Thursday, January 28, 2010

We have a perfect Savior (not a perfect Church)

I recently enjoyed listening to an interview with Jeff Lindsay on a Mormon Expression podcast. I have a lot of respect, not only for what he says, but how he says it. The following is an excerpt from his concluding remarks that are worth spotlighting. I'd like to add my own hearty "amen":
“This is a very important thing Latter-day Saints need to understand. If you want to be a faithful Latter-day Saint and you want to explore the intellectual issues of the Church and Church history and your own faith, you need to be ready for a world that has a lot of fuzzy elements in it. Issues where there are human errors and human flaws and imperfections at every level. Prayers that go unanswered. Miracles that don’t occur. Tragedies of justice that occur…

…Any time humans are involved you have problems. And it’s so important to me for people to understand our claim is not one of infallibility, and it’s not of a perfect Church and it's not of perfect leaders. We have a perfect Savior, and it's our responsibility to learn who he is and to recognize that in spite of all these imperfections there is a restored gospel of Jesus Christ that’s there to help us come unto Christ and that’s ultimately what it’s about. But otherwise we’ve got to learn to live with this tension between our expectations and the natural disappointments and failures that come in this very human world.”

12 comments:

Matt W. said...

I was on Jeff's Website as an investigator 11 years ago. That man is awesome!

Clean Cut said...

I've visited his LDSFAQ (Mormon Answers) site many times myself, Matt. It is pretty amazing. Another accurate description, I think, is "prolific".

Cynthia L said...

Jeff Lindsay is a great guy and you're absolutely right about "how he says it"--always upbeat, inclusive and real.

You're not too shabby yourself, CC.

Clean Cut said...

Thanks, Cynthia!

Anonymous said...

Now if only every member would realize these truths at church on Sunday's!

I am somewhat surprised that the church manuals are produced in such a way that leads one into thinking every answer has already been worked out and that there are no errors in mormon doctrine or it's history.

Tony said...

I love Jeff with a brotherly passion. He is the man.

HeidiAnn said...

Amen and amen! I totally agree and I try to share this same idea with our YW.

Alan said...

Jeff's LDSFAQ site is one of the reasons I'm active in the Church again.

Peace of mind... Heart and Soul... said...

I guess I'm wondering exactly what the word "church" includes. Church structure? Church Members? Church Doctrine? although there any many assets pertaining to the actual church itself, the church is designed to be perfect (Although lead by imperfect people). . . So I stand a little confused at the topic of this blog entry.

Clean Cut said...

"the church is designed to be perfect"

Two questions: What is your idea of "perfect"? And which design do you think is perfect? Pre-correlation or post-correlation? I'm not seeing it either way. The Church is constantly evolving and (hopefully) making necessary course corrections. So while the gospel may be perfect, the church isn't.

Anonymous said...

God is more involved then we know. I understand the church changes constantly and there be many people who observe and view the imperfections that it may present itself to have (Teaching false doctrine from a bishopric in example). My point is, although the church evolve and change, i would feel more confident in a God who knew that the church is where it needs to be at any given time. (which is perfect to me) Just as the church was not evident in the dark ages, the timing was not right, which is my belief that God himself knew and had the best possible plan for that time period. We must not view the church as a being. we all know, none of us may acheive immortal perfection upon the bounds of this earth, however, we can be perfectly guided to this perfection in humility and adherence to our heavenly influence. The church founded by "Jesus Christ" himself must surely be perfectly situated (As was the fall of Adam) to best accomplish the plan of our creator.
Just as the plan is perfect and ultimately "required" a sin to occur, This may impose the thought that it is, as well as the church God set up, an imperfect plan or process (As other beliefs feel). Adam was imperfect and committed sin against our great God just as you or I have committed sin against Him as well. I'm not saying our sin was necessary, i'm just leaving open the idea that God is more in control then putting an imperfect man or "church" in place and not knowing his/ or the future decisions to be made and "adjusting" or "evolving" to improve. Any change brought upon by the church is brought on by the first presidency and it is brought on by the process of revolation from God. regardless what is said about Polygamy, Mountain meadow massacre etc. God is not going to let "his" church be run amuck.

anyway, I marvel in peace and glory of God. His spirit gives me the knowledge of truth and right and if i venture onward to declare my own knowledge, i once again am humbled to his greatness and glory and understand I am but another Saint apart of this created earth. living, loving and enduring well.

Peace be the journey.

Clean Cut said...

"I suppose the Church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng