I’d like to belong to a church that teaches its youth ethics, honesty, self-mastery, etiquette, charm, table manners, to smile and greet each other and strangers, fundamental principles to raise the bar, forgiveness, the importance of making friends for life, never-ending learning, that life is a fountain of opportunity, critical thinking, original thought and public speaking.
I’d like to belong to a church where members are encouraged to bless the human race, hire, mentor and train youth, volunteer as individuals and with groups outside of church assignments, temple ordinances and chapel cleaning, help those in need, care for the poor and needy, and to share knowledge and truth whenever and wherever one feels inspired to share it.
I’d like to belong to a church where members study original sources instead of materials whitewashed by committees.
I’d like to belong to a church that teaches its members to not support the involuntary redistribution of wealth, how to recognize truth versus error and cover-up, the proper role of government, the falsehoods of evolution and the awe of intelligent creation, righteous vs unrighteous dominion by discussing hundreds of case studies including the lives of religious reformers and heroes outside of religious history who didn’t murder, rape, commit adultery, steal or plunder.
I’d like to belong to a church that promotes tithing, giving and the sacrifice of the widow’s mite or to give when we know we don’t have enough to pay our bills because we know we’ll be blessed, but then rigorously and repeatedly examines their own spending to ensure the widow’s mite isn’t wasted.
I’d like to belong to a church where members become so refined that they jump at opportunities to help each other, especially when not assigned by their religious leaders.
by Robert John Stevens, February 13, 2018