Friday, July 29, 2011

Life's a Beach

A few weeks ago in Primary I thought about the song where the wise man builds his house upon a rock and I wondered, what is the rock? Of all the things in our culture that we attribute to the gospel, which things are the rock? Which things really matter and which things are we doing that are silly human inventions that waste our time, or worse, damage people's souls?

I wondered about the rock again today. Today I read that one of our community leaders has been indicted on no less than a dozen felony charges. I won't list them all, but it appears this has been going on for some time and people have talked about it, but it took a long time for anyone in power to do anything about it. What many people didn't know, until the local paper printed it, was that this community leader was also a stake leader.

So, where is the rock? Where are our leaders taking us when they make girls feel dirty for having their ears pierced twice while their colleague is apparently stealing? Where is the rock when we are pressured to wear the right kind of shoes to church or the right color of shirt while our leaders tell lies and some people think that is just part of doing business? Is that the rock?

Over the last few months I've read about race and the priesthood and I can't find the rock that policy was based on. I can see the procedures that blocked the changes needed to do the right thing and reverse it. But, oddly, no one seems to know the procedures that lead to instituting that rule. Isn't a rock permanent? If the rock was there in the beginning shouldn't the rock be there now?

I've read about the book Mormon Doctrine and how leaders knew it was not correct, but for whatever reasons--personalities or church politics--they let it be accepted for generations. That looks like sand to me, not rock.

I've read about a leader at BYU who was less than honest and yet he stayed in office while vigorously enforcing the Honor Code. Where is the rock there? How much irrational guilt did that man generate for no good reason while it appears he did his best to hide his guilt from others?

Perhaps these things don't matter. Perhaps the local politicians and leaders are right and God is a hard line conservative so he doesn't care if people starve or suffer as long as we all dress the same and act like we are doing good deeds.

Perhaps all he cares about is conformity. Perhaps, just perhaps, if we all wear the right clothes and follow our leaders, no matter what they do or ask, then the stealing, and the hate, and the fear in our community won't matter because we will finally be in Zion.
A Zion with no flip flops.
A Zion of white shirts.
A Zion with complete freedom for business.
A Zion where the poor have the "opportunity to solve their own problems" instead of getting help.
A Zion where ears are pierced only once, if at all.
A Zion with committees and councils who can create an ever growing list of unwritten rules for us to worry about and enforce.

Perhaps that is all the rock is. I for one will be very disappointed if that is all God can offer. In fact, if that is all the rock is then, as they say, "life is a beach" because all I can see today is so much sand.

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