Saturday, 25 May 2013
Why am I here, and where am I going with this?
I suppose every blog is in some way exercise in ego, you have to believe that you have something worthy of other people spending their time reading, else why bother doing it?
I have a very analytical mind, I look at the data and I see trends, I see principles at work and I can often extrapolate very effectively. I need this skill for my job, and I'm good at it, but I apply this skill to a lot more than just the things that land on my desk at work. I analyze the news, I analyze the teaching of Christ, I see things what is going on and recognize patterns and principles laid out in scripture and how they may fit with what is going on in the world and where things are headed.
This blog will be primarily about examining news and current events from an LDS perspective, as well as talking about thing going on in the Church itself, and issues in the media relating to the Church.
It isn't the job of the church to go around and tell the members what they should think and do about everything. It is their job to teach us the correct principles and it is our job to study things out and make use of the gift of personal revelation to guide us. Part of that process should be discussion with others for 'in multitude of counsellors there is safety' (Prov 24:6) My hope is that what I post here will be helpful to others in following that process. I hope I can earn your respect as somebody worth listening to along the way.
The gospel has been very important to me since I was quite young, and I have always had a strong internal drive to 'Choose the Right' as the Primary hymn teaches. I know that God is there, that He knows me better than I know myself and He loves me and has a personal concern for my happiness and well being. I know that Christ is His Only Begotten Son, that He died for me on the cross and through his atonement I have the chance to return to be with God again, together with my family forever. I know that Joseph Smith was truely a prophet called of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom on the earth, guided by divine relation given to the Lord's anointed apostles and prophets.
I know that the leaders of the Church are mortal men and fallible like the rest of us, but I also know that when acting in the office of their calling we are obligated to heed their words. 'Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.' (D&C 1:38) I find it hard to sit quietly by if a 'Mormon intellectual' tires to lobby the church to 'get with the times' in some way, or those who think the leaders of the church should take their counsel rather than they take counsel from the church. On the other end of the scale I am sometimes frustrated with how some members take the personal opinions of a General Authority as if it was scripture.
In terms of this blog, don't expect a lot of posts specifically focused on discussing this doctrine or that. There will be some of those, but more often what you will see is how I think the principle of the gospel should be applied to other areas of life and issues in the news. I'll also comment on issues that come up in the media concerning the church, like the recent push by some for the ordination of women, the recent decision by the BSA to allow gay scouts and the church's reaction to it. If you are an avid fan of Sunstone or Dialoge: A Journal of Mormon thought, you may not like some things I say.
Current events and the culture we live in
We are not to be of the world but we still have to live in it. I think it is fair to say also that we are close, VERY close, to seeing some of the less pleasant prophecies of the last days coming true. I track what is going on in the world very closely, looking for indications of the fulfillment of those predictions, or at least looking for ways the events of today could reasonably lead to what the scriptures talk about.
No, I'm not some kook building a bunker to wait out the end times, I'm doing what the wise virgins did, waiting and watching for the bridegroom to arrive. I believe there are a lot of ways that the teachings of the gospel apply in matters of politics and government. I think in fact that the gospel can and should be used as a guide in deciding how we vote, what causes we support, and what public voices we should heed or ignore.
I don't see issues and policies as being a thing where both sides are equally bad or wrong, and the whole thing is just a matter of opinion. We live in a world that is governed by laws and principles, and no matter what somebody's opinion of a law or policy is, if it doesn't conform to true principles it will not succeed, not in the long run at least. Any time one party suggest one thing, and the other suggests another, one of those suggestions will be better than the other, and we of all people should be able to figure out which one that is given that we have access to more truth and even personal revelation.
I often see members who seem to ignore all the principles of the gospel and all the lessons from the Book of Mormon about government when it comes to the issues of the day. I'm greatly saddened how often it seems that somebody who appears to really understand the gospel falls in line with the philosophy of the world and the drumbeat of the media. So I'm going to discuss current events and issues from a gospel perspective and comment on the ways I see the culture changing and affecting the society we live in. Kind of like a Mormon Rush Limbaugh.
I look forward to your comments, favorable or not, and I trust you will post them with charity in your heart.