Thursday, November 8, 2007

Brian said . . .

Brian said . . .

"Here's my opinion: It isn't that big of an issue. There is bigger stuff like serving, sacrificing, tithing, temples, scripture study, prayer, ward basketball, etc. I don't drink those drinks but I don't really stop and think about it when someone else does. Unless it is Steven because his addiction affects us all. I don't drink them but it isn't something I think about that often.John, start worrying about the Book of Mormon. That's the "big deal" with this whole thing.Steven should stop drinking his beverages because of the prison he has cast himself into. Eternal caffeinated prison. John, you have much, much more pressing and important things to consider.But, good, juicy question anyhow.You should post more often than every month. Yours are pretty good."

OOOHHHHHHH RRRREEEEEEAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

Brian, here is the reason that the Book of Mormon isn't that big of a deal. I could read the Book of Mormon everyday and still not understand it. Neither do most Mormons (meaning understanding everything). That is why ya'll are encouraged to read daily, you have teachings from it every Sunday, family home evenings regarding same every Monday, pray about it, etc. You forget things you have read and that is one reason you keep reading "the" word. Read, read, read, further understand, further understand, further understand, read, read, read, still don't know some/most answers, on and on and on . . . .

However, I can walk into a Priesthood meeting wearing a bright colored red shirt drinking a Dr Pepper and smoking a stogie. And you KNOW some members are saying "whoa their Charlie." Becoming Mormon is not just joining the church. It is joining a culture. I am not quite sure what the first 4 letters of the last word of that last sentence mean exactly. J/K.

So I ask myself, why is everyone wearing white shirts in Priesthood meeting? Oh, o.k. that makes sense but if that is the case why do you cover that up with a big fat dark coat? Why don't you wear white pants? Why do you wear a brightly colored tie. Shouldn't you wear white ALL of the time? IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. I WANT TO KNOW THE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't grow up in a family where the family taught Mormon doctrine since the first breath. I don't take things for granted. I don't want to walk into a congregation and just start doing what everyone else is doing. That makes NO sense. If I am in Sacrament meeting and everyone gets up and starts jumping off a cliff am I suppose to tell myself, "well, they must know what they are doing and why. Hope the landing is soft."

One problem is that outsiders are being invited to join a clique to come extent. Yes most Mormons are inviting and want you to feel comfortable and are not judgmental and go out of their way to make feel welcomed. But what most current and long standing/practicing Mormons can't grasp is how an outsider who is coming to the church feels. You can't really ever know either. Because it has been so long since you joined OR you have been a member your whole life.

Some (most) may think I am being anal about the whole thing (and are free to comment about same) but all of this bothers me. Then some will say "it is open to your interpretation, pray about it, and you will find an answer." Well what if I feel (pray about it, don't get an answer, but this is what I am going with (truly trying to find an answer)) and I don't think drinking alcohol or cussing is bad. Well then the powers that be will say, actually John that part is not open to interpretation. We think X. O.k., I give up. What is open to interpretation and what is not. WHERE ARE THE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just read the BOM. There are no list of rules so right off the bat I am getting no answers from reading the BOM :). Mormons see their lives as a religion. Outsiders possibly see it as a culture. If I can't understand the religion then maybe I can try to understand the culture.

Read the BOM. Well what if I can't read. I can't become Mormon. THERE ARE TOO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(now do you understand why texas bro mick has not been very successful :). It is not for his/ their lack of trying!)

signed,

confused in the space city

16 comments:

Brian said...

So, John, what are you going to do when you "understand" the Book of Mormon? Join?

I don't understand every subtle nuanced line of the Book of Mormon but I try to move forward a little in my spiritual life everyday. "The point" isn't to understand the entire Book of Mormon - TODAY - but to follow the pattern God has set for spiritual understanding....Line upon line, precept upon precept.

No one's answers are going to be good enough for you. People can comment until they are blue in the fingers and not much is going to happen. Here's why. I don't wear a white shirt because I'm the bishop. I don't wear one because Steven does. I don't wear one because the other members around me do. I do it because it reminds me of some things I "feel" about the priesthood I hold. Sure there is some social pressure in the church (just like any group larger than one) but I'm trying to get past doing things because of what everyone expects around me...or culture. There isn't anything totally wrong with doing it that way, for awhile, I guess. But there comes a point where you get a feeling about a certain point of the gospel and then you decide whether you're going to move forward with this truth or not.

I don't know, for sure, what the outcome will be if I drink a Coke this afteroon. I'll probably be a little shaky. That is all I can think of. But, on the other hand, over time I've develped a feeling that God wants my to view my body as a gift he has given me that I use to participate in the plan and I use my body to invite other little spirits into the world so they can participate too. My body is a pretty big deal when it comes to the plan of happiness since it makes it a little tougher to make choices. My body, being carnal, gets in the way a little. It seems to want to do some things my spirit isn't comfortable with. So, anyting I can do to teach my body to submit to my spirit seems like a worthwhile thing to do. That includes avoiding habit-formings drinks. There.

But, if you walk into church this week drinking a Coke, I won't really care. I'll be more intersted in how your wife is doing, how you enjoyed the plane ride over and how much of my food you're going to eat. If there comes a day when YOU feel uncomfortable drinking a Coke, then don't drink one. And if you do I'll be more worried that you are doing something that YOU feel uncomfortable with that I will be about you drinking a Coke.

I get the feeling this answer isn't going to help. But I liked typing it anyhow.

Another thing. I don't understand all of the answers. Not even close. When I try to live true to what "light" I do have, more seems to come, little by little. When I don't act on what I know, I lose a bit of it. It isn't a matter of getting all of the answers. It is more of getting what truth I need now for today's choices, decisions, etc.

What color shirt did you wear anyway?

Brian said...

Secondly...what an honor to be the title of your latest post...

I am humbled to the dust...

Mindy said...

Sheeesh!

Wait a minute. You finished the BOM?

Okay, okay. Give me a minute to think about this.

The guy that "dominated" the 17th hole at Lago Vista said...

'I just read the BOM. There are no list of rules so right off the bat I am getting no answers from reading the BOM'

Did you not find any useful instruction in the BOM? True, there are very few "lists" of "rules" but there is plenty of instruction on simple do's and don'ts. In fact, many of this instruction comes with an attached promise or "blessing". You don't have to read much beyond the first chapter of the first book to see some of these things. For someone trained to focus on details, wording, circumstance and implication I would be surprised that these things could be missed. Maybe you should start the book again and look some more. You just don't always find what you are looking for the first time around (or sometimes the second time around, etc).
Question (picture Dwight saying "question"): did you read from a religious perspective or from a theological perspective? Were you trying to gather facts or were trying to feel something? Does the spiritual side of religion interest you or are you more interested in the do's and don'ts along?

Brian said...

Steven...is "dominated" the most appropriate word for what happened on the golf course...?

Mindy said...

Maybe we should get Eli to read the BOM, hold your hand while you re-read it, and then maybe she can explain this all to you. I get the feeling she'd get it. Don't be so friggin' analytical.

As for your florescent green shirt with the pink and purple poka dots, it wasn't like people said anything. They were simply pointing and laughing. It was the blue and white striped socks that had them saying stuff (the orange stocking cap didn't help, either).

Audra said...

I don't know if I could say anything that would help. Good luck with your wrestle before God. Oh hey, someone in the Book of Mormon also had a wrestle before God. Do you know who wrote, "And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God..."?

Michelle Pyne said...

You are right in saying that you could read the Book of Mormon forever and never understand it all. It is the same for every one of us Mormons. The only way anyone is going to 'understand' the Book of Mormon is if we come to recognize and understand how and when God communicates with us. Please review the following scriptures and have Mindy, Steve, Brian, etc. explain them to you. (If they are too busy, I would be happy to!) Have they given you a Doctrine & Covenants? Let me know, and I will type them out for you.
D&C 6:15, 22-23; D&C 8:2-3; D&C 9:7-9; Alma 32:28.

More than likely you have been getting an answer, but you don't understand or recognize it.

God expects us to study and think about what we read in the Book of Mormon. But we've got to know from Him if the book is true or not. The key is learning to recognize what He tells us. He has promised that He will let each of us individually know if the Book of Mormon was from Him or not.(See Moroni 10:3-5) If He tells you it is from Him, then you can go forward in becoming baptized, even though you might not understand everything about the scriptures and the gospel. But as others have said, you progress 'line upon line, precept by precept' after that. All the details about what color of shirt you should wear and what you can and shouldn't drink will be easily taken care of.

Let me know if I can write out those D&C scriptures. The one in Alma is in the Book of Mormon.

Sorry to bud in like this. I just can't stop myself!

Jessi said...

I'm sure the scope of Mormon doctrine and culture are a little bit daunting to understand. If it helps, even those of us who have been "taught Mormon doctrine since the first breath" are still figuring it out, too. My advice is to put aside your concerns about the RULES and focus on one question: "Is it true?" If it is, then the rules will eventually begin to make sense.

Jessi said...

Oh, and go meet with the missionaries. :)

Brian said...

And work on your golf game. That won't help with your questions, but it'll help with your golf game.

Steven said you need it. Oops, my big mouth. Silly me.

Jodie Haney said...

From our lesson this Sunday, "It should be kept in mind that God cannot be found through research alone, nor his gospel understood and appreciated by study alone, for no one may know the Father or the Son but 'he to whom the Son will reveal him.' (Luke 10:22) The skeptic will some day either in time or eternity learn to his sorrow that his egotism has robbed him of much joy and growth."
I read the BOM years ago, but I was so skeptical and arrogant, that I didn't receive any answers when I prayed about it. In fact, I got nothing when I prayed about it. My husband and I nicknamed the church, "the church of many rules."
It wasn't until I was humble enough to receive it did I get a testimony of it's truth.
As for the rest of your comments...give me a little while. I've been there... You will be hearing from me...

Jodie Haney said...

OK…John. I have felt your pain on a lot of these topics. Here is the cheerleader version of what I have learned.
1. Any church will want you to read and re-read the scriptures. Every time you read you open yourself up to understanding more, just like if you were reading Shakespeare in college. (If you can’t read, there are books on tape…duh;-) You had to look over topics several times before you were ready to take the test. It’s the same principle.
2. Attire…well, I have had issues with this myself. All you have to do is be respectful. That’s it. It is very dangerous to dictate what one should or should not wear to church.
3. You should not do what everyone else is doing simply because of peer pressure. You should, however, observe, find out the reasoning and decide for yourself if it is something you want to do. Any institution is going to have those that feel it’s their way or the highway, but in the long run…it’s your way because it is your life.

John, sincerely look for answers and you will find them. Ask about the small things like attire, drinking or cursing...Pray and then listen. Take a minute to be still. The answers will come...I promise.

Oh, and, please don't wear your pink skirt to church even though you think it looks nice. That's not an LDS thing...you would just look funny.

Brian said...

No no no...wear the pink shirt. That would be, in the words of Dwight Shrute, "awesome".

Abbi said...

I am surprised you want more rules. Usually people think Mormons have too many of them. I think it's great that you bring these questions up, though, because it helps us remember the "whys" behind a lot of our behaviors, that we Mormons-for-many-years take for granted.

And I am so excited you are reading the Book of Mormon! I cannot tell you enough of how much I love that book, and how much I wish everyone could experience the joy of it. I think it is incredible how much it helps me on a daily basis. Sometimes because of the specific things it teaches me, and sometimes just because after opening it and reading it I feel like it's easier for me to hear God speaking to me, telling me things I need to know in my life that day. It's the neatest thing. Enjoy! :)

Brian said...

I"m glad you're reading the Book of Mormon, too. But for crying out loud, take a 5 minute break and post something.

Signed,

An angry reader