Category Archives: Guest Stand

Guest Stand: The Compassion Deception

compassion

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

― Alexander Pope

Often members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) are confronted by the label of intolerance. LDS faithful are often condemned for a perceived lack of compassion toward lifestyles contrary to the LDS belief system. This confrontation is the “compassion deception”.

To be compassionate is to feel for someone, to suffer with them, show sympathy, pity and mercy for another. Cultivating this sense of compassion and kindness for all beings is noble and great.  We love the sinner and hate the sin. But showing over-tolerance on social issues can make us devoid of moral convictions. Continue reading

Guest Stand: Strong Women Needed Now

rp_Strong-Women-300x300.png“The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” William Ross Wallace

This world is full of jobs and careers.  Jobs and careers that we get to choose.  Recently I came across a video on YouTube that illustrated what the World’s Toughest Job is, and it is not what you would expect. This video proceeds to interview different people for a job and gives qualifications like no salary, 24 hours a day, and no breaks, not even to sleep. The World’s toughest job is then revealed to be:  MOM.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year my mom wakes up, rolls over and begins her day. A day filled with taking care of others and being selfless. Not only is she a mother, but she is a caregiver as well.  She cares for my dad.  A 54-year-old man with Multiple Sclerosis who is bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

How could she do that? How could she choose every day to dress him, tie his shoes, and even cut up his food at times? Doesn’t she know that makes her a weak woman? Doesn’t she know that caring for children on top of caring for a man is incredibly humiliating and degrading to her sex? Why by her own free will would she subject herself to something that is so taxing and demanding? Continue reading

Guest Stand: The Difference Between Questions and Doubts

Questions and doubtsThe two words “questions” and “doubts” are often interchanged when discussing concerns, confusion, or misunderstandings with Church doctrine, history, and policy. However, there is a difference between having questions and having doubts. It is important to understand this difference so that we know how to handle questions or doubts when we come across them in our personal lives. An article in the March 2015 issue of the Ensign by Adam Kotter, “When Doubts and Questions Arise” discusses this exact issue.

Brother Kotter defined questions and doubts as the following:

“A sincere questioner continues to be obedient while searching for answers. By contrast, I have seen that when people doubt their beliefs they often suspend their commitment to commandments and covenants while waiting for answers.”

Essentially, the difference between questions and doubts is how we respond to them. When we stay active in our callings, Church attendance, scripture study, and prayer, our questions are simply that: questions. When we stop doing those things, our questions can very quickly become doubts. That doesn’t mean that we should never ask questions, we just need to go about the right way in searching for answers. Brother Kotter regularly uses the terms “sincere questioner” and “sincere questions.” Meaning that when we ask a question, we are searching for God’s true answer, and when we find that answer we should be willing to accept it. He warns us of “talking yourself into the answers you want to believe rather than receiving true answers from God.” Continue reading

Guest Stand: Resist Doubt and Hang with Believers

doubtWhen the Savior was resurrected all of His apostles saw Him except Thomas. Thomas was an apostle who witnessed many of the Lord’s mighty miracles and doctrine rich lessons. Thomas was a faithful follower of Christ. He truly believed in Christ. However, when it came time to believe in something that went against anything Thomas physically, socially, and spiritually knew—the actual resurrection of Christ—he doubted. Christ had taught of His resurrection, but as John 20: 9 says “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” This was a doctrine that was very hard to comprehend. He had seen many mighty miracles, including the raising of the dead, but this concept was deeper and far beyond his scope of understanding. So, when the 10 apostles, who had witnessed the resurrected Lord came to Thomas and testified of its truthfulness– Thomas doubted. Thomas knew these men had been called by the Savior. He had witnessed their divine appointment; after all, he was one of them. But he still doubted. Eight days later the Savior, the ultimate source, appeared to His apostles once again—this time Thomas was present. Continue reading

Guest Stand: With Joyful Ring

ringAs I watched the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional, the messages and music, testifying of our Savior Jesus Christ touched my heart. I absolutely love Christmastime.

 When our final speaker delivered his apostolic message, I spotted something that I had never seen before.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf often uses his hands while speaking, but I noticed that each time he lowered his hands from the pulpit, he used his index finger and thumb to hold his wedding ring (which, by the way, is on his right hand as opposed to the left, because he is European!).

Perhaps it’s nothing more than a subconscious habit, but as I watched President Uchtdorf move to touch his wedding ring time and again, I couldn’t help but feel warmed and consider the potential implications. Continue reading

Guest Stand: Faith Comes From Faithfulness

faithfulness, faith“The most powerful force in human nature is the spiritual power of faith.” Howard W. Hunter

I’ve had occasion recently to wonder about the foundations of my faith. It may sound strange to say it, but I have powerfully strong faith. I was blessed with a believing heart, meaning that when friends taught me the gospel 32 years ago, I had an easy time understanding and accepting the truth. Their examples of faith gave me the strength to begin building my own testimony. Over the years, my faith has grown into a rock solid foundation that strengthens me in every aspect of my life.

I love the LDS faith so much, especially when I think about all the Church is and all that it means in my life. While my testimony is centered in Christ’s atonement, I truly love every aspect of the gospel. From the pioneers to the prophets, I cherish my church and it’s teachings. I love the prophets from Moses to Monson. I love the scriptures and the Sabbath. I love General Conference and the General Authorities, fasting, the Family Proclamation, and FHE. From tithing to temple worship, I’ve fully invested myself in all aspects of Church membership, and I’ve reaped dividends far beyond what I ever anticipated in the early stages of my membership. I’ve sometimes said that if I had known then what I know now, I would have literally run to the waters of baptism! Continue reading