Sunday, March 16, 2008

Preach Principles, Live Love

Realizing I'd never tagged my posts, I went through them yesterday and tagged them all. I realized that many of my posts might seem rather preachy and that most of them deal with the seeming tension between faith and knowledge. There is a reason for this.

I'm beginning to realize that I'm a rather odd sort in that most of my life has been lived under extreme self-criticism. Although some of this criticism has been destructive (hence some of my sadness in the past), much of it has been beneficial in the sense that I am constantly examining my actions, trying to understand my motives and how my behavior might affect others, and then trying to figure out how to increasingly follow Christ and to make others happier. Sometimes, in doing this, I go through periods of pain and exhaustion when I just don't have the energy to keep trying so hard. I often find myself envying others who seem to be free to live their lives without the burden of constantly analyzing themselves, wondering what they are doing wrong and if they may have hurt someone's feelings. But in this process, I have changed so dramatically and found so much more joy and awareness that I long to share it. Even if it makes me seem foolish to most of those who read my words or listen to me, if I can inspire one person to try a little harder and to trust God a little more, it's worth appearing foolish. That isn't to say that it doesn't hurt when people make fun at my expense, but it is a price I've consciously assumed.

What comes of all this is an excitement for those principles I have learned which help me find peace. Specifically, finding a place between faith and my insatiable curiosity to know has come to the forefront time and time again.

I'm not a naturally obedient person (just ask my parents). I'm the sort that always has questions and is not afraid to ask them, ad nauseam (just ask my teachers). I spent years struggling with certain aspects of the gospel, struggling to overcome an almost genetic anger, struggling to preserve my uniqueness when surrounded by others wanting me to be the same, struggling to form real friendships when I had no faith in friendship and no time to try. I have spent years hating the concept of being "nothing more" than a mother staying at home and raising snot-nosed, graham-cracker-and-urine-smelling children. I am still struggling with postponing my own further education (I love school!) at the expense of furthering my husband's, though he isn't terribly excited about school himself. I served a mission when I didn't feel I had to—even the Spirit told me it was entirely up to me. I went through a few years of exploring other religions and faiths, trying to discover which was true. None of this is to brag, but just to show that I discuss the things I do because they are difficult for me, and I hope to share what I've learned with those who also find it difficult.

As I have slowly uncovered the truest principles of the Gospel in actuality and not only in name, I have changed in ways I wish I could describe. When I talk about faith and obedience, it is not in an attempt to condemn but to inspire. However, as important as obedience to the Lord and His Prophets is, charity towards God's children is the most important.

Here, I try to discuss the principles of what I have learned and found true. But when I'm done typing about what should be done to unify with the divine, it is vital that I leave the keyboard behind and live charity. I must try to apply the principles to myself while allowing others to do so in their own way and time. I am sorry if I have made anyone feel judged and condemned in writing out my quest for knowledge and understanding. It is far from what I wish to do. Faith, hope and charity are all necessary for salvation, but the greatest is charity.

I hope I never forget that.


  1. Thank you so much for this post, SilverRain. I think many of us who have been following your blog (and reading your comments on other LDS blogs) are grateful that you have shared some insights into your personality, as well as a brief outline of your quest for truth.

    Now that your readers can better understand where you are coming from, we can see why you have such a strong desire to share your "excitement for those principles I have learned which help me find peace."

    Sometimes we can take offence very easily when we read something on a blog--even if no offence was intended.

    I'm grateful for your willingness to brave critical remarks and misunderstandings of your purpose in posting and commenting in the Bloggernacle. After reading this post, I hope we readers will take your stated intention at face value:

    When I talk about faith and obedience, it is not in an attempt to condemn but to inspire.

  2. As always, I've enjoyed your last few posts. Although there are definitely times to preach, I think that sometimes the best, most eloquent sermons are in how we live. I suppose preaching by word and by example are not mutually exclusive, but as the saying goes, "What you do shouts so loudly that I cannot hear what you say," or something like that.


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