The short answer to the question in the title is “Yes, aren’t we all. But that imperfection is integral to the Plan of our Heavenly Father. It causes us to rely on Christ as our Savior.”
This is a time of upheaval. We are rapidly nearing the time when Jesus Christ will come again to reign personally upon the earth. This is the fulness of times, the”time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.” (D&C 121:28) I see miracles every day. I consistently hear the voice of God as he instructs me in helping clients heal, working with my team, and writing healing protocols. People come to me for interpretations of their dreams and visions. Many are seeing visions and manifestations that prove that there is a much bigger realm that is unseen than that which is seen. The scriptures are being fulfilled that say that some in the last days will be shown “all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. (D&C 76:7-9)” Amazing things are happening! Prophecies are being fulfilled!
Why is it that at church we cannot speak of it? 100 years ago that is what the lessons were about! I cannot speak of the man’s painful hand that God healed through my hands or other miracles that have come through my work? My mouth has needed to stay zipped for a lot of the time. I cannot speak of the amazing science that underlies gospel truths, the great mysteries that he has revealed to me. I am kept from teaching positions because they don’t trust that the Lord will keep what I say to what the people can handle. How I long to teach! How I long for the allowance of knowledge! And the freedom to speak of it! I once commented in Sunday School that the choice between Christ’s plan of agency and Lucifer plan of no adversity in the Council in Heaven might not have been a black and white decision, and that perhaps the infinite atonement might cover those who followed Lucifer. After all, it says in D&C 19:29-30:
And now, behold, I say unto you, never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth that they should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power. But remember that all my judgments are not given unto men..
The next week I was called into the bishop’s office and warned not to “shoot beyond the mark” by desiring to know mysteries. But don’t the scriptures like D&C 76 say that the knowledge of mysteries is the reward for “delighting to serve him?” That started in me a severe case of closing in on myself when I was at church. It was hard to be there. Please know that all is well now; I love my bishop and he loves me, but at the time the feeling in me was one that said I was unwanted and the inspiration that God gives me is unwanted in church circles. It was hard to be there, but my strong foundation, the instruction that God was giving me, and the covenants that I had made kept me going. I increased my temple attendance to once a week and that helped.
In the midst of these wrestlings with myself about church, Heavenly Father instructed me, as a part of the healing what needed to happen for the earth, to make in-depth studies of LDS church history – not the pretty and inspiring history, but the mistakes and sins of the leaders and prophets that have been swept under the rug. Things that have cause many family members and friends to fall away. For instance, did you know that Brigham Young said “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110). And that was not the worst of it! God told me I need to study these things. WHY?!! Why can’t I be like so many in the church and see through the glass darkly. I love the church! Why do I need to see and recognize the faults and the hypocrisy that has always been in the church? Why did he have me eat from that tree of knowledge of good and evil?
The answer is because knowledge brings power and progression. God works through broken vessels and, except in the case of Jesus, always has. In the case of Brigham Young, we see that he made mistakes. It is on the internet. Nothing is secret anymore. He allowed some of his own opinions to be put out as if they were prophetic words. But look at what he did accomplish. He took on the monumental task of keeping the saints alive, and bringing them to a safe haven where they could grow stronger. And he did it well, with true inspiration. Which of us can cast a stone when we ourselves are imperfect. A person might say, “I might have imperfections, but that bishop is abusing his authority and hurting the whole ward!” The person who says this might really be more “righteous” the bishop. She (or he) might be seeing angels weekly or have the gift to look into people’s minds and know their inner secrets (I know people who have these gifts.) So how can that person learn from a leader who exerts unrighteous dominion over those whom he leads? Or is blocked to true revelation? Or is closed to any new ideas? Or has money as his god?
Those who see the gap between where the church is and where it must be before it is able to create Zion are in an open position. They have taken a bite of the knowledge fruit and it is bitter sweet. These enlightened ones have taken off the rose-colored glasses that have shielded them from truth. They have both knowledge of the mysteries and knowledge of the frailties of the church. Knowledge of good and evil. They know that love is the greatest of all and they see that so many do not have it. So they now have a choice. In D&C 88:36-39 it says,
All kingdoms have a law given; And there are many kingdoms…, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
There is a higher law that those with knowledge need to connect to, and that higher law does not involve disconnecting from those who are following lower laws. It is charity, which is the greatest of all. The church in Christ’s day was just as corrupt. Did he see that? Yes. Did he stop going to the synagogue? No. Did he follow all their rules? No, eating corn and healing on the Sabbath – ooh! What a rebel! He didn’t follow those rules because the law had been created by the culture of the religion. He followed the pure doctrine of the Law given to Moses, even though it was a lesser law. But he ran his life and his teachings by a higher set of laws.
Just as Adam and Eve in the garden, we can choose to follow the laws of Christ, by covenanting for higher laws than those we have been under or we can stay at the level of the world. The same laws that promote the pride, unrighteous dominion, selfishness, and close-mindedness of those imperfect leaders would promote in us a desire to separate from, fear, be angry at, or be repulsed by the church and the hypocrisy in it. Raising to a higher set of laws, we would tackle the harder job of loving the sinner, creating charity, trusting that God is powerful enough to work through imperfect vessels, learning communication skills and improving connection so that we could influence the whole toward a higher plane. Zion cannot be built by separating and picking out which ones we will love and which we will cut off. We must follow the council in D&C 19:21-23 that says:
And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me. For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish. Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.
The whole Plan of Salvation revolves around agency. In other words, we are not supposed to be perfect. We experience imperfection, learn from it, and turn it over to Christ for the glory of God. The energy of Mahan – which is more powerful than that of Satan – is the energy of the wrongful choices of people who have lived on this planet. Mahan is not just in Cain. That energy is in each of us. We are the adversity generators for others. This blog is not the venue to explain that in detail. Email me and ask if you want more, but just know that the best of us have served as hardship creators for others.
The people in the Church of Jesus Christ have never been perfect. The revelation in the church has never been perfect. But the power of temple covenants is real. There is a sealing power there that is important for the creation of Zion. The yin flowing with the yang. Throughout the scriptures you will find prophecies of the corruption in the church in the last days. Does it surprise you that they are fulfilled now? Do those scriptures say that we should abandon ship so that we can make Zion happen somewhere else? No. Just the opposite. Those of us who have partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are those who have the calling to raise the vibration of the church – not through a cutting off, but through the healing energy of Charity, which is the greatest of all. As I have taken this attitude in church, the feeling there has relaxed. Through the Holy Spirit, I know when to speak and when not to. I am filled with great love for the people and for the leaders, despite imperfections that I not only see, but that God reveals to me so that I can pray for and help them spiritually and physically. It is a beautiful place rather than one that I want to escape from.
We are all broken vessels. The miracle is that Christ can work through us! He is working through the church. It is through the miracle of broken vessels that Zion will be created. As King David said: I am like a broken vessel…But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. (Psalms 31)
Personal revelation is important in all of this. There may be some whose path is different than mine. I cannot judge that. I have taken some pretty divergent paths so that I could learn from the knowledge of the fruit of that path. If this is what is happening to you, make sure that you stay connected to the True Vine. Cling to the scriptures. Love the church and those in it, whatever their imperfections, for if you leave because you cannot love or forgive, or because you feel offended, fearful, or angry, you can know that you are in the wrong. I trust you, whatever your path. If you need my help let me know.
PS The space yin yang was painted by my son. Let me know if you want him to specialize one for you!