to choose the right.
It’s just a simple phrase learned in Primary,
but it’s still true today.
Take a stand.
Fight for what you believe in.
Don’t give in to the easy choice.
Tell the truth. Be nice. Forgive.
Think about why the letters CTR are always in a shield.
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” -Joshua 24:15
Following Christ means walking the path that He walks. The path that is spent in the service of others amidst mocking, scorning, and storms of all kinds. It means eating with the publicans, ministering to the sinners, and crying out to God in prayer. It means studying scripture and then spreading the message. It means that we will face persecution. But that we can overcome. His path is not easy but He’s cleared the way.
As a young woman of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, never have I felt inferior to the men of the church. It truly confuses me when people write the church off as sexist.
When the men of the church thank the women, it is humble and sincere. Never have I felt more honored to be a woman as when the priesthood holders that I admire and look up to testify of the love that they have for the women of the church.
Male members of the church, from what I’ve observed, value women more than many of the men outside of the church. Priesthood holders know and cherish the divine nature of women, and a righteous man will do anything he can to protect that virtue.
People say that it is sexist to expect women to be mothers. The women should be able to work just as the father does. They push women to have more masculine features. Is that not sexist itself? They aren’t allowing women to be proud about being women. They are pushing them to be more like a man. That seems sexist to me.
The Priesthood is something given to man, and on face value it seems sexist. But as a member of the church, I know that it is their divine role, just as mine is to raise a family. Just as male members of the church are expected to cherish and protect the virtue of women, we are expected to help and support the men to maintain their Priesthood powers. The men have their roles, and the women have their own. But neither are superior to the other in the eyes of God.
I will support the priesthood where I can. I will maintain my virtue. I will prepare now to be able to raise a family the best I can, to prepare to marry a worthy Priesthood holder in the temple. I know that he will not look to me as inferior, but will expect me to be just as great as he. I will not look down on him either, because we are both equally great creations of our Heavenly Father.
(If I tagged you, it’s because I want you to read this. Also, I am sorry to my followers who are not religious and might be tired of these text posts even though I’ve only made two so far.)
So, there is a theory that has been brought up in my Theology class. This theory comes from evidence of words of Saints and authors of the stories in the bible. The theory is, and you can make what you want of it: Those times when you feel further from God are the times when you are closest to Him.
I think that this could have some actual meaning. When we feel further from God, we are usually suffering, however, Christ and God are always near you during times of suffering. Here is a quote from my theology textbook (which has actually been helping me through my struggles with religion): “[…] God was revealed not only as the ‘lofty’ One who reigns from his high and holy throne, but also as the One who abases himself to the condition of the crushed and oppressed.”
Another long quote I would like to present from this text: “The body of Christ on the cross has disclosed for all time how the Son of God drew near to human beings in their suffering. He is mysteriously but truly present to those who suffer anywhere and at any time. His death on Calvary between two criminals symbolizes forever his close solidarity with all men and women who undergo suffering.” Now, at the time that Matthew 25: 31-46 were written, suffering then was described as ‘hunger, thirst, being a stranger, naked, sick, or imprisoned’. While these are still forms of suffering, I think that these can also be expanded with modern times. ‘Imprisoned’ could have just meant literally in prison, however, I think that today, imprisonment could be especially expanded because so many people are being imprisoned by themselves, and they suffer during these times. Their minds work against them and they can’t get out of it, it’s another form of imprisonment.
What I’m trying to say is, God and Christ is near to those who are suffering. According to Matthew 25, these forms of suffering are also criteria for the final judgement, which I have interpreted in two ways. One: if you do not help these people who are suffering with these ailments, then you have not helped God either and you can be sent off from eternal happiness. Two: if you are one who does suffer from these ailments, there will be relief when you are finally at the hands of God in heaven.
To try and wrap these two points together, at those times that you feel like you are moving away from God, those are usually the times when you are suffering, and even though you are suffering and feel like you have lost touch with your faith, God will still be near you.
To some of my friends, who feel that they are moving away from God and his love, I want you to think about this theory, and the statements that I have provided.
It was nice to go to the temple. Even if I was irritated with all kinds of rules that no one felt like telling us until we had already broken them. That wasn’t important. What was important was being in that rhythm again. Feeling that spirit. Reading scripture—D&C 138 actually—and listening to prayers and bowing before the Lord in His house. Knowing that—no matter what might be going on in the real world—I am worthy to be in the temple, and in the temple, I am spotless, dressed in white and blessed. Doing such a sacred service for people all across time and space, and having faith that I could have a relationship one day when I eventually cross into the Spirit World. What was important was feeling that reassurance, that spirit, that burst of a testimony welled up inside my chest. What was important was the temple.
Heavenly Father knows you. He knows what you need. Even without asking, He knows. And He’ll bless you. Be faithful. Do your part. If you do your part, there is nothing He can do but bless you.