I think that there are so many things that can seem like "hard sayings" and make us want to walk no more with Him, or mostly with the Church. There are certain teachings and parts of history, that sometimes might not make complete sense to my rational mind. The reason doesn't always add up in the equation. And the easiest option sometimes seems to walk no more with the Church. But that question comes up:
To Whom Shall We Go?
What other Church has what this Church has? What Church, or even community, offers what this Church offers? What program? What government? Maybe there are certain organizations or communities that can offer certain aspects that will bring temporary solace or happiness. But show me a Church that has doctrine as profound as ours. There is none. If you question this, you have not studied it as you should. You have not connected to the "CPU" of the wealth-spring of knowledge and truth that exists in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no other existing church that has such a deep and detailed view of the afterlife. No matter how trendy it might be, or comfortable it might feel to join a different community (or no community), you will never find the teachings of eternal potential anywhere else to match those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If there is one, show me. And show me when we have the Holy Ghost's influence. For the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not...it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be." (Jacob 4:13) And Paul says:
- "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, not ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: nether can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:9-14)
- An endowment of god-like power to create to bless and protect - what would you do if you could have all power? What would you create? I think the creative process is one of the most rewarding experiences in this life. When you create something original, it is so satisfying. Write a song. Write a blog post or a book. Paint a picture. Create a sculpture. Take amazing photographs. Making a snowman. Even just doing your hair is a creative process. Creating is a part of who we are destined to become and we are. Who would you help? Who would you love? Think about it for a second, there are millions of people who pray to God every day. And all of them need help. How amazing would it be to have the power to literally be the answer to heart-felt prayers.
- An endowment of all that God has - heavenly real estate, but also...
- An endowment of all KNOWLEDGE that God has - who needs a mansion then?
- Eternal increase (I didn't mention this in the other post). The enjoyment of having children everlastingly and the joys that come with that form of creation. (and yes the doctrine even teaches that we will enjoy the pleasure of ultimate union which enables us to create children. The joy and pleasure of that perfect union between man and woman). In fact, Jeffrey R. Holland said "you will never be more like God at any other time in this life than when you are expressing that particular power." (Of Souls Symbols and Sacraments).
- The same sociality will exist there. You can also read more about this in my other post about eternal life. I watched a documentary called "happy" last night and one of the things that creates happiness for humans is social interaction and connection. Our church's doctrine teaches that this will continue in the next life.
I mostly wanted to post about this because there is so much anti-Mormon propaganda flying around and I am trying to inoculate myself (and hopefully others who may read this) to it with the truth. Perhaps you have read or seen or heard something that could cause you to have temporary doubt in an aspect of a piece of history, or a quote from a past leader, or maybe just a sentiment that you don't fully agree with. I'm sorry if it those have been "hard words," but truly, where will you go? Honestly, with the entire picture in mind - an everlasting perspective - what other church, group, or community can provide the truth and the absolute potential that The Church of Jesus Christ gives you?
I see it this way, if in that final day when I die and pass on to the next sphere of existence, I arrive to find that I was wrong the whole time (along with everyone else in my Church), and that there was some other godlike-potential-providing system of truth that I missed out on in this life...then I am completely satisfied with believing in that which gives me hope for the highest potential. And whatever really does provide the highest potential for the life to come is probably complete enough for some allowance for those who didn't find it in this life. PS - Mormon doctrine provides this already for all other religions and people.
But I don't need to doubt. I know that the doctrine is true. I know that I am in the right path, and I will stand by it and live for it until I die. And I know that Jesus does have the words of eternal life, just like Peter said. And it isn't just this, there is so much peace and joy that come now from living the commandments. After watching this film about scientific research on how to be happy, I realized that we already teach all of that stuff in our church. It's just a part of how we live. I'm Mormon. I know it. I live it. And I love it.