I have Un-Blogged about this several times, but I want to say again, for the record, that after years of study, seeking, research, prayer, fasting and sacrifice, that I do not find any valid reason to criticize this latter-day church. As far as the Lord will reveal it to me, the Church is fulfilling its latter-day calling in exactly the way Jesus Christ desires. Nothing more should or can be done. Nothing more should or can be taught. Nothing more can or should be revealed.
I understand better than most that this Church is not perfect – but I also understand better than most that it is – for this moment in history – functioning exactly as it should.
The reason I say this is because I am a personal witness of the fact that every blessing mortals may seek, is presently available to us because there truly is power in the priesthood ordinances and promises received within the bosom of the Church. If the Church were defective, or apostate, or strayed from the correct path, then that power would evaporate. If the Church was teaching false doctrine, or perverting the true meaning – the power would evaporate. If the Prophet was not actually a prophet – the power would evaporate.
I will stand up and say this for the remainder of my life and on into eternity, I have sought and obtained, and the promises are vast and valid. All this tells me, by the exact logic used above, that the Prophet is a prophet, and all other things are as they should be.
Do I think it is flawless? No.
Do I think there is nothing that could be improved? No.
Do I think doctrine is flawlessly taught in every class and every sacrament meeting, or that people’s pride doesn’t muddle the work, or that wrongs are not perpetuated, or the true seekers are not at times misunderstood or persecuted – no, I have unfortunately seen otherwise.
But, I have also seen the windows of heaven open. I have seen the priesthood power manifest to raise the dead and instantly heal, and to qualify us for the visions and proclamations essential to whatever quest we are led to seek. I have seen hundreds of inspired leaders minister to and bless the humble. I have sat in counsels where the Spirit of God was so profoundly present that everything that was said and done was the will of God. I have shared in revelation that led and inspired a new Bishop to correctly fill every office and officer and teacher in his new ward from the Elder’s Quorum and Relief Society to who plays the piano for Primary. These things are the norm, and the pattern of this church. If Jesus Christ, for reasons of misconduct on our part, was not leading this great work, then these things would not occur.
If anything is actually amiss, it is that we, the people, live below our privilege, that we do not seek and obtain the voice of the Lord throughout our lives, and that instead of inspiration we use human philosophy and logic.
If anything is amiss, it is that many who complain do not seek and study and extend themselves in searching sufficiently to obtain an inspired view of what our privileges and powers truly are, and how to obtain them. Instead of seeking and obtaining them where they are actually enthroned – in the privacy of our own obedience and ordinance-powered quest – we want the Church to teach advanced spiritual concepts to us that we are not sufficiently evolved to hear. Then we feel cheated and disillusioned that we are not seeing the visions and working the miracles we read about in the scriptures.
The scriptures clearly teach that there is a mighty struggle that qualifies us for these gifts. Every powerful practitioner of pure priesthood power obtained their gifts after sacrifice, searching, struggling, repenting and willingly suffering the schooling of the purification process that must proceed such blessings.
But, when we at long last understand the path, and walk it to its conclusion, then whatever flaws might exist in this divine drama of mortal errors, simply do not matter because we have obtained.
When one struggles through university, and finally obtains one’s PhD, it simply does not matter anymore that the professors were boring, the classrooms too crowded, and the cafeteria too costly.
And so I repeat – not only is this Church true, but it works. It works today as in any generation of the past.
© July 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.