Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Atonement Covers Honest Mistakes

I have to live according to the dictates of my own conscience and have faith that God will not punish me for doing so. I'd rather follow that path and be wrong, learning from my mistakes and having an atonement cover those honest mistakes, than to believe and do things just because others say I need to believe and do them. That last construct is the heart of what we call Lucifer's plan - and I think it's critical do recognize that.

I had a friend once who asked me if we can choose which revelations to believe. I think everyone chooses which revelations to believe, and, more particularly, which statements of leaders to classify as divine revelation - even if that means some people choose to think they believe them all. Actually, I think there isn't a Mormon alive who believes them all - when revelation is defined as "everything an apostle or President taught or said from the pulpit", since there are so many contradictory things that have been taught and preached (and so many things we no longer teach and preach). Just to be clear, I am totally fine with that; I'm just saying that every Mormon has to pick and choose exactly what s/he accepts from our history as divine revelation and as eternal, immutable truth.  (I think that also applies to every religion and denomination, not just the LDS Church.) 

Everyone looks at things and decides what they can believe - and then they choose what they can live - and then they construct justifications for the gap. For me, the most important one is that the Atonement will cover that gap, as long as we're trying to do our best. That, to me, is a huge part of pure Mormonism - an acknowledgment that all of us are living according to the dictates of our own consciences and hoping in faith that God will understand and not hold it against us.

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