Filling the Void
I read a great blog post regarding filling the void. Because I read it on my phone while I was battling insomnia, I am hard pressed to find it again. Either way, I’ll share the essence of it.
The writer, in speaking about people who leave the church, pointed out that when they leave, they don’t fill that void with anything. In fact, they become “unbelievers”. And, in many cases, they go so far as to become antiChrists (my words, not the bloggers). They used an example from the Book of Mormon. Sherem , Nehor and Korihor are classic examples.
Excuses vs Divine Knowledge
My definition of divine knowledge is that knowledge that comes as a result of temperance, perseverance, faith and keeping the commandments. It’s knowledge that apostates seldom achieve, and if they did, they are as the Book of Mormon says, it will better for them to have never experienced that knowledge. I personally don’t know if that qualifies them as Sons of Perdition, but dang close.
Excuses are those things that hid what is really going on. The popular excuses these days are gays and the church, women and the priesthood and historical findings about early church leaders. All three things can be overcome through study, prayer and patience. I will be the first to admit I had to overcome all three. In fact, before that it was blacks and the priesthood, for which I have an unalterable testimony of the divinity of everything surrounding the blacks and the priesthood.
Perhaps I could say I didn’t give up, and at the risk of sounding pretentious, that’s all it takes. All it takes is to hang in there and not stop waiting for that answer from God.
A few excommunications have been put in the public light. I can think of one regarding the women and the priesthood, and another about historical findings. I’ve read the arguments of the excommunicated persons, and all I can say is… they sound more like excuses, because as arguments, they don’t hold water. I genuinely feel bad for them. Okay, let me rephrase that, if they truly believe what they are saying, then they truly haven’t learned and for that, I feel bad for them, and I’m sure the Lord will have mercy on them at judgement day. But, if they are using this as an excuse to hide something else, I feel bad for them because they are in for a rude awakening.
A recent firing of a BYU-I instructor was followed by her excuse making. I’m sorry, if you’re an instructor at a church-run university, and you preach false doctrine in your spare time, yeah, they should fire you, and as a result they should convene a church court.
Simply put, there are some easy ways to look at some of these controversies.
- Nobody on this earth has the authority to allow gay marriages in the temple. Not even the prophet or twelve apostles has that authority. The authority belongs to God. End of discussion.
- Women aren’t required to hold the priesthood for exaltation. They can receive exaltation without holding it. Nobody on earth has the authority to extend the priesthood to women. The authority belongs to God. End of discussion.
- Early, and present, church leaders are not perfect. Joseph Smith, Junior’s, imperfections don’t change the authenticity and divine nature of the Book of Mormon and subsequent latter-day revelations. While many negative findings about Joseph Smith fall in the category of hearsay, we still don’t know the facts of the matter. All that aside, even if many of them were discovered to be true, it cannot negate the spiritual witness I have regarding the Book of Mormon. For that reason, it is easy for me to ‘doubt my doubts’, but I realize it might be more difficult for those who have not received a spiritual witness of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. For me, my witness is an end of the discussion for me.
Pray About It
Now, one could say the prophets and apostles could pray about gay marriage and women and the priesthood. What gives them the impression that they haven’t??? I can assuredly guarantee they HAVE prayed about it — individually and collectively. As a result we have the Family – a Proclamation to the World. As a result, we have the Relief Society, temple sealings, endowments, and more. Recently Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve was asked if there could be a time when the LDS Church would change its position on gay marriage?
He was unequivocal. “Nope”, he said.
Going back to the blog I read…
There are many apostates who leave the church, angry at the church and its leaders, and thus believe they have found a better path… yet, they stop living the commandments. They stop going to church on Sundays, they stop keeping the sabbath day holy, some stop living the word of wisdom, a few whom I’ve had personal knowledge have stopped living the law of chastity. The void doesn’t get filled. The don’t replace what they believed once to be good. One would think they would replace it with something better (in their opinion), but they don’t even do that. They become unbelievers. Hypocrites in their own rite.