (and I don’t dispute that) he believed that they were disappointed that God did not manifest Himself in a much stronger way. Did they not go all the way to Kirtland to hear from Him? I believe they sincerely wanted to hear from Him. I also believe that He was there but simply did not choose to share, for whatever reason, any further instructions. It is His will we all seek but we often want it on our timetable.

As I read reports of the earliest days of the church I seem to remember that Joseph Smith, Jr. did certain things in concert with the Lord and followed the instructions given by the attending personages. Then the procedure was abruptly halted. Then, further instructions were given and then the process resumed. Do we remember evidence that Joseph was impatient for progress and somewhat piqued by the delay?

The same speaker shortly after asked when we should get started building Zion. Should we wait for the Lord’s instructions? He suggested we have had the direction and the general plan for a temple and asked when that project should begin. The answer on both counts is now. We have the answers to all of this in our hands. We do not require a committee to approve either one.

“Oh we must wait for the Lord to appear and lead us.” There is a great old, oft repeated story among Catholics which illustrates the point. The young priest while puttering around the altar between masses looks up and senses the presence of Jesus. He rushes back to the vestry where the older priest is relaxing and says, “Father, Father, Jesus is here, what do I do?’ The older priest looks up and replies, “Look busy.”

I believe I recognize a great deal of Restoration Church in what should be a joke. Who wants to be the first on hand to point out to the Lord on His return those things which we have accomplished for Him? Can he forgive the “progress” we have made? When He asks about the great number who have been baptized in His name are you prepared to report? When He asks to see His temple do you want to be the one to show Him? When He observes the poor among us, do we have a ready explanation?

I firmly believe that there are those who project a Godly outer shell for public consumption who would impede the works we are challenged to accomplish. I also believe that some of them actually believe some of the rubbish they dispense. Our salvation does not lie in our ability to sing “Kumbaya.” It lies in our faith in Jesus Christ and our adherence to His will by works. The rub comes in having two separate entities inhibiting the works. One is dispensing the false doctrine influenced by a desire for their own manmade outcome. The other, and this is serious, is the one who stands silently and tolerates that which he knows is wrong. These deceivers come clothed in an attractive wrapper preaching glib words to a ready audience who can later stand in the vestibule and say, “Oh, I just loved your message.” Well, that’s dandy. Did Jesus Christ appreciate the message as well? You know Him well enough to answer that question yourself if you really try. As he spoke, did you offer a silent request to God for verification of the message? He has offered to help you if you have doubts, if you will only ask.

I have mentioned previously that thirty five years ago when the church was being usurped by clever men with a false doctrine I was too busy ruining my own life to care all that much about the outcome. My repentance came with a promise to God to not repeat those things which so grievously wounded His heart. Part of my covenant is not to remain silent.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”—Martin Luther King

God’s work awaits,

Cecil Moon

11 comments:

Adrienne said...

Thank you Brother Cecil for a beautiful message! Our service was canceled and we are meeting together with our little family in our living room. We will share this with during our family devotions.

Your Sister in Christ,

Adrienne

Patricia Ragan said...

I have come to learn that seeking after signs, or visitations, or "experiences" is wrong. Joseph Smith, Jr. did not go into the woods, seeking any of those things. He was seeking the Lord's wisdom.

I remember the first camp I went to as a child. They had allowed 9-year-olds to go to the Junior High camp (Doniphan 1960). My only thoughts were joy, and fear (leaving my parents for a week), and the excitement of going swimming every day.

I went to the classes and learned things I had never heard before. I was thrilled to be a part of the camp with the "big kids."

As the week drew to a close, I went to the dedication service not knowing what to expect. I had never been to one before. At one point we broke up into little groups and went for a prayer walk. Our group walked for a short time and took hands in a large circle. We were supposed to pray for the people next to us. I didn't know them, but as I prayed for them, I felt the Spirit for the first time in my life. It was not something I sought, but something that came out of my prayers for the children next to me.

In the following years, I sought that experience. I was looking for it and was very disappointed that I did not get it. I was angry at God, and then angry with myself. Why couldn't I have that experience.

I know, now, why that did not happen. I was seeking the experience rather than the Lord. This happens in a big way when people fast and pray and exercise a type of faith so that they will have an "experience." If we beg too much we may end up getting something like in the parable of the woman and the unrighteous judge, or like the women who wanted to be in the priesthood.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Book of Mormon Warrior said...

Well, my account has been suspended over at centerplace, I suppose it was inevitable. If you read over there you know what I'm like, so there shouldn't be any surprises. I'm definatley not silent.

Christopher

Brother Ev said...

Christopher:

Many of us consider being banned or suspended a crowning achievement on that board. I have been warned once, but not dumped yet. A few of us have played mighty close to the edge a number of times and often think we are about to be cut off, but so far we are still hanging on.

I appreciated your sincere input on the CP board. I'm sure the latest "war" has just begun.

Just wanted to let you know that a number of us stand with you in defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as He restored it.

Your brother in Christ,
brother Ev

Equally Coy said...

Is it just me or do others have trouble seeing the relevance of the comments to the post?

Perhaps it is just me.
But I have read the original "in the end" post several times now and must admit I am not sure what is the point...in the end.
So maybe it is really quite appropriate that the comments don't follow.
Based on my reading over on the other board that seems to have spawned this blog, I can say that the first comment here is expected.
But the other 3?

SO anyway, I am wondering Cec, what is it you are trying to say here? I love to read your writing. You are quite a painter of words. But it seems that you are speaking in some kind of coded language. I keep searching for my decoder ring, or red and blue glasses or overlays to try to understand what it is you seem to so desparately want to say but can't seem to quite pull the trigger on. I can already hear the response coming so maybe I can save you the keystrokes- yes I am not one of you, and yes I am sure you wonder why I am here anyway, and yes maybe my understanding is precluded by my lack of adherence to your "rod of iron", is it?

This is your blog, man. You don't have to pull any punches.
Why be so mysterious and aloof?

Who is it that you are having problems with?
What practical measures are you taking to resolve those problems?

Is there no one except you and Jan and Hartley and Adrienne that have it "right"? Is that what this is all about?

Speaking in vague platitudes of accusation accomplishes little except to fuel your own discontent, along with taggers on.
It is a bit like a democrat who has been brainwashed by a John Birch Society operative-can only complain about the other party's agenda, offer no reasonable and practical alternative, and sleeps with one eye open because everything is a conspiracy.

What is it you want....in the end?
e.c.

Seeker said...

After nearly a quarter century of marriage I am coming to the realization that my husband is quite a bit nicer than I am. I usually don't comment on the comments, unless there's genuine confusion and/or a sincerity of heart. Cec, on the other hand, feels compelled to 'splain away that which should be clear to anyone who really gives a hoot. Oh well, here's another one of his justifications. We seem to be approaching Tinfoil Hat Alert.

Seeker

To Equally Coy,

In so far as comments follow the rules all are welcome, in fact invited. If they don’t seem relevant, so be it. We are not promoting a dog fight.

In my youth, the device of choice for decoding messages was my treasured“Captain Midnight Official Decoder Ring.” A few years later I went to Washington, DC and worked for the FBI and my interest in cryptanalysis became somewhat more sophisticated. During the Korean War I joined the
Army and was trained by Army Security Agency and the whole business took on a more serious tone.

There really is no “code” here. Unlike my spouse, I am reluctant to place the blame on specific individuals by name. Ad hominem attacks on individuals seem to lessen the character of the attacker and enhance the reader’s sympathy for the object of the assault. Most followers of the
Restoration movement recognize the situations all too well and have no
difficulty assigning identity to those referenced. I would recommend “The Failure of the Gentiles” by John Moody if you wish an accurate appraisal of the history that has brought us to this point.

As far as the essay is concerned; it is an attempt to inform the
membership that their failure to take part in current affairs in the
church and remain silent is as much an abomination as the overt efforts by those who would water down the gospel and ultimately destroy the church.

If you will re-read our general invitation to participants you will notice that everyone is welcome. We laud the perfection of our Savior but do not share His perfection so we anticipate criticism and disagreement. You are always welcome e.c., just as you would be in our congregation.

Cecil

Adrienne said...

To Christopher,

Job well done good and faithful servant! My husband was booted from that other place as well for standing up for our Brothers and Sisters in Honduras! His post lasted all of 2 minutes.

Poster a.v. was the one that should have been booted. He seemed to project the allusion of having a power serge in his writing technique after the monitor dressed me down. Perhaps another human “ghost writer” stepped in his place for a few postings. I was sincere in my gentle motherly correction of his very wrong behavior. I dearly love my neighbors and would have done the same with my own children had they dared the wrong he did you. It is to his disadvantage that no one else cared enough to correct him properly. Christopher, please forgive a.v. He really knows not what he does. Those that know God through Jesus Christ understood the wrong and right of it all. Most important God knows. All Glory to Him that fearfully and wonderfully made you!

It is good you have found a place of refuge here among true believers trying our best to escape deception and destruction. I have found the hosts do have a method of keeping us on our toes.

So polish up the Whole Armor of God, keeping your helmet of salvation firmly on your head!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To Cecil,

I understand your posts and need no decoder rings! I have something much better! I have the Scriptures and know God. Since you, Cecil, have the same we are one in Christ. Unity so simply achieved by following the commandments of the Lord!

Love and Prayer for all posting here,
Adrienne

Book of Mormon Warrior said...

Adrienne and bro. ev-

Thank you for your support. I tend to get booted wherever I go, I've had like 10 usernames at ldschat :)
I guess it's my inablility to hide my beliefs and play nicey-nice with anyone who claims they want it.
I forgave a.v before he had the chance to offend me, he's young and I believe doesn't truely understand the importance of the issues involved.
It amazes me how certain folks have succeeded in convincing restoration brothers and sisters over there of the suppossed mean-spiritedness of those of us who stand up for truth.

Christopher

Equally Coy said...

Christopher,
No one had to do any arm twisting.
It is clear that the young people in your camp don't have a dog in your fight.
They weren't even a glint in their daddy's eye when you all went through the problems of the 80's; and they cannot see the point of retooling that great divorce in the "new" family.
That is pretty obvious as an outsider looking in.

Finally, I am somewhat amused, if not saddened, by the badge of honor earned by being so disagreeable that one get's banned from a public discussion board. From your comments it seems you are old enough to know that being able to get along is not a skill that we leave behind on the playground of our childhood. It is a skill that continues to serve one well throughout life. Any hope of sharing anything or influencing anyone by what you share abruptly ends with your banishment.
In my estimation it is more a scarlet letter than a red badge of courage.
e.c.

Book of Mormon Warrior said...

If I am suspended for defending truth and standing up for righteouness it is nothing I have to be ashamed of.
To me it's funny, and kind of sad, that the ability "to get along" means you must be quiet and not boldly declare God's truth. If that is what I must do "to get along", I'll take a pass.
The youth that don't "have a dog in the fight" better start visiting the pet store. If they don't understand the issues and merrily follow along with those declaring, with their lips, peace they will be led, like the children of the pied piper, to a less glorious reward in the eternal worlds.

Christopher

Equally Coy said...

It's unfortunate that getting along is viewed as something that is unacceptable or as a weakness or as a shirking of responsibility.

There are effective ways of resolving conflicts and having disagreements. It doesn't mean one has to be disagreeable.

Sadly a whole generation has been lost because they failed to grasp this important truth.

The youth offer a bright hope.
e.c.