Monday, July 29, 2013

Comprehension, not conformity, in creating religious understanding and religous community

"If a substantial number of sane and intelligent people believe something that seems to you utterly without sense, the problem probably lies with you, for not grasping what it is about that belief that a lucid and reasonable person might find plausible and satisfying.

'Until you understand why people of good sense, learning, mental health, and sound intelligence find a particular worldview convincing and worthy of allegiance … you haven’t really understood it. You don’t have to accept that other worldview, but, if you’re serious about understanding it, you really have to grasp it."

"What it means to “be” Mormon is a social construct that results from an interplay of definitions and practices, bandied about by different parties who have a stake in the definition of the term. While there is an official, institutional Church with more-or-less clear-cut doctrines and policies, the interpretation and inhabitation of these teachings and practices vary from individual to individual.

"In other words: While there is a literal Mormon Church, there is no such thing as “Mormonism” as an empirically homogeneous or monolithic experience. Instead, there are Mormonisms, as various as the individuals who embody them, but predicated on certain communal elements that they share with their faith of origin. Individuals understand their faith and their religion in temporally, generationally, and geographically situated and specific ways...

"To paraphrase Daniel Peterson:  Until you understand why people of good sense, learning, mental health, and sound intelligence find their particular interpretation and embodiment of Mormonism to be convincing and worthy of allegiance, you haven’t really understood it."

Friday, July 05, 2013

Grace and the Task at Hand

My mother once told me, “I used to think that when my children complained about how hard their tasks were and your father would respond by pitching in and helping them do them, that they would never learn how to work hard and follow through. But I was wrong. Instead, what they learned was how to pitch in and help others.”

Grace begets grace.