Why Don’t They Just Laugh At Us?
Here we go again.
A few days ago, critics of the Church used a news story to play once again their Johnny-one-note complaint about our temple work. The occasion was Pope Benedict’s canonization of Father Damien, a Roman Catholic priest who ministered to sufferers of leprosy in Hawaii in the late 19th century. So off the busybodies go to check our files. Seems that temple ordinances for such good people simply cannot be tolerated – that we are disrespectful of this caring fellow Christian.
Before that, certain Jewish people took offense that we would perform sacred ordinances for those who perished in the Holocaust. Then it was the Obama crowd who claimed to be offended that we had performed a vicarious baptism for Ann Dunham, the POTUS’ mother. And how dare we do temple work for George Washington or Thomas Jefferson?
My question: Why don’t they just laugh at us and go on with their lives?
Rearrange the critics’ chairs and look at it from a different perspective.
Let’s say the Buddhists, for example’s sake, decided to collect names of Americans who had never been exposed to the teachings of The Enlightened One and decided to perform a ceremony on their behalf, incense included. And let’s say I discovered that the list included one of my umpty-great grandfathers, James Allred.
How would I react? Would I get upset? Would I consider their actions disrespectful? Would I demand they cease and desist because I feared Ancestor Allred might accept Buddhism?
Are you kidding? I would say, “If you want to waste your time, pal, be my guest.”
And I would go on with my life.
Are our critics so sensitive to the fragility of their own beliefs that the temple practices of Mormons – hardly in-your-face visible – are a threat to their mental well-being? Maybe they should pause and think how their reactions reflect upon their own strength of belief.
If they were firm in their own convictions, and felt that there was nothing to LDS temple ceremonies, they would do just as the question I posed: They would laugh at us and move on.
But maybe down deep they sense that this is the order of the universe and that every person will have the opportunity to accept or reject Jesus Christ and His teachings.
And that maybe we time-wasting Mormons just might be on to something.
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