Spring’s heady cruelty

Spirituality, Sunday Musings 0 Comments

I realized about half way through Sacrament Meeting today that I this very thing I’m about to mention may have been happening my whole life, but I just noticed today. Is it always the case that the talks the weekend before General Conference are all about following the prophet?

Speaking of, my friend Davey pointed out this article from the Salt Lake Tribune that addresses an important question, are Mormon prophets infallible? To me the answer is obvious if you’ve read scripture or paid attention. No.. They are good men who teach wonderful things, but they are men nonetheless, and if there’s one thing Christianity teaches us all it’s that we are all men, prone to mistakes and errors throughout our lives, no matter who we are. But it’s an interesting topic in light of things like the talks that I heard at Church today where people talk about following the prophet blindly. I’m firmly of the school of thought that we need to reflect on, meditate op, and pray about the things that fill us with doubt. It’s hardly a revolutionary position, it being one of the cornerstones of Mormonism.

But on this spring Sunday when the weather has gone from snowy to sunny to cloudy, I’d like to leave you with a column by Anne Lamott, one of my favorite writers on Christianity, all about spring, and resurrection, and surrender, and hope. It’s one of my favorite things ever written. (For those sensitive to such things I will warn you that Ms. Lamott swears a few times.) Here is a excerpt I love, love, love.

Jesus said from the cross (OK, so I’m paraphrasing), “Look, you’re a human, you’re badly wired, you’re in desperate need of grace. And you will die, as I am dying up here. But we can surrender: We can commend our spirit into my father’s hands. We need to forgive everyone first, though, because we don’t want to die angry, like other people I could mention …”

Jesus opened himself up entirely to the fear and suffering even though he would have preferred a little something from Column B. He said, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me,” but he kept his eye on the prize, which was feeling loved by God, which is new life. And he let people he loved keep him company in his suffering, which is about as radical a concept as I can imagine. I don’t want people’s company when I have the flu or PMS. But when friends of mine have opened up to this willingness to have companionship at the end of their lives, or when they were losing or had lost a child, which may be the same thing, at some point they found themselves involved with material that enabled them to hook onto something bigger than the grasping, crying “I.”

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