Neither condemning nor condoning: the fine line of unconditional love

I wonder how often we stop to think about why we support the things we choose to support.

I mean really think about it.

Political correctness? Cause celebre? Zeal of wanting to change the world? Self-righteous superiority?

demonstrationObviously there are those who have lost focus of the actual issues in the melee of the fight for victory. It becomes all about winning the battle rather than understanding the overall reason we are at war.

And what the real outcome must be.

I guess it’s just part of human nature to immediately assume that we know more about an issue than those who are trying to guide us through it. Just flip the channel to any 24-hour news station and you’ll see what I mean.

But the vast majority of the time we simply don’t have the ability, or resources, or edification to see and understand the whole picture.

We make our judgements based on the few pieces of information we have acquired here and there.

So who does see and understand the whole picture?

This Sunday our bishopric will present a letter from the First Presidency to be read in quorums and relief society. The subject is a follow-up to the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Your leaders may have already shared it with you.

I’ve gone on LDS.org and read the letter. As I read, I merely nodded my head in agreement with the words. They ring true and are clear and straightforward. I wasn’t surprised to find there was nothing new there. They were simply reinforcing what we have already been taught.

But based on things I’m hearing and reading in anticipation of this letter, it seems that maybe we didn’t really learn the lesson the first time around.

Hence, the refresher course.

I guess the big question is what message will we choose to hear this Sunday?

More importantly, what will we choose to do with it?

Perhaps we should start with this factual foundation:

checkThere has been absolutely no change in doctrine or church policy. Things are the same as they have always been. I also feel pretty confident in stating that they will always be this way. We can find security in the constancy.

checkThere will be people within every room where the letter is discussed who either have first-hand experience or have family with first-hand experience in just how real this issue is.

checkThis is an issue that, as all things Satan twists and distorts, is divisive and painful. There is genuine suffering surrounding this. This is a big deal.

 

So, where do we go from here?

Satan is doing a pretty good job at deceiving us into thinking there are only two paths we can take.

One path tells us that to be loving we must be filled with pity for those struggling and stand up to support them, often becoming a louder voice in the fight than those who actually struggle.

In anger we must denounce those who disagree as hateful bigots.

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The other path tells us we must be filled with indignation at the very thought of such evil and we must quickly and in solidarity turn our backs on the whole thing.

In anger we no longer associate with any who have strayed so far from the truth.

If you find yourself on either of those paths created by the Adversary, I’d urge you to get off.

Quickly.

It’s a very fine line to balance between condemning on the one hand, and condoning on the other.

This balance isn’t applicable only in this particular instance or on this particular issue.

Wouldn’t it apply to all issues that are divisive and cause pain? Things we all struggle to repent of and overcome?

We don’t condemn. We don’t condone. We just love.

Because very rarely will we have the ability to see the entire picture.

Only through finding and trusting a source that really does see and understand the entire picture can we maintain our delicate balance.

first presidency

That being said, we should listen very carefully to the letter this Sunday.

The whole document, not just the parts that support our current positions.

In doing so we may actually learn something deeply important about ourselves.

We may discover just where we truly are on our personal path of discipleship.

Such a discovery often makes us aware of all those around us who neither condemn us to alienation and damnation, nor condone our missteps which enables more acts of destruction.

holding hands5Those who, even when they may at times see our own big picture more clearly than we do, choose to love us anyway.

Let’s commit together to join these true disciples of Jesus Christ in listening to our Prophet and doing our very best to act accordingly.

As we do, I’m pretty sure the big picture will become clearer for each of us.

 

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