This post is by Skye whose life dream is to serve as many LDS missions as humanly possible.
Skyler’s post hit home with me, and I’d like to share some thoughts.
There are some aspects of Christianity that, while seemingly paradoxical, are quite beautiful.
True Christianity broadens the mind and narrows the path.
True Christianity is most elite and most inclusive.
True Christianity acknowledges man’s nothingness and accentuates his Divinity.
True Christianity commands perfection and seeks out the sinner.
True Christianity elevates man to a higher plane while increasing the humility in his heart.
True Christianity separates one from the world while uniquely uniting him with all of God’s children.
Through my service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have met and developed dear friendships with men and women from all walks of life. I have known and loved the poor and the rich, young and old, the religious, spiritual, and atheistic, the simple and complex, city slickers and country folk- people from many colors, creeds, and cultures. I have been blessed by this diversity and have learned a few things about God and His great, all-encompassing love. It is real. It is unwavering. It is unconditional... I have also learned, through these associations, that as we serve Him and His children, He will infuse our own soul with a measure of this love.
Now, society claims Christians are all about condemning. Our standards are distinct and non-negotiable. We cannot apologize for Truth. And we will continue to stand firm as witnesses. This intrinsic aspect of who I am, however, need not be a divisive issue. I have come to know that the more closely I live to Christ’s commission, the more easily and deeply I love those around me. And the more I love those around me, the more I want to follow Christ. A natural effect of this love is more kindness and less criticism- more commonality, less controversy.
We all have weakness. We all have strength. Mine just looks different than yours. I have found that despite our differences in opinion, lifestyle, interpretation, experience, beliefs, understanding, personal style, or rhythm ;), we can be friends. We can lift each other. We can share what we know to be true. We can share the things we value. We can appreciate one another. We can respect the goodness in one another. And while we love one another now, we can “develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become,” as Pres. Monson teaches. Then tolerance no longer seems such a task.