A man must not choose his neighbor; he must take the neighbor that God sends him. In him, whoever he be, lies, hidden or revealed, a beautiful brother. The neighbor is just the man who is next to you at the moment, the man with whom any business has brought you in contact. -George Mcdonald

I've been trying to write something on and off all morning. and for some reason, the words are just not coming the way I would want them to. so for now I will leave you with snippets from two people who really did know how to say something eloquent. The first one is from a book called 'Unspoken Sermons', I read this piece over the shoulder of a friend in relief society and have been thinking about it since. The quote below is from a High Council man talk that my friend Thelma sent me.

Perhaps you see the gospel from a different vantage point than those who surround you in your worship services. Perhaps you have doubts. If so, come and sit on the bench with me and we’ll share our doubts. But don’t try to suppress or deny them, or they’ll come back with a vengeance that you may not be able to control. And don’t apologize or feel guilty for having them. Doubt and faith are two sides of the same coin, and a healthy interplay between them makes for a healthy spiritual life. Winston Churchill warned his troops not to do anything that would “frighten the horses,” so be responsible in vocalizing your doubts in a public setting. But the way to deal with them is to deal with them, and there are plenty around you who can help you to do so. David O. McKay, whose name may sound familiar to you, was a pretty good doubter in his day. To a missionary who wanted to come home from his mission because he doubted, he wrote: “Over fifty years ago, when I was about to leave for my first mission, an agnostic friend said to me, among other things: ‘David, teach only that which you feel to be true—things about which you are in doubt, keep to yourself until your doubt is removed.’ Following that injunction, I went from what was known to what was unknown with respect to doctrine and Church policies, and today, believe me, doubts that shook me as a young man, as doubts are now shaking you, became as clear as Thomas’s assurance of the resurrection of the Savior when he said, ‘My Lord and my God.’” Hugh B. Brown, who served as a counselor to President McKay for a decade, told students at a BYU devotional: “We are not so much concerned, now, whether your thoughts are orthodox or heterodox as we are that you shall have thoughts.”


Lindsey P said...

both of those are so beautiful! Will you send me the talk that the second came from?

shelly said...

This made me think yet again of all the reasons I love our new(er) ward. It is an eclectic mix of people coming from so many places -- physically, yes, but that's not what I'm speaking of.

I think that over half are converts or those who stopped coming in their youth, and have come back. These are people who have lived life as I'd not seen it really before. It is the most refreshing thing in the world to hear the different ideas and viewpoints, but coming back to the reality of the truthfulness of the GOSPEL. Not of the church culture. But the gospel. People with worlds of experiences but have been touched by the Spirit. That's not to say that when certain people get up to bear their testimony there isn't a collective holding of breath, especially if you have an investigator with you! But it really is wonderful to feel the "this is so true" feeling each week as you sit by someone different each week and see it through their new eyes, and listen to how they perceive what you used to think was understood. Did that make sense?? It did in my own mind! Sometimes it just doesn't translate.

chris almond said...

these are such interesting quotes. They are in such stark contrast to todays 'testimony is found in the baring of it' teachings.