Every Friday, I plan to publish a post about one reason I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
By design, these posts won’t focus on the miraculous claims the Church makes. They will focus on the everyday ways the Church benefits me and encourages me to live a meaningful life.
I hope to focus on the community, health, and other practical benefits of the Church.
But before I do that, I want to start with the foundation. I believe it. I believe all of it.
If you ask me what I think happened to Joseph Smith in the grove near his home in the Spring of 1820, I believe that God appeared to him and told him to listen to Jesus. And that Jesus then told him not to join any Church.
It is a wild belief, so far outside ordinary experience, that I would expect any rational listener to respond with slack-jawed confusion.
“You mean you believe it as a metaphor?” No
“You mean you believe not that it happened, but that it teaches true principles?” No
“You mean you believe it’s a good story, that’s had positive effects?” No
I believe it happened. I believe in real gold plates, and real angels, and real miracles, and real prophets.
I believe life is more than what you can measure.
In the midst of America’s Second Great Awakening, Divinity touched the messy mundane humanity of Joseph Smith to teach the world how to be redeemed. And I love this because it teaches me through both example and word that I can be redeemed.
If God can turn a troublemaker into a prophet, He can turn me into a saint.
And if I believe the impossible happened in that forest, then I have to be open to the impossible happening to me and everyone around me every day.
Believing it’s true keeps me curious, hopeful, awed, focused, and grounded.
I love the Church of Jesus Christ for twelve-hundred reasons. I also believe it’s true.