As of late, I've been drawn between two main themes: the current state of the Church and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. One empowers, the other doesn't. One gives life, the other consumes time.
I realize that I will never have enough time to sift through all the aspects of the Church and it's history, and I've come to understand, that even if I did, it would make me neither happy nor saved.
There are som many things to get caught up in. So many questions to take a different stand on. There seems to be no end to issues on which to digress from the traditional view. Falling into the trap of dissent is so easy, any one can do it! To work for unity despite disagreements is harder. To give the same latitude for different beliefs within our "household of faith" (D&C 121:45) as we extend to those of other traditions is hard, but a sign of respect, tolerance and open minded- and heartedness. It's a sign of a desire for unity in Christ.
No matter who's right on the "hot" issues, no matter if the Church is "true" or not, no matter if the leaders are called of God or not, I have to be true to the light within me. No matter what, I have to repent from all my sins in order for me to come to know God. Love will bridge all gaps, love will root out the critical devil from my chest, and love will keep my heart open for those around me. Should I let other, less important things, obfuscate my eye of faith and cause my strength to slacken and my heart to weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow? (2 Ne. 4:26)
These words from Joseph will be my guide going forward.
"If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear down on them? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better. I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way. Do you believe Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation which he revealed? So do I. Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship. I am just as ready to die defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination.” (History of the Church, 5:498–499)