Delightful Mother’s Day. Church. A leisurely drive to Surfside beach–a popular place on a holiday Sunday. Then to historic Galveston for an hour long stroll, followed by lunch. The weather was amazing. Temperature perfect. The steady breeze refreshing.
When we arrived home, my daughter was watching “Anne of Green Gables.” My wife settled in for a nap. I plopped down with a bowl of ice cream next to my daughter. Within 30 minutes, I’m blubbering like a baby. The drama was heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time.
Then this. Marilla asks young Anne for forgiveness. She had mistakenly accused the vulnerable orphan of theft. “Please forgive me. Now I know you are honest. And honesty is an admirable quality.” I was already having great difficulty controlling my emotions. The statement “honesty is an admirable quality” brought a new wave of sobs.
You see, over the past couple of years I have found out that honesty is NOT always admirable. Not when it comes to the Mormon religion. My religion. Silence and just going along are viewed as admirable. Honest examination and discussion of truth is not admirable. In fact, it is forbidden and not condoned in the church. Honest dialogue is dangerous to family relationships and friendships. Don’t ask, don’t tell are the best bywords. Honesty is not admirable.
Some people have told me that you can discuss any of our church’s history and doctrine without any problems. Those “some people” obviously don’t live in my ward or stake. They are not members of my family, nor in my circle of friends. In fact, I hear from people all over the world who have stumbled upon the same discovery as me. Honesty is not admirable if you question, doubt or reach new conclusions. Being honest and open is perilous. Families have been and continue to be ripped apart.
Dear Marilla Cuthbert, your wisdom is so needed in my church.