Skip to comments.Living What We Profess
Posted on 04/21/2004 9:40:18 PM PDT by restornu
An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection with him.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. The woman was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and cussing a blue streak at the guy in front of you. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.
The story may or may not be apocryphal. But it illustrates the challenge we all face: making sure that our behavior squares with our professed values.
Personal responsibility is a virtue we all want in others, and most of us claim as a defining characteristic of ourselves.
Thats not a casual statement. I have hard data on it. Over the years Ive interviewed and surveyed hundreds of thousands of people regarding the culture in their organizations. I always ask questions about performance the performance of the respondent and the performance of others. Virtually without exception, individuals regard themselves as reliable and responsible. They believe they are held accountable to high standards. But when the same questions are applied to others, respondents usually have a different story. They believe that at least some of their colleagues provide less than robust performance.
For example, in one company where I recently did a culture diagnostic, 76% of employees agreed with the statement I am always held accountable for performing at a high level. Among the same employee force, however, only 9% agreed with the statement At (name of company), people who dont pull their fair share of the load are promptly held accountable.
Aside from the logical incongruity of that finding, it underscores a common malady: a blind spot for ones own foibles or mistakes.
Years ago we kept the following note on the family bulletin board:
Thats Not My Job
This is the story about four people. Their names were Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Somebody got upset about that, because it was Everybodys job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody didnt do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
The behavior described in that little ditty is painfully common. It reminds me of when I was growing up as a kid. We kept a water bottle in the refrigerator. The rules, of course, were that (1) you never drank out of the bottle, and (2) you always filled it up after using it.
In reality, of course, my brothers and I often violated the rules. It was not unusual to open the frig and find the bottle not only with just a quarter inch of water in it but with bread crumbs floating on the top. Everybody blamed Somebody when well, you get the idea.
Living What We Profess
In a recent Gospel Doctrine class, we discussed a number of scriptures that directly apply to the notion of living what we profess:
· Nephis admonition that we must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ. (2 Nephi 31:20)
· The importance of asking God, in the name of Christ, to consecrate our performance. (2 Nephi 32:9)
· Jacobs wonderful teachings on magnifying our callings. (Jacob 1:17-19)
Regarding that last point, we gain further insight and instruction in D&C 58:26-28. In this revelation were reminded that we should not need to be commanded in all things (a heavenly twist on Thats Not My Job), and that by our own free will we should be anxiously engaged in good causes.
In Jacob 4:10 were reminded that we should seek not to counsel the Lord but rather to take counsel from his hand. In an intellectual sense, that doctrine is easy to grasp. In actual practice, however, its sometimes a challenge. On occasion we ask the Lord to guide us, then we grab the steering wheel.
In Jacob 5 we read of Zenos allegory of the olive tree. A central theme in the allegory is stewardship. A stewardship is a job with a purpose. (See an earlier column, Think Like a Steward, Perform Like a Patriot.)
When we are faithful in our stewardships, we magnify our callings. We dont need to be commanded in all things. We are proactive. We go the second mile. And, of course, faithfulness in our own callings is an integral part of our genuine sustaining of others in their callings. Ask any bishop how important good home teaching and visiting teaching are to the effectiveness of his service as the wards shepherd.
Then we studied the Book of Enos. Here we see one of the finest examples of personal religion in the scriptures. The fervent prayer offered up by Enos illustrates the expanding concern of a righteous person first for himself, next for his own people, and finally for his enemies. Enos provides a model of humility and openness to the Lords teaching.
Doctrines Pure and Simple
These doctrines are pure and they are simple. So pure and simple, in fact, that they can easily be missed.
Years ago while serving as a stake president I sought out a high priest who had been completely inactive in the Church for more than a decade. I asked him why he had chosen that path. He said he was called to serve as stake mission president and he developed a plan for the calling. His stake president had a different vision for missionary efforts in the stake, and asked him to adjust his plan.
I felt really strongly about the plan I had developed, and I resisted the stake presidents instruction, the man told me. When it because obvious that my approach would not be followed, I asked to be released. Then I just drifted away from the Church.
Well, I guess you really showed him, didnt you? I said. To demonstrate your independence, youve estranged yourself from the faith you once defended. Meanwhile, your wife and children have been denied the benefits of your participation, and your temple blessings are held in suspension while you ignore your covenants.
It was very straight talk, and fortunately the man came to his senses and returned to activity.
Living what we profess requires a special kind of commitment. The doctrines of the Restoration are not always easy, and the natural man frequently gets in the way. Our challenge, of course, is to emulate the strength and faith of people like Nephi and Jacob and Enos.
Does God hang onto His receipts?
And all this time you thought it was Royal Crown Cola ... it's really part of our insidious, Jesuitical Plot to Take Over the World!!!!
I personally was never part of the LDS church. One of my aunts and her family are LDS. Her Mom, my grandmother, was a jack Mormon. My great-grandparents and their parents were LDS, originally immigrants who moved to Utah & So. Idaho in the 19th century. I have a wealth of LDS writings from that time period on.
I have a distant relative who wrote a novel of what it was like to live as a plural wife; she was socially disenfranchised from the LDS church after publishing it.
I have another friend who was @ BYU in the 80s and wound up flunking out of school because the BYU Health Center did not properly diagnose his broken arm. I attended an LDS baptism in the 1980s in North Hollywood, where I saw a woman be baptized 3x because the LDS authorities deemed that the first two did not "take" (the first dunking in the tank was not done w/her birth name, but rather a nickname, so they had to redo it; the second dunking didn't take because she wasn't fully underwater...that was due to the fact that they started to let the water out after the initial dunking...she was a heavyset woman whose knees buckled when she tried to get fully under; the third dunking was worse than the second...but the authorities present showed mercy, after all, in letting it slide--the only act of mercy in an otherwise legalistic treatment of what was spiritually intended to be pure grace).
If I'm not mistaken, I have a text copy of it somewhere myself. I've definitely read McConkie making similar remarks in other settings.
Like using a joke that denigrates Protestant Christian women to begin an exhortation about Mormon obedience, I don't find McConkie's remarks to be tactful, friendly or even civil towards Protestant Christianity.
Jesuit Midget Assassins.
You better believe He does. He embraces His Son, who said in Aramaic on the cross, "It is finished"--the same language used in His day to communicate, "It [the debt] is paid in full." Paul told the Corinthians, "You have been bought with a price." The very literal meaning of the word, "redemption" or "redeem" means "to buy back."
When the resurrected Jesus appeared to doubting Thomas, He still had His wounded hands. I believe the "receipt" Christ keeps for eternity is the scars of those wounds: He paid for our sins by receiving them--by becoming sin (2 Cor 5)...Peter added that became a curse for us.
Jesus suffered more than what The Passion showed. That showed His physical anguish, and, to some degree, His spiritual and mental anguish. But it did not and could not depict what it was like to be separated from the Father for the first time in eternity (to become accursed); to receive the full wrath of the Father for every sin we've ever committed (all of humanity); to literally be sin.
Really, REALLY good points, Colorfornian! Thanks for posting this!
Let's modify that statement a bit, shall we?
Does the Lutheran have any repentance, baptism, commandments to obey after God's forgiveness has been received, as a remaining precondition of entering Heaven?
And for argument's sake, to insure we're comparing apples to apples, let's say we're talking about entrance into what the LDS call Celestial Heaven, i.e. where the believer enjoys direct, unrestricted fellowship with all members of the Godhead, not just one or two.
I would prefer to compare apples to apples. The "walk" I walk isn't the same one as you walk. The rules aren't the same for our respective religions, nor are the rewards. If it's really necessary to compare notches on our belts, we should strive to understand what the notches represent, don't we? Anything else and we only sow confusion between ourselves and others. Is that what you seek to do?
I've already stated earlier that I thought the message given was a good one. At the same time, I have been critical of those who would demean and denigrate one belief system in order to advance another. It seems that, in these repeated challenges made to Colofornian, and now myself, you are just trying to be contentious and stir up strife, rather than accept the message for what it offers with peace and gentleness. If you want a fight, take it elsewhere.
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