The Middle Way

When discussing the topic of inclusion and tolerance in the Church, I like to keep in mind that we have all been bidden to come unto the waters of life and drink freely. But please, let's try not to "backwash" ideas we have picked up from the world into the pool. As the late Hugh Nibley said: "...even good, when it becomes contaminated...becomes an evil...Babylon and Zion cannot mix in any degree; a Zion that makes concessions is no longer Zion." We can either hold out our cups to receive the pristine water or we can attempt to adjust the water to our tastes, making what's in our cup worthless, at best. When it comes to seeing things as decidedly right or wrong it has been said:

One may well ask if it is necessary to choose between such absolute extremes, and wonder if there is not some more moderate approach to the problems. By the very nature of things there is no third way - as the early Jewish and Christian writers remind us repeatedly in their doctrine of the Two Ways. According to this oldest and best-established of teachings...there are Two Ways lying before every person in this life, the Way of Light and the Way of Darkness, the Way of Life and the Way of Death; and every mortal every day of his life is required to make a choice between them. Unfortunately for our peace of mind, any compromise between the Two Ways is out of the question, since they lead in opposite directions...Which one you are on depends entirely on the way you are facing.”
— Hugh Nibley

Is there a middle way? Think back to the ancient philosophy of the yin-yang with its light and dark halves struggling within the whole while producing movement and action. If you take away that separation of light and dark, you get stagnation - a cessation of movement - and nothingness. Neutrality becomes impotent greyness, as confirmed by Lehi who said there must be opposites or else everything would "be a compound in one"...would "remain as dead"...having been "created for a thing of naught"...with "no purpose" and would "vanish away." (2 Nephi 2:11-14)

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, in his April 2014 conference talk examined those who sought "gods who do not demand too much, comfortable gods...who not only don't rock the boat but don't even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds. Talk about man creating God in his own image!" This applies to those who, following worldly trends, will decry former prophets as racist and bigoted in their withholding of priesthood ordination from certain lineages. On the flip-side, there are those who, seeing the pattern set forth in the scriptural record of the Lord's dealings with His people, understand that He determines the uses and bounds of His Priesthood according to His wisdom and understand also that He presides over His prophet. 

How many times, since the release of the essays on about Race and the Priesthood and Plural Marriage have we heard vindicated the Lord's accusation of the people, which He confided in Isaiah? He accused them of clamoring, "Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things; prophesy deceits [ie. publish an official apology saying that the Church and the prophets were wrong]." This camp is well-defined by C.S. Lewis, who observed that "Kindness cares not...whether its object becomes good or bad provided that it escapes suffering."  

Out of love, the Lord must insist on excluding not people but their error, for "Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness." (C.S. Lewis) 

What say ye?