So as some of you know, Ben and I have been researching and rethinking our religious beliefs this past year. I know this brings some of our family and friends sadness and fear and for that we are sorry. However I feel everyone has their own spiritual journey to make and their own life to live, and that to get the most out of life (and to give the most) you need to be authentic and true to yourself.
Anyways, while reading another blog, I was inspired to make a list of things I believe in(and Ben says he agrees with all of them). The list is not exhaustive but I feel almost anyone can agree with them:
- I believe in doing the right thing in the face of opposition, I call that integrity and courage.
- I believe in getting back up after being knocked down.
- I believe in doing hard things.
- I believe in honesty.
- I believe in tolerance.
- I believe in looking for the good in others.
- I believe in forgiveness.
- I believe in kindness.
- I believe in charity.
- I believe in serving others.
- I believe in family.
- I believe in unconditional love.
- I believe in inspiration.
- I believe in research.
- I believe in faith.
- I believe in reason.
- I believe the dinosaurs existed.
- I believe in logic.
- I believe in feelings (and I realize that everyone has a right to how they feel, no one can define what goes on inside another person, you can only ask and try to understand)
- I believe in humor.
- I believe in the golden rule. I think the world would be better with people following just one commandment, ‘be nice.’
- I believe in open and honest debate.
- I believe in effort and persistence.
- I believe that what we call holy writ and many other books have great ideas and concepts that are good ways to live, I just do not accept them as always being infallible and historically accurate.
- I believe that mythology has its place in our lives and can help many people deal with tough times and handle loss and pain.
- I believe in truth. True actions and true words.
- I believe in friends.
- I believe in being open and honest about why you feel the way you do with others.
- I believe that you shouldn’t avoid the issue where you conflict with a person you love. You should face it and work it out. Doing otherwise will only breed resentment and distance you from that person.
- I believe the scientific process is a valid way to progress in knowledge and truth and is far more reliable than any other method the human race has tried.
- I believe you should do the best you can with the time you have on this world to find joy and help others do the same. I believe in being your best self.
- I believe that we as the human race can become something transcendental someday. I hope to live long enough to take part in it. If not, well I hope I did my part so that future generations have that chance.
- I believe being a decent person has it’s own merits whether there is a reward in next life for doing so or not.
- I believe in being Christlike.
- I believe that anyway you slice it, grand creator or not, we are very lucky to be here right now. So enjoy it, do right by it, and don’t blow it.
- I believe that atheists can be just as moral as any religious person I know.
- I believe in hopes and dreams and in the pursuit of them.
** Inspired and somewhat copied from http://churchofthefridge.com/blog/2013/10/14/what-do-you-believe-now/
If you are wondering what our questions/issues are with the LDS church, I recommend this video by an active LDS member, John Dehlin. It is called “Top 5 Myths & Truths about Why Committed Mormons Leave the Church”. He did a survey to over 3,000 inactive members to see why/how they left. He goes over his findings of why members leave and the top “myths” and then he gives resources for dealing with family members/friends who are dealing with questions. Our issues/questions pretty much align with everything he found as the main reasons people have issues with the church. It also might be useful to LDS members who are in leadership or are parents as your children and those you lead might have similar issues/questions. If you do not have questions bothering you about the church and are not interested in all the details, I recommend the General Conference talk below, instead of the video.
5 Myths & Truths of Why Committed Mormons Leave the Church
Everyone deals with religion differently. Some are blessed with faith and questions & doubt never bother them. Some have questions but are able to make the church work for them. Some see their church as an imperfect but good organization and work from within to make it better and use it as a tool to help others. And some choose to no longer attend and no longer have the church be an active part in their lives. I love and recommend this talk from the October 2013 General Conference by Pres. Dieter Uchtdorf, particularly the quote below:
“One might ask, “If the gospel is so wonderful, why would anyone leave?”
Sometimes we assume it is because they have been offended or lazy or sinful. Actually, it is not that simple. In fact, there is not just one reason that applies to the variety of situations.
Some of our dear members struggle for years with the question whether they should separate themselves from the Church.
In this Church that honors personal agency so strongly, that was restored by a young man who asked questions and sought answers, we respect those who honestly search for truth. It may break our hearts when their journey takes them away from the Church we love and the truth we have found, but we honor their right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, just as we claim that privilege for ourselves.”
I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on the video or your thoughts on the post in general!
So I was just catching up on your blog, from the almost 10 months I’ve been excusing myself from life because of school 🙂 LOL! Anyway, I almost didn’t watch the linked video “5 Myths & Truths of Why Committed Mormons Leave the Church” because it was almost an hour long. I am so glad I did, very informative and I feel so ignorant now, haha. Thank you so much for sharing this, I totally agree with his perspective as well.
People in the church often shun those who have questions and it is so sad. I would almost venture to say that those who do this are afraid of facing doubts themselves. Or would rather stay in the dark comfortable safety of ignorance rather than expose themselves to other perspectives and grow a little. And, just like he said, it will all work out in the end. God loves us all, why would he restrict his love to those who doubt Him? And, why should we?
Awesome post, my only additional comment is that “tolerance” needs to be defined. Webster’s dictionary says, “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions [of others.]” Recently people have begun to associate “enabling other’s opinions” with tolerance, but they are two very different verbs. Or, they assume that we must be tolerant of one perspective but not of another just because they are a minority or majority. Whether or not it is popular, I think respect of other perspectives is an order in our society today.
Thanks for the comment – it was just what I needed to hear today! Really. Yes, I agree tolerance, respect, and love can only ever help :). And yes it is good to remember to respect/be tolerant of everyone even if the view isn’t popular or we don’t agree. I know sometimes I can get a little too opinionated and should remember to be respectful of others opinions.