31 March 2009

Maybe Not As Doctrinaire As Thought

At the Sunstone Symposium I picked up a few back issues of Sunstone Magazine. One includes an article by John Kesler called "Discovering A Rich Tradition." One bit jumped out at me because not only did it seem to vindicate so much of what I and other of my blogger friends have come to believe, but because of its source: Joseph Fielding Smith, who had a reputation in his earlier years of being one of the most black & white, hardline, uncompromising, toe the line or else General Authorities in the history of the Church.

John Kesler was a nephew of Pres. Smith's and went to see him the day before the prophet died. They talked about Kesler's own spiritual journey which was unorthodox, to say the least. Here's what Kesler said about their visit, and it gave me great comfort to know that in many ways, I and many of my friends are in Kesler's situation, so we can confidently follow the same instruction he got:

"He listened to my doubts about the literalness of the Church's truth claims. Although weak, he was lucid. He smiled and gently told me the following. Who I am is more important than what I precisely believe, and what I manifest based on who I am demonstrates my actual belief. He counseled me that if I exercised faith and aligned myself with the Spirit, the truths I needed to know would manifest themselves in the way I needed to know them, that they would settle in me and bring me peace and joy. He encouraged me to be godly in all that I did, to walk humbly before God, to love wisely by and through the Spirit, and to do my best to bless the lives of others."

Can't do better than that.


Grant Haws said...

"Who I am is more important than what I precisely believe, and what I manifest based on who I am demonstrates my actual belief."

When Mormon-folk run around screaming about the one and only true church, I wish they would remember that idea.

Ezra said...

once again for me at least, it comes back to the way I see loving parents treat their children. If that is any indication of our fathers behavior and love for us then I know our best will be good enough an our actions and desires of our hearts will define us and our glory.

Maybe that's just the high altitudes talking. Oh wait I'm in fresno at 124 feet. :)

El Genio said...

I'm curious, do you have any more info on Kesler?

Gay LDS Actor said...

May I have your permission to link or quote this post on my own blog? I really like what you've said and quoted here.

Alan said...


Sure, of course. I'm flattered you'd ask.