Remember how I griped a few weeks ago that I didn't remember verbatim the excellent response Sister Redlund gives when asked a question about the church, the Word of Wisdom, Adam-ondi-ahman, etc?
Well, from my lips to the Lord's ears, as they say.
I was looking on Facebook this morning. I had a notification from one of the bloggers that I follow.
HE had shared, minutes ago, a Facebook post that Elder Renlund had posted this month.
If you can't read it or if the link is broken, here's the story that Elder Renlund tells:
My wife and I once visited a university in Athens, Greece. As part of that visit, we were taken on a sightseeing tour. While we were actually inside the Parthenon, our hostess, a graduate student in archaeology, said, “Next, I would like to take you to my favorite coffee house in all of Athens.”
My wife said that we would love to go with her, but she said, “Please don’t be offended if we don’t drink the coffee.”
Our hostess asked, “You don’t drink coffee?”
“No,” we answered.
“Why not?” she asked.
As I was formulating a response, my wife said, “The short answer is this: In 1820, a young man by the name of Joseph Smith went into a grove in upstate New York to pray. He wanted to know which church he should join. There he saw God, our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Joseph was told he should join none of the churches. But he was told that through him, the Church Jesus had established while He was on the earth would be restored. The restoration would be through a process of revelation. And it is through revelation that we know that we shouldn’t drink coffee. My husband will now explain it to you further.”
But I really wanted to share this with you. It's a wonderful way to assist you in explaining WHY we do things. We take things on faith because we believe in modern-day revelation. We can receive this revelation through prophets, who speak to the whole church and the world. We can receive revelation through more local leaders -- like Stake President Carlile (for the whole Stake) or from Bishop Madsen (for our ward). Your teachers receive revelation for teaching their classes. You can receive revelation for yourself and whoever you have stewardship over (like when you Home or Visit Teach). Your parents can receive revelation for helping to lead your family, just as you will be able to receive revelation for leading YOUR family.
How do we really explain ourselves? How do we explain anything that we do or believe if we do not go back to the Sacred Grove and establish the principle of revelation, that God reveals His will to prophets in this day and age? We obey because we have understood through the Holy Ghost something of eternal import. The reason you and I observe the Word of Wisdom, obey the law of chastity, and keep other commandments is because of revelation.
When people ask why we make and keep covenants, why we don't drink/smoke/support certain socially-accepted behaviors, Sister Renlund's quote is a wonderful starting point for explaining WHY. And, when you have an idea of how to respond in advance, you can be empowered ... so you will be prepared to respond with courage and compassion and respect to those who ask questions. (And, when you treat others with that same love and respect that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for us, you're opening up the possibility for a wonderful missionary experience ... as long as we can keep the Holy Ghost with us, to help influence us and speak the truth.)
But I wanted to be sure to let you know/read the quote.