Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Forbidden Fruit

Some 20 years ago we were attending a private New Years Eve party at the house of a friend. The very strict bishop of our ward was also there. My wife being an old party girl felt to bring some sparkling nonalcoholic wine to celebrate the occasion. The bishop didn't like the gesture because of the appearance of evil. However, my wife persuaded him it was alright and that it was only grape juice. He drank and then read the bottle a little while later and nearly died. Like your beer it had some % of alcoholic in it. My poor wife is still embarrassed about this story and I can't tell it in her presence. To me it was funny to see the t__ a__ bishop part take of the forbidden fruit. I am sure the Lord got a good laugh over it as well seeing my wife in her sweet innocence helped make our bishop more human.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Warm Light on the Bloggernacle

I find comfort in this view as I am one who has been compelled to write my life in simple form.

“This writing genre is a form of discovery; by its very nature it is modest in simply being an attempt.” “One author noted that, “the personal essay requires blood on the page, whether it has death in it or not.”

The pain and honesty are real, but truth shared no matter what the price is worth it in the end.

In this what you wrote;

“In my reading, the Mormon personal essay is intertwined with yearning for and bearing testimony — a particular and peculiar lens for interpreting the world around us. It is a sublime travelogue — a raw and vulnerable exploration that defies other literary forms and disciplines. The blood on the page infuses life into my own testimony and gives me the courage to let my own crimson drops flow.”

Are great truths that will help others to pick up the pen (or hit the keys) to write the things of their hearts, experiences and dreams in a new more welcoming light.

Thank you for your kind words, understanding and wisdom in these matters which give new life and light to the Bloggernacle this day!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Haunting the Blog

I think you guys are a breath of fresh air. You have put a handle on faith that opens doors of understanding.

I went through these type of stages in my youth as I challenged my religion (Lutheran) and culture. My questioning and experiences led me to a NDE at WS ‘69.

From there the Lord took a broken young man and led me via stage 5 faith to this Mormon faith. I have endure it, but many times they have made me feel unwelcome as I’ve tried to explain my journey.

I’m a TBM, but for other reasons than stage 3 saints. Sometimes I feel more comfortable around NOMs because they are honest with their doubts. The truth is I scare both groups. I would withdraw into the shadows if this scripture didn’t haunt me:

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”(Matt. 5:15)

So I will haunt the blog where I can be more honest and not rock the Church. Thanks for sharing your Church horror stories I have a few of my own.

A True Women of Faith

Sahar, you show such courage and faith I know the Good Lord is with you. We here in the American church are so pampered temporally and spiritually we spend more time questioning who has the power & authority. You make the answer clear. God has the power and will give it and his authority to anyone who has faith and needs. Like Jesus of old you walk in and out of Jerusalem unseen. You remind me of what they said about the Savior:
“And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”(Mark 1:22)

The Savior was fair in dealing with men and women. He often deferred their praises and thanks back unto themselves by simply saying:
“Your faith has made thee whole.”(Matt.9:22)

Sahar IMHO your faith and example is helping to heal the gap between the men and women in this church. What and why are we always crying about?

The Times They are a Changing

A letter I wrote to Dennis of “Genesis” (SLC) back in Sept. 2005 after reading his experience as a Black Mormon:
It is wonderful and amazing how the Lord ministers to each one of us and then connects us all together. I truly enjoyed your story and life and rejoice in the great blessings God has given you and your eternal wife. It has touched my heart deeply. When he opens our eyes, hearts and minds to his greater love and mercy we can truly forgive the sinner within and then go on and forgive those who trespass against us. Forgive me for preaching, but like you I feel the words you write on a deep level that I judge no one and rejoice in the stories of the converts. While on my mission (Northern California 6/72-7/74) I learn many hard lessons from the saints. Being a new convert, a New Yorker and a former “wanna be hippie” my status among the Elders was very low. However, as you know being low in the gospel works in your favor in the eyes of the Lord. As a youth in my life I always looked to the Black people around me as the more humble and spiritual ones. I read a book once “Black Like Me” written by a white man who injected himself with a dye to look black who moved down south during the 50s or 60s to experience first hand how blacks were treated. I guess my becoming a hippie was a way of taking the low road to find out how it feels to be misunderstood and looked down upon. I went to answer the call of Jimmy Hendrixs. I wanted to be experienced! Now thanks to the Lord I can say “I Have!” During my first month out on my mission in the Sacramento area my companion and I baptized a black man. This man John had great faith and joined the church before the ban on the priesthood was lifted. I was overjoyed in this blessing to know and bless this man who was lowly in heart, but rich in faith. I know the Lord lives and his church is truth, but as you know the members are many times not true. It has always been easier for me to love the sinner (especially those who repent), than the saint ( who thinks he has done no wrong). However, over the years the Lord has increased my love, patience and understanding to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile and love the saint like the sinner.