Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

A few years ago, I texted my grandma during conference, "I'm singing 'We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet' and thinking of you!"

My grandma texted back, "My favorite song! I'm so thankful for a prophet!"

She's a convert to the Church and has told me that prophets were one of the main reasons she decided to be baptized. It didn't make sense to her that there would be prophets in ancient times but not modern times. Why would God speak to people then but not now?

It seems like a testimony of a prophet has been under attack a lot lately. Maybe it's just that I'm older now and more aware of it, but it seems like every few months I get on Facebook and discover yet another reason the Church is being scrutinized or attacked for something some General Authority, past or present, said or did.

It seems like so many people are finding more and more reasons to say, "They were wrong about that, and they're wrong about this, and they're wrong about this, and now I'm not sure I can believe anything they say. And I have a testimony of some things, but I don't want to follow the prophet. And I want to be a Mormon, but I want to do it my way, not theirs."

I find this such a hard line to walk because for me, it boils down to this: Either there are prophets, or there is nothing. Either God speaks to people now just as he did then, or he doesn't exist at all. Either God has a plan for me, a purpose beyond this life, and has prepared a way for me to receive direction and understanding about that plan, or none of it is true.

I have had too many sacred experiences that confirm for me the existence of God. And so I believe in prophets.

And yet, I don't believe that prophets are perfect men. I don't believe in papal infallibility. I think mistakes have been made in the past. And once you admit that mistakes have been made, it opens up the flood gates of doubt...If they were wrong about that, what else are they wrong about?

This week, I have been mourning with those that mourn. For some reason, today has been especially hard to the point that I have been slightly on the verge of tears all morning. I think it may be because I went to a Relief Society meeting last night where several women opened up about the struggles they've had to endure and continue to endure with their mental health, and I left the meeting wondering, as I've often wondered before, why has my life been so easy?

Why have I had to struggle so little when so many people have lifelong challenges to endure? Why do some of us get off so easy? Shouldn't the challenges and struggles be more evenly distributed? It isn't fair.

I think often about the challenges that my children may have to face in the future. I wonder what burdens they will have to bear in their lives. I worry about this line in the sand that has been drawn: Do you follow the prophet? And I am sad for the sacrifices they may have to make if the answer is yes.

I mourn this line in the sand.

And so I have been mourning with those that mourn, walking around on the verge of tears, reminding myself...God speaks to prophets now just as he did then. And also, we believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My favorite holiday!*

*As Cole would say, that is verbal irony.

Here are this year's trick-or-treaters:

Halloween 2015

The Mormon Missionary

Halloween 2015

The Zombie

Halloween 2015

The 10th Doctor

Halloween 2015

While we were out trick-or-treating, the 10th Doctor found his Tardis.

Halloween 2015

The boys got their first taste of suburban trick-or-treating (which I guess makes us terrible parents since this is likely Cole's last year going trick-or-treating). Some friends invited us down to Holly Springs to trick or treat in their neighborhood. By the time we were done, the boys' pumpkins were overflowing, and they were so tired that we actually passed a bunch of candy-giving houses on the way back to our friends' house.

Several of the houses went all out on the decorating, and some had these cool screens in their windows. I could almost be sold on Halloween decorating if I had one of these screens.

Halloween 2015
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