The best way I could think of making this “transition” was to start a whole new blog and start from scratch, but after a few failed attempts to get a sub-domain working, I realized there was a reason for not doing so. Probably a few. First, it’s less work just to carry on with the blog I’ve been maintaining for longer than I care to count at the moment. Second, it’s not wise to disregard the past.
A few of you know this already, but for the rest of you, here it is: I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It’s taken a long time for me to follow the prompting to actually write about this, as though it were a negative thing. That’s just what the adversary does: Exploits doubt, imperfections and guilt. What for a moment is wrong about the motivation to care about every living soul?
That question raises a host of its own, but we’ll get to those, eventually. Ask me what you will: You’ll get nothing but honesty from me, just as always. If there was any place to start, that might grant some understanding about my perspective as a member of the church, why don’t I start with my conversion?
You might understand that joining the church means becoming converted, but I’ll clarify, just in case: It is a life-long process that involves a great many steps of learning, growth, opportunities and mistakes. And a lot of repentance. No one constructs a building in a single step. So it is with the conversion process. Also, what is it? Simply put, this is conversion from a fallen being capable of unrighteous acts into one who unwaveringly trusts and follows God. It starts with belief, and that’s what I’ll be talking about.
I was “born in the covenant” as it is said, which means to be born a member of the church, though like everyone else I have to work out my salvation alone. No riding on anyone else’s coattails. While faith has always come easily to me, I didn’t consciously explore the word or ask questions of God until I was fourteen. Where did I start?
Where does anyone start? With God. Make no mistake that some already know He is there, that he answers questions and loves us. I knew those things, but I didn’t hesitate to ask if he was there. The gap between the heart and head can be a daunting one, but it is by an experiment of faith that we bridge that gap and obtain knowledge so firm it becomes the foundation of our lives.
Yes, we believe in revelation, answers to prayers, miracles and much more. We also learn to trust His timing. In this case the answer was immediate and almost overwhelming. It was as though I was seeing the most vibrant, powerful sunrise I had ever witnessed. I have since come to understand that I was seeing the Father, Jesus Christ and His endless hosts of angels. Recently I was told that He answered “because you asked.”
That is humbling, but wholly logical. A father answers the cry of the child; a brother the call of a sibling in need. I’ve learned a lot in the years since then, and every step has been a confirmation of the simple fact that we are Children of God, who loves us and has a plan for us to return to live and serve with Him. Our struggles with agency are both real and the hardest things we will ever do.
We are spiritual beings having a mortal experience, as it is said, and we have the strength, capacity and support we need to get through the challenges we face. We’re not doing this alone. These things I declare in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Well, to wind down after that charged bit of writing, I’d like to lay out my plans for this blog. While I’d like to write on a weekly basis, that may not always be possible. Even so, that is my objective. As for content, I’ll be writing about my experiences as a member of the church, responding to comments and questions, and so forth.
I will not be addressing contentious or inflammatory comments, but I will accept sincere questions, and will absolutely know the difference. Understand that there will be no division between politics, secular discussion or anything else, for that matter. Human behavior is on topic, but I won’t be reaching out my sphere, either, unless prompted. That’s why I’m here now, as a matter of fact.
Thanks for reading.