Wednesday, April 7, 2010


“God shall give unto you knowledge by his holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost."
(D&C 121:26).

“The humanists who criticize us, the so-called intellectuals who demean us, speak only from ignorance of this manifestation. They have not heard the voice of the Spirit. They have not heard it because they have not sought after it and prepared themselves to be worthy of it. Then, supposing that knowledge comes only of reasonings and of the workings of the mind, they deny that which comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. . . .
Do not be trapped by the sophistry of the world, which for the most part is negative and which seldom, if ever, bears good fruit. Do not be ensnared by those clever ones whose self-appointed mission it is to demean that which is sacred, to emphasize human weakness, and undermine faith, rather than inspire strength."
-Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

I've found myself in shoes I felt I could not fill, shoes I thought I already knew the track record of. I pounded this notion into my brain night and day. I told myself that with this new faith, I would be on a set path to the day of my death. On one side of things, this is a comforting notion. By believing in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, I can have direct answers as to where I will spend eternity. I've experienced the love, and the presence of the Spirit on more than one occasion. I've seen the power of prayer in action. I've finally come to know truly who Jesus is - I know Him on a personal level for the first time.
But the other side of this "set path" can seem disheartening. As an LDS member, I must deal with the unrelenting pressure of the world against the LDS church, go to church every Sunday, align myself with conservative politics, go on a two year mission, marry a mormon wife, have a ton of kids, all while holding a career. These are all the Mormon pressures/stereotypes I found myself thinking about in relation to my faith. And because I was shaking my base, I found myself slipping into doubts about the Church. (on a side note, I feel like these stereotypes are true of any faith. Mormons just get set aside because people haven't taken the time to actually see what we truly believe. We're still Christians).
In an instant I was able to forget about ALL of the beauty, peace, and love I had found in this Church. I was able to forget the scriptures I'd studied and prayed about, and the way they had impacted my faith. All of this I was able to shoot down for the sake wallowing in a doubt.

I was putting faith in doubt.

It's something I find myself doing in many other instances in my life. If I have to make some sort of life change, it suddenly becomes this HUGE LIFE CHANGING CAN'T GO BACK decision in my mind. I let myself fret and worry. I google things like "liberal mormon" and "lds convert doubt" just so I can enhance the whole ordeal. I want instant gratification. I want to know what the ending looks like before I go ahead and walk the path leading there. But the truth is...

There will always be doubts and inconsistencies in faith. If you make it a priority to look for doubts, they will always be there. This holds more truth than ever in this internet age. With the typing of a few words into a search engine, you can unload an entire encyclopedia of common dissent. A while back, Alex told me that "faith is not practical". Around the same time my mom told me, "Keep your head and your heart in the same place." These are written on sticky-notes on my desk, the very place I find myself hunched over a screen looking for insight.

Faith is not final. It's a living breathing relationship. And before I align myself with any stereotype, leader, article, blog, I should be asking my Heavenly Father for insight. The most important part of my faith is my personal relationship with Him. And in prayer, and days of thoughtful ponderance of scripture I know that at this moment in time, I am where I am supposed to be. Just because there seems to be this common knowledge that I must be a conservative, uptight, clean-shaven, member does not mean I have to. I will follow according to the insight I receive from above, through the scriptures, and through the Church leaders. Those stereotypes come primarily from the congregation. Mormons are awesome, loving people but there are a few "standards" that run in the culture of the lifestyle that aren't necessarily doctrinal. I can live my faith however I see fit, while still living it according to the scripture and doctrines. There is just too much right about the Church to let one or two things bring the whole thing crashing down.

I AM Hugh Nibley reincarnated.

The last few weeks I've put so much unnecessary pressure on myself. Faith is living, it's a choice you've made to recognize that relationship we can all have with something far bigger than ourselves and this world we live in. It's recognizing true eternal love. I will always side on the side of faith in the end. That's what this life is all about.

I'm learning to understand how the gospel works in accordance with this life. We don't have to recluse ourselves within our churches and our scriptures. Let us go out into the world, as frightening as it might be, and truly live out or faith.

No longer will I put faith in doubt...from this point on, I'm putting faith in faith.
Rejoicing in our present state may very well be the most important thing we can do on earth.

1 comment:

redneckzilla said...

Nice Hugh Nibley shout out. Agreed entirely. And I'm glad you're getting back to that refreshing, living part of your faith. You know, the true part. haha.

I agree wholeheartedly with this and it's not just because I've got huge chops and I'm sitting at my job in the HBLL and I never sleep and I only drink caffeinated beverages and because I swear like a sailor a lot and because I like vulgar rap music and because I get angry when people can't handle R-rated movies and books and because I expect way too much out of others and myself and my faith but still and always will have a huge, great, enthralling, growing, and simple testimony of this Church and this Gospel.

If you're fed up with Mormon culture man, you do NOT need to be here in Provo. haha.

And always remember that all too important phrase: The Church is perfect. The people aren't. And that includes us.

And as I was typing this out, I got caught by my boss using Blogger. haha. I'm the worst ever.

The end.