Monday, October 17, 2011

One Thing I Know: Journeying Within the LDS Church

Objectively, I know very little when it comes to religious things. I just don't. I'm a reasonably intelligent guy, so I can justify intellectually just about anything I want to justify - and I can do it in a way that is logical and somewhat compelling. What I "know" is that it's up to me to construct a paradigm in which I can grow and progress to the best of my ability - that I can't let anyone else dictate what that paradigm looks like.

When I say, "I know," I always mean "for myself" - "according to my understanding". I really like the way Nephi phrases that concept, so I borrow from it. "My experiences have taught me personally" is how I define "I know" in this context - so I'm fine in saying things like "I know the Gospel is true" and even "I know the Church is true" - since I define "true" as "on target" (true flight of an arrow) or "pointed in the right direction" (true north) or "sincere" (true love). I have found a way for the Church to be an instrument (a vehicle) in my life, and I have found a way to accept the messiness and infallibility and ambiguity as unavoidable (and sometimes even personally ennobling), so I honestly don't worry much about it from a cosmic standpoint.

Also, I've spent decades studying and viewing other denominations and religions, and I simply haven't found a single alternative that inspires me at the highest level like Mormonism does. I believe we continue to struggle with the effects of centuries of doctrinal bastardization that haven't been pruned fully from our own tree, but I "know" I don't want to construct my personal paradigm anywhere else. It would be MUCH easier in MANY other religions and denominations, but I know I personally wouldn't be lifted and inspired and motivated to grow and "become" like I am in the Church.

So, in summary, what I am left with in the end is nothing more profound or deep than:

I know I want to make my journey within the LDS Church.

1 comment:

ji said...

John 6:66-69 is a very powerful affirmation of your thoughts. Indeed, where else can we go? We believe and are sure that Jesus is the Christ, and that his priesthood and Church has been restored in these latter days.