Friday, April 19, 2013

My Emotional / Spiritual Testimony vs. My Intellectual Testimony: The Analogy of the Kite

My emotional / spiritual testimony is radically different than my intellectual testimony.

I have had a few incredibly powerful spiritual experiences that weren't just emotional, but I also have deep emotional attachments to the LDS community and people I love dearly. That combination keeps me firmly grounded within the community as a faithful, believing member.

My intellectual detachment, if you will, allows me not to sweat the details (what I personally see as the small stuff). I absolutely love the "grand cosmology" of Mormonism - the vision of eternity that is so unlike anything else within Christianity. I also realize that many of the things I see differently are only visible to me because of the foundation that I receive from Mormonism's theology. In other words, my testimony includes gratitude that I have an orthodox background in my life that is available to me and allows my personal heterodoxy to be as powerful for me as it is. I don't begrudge others the fact that they don't see what I see, since they see what is beautiful to them - and since, in a very real way, I only am able to see what I see because of them. I also realize that I might be wrong about lots of things.

I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it's fundamental for me.

I liken my emotional and spiritual testimony to the kite string that keep my intellectual kite connected to a safe harbor, if you will. My intellectual kite can fly all over the sky trying to "figure it all out", but it's not going to get separated from the string and be burned by the sun or frozen in the atmosphere before it gets to the sun.

There are a lot of things I feel comfortable saying I know - and lots of things I believe - and lots of things I really do want to believe - and a lot of things I hope. I like being part of a religion where that is said to be ok in the actual scriptural canon - and, most recently, by President Uchtdorf in General Conference.

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