*Dedicated to one particular naysayer. You know who you are.
Sounds like something out of Indiana Jones, doesn't it?
I find myself informed that many who dislike Sunday School in general, and as I comprehend it, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints specifically, have bestowed this title upon organized religion and Mormonism. Their mode of thinking goes something like this: We often hear stories from church members who relate that in the midst of a busy and stressful day, they lost their car keys, and, after some prayer, God directed them to find said engine starter between the couch cushions of their Lazy Boy. This, they conclude, stands as proof to them that God knows and loves them, and is involved in every aspect of their lives. Those who oppose the Church point out that there are many in the chains of bondage, dying of starvation and torture, and this God we believe is so close to us has most certainly forgotten and cast aside these people and left them to their much larger troubles.
I see their concern and from a brief and disgruntled view it seems a very good point. My heart goes out continually toward those in third world countries as do regular contributions from my pocketbook. But let me aid my gentle reader in broadening their horizons a little.
My life, though in a first world country, has generally excited the eyebrow raising, gossip ridden whispers and groans of supreme and bewildered pity from those who have watched the events transpire. I have become accustomed to fight desperately for my health and life, facing abuse, betrayal, amnesia and many other trials on a daily basis. This bizarre and often blighted sense of existence has become my daily stroll, and the repercussions prove far more intense than the consequences of a momentarily lost set of keys. Years have passed without one day that I do not plead to heaven to release me from bondage and anguish, but to no avail.
I do not mean to pretend I know all the pains that other people suffer, but I will say this for certain - God knows all things and He is aware of our trials. He is aware of the sex slave being trafficked just as much as He is aware of the exhausted mom searching desperately for a pacifier to calm her screaming child. He gives us trials, not because He dislikes us, but because He knows that we need to be tested and tried in different ways to become what He knows we can become. My heart bleeds for those held in bondage, but it also goes out to those who are the abuser and the offender, for in the long run, their agony shall prove so much worse than those they injure. This world exists for but a moment and all things shall be made right, either in this existence or the next. I trust to God that those in dire circumstances shall enjoy a better resurrection but I fear for those in first world countries who face different and more condemning trials. We in first world countries often fall victim to selling those things that prove most important for things of naught. We sacrifice family for the love of money and prestige. We willingly place ourselves in bondage to addictions and hold more to pride than to the saving safety of humility. We teach our children to scoff at religion and traditional values, damaging them sometimes irreparably in an effort to remain politically correct. Our dear brethren and sisters in mortal bondage have it rough for now. True. But those with education and leisure to read this post often sell ourselves into eternal bondage voluntarily.
To those who refer to my religion as the Church of the Lost Keys, I would ask you if you seek to lift the burdens of others? We do. We reach out to the homeless, the forsaken, the starving and the rejected. Do you spend your time in humanitarian service to make a difference in this world, or do you spend it in watching the internet eagerly, looking for a way to speak badly of others? If your behavior proves more the latter, I grieve for you, for you are in at least as terrible bondage as physical slaves, and worse because for you there is no rest neither night nor day in the confines of your own mind. Their bondage will come to an end - that much is certain. The end of your bondage, my dear gentle reader, proves far less a sure event.