Monday, April 2, 2012

Truth Confirmed

I often hear people suggest praying before General Conference that we will find guidance, comfort, and answers to our questions in the messages. Over the past few weeks I have thought a lot about basic doctrines of my religion. I have written posts about the scriptures, the fall, the Plan of Salvation (or Plan of Happiness) and our relationship with God. I have felt strangely exposed. I have felt insecure. I have felt a bit like the people in Lehi's dream.

24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.

25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.

26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.

27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.

28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost. (1 Nephi 8:24-28)

It isn't so much that I feel ashamed or embarrassed of my beliefs. I do feel mocked by the world. I suspect I am often too aware of those in the great and spacious building. I worry that I might sahre their fate if I am not careful.

The difference between me and those in the dream is that when I start to feel this way, I turn towards God instead of away from him. I look to the church, the scriptures, the gospel for guidance and assureance. Confirmation.

I didn't really articulate all of this prior to General Conference. I only hoped for guidance. I was not disappointed. In fact, I was both thrilled and humbled that so many of these very subjects were addressed in those few hours.

President Thomas S. Monson

President Henry B. Eyring

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Elder L. Tom Perrry


Kristi said...

I really hope that you never felt like I was mocking you in OUR conversations. My last few comments showed my frustration with our VERY different theology. It became harder and harder for me to understand you and I was frustrated with trying to follow you through those differences. So please forgive me if I hurt you. I have been a bit more emotional as we get closer to my husband's departure and it is affecting everything, apparently even relationships with people that I never met. I really am sorry.

Unknown said...

Kristi, don't worry too much. I understand exactly what has been going on in our conversations and why. That is why I decided to let it drop for a little while. My frustration in our conversations is the one I always have when discussing my religion. I always find myself wondering why others can't just say "Oh, I can see how you would think that but I believe something else." I was beginging to feel like I was leaving something out or explaining myself clearly. I was doubting my understanding. I was overjoyed when President Monson used the same passage in Acts that we discussed. I realized that while I could probably use some work in my delivery, I have not been misunderstadning my beliefs or misrepresenting them.

I am sure you can relate to the mockery heaped upon believers of any faith in this modern world. This so called "Mormon Moment" is both exciting and frustrating. Attacks against Mormons are as personal as an attack against women or Americans or the military or any other group you might be a part of. They are often unfair and untrue. Knowing better doesn't always relive the sting of the accuasation.

Kristi said...

I listened to the first video. I still believe that the Acts verse when used in that way is taken out of context and in contradiction to the rest of scripture but i wanted you to know that i watched it out of respect to you. And for what its worth i think that you presented your arguements very well. I've been reading a lot from Mormon authors and antiMormon authors in an effort to better understand the Mormon faith. I am in an environment where that understanding is helpful. And you present it as well as anyone else that i have read but i do not see truth in it. Like you said I think that it is best to drop it for a while. I cannot say that you believe the truth but I understand that you are not alone in your beliefs and that many see things the way that you do. That's why I started following your blog. I wanted to understand what Mormons believe and see what we had in common and what we didn't. One of my dearest friends is a Mormon and that is part of what got me started. I wanted to ask these questions and discuss these issues without causing strain to my relationship with her. Thank you for helping me do that. And again I apologize for getting a little nuts toward to end of our discussion.

Unknown said...

Come back any time. email me if you want. I don't mind. I do have one suggestion. If you really want to understand what we beleive you will have to read the Book of Mormon for yourself. Cover to cover, without ANY outside influence (LDS or not). I mean, if you want someone to know about your beliefs you would tell them to read the Bible, right? So, when you get the inclination, read the Book of Mormon and reach your own conclusions. We both know you are fully capable of that!