Thursday, December 13, 2007

Worthy To Suffer Shame

In a post comment a few days back, I indicated that there was NO WAY I would vote for Mr. Huckabee because he had once been a Baptist minister. After posting the comment, I realized that this is as narrow-minded as the NPR piece that got my back up to begin with. So, for a few days I tried to find out more about Huckabee (do we really want a president with such a last name?), and I was actually quite liking some of his ideas. Then, a couple of days ago, this story came across my home page.

I was like

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While, strictly speaking, this is correct theology we are dealing with here, but I've only heard this statement worded precisely so when speaking with a person quoting anti-Mormon literature. The only political leverage to be gained from such a statement is an attempt to paint Romney as a member of cult and thereby undermine his support among conservative Christians. Such personal attacks on a person's religious belief can have NO bearing whatever on any rational approach to politics.

I am about four months behind in my Sunday School lessons, and I was just reading Acts 5 the other day: one of my favorites in the whole New Testament (actually the first SEVEN chapters of The Acts are such affirmation for LDS theology that you have to wonder how the early Christians fell apart so quickly). Two of my favorite all time verses are found here.

The first is about Peter. The apostles are brought before a council and critisized all around for preaching Jesus. The high priest believes the apostles are only preaching about him in an attempt to pin his murder on them. Peter insists that no, his only desire is to witness about Jesus' life and resurrection so that people will feel the spirit and become saved. Despite wanting to kill him, they really have nothing on Peter and the apostles and they are released. Then, Luke records the following, "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."

I don't agree with Mr. Romney's politics, though I think there are certainly WORSE choices on the ballot (particularly the Republican ballot). But I have had a lot of empathy for him the last couple of weeks. I too have suffered shame for His name, and in the moment I have never felt cause to rejoice. I mostly felt hurt and confused and that I had been treated unfairly. Mostly I felt that I had cast my pearls before swine. . . .

I wonder if Mr. Romney is feeling any of these emotions this week? I pray that he will one day look back on his (short-lived?) run at the White House and feel joy that he was willing to suffer shame to stick to his beliefs. It takes true courage to stand up in the face of so much opposition.

The next part of this same chapter that I love has also been on my mind. And perhaps this is the greater message to the world in response to the way Mr. Romney has been treated. The reason the apostles were even released is because of a man referred to as a "doctor in the law" called Gamliel speaks in favor of amnesty, using an example from an earlier event in the city and then saying the following:

" . . . Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just ONE generation away from its bicentennial. It is truly the stone cut out of the mountain prophesied by Daniel in ancient times. The world may rage against its doctrine and try to lure its adherents away into false paths, but the church will grow. "As well a man might stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almight from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints." Those who have disparaged, criticized, born false witness against, or treated lightly the sacred things of the Church will one day know that they were mistaken. And only an infinitely loving Father in Heaven will be able to give them a second chance.

I know that Elohim and Jehovah appeared together, united but unique, to Joseph Smith that day in the grove. I know it. In the years after, I know they directed Joseph into forming a church. Not a reformed church. Not a protestant church. A RESTORED Church. A Church based on truth and modern prophetic revelation, not on assumption and dead philosphy. That prophetic line has not been broken even to this day. Anybody can know this for themselves. Anybody can read and pray and ponder and know if they will pray with a sincere heart.

If Mr. Romney's bid for candidacy does no more than genuinely interest some few who are seeking to know truth, then it will be worth all of his time and effort and money and pain.

3 comments:

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

I like the way the Church spokeswoman addressed the issue: God is the Father of all, so we are all His children, but Christ is His Only Begotten in the flesh.

Other than that, the article was a little confusing. On the one hand, Huckabee seemed to say he doesn't want to debate the doctrine of his or anyone else's faith (good plan). If that's true, why in blue blazes is he asking this bizarre and potentially contentious question? Maybe Romney's recent statement of faith changed Huckabee's mind and tactics.

If so, I agree with you - such questions strike me as a smear campaign that has no bearing on a person's ability to lead the country.

on.the.run said...

Good stuff!

Forecast said...

Who's Mr. Romney??? Are you talking about that Mitt guy? j.k. I really liked the church's response as well. I guess in campaigning it's a free for all, anything goes and we the people have to decide for ourselves knowing that and that every politician will do whatever possible to get your vote. I don't think there's much integrity left in the process.