I’ve had an aha moment. Nothing to do with health, weight, food, exercising. Nothing to do with cleaning, work, shopping, red shoes, four sizes of clothes hanging in the closet. Nothing to do with kids, grandkids or in-laws. Nothing to do with Words with Friends or Scramble or Hangman.
It has to do with something I’ve struggled with . . . for years.
I remember the first time we went through the Book of Mormon in my present ward. It was in 1984. We had lived here about a year or two. I remember them talking about the Great and Abominable Church. I was pretty horrified that we [meaning the Church] could say that all other churches were less than honorable and so many of them were actually evil. I remember thinking we had better watch ourselves or we’d get struck by lightening or something pretty bad would happen because of our pride and vanity. The next time around, like four years later, I was still struggling with how we could be so sure we were the only true church. I struggled that “they were altogether wrong.” I mean, I really, really struggled with this. So much so, that the bishop actually spoke to me about it the last time I went in for a temple interview last year. He reminded me how far I’ve come. He remembered how hard a time I had every time we discussed that concept.
Fast forward to last week.
Fast forward to the most amazing paragraph in the entire world!
Fast forward to total sense and sensibility.
Fast forward to aha!
In the year 1830, when this Church was organized, there was not upon the earth a church organization that would announce that they believed that God would reveal himself to the children of men. The teachings of the churches were all contrary to that, and our Father saw the futility of trying to save his sons and daughters until they could be inspired to come to him with the belief that he would hear and answer their prayers. When the boy prophet, in the woods of Palmyra, saw the Father and the Son, and realized that they were indeed personages, that they could hear and reply to what he said, it began a new era in this world, and laid a foundation for the faith of the children of men. They could now pray to our Father in heaven and realize that he could hear and answer their prayers, that there was a connection between the heavens and the earth. [teachings of George Albert Smith, Ch. 4]
Suddenly, it all makes perfect sense to me. None of the churches believed that God would reveal Himself to man. So why would He!!! Hello. Perfect sense! And, then I remembered that all those people who persecuted Joseph Smith were all mocking him because he said he saw God the Father and His son. They mocked him because he said he saw an angel. They mocked him because he said the heavens were open. They mocked him because ‘there was not upon the earth a church organization that would announce that they believed that God would reveal himself to the children of men.’