Monday, July 20, 2009

This Svithe Brought To You By Eugene England

It's been a bit since I've svithed outright, though I've been including spiritual matters weekly (and, perhaps, weakly), so I guess that counts (if anyone, beside the blogging gods, is really counting). This week's is brought to you by way of Theric, whose special guest svithe from David O. McKay reminded me of England's popular essay "Why the Church is as True as the Gospel" in which he relates the same David O. story, and which I've been thinking about since. As I reread the essay last night (I just got England's essay collection of the same title in the mail last Friday), this paragraph especially struck me, especially as I try to perform my elders' quorum secretarying (an imposition, for sure) to the best of my ability:
I know God has been found by unusual people in unusual places---in a sudden vision in a grove or orchard or grotto, or on a mountain or in a closet, or through saintly service to African lepers or to Calcutta untouchables. But for most of us, most of the time, I am convinced he can be found most surely in "the natural sequence to the performance" of the duties he has given us that all of us (not just the unusual) can perform in our own homes and neighborhoods and that the Church, in its unique community, imposed as well as chosen, can best teach and empower us to perform. (Also found here.)
As I get my hands dirty, so to speak, in the nitty gritties of quorum administration and my faltering attempts at personal ministry, I am taught about how I can best meet others' needs (including my family's) and empowered in my feeble efforts. And I sense how much God cares about those I brush shoulders with. And I become, I think---I hope---a bit more compassionate and charitable.

I think that's one reason (among others) I stick around---because, despite my misgivings with some people and how some things are administered and taken for granted or not considered too deeply in the Church, my covenant relationship with the Church itself forces me beyond self-interest and, in the process (and England's words), "gives [... me] a chance to be made better than [... I] might choose to be, but ultimately need and want to be." And I think that's how God intended things.

At least that's what I choose to believe. And it doesn't hurt to believe too much, does it?