I follow a fair number of blogs, both of the personal and group variety, in various levels of faithfulness to the Church. I stay away from those that are openly and continually critical of the Church, but not from those that have owners with opinions on how the Church should or could be different, so long as they are not openly hostile to either the Church or rational discussion about these things. I don’t know where I fall on the spectrum of these things, but I wanted to talk about the reason I enjoy reading these differing views. Some people seem to think that any talk about how the Church could be different is akin to apostasy, and that those dissatisfied with things as they are should just leave. Some do, but if people are willing to be true to their covenants, I don’t see why they should. Hope for change does not equate to apostasy.
The 13th Article Of Faith says, in part, “We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.”
Hoping for more is part of who we are. The Church was founded on it. Some seem to believe that the Church has lost this; that we’ve gone into a holding pattern, reacting or barely moving over the years, being forced by societal pressures. I don’t think we have. I do think that movement has been made more difficult with the weight of history and the size and dispersion of the membership throughout the world, but we have far from stopped.
Do I know what changes the Church of the future might have? Nope. I know of things that I would like to see changed (see various previous posts to that effect), but I’m not the one in control. I don’t even think the leaders of the Church are in as much control as some think they are. I think they request direction almost constantly on what they should be doing, but much of their work is to build and maintain the Church as best they can, trying to direct people toward the Christ. Ultimately, it is His Church. I know He is working to guide all of us, no matter what position we have been given in the Church hierarchy or what we think is a minor calling, to bring ourselves, our families, our communities, our Church, and our world closer to Him. We may, as error-prone mortals, create bumps in the road for ourselves and others, but all of them – all of them – will be remedied and overcome by Him.
In the meantime, we hope, we try to help, and we continue to pray both that He will forgive our trespasses and that we will forgive the trespasses of others.