By Study and Also By Faith

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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spiritual Ramblings

I spend a fair amount of time contemplating spiritual topics and my own spiritual development. I also notice what others around the Bloggernacle have to say on various topics that connect to spirituality. I agree wholeheartedly with some and disagree with others and have mixed feelings about still others.

Everyone has their own viewpoint, developed over the years by their experiences and the teachings they've been exposed to. Sometimes it's difficult to sort out what is true and what are merely the philosophies of men. Since occasionally the philosophies of men might hit on a truth or partial truth, that makes it more difficult still.

I've noticed that on the Bloggernacle, there are fewer orthodox viewpoints than heterodox viewpoints. I suppose it is partly due to the nature of the beast--the younger and more computer literate people, fresh from the university, are more likely to blog and more likely to hold heterodox viewpoints. It is also a common trend that the younger people are more given to experimenting with different ideas and to thinking they have hit on solutions to various problems.

I am glad to have found other blogs that are orthodox--it keeps me company! The main thing that is frustrating about the heterodox blogs is that the bloggers there tend to shut down opposing viewpoints by saying that they are "Sunday School" answers or are mean-spirited or some such thing. Well, that is their prerogative--it is their blog, after all, and they can do as they wish with it. However, I feel they are missing some wise viewpoints that might prove helpful in the discussion.

As for "Sunday School" answers, they have become such because they are truth. It really does solve problems to pray and read the scriptures, provided that you put what you learn into action. It really does prevent problems to keep the commandments and to honor the covenants made.

Sometimes I feel that interpretation of the scriptures is stretched too far--parsing each word and looking through half-a-dozen definitions to find one that matches what the interpreter wants to find. We all do that to some extent at some point in our lives, but it isn't necessarily a good thing, if carried too far. There are ways to learn what the scriptures truly mean by relying on prayer and the gift of the Holy Ghost and listening to the prophets.

I am disheartened, too, to read comments indicating that the Church is racist and sexist and oppressive. I do not see that in the church--I see love and acceptance of people, but also an honesty about sin. I feel the negative view comes from not being willing to accept that sometimes there are things the Lord would have us do that we do not understand right now and may not understand until the next life, but we are wrong to label these things with man-made labels that have no eternal vision to back them up. It seems, too, that we find what we look for, and if we are looking for racism and sexism and oppression, we will imagine that we see it everywhere.

I suspect that I sometimes come across as "hard-nosed" about things. Actually, I am quite concerned about hurting people's feelings or upsetting them. However, I also feel that there are things that need to be said honestly and find it frustrating that there are those who say that those things cannot be said because they might hurt or offend. It's somewhat ironic that those who take that position often offend or hurt me with their viewpoints, but they defend their right to say such things because they are just being honest--in their view.

I don't know if we humans will ever totally resolve this dilemma of how we express ourselves and of thinking that we are always right and the other person is always wrong if they don't agree with us. Believe it or not, the "Sunday School" answers will come closer than anything else to helping us reach a resolution and a unity.

I am writing this post, not to hurt or offend, but to offer some thoughts for consideration. I am not perfect and neither is anyone else. We all struggle with one thing or another, and sometimes with several things. We each have to work our own way through these things, but it helps to discuss and share ideas--all ideas. Not just the ones we like. I realize that applies to me, too. I depend on God to help me find my way because I, too, am human with human frailties.

Edited to add:

There is a marvelously appropriate speech by Elder F. Enzio Busche titled "Unleashing the Dormant Spirit" that I want to link to here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You Mary,
I've had many of the same feelings.

I will always find it hypocritical, when those who accuse the church of censorship censor others of dissenting viewpoints (often found at BCC and FPR). If they were really searching for more truth, would they really be silencing those who disagree with them???


10:17 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thank you for your comment. It's nice to know I'm not alone. :) And you ask a very good question.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Rachel Woods, Latter-day Saint Guide said...


I enjoyed reading this post, and could relate to it. Thanks!


9:17 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, Rachel! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate your comment.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary, I am glad that I can always feel safe at your blog. I actually avoid blogs that I think are off center. --Barb

2:32 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Barb, I'm glad you feel safe here! I don't mind differing viewpoints, but I do want people to be polite and respectful of others. Of course, I don't get the traffic the big blogs do, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!

12:27 AM  
Blogger Tigersue said...

I surely agree with you. You are not alone out there, and I often wonder where decency and politness has gone to in this world.
I think I backed off blogging for this very problem.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

tigersue, it's good to know I'm not alone! Of course, I knew you and others were there, but I think I just get a little discouraged with blogging in general at times because of the lack of civility. Yet I don't really want to give it up, either.

7:07 AM  

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