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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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Weekend

I have finally overcome the bronchitis and the sinus infection (although my allergies are still giving me fits) and am more or less healthy after several weeks of relapses and weariness. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I will be driving up to visit my brother and his family.

Yesterday was Good Friday, the traditional day of Christ's crucifixion, and tomorrow is the traditional day of Christ's resurrection. I hope we have all spent some time contemplating the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ made to make salvation possible for each one of us. It is, perhaps, more than we can fully understand, but we know enough to know that Christ has made it possible for all to be resurrected and has made it possible for those who accept the Atonement to be redeemed. It is a great deal to be grateful for.

There is much in the life of Jesus Christ to think about and to apply to our lives. We see His examples for obedience, charity, love, honesty, meekness, and so many other things. I realize I have a lot to do to become more like Him, but that if I will patiently persist, I can accomplish that most important goal.

It touches my heart that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to provide us with scripture, prayer, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and so many other things to help us change ourselves for the better and work toward returning to His presence after we have completed this life. He is also patient with us, which is a great blessing and an example that we should emulate as we interact with those around us. And with ourselves.

May you all have a happy and blessed Easter and may you think often of Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

From the Archives: What is Our Work

"One of the most well-known and frequently cited passages of scripture is found in Moses 1:39. This verse clearly and concisely describes the work of the Eternal Father: 'For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (emphasis added).

"A companion scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants describes with equal clarity and conciseness our primary work as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father. Interestingly, this verse does not seem to be as well known and is not quoted with great frequency. 'Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength' (D&C 11:20; emphasis added).

"Thus, the Father’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children. Our work is to keep His commandments with all of our might, mind, and strength—and we thereby become chosen and, through the Holy Ghost, receive and recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our daily lives."

--Elder David A. Bednar
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Tender Mercies of the Lord
p.99, May 2005 Ensign

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Jesus Christ, the Son of God

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a new website up about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Those of you who are LDS probably know about it already, but I wanted to mention it. I have a "badge" in my sidebar that links to the site. It's a good site with articles, paintings, and a few multimedia presentations. More will be added as time goes along. It's purpose is to focus on teachings about Jesus Christ and have them gathered in one place. I think you'll like it a lot.

Other church sites are the main one at and a basic beliefs site at . The main site has the scriptures, magazines (current and archives), lesson manuals (current and archives), and all kinds of other information. The basic beliefs site has articles, video snippets, e-cards you can send for free, and other information.

These really are nice sites and you can explore them on your own computer at home as you have time.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008


How do we become committed to the gospel so that we are fulfilling our callings, sharing the gospel, serving others, showing up for activities, and so forth? I have been surprised to learn that some of the young women in our ward won't commit to a meeting or activity even just two days ahead of time because they "don't plan that far ahead." Sometimes teachers just don't show up on Sunday. Is that because people like to leave their options open in case they want to sleep in or something "fun" comes up to do instead? Is it poor planning, or no planning? Poor time management?

An eternal perspective and regular prayer and scripture study can help one realize the importance of the gospel and help one to set priorities. Still, we have to want to do those things and put our lives in order. We have agency and choice. So what do we do to want to commit and to make good choices?

I think about what Alma said about faith in Alma 32. He talked about nourishing even just the desire to believe and encouraging it to grow. That is what we can do about commitment--nourish even just the desire to be a committed Latter-Day Saint. The prayer, scripture study, and being open to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost can give us the knowledge about the gospel that we need in order to be committed to it. Perhaps, too, we need to teach ourselves and our children to make and keep commitments even in small everyday ways. We can commit to daily prayer and scripture study, commit to do our daily chores, commit to go to work or school or church, or other routine matters in our lives. How well do we already keep such commitments? Can we do a little better?

Do we need to learn how to manage our time better? Maybe we just need to sit down and think through a day or a week and make some notes to ourselves about what we need to do and when.

Those things will help with the mechanics of commitment, but ultimately we need to learn to know and trust our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we grasp the importance of commitment and of what we should commit to.

I don't have all the answers and I am certainly far from perfect, but it concerns me that people today don't seem all that committed to things. What do you think would help turn this around?

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