Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blessings of the Gospel Available to All

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Blessings of the Gospel Available to All, by Elder Joseph W. Sitati
Of the Seventy

Last night I came upon a discussion of race, triggered by an incident involving Mitt Romney, the well-known LDS politician. Apparently, an altercation on an airplane occurred shortly after the Winter Olympics, where Mr. (or Brother?) Romney was physically attacked after asking the fellow in front of him to return his seat to the "upright position" for takeoff (one article here).

Where does race come in, you ask? I wondered, too! It turns out that the attacker (who was subsequently asked to leave the flight) has darker skin than Mr. Romney.

The race discussion was sparked by someone who apparently has a less-than-favorable view of "Mormons," and the history within the LDS church of whom the priesthood was extended to (disregarding when).

As I considered the points of this heavy-handed, almost one-sided discussion, I was incredibly grateful that the blessings of the gospel are available to all. Imagine my surprise this evening when I reviewed Elder Sitati's talk, the title of which was so in line with my grateful feelings of the previous evening.

To make the experience even better, I recalled researching Elder Sitati's history with my wife after listening to his talk in general conference. The message of his words accrued added meaning as we learned (from Wikipedia, link) that Elder Sitati is "the first black African general authority of the church," the first district president and stake president in Kenya, and that he, his wife, and children were the first Kenyan family to receive the sealing ordinance.

That's a lot of firsts.

With all of this in mind, reconsider his statement:

From humble beginnings in Fayette, New York, nearly 180 years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has become a global faith.

Elder Sitati is truly qualified to distinguish our church as a "global faith."

Despite difficult times of the past (and even the present), I, too, am grateful that:

God’s children on the earth today have the opportunity to understand His plan of happiness for them more fully than at any other time. . . . The standard is the same, and the blessing is the same for all. God has reaffirmed that He is no respecter of persons.

I love that even if I don't have the same impressive history as Elder Sitati, or nearly as many notable firsts, I can share in the same blessings that he and his family do. He tells that "a new celestial culture is developing in homes, nurtured by the ready hearkening to the counsel of the living prophet." I'm grateful that I can have this in my home, and that you can too—whoever, wherever, whatever you are!

1 thought:

Mums said...

I appreciated your thoughts. Elder Sitati is coming to our Stake this weekend so I've been reading as much as I can about him. Your comments about 'a lot of firsts' struck me as profound. Thanks for sharing!