Today in Relief Society I had the privilege of teaching Joseph Smith #35 which was on Redemption of the Dead. Of course it talked about the plan of salvation and how the Lord makes salvation available to all this children, but more importantly in the lesson was a significant section on how the Lord judges. That He does not judge all according to the same law, because some have had the opportunity to receive the law and others have not. That He judges us according to our hearts, what has been given to us, and what we have done with the knowledge that we have.
I have to say when I first read the lesson I was quite excited to teach it, primarily because I have a Relief Society President who is very black and white in her thinking and assumes that all should be as black and white as she it. I however am very grey in my thinking. Now my issue with individuals who are black and white in their thinking is not so much that they are black and white, because I can respect their choice to think and believe that way, my issue is their need to cram it down my throat and tell me that I am wrong for seeing shades of grey. With the implication being I have let SATAN into my life.....and I must repent now!
I have also noticed that those with this black and white thinking tend to believe that the Lord is very authoritarian, and critical in his judgement of us, and that is the standard they apply to themselves and those around them. I however believe that the Lord is very loving, very tender, and wants us to succeed and not fail. I believe that when we stand before him to be judged it is going to be a very loving experience, not a harsh critical experience. I often wonder that if I am right, and in the end things are more grey and less black and white, are those who have had such ridged thinking in this life going to be upset they did not relax and enjoy life more?
Or perhaps they are right, and I will just end up in hell for my liberal thinking....
But I also think this life is a time for each one of us to grow and improve upon the gifts the Lord has given us, together with the challenges he has given us. I know there is probably more than one sister in my ward, who if she know my husband was gay, would wonder why I have not had him excommunicated, much less why I still have a loving, caring relationship with him. For me, I know the person that he is, I know him better than any person on earth, I know the good that is in him, I know the love that is in him, I know the struggles he has. By throwing away my relationship with him I would be saying he is defined only by being gay. He is not singularly defined by being gay, being gay is one aspect of who he is. All of us are complex individuals who are neither good nor bad, but a combination of both. Our goal each day is to try to be more good than bad, to try to exemplify the example set for us by Christ, and to remember that if we fall down, our greatest success is in getting up again.