Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mormonism and Me

Let me start by saying that I am a Mormon. I was raised by a Mormon mother and I have been Mormon all my life. As I have grown up, I have become increasingly inquisitive and developed an increasingly individual will. I am grateful for strong role models (even if they didn't always know they were influencing me) who have taught me the importance of questioning everything. I have since questioned many tenets of Mormonism, but I am still Mormon.

In recent years, the leadership of the LDS church (Mormons) have encourage members of the church to reach out about their beliefs via social media. In a world full of misunderstanding and antagonism of religion, it is easy to remain quiet about what and why we believe. It is easy for rational people to passionately disagree about what is most important and it is no wonder that politics and religion are generally two main taboo topics in polite conversation. Nevertheless, more and more we are talking.

I doubt whether the church leadership could have anticipated what opening up about our beliefs would become, but I believe a sort of movement has started within the Mormon membership. In a digital age when information about almost anything is more available than ever, certain issues that Mormons tend to ignore about their church history and beliefs have become harder to avoid (see Why People Leave the LDS Church). Now, either more people are questioning their Mormon faith or we are at least more aware of it.

Though I have had to ask myself some very hard questions, I must admit that I still wholeheartedly believe that the Mormon church--despite its flaws, which are many--is God's organization on Earth. As I have further studied what information is available, my conviction on this matter has become stronger and my desire to share the goodness of the church with others has deepened. But there is a big problem.

I have a theory that in past generations of Mormons (including my parents' generation), those people for whom it is easier to "just believe" have stayed in the Mormon church while those with a more rebellious spirit or an insatiable need-to-know attitude have chosen to become "less active" or remain out of the church. As a result, the doctrines of the church (which should be living and evolving) have become dogmatic. Many pioneer traditions have been erroneously passed down as "Eternal truths". For many within Mormonism, this seems to have gone unnoticed. Until now.

The current trend of people in and out of the LDS church to openly discuss their beliefs and their doubts has created people like me. I used to feel quite alone in my convictions, but I have started to find many others that feel the way I do. The Mormon church is true and it has the potential to improve the lives of all people across the planet, but this potential will never be realized until the people in the church understand that the current culture is grossly flawed (for example, see Chastity, Shame, and Mormonism--a youtube video by thatmormonboy).

I have decided to dedicate a portion of this blog (under the Mormon Thoughts heading) to explain my views about many of the issues facing Mormonism today. The things I want to share are extremely sacred to me, but I believe these are discussions that need to happen.

If you ever have any questions for me, feel free to leave a comment or email me or contact me in any way that seems good to you.

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