Monday, August 27, 2007

Random Rants

If recent events in the church have taught us nothing else, it should be apparent we have an abundance of opinions and a severe shortage of patience. In addition to posting on this web log, we also monitor several other threads and share a constant stream of emails about the momentous issues facing our body of Saints. Does this make us experts on the subjects involved? Not really, but it does give us a heightened awareness. Here follow some random observations.

One important emerging fact is that one’s age and first hand knowledge of history is a huge factor in the opinions expressed. From the view of one who was a child during the depression of the thirties (that’s 1930’s), followed WW II as daily news, heard FDR speak live on the radio and whose first job had J. Edgar Hoover for a boss, today’s events are viewed differently from others much younger. Did I say wiser? No! I said different. As a geezer who has routinely purchased milk for 13¢ a quart, I can safely say my perspectives are decidedly different from Saints who are the age of my grandchildren. This age disparity in itself does not mean my views are more important or better reasoned but must by definition by different.

To fully appreciate the trauma experienced by many Saints during the sixties and seventies, one would have to be at least sixty or older or be extremely well read. To appreciate the height of the mountain one must have been in the valley. In reverse, if one did not experience the tranquility of the RLDS, untroubled by hierarchal struggles and concerned solely with worshiping the Almighty, then it is difficult to fully realize how many changes we have.

As a personal example of the church at work building Zion, I submit the following. In the mid-sixties, our un-churched family moved to about a mile from the Bedison congregation in Far West stake. We bought a farmstead on ten acres from a wonderful man (RLDS, who held the office of teacher) at a ridiculous low price. We were invited to join with them for Sunday worship and, since it was the closest, we tried it out. We found the truths offered there acceptable and became enmeshed in the faith. Two years passed and we had the opportunity to exercise the option to purchase the remaining 110 acres of the farm. My business kept the wolf from the door but did not allow for the extra $3000 which I needed to secure the property. One afternoon, just before the date to exercise the option, I looked up from work in the garden and the saw the familiar faces of three brothers from the church.

After the usual pleasantries, they asked if I intended to exercise the option. I said I wanted to but did not see how I would ever raise the money. Without hesitation, they asked if I would accept their help. In 1967, this was a huge amount of money for a man in my circumstances. I said yes. They immediately drew checkbooks and pens from their overalls and wrote equal checks and handed them to me. There was no other paper work involved. No notes. No discussion of interest. No pay back agreements. No suggestions on how I should order my life. The only question they asked was, “Cecil, what do you plan to raise on your farm?” My response was simple, “Boys!” Our seven years on that farm taught the boys life lessons which are unavailable from any other source. What I took from the experience was the knowledge of a true Zionic condition. Shortly thereafter, we were all four baptized.

Age is not the only differential between the Saints. Under the barrage of leftist thinking which seemed to pervade the world church in years subsequent to the preceding event we came up with some highly divergent views of the role of the church in the world. These attitudes have charged our worship environment with divisiveness and often, rancor. Our focus on Jesus Christ, His message, and, His promise have become mired in political correctness which hinders our ability to pinpoint actual problems and seek God given solutions. It is difficult to communicate with those folks whose concern is for feelings and not truth. Persons occupied only with “peace and love” can assume a lofty position with supposed moral certitude but have difficulty absorbing the real truths of the scriptures. They are not a record of peaceful coexistence. They are a constant record of strife, struggle, and an ongoing war against the adversary. They are a witness to God’s plans for the unrepentant and bow-necked sinners. But, for the committed, they hold the covenant and the everlasting promises of God. Just about any random opening to any chapter will reveal the truth of this. Crack the Book and try it. Read just a few verses and you will find evidence of both postures.

We are men! All of our attempts to emulate God will probably fail. Our inborn instincts to “take care of number one” override our good sense. If we take care of God, as we have covenanted to do, He will take care of us. What is so difficult to understand here? If we give him everything, He will return it a hundred fold. I we choose to falter and reserve for our own special interests, He will notice. God help us all.

These things listed above are exactly as advertised, random thoughts and rants. To solve our problems, we must identify them. We must do it with accuracy and recognize that some of these begin with us. We are encouraged to reason together. This involves not just projecting our own positions, but also, listening to others. I believe that the solutions are all available from scriptural study and even more important, heart felt prayer. Unfortunately, the cause of the problems is often visible in the mirror. Can we admit it? God knows, do we?

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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