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What God told me while I was walking my dog

I find that my most effective and productive prayers take place when I’m walking my dog.

Granted, these prayers are highly unorthodox. They don’t involve closing my eyes or using King James English. They’re structured more like conversations, and, I confess, the conversations have gotten a bit heated at times. I am not yet righteous enough to avoid being angry with God, and sometimes I take it out on Him as I’m strolling with my pooch through the vacant area that’s set aside for an extension of Highland Drive that, hopefully, will never be built. Regardless, it’s at these moments that I can look to the sky and plead my case directly to the heavens.

As I said in my last post, I have been deeply troubled these past 48 hours. While turning off Facebook for the weekend has helped me calm down, it has not changed my opinion of my church’s latest policy that denies saving ordinances and blessings to minor children because of who their parents are. This has put me at odds with my church and its leaders in a way I have never been before. It’s not a position I welcome or sought. And, needless to say, it has been the primary subject of my Dogwalking Dialogues with Deity ™.

So this morning, I was talking to God, and God talked back.

I don’t want anyone to misunderstand. I didn’t see a pillar of light; there were no (visible) angels present; I wasn’t called upon to translate ancient records, lead my family into the wilderness, or part a large body of water. But the message was as profound to me as if Jesus Himself had whispered it in my ear. Because, in a way, He did.

The message was simply this:

“Be patient. It will all work out in the end.”

These words were accompanied by a feeling of peace, love, and kindness. They didn’t come with a timeline or an agenda as to how this will happen. This revelation was also devoid of any confirmation or condemnation of the policy I found, and still find, so deeply troubling. What it told me was that I shouldn’t leave the Church; I shouldn’t rail against its leaders, and I shouldn’t demand that resolution of these concerns happen by means of a process/schedule of my choosing. This does not change my position, but it does change my demeanor.

I think the leaders who wrote this policy were in error, but I also think they were acting in good faith and following their consciences, and that they sincerely believe this policy is in the best interests of the Church. I believe that these are kind, wise men who have devoted their lives to Christ and are trying to serve them to the best of their ability. I find I can sustain them and respect them, even though I may not agree with them in this instance.

I recognize that this response may not be adequate to satisfy some of my friends who believe this demands more strident action to right this wrong. I have read calls for protests, for rallies, for organized resistance to compel the Church to change its position. To those going down that path, please know that while I understand and even sympathize with your motivations, I am not going to join you in these actions.

Over time, I have observed that public shaming of the Church is the least effective way to get it to change. And it does change. But it changes according to the light and knowledge it receives from heaven, which is not dispersed in contentious, heated confrontations. I firmly believe that no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile. Yes, I stole that last bit from D&C 121. It’s the best blueprint for dealing with any disagreement or dissension, within or without the Church.

So, to sum up: if you want to get revelations, you should walk your dog more often.

Steve Urquhart: Let’s retee, adjust our stance, and swing again.
Coalescing Policy Narratives

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    • There is a guideline are used to decide which side to take on an issue. It’s to observe the people on both sides.

      I just read your commentary about Quentin Tarantino on KSL.

      I think if you really consider the stance of the church you will realize that it is done out of love especially when you compare it to the restrictions that the church puts on Muslims and children of polygamists.

      My personal belief is that the church shouldn’t baptized any children unless they’re parents are active members.

      I’ve seen too many grandpas baptize the children of their inactive children only to see them never go to church again.

      Then I wonder which side of the issue Quentin Tarantino would take.

      • “My personal belief is that the church shouldn’t baptized any children unless they’re parents are active members.”

        I applaud you, J.K., for your intellectual consistency here. The prevailing justification for this policy is that it’s compassionate because it protects children from being taught one thing at home and another at church. But if that truly is the guiding principle that makes this policy necessary, then the only consistent application of that principle is the solution you describe, as there are a myriad of circumstances where children find themselves raised in environments hostile to the Church, and most of those environments have nothing to do with homosexuality.

        For my part, while your suggestion has the virtue of being more consistent than the current policy, I still find it unpersuasive, as I think the church can provide a necessary anchor in the lives of teens who find themselves confronted by principles and practices contrary to the Gospel, even when those principles and practices are found in their own home.

        As for Tarantino, I’m certain that his position would include a lot of F bombs.

  1. You speak a lot about persuasion and changing people by kindness and buy love but I hear absolutely nothing about changing people by cheese. Have you considered that if you offered the church elders cheese and I mean lots of cheese I mean a lifetime supply of cheese I mean more cheese than they could ever eat that you might find a more direct route to your desires? Many people have found that cheese is the answer to their problems and in fact if you repost this to five people right now you will find that U2 will receive cheese from very unknown and even questionable sources.

  2. I personally don’t have a problem with the policy because it already existed. With the legal recognition of marriage I recognize the church’s need to declare same sex marriage a matter of apostasy to protect the church from lawsuits of discrimination. This put it in the same category as plural marriage and so the conditions on baptism had to match as well. For a softer view I found this blog post amazing and I have been recommending it left and right. I was particularly struck by his two scriptural references. http://gaymormonguy.blogspot.com/2015/11/waiting-on-lord-same-sex-adoption.html?m=1