Unity within Christianity

Missionaries in Odate, Japan

Missionaries in Odate, Japan (taken by me)

It is going to get harder and harder for people not to find out that you’re a Christian with standards different from our fellow (sometimes atheist) man. The sooner we get used to being in the spotlight and expected to explain ourselves and keeping our standards then the faster we will find confidence given to us by the Lord, and the sooner we will find His approval. Isn’t that terribly important? It is to me. To Hell with the world and to Heaven with the Lord. I guess I’m reflecting this back to living in Japan where nobody believed in Christ, nor many times one true God. But it will become increasingly important in the land of equality and rights here in America to stand for what you believe in.

Doesn’t it say in Romans 12:5 – “we, being many, are one body in Christ.” Unity is necessary for any Christian church. For any religion, at all. As the world slowly, and slightly is tempted into becoming worse and worse then unity is the only thing that will keep the weak of the church from being picked off by the wolves. I think a lot of times unity is an obscure topic that leaders are expected to understand and aim for. But, as a church, if we don’t seek for unity from the bottom up, then the bottom will get swept away in the storm of life.

Today in Sunday School we were learning about unity. Proposition 8 came up as we talked about how this has disunited so many members as they have tried to keep standards of following the Lord’s will, and yet still want to make the world happy with them. It says in Acts 13:47, “I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” We have to expect that there were be trials in our life because of our religion. We have to expect that trials do not only mean personal one-on-one trials, but tests of faith against our neighbors, our employers, our friends and our family members. This is very easy for me to say since I haven’t had any of those tests yet. But I fully expect them, and I hope to follow my Savior through them.

I know it’s difficult, though. We had a Brother in Sunday School today who commented that he was going into Music, Dance, Theater for a major. He related that because of the support the Mormon Church has given Prop 8 that the theaters and acting agencies refuse to accept applicants and employees from Utah. The problem is so big that the faculty of the department got together and reviewed what to do since if they aren’t providing an atmosphere of getting jobs outside of graduation then they can’t continue the program. That’s pretty scary for the junior sitting in our class. That’s a clear representation also of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:26, “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” The church members that supported in Prop 8 are causing this man to suffer, even though he isn’t from California.

Becoming a Christian causes an investment in where the church goes. I think that is where unity really counts. The church has to move forward in unity to be able to survive the suffering that every individual both feels and causes for others. If there is not unity then that church will quickly see its members looking for a new place, a convenient place, to worship instead of finding the strength they need to make through the hazing process the Lord prepares us for.

I know these thoughts are somewhat scattered, but this seems so important to me for members to find unity within both my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Mormon Church, as with any other. With this coming Christmas, we should be looking to unify ourselves with both Christ and the body of Christ, which is the church. Through knowing the true will of God, then we may confront the brushes of the adversary as he seeks to demoralize us and invite us to lower our standards. Then I can have confidence in my actions and know that the Lord is supporting me as I gain my education at school. That’s my prayer this week as I dive into finals before I get my Christmas Break. I hope you will also comment on your feelings of unity, temptations, standards, and surviving the tempest of the world.

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My Personal Devil’s Mission Papers

You have hereby been demanded to labor against Adam Dyal for as long as he is mortal. You will serve in Las Vegas, Nevada; Orem, Utah and Medford, Oregon as he grows up. Each area is a heavily populated city full of Latter Day Saint’s, good influence and proper examples for him to look up to. You will follow him, if you fail to corrupt him, to Brigham Young University, where he will live in the best environment, with the best church leaders, roommates and girlfriends that will keep him from choosing your wicked persuasions. You will work against the teachings of spiritually guided professors who will give truth and light which you are commanded to pervert and dim to keep him from applying to his personal life.

You have been demanded to do this night and day as much as our wicked influence empowers you to do so. You have been demanded because of your great diligence in corrupting those whom have been demanded to you before. You have been demanded for this labor because it will take the craftiest and most subtle temptations to have influence over this soldier of Christ. You will wait for his weakness to show always because you know the consequence: misery in loneliness and no satisfaction from your failed works to make Adam miserable with you.

Undeniably,

Lucifer, the true Lord and King of the Earth

Me at a waterfall

My missionary district (diligent soldiers of Christ) at a waterfall outside of Hachinohe, Japan. (Elder Nelson, Whitlock, me and Elder Cazinha)

My Emotions.. Who has the right to them?

This post has everything to do with repentance, guilt and forgiveness. I like to believe that I am in pretty good control of my emotions. I have always thought it a good thing to be able to control your own anger or patience or when it is right/wrong to laugh (like with spiritual things). But I have a pet peeve that is uncontrollable, and that is because that is what it is. Nothing frustrates me more than when other people have control over how I feel. I hate having people edge me on just to see me get mad, that makes me even more mad. I hate it when I am put through a guilt trip to try and give money to a charity or do something because it is “right”. That doesn’t feel right to me, to be treated like an animal trying to get the most happy feeling from the biscuit my owner is holding over my head. That seems coercive, manipulative, and wrong. I am probably wrong about all this, but that is how I feel. So I hate it when someone holds something over you, and without forgiving you slaps you over the head with it whenever they want. That is the worst. I don’t think anybody likes that.

What gospel application does this have? Well it has a lot to do with humility and patience on my part. As does it deal with repentance. Wouldn’t it be horrible if we couldn’t ever get our trust back with God? If every time we repented God put us through a personal hell of all the sins that we have already repented of? That’s not the point of repentance. Maybe we put ourselves through that hell as we see how painfully weak we are, but God doesn’t do that to us. He loves us too much and is completely just. He will let you repent through Christ and forget it. And I truly believe He forgives us completely of it if we repent fully. Enos 1:5-6 “And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. 6. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.”

Do any of you have any feelings, opinions or attitudes about this? I know that I have a lot to learn before I am clean from my mistakes in having these feelings. I have not learned it yet though.