Sunday, February 28, 2010

Truth Of All Things

To say that I was involved in a discussion the other day about the book of Mormon would not be completely accurate. I sat and listened to this discussion. I did not say much of consequence. I tried to not make any facial expressions that would align me with one side or the other, except to say that I believed in the book as scripture.

For the record, I am very pro-Book of Mormon. I don't believe in it necessarily as a piece of history, archeology or as a travelogue. I don't know if I understand the complications and controversy that surround it as the center piece or keystone of my religion.

Now that the conversation is long over I can think of several things to say that would have made me appear intellectual. I am usually the kind of guy that can whip out the smarmy retort. Smartalic-R-Me. But I didn't this time.

I just felt that I shouldn't say anything. So I followed my instinct and did. Or I didn't.

This has happened to me before.

Years ago my mission district leader, in the first month of my first area, loved to argue the gospel. He was passionate and well versed. Sitting there watching him I could see the cogs turning the moment the Pasteur of the "Others" mentioned a key word. He had his missionary responses down to science and he was clear and concise. At night he would mark and remark and memorize more scripture. He was the man.

And it didn't make much of a difference. We never left any of those discussions with good feelings between us and the target, or invitations to return, addresses of friends or relatives, or anything approaching consensus.

I smiled and looked up scriptures when asked - sometimes without being asked. I could tell from the slant of the discussion what was needed next. I didn't say much. My companions thought I was either daft or non-committal. I was neither. I just didn't feel like I should be arguing. So I didn't.

Proving the Book of Mormon is not my job. If it was, I would be in trouble - and so would the Book of Mormon and all the believers in the Book of Mormon. I don't have the IQ for it. I'm the guy who has to read the article in the Sunstone twice. I am not the guy Oprah would call on to explain it to her.

Is there a place for me in the Mormon Mensa group? Probably not. I am firmly implanted in the Smithsonian and the National Geographic group, which is just above the People, NASCAR Weekly and the National Enquire group.

But there is a place for me. I can be the catalyst for questions, the jumping ground for curiosity, the pointer-outer-of-the-smart people. I know where they live.

And I can testify of what I know even if I can hardly spell it. God has created ways of knowing and understanding that are as valid and meaningful for me and those like me as I imagine science to be for the smarty pants. When the spirit testifies to me I don't ask to look at the diploma. I believe. That is my gift.

Someday things will be more ...even. I truly believe this, even if I am using the wrong words to describe it. I feel that things will be better. First on my list of wants are smarts and a stronger chin. And to be straight - only with the experience and understanding I've learned being homosexual. My wife wants to be rich.

Someday, baby. Someday.

8 comments:

  1. This life is a proving grounds. It's clear you think so. Sacrifice is giving up good for better. Thought self restraint generally isn't popular or appreciated, I know there is great joy in following the father. I'm glad to hear you do too.

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  2. I really like your posts. I know I should stop right there. Because I really do. I find them self affirming and well tempered and humorous. I think you represent your side well. Except that I find myself asking what is your side? And then I ask if it matters.

    Yes it does for me. I don't just read for entertainment – though you are entertaining. I read for enlightenment. I read for understanding. I challenge all to be upfront with what you believe. More than your heading. I guess I want more.

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  3. Mormon Mensa isn't a group that will ever have me as a member either. Unless they wanted a floor show or a meal served. I get tired of the showoff blogs and the blogs that thrive on being anti-everything Mormon.

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  4. I wonder if there was a poll taken and you could count on the participants of the pool to be honest, what would guys do? Stay gay or magicly be straight?

    I would be a guy who was magicly changed to straight. Not just to be easyer. It would be more of what I want.

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  5. Johnb, that is one of the saddest things I've ever read.

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  6. As you say, there is a place for you. And me. And everyone dealing with SSA. I would rather "magicly" not have a lot of my challanges either. But knowing that they make us grow in the right direction helps me in low times. Thanks for posting.

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  7. It is sad and empowering both. Sad that there are trials to overcome, sad that some wont make it back to heavenl father, sad that we judge others, sad that we make mistakes. But there is good news also. I think you speak of this good news.

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  8. I want to be rich too. And kind.

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