Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Not about Jesus; It's about You and Me

Jesus, from the view of a hardcore non-believer, was a complete failure. Some of his followers perpetrated some truly horrific, evil things.

Jesus, from the view of a hardcore believer, was a complete success. Some of his followers have done remarkable, marvelous, great things.

What separates a "faithful" torturer during the Inquisition from Mother Teresa? After all, both of them claimed to be doing the will of God, via Jesus.

It's not really Jesus that is the key, in any real, material, practical way. It's the specifics of the devotion of the different followers - the path each took in crafting their devotion, if you will. It's not the founder; it's the follower. In other words, at the most practical level, it isn't the "founder" of the religion that is paramount; rather, it's what followers individually and collectively make of the founding in their own lives.

There is plenty in Mormonism for someone to make himself be damned - but there's plenty in Mormonism for someone to be given exaltation.

One of my favorite questions when it comes to discussions of culture, practice, doctrine, etc. is:

"Lord, is it I?"

"We" are "The Church" - in every way that matters, and, I believe, it is up to each of us (as an individual "I am" within the collective "we are") to own that question - not to "outsource our sin" by blaming others for what "we are" but to model the devotion we hope to see from others. It really isn't about Joseph Smith, since there are good and bad "Mormons" sharing his heritage; it's about me - so I need to ask myself regularly:

"Lord, is it I?"

1 comment:

Rebecca said...