Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Worship of Self

Many people today would teach that in order to be your "real self," in order to be "authentic," you have to pursue those things that make you unique, or that make you the most satisfied with where you are (defined as happiness, most of the time.) This philosophy has become so commonplace that it is often taken as a given. It is said that being your "authentic self" is the most important pursuit we could undertake.

But it is deceptive.

This is why there is such a disconnect of understanding between those who are spiritually religious and those who are culturally religious. (And note that I do not include those who are non-religious, because everyone has a religion of some sort, whether they realize it or not. Even the atheists. Sometimes, especially the atheists.)

There have been times in my life when I was presented with a clear choice, to be "myself" or to choose some other path. Because of this, I know that there are more important things than the pursuit of ephemeral "authenticity."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The True Power of the Atonement

This post isn't about one person in particular. It's not even about solely romantic relationships. There are several experiences I have in the past and present which combined led me to these thoughts. Some of the specifics I have healed from, others still trouble me from time to time.

I have had a lot of practice in the more recent part of my life exploring forgiveness. Some of the things I have had to forgive have been huge and blatant. Others have been quieter, but specifically designed to attack my personal weakness. Some have been forgiving myself for that weakness.

I am not even sure I know exactly what forgiveness is. Where is the balance between learning to distinguish good and evil and judging unrighteously? How can you learn from your mistakes without becoming calloused? Is forgiveness not being hurt any more, or is it simply not wishing the offender any harm? The latter is incredibly easy for me, but I have struggled mightily to achieve the former.

I've been pretty beat up and I'm not healing the way I feel I should be. I know that those who have offended me don't care one whit about it. They have moved on, and are completely unscathed. So why am I left holding the hurt? Why am I having such a hard time letting it go when that is what I want more than anything?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I Pay Tithing to the LDS (Mormon) Church

When I was a child, my parents taught me budgeting. Of every dollar I made, a dime went to tithing, fifty cents to long-term savings (for education/mission/marriage,) twenty cents to short-term savings (like that camera or art supplies I was saving up for,) which left me twenty cents to spend right away, should I wish.

When I was a kid, I hated watching my money ticking away like that. Of course, that was before I started working, and realized that a tenth of my money goes to tithing, a third goes to the government, and at least half goes to bills, leaving me even less than twenty percent to spend on food, etc. Who would have thought it was so realistic?

But that isn't why I pay money to the Church, including tithing, fast offerings, and occasionally other funds. My reasons are much more personal than that.

Monday, July 2, 2012

About Survival and Running Away

*No, I haven't seen the movie
As any of you who still read this blog have noticed, my activity in blogging has decreased dramatically. Occasionally, I write here, and VERY infrequently, I comment here or there, but I read very little and participate even less. A friend of mine, also involved in the LDS online world, has recently told me that I have "run away" from the battles here online, which has given me a great deal of painful self-reflective thought.

By way of public musing in the hope that someone, somewhere out there might find it useful, I thought perhaps I should share what has brought me to this point.

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