I grew up in the Church, my parents were members, my grandparents were members, I have ancestors that crossed with the Willie-Martin handcart company. I served a mission, and raised my children in the church. I guess you could say that I have had a lot of history and a fair amount of experience in the Gospel, or at least that was what I thought until last year.
During the last year, I have been blessed with a number of lessons, or trials as some might call them. I have had to ask myself a couple of poignant questions, questions that led me to write this blog, which, by the way is for me, if you happen to get something out of it… ‘good on ya mate!’ The first question I had to ask was “Do I trust my Heavenly Father?” the second was “Why are we here?”
In asking these questions, I have been forced to re-examine many of my beliefs and understandings of the Gospel and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How much faith do I place in Church leaders? In Church policy and procedures? Should I be placing faith there or has my faith been misplaced? It seems that in asking what on the surface are simple questions, that many others keep coming up.
The first thing I have had to examine in asking do I trust my Heavenly Father, was to know what His will, His doctrine is. This started me on the quest of discovering what is doctrine, and how to separate it from policy and culture in the Church, which leads me to the quote that inspired the title of this post:
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded church members in the April 2013 general conference that “not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.”
I started wondering if I was believing and following doctrine, or just some well-considered opinions. How could I trust my Heavenly Father completely if my faith was in the arm of flesh? Was I striving to please my God, by listening to the words of men and not focusing on His? How could I ever find joy if the promises of my Father were buried in the opinions of men and not His doctrine?
So now, I have had to start the long process of re-examining everything I have believed in, weighing it in the scales of doctrine vs. opinion. Which brings me to this blog, where I can not only explore what I know, am able to research and deduce, but others will be able to share their research and findings to hopefully find the truth of all things.
If you have read this far, thank you. I do have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, this blog is to solidify my understanding of it.
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