It’s time to put aside my token devil’s advocate, negative, contrarian, apostate, [insert your own label here] self and tell what I’m thankful for in Mormonism, and why I love the Church.
I love so many Mormon doctrines. 1) Work for the dead. What a marvelous concept – everyone can be saved, everyone gets a fair shake. 2) We can actually be on the same level as God. It feels right, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t a perfect parent want their children to have access to the same things they have? 3) Eternal progression. The ability to always learn, always move forward. It’s far more interesting and impressive than angels worshipping an almighty God for all eternity. I’m never one to say “I know” about things in the Church, because I don’t know. But I sure believe, and the fruit of Mormonism tastes sweet – it tastes right.
I’m thankful for the Mormon emphasis on family. The Church’s teachings give people hope about families; it makes us want to hang on during the tough times. I think, by and large, the Church doesn’t portray marriage as a breeze or promise perfect happiness if you’re a Church member – they generally set real expectations. And part of those real expectations is that you shouldn’t throw in the towel on family. And besides, how great of a concept is it that we’re all linked as a family? When we “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children” it allows us to feel connected as human beings. If we looked at each other as children of God, brothers and sisters, wouldn’t the world be a much different place?
But most of all, I’m thankful for the Church as my own family. Given my keen ability to harp, whine, and moan about Mormonism, I’m occasionally challenged: what do you like about the Church, John? I love that it’s my family. If one asks, “What do you love about your family?” it might take a minute to answer. You might say, “Well, we love each other. We’re close, we talk, we share, and we live life together.” It would be all too easy to say, “So, isn’t that what most families are all about.” Families aren’t unique, but the fact that they’re yours makes them so. So even with my whining, even with the occasional dysfunction (and everyone knows I think Mormonism has them), it’s family, and there’s nothing like family.