The Philosophies of Men

A couple of days ago I was driving in my car, and a thought very forcefully came to my mind:

There are many willing to teach you the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.

Together with this thought came the realization that anything on this page (or in the corresponding printed books) is filled with man’s philosophies: teachings, ideas, and claims that are not backed up by scripture (and often in direct conflict with it), but that are supposedly supported by tossing in the odd scriptural reference. It is the fulfillment of the prophecy: the LDS Church manuals are the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.

When you go to Sunday School and you sit and listen to the lesson, how much of what is being taught comes from the scriptures? Or is it just the teacher talking and repeating the same thing he (or she) has been taught, all with no basis in the words of God?

There are many who are willing to teach you the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. Just walk in to your local chapel.

But I am looking for messengers from my Father and Mother.

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Breakthrough

I had a breakthrough recently.

As is hopefully apparent from some previous entries on this blog, I have serious issues with many of the claims made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe that, on the whole, the church has lost its way. I do not believe it is led by someone who enjoys the prophetic gifts. I believe that the administrators of the church have become distracted by the trappings of Babylon and now plunder the widow’s mite to serve their own interests.

However, I still attend my local ward. I have struggled with the question of Why? for a while, and recently I had a breakthrough that helped me understand a bit better.

One of the things I believe in is the hope of Zion. I believe that we can, through the grace of God, transcend our petty differences and establish a city of peace, hope, learning, and majesty; a city where God would be willing to come dwell with us.

In Zion, we are not all the same. We may be of “one heart and one mind”, but this does not mean we may all get along. We still have differences. We still have our unique peculiarities, likes, and dislikes.

We also do not always get along, especially at first. As we struggle to leave behind the notions of what a “city” actually is, we find our differences thrown in to sharp relief. And we have to figure out how to deal with these differences, even though we may believe that others are totally “not getting it”.

This is why I stay. I stay because the others in my ward are not like me. I stay because as I associate with them, I learn to see them as human beings with their own frailties, struggles, compassions, and hopes, and not mindless automatons who simply follow the orders of their superiors. As I learn who they are, I have compassion for them and I humble myself. I see how they handle their own struggles, and this helps me believe that I can handle mine as well.

Zion means loving those who are explicitly not like me.