Thursday, March 11, 2010

have a little faith

Like Mandy, I also enjoyed this book. There were some great things to be learned from it. Although it seemed like a bunch of different stories and memories jumbled together, it made it easy to pick up whenever you had a spare minute or two and just read a little.

There are a few different thoughts I would like to share, and I hope that I can express them well . . .
First of all, I believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that people can repent and change their lives. In the case of Henry Covington, he had a lot to change and repent of but it was possible. I find his strength and dedication amazing, going from where he was to becoming a pastor and helping those who were like his former self. I know that these changes are possible and that we can always turn back towards God and that He'll be waiting for us with open arms.

While reading this book I think I gained a greater appreciation for other faiths, and for the people who live them so devoutly. There are many good people out there who have faith in God, and who live what they believe like the Reb. They may not have all the truth, but they believe in the same fundamental principles such as faith, prayer, service, and love. Although they are not members of this church, we can all learn from them and their examples.

I am reading another book right now which tells the story of a young Jewish man who converts to Mormonism. Just before he makes the decision to be baptized, he has a conversation with a good friend, an older man. The young man was concerned about why God would allow so few people to be members of the true church. The older man does a beautiful job explaining things to the young man. He said that he doesn't view the world as members or non-members, right or wrong, or good versus evil, but as incomplete and complete. When others join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it's not that they are necessarily giving up their old religion, they are just adding more truth to it; completing it. This young man was adding to his Jewish life and traditions by including new things such as Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon to the truths that he already knew. I had never thought of it that way, and I just wanted to share that thought with all of you.

I hope all of you are enjoying this as much as I am. This book club is serving to be a bright spot in my life right now as I am struggling to find employment and figure out what to do with myself. Thanks for your friendship and your examples of love and faith that you have been to me.


Hannah Carlson said...

This theme of repentance was in the book, but at the same time, it doesn't do it justice. Although Henry Covington talked about repentance he said that he could not be fully forgiven for his former self. He had the conversation with Mitch about why he now is doing so many good acts. Henry said good works can't save you alone, but Mitch didn't understand why this wouldn't 'make-up' for all his former transgressions.

I was so sad for Henry after reading that. He was trying so hard to be faithful and selfless, but he still didn't believe that he himself could be forgiven for his sins. That would be so discouraging. I'm so glad that I know that we can be forgiven for our sins and we can be made white as snow.

Kimberly said...

It's true. I remember that part of the book and I was sad for Henry too. He didn't believe that he could be forgiven of all his sins. How sad would it be to live your life believing that you wouldn't make it to heaven? But you have to admire him for doing all the good that he did despite the fact that he didn't think he would be saved.

Elle said...

I really like what you shared about learing even more truth. I took Spirituality in Art last winter and Humanities of Islam the semester before that. I learned so much about other religions and felt the spirit as I was expanding my knowledge. The Reb talks about how in the beginning there was only one man, Adam. And Adam knew God who had created him and from then on things just got distorted.
I appreciate his method of ministry, he led a good life and shared what he had faith in, but didn't pressure people to give up what they already had. It was about sharing and letting people figure things out for themselves.
I think people misunderstand that about our missionaries. We are no crusaders going out to kill off culture and make everyone LDS, we want to share the restored gospel with as many people as we can. They have to accept it themselves.