Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The game continues...
This game I'm playing seems to get more and more complicated...
I survived Sunday in teaching the youth about "anchors" in our lives, and digging deep and searching for answers, and finding something inside of us that serves as a
"firm foundation" when all else feels like lake bed sands of liquefaction.
I had to dig deep and find something upon which to stand firmly, something I believe in, something real. When I get in these funks where I find nothing but void in the direction of the prophet, I turn to my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon, Alma 5, and I find a quiet place and slowly read those words addressed to the members of the church who are doubting or unsure, and I find wisdom in the counsel to remember how I felt, to dig deep and recollect the "mighty change" that occurred in my heart, to remember those that came before me and their "mighty changes" as well, and to ask myself: "Am I converted still?" I find wisdom in the teachings of that chapter in avoiding pride and envy, and instead, remembering the poor, the needy, the afflicted, and to remember the process of fasting and prayer to obtain personal revelation... all good stuff. Nothing in this chapter says that because the prophet said so, so be it. Instead, it's search, ponder, seek, help, lift, remember, find your own personal revelation and find again your own "mighty change" of heart.
Though I'm still funking over my disconnect with an ineffectual status-quo prophet (who, as as youth I held in such high esteem, waiting with eager anticipation for the day he would be prophet), I do feel deep inside the ping of remembrance of "change", though I need to dig pretty deep, and it gets harder each time... I need to fill the void.
I have found service is the way that fills my void. Trying to befriend and lift others, offering fellowship and brotherhood in ways that I can... but though that works to fill voids, I still am empty inside. This disconnect of my soul feels like a Carlsbad Cavern of sorts to fill, not a small cave.
And yes, the game continues... Tonight we, the leadership, have an activity with the youth where they are to ask "tough questions" to see if they can stump us (some questions have been written in advance for us to prepare somewhat intelligent responses). The goal is to find enlightenment with the discussion that will follow the tough questions. I hope we can admit that we don't have all the answers. Wouldn't that be a good thing to admit?
And I hope good things will follow... yet, I'm trembling to know how the Bishop or I will answer this question that we received yesterday:
"If the only sin of a gay couple is that they are not married, why would the church be so against gay marriage? Those getting married are only trying to obey the commandments, right?"
This question shows that the incredible youth of the Church today are thinking, questioning things, trying to figure out why the brethren are taking such a stance when logic and reason dictates that wouldn't gay marriage strengthen commitment and help stabilize relationships instead of hurt them? And it's interesting to see that the questioner does not see being gay as a sin as much as not being married is a sin. I find that very interesting and intriguing. In my day (yes, I'm not acting as one of the ancients), this would have been an abomination to even think such a thing, let alone ask it in a church function. These things were not discussed. You were an abomination to even have such thoughts of homosexuality. The closet door for most of us in the 70s was firmly shut and chained and locked with those Harry Potter vault locks, and keys or combinations thrown away forever. Why do you think it took some of us DECADES to come out to ourselves?
He asked me if I would take this one. I said "Sure, but you may not like my answer..." I think he'll end up taking it, but look to me for support. I guess I'm now struggling with the ethical internal battle of whether there should be a difference in what one "personally" believes and holds to be the truth on the matter, verses the "party line". And what changes when one is speaking "for the Church" in front of vulnerable, yet inquisitive and savvy youth, verses speaking "for oneself".
So any thoughts of how to handle this one? What would you do? Should there be a difference in the response based on the role and setting (Think President Hinckley with Larry King regarding similar questions)? Or should there be the personal answer first and foremost?
Oh the balance of playing the game of the one who is anchored, secured, tried and true, who knows all answers, while feeling untethered, unsure, and a bit empty. I'm so tired of hiding, or wearing this facade. I'm tired of being in these positions of authority and feeling such a hypocrite. I don't know how much longer I can play this game...