Friday, August 20, 2010

Mormons *Are* Different

I have a confession to make. I've lived such a sheltered life that I'm not sure if the issue I'm facing now is a 'Mormon' thing or if other people who live by prayer and seek spiritual guidance face the same dilemma. I'd be interested to know. Even the few friends I had growing up who weren't Mormons ended up becoming one, so I could be way off the mark here.

Here's the thing. I am a very objective person. In my politics and in my outlook on just about anything, my opinions come from what I see and understand. Emotions have their place, but I don't totally base decisions on them any more than I would map out a 1000 mile car trip with them.

Yet there is a spiritual outlook I try to live by that I have no objective reason to believe. At least not in the literal sense. I have not seen God. I have not felt the hand of my Savior, yet my hope is to live my life based on how I've been taught they would have me live. With lots of mistakes and failures, mind you, but still...

One of my favorite political theorists is Ayn Rand. Her whole philosophy is called Objectivism, and as far as politics and things not related to God are concerned, I believe she had it right. Yet my belief in God is something she would reject as superstition, believing that it would cloud my thinking in every other topic.

I live in contradiction.

But I don't see any other way that makes sense and I suspect that type of contradiction is one of the things we're called to accept as Latter-Day Saints. If any of my Christian friends ever read this, I would love to know if you ever feel this way. Not from any doctrinal standpoint because we'll just have to agree to disagree on that account. Even factoring that in I think we may have more in common than not.

I see the world in an objective manner (or strive to), yet I'm totally open to seeking Spiritual direction in making the decisions I face in guiding my life. Are you?

So here I am going through this marriage thing and what I'm thinking and feeling are nowhere near what I would ever have guessed if you'd told me about this ten years ago. I can't describe it or begin to predict an outcome, but I'm as surprised by my line of thought right now as I have ever been. It's not logical. It's not objective. But that Spirit which tells me to do what is right has opened my mind and heart to things I could not have imagined one month ago.

Where do I go from here? I don't know. I can't foresee how other people in this story will move forward. I can't even say for sure what I will do because those decisions will be colored by the choices they make.

If nothing else comes of this, at least I can say I have once again been surprised by the degree to which God can change my heart and outlook. Now if only He (and I) could make it permanent...

1 comment:

Bastiatarian said...

>It's not logical. It's not objective.

It is, though. It's perfectly logical. You have come to conclusions based on real experience--on evidence. That evidence isn't in the form of the results of a laboratory experiment that you conducted, or the actions of others that you have observed, but from another method of getting information into your mind (experiments and observations are just ways to get information and ideas into our minds). That method is the working of the Spirit, which is not fallible like our visual observations, for example, constantly prove to be. Being taught by the Spirit is real experience.

It is actually impossible to be completely objective without the Spirit. The Holy Ghost speaks to our spirits, and so if we are receptive, we aren't handicapped by the distorting filter of our mortal nature. The Holy Ghost teaches nothing but truth, without decoration or sugar coating or spin, and without being skewed by emotion. It's pure, objective truth. Ultimately, we can't get it anywhere else.

So I don't see it as a contradiction. Trying to be logical and objective without the Spirit supplying the truly accurate picture would be a contradiction, and a futile effort.

As brilliant as she was and as correct as she was regarding economic and political theory, etc., even Ayn Rand's arguments are weakened by her rejection of God. Anyone who rejects the existence of God will have a horrible time trying to explain another source of right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral. In a Godless world, none of those would exist. Only effective and ineffective would exist, and even those would be limited to specific contexts/aims.

The most spiritual people I have ever known or known of are also the most logical, analytical, and wise. The Spirit transcends mortal fallibility, emotions, and other handicaps to provide the only perfect premise on which to base logical arguments. God is a God of Pure Logic, since he has all the correct data to place in the system, and he knows the cause and effect (the logical argument) of everything.