By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

From the Archives: Religion and Science and Philosophy and...

I would certainly classify myself as a religious LDS conservative. At the same time, I enjoy learning about science, philosophy, math, physics, politics, history, and many other subjects. I do not feel that any of these things are off limits to the religious soul.

I know that I do not see eye to eye with a number of the citizens of the Bloggernacle, but I think that is a good thing. If there is diversity in thought and opinion and knowledge, then we have something to think about and to discuss.

I firmly believe that our Heavenly Father wants us to study and learn about many subjects. He wants us to exercise our minds and use our thought processes. That we may come to different conclusions is not a bad thing. There are any number of areas wherein the Lord has not given us definitive information yet. Some questions may well not be answered until the Millenium or later. I believe that the Lord meant for our learning to be a growth process. He means for us to think things through and reach the best conclusions we can. If others disagree, we can restudy and rethink, but if we are still convinced of our position, that is fine. We may be right about some things, the others may be right about other things. We will all have learned and thought and exercised our brains.

Being a conservative Mormon does not mean that I reject science or philosophy or any other subject. It may mean, though, that I do not agree with some statements or ideas. I would say that we should not jump to conclusions about one another. We should also enjoy the difference of opinion and idea. What would we talk about if we all thought alike?!

There are so many facts and ideas out there in the world. It is a neverending process to learn even one subject because there are always new discoveries, new ideas, and new information coming out.

I would hope that we do not neglect the gospel in our pursuit of secular learning. We are all here for a purpose--to learn and grow and become like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This certainly includes secular learning, but does not mean that we should reject religious or gospel learning. We can apply our reasoning to the gospel as well as to other topics, but let us not forget that faith plays an important role in truly understanding the things of God.

There will always be room for differences of opinion as long as we are in this mortal life. These differences can help us learn to think, to sort out ideas, to make sense of a great many things. That what is sense to one is nonsense to another should not invite derision or dismissal, but rather respect and listening and learning.

Learning and study and education are very important to me, but not more important than the gospel. I consider those things to be a part of the gospel, as is all truth and learning. We cannot know everything now, but we can certainly learn a lot and we can learn to think things through.

What are some things that you have learned that are important to you? These can be secular or religous or some combination of the two. I am just interested to know what people think.

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Blogger T. F. Stern said...

I've learned that an appreciation of a gift given determines its worth rather than how much it cost. I'd given a porcelain Nutcracker Christmas ornament to my mother one year after they’d provided us with tickets to see the performance. Upon opening the small wrapped package the ornament fell from her hands and disintegrated on the tile floor. She swept up the pieces and I assumed that it had been tossed in the trash. A week later when we showed up for Christmas dinner I had already bought a replacement ornament; but in that time she had used all her skills to put the fragments together and make it appear as whole. To this day that serves as a great lesson on the value placed on gifts, not what they cost; but what they represent.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous aaron said...

I used to think that Heavenly Father only communicated through prophets and through scripture.

I've learned that there is much more outside of the Gospel that is good and comes from God than we think. I've learned a lot about love from atheists, christians, jews, and other faiths and I feel that Heavenly Father is the father of us all and is doing the best he can with all of us.

I've also learned to be open minded and respect other people's experiences with God. God communicates to each of us in our own ways and according to what we'll allow.

You're right. It is good to discuss (not debate) various points within the gospel...however, it is very important to keep the Spirit as a companion to avoid going off into false doctrine.

These are all my random thoughts...

3:49 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

I'm sorry I've been so slow to respond, TF and Aaron. I appreciate your comments. The things you've mentioned are among the best kinds of things we can learn--things to do with our relationships with other people and an appreciation for what others think and feel. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts.

6:38 AM  

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