Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lighting the Stones

I had started an extremely lengthy post about why I voted for Barak Obama and luckily took a break and returned hours later to realize that perhaps I was missing my own point. What I will post instead, rather than delve into policy, and issues, and the reasons behind my vote, is to say something about God talking to us.

When the leaders of the LDS Church across the country stand up in front of their congregations and read the official statement about political neutrality, it isn't merely obligatory, or to reassert their tax exempt status. And I certainly don't think it is meant to be read with a ::cough, cough, voterepublican:: wink in the eye. We are all encouraged to study and pray for heavenly inspiration to aid us in making a decision. I've done that, and I'm confident you have as well. There are General Authorities of this Church who will vote for McCain in this election and there are General Authorities who will vote for Obama. Does that mean that the person who votes one way is less in tune with the Spirit of God than the other? Not necessarily. Is it possible that two persons could thoughtfully and prayerfully come to a conclusion about two different candidates? I will answer that with a resounding Yes!

Allow me to draw a bit of a scriptural analogy, and forgive me if you feel I'm twisting a principle out of context. The Brother of Jared found himself in a predicament after he had built eight barges in which he and his people would cross the ocean. They had no light. No windows, because they would be dashed to pieces, and no fire because the Lord commanded it so. Because of that commandment the Lord had put them in a position that required an exercise of faith. The Brother of Jared was left to come up with a solution to take them out of darkness, which he did. He "did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones" which he took before the Lord in an almost shamefully apologetic way. "O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee...we are unworthy before thee...O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these things which I have molten out of the rock." These do not sound like the words of a man who is entirely confident in his plan. But whatever confidence he lacked in those molten "things" he made up for elsewhere. "And I know, O Lord, that thou has all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea. Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this."

So my analogy is this: We voters are going to go (or already have gone) into the voting booth with an armful of stones, varying degrees of confidence, and very likely feeling a bit inadequate despite how transparent or clear the stones may seem. But let's not roll our eyes at our neighbor because his stones are granite and ours are marble. Both plans have elements that may be lame, and/or bad, and/or ridiculous. But they're just stones, man-made and full of thought, energy, and good intention. The best we can do is pray for God to touch them and do our part and act! Neither Barak Obama nor John McCain, in and of themselves or even their own platforms, is the answer to the woes of the country. But God can easily touch either of them and make it so. And I'm committed, regardless of who wins, to make that my ongoing prayer, and to act, otherwise I'll be stuck in a ship with no light on a very long boat ride.

Much love to you McCain supporters. Despite all the rhetoric on both sides, I feel your good intentions and I admire them. If he wins I'll be praying for God to light the stones, and will in turn do my small part in my small sphere. I hope, and hope in good faith, that the feeling is reciprocal.