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|We are Weird|
Feb. 16th, 2014 at 4:59 pm
While sitting in Sunday School this morning as my class discussed the prophet Abraham, it occurred to me that we are a bunch of weirdos. We believe some seriously crazy stuff.
My Sunday School teacher is a super smart lawyer who has her own practice. My classmates are equally impressive in their professions and accomplishments. There isn’t a deadbeat among them. Yet there they were, all nodding in agreement that Abraham was a faithful servant of God as he wandered hither and yon, had a child from a concubine and then abandoned the mother and child in the wilderness, got circumcised at 99 years old and required all males in his household to do the same, attempted to kill his own child in sacrifice to God, etc, etc.
As typical for me whenever the Old Testament is discussed at church, I found myself mentally shaking my head at the nuttiness that makes up the OT. Then my thoughts wandered to the outlier that Jesus was. What a radical – a Jewish man proclaiming himself to be the Son of God.
Moving to the Book of Mormon, there is Lehi, the prophet who took his family from Jerusalem, his son Nephi who led them to America and then hundreds of generations of miracle workers, seers and prophets. Other than King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, most other Book of Mormon prophets are connected to feats of magicalness and radical living. No wonder King Benjamin has my heart. He was a normal dude, just trying to do the right thing.
In our early modern day church history, we have another round of people willing to live outside the norm. Starting with Joesph Smith and Brigham Young, we have a good long history of church leaders willing to be weird in America. They lived the law of polygamy against all society norms and were offended that anyone would question their right to do so. God told them and so it was.
Now we are living in another interesting time in our church. Our church leadership is considered radical, this time on the issues of same sex marriage and other societal controversies. We are weird because of our conservativeness. Unlike previous times of church history, we aren’t pulling up stakes and sailing or walking to the land of freedom. Instead, we are digging in our heels and refusing to budge.
It seems to me that our fate as members of the Mormon faith is weird no matter what we do. We should acknowledge and embrace our oddness, instead of pretending that we are the normal ones and that everyone else is out of step. Let’s tell the truth: Abraham was a weirdo, Jesus was too, and so are we. Apparently, that is what God wants us to be.