Is a Prism a Prison or a Purifier?

on 23 November 2008

In this era of instantaneous communication and endless information, you can get your information from anywhere. Traditionally in the broadcast era you obtained your news and other information through the filter of the news networks. You chose to view your news based on your political preference, CNN for the Left, and Fox for the Right. But in this era of Screen Fluency, where we see information on screens more than read it in print, we have the ability to eliminate those filters that interpret the news for us and can now draw conclusions for ourselves, based on the raw data, images and information. During the Democratic National Convention for example, you had the ability to watch from CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, or you could log on to the DNC Website and obtain the live, uninterrupted video of the event.

Personally I believe in going to the primary source when seeking for the truth and the answers to my questions. This is why I now see Religion as a filter that can be used as a tool to obtain the truth for some much as people watch the news on CNN or Fox. We each might have our own views on which filter to choose, which religion to follow but, in my mind, they all are distortions of the truth. They each can provide the facts and information of truth, but it has passed through a filter much like white light through a prism, being split into multiple colors.

You can never fully remove the bias from any source as what it does and does not show you is a very essence of the subtle bias that they show you. You can however choose to recognize that bias and to choose sources that have similar underlying biases as yourself rather than swim into a cacophony of counter-intuitive, contradictory information. For this reason I choose to follow the subtle bias of the Lord and not the bias of Satan, but I choose to do it by finding the true source, not through the trappings of religion. I will carry many aspects of my religion with me as I live my life, and I know that I have been shaped by it for my own betterment, but I find that If I am to be forced into a mold, I would rather have that be the mold of perfection in Christ rather than the imperfection of human religion.

I will maintain and carry much of my moral principles imbued in me by my family and church. I will not smoke, drink, do drugs, or alter my body in any way because I was made in the likeness of the lord and who am I to challenge that? I will continue to seek for the Lord in my life, and seek for his guidance in all that I do through continued prayer. I believe that all religions have some of the truth and that when that truth is expressed, is when its members find the joy of Christ. I seek to find that truth for me, in my life wherever I might find it. I find myself in a time when extremism confronts me on all sides and I have been taught that the most assured way to be wrong and to fail is to be an extremist. I plan to take all things, all life experiences, all activities in moderation for an excess of one thing is just as likely to lead to malnourishment as the lack of something.

To those who know me and fear that I am making a rash decision based on hurt emotions, confusion, naivety, or any other fallacy that you can conceive, know that this is something that I have spent many long nights contemplating and feeling for an answer to my question of truth. Know that I believe that this is the path that will bring me the greatest happiness in the long run. Know that I have been on the edge of death while seeking this path and I believe very strongly in it and any attempts to delineate me from my path will be met with hurt from me for your lack of respect to my decision. Remember that while our opinions may differ, I will not try to force mine upon you and all I ask is that you do not try to force yours upon me. That is NOT to say that I am against hearing your concerns, fears, or ideas on this new path of mine, BUT do not expect me to change my path very easily for just as you believe that yours is the true way, I too believe that mine is the true and narrow path.

I am NOT an atheist, I believe very strongly that God exists. I am not Agnostic, believing that God exists but not caring much about Him. I am instead a child of God, whom he loves. I am one who cares very much about my connection with God. I hope to have my life directed by the Lord, to the truth. I will try to find this truth not only through the standard ways of seeking for him in the great works of religious and philosophical thinkers, but by seeking, obtaining, maintaining, and utilizing a direct connection to the Lord. The source of all truth.

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The Meaning for an Individual Life

on 05 November 2008

In Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card, there is an interesting dialogue on the meaning of life and here is the condensed text version of that dialog for all to see. I think that this is so true, that it is a gem of truth in this sea of uncertainty that we call life.

"Here is the meaning of life: for a man to find a woman, for a woman to find a man,the creature most unlike you, and then to make babies with her, with him, or to find them some other way, but then to raise them up, and watch them do the same thing, generation after generation, so that when you die you know you are permanently a part of the great web of life. That you are not a loose thread, snipped off. Even men who do not desire women, even women who do not desire men, this does not exempt them from the deepest desire of all, the desire to be inextricable part of the human race. It’s hardwired into all of us. Not just sexual desire – that can be twisted any which way, and it often is. And not just a desire to have children, because many people never get that, and yet they can still be woven into the fabric. No, it’s a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifying other sex and make a life together. Even old people beyond mating, even people who know they can’t have children, ther’s still a hunger for this. For actual marriage, two unlike creatures becoming, as best they can, one."
"I’m talking about a trait that the human race absolutely needed to succeed. The thing that makes us neither herd animals nor solitaries, but something between. The thing that makes us civilized or at least civilizable. And those who are cut off from it by their own desires, by those twists and bends that turn them in another way – like you, Bean, so determined are you that no more children will be born with your defect, and that there will be no children orphaned by your death – those who are cut off, they are still hungry for it, hungrier than ever, especially if they deny it. It makes them angry, bitter, sad, and they don’t know, they can’t bear to face the knowledge."
'This life wish had to be present in all living things for any species to continue as they all desperately struggled to do. It isn’t a will to survive – that is selfish, and such selfishness would be meaningless, would lead to nothing. It is a will for the species to survive with the self inside it, part of it, tied to it, forever one of the strands in the web'
"I kept my sanity by fencing myself about with lies, and believing them. But you know the truth. If you leave this world without your children in it, without having made that bond with such an alien creature as a woman, then your life will have meant nothing to you, and you’ll die in bitterness and alone."

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Blessings of Christ, Perfect People Only

on 02 November 2008

Have you ever felt abandoned by the Lord? Ever felt like you have messed up so much that there is no recovery? Well Remember that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can only aid those who are already perfect. NOT!!! The Atonement and it's blessings are bestowed upon us all if we but turn to christ and repent. Take for example Jonah. Jonah received a direct commandment from the Lord and outright refused it and fled the other way. The Lord could have given up on Jonah and sought someone else to spread the gospel to Niniveh but he didn't, He instead allowed Jonah to become humble and then he forgives Jonah. Another great example of this is found in Alma 17:14-15. The Sons of Mosiah are discussing the Lamanites and are heading out to go and teach to them and Mormon ads this commentary about them.

14... [The Lamanites were] a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.
15 Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding the promises of the Lord were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance.

These Lamanites were described as scum of the earth. Evil. Yet the promises of the Lord and the blessings of the Atonement were open to them and are open to us "On the Conditions of repentance" No matter what, We are never to far gone that the Lord can not save us if we but call out to Him.