Monday, April 14, 2008

A Surprising Turn of Events

Wow. My life as an R.M. has taken an unexpected turn. I feel like my standards and principles have remained largely unchanged since I left, except maybe being a little more solidified and centered on the love of God and Jesus Christ and the changing, enabling power of the Atonement, since that has been the focus of my life for the last 24 months. Imagine my surprise, then, when those who I had considered my friends and allies, those who I was so grateful thought like I did on these important and relevant issues, suddenly turned on me! I am totally used to being harassed and called names by the "other side" (who, ironically, exhibit prime examples of the same unsavory adjectives of which they accuse me), but to be turned on like this by people who wrote me and supported me, literally, for years, people who have read my story and know better than most why I feel the way I do is a huge surprise. I am fine with people differing in opinions, though naturally I wish people would think more the way I do on certain key issues (who doesn't?), but there are some I just thought, after all they've told me and shown me, were a little more solid than they now appear to be. I guess times change, and so do people, but some of this is so bizarre. It would be unrealistic to say I'm not just a little bit hurt, but I'm more just sad that they have been taken in by the lies that society continues to feed us. It becomes increasingly difficult to be IN the world, as we are instructed, but not OF the world. Life is so hard and confusing, the only thing to really rely on is Jesus Christ and His Gospel, which I strive to do. It's easy to label my beliefs and behavior as "intolerant" and "bigoted" (oh, how cliche!), but so it is for the entire Christian mindset, if you really want to. There are those who think frowning on any kind of sinful or harmful behavior is "narrow-minded" and "unchristian." (Since, some argue, it is forcing beliefs on people and taking away agency...) So, what is it? What do we do? Do we stand for truth and righteousness or not? Do we argue for the weakness, or do we argue for the strength of the Atonement? (...Referring, of course, to the power of the Priesthood, repenting and changing through the proper channels, process and so on, and not just "saved by faith", which camp I have been accused of subscribing to) Christ may have dined with the publicans and the sinners, but he commanded people to forsake their sinful behavior! He was the perfect example of loving the sinner and hating the sin. He commanded us to judge righteously! He said He would save us FROM, not IN our sins (Helaman 5:10)! As of now, not even a month back into the game and I've already been the target of many hateful attacks and name-calling! And not only from people I barely remember from my past, but good friends as well! I'm only trying to protect the innocent and educate those who just are unaware of the dangers that are out there, based on the things I have learned from the hard times I've been through. And how is this received? With hatred and intolerance! Amazing! It's times like this that verses such as Matthew 5:10-12 mean a lot more to me.

Since when is it weak to argue in favor of the Atonement?

Anyway, just a minor rant for the moment. Of course I forgive these people. Perhaps things like this happen in the heat of the moment? It would be stupid of me to choose to take offense. I'm still just bewildered at this startling turn of events! There are those who turn tail at the first sign of conflict, but just like David (continuing with the earlier analogy, to which I will stick), we who believe in this have to stand firm. Be loving, but unrelenting. Be innocent, but not naive.

Like the Alexander Pope verse says:

"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
we first endure, then pity, then embrace."

I would venture to add "then endorse" at the end. All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.

... And, for those who are truly interested in why I am so invested in this issue, I might as well tell. Click here for a glimpse at my story.


  1. Kuab Ci,

    Sorry to hear about your friends. I've been following your blog recently and I couldn't really put my finger on a huge fallacy that the antagonists kept defending, but you addressed it perfectly and it became so clear. They are arguing for the weakness instead of arguing for the power of the Atonement. Well put. Don't we as Christian's believe that our Savior is Omnipotent? Three cheers for the Infinite Atonement.

    My good friend Clive Staples Lewis has a bit to add:
    “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”
    Mere Christianity.

  2. Drew, all I can say is that for as much as you talk about other people's accusations, you're throwing out a lot of them yourself. I understand that this is a personal thing for you, but it's a personal thing for a lot of other people too, and I don't think it's fair of you to condemn everyone who doesn't think the same way you do. Vague as it was, that was a very pointedly accusing post you just wrote, and based on the text you sent me earlier I feel pretty safe in assuming that I'm one of the friends you claim has turned on you and been taken in by the lies society as fed us. I don't appreciate that at all. I have never considered this a personal attack on you--but if you put something like this out there for all of us to read, then it shouldn't surprise you when people have differing opinions. I know that you think this is one of those absolute truths you've talked about, but I think you're trying to lump too much into that category. Homosexuality is wrong--that is an absolute truth. Anything beyond that, including how we treat gay people, is subjective, and having an opinion on it that's different than yours is not a sign of moral decay or being "less solid" than you thought. This attitude of yours is very unfair and I don't really appreciate being made out to be the horrible person that you keep talking about. That's all.

  3. Drew, you are a brave and strong person. I know it hurts to find out friends have differing opinions. I have one friend who chooses to "respectfully disagree" with me on this issue, and yet it hurts in my heart each time she says that.

    I feel you can say whatever you wish on your blog, and you are free to edit out comments as well. This is YOUR blog and YOUR story. You should be able to say YOUR side of the story without persecution. People can choose to write a response on their own blogs if they wish.

  4. All arguments aside...Cami is right. This is exactly what the "blogosphere" is for. You have an avenue to show the world your view, and can see how it reflects in others. If there is anywhere where you can and should stick to your guns it is here.

    I think its a success that you have so many other people interested, and invested in your blog, (sorry, but I'm not here for your post on Lost, good as it is) and many bloggers would be deeply jealous.

    It would be easy to simply delete all the comments that differ from your opinion, and the fact that you don't shows that you are not a bigot. Although this is a serious subject, it is a casual media. (I love bags, but if he is anything, he is a little out there :))

    Congrats... and keep it up. You got me reading

  5. Yes, I considered going the censoring route with my blog, but then I thought... that's not really an honest sampling of my visitors! If there's something obscene, for sure I'll be editing for content, and I would much rather prefer this remain a friendly place, but I do believe in letting the voice of the people be heard. Heaven knows that I've been silenced and censored one too many times. I thought I would not return the favor here.

    And thanks to all for the support. Miri, I'm sorry you feel that way. This is how I feel.