Monday, September 22, 2014

I Really Dislike Labeling People, Largely Because I Defy Most Labels

I don't like labels - at all. I just don't care about them, since they always misrepresent some people in their stereotyping net. I'm a great example of that, frankly.

I'm as active as it gets in every way that matters - but I don't call myself a "TBM". At some online discussion sites, I'm considered conservative; on other sites, I've been called borderline apostate. One commenter on my personal blog thanked me for being one of the key catalysts in her conversion and baptism into the LDS Church; a couple have chastised me for leading people astray. I'm not a label; I'm ME - and I'm a quite unique me, thank you very much.

To me, being LDS means that I walk my journey within the LDS Church - and I can bear testimony of lots and lots of wonderful experiences while doing so. I'm not just "active" in the Church; I'm about as "believing" as it gets - but that doesn't mean I'm stereotypical in many ways. I'm an orthoprax member who has some fairly heterodox views - and some radically heterodox views - and some very orthodox views - and some views that aren't fully formed yet.

I'm not a Mormon who is Ray; I'm Ray who is a Mormon. I am my own "I am" - and it's an LDS "I am". It's just uniquely me. I believe in my own "middle way" in the Confucian sense - in finding meaning, balance and personal harmony as I'm pulled by opposites. I don't believe in "A Middle Way" (as I've said in other threads), but I do believe in the concept of walking in harmony with my own conscience - which Joseph Smith preached very clearly.

That's me - but I respect, honor and support anyone in the pursuit of living according to the dictates of their own conscience. I hope that's accomplished while being LDS, but each person has to make that call for herself - and it's not my place to judge or label in a derogatory manner anyone who sincerely makes a choice that differs from my own. 

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