Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On the Road Again...

I've spent the past two weeks in Seattle on business, and I have to admit that I do like this town. And no, its not because its one of the Gayer cities in America! There's a lot to see and do here, and the food is great. If you ever come here, eat at Ray's Boathouse. Outstanding!

I stay at the same hotel every trip, and its right next to the Shopping District and Pike Street. I'm embarrased to say that they now know me by name at Nordstroms! Yikes!! My obsessive/compulsive shopping disorder kicks in every time I get near the place. Actually, I kept things restrained this time, which is proof that miracles do indeed occur.

I also got a chance to do something fun for a change (its usually all work), and went to the Olympic peninsula during the Rhododendron Festival, and I've never seen such an amazing show of flowers in my life. Truly stunning! We also took the ferry and drove around in the mountains. The drive was relaxing and beautiful, plus it was a sunny 90 degrees, which is rare here. Of course for a Southerner like me, 90 is just getting warm! :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What is fair?

I've seen lots of talk lately that the Church's stance on SSA is "unfair", and this is used many times to justify leaving the Church or engaging in homosexual activity.

The fact of the matter is that there are many other of God's children living here on earth in much more "difficult", "uncomfortable" or "unfair" circumstances than we are. Yes, sometimes its difficult being a homosexual, but many other circumstances people are called on to bear are more so. Starving to death in Africa is difficult, and watching your children starve and die even more so. Being tortured in forced-labor camps in North Korea is unfair and uncomfortable. Raising an autistic child is difficult. Living in the tin shanties of San Salvador, with no hope of education or a real job is difficult, uncomfortable and unfair. The list of miserable circumstances on planet earth is endless! Bottom line - life is NOT necessarily fair, comfortable, or easy! It was never designed to be so. This is, after all, a probationary state - not the Garden of Eden or some fantastic paradise getaway destination. We're not here on a cruise, we're here to be tried with fire. As much as we all want it, not all of us get to have our cake and eat it too. Some of us seem called upon to struggle more than others, and some of us are called upon to endure a living hell. How we approach whatever challenges we're given is the important thing - not particularly what they are. And what should our approach be?

Mosiah 3:19 speaks to this:

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

Isn't it interesting that he says the Lord will 'inflict" things upon us?? This suggests premeditation. Planning. Purpose. A loving Father will see that we are tried and tested in ways to give us the individual experiences our immortal spirits need the most. Not a haphazard, random set of events - a planned, tailored set of trials. We have no control over what those trials will be - God alone decides that, and He asks us to trust him in this regard. Trust Him as a child would. He can see the end from the beginning, and we cannot.

So, are we truly willing to SUBMIT to God? Willing even to live with SSA and remain faithful as He has asked - no - commanded us to do? It is indeed a leap of faith! How each of us chooses to answer that question in our own lives will determine our Eternal destiny.