I wanted to offer some brief thoughts about the news that Kate Kelly and John Dehlin face disciplinary hearings.
A while ago, I wrote a post emphasizing that the September Six were not the heroes or martyrs that they are often perceived to be by those on the Mormon Blogosphere. I stand by everything that I wrote in that post.
Still, today I feel prompted to emphasize a different complimentary point. While the September Six and Kate and John are not martyrs, nor are they Antichrists seeking to deceive or mislead.
In the last days, the scriptures warn that Satan will successfully convince people that light is darkness and evil is good. Good, righteous and decent people will work with all of their hearts for what they believe to be a good cause. This is not a new phenomenon. Saul/Paul labored diligently against what he perceived to be a heretical sect until his remarkable conversion on the road to Damascus. Likewise, in our day, so many good people labor mightily seeking to do good even though what they do undermines the work of God and God’s kingdom.
In my current job at a very liberal law firm, I have met some of the best people I have known. They are smart, dedicated and passionate. They deeply seek to make the world a better place. They are dedicated to fighting in favor of liberal causes such as abortion, gay marriage, etc. These are good people who in my mind simply do not see the bigger picture of God’s eternal plan. Indeed, before my conversion I used to be one of them. (It is actually the firm’s commitment to pro bono service that drew me to it even though I think we are often on the “wrong” side of an issue–I’d rather work alongside people passionate about something and in the wrong than those indifferent who happen to be right).
I believe in a God that will judge all men according to both our deeds and the desires of our heart.
Every person in this life has his own individual path back to Heavenly Father. Far some, that journey may take them away from the church at times. Others may never hear of it or never get close to it. All are given opportunities to do good, serve others, and live according to their conscience. All will be judged on how well they did with the light and knowledge that they had.
On the other hand, the Church needs to maintain purity. It needs to keep away those who (even temporarily) are wolves leading others astray. Like a hen, it must protect members like chicken under its wings. It is the duty of the Church to do so.
We call a few as judges in Israel in their roles as Bishops and Stake Presidents. It is a sacred duty that I believe very few take lightly. But our place as members is not to judge. We are called to love, to serve, to support and to encourage. We should never gloat or cheer when others are called before a disciplinary hearing. It is a solemn occasion and one of eternal significance. We should instead simply bear witness of the things that we know and work out our own salvation with gratitude.
To Kate, and to all those who support Ordain Women. I do not doubt your sincerity and I appreciate and even admire your conviction. Your conviction may lead you away from the church or the church may be required to take action to distance itself from you, but Christ the Good Shepard is always calling for us. His fold is always open to us. Wherever we wander, we can always return. That invitation is open to you always.
Having stood where you stand, once doubting the inspired nature of the church’s teachings on gender, sexual orientation etc, I urge you to simply keep an open mind and an open heart. If you do so, God will touch and soften your heart.
Likewise, we should all pray for charity as we deal with those with whom we disagree. I know that if we stay open, charitable and true to the promptings of the Spirit, that we will all progress as individuals and as a church towards our Father in Heaven. Whether the Priesthood is one day granted to women or not, as long as we hearken to the spirit and to the teachings of God we will not be led astray. Whatever our doubts, I know that Jesus Christ and his Atonement real and can encompass any hurt or pain that we feel. He is the way, the truth and the light and only rock upon which we can build. If we look unto him we will be healed and brought back together as one (at-one-ment).