The [Missed] Opportunity

A few years back, Kristine related George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” to some of the linguistic traps we can fall into within the church. Along the same vein, I’d like to suggest that some of those very trappings can, if we’re not careful, cause us to miss an opportunity for better communion with the Spirit and greater shared experience in prayer and testimony. Consider the following phrases, oft heard in prayer and testimony:

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be here today; and we’re grateful for the opportunity to hear the speakers and for the opportunity to take the sacrament. Please bless those who didn’t have the opportunity to be here today.”

I’m willing to entertain the idea that there may be a doctrinal truth behind the over-use of “the opportunity” and other such phrases in prayer and testimony. In the case of “the opportunity,” perhaps it’s some kind of subconscious assertion that the only thing God really gives us are “opportunities” to exercise our agency. That might be giving most of us too much credit, but there might be a lesson or talk with that as a premise if given the opportunity.

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