Friday, October 14, 2011

Helping My Children Learn How to Construct Their Own Understanding

I LOVE the Mormon view of eternity - the Buddhist-like focus on striving for perfection (completeness, wholeness, full development) toward integration into a cosmic whole (familial / communal sealing). That simply isn't found in ANY other Christian tradition - period. I want my kids to grasp that concept, even if my own perspective is slightly different than what often is taught in church.

I do that a lot - take a concept that I believe is wonderful at its core but generalized when taught to the community as a whole and "tweak" it to teach my kids how I view it. I am fine with them hearing the "general adaptation" for all at church and the "individual adaptation" from me at home. It gives them a way to navigate real life - where they simply MUST learn to accept and work within organizational generalities while not succumbing always to those generalities in their own personal lives.

Frankly, too many members (and too many people everywhere) fail to grasp that inherent paradox - so they end up choosing only one and fighting the other. They end up never thinking for themselves OR never accepting communal norms.

Summary: I want my kids to get the "overview" the Church teaches AND the details I teach - so they can learn to sort out their own personal view as they grow and leave home. Whatever perspective they adopt eventually (and alter throughout their lives), if they don't learn that process now, they can fall very easily into a state of being "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine". Until they learn to create and "own" their personal perspectives, they are acted upon; when they see me figuring out my own paradigm, they have a chance to be "agents unto themselves".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow,wow,wow Ray I so wish I'd had access to your thinking ten years ago.Here's me thinking I was a minority of one,virtually apostate in the eyes of others at that time.Odd thing is,I now find many thinking like this-it seems to be a function of age and experience.It feels a little like a Pyrrhic victory though as many of those see their position as a loss of faith,and of their former certainties.I just see beautiful,hollowed out vessels.I do wish I'd managed to be a little more confident though,it would have made things so much easier on our little family.