Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spiritual Unity Amid Intellectual Diversity

If your own perspectives and beliefs put you at intellectual odds with a portion of the membership at large, welcome to my world (and the worlds of many others). It hasn’t stopped me (and them) from serving visibly in the Church and enjoying the blessings of the Restored Gospel. That’s part of the paradigm shift that happens with many - that there really can be a fulfilling marriage of spiritually connective unity and intellectually divergent individuality.

I can read Rough Stone Rolling and bless Bro. Bushman for having strengthened my testimony by writing it, while I worship next to someone who views it as blasphemous - and not see that as a problem in the moment. I can believe in various political ideas, while worshiping with others who disagree with many of those ideas - and not be concerned unduly about it. The Church encourages unity of thought about very few things, in reality, and even in those cases it recognizes various levels of understanding and perspective.

Think about the temple recommend interview questions. Not one of them asks about what we think about the topics being addressed - how we construct our own paradigm concerning the questions being asked. Rather, all of them simply are basic yes/no questions - essentially, “Do you accept this basic tenet of the Restored Gospel and/or try to live this basic principle?” The details of how you get there and how you construct your world-view outside of the questions never is addressed. Those questions are between you and God.

4 comments:

Matthew said...

Funnily enough, I was just thinking about this this week, beginning with the definition of Zion in Moses. Then I thought about how unity doesn't equate to conformity, that we can be one despite our differences. Then I thought that perhaps we should be one *because* of our differences, as there is much strength to be found in diversity.

Thank you for sharing your insights, Ray, as always.

backandthen said...

Yes but hey you know what. Let's not voice our difference too loud.

KG McB said...

I wonder why this is so hard for some to accept. It seems many who zealously seek Christ, become threatened by others who have opposing views...as if a bad idea threatens their peace or something.

backandthen said...

KG McB, exactly!
What is funny is that when you read the bible Christ totally threatened the "establishment" because He was a good, faithful, learned Jewish and worse He clearly seemed to have God's approval and yet His views were not just different but were clearly signs that He was crazy...or maybe they were in trouble.
Some can't agree with the fact that the most important is our relationship with God and how we strive to be closer to Him through the example of His son.
As long as this is not a stumbling block for others I don't see the danger in having a different view or several different views.