Friday, October 06, 2006
Enduring by making a difference...
Enduring to the end doesn't have much to do with suffering in silence, overcoming all life's obstacles, or even achieving the LDS ideal (perfection). It just means not giving up. It means keeping - to the best of our abilities - the commitments we made to Christ when we entered into the marriage of the gospel. It means not divorcing the Savior or cheating on him by letting some other love become more important in our lives. It means not rejecting the blessings of the atonement that he showered upon us when we entered his church and kingdom.
-- Stephen E. Robinson, Following Christ
Enduring to the end does not mean achieving perfection! I understand that. I understand perfection is NOT a requirement of endurance. But it also does not mean to let my "other love become more important in my life". Allowing this desire of male attention, affection, companionship, and relationship to become the most important aspiration of my life is not keeping my commitments I've made. Envying others who have is not keeping my commitments. Seeking out images that titillate and feed that envy is not keeping my commitments. Being bitter that I'm "missing out" on something more wonderful than my family and the covenants we've made together, is not keeping my commitments.
I understand that the TEST of this life is really about what we have DONE with what we have been GIVEN. There is no one standard for all (such as grades in school: 90% = A; 80% = B, etc.) nor are we graded by the bell curve (where just as many that get the A's will also get the F's and the majority get C's). I understand that everyone's package (talents, gifts, abilities) is different and thus we are judged uniquely with what we have been given and the "level of difficulty" attributed to our performance.
It's like Elder Stanley G. Ellis' talk in last week's General Priesthood session where he reiterated the point of the Parable of the Talents. The three examples in the parable did not receive equal talents. But all three were good stewards - even the one that received but one. The Lord gives the same praise and reward to the one who had five and the one who had two because "of what they DID with what they were GIVEN". But, even though the one who received one talent was careful to take care of, protect, and return safely back to the Lord his one talent - the rebuke is stark and harsh! It wasn't because he was careless or forgetful, or even uncommitted or ungrateful. It was because he DIDN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
So I look at my homosexual issues as a gift, a talent I've been given. I didn't choose to receive this talent. It has been given to me as part of my mortal life. So what am I doing with it? Am I burying it? (yes). Am I carefully and attentively caring for it? (yes). Am I protecting it to return it safely back to the Lord? (yes). Am I making a difference with it, letting it increase? (NO!) So am I not a "wicked and slothful servant"?
I mean, what should I be doing with this special gift I've been given?
Somehow, just resisting it doesn't seem right.
Embracing it for good does seem right.
So how do I embrace it for good?
There are some good articles in the October Ensign... One in particular is by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland along these lines:
"It is important to remember that we need to succeed - not just finish the course - but finish our course with joy. For a celestial reward, it is absolutely essential that we remain faithful to the end. There is nothing in the Church that is directed toward the telestial or terrestrial kingdoms. For us it is a celestial goal every step of the way. We cannot flag or fail or halt halfway."
"The power of your covenants are GREATER than the power of temptation."
"The tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens BEST SUITED to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our CHALLENGES WILL BE THE ONES WE NEEDED, and CONQUERING them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way."
"The most significant sign of your progress on this journey is not so much your location on the path at the moment, but rather the direction in which you are moving."
Okay, so celestial life is my goal. My covenants are greater than my temptations. My challenges (gifts / talents / issues) are the ones I need. And the direction in which I'm going is more important than being the best or better than others.
I got it...
But, how do I use this special and unique "gift", with its special and unique "level of difficulty" to make a difference (increase) so that I won't be a wicked and slothful servant?
Ah... Sheeezzee! I really don't have a "f-ing" clue about what I'm talkin' about!!!
Is this all a piece of crap???