Sunday, July 31, 2005

Caution: Exploding Heads

"If you live in a closed belief system of certainty, resistance to new information is intense, and the breakthrough feels like death. You feel as if your head might explode." --Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity: Reconnect Your Spirit Without Disconnecting Your Mind

So I've been reading this book. I was attracted to the title because lately I feel like if I want to keep the faith I've held to for years, I'll have to stop thinking. Not that Mormons don't think--I know many many hugely intelligent Mormons, my wife being one of them--but rather the more I think the more Mormonism doesn't make sense to me. And I'm not willing to give up thinking.

A big premise of the book is that you can be a Christian without believing all the little points of doctrine that Christians believe, that you can still embrace that community without accepting all of its dogma. (Actually, the author states it much better than that, but that's the idea as I understand it.) So that has me wondering if I can be a Mormon without believing, say, that the Book of Mormon is a literal history of the ancient people of America, or that Gordon B. Hinckley's right to receive and interpret revelation is greater than my own. And I don't think I can. The Mormon rule of thumb is that if your personal revelation is not in line with what the prophet says, then that "revelation" must not come from God. I don't think I can trust another man to interpret God's word more than I can trust myself (and believe me, I have a healthy sense of distrust in myself), and I don't think Mormonism is one of those faiths where you can buy just a slice. It's the whole pie or nothing.

And that is a scary idea. I've been a Mormon all my life. I don't know how to be anything else.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Journey into the Fobcave

Yes, if everyone I knew were jumping off a cliff, I would follow. So now that I've been reading my friends' and my wife's blogs for a few weeks, I'm jumping on the badnwagon.

Why I feel a need to write in addition to the thinly-veiled autobiographical fiction I bring to my weekly writing group and the self-indulgent emailing I do on a daily basis, or where I'll find the time, I don't know. But it never hurts to have another outlet to zippergut, does it?

Enjoy, my fobs.