Friday, May 3, 2019

LDS Blogs (6) Fruits, Not Roots

I have been messaged by two people recently who either stopped believing God’s prophets, lost faith in the truth of His Church, or just stopped believing in God entirely based on the behavior of past prophets and the more transparent Church history we now know about. I’m not going to try to resolve any of their specific concerns here, but something came to mind as I spoke to both of these people; something that I have seen as a recurring theme with possibly everyone in their situation.

Each individual (more than just those two, of course) who has expressed their frustration, doubt, or disbelief in the restored gospel because of Church history has unintentionally brought the following phrase to my mind:

Don’t get so focused on the roots of the church that you forget the fruits of the church.

I pondered to myself what I would say if the Spirit directed me to offer my thoughts to these people, even just to help them understand why I believe, if not help them rekindle the fire of their faith. Each point really boils down to that phrase: focus on the fruits, not the roots.

Here are three points that I might use as a reminder why it’s not worth giving up faith in the Lord’s Church, let alone the existence of God, because the way a tree was planted seems off to us. God planted it; it’s not up to us to tell Him how He should have done it. It’s our job just to receive the fruits with gratitude, faith and worship.

Each point is based on a question I have actually been asked or a reason I have been given by such people explaining why they no longer believe.

“There’s some things early Church leaders did that are really bad. Why can’t I judge the personal conduct of a man who claims to speak with God?”

Because we are commanded not to judge anyone, period, by the Son of God Himself. Even Church leaders. Only Christ can judge whether the conduct of others renders them unable to receive revelation for the world. When the Holy Ghost witnesses in the hearts of the listeners that modern day prophets are indeed the mouthpiece of the Lord, that’s all we should need. Judging their supposed actions isn’t just focusing too much on the roots—it’s tantamount to looking at them through a microscope, which is drastically outside of our rights of stewardship.

I like to think of witnesses from the Holy Ghost as Tad R. Callister summarizes this situation in a court room.

“Some years ago my father, who was an attorney, was trying a lawsuit...

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You can read more of my LDS Blogs articles here