Resignation

There is a common idiom in the English language: resign oneself to (something). The individual accepts what one must do, undertake, or endure. It is a type of acceptance of fate, or what one knows must come next.

I look from my third story apartment across the way. I see three young men, each wearing slacks, a white shirt, a tie, and, presumably, a placard – a name tag – inscribed with “Elder.” Each of them has been commissioned and authorized as a representative of Jesus Christ. The Jesus Christ? At a minimum, the meme of Jesus Christ that has been adopted by the corporate entity, the Corporate Sole (not to be confused with soul), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

These young men are doing what they believe to be the right thing. Or, they do what they have been told is the right thing. Is there a difference? They might not have ever considered the question. Few of us have. At the moment, I would say that they are, indeed, doing the right thing: they’re helping a fellow human in the act of service. They are carrying heavy furniture from his third-story apartment, down to the first floor, and then hoisting each item into the bed of a pickup truck. They will continue to do this until the bed of the truck is full. They will then hug the man and wave goodbye.

Is the man a fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Is he an investigator, someone with whom they will meet, teach, befriend, all in the hopes of having him go into the waters of baptism; a soul saved and story for letters sent home? Do they view him as anything more than a goal? Do they see him for who he is?

Do I?

Today I realize that I have reached my moment of acceptance. I know what I know, and that is enough. Today, I will resign myself to embrace that I will no longer be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am working to strip myself of identities that serve something other than what I and each of us are at bottom: Truth.

“One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.”
Joseph Smith Jr.

While I will resign from membership, I will retain an identity: Mormon. I believe in receiving truth from whence it may come, which means I am and will continue to be a Mormon.

With this comes the admission that I don’t know what comes next, but it comes with the beauty of less: less attachment, less burden of guilt, less prior conditioning. It means that as I listen to my meditation instructions I no longer have to wonder, “Does this mean I’m a Buddhist? How does this connect to what I was taught and what I believe? How do I square X with Y?” Instead, I accept Truth. I accept all that life is and all that I am.

Is there a bit of ego in all of this? Perhaps. I am not ruling that out. And, in ways that I cannot fully describe, it feels right. It feels like home. That is a resignation, an acceptance, that one wants. That is the resignation we deserve.

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