This evening...before it hit midnight, since it's already almost 1am...I was reading an article in the Washington Post on an LDS woman named Joanna Brooks. Here's her blog - www.askmormongirl.com. Visit this site at your own discretion. Honestly, she doesn't say anything extremely negative about the LDS faith. As a practicing Mormon I can understand some of her viewpoints. But after reading this article, which gives details about a self-proclaimed feminist, once inactive in the church, now again practicing and married with children to a Jewish man (and by stating these things I'm just telling you a little about her), I was a bit derailed. But, why?? I couldn't figure out why someone as seemingly unassuming as Mrs. Brooks would bother me. Now, I want you all to know it isn't because I think necessarily negatively about her own ideas. What I don't appreciate is some of the things she pointed out that "Mormons think."
Aren't we all different? Don't we ALL see things differently because we are all different people? It doesn't even matter your religious viewpoint in this argument. I truly believe that we are all small parts of the people we have met throughout our lives, so it's absolutely impossible for any of us to be the same or think the same.
"We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere."
I KNOW this is definitely NOT Tim McGraw that stated this first, but it's definite reality from my perspective. All I'm trying to say is that you can say "ALL MORMONS think....something...." as easily as I could say all Jews think something and we would both be wrong. Something Mrs. Brooks stated on her website, when speaking of blacks receiving the Priesthood is this -"But I too grew up hearing those old racist teachings about the curse of Cain and Ham, and the fencesitters in the pre-existence, and all the rotten rest of it." Also -"It is ugly painful to see people you love, people you believe are capable of better, satiate themselves on thinly reasoned prejudices. In God’s name." The definite reality of these two separate remarks is learning the difference between opinion and fact. These are not DOCTRINES taught in the church...Cain and Ham is a definite Bible story...but ALL of the rest are opinions - opinions that some people have confused as facts - it's up to each individual person to get their FACTS straight.
What do I know?....that God, Heavenly Father knows all. If I'm not sure of something...I pray about it, I read about it and may even research it a bit. I do know that when the Priesthood was able to be given to all men in 1978,(to read more about this, please go HERE) when the ban was lifted from not allowing black men the Priesthood, that there was rejoicing in Heaven, and amongst all in the LDS church. And let me tell you, this is a very touchy subject I know...so please go to the above link for a lot of detail on Black men receiving the Priesthood.
The way we get ourselves into trouble is trying to think that there has to be a DEFINITE answer to all things. Well, I have an answer. As I search for answers, when I don't agree with doctrine or it doesn't sit easily with me, I ask for clarity from my Heavenly Father....why? This may seem pointless to many of you reading this, thinking that I can't be told anything directly from a being that may or may not exist. That is understandable. But let me tell you, there is nothing more clear than the peace the Holy Ghost brings...and the guidance Heavenly Father gives through that spirit. It's unlike anything I've ever known....and I'm still floored at the validity of it all. In (KJV) John 14:16 it reads "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." This, speaking of the Holy Ghost as the comforter...and that's exactly what he does - comforts.
Honestly, I don't know all things. I don't know why all things happen ALL of the time. But, do any of us? Maybe that's why we sometimes reason things away...saying..."it must be because of this...", when really...we're just trying to make ourselves feel better. Just like Mrs. Brooks is trying to make herself feel better by saying that being a "progressive" Mormon defines her better. And, maybe it does...because she believes in the same faith as I do. And me speaking negatively of how she perceives most Mormons to be doesn't make me any better than her, does it?
This is Mormon 101 because, well...every day I'm trying to teach myself how to be better. I would like to believe that I'm an accepting and loving person. That others are allowed their opinions and that expressing myself is just as therapeutic as I'm hoping it will be. So, this is Jamee Lee's version of Mormon 101. I'm definitely imperfect and I may seek for answers differently than you do...but what makes us so different from each other, really? Well....our experiences, that's what. Luckily, right? If not...how interesting would this world really be?