Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It Can Be Difficult to Accept the Plan of Salvation in All It's Messiness

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.

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