Friday, August 24, 2007


At the time of this post the day of fasting and prayer was up in the air. However, fasting and prayer is good advice in any season, especially when it involves so much.

My, oh my! Have we now come full circle? First let me say I have no argument with any day being designated and separated for prayer and fasting. Apparently the idea is that if we all collectively offer our prayers at the same time, after preparation and fasting, these massed voices will rise to the heavens and by their sheer mass will gain the ear of God. There are frequent scriptural references to the success of this practice. There are also as many teachings there which encourage the act. We are also counseled to seek our heavenly Father daily and as needed. Some have even chosen to fast (see Gandhi, Mahatma) on a constant basis as well. This constant line of communication is not only required, but also extremely beneficial to the Saints involved.

But, here’s the rub. Part of loving God is also to fear Him. We must understand His awesome power and uncompromising law. It is not suggested we repent. It is commanded. I submit that without repentance we have no line of communication which would be acceptable to God. Oh yes, He will hear us. I do believe ignoring repentance for the offences to Him in past action will reduce our requests to chaff in the wind. He must hear acknowledgement of past wrongs, see action to right those wrongs, and hear our sincere covenant to not repeat them. If we fail to see repentance as a vital element in our supplications we are doomed to failure.

Twenty-seven years ago, I was led to understand the above paragraph. From personal experience in the constantly accelerating quality of life I have enjoyed since, I recognized that God required repentance and acknowledgement of His power, I came to believe these things. As a result, He has given me access to many gifts of the spirit. I know that those gifts are conditional upon my constant acceptance of His word and law. They also are contingent upon my continued acknowledgment of His presence, seeking His wisdom and most important, repentance.

We are constantly reminded in every aspect of life by schools, and preachers, and government and miscellaneous other do-gooders, that we are not to be judgmental. I realize that final judgment is the province of God. I also realize that we are faced on a daily basis with decisions which must be made to conduct our normal existence. What and how much food do we eat? What show, if any, do we watch on TV tonight? Should I consider abortion acceptable behavior in our society? Which church do we join? Where do we live? What companions do we choose to associate with? Like it or not, these are judgments. Some things are good and some things are bad. It’s that simple. We must exercise good judgment in concert with the will of our heavenly Father. He gave us a mind and the agency to sort through these issues and render a personal judgment. So what has this to do with the upcoming day of fasting and prayer?

Plainly stated, I believe there are persons involved in this effort who have not demonstrated the aspects of humility and repentance sufficient to be an avenue to God. As I pointed out above, part of repentance is a public disavowal of those things which brought offense to both man and God. Since their ruminations and gatherings are secreted from the general body, I am not able to cast general accusations with documentation at current members of the hierarchy. I am certain that to varying degrees, they believe they are doing God’s work. The rest is between them and Almighty God. For Wallace B. Smith, it is quite another matter.

There are many scriptural reasons why our Doctrine and Covenants is truncated to not include those offerings from Sec. 155 on. Some may, rightfully, even exclude revelations received prior to 1984. My understanding is that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Upon the appearance of His Son, Jesus Christ, a new law was given to His followers. That has not changed. We are not at liberty to alter that law. We may not change any of it to accommodate various interest groups, men/women, minorities, sexual orientations or a reach for universal acceptance. It is the rock we may all cling to in a troubled world. I have a very close personal friend of unquestioned integrity who assures me that she did not vote to accept that revelation at the 1984 conference. In addition, she knows that there were many Saints who did not. She is a very spiritual woman who has been able to recognize the voice of God. Common consent then has become a “simple majority.” I cannot even imagine the consequences of claiming to speak for our Savior on matters which advance my personal interests. Plainly stated – “we are losing priesthood and we need to augment the supply, ergo, confirm women and enjoy broader coverage.”

If this were not enough, we have additional issues; the erection of the “temple” to enhance the image to the world, the claim to have received instruction regarding Grant McMurray as his successor and finally counseling the acceptance of the name change to Community of Christ. Not surprisingly, the “prophet” McMurray mentioned the word community no less than five times in Sec. 161, in his first “revelation.” In addition, the unconscionable silencing of priesthood members and depriving Saints in many venues of their lifelong church homes.

These are but a few of the issues which led to the horrendous split in the church. Although I doubt he was the author, I do believe Wallace B. Smith was mightily influenced to carry these deeds out without paying attention to the counsel of God and instead, heeding the words of his world view counselors.

If he were to admit these travesties before God and his fellow Saints and repent, I would fast and pray for as long as it took to reach God’s ear. In my forty years in the church, I have known many men (and women) who are humbled in the presence of their Maker. I would place my trust in them for the truth and God’s will at any time. So far, this is not the case regarding some of the individuals involved in the upcoming “day of prayer.”

Since we are nearly the same age, I can appreciate that Brother Smith probably suffers the same infirmities that we septuagenarians share. For this I pray for him. For his discernment, I also pray. For his improved relationship with God, I earnestly pray. Deep in my heart I also wish for him to view the damage done and repent.

Please join me in prayer for this man.

Cecil Moon

1 comment:

Patricia Ragan said...

My "repentance hero" is Enos from the Book of Mormon. I, too, have cried unto God for forgiveness. After all the tears and remorse, I remember the clean feeling that swept over me. On another occasion, I had written out my sins and I confessed them to another. As I left this person, I remember feeling that I was walking about a foot off the ground.

Coming clean with God is a reward in itself. How is it that when I go to him with my filthy sins, that he leaves me feeling so clean, so loved? He isn't into punishing so much as cleaning.

I realize that it is Christ who takes my sins and cleans me up so that I can approach God. WOW!! It is amazing. Words can't even begin to describe how this happens.

Repentance is the only way to experience the Glory of God. Repentance is the only way back to God from whom we came.