Monday, June 29, 2015

The Greatest Gift God has Given

Hey Guys!

It is a great day here in Honduras, and I'm looking forward to what will probably be my last full week here in the Villa Olimpica.  I'm gonna miss it guys.  I never thought I would, cuz Danli had my heart...  But, the Villa Olimpica now has a special place their as well.  I'm going to miss these people a lot... But, so is the mission, I suppose.  I'll probably do a tribute next week, or something along those lines.  

So....  I think again I'm going to dive straight into the subject of the day.  So, with that, firstly here is the background story.

The last few days, we've been having a lot of lessons with people that are trying to justify bad and selfish action by saying that 'it's our right to choose,' which is true, I suppose.  With this, a lot of it has been focused in on the gratifying of carnal, and frankly, sexual desires and justifying it by a 'romantic' standhold - saying things like, 'enjoy it now, because there may not be a tomorrow, and maybe tomorrow feelings will change - so take it now before it's gone.  Love in the moment is the most intense, passionate kind of love.'  

OKAY - before I continue, I NEED to address this.  I think it is interesting how this was my already my chosen topic for the week, and how it also happens to be the week in which gay marriage was legalized in all of America.  I'll write my thoughts on that as well, but I am not in ANY way alluding to those acts in the states.  This is strictly what has been happening in Honduras, anything else that has occurred is completely coincidental.  I will explain my thoughts on this as I go.

With that said, I continue.  

What I've decided, is that in order to respect any of God's laws or standards, we need to focus on the 'whys' of any given commandment.  I believe that all of the laws and customs and governing truths of the heavens and earth come down to the greatest gifts God has given us, and then show which of the three I personally believe is the greatest of the gifts.  Here are the three:

1.  Agency

2.  The Family

3.  The Gospel

So.... Here we go, as a response for the immorality that pervades the world.  You can look at all of this alsowith the perspective of what brings a 'real' or 'fake' happy.

1.  Agency

Agency is the God given right to choose to act as we please.  We are not forced to follow rules or to listen to advice, nor will we be forced to follow God's laws.  It is completely and totally our choice.  Many people use this to justify stupid and sinful action, but what they do not comprehend is that although we may choose what we will, we have NO power over the consequence, even if it seems that in the moment we do.  For example, in regards to sexual immorality, SUPPOSEDLY:

It is your right to choose to have sex, but you cannot choose whether you get pregnant or not.

It is your right to leave the woman you got pregnant, but you cannot choose what it will do to the woman and the unborn child.

It is your right to choose to abort the unborn child, but you cannot choose the future physical and psychological damage it will cause you, nor the guilt that comes from the doubt.

Of course, there's a chance that none of these said outcomes come to pass, and maybe 'that won't even happen' - but as I said, you cannot choose the outcome.  

And.... Going out of a worldly view, you DEFINITELY cannot choose the consequence of the judgment of God for the sins you willingly and blantantly committed - cuz in your heart, you DO, by the light of Christ given to every man, recognize right and wrong, regardless of justifying before men.  You can lie to men, but you cannot lie to God.  I'm sure that most religious beliefs would agree with this statement.  Now, continuing.

2.  The Family

I could say many things about the family, but I'll put it all into a basic sum up, regarding the principle of 'love in the moment:'

The greatest thing about the family, is that it is full of true love.  True love isn't taking what you want and then leaving. nor is it giving up when it gets hard.  If you love something, you fight for it.  And, let's look at it like this.  When things suck with a friend from school, what do you do?  You stop being friends.  Obviously not completely founded on true love, especially if you're willing to trash talk said 'friend' the moment you have differences.  Not the definition of love, in my eyes.  But, when one in your family has differences with another, what do you do?  You suck up your pride and try to make it work.  THAT'S love.  It's putting other people before yourself.  So.. What am I trying to get at?

'Love in the Moment' is NOT true love, nor will it ever be.  A better word for said feeling is lust, and is condemned in the majority of religious and cultural beliefs, even if the members don't always choose to follow (you know... agency and such).

Family love is the purest love we have in the world, and it is how we learn to become a better person, even if at times we fail. THAT'S the beauty... Even though we fail, they won't leave.  Thus - one of the greatest gifts God has given us.  People that we can call our own, and even when we fail, they stay.  Kind of sounds like someone whose name I carry over my heart, don't you think?

3.  The Gospel
What is the gospel?  Well... Basically, we teach that it is faith, repentance, various ordinances and enduring to the end.  But.... I'll sum up the gospel by sharing a little of what it means to me.

The gospel is the opportunity to change and become better.  No strings attached.  If we do our part, God promises us happiness.  If we don't, there's no way we can be.  The law is written because God UNDERSTANDS what brings true happiness and what doesn't.  So... Even if we choose to use our agency, if we use it incorrectly.... We won't achieve true happiness, regardless of what the world says.  And, if God really does love us, don't you think there's a REASON why there's commandments?  

Now, what is the greatest of these?  Well, they're all linked.  Firstly, I would at first glance say the gospel, cuz it pretty much promises a way back to God.  So, what does the gospel require?  Well.... Sincerely, and interestingly enough, it requires handing in our agency.  In order to be truly happy, we need to give our agency back to God.  So... True happiness doesn't come from doing what you want and seeing what happens.  True happiness is trusting in Him who knows better. But even with all this said, I've decided that the gospel isn't even the greatest of God's gifts.

God's Greatest Gift is the Family.


Because the family allows us to learn all of this in a place filled with love. 

(Also, interesting side note, notice how the said 'choices' listed under agency destroy the very essense of the family as well as the essense of true love.)  

We are spiritual beings, and we need love.  We can achieve all that agency and the gospel has to offer by doing so with other people who won't give up on you the moment you mess up.  The family is the greatest gift, because it is the way we learn to be like God.  The family is the most precious and beautiful gift, because it is the perfect example and learning environment for Christ's greatest attribute - charity and perfect love.   

If anyone would disagree, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.  Also, keep in mind that this is directed at an audience that already believes in God and Christ, so.... Yeah.  

So, now... My thoughts on the gay marriage announcement.

Basically, I put it like this.  I love everyone, regardless of their 'sexual orientation.'  I don't believe that something like that should be a defining characteristic of somebody - I'm more interested in what kind of a person you are.  If you're rude and pushy, I don't care if you're gay or not, you're still rude and pushy.  If you're kind and giving, I don't care if you're gay, you're still kind and giving.  Being gay is NOT a defining characteristic, as much as being straight is a defining characteristic, and you don't get to use either of the possible orientations to justify or judge someone as good or bad.  Gay is just that.  Let's focus more on the kind of people we are.

Now, as one who loves and fears God, I cannot say that I support the choice that has been made.  BUT, it is NOT because I'm judging anyone.  More, it's because I trust God.  So... If you've read all of my letter up to here, you understand that if we comprehend the greatest of God's gifts, you understand that if God has set His standard, there's a reason.  

And the reason isn't because He wants us to be constricted, hated or judged for who we 'naturally' are. 

But more, because He understands better than we do how to be truly happy.  And... Because of all the greatest gifts He's given us, they all point to the same truth:  He wants us to be like Him, and to have all that He has.  And... He knows how we'll achieve it.

I have a true, full love for each of you, and therefore, I want you to be eternally happy.  God's taught us how.  Please, learn to trust in Him a little more, is my prayer.  I do not have a perfect knowledge of anything, and I deeply apologize if my thoughts or choices offend anyone.  But, choosing is one of God's greatest gifts, right?

Elder Kristian Huff 

Song of the week: Endless Night - The Lion King

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