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Date Posted: 16:46:53 06/01/05 Wed
Author: Mary, quite contrary
Subject: while I understand your reasoning, and I do--
In reply to: Leif Erlingsson, heretic® 's message, "Mary, quite contrary" on 14:44:07 05/29/05 Sun

I was raised by highly educated people, and the empirical theory was as much, if not more, talked about in our home than the "gospel", I have seen much despair among the scientists in my life--the irreligious ones.
As long as you have something, a cause, to "fight" against--be it Christianity (in this case specifically, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and I don't mean that literally; you're not actually fighting, but you are using it to sharpen your sword, now admit it (still smiling)--you may be able to maintain a certain standard of value.
I've watched generations in my family, including the family into which I married, fall from religion and fall into despair and destructive lifestyles, only to realize that religion really IS the answer. I hate to use that word--religion; there are many false religions; I happen to class empiricism among the religions of the world, you see. I'm not calling it false; I'm just saying it isn't enough. But, I'll use the word religion for lack of a better for this "diatribe"--I can't call it a discussion; monologue might be better (I can laugh at myself!)
A person very close to me tried agnosticism for quite a while and couldn't find a reason to live; agnosticism became his religion, and it wasn't a happy one; fortunately, life-giving truths were found, and life is better. Not easier, no, certainly not, but better.
If you feel liberated from the LDS culture, then good; it is as false (or can be) as any other culture; cultures are very tricky; they are easy to become caught up in; the LDS culture is no exception. Being liberated from Jesus Christ; that is sad. Really sad. But, it is possible to live apart, carefully, from the culture and have the truths. It happens with all truth seekers, even those who haven't known about Jesus Christ but have attempted, by the Light of Christ, to live in a Christlike way; most real truth seekers WILL find Him. And most live alone to some extent.
I guess I believe that our present world conditions are all part of the process.
I don't worship politics, even "good" politics (can there be such a thing?), and I do not worship reason. I don't believe that truth begins and ends with science. I don't believe the "reason" (using THAT word for lack of a better one; English is so limited/limiting) for religion is to keep conspiracies out of the world; I believe the reason for it is to give us hope for a better and help us to try to cope with the evil that will be here, because free agency does allow evil.
And, I do believe that our religion is very explorable by any who wishes to examine in, but, ultimately, you have to either believe that we are commanded by spirit or by intellect, and where is intellect without spirit; where DO we go when we die, if there is no spirit?
And, anyone who spends much time reading scriptures learns that many of the elect will be deceived? So what? What makes us think we are better than they?
We each have our strengths and weaknesses; some understand things others do not, but that is no reason to feel ourselves better than they.
Yes, I am quite sure many LDS have been deceived; it doesn't shake me; it just affirms what I believe. I believe we are living in terrible and exciting times. And I don't believe it's President Hinckley's job to change the politics of the nations; all he can do is teach and direct a huge organization whose aim is to teach people the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that hearts can be changed, one by one--nobody ever said it was the church's job to change the nations of the world. To know about these things we are commanded. To be aware, if we are capable of it, but living joyfully and righteously is what really matters, on an individual level.
Yes, I do believe in Jesus Christ, and I disagree with many who believe in conspiracies (I do believe in conspiracies, but I don't take the common tack of believing that we MUST change things around us, beyond our own sphere of influence) that, somehow, we are terrible people if we don't stand up and get ourselves killed to shout out what we believe about the filth and grime of politics as usual. Ancient prophets got martyred (and a modern one) for preaching the gospel, not for becoming politically charged. The Kingdom of God is not, as yet, a political kingdom--let those who have turned the world into a mired place heap condemnation on their heads while we, hopefully (when we are willing to) keep ourselves informed and treat our fellow man, whatever religion or non-religion he/she is with kindness and grace.
I've been down some pretty interesting paths, and I am EXTREMELY tolerant of the faiths of all people. I have met radical religionists; they can be scary, but no more scary than radical irreligionists--
Because I am very tolerant of all religions and irreligions, and I am well-educated, though I'm spending my time on other things right now (I won't go into that, but I am an activist on a very small scale--to speak of it would reveal my identity in a way I don't wish to do)--
I don't always fit socially with LDS, but then I don't always fit socially with the irreligious intellectuals either--
I come here so that I can separate myself from the insanity of the daily news, but, while I am honest enough to realize that anyone can be shaken from faith, and yes, even from reason (it does happen, you know; it does)--I think I can see the big picture well enough not to feel threatened when someone doesn't accept the things I believe/know to be true. There is a point at which the Spirit can know things rationally in a way that perhaps you don't understand. I do understand that.
And so, back to politics. They stink. And the world is in a mess, and I like being able to stay informed about reality--
So, I've said enough. Does anyone know what is REALLY happening in Iraq? And no, I do NOT blame the employees of the new Nazis.

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