In Mormon theology, there were two plans: one that dictated beliefs and actions (and, as a result, allowed no growth) and one that left it up to each individual to decide what to believe and do (and, as a result, allowed both greatness and depravity - and everything between those extremes). The good news is that this theology also posits an intervention (through a Savior and Redeemer) by which sincere efforts to believe and do good things are rewarded, no matter how they align with objective, absolute truth. Not everyone in the Church understands how "liberal" that theology is, but it's there in spades.
I know how hard it
is to deal with the ambiguity and relativity on which such a theology rests, as
evidenced by how many members (including leaders) can't accept it fully (since it can be incredibly messy and painful),
but, personally, I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't want others
to be able to force me to act against the dictates of my own
conscience, so I have to be willing to accept that I and mine can't do
the same to them. That is true no matter how strongly I feel about the difference.
The type of truth that I believe all should
accept and follow is wrapped up in principles and characteristics and
focus, not detail. I don't really care how someone describes charity,
faith, hope, compassion, love, forgiveness, etc., as long as they are
describing and trying to live them. I don't care if I see lots of the
details differently, as long as I am working with others according to
those characteristics. I really do believe that the "Gospel" is
incredibly simple and "universal truth"; I just don't put much else that
I can understand in that category. Pretty much everything else is more
blurry or dark to me, so I don't get hung up on it when someone else
sees through the mists differently than I do - or when those differing views add complexity, messiness and even pain to my life.
The Big Questions
3 hours ago