“…When it is simply futile to explain the unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield understanding and when it seems that perhaps we are totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord.” – Elder David A. Bednar, The Tender Mercies of the Lord
In my twenty-seven years living in Utah, I have seen too often people of my own faith making apologies for mixing “spiritual” thoughts, feelings, and ideas into conversations about the unexplainable in life. I have been guilty of this myself.
It can be a scary thing to open ourselves up to ridicule, being thought of as someone just using our “inspiration” as excuses for our “abnormal” behavior. I know there are the extreme radicals that give any faith a bad light. As a result, I would dare guess that at some point in their lives, most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–or even members of other faiths–have approached a similar question in their minds as this one: “Should I say that thought I just had came from divine inspiration or will I be thought of as self-righteous and be valued less or crazy?”
One of the most profound lessons I learned about spirituality came from living in Topeka, Kansas, among non-LDS believers in Jesus Christ. I worked with two ladies in a small office of a concrete manufacturing company. One was raised Catholic and the other was raised Baptist although reformed slightly and called herself Christian. They were both active in their churches. They taught me about their religion and I taught them about mine.
Really, they taught me how to be a better member of my own faith. They did this by talking of Jesus Christ and his influence in their daily lives, noticing the littlest thing as an answered prayer, a tender mercy of the Lord.
And they did this without appearing self-righteous. They did it without apology.
I think people everywhere are becoming less apologetic about their religious beliefs than they were ten or fifteen years ago, but I still see it nearly every day. I want to recognize the Lord’s tender mercies in my daily life, to see His hand when there seems to be no earthly explanation.
I want to be unapologetic about what I believe.
This message from Elder Bednar helps give me the confidence to do so.