Monday, October 24, 2011

My Heretical Testimony

I know that I do not know very much, and that I doubt pretty much everything I think I know.

I know that absolute truth is dangerous, and that it makes no sense to me.

I know that reality is out there, that it is larger and more complicated than I can ever perfectly understand.  I don't know if it has a name by which it refers to itself.  I doubt that it does.

I know that theory without practice is bad, and faith without works is dead.  I believe in continuing revelation.

I know that myth is a permanent fixture in the human landscape: we all tell stories, all the time.  I know that I cannot believe in the absolute, literal truth of any one of our stories.  By the same token, I do not think that any of them is absolutely false.

I know that Jesus Christ is as real as Santa Claus (or Saint Nicholas).  I know that Joseph Smith spoke for God as much as Martin Luther did.

I know that organized religion does a lot of good in the world.  I know that it also does a lot of bad.  I know that I cannot put complete trust in any group of people: every corporation is a mafia; every mafia makes some really terrible decisions.  Some mafias are better than others, but that does not mean that any of them deserves uncritical loyalty.  I respect them (and myself) too much to give them what they do not deserve.

I know that I was born a Mormon, and that I remain a Mormon (even if I choose to add prefixes or caveats: these just confirm the fact that the leopard cannot change his spots).  As I cannot delete or deny my Mormonness by word play, so the authorities of the LDS church cannot: after twenty years, I am a member of the flock whether the shepherds want me or not.  I wish they did not feel threatened by people like me.  I wish I did not feel threatened by them.  Maybe one day we can all get along.

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