30 October 2006

my eyes have been opened

It's funny what people choose to do for full time jobs, isn't it?

And what's even funnier is how outrageous some people become when veiled by annonymity. People say the darndest things when they don't have to own up to it...

And one other topic that I'll give more in depth treatment to later... but I've just got to say - there are some things that I really hate about being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is this cultural thing going on where people who are LDS get slapped with a whole suite of assumptions.... most of them having to do with matters of righteousness. Moving to Salt Lake City has been a huge eye opener for me. Nobody seems to want to allow LDS folks to be imperfect. Members of the church certainly don't allow for anyone to be imperfect. There is a tremendous guilt and shame mechanism that the culture keeps in motion, which, seems really destructive. And non-members, well, there seems to be a common idea out there that if an LDS person does something wrong, they are a hypocrite, liar, bad person, etc etc etc. I heard a story the other day, recounted by a non-LDS person, describing the raucous and riotous behavior of one LDS person on a saturday night... they were disgusted that the said person would have the nerve to go to church the next morning.

HUH???

What??

Excuse me???

(actually, I've heard this dialogue by many an LDS person, too... ludicrous! )
What would YOU suggest they do? NOT go to church? As far as I can tell, church is a place for people to go and try to learn ways to be a better person. Last time I checked, there was no "righetousness requirement" for walking in those doors on Sunday morning. Quite the opposite. It's a place for sinners to go and be inspired to do a little better the next week. And mind you, we are ALL sinners. Horrible sinners. Each of us have a suite of sins that are unique, near, and dear to us. And nobody's collection is the same. He who is without sin, cast the first stone...

And so, I just need to say, Yes, I belong to that church. And hear me now: I'm not perfect. And please don't sit around holding your breath wating for me to become perfect. It's going to be a long, long time before I'm what people would call a "really good person". Please dont' be shocked when I fail to live up to the example of Jesus. I'm not him. I just try (although mostly failingly) to follow him.

But, in the mean time, I'm going to give it the good fight, and do my best to make the most of what I've got. It's going to be a long tale of successes and failures. But what else could be expected? After all, the Lord did make it very clear during his earthly ministry, that in His eyes, our progress is not measured in absolutes - it's not how far you travel, it's how much you make of what you've been given, be it large or small.

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