Wednesday, May 02, 2007

'The Mormons'

What did you think of PBS’s ‘The Mormons’?

I really would like to know the backgrounds of all the people that commented. It was obvious in the cases of the General Authorities and the Church Historian and a few others, like the Black woman who told a bit about her history. Then there were a few that admitted that they’d been excommunicated or were no longer active. There were others that I guessed that was the case for them, also. And that was my biggest concern: that the people who were telling the world about ‘the church’, as though they ‘knew’, were people who obviously (to me*) didn’t really understand, or they wouldn’t have left the church.

I don’t mean that as a ‘put down’ or criticism. Several of them were generally very positive, even expressing sadness in missing their church activity and I sympathized with them. I could even see where they were coming from, according to their own perspectives. I do realize that there are several things that are difficult to understand, and even harder to accept, depending on the circumstances of one’s life. And as one man pointed out, if we’re really true followers of the Savior, their not accepting the church should have no bearing on our accepting them. (And for those of us that would never dream of leaving the church, that very willingness - or lack thereof - to accept those who do, may be our test in life. Our failure to pass it may be far more damning to us than the act of leaving for those that have left! For to not accept anyone, is to judge them without the understanding that only God is in a position to have!) Nevertheless, it just seemed a little sad that those who didn’t seem to understand the church were put in a position to explain it to the world as though they were authorities. I’m guessing that, in a way, it was done on purpose, because if the story had been told only by strong church members, it couldn’t have been considered ‘objective’.

The other thing that seemed a little strange was that they referred several times to the church as though it was a business that had to ‘keep up with the times’ to continue being ‘successful’. It seemed kind of like offering a critique on how God handles things! But then, I realize, not everyone sees it that way, unless they truly believe - as I do - that this is Christ’s church and really not open for criticism in the way that man-made things are (keep in mind, I’m referring to Christ’s organization of his church, not the people who happen to be members!)

On the whole, though, I saw the four hour special as a positive thing. I remember back in the late ‘70s, when we first moved to Hawaii. I heard someone on the radio say something about the church that wasn’t true. I called the mission president, all alarmed and thinking he’d want to do something to correct this grave situation of the world being told an untruth about the church! He laughed and explained that there was no need to worry. He said there are a lot of people brought into the church from hearing such things, that otherwise might not have ever given the church a second thought. It makes them curious enough to investigate whatever ‘shocking’ bit of information they’ve heard, and they end up being baptized.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways, . . .”

* I do understand that understanding the ‘ideals’ of the Gospel and living all of the principles in the reality of one’s circumstances, may be two different things and take more than a lifetime to accomplish. I trust that the Lord understands my limitations and my heart, even if others may not. That’s why it’s important for me to remember that only the Lord has all the facts upon which to judge. He also allows me a lifetime to prepare and improve. If he can be patient with me, I trust he expects me to give others a little space, as well. :)