Thursday, April 17, 2014

# 41: The Latest Ensign Magazine

Do me a favor.  Go get the latest issue of the Ensign magazine, if you haven't burned it on your way out of the Church yet.  If you don't have a hard copy, access the digital one for free.

Open up to a random page, and see how much you disagree with.

I just did it.  I randomly opened up to pages 40 - 41.  (Maybe it wasn't so random.  That's where the staples are, so I think that's where the pages naturally wanted to open to, you know what I'm saying?)

I see two pictures, one of President Monson at a temple dedication, and one of President Monson with some fans shaking his hand and smiling and such.  The caption of one of the photos says, "Just as the Savior would do, President Monson has gone about doing good and blessing and loving others; this has been the driving force of his life."

The bold headings that stand out in the article "Follow the Prophet" that begins on page 39 are "2. We can be kind and loving toward children."  "3. We can follow the promptings of the Spirit." "4. We can love the temple." "5. We can be kind, considerate, and loving."

You might bristle at the phrase "Follow the Prophet."  But really, following the prophet isn't so bad these days.  The way that the Ensign explains "Follow the Prophet" makes the phrase basically mean "Follow the Savior."  Who can disagree with being kind and loving toward children?  Who can disagree with following the promptings of the Spirit?  Unless, of course, you don't believe in "the Spirit" anymore.

I suppose I don't love the idea of turning President Monson into an idol, or getting carried away with his personality and charisma.  But, it's bound to happen in every Christian religion that the minister or leader gets lifted up on a pedestal, figuratively and sometimes literally.  It would be nice if the members of the Church would focus on following God and worshipping God more than pleasing their administrative leaders.  Nephi tells us, you know, not to "trust in the arm of flesh."  But if we're going to have heroes, it's better to have President Monson as our hero, rather than some Hollywood actor or professional athlete.

OK, I just flipped to another page in the latest issue of the Ensign.  It's pages 66 - 67.  Page 66 is a full page photo of some nice smiling volunteers helping an elderly lady clean her yard.  Again, how can you disagree with that?!  This is what the Church is all about now: doing yard-work for old ladies!

The article that starts on page 67 is titled, "We are the Lord's Hand's" and the subtitle is "Seeking out the poor and ministering to those who suffer are indispensable to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ."

That's just wonderful.  Seriously, it's just wonderful.

I agree with 95 % of what the Church is, does, and teaches.  That's a pretty good percentage.  Even though I don't believe everything the Church teaches, that's OK.

So the next time you feel like sending in your resignation letter, pick up the latest issue of the Ensign.

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