Sunday, October 12, 2008

believe half of what you see and none of what you hear

I sometimes write about what I believe, but really it's simple, I believe what is real.

Ah you ask how does one know what is real?

This is the rub, I've always believed what is real, and I think everyone does the same. Yet my beliefs have changed over the years. So what has changed?

Growing up I was told to pray and get answers, that those answers were real. My mother would pray to find her car keys and she would find them. We prayed for my father to return from Vietnam safely, and even though there were times that it seemed that his plane should've been shot down, he returned home safe.

As a teen i read the scriptures, was a good kid, Deacon and Teacher quorum president then assistant to the Bishop as a Priest and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true.

I've heard "believe half of what you see and none of what you hear". I've also heard "believe what you feel."

I was successful at getting my friends to stop swearing and we talked about religion
but I was always ashamed to bring them to church because the kids there were not good examples. It was always the same no matter where we lived.

At 16 an older girl at the kitchen I worked at talked to me about evangelical Christianity, she was born again and wanted to "save" me. I listened to her, discussed the scriptures and was sorry that she was so lost.

One day she brought a sheave of papers for me to read, proof that Mormonism was false. I took it home confident in my faith. It said crazy things that I knew were lies, evil oozed out of it.

I had been praying for years for a testimony of the Book of Mormon, this book was the answer for me. If this was so evil that i could feel the evil radiating off it and through my bed, then what it was fighting against must be true.

I still prayed for a more clear answer. In the MTC preparing to go to Georgia on my mission i met missionaries that knew nothing about the church, none of the doctrine or history, yet had strong testimonies. In Georgia I met a return missionary who had a burning testimony, but only in Spanish, the church did not feel real to him in English.

We met a Church of Christ minister who accepted our invitation for a discussion about the Church. During that meeting he bore his testimony about the truthfulness of his belief and that after her read the Book of Mormon he knew that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet. His Testimoney was one of the most pure and honest testimoney I had ever heard.

I still had not recieved a testomoney as strong as his. I had been telling people to pray and believe what they felt... yet this guy did just that and got the "wrong" answer.

This started turning into a crisis of faith... so I went to my mission president who told me "the church is not true, but it is divine" that the path that the church lays out for people to follow is the path that will lead to the greatest happiness. I believed him.

There were other crisis's of faith for me but I wanted to believe, felt that belief in the church was tied to my family and i clearly was "a chosen one."

Imperfect members, general authorities saying racist things, church policies that were dangerous were all excusable because it was the path that was good.

but then


Angie said...

But then... ? I love it. So suspenseful. You should write screenplays.

Thanks so much for commenting on my political post. You gave me a lot to ponder. I was wondering if another liberal would dare to peak it's head into the mostly conservative responses. Thanks for that.

djinn said...

but then? What? You want me to visit your blog again? I promise, pinky promise even, plus I'll share with you my new favorite song (that I have not posted on my website.
Don't fear the reaper. See, even topical. Cover by Elliott Smith.


djinn said...

Oh, some mormon missionaries showed up at my house this evening! They would't accept any food (signs of the persephone myth? Fears they would be dragged down to the underworld?) Lis mostly spoke with them. They were a) totally completely and devastatingly outclassed, but were not clever enough to realize it, and
b) admitted to being 6,000 year old new earth fundamentalists which pleased Lis to no end. Proof against evolution" "Dog bones from 20 years ago were found and misdated." I kid you not. Poor dears. Perhaps they'll marry hot but totally frigid Mormon babes and live ever after, though not particularly happily. These poor boys had a handful of answers; Lis never asked the right questions, as they were too dumb to realize what was happening, I didn't even have to feel guilty. Don't think they'll come back for a second lesson (I invited their backsides as they fled.0

djinn said...

I'm getting tired of checking for the followup. Put up.

djinn said...

In my rather futile quest to locate you, I am once again forced to leave a message (a beacon in the vast vast regions of space) to contact you. I just left a series of rather inflammatory posts on times and seasons, here. Which I expect will get not only me banned byt everyone from th state of Oregon, but its an issue i feel very strongly avout and that I feel that 'the church is totally ignoring. Here is the link. Assuming my posts don't dissappear into cyber-prison, here's the link. Call. Or Writh. You could also send a White tiger with a message tied onto his collar. I'm easy.

djinn said...

It's not that you writh, though that would be amusing.

Rachel G said...

It's good to hear your story...or rather part of it. Where is the rest? I remember meeting you at a church in Provo years ago, and I remember you saying that you didn't believe in The Gospel. You didn't believe it was true. This was interesting to me, because I thought that everyone believed it, and knew it was true, even if they didn't go to church any more. I thought it was true, and I thought it was a curse that it was true. How much happier I felt I'd be if it wasn't true! Well, I don't believe it anymore, and I am happier! Hooray!

djinn said...

Yeah, It's that annoying sister again, but with a new, improved pic much more lifelike. Anyway, for some reason Youtube now has up the censored part of Hole's unplugged concert, with Mr. Love on Guitar. One of my all time most favoritest songs ever--drown soda. Come listen soon before someone comes to their senses. Last time i checked, only 814 people had realised that it had been posted. I mean there's enlighenment, and there's rock an roll, or whatever one calls that stuff...... Do you, perchance, read your blog, or is it just me?

djinn said...

OK, I guess this is how we're communicating. I got a bit, uh well, read for yourself. This is from I figure if Katie is in a group called New York Jews for Obama I can be a feminist Mormon Housewife. OK, comments, First: an unsuspecting commentor

Proposition 8 isn’t about rights at all. No one has a legal right to marriage. Repeat: NO ONE has a legal right to marriage. Marriage has always been a privilege extended to couples by rulers or governments. That is why would-be brides and grooms must apply for a license and meet certain requirements set by individual states.

And what is a society’s interest in marriage? Traditionally, the state’s most compelling interest has been in the next generation. That is why we do not permit a brother and sister to marry — no matter how much they may love one another and no matter how much they may insist on equal rights.

The state does have a compelling interest in preserving traditional marriage. We all should. Yes on Prop 8.

Comment by Susan Aylworth — October 21, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

Then me:
No, Susan Aylworth, society’s interest in marriage is transferring property properly from one generation to the next. It’s contractual. We don’t let brothers and sisters marry (unless we’re Egyptian, or I believe Mayan royalty) ’cause it’s ucky. That incest taboo and all. Ahhh, the English common law.

Besides, your argument is beyond bogus and into mendacious because the government does not pose any fertility requirement on couples and explicitly allows couples who cannot have children (say, those involving women beyond menopause) to marry. So there. Stop lying. Or stop listening to whomever it is that is lying to you.

Feel free to vote yes on prop. 8 but have the guts to admit it’s because you hate homosexuals. Otherwise, vote no.

Comment by djinn — October 21, 2008 @ 10:42 pm

Traditional marriage used to include “Couverture,” that is, the woman completely dissappeared as a legal entity ; everything the woman owned before marriage (with certain specific exeptions that pretty much only applied if you were stinking rich) became her husbands’. Including property. He could beat the crap out of her too. And make her have sex with him, until very recently. That’s traditional marriage, people. Let’s bring that back.

Comment by djinn — October 21, 2008 @ 10:55 pm

Ok Susan, yes I am way more worked up about this than I should be. Ready to hand over all your daughter’s rights to their husbands? I guess said hubby’s can’t kill them, but pretty much everything else is on the table. Love that traditional marriage. Maybe you have sons, and so think this is a good idea. If we’re gonna go traditional we shouldn’t have those silly half measures.

Comment by djinn — October 21, 2008 @ 11:03 pm