I do have a dog, and have had several dogs, so no need to pretend there. I love them. They are precious to me. I cherish every moment I’ve spent with them, well, except for the whole cleaning up the puke on my lace and beaded comforter, and cleaning up more poop than seems possible for one small dog. I’ve lost 3 of those dogs–one to a car, one to a heart attack, and the most recent to chronic kidney failure. I look forward to seeing them again, playing with them again, whenever or however or if there is something beyond this life.
And that’s just me.
So why would loving heavenly parents create children only to say, “well, if you don’t do everything I say, and if your brother doesn’t willingly sacrifice himself for you, and if you don’t abide by all the commandments, we’re not going to be seeing each other anymore?”
That’s what haunted me my entire time as a member of the church. I didn’t understand it, and I knew there was no way I could ever abide by every commandment. There were so many things that didn’t make sense to me. I support gay marriage, which set me apart from my “friends”–I use the word advisedly, because most of them weren’t really my friends.
I remember once going to the bishop with some troubles, and telling him about finding myself in hot water, and his thoughts immediately jumped into interesting territory, as he asked if I had had any homosexual activity with them. WTF? Do these men not understand that your sexual orientation just is? I don’t believe homosexuals can be turned straight, nor do I believe that heterosexuals can be turned gay. Don’t get me wrong–I think women are beautiful. Much more attractive than most men. But that doesn’t mean I want to have sex with them.
So if there is a God, then I would hope that he is far greater, far kinder, far more merciful and compassionate, than the best I can possibly be. And when it comes to people I love, I can be pretty kind, merciful, and compassionate. I can even be decent to people I don’t particularly like. That’s just part of what being alive is. You love people. You help them out if and when you can. If you can’t, you recognize that you would if you could, and you keep going. If people treat you like shit, recognize that they don’t get it, and move on.
Sorry this is rambly. My thoughts have been extremely rambly of late, and I can’t seem to turn them off. I’m obsessively reading and researching, and everything I learn goes into my brain and I turn on the puree button, and it whizzes around and around. And I have weird dreams, and very interesting conversations with the people I trust, and I journal my experiences and hope that someday I’ll have more answers than I do today. But at least I’m asking questions.
I mean, if you’re told that “when the prophet speaks, the debate is over,” and you actually believe that, then you’re never going to explore what’s going on. I believe in the scientific method. I believe in asking the question and looking for the answer. If you’re not allowed to research and study things out, how are you going to know that the answers you’ve been given and have parroted are the right answers? If you start with what you believe to be the answer, and ask questions that make the answer fit, you’re really going about things bass-ackwards.
And now I shall bear my testimony: I do not believe the mormon church is the one true church. I don’t believe there is one true church. I do not believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I do not believe that the book of mormon is scripture. I believe that it was cobbled together from various sources with some imagination and a knowledge of the scriptures to sound scriptural. I do not believe that women are second-best, that blacks are second-best, that native Americans or other people of colour will become white and delightsome, because I believe they are delightsome just as they are. I do not believe that Brigham Young was a prophet. I do not believe that Adam is our god and the only god with which we have anything to do. I do not believe the moon is populated by Quakers. I do not believe that if I don’t give ten percent of everything I earn I will be burned.
What do I believe? I believe that there are a lot of people on this earth, and we all need each other. We need to love each other. We need to be genuine and sincere. I believe in trying to make the world a little bit better for my having been here. I believe that if there’s a god, he’s better than the best we can imagine. I believe that if there’s a god, he loves us, and he’s merciful, and he cares about us. I believe that my nephew who died last year isn’t serving a mission on the other side of the veil–I believe that he’s playing with his brother and cousins who also died far too soon, and I believe that he’s having a blast. And I can’t wait to see him again and shoot the bull with him. I believe that there is purpose to life. I believe that if we ask the right questions, and genuinely seek for the answers to those questions, that we’ll get a lot more out of life.