Do we allow our personal, unanswered questions about the gospel fell our tree of testimony or grow it? Just how much are we willing to risk or obsess on a question when weighty matters are at stake? Deciding what matters is one of the first steps to leaving Babylon and becoming a Zion person.
About twenty years ago, I had a gospel question that vexed me. Despite my best efforts, I could not make sense of it. After pondering, praying and fasting, I still suffered with the question. The experience taught me that in the delay there are blessings, if we will allow them. The first blessing that I experienced was the question’s forcing me to a point where I had to decide once and for all if the question really mattered. Was the root system of my testimony so flimsy that this issue could topple my tree of belief? After a little deliberation, I decided that my roots of testimony ran deeper than that, and I concluded that I would not let the issue matter. It could wait. What I didn’t understand at the time was that by setting aside my demand for an answer I opened the door for the answer to come.
The Purpose of Delay
The Lord never asks us to travel a road without some prior preparation. Faith builds upon faith as the Holy Ghost spoon-feeds us one precept at a time. Questions are often planted by the Spirit as invitations to learn the next concept. A quick survey of the scriptures reveals the Lord’s use of questions to prod righteous people to stretch and to learn. But we can stop the process and fell our tree of testimony by becoming frustrated with the process or getting stuck on a challenging question. When the answer is not immediately forthcoming that does not mean that a satisfactory answer does not exist. Perhaps the Lord’s delay serves as a test of faith or a motivator to search the scriptures and prophets for answers to this and other questions. Often, in the process of seeking an answer we stumble upon a potpourri of truth.
I responded to a Meridian article by former White House aid to three presidents, Stephen Studdert, who called for immediate passage of the bailout bill that Congress is considering today.
It would be a great service to all Meridian readers if comments like the one I’m going to make below could accompany the article.
Obviously, Mr. Studdert has been a Washington insider for quite a time and knows and feels what people living inside the Beltway understand. But there’s one flaw in his thesis. He and others have called it an emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately without considering alternatives.
My view is that it should not be a “bailout” using taxpower money or credits, but a “loan” of new money from the treasury with provisions for payback. This was propounded by Newt Gringrich and other conservatives close to the action. We are still a democratic nation espousing free enterprise not government ownership of means of production and commerce. It is wrong for government to bailout private enterprise and it is unnecessary. For example, J.P. Morgan Chase ended up taking over the defunct Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo merged with them, taking care of one of the problem banks, the fourth largest.
Wachovia Bank was taken over by CityGroup. Warren Buffett invested $5 Billion in Lehman Brothers when the price was right. That’s what happens in a free enterprise system. Wall Street understands that more than anyone else. Yes, we have a disaster in the making, but to take the tunnel-vision approach that most people are taking and saying “bailout” is the only solution is distasteful to me and, frankly, most Americans are angry at the financial system in this country and at the leaders who weakened lending rules. That includes President Bush, Congressman Barney Frank and others for not ordering the fixing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when John McCain raised concerns two years ago.
There is plenty of blame to go around, including to those families who speculated in the rapidly rising housing market in 2004 and 2005, knowing they bought a house (maybe on an ARM mortgage that could spiral out of control and most of them did) with only a “hope and a promise” of a quick re-sale for a giant profit. I think Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head last night at the Biden debate. There are a lot of us that should be looking inward and taking precautions to clean up our own “house” and internal affairs to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
I am a writer living in Orlando, Florida near the MormonTemple. Click onto http://angstblogger.blogspot.com/