Wow! It's been a long time since I posted. I guess I got overwhelmed with other things ... like work! The last few weeks I've been trying to think of how I can fit this blog in with everything else I'm trying to do. Sometimes, my biggest challenges result from my desire to do everything and be everything. In reality there just isn't enough time in the day or energy in my body for it all.
So, today I'm supposed to be watching the Latter-Day Saint General Conference and all I'm hearing is blah-blah-blah. Just for those of you not familiar with this conference, it is a bi-annual event where all LDS folks (a.k.a Mormons) tune into a broadcast from Salt Lake City. In many cases, the conference addresses are inspirational and uplifting. Because I have a tendency to be a bit more liberal than mainstream mormons, I do find some things a bit challenging. I don't think I was even listening today. That may be because I've got a cold and not feeling well does have a tendency to make me disinterested in most things.
While listening to the conference, I found myself browsing the internet following links from one post to the next. Some of the posts were written by ex-mormons and others by mormons. I wasn't looking for anything specific just following the links that had an interesting title. I was happy to find that some of the posts by ex-mormons were respectful which isn't always the case. I was also happy to find some posts by mormons which were open-minded which isn't always the case. It was encouraging because I truly hate bitter arguments about religion. The bottom-line is that religion is a matter of faith. It can not be proved or disproved so why fight over it.
Reading these posts today reminded me of the simple precepts that are held up as our Articles of Faith. The two which came to mind are numbers 11 and 13:
#11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
#13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
I have my own struggles with my religion. There are things I don't understand and things that frustrate me. Even so, I hold dearly onto my right to have my religion and I don't like others knocking my religion. I don't think any religion is perfect because they are all dependent on people who are not perfect. I've done some investigation of other christian religions and have found things that I don't like about them as well. So, what would be the point of making a change.
I love that the LDS religion was founded by man who once was a 14 year-old boy who had questions. Today, it seems that those who have questions are problematic. People don't know how to handle the questions. They are afraid that to question is to risk apostasy. I am learning to embrace my questions. They are my heritage. It is only when we question that we grow. This church would not exist if it had not been for a question.
The response that Joseph Smith received to his question was considered heretical to some who had closed their minds to other possibilities. Perhaps that is why Joseph Smith tried to promote open-mindedness through the thirteenth article of faith. If we are seeking out the good things wherever they may be found, then we will have open-minds. A little open-mindedness and true Christlike love for others would go a long way to making this world a better place.
UPDATE 8-8-2014 - Where do I even start updating this post? Maybe I should just point out my more recent posts that explain my complete loss of religion. I still do not like bitter arguments about religion because I just don't see the point. No one knows for sure if there is or is not a god or a life after this. I am feeling quite angry towards the mormon religion in particular because I feel like I've been lied to for most of my life. The Articles of Faith mentioned above was simply one of the church's earliest attempts at public relations and it is well perfected now. There are so many things said or written publicly which don't reflect the actual beliefs and teachings. It also seems that the church changes it's position as needed to stay in favor with it's conservative base. There is no open-mindedness or ability to ask questions. That was recently and publicly demonstrated when the church excommunicated a woman for asking that women be given the priesthood. Oddly enough the church is more conservative now than it was at it's beginning.
I do find it amusing that I'm now a devil atheist just like my only commenter on this post, Zhu. At least I'm in good company.