Saturday, April 4, 2015

God Bless the Outcasts (Should we Sustain or Should we Oppose?)

You know, sometimes I just want give up on people.

Today, as I listened to LDS General Conference, I heard something that interested me. As is the policy, our church leaders are listed and we are asked to raise our hand to sustain them. Then, it is asked if anyone is opposed. A few voices were heard opposing (it is the custom to merely raise a hand in a smaller church, but, in a large building where the audience is too dark for a speaker to see, I understand that opposing verbally is appropriate).

It was interesting. Uncommon. But, something that has always mattered to me is that every Sunday I know I have a voice through the sustaining and opposing vote. I didn't agree with those who were opposing, but I had no issue with them voting according to their conscience for whatever reason and I thought it was handled beautifully all around.

I spent the next few hours listening and pondering on how grateful I am for different opinions, even in my church. I like knowing that it is okay to disagree at church. It forces us all to examine our beliefs, to be more tolerant and to show more love and respect to those who are different. I am grateful for moments like today when I have the chance to think about those things and to grow kinder and more understanding of those who don't think the same way I do.

But, then, I get on the facebooks and see the intolerance bubbling all over. "Kick them out!" "Yank their temple recommend!" "If you don't like it, leave!"

My own fb friends participating in some of this cruelty.

Seriously?

Don't you understand that our job is to love EVERYONE, especially those who are not like us?

It is hard. I know. I fail at it constantly. But, we have to try.

If we had no choice, no vote, what grand plan is that? (Wait, I think I've heard this story before...)

I always want to be a part of a faith that gives every member a chance to vote, to stand for what they believe, even if it isn't the popular stance, or, in someone's opinion, the right one. Having the free agency to vote is so very important.

I love my gospel, but, I'm growing weary of the culture some keep trying to perpetuate.

More love. More kindness. More tolerance. More understanding. More acceptance.

Especially when people think differently than we do. More walking where our Savior would walk. Remember, he walked with the outcasts. I believe after some of the nasty comments I have read tonight that we are forgetting that our cruel actions are what create outcasts.

Tonight I am sad. We can do better than this to our fellow man.

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