Guest Post: Heeding the Invitation of the Savior to ‘Come Unto Me’

by Laura

(In her post from earlier today, Laura gave us the back story and aftermath of her Sacrament Meeting talk in which she spoke of her personal beliefs that women should be ordained and included in the governing structure of the Mormon Church. Below is the actual talk she gave.)

COME UNTO ME is the invitation of the Savior to us. It is found in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and reiterated in our modern scriptures in Section 88 verse 63 of Doctrine and Covenants. “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”

How do we draw near unto the Savior? He has shown us by His words and his example what He values and how we are to be numbered among His people. Alma, in Mosiah 18:91 sets out our responsibilities if we are to be called the people of God: “Ye are willing to bear on another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those who mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” And in Matthew 25:40 we are counseled, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” King Benjamin told his people and us in Mosiah 2:1: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.” Jesus spent His life among those who were marginalized, who were unacceptable to and within the mainstream culture of His day.

I have been informed by an incident that happened to me many years ago while I was in college. I regularly stopped by a 7-11 near my home for a snack or a drink. I often saw a homeless man at this 7-11.

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Relief Society Lesson 8: the Church and Kingdom of God

Find the lesson here.

I would start this lesson by listening some of the varied ways that President Joseph Fielding Smith served in the organization of the Church.

In the manual, we read, “Through these service opportunities, Joseph Fielding Smith came to appreciate the Church’s inspired organization and its role in leading individuals and families to eternal life.”

Ask the class, What service opportunities have you had in your life that have helped you to gain a testimony of the Church’s inspired organization?

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Coming Up for Air

pearlsComing Up for Air

I.
My little sister may not win her battle with cancer.
She says God asked her, Will you take a bullet for
your son? To her it means, Will you give your child
a life of strength, wisdom born of losing his mother?

When she speaks I hear the surf begin to roar.
The tide inside threatens to push me over.

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Sacred Music: In This Very Room

During the 2008 Prop 8 campaign in California, I was having a hard time with the Church. Never had I been so upset with my leaders. Eventually I realized I needed to take a break from church until after the campaign was over, and during that difficult time I found sanctuary at a local United Church of Christ congregation. This congregation featured a gay pastor and many of the congregants were likewise LGBT. It meant so much for me to go every week and see this community lovingly enfold its gay members. It meant so much to me to hear Jesus’s words preached to me every week by an LGBT man. And the music …. well, the music brought me to tears more than once.

One song I heard during one of my visits to IUCC was “In This Very Room,” sung by a young Latino man. I don’t know if he was gay, but the sentiments in this song felt like a warm embrace to anyone who has ever struggled with self-love or acceptance by their community.

“In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me,
And in this very room there’s quite enough joy for one like me,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.”

The following two verses expand the notion of “enough love” to everyone in the world. I found myself quite moved by this song, and when I found a You Tube video of a gay and lesbian choir singing this song, it seemed wonderfully appropriate. This choir changes “Jesus” to “a spirit,” no doubt trying to be inclusive towards all those in the choir and audience who were not Christian. But I have to admit that I love the Jesus phrasing the best. My Jesus is indeed a Jesus who infuses our lives and emboldens us with a love that transcends all barriers.

Below is a clip of the gay and lesbian chorus, and below that is a clip of a soloist singing the song with the Jesus phrasing. Both are beautiful and reflect my vision of godly, inclusive love.

 

 

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The Inaugural LDS Women’s Meeting–Part 2

Like Mraynes, I was eager to experience the first LDS Women’s meeting, and was curious to see how the wider audience would be addressed. I watched it in a stake where I used to live, and was surrounded by women and girls I admire. Several of those women and girls took turns holding my little babe, which allowed me to listen attentively, and take notes to boot. I will offer my report on the second portion of the evening.

My first note is small, and personal. It involved one moment right after I walked in the chapel that gave me pause. The Stake President was present, and said the single word, “Welcome.” I thought briefly that perhaps it should be I, welcoming him to the Women’s Meeting, rather than the other way around. My second note is also small, and personal. It involved the delight I felt at seeing all of the purple in the choir, and thinking that many of my friends and co-bloggers were in good company. Now to the presentations:

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