My temple recommend is about to expire. I wonder at this time when I schedule my interview what my answers to the recommend questions really mean to me. I find it interesting that the questions are really just yes and no answers without any explanation. I feel that my answers should be, "yes but...." or "no but...." Maybe it's a good thing that we don't have to explain.
I remember when I served in a bishopric that temple recommend interviews were one of the few pleasurable things about the calling. There is a good spirit there, which perhaps is more important than the answers.
What spirit will I bring to the interview this time? As I progress through my life journey, I find that the answers that at one time were so simple are now so complex. Life is marvelous tapestry that I have yet to figure out the pattern let alone the meaning of the pattern. I feel that when this journey is over that if things are exactly as I've been taught in the next life or something else entirely, I won't be surprised either way. I know this is a good path and that the men who lead this church are good and want us to be enriched spiritually, but I struggle with my faith. I don't feel the truth of the church and gospel as I once did. I can see how beyond the core doctrine, the church could have taken many paths and have many different ways of administering the gospel. I believe, but I don't believe. I have faith, and yet have none. I hope, but doubt. I know there's a god, but I don't understand Him or His ways. I love, and yet I'm so self-centered. Isn't life so full of contradictions? For example, my oldest will be baptized this year. I look forward to it. On the flip side, I think I'm at the point that if called to a higher position in the church again that I would decline. My mother told me that she has a new stake president who's about my age with four young kids under 6. I couldn't do it. I would definitely say no to that calling.
Well, folks, I guess that means that once again I will give the right answers to the temple recommend interview because that's what I'm supposed to do. Those answers will be laced with both faith and doubt. I know that I'm not expected to be perfect, but would a temple recommend issue to me if I explained each of my answers? So I will keep the symbol of my membership.
For another post, maybe I'll discuss my thoughts on what I think about the effectiveness of temple ordinances as a form of worship.
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