Is This My Last Battle?

on 29 June 2009

But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.

Am what I am planning to do and accomplish in my life serving the Lord in His name, or is it using his name for my own gratification, to do…not harm, but not as much good as I could do? Would I, through following my planned course of action in finding a Husband and being the person who dutifully gives service in dedication to the Lord, be betraying the true purpose of mine? Is there another way for me to accomplish this that is more inline with Christ? Was I guided to ask these questions by the Guiding hand of the Lion, or my own mind? Or is it both in the aspect of C.S. Lewis’ concept in “Miracles” when he stated that all of our actions that we call our own, truly belong to the Lord, just as the changing of Water to Wine was merely a speeding up of the process by which water, through fertilizing the grapes, becomes wine. Or as put here:

“In a sense, though we speak for convenience of healing a cut, every cut heals itself; no dressing will make skin grow over a cut on a corpse. That same mysterious energy that we call … biochemical when it heals a body is the efficient cause of all recoveries, nd if God exists, that energy, directly or indirectly, is His. All who are cured are cured by Him, the healer within.”

What I am really trying to say is who am I to make the decisions I am about to make? Am I a man, craving so much for this animalistic thing that I am willing to put on a Lion skin to symbolize the Lord, Am I like Nephi, having been commanded to go against the Law of the Church?, or Am I not only a child of God, but also, a piece of Him, someone whose very thoughts are, at some level, controlled or guided by Him? If I am the first, then I am nothing for I am acting in imitation of the Lord. But if I am the 2nd or 3rd, then mustn’t I follow through on the peace that I have felt which is how Oliver Cowdry discerned the spirit? I really hate introspection, and I am beginning to wonder if I am the man in the following story.

A certain man lived by a river. This man was a religious man who was secure in his faith in the Lord. He heard on the radio, an announcement stating that the river was going to flood. He told himself boldly, “I have faith that the Lord will protect me, I will not be harmed by this flood.” When the rains began, the nearby town sent a motorboat to check on this man. When the boat got to the man, they told him “A flood is coming, come with us to be safe.” The man, secure in his faith, yelled back to them “The Lord is my Sheppard and he leadeth me to green pastures. I will be protected by the Lord.” The men on the boat then left and once they had returned to the town, they decided to try a second time to rescue this man and so they sent a helicopter to him because by now, the waters had risen so much that sending a boat was too dangerous. When the Helicopter reached the man, they shouted to the man “Come with us if you want to live. The flood is about to tear your house down and end your life.” The man resolutely responded, “I am a man of faith. I shall run and not be weary. The Lord will protect me.” A few moments later, a piece of his house crashed upon him and he discovered himself standing in Heaven. Confused he asked the Lord, “Was I not a man of Faith? Did I not put my trust in thee and was I not promised that you would keep your faithful safe?” The Lord responded by saying “You were a man of faith and I did protect you, I sent you warning via Radio, rescue on a motorboat, I even sent a helicopter to save you, but you did not accept the help I offered and so your life is over.”

Am I being offered a radio, a boat or a helicopter by the stimulus, which leads me to introspection? Is this the Lord trying to protect me from a flood of evil? Or is it merely man trying to guide me, contrary to what I have felt? I really hate eastbound flights now because again I am left trying to figure everything out. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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When a knock goes unanswered

on 22 June 2009

One of my biggest struggles with the MoHo Dilemma has been the lack of answers. Growing up I was told Ask and ye shall receive, Knock and it shall be opened unto you. These verses have hurt me as I haven’t received answers and I have seen these verses tear many of my friends away from the Church. I have stood at the door and knocked until, like Spencer W. Kimbal suggested, my knuckles were bruised bloody and bare. I had even gotten to a point in my life where the need for these answers and the lack of them led me to try and take my life because I saw that it was the only way to gain knowledge.

The only consolation I have received that makes sense as to why there hasn’t been any answers is this; that by obtaining answers on my own, through faith and study, I will grow stronger than if I was just handed the answer from on high receiving perfect knowledge. As Sarah’s cousin’s quote from Galileo states, “I do not believe that the same God who imbued us with our minds and intellects would then expect us to not use them.” To me this is why I have struggled for the answers and has led me to believe that President Packer is wrong in stating that intellectuals are one of the biggest threats to the Church.

All too often we seek to be spoon-fed the answers to our dilemmas by what C.S. Lewis states as our Grandfather in Heaven someone who says as you will as long as your happy. What we should be seeking is to grow through hard work serving for our Heavenly Father. We want to be handed the prize of knowledge without putting in the full effort to obtain it. We all need to struggle in faith in order to grow spiritually. If we do not continue to grow then we atrophy through apathy.

This has taken me a while to get to this point of understanding but the next observation is the next linear progression of this line of thought so bare with me. Why do we expect a different set of principles, and patterns to apply to the Church as a whole than to the ones that apply to us? Shouldn’t the Church, like us, have to struggle at the door knocking and asking with sincere faith before receiving an answer? Shouldn’t the organization of the church, like ourselves, grow in understanding not through the revelation of perfect knowledge but through the struggle of hard work in faith that leaves us bruised and bare? Why is it that we expect differently from the Church what we apply to ourselves?

We as MoHos need to stick with the Church, pushing them to greater faith and understanding rather than simply walking away from the door when there are no answers given. We as members of the church need to use our minds, guided by the spirit, to seek after and struggle to find the truth through faith and study, not simply expecting our Heavenly Grandfather to imbue our minds with perfect knowledge. When you think about it which has caused you to grow more, external pressure or internal pressure? For me external pressure can be ignored whereas internal pressure continues to influence my life until I have been molded to the proper shape. If we leave the church, then we become external pressure against which we will be crushed like a wave upon the rocks, but if we stay, if we work on opening up the hearts and minds of those around us then we become an internal force for change. And perhaps, just as we have struggled, the church will struggle with their own dilemma regarding MoHos and that through us the church can grow.

Please do not give up the fight, continue going, and continue believing in the Lord. Keep pressing forward.

Lust vs. Love

on 14 June 2009

I understand that Homosexuality isn’t all about sex. I intrinsically understand that because in my life it is about more than just sex. However this past week one of my friends, we will call him Chekov, challenged my assumptions and forced me to try and describe why it was about more than sex. Granted he didn’t say to me “Prove it to me” but because of his line of questioning I feel the need to demonstrate to him that homosexuality is about more than just sex.

It gets difficult because Chekov’s own personal experiences have taught him that homosexuality is about lust and not about love. You see he, after living outside of Utah with his boyfriend, that homosexuality was entirely a temptation from Satan and so now he is preparing for his mission and eventual (traditional) marriage. I went to high school with Chekov and so we have talked once before and after that conversation I felt that I had to try to understand Satan’s role in homosexuality. Now I don’t want to try to persuade him from his path because I respect his decision, but I am trying to understand his view while trying to get my view across to him.

In our discussion we distinguished that there are two choices of action and that each one leads us closer to heaven or hell. There is the Animal and the Divine. As humans we are uniquely placed in between the two trying to navigate towards heaven or hell and as C.S. Lewis says “All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.” This is something else that after much study I have come to understand deeply.

Our discussion led to understanding where different actions fell on this binary spectrum. We both agreed that sex outside of marriage falls into the Animal category. Barring extenuating circumstances, ie a catholic woman in South America beaten by her husband who then left but she can’t get married because she can’t be divorced and so she finds someone whom she can spend her life with and commits to that man. When it came to homosexuality, Chekov believes that all sexual acts including those within a civil marriage are all about lust, I believe that just like sex within traditional marriage, sex within a gay marriage can be both Lustful and Loving depending upon the circumstances.

As I tried to explain why I felt this distinction as opposed to his view, I struggled to grasp a way to vocalize what I felt inside. I tried to paint the picture by stating “What do you think would happen if I were to find a husband that I committed myself to celibately? What would happen from the Church’s standpoint? Would that still be a sin?” I was trying to get the image across that what I find lacking, where I find I need a helpmeet is in more than just sex, but that sex is something that can, when used appropriately, bring a relationship closer together.

I was able to state this in a somewhat fumbling manner after which he informed me that I could find a helpmeet and that for men that helpmeet was a woman. The two naturally compliment each other because they are

YinYang

opposites that together form a whole being. I agree with this, however after this talk I looked beyond the physical nature of this and look at myself and my characteristics I discover that given this Yin-Yang model, with Yin (male) and Yang (female) complimenting each other to make up for the weaknesses of one another, that I as Yin have a large mixture of Black within the White. My half of the circle is comprised not of a single color with a spot of the other, but a hodgepodge of black and white that, in order to create a full circle of equal black and white I need to find someone with an opposite pattern.

For me, finding a woman with whom my mental, spiritual, and emotional characteristics are in line is extremely difficult because we are two similar and in trying to find a man to whom I could give my mind, spirit, and heart to is also difficult because they are also too similar. That is why it seems that only other gay men can fulfill the hole in my soul; only a gay man can be the helpmeet for me.

I have tried to imagine what I would do if I did find “the right girl,” who was the right Yang to my Yin, because then the only hang-up would be sex and then I would be sacrificing love for lust and living like an Animal if I were to give that girl up. Would it be Animal of me to give up looking for that girl and find a man whom I could commit my life to?

What are your thoughts? This is directed mostly to those partners in a marriage either Gay or Mixed-orientation, Is it possible to have the completeness of Love in either circumstance or am I doomed to a life close to whole but still lacking a helpmeet?
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Is it easier to ask for Forgiveness or Permission?

on 11 June 2009

I am so glad that I troll blogs these days because I found this earlier this morning about Gay Marriage.

Nate Silver, the Amazing Stats genius who informed us that each State will have the votes to overturn a Gay Marriage ban and legalize it by 2019 has come out with a new post regarding how we can get, as of August 2008, a 63% approval for Gay marriage. All we have to do is change the wording from “will you allow government to give Gay’s the right to marry” to “will you allow the government to prohibit what should be a private matter?” By making this change, our polling numbers jumped by about 20 points. If that same increase was applied today, after SO much media attention, I think the rate would be closer to 65-70% that will support Gay Marriage.

After all, The states that have allowed gay marriage through the Supreme Court have stated that it already exists as a right and the State has no right to take that away from us. We need to fight not for our right to marry, but to protect that right from the Government who has taken that away.

I don’t know how this would change an LDS perspective regarding Gay Marriage, but I do think that it could help turn the tide in Idaho and possibly Utah because of the countless libertarian fiends that these states posses who would be all for a “Get government out” of marriage debate.

What do you guys think of this?

Christ: Savior, Warrior, Lamb, Lion, and the Most Prescious Serpent

on 04 June 2009


Aslan


Today while reading other blogs I came across Avery’s post concerning his meeting with Dr. Robinson. In this post, Avery retold the story of the Dragon quite well and I recommend you go and read it. I am pretty sure that we have all heard of the story so I wont re-post it here. The following is what spawned out of a comment to Avery that I figured would be good to share with all of you.

Just as I recently re-read The Horse and his Boy, I also re-read the Silver Chair. As you know these stories were meant to share the gospel (of Christianity) in the form of metaphor to children and adults as the books progressed. The following passage from “The Silver Chair” is an interesting read regarding the story of the Dragon.

But first some background information, Eustace Scrub, Jane Pole, and Puddleglum have just rescued Prince Rillian from his enchantment that had him believing he was something he was not for 23 hours of every day. In order to save him, they traveled through this “Underland” - a world beneath the surface of the earth that has no natural light, it is only artificially lit. They have just rescued the prince who then destroyed the chair, which imprisoned him for that one hour of his sanity each day. Immediately following this the enchantress, the queen of underland, came in and seeing the situation started to dull their minds with soft words, an enchanted fire and smooth music. While she was doing this Rillian mentioned Narnia and that he was the prince regent of that land. The following is the dialogue that takes place.


"Narnia?" she said. "Narnia? I have often heard your Lordship utter that name in your
ravings. Dear Prince, you are very sick. There is no land called Narnia."

"Yes there is, though, Ma'am," said Puddleglum. "You see, I happen to have lived there
all my life."

"Indeed," said the Witch. "Tell me, I pray you, where that country is?"

"Up there," said Puddleglum, stoutly, pointing overhead. "I - I don't know exactly
where."

"How?" said the Queen, with a kind, soft, musical laugh. "Is there a country up among
the stones and mortar of the roof?"

"No," said Puddleglum, struggling a little to get his breath. "It's in Overworld."

"And what, or where, pray is this "Narnia?" she said. "Narnia? I have often heard your Lordship utter that name in your ravings. Dear Prince, you are very sick. There is no land called Narnia."

"Yes there is, though, Ma'am," said Puddleglum. "You see, I happen to have lived there
all my life."

"Indeed," said the Witch. "Tell me, I pray you, where that country is?"

"Up there," said Puddleglum, stoutly, pointing overhead. "I - I don't know exactly
where."

"How?" said the Queen, with a kind, soft, musical laugh. "Is there a country up among
the stones and mortar of the roof?"

"No," said Puddleglum, struggling a little to get his breath. "It's in Overworld."

"And what, or where, pray is this . . . how do you call it. . . Overworld?"

"Oh, don't be so silly," said Scrubb, who was fighting hard against the enchantment of the sweet smell and the thrumming. "As if you didn't know! It's up above, up where you can see the sky and the sun and the stars. Why, you've been there yourself. We met you
there."

"I cry you mercy, little brother," laughed the Witch (you couldn't have heard a lovelier
laugh). "I have no memory of that meeting. But we often meet our friends in strange
places when we dream. And unless all dreamed alike, you must not ask them to
remember it."

"Madam," said the Prince sternly, "I have already told your Grace that I am the King's
son of Narnia."

"And shalt be, dear friend," said the Witch in a soothing voice, as if she was humouring a
child, "shalt be king of many imagined lands in thy fancies."

"We've been there, too," snapped Jill. She was very angry because she could feel
enchantment getting hold of her every moment. But of course the very fact that she could
still feel it, showed that it had not yet fully worked.

"And thou art Queen of Narnia too, I doubt not, pretty one," said the Witch in the same
coaxing, half-mocking tone.

"I'm nothing of the sort," said Jill, stamping her foot. "We come from another world."

"Why, this is a prettier game than the other," said the Witch. "Tell us, little maid, where is this other world? What ships and chariots go between it and ours?"

Of course a lot of things darted into Jill's head at once: Experiment House, Adela
Pennyfather, her own home, radio-sets, cinemas, cars, aeroplanes, ration-books, queues.
But they seemed dim and far away. (Thrum thrum - thrum - went the strings of the
Witch's instrument.) Jill couldn't remember the names of the things in our world. And this
time it didn't come into her head that she was being enchanted, for now the magic was in
its full strength; and of course, the more enchanted you get, the more certain you feel that
you are not enchanted at all. She found herself saying (and at the moment it was a relief
to say):

"No. I suppose that other world must be all a dream."

"Yes. It is all a dream," said the Witch, always thrumming.

"Yes, all a dream," said Jill.

"There never was such a world," said the Witch.

"No," said Jill and Scrubb, "never was such a world."

"There never was any world but mine," said the Witch.

"There never was any world but yours," said they.

Puddleglum was still fighting hard. "I don't know rightly what you all mean by a world,"
he said, talking like a man who hasn't enough air. "But you can play that fiddle till your
fingers drop off, and still you won't make me forget Narnia; and the whole Overworld
too. We'll never see it again, I shouldn't wonder. You may have blotted it out and turned
it dark like this, for all I know. Nothing more likely. But I know I was there once. I've
seen the sky full of stars. I've seen the sun coming up out of the sea of a morning and
sinking behind the mountains at night. And I've seen him up in the midday sky when I
couldn't look at him for brightness."

Puddleglum's words had a very rousing effect. The other three all breathed again and
looked at one another like people newly awaked.

"Why, there it is!" cried the Prince. "Of course! The blessing of Aslan upon this honest
Marsh-wiggle. We have all been dreaming, these last few minutes. How could we have
forgotten it? Of course we've all seen the sun."

"By Jove, so we have!" said Scrubb. "Good for you, Puddleglum! You're the only one of
us with any sense, I do believe."

Then came the Witch's voice, cooing softly like the voice of a wood-pigeon from the high
elms in an old garden at three o'clock in the middle of a sleepy, summer afternoon; and it
said:

"What is this sun that you all speak of? Do you mean anything by the word?"

"Yes, we jolly well do," said Scrubb.

"Can you tell me what it's like?" asked the Witch (thrum, thrum, thrum, went the strings).

"Please it your Grace," said the Prince, very coldly and politely. "You see that lamp. It is
round and yellow and gives light to the whole room; and hangeth moreover from the roof. Now that thing which we call the sun is like the lamp, only far greater and brighter. It giveth light to the whole Overworld and hangeth in the sky."

"Hangeth from what, my lord?" asked the Witch; and then, while they were all still
thinking how to answer her, she added, with another of her soft, silver laughs: "You see?
When you try to think out clearly what this sun must be, you cannot tell me. You can
only tell me it is like the lamp. Your sun is a dream; and there is nothing in that dream
that was not copied from the lamp. The lamp is the real thing; the sun is but a tale, a
children's story."

"Yes, I see now," said Jill in a heavy, hopeless tone. "It must be so." And while she said
this, it seemed to her to be very good sense.

Slowly and gravely the Witch repeated, "There is no sun." And they all said nothing. She
repeated, in a softer and deeper voice. "There is no sun." After a pause, and after a
struggle in their minds, all four of them said together. "You are right. There is no sun." It
was such a relief to give in and say it.

"There never was a sun," said the Witch.

"No. There never was a sun," said the Prince, and the Marsh-wiggle, and the children.

For the last few minutes Jill had been feeling that there was something she must
remember at all costs. And now she did. But it was dreadfully hard to say it. She felt as if
huge weights were laid on her lips. At last, with an effort that seemed to take all the good
out of her, she said:

"There's Aslan."

"Aslan?" said the Witch, quickening ever so slightly the pace of her thrumming. "What a
pretty name! What does it mean?"

"He is the great Lion who called us out of our own world," said Scrubb, "and sent us into
this to find Prince Rilian."

"What is a lion?" asked the Witch.

"Oh, hang it all!" said Scrubb. "Don't you know? How can we describe it to her? Have
you ever seen a cat?"

"Surely," said the Queen. "I love cats."

"Well, a lion is a little bit - only a little bit, mind you like a huge cat - with a mane. At
least, it's not like a horse's mane, you know, it's more like a judge's wig. And it's yellow.
And terrifically strong."

The Witch shook her head. "I see," she said, "that we should do no better with your lion,
as you call it, than we did with your sun. You have seen lamps, and so you imagined a
bigger and better lamp and called it the sun. You've seen cats, and now you want a bigger and better cat, and it's to be called a lion. Well, 'tis a pretty makebelieve, though, to say truth, it would suit you all better if you were younger. And look how you can put nothing into your make-believe without copying it from the real world, this world of mine, which is the only world. But even you children are too old for such play. As for you, my lord Prince, that art a man full grown, fie upon you! Are you not ashamed of such toys?
Come, all of you. Put away these childish tricks. I have work for you all in the real world.
There is no Narnia, no Overworld, no sky, no sun, no Aslan. And now, to bed all. And let
us begin a wiser life tomorrow. But, first, to bed; to sleep; deep sleep, soft pillows, sleep
without foolish dreams."

The Prince and the two children were standing with their heads hung down, their cheeks
flushed, their eyes half closed; the strength all gone from them; the enchantment almost
complete. But Puddleglum, desperately gathering all his strength, walked over to the fire.
Then he did a very brave thing. He knew it wouldn't hurt him quite as much as it would
hurt a human; for his feet (which were bare) were webbed and hard and coldblooded like
a duck's. But he knew it would hurt him badly enough; and so it did. With his bare foot
he stamped on the fire, grinding a large part of it into ashes on the flat hearth. And three
things happened at once.

First, the sweet heavy smell grew very much less. For though the whole fire had not been
put out, a good bit of it had, and what remained smelled very largely of burnt Marsh-
wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell. This instantly made everyone's brain far
clearer. The Prince and the children held up their heads again and opened their eyes.

Secondly, the Witch, in a loud, terrible voice, utterly different from all the sweet tones
she had been using up till now, called out, "What are you doing? Dare to touch my fire
again, mud-filth, and I'll turn the blood to fire inside your veins."

Thirdly, the pain itself made Puddleglum's head for a moment perfectly clear and he
knew exactly what he really thought. There is nothing like a good shock of pain for
dissolving certain kinds of magic.

"One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain.
"One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who
always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any
of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only
dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and
Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up
things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a
kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a
funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're
right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world
hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there
isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young
lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our
lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a
small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."


In the telling of Dr. Robinson’s story, the Dragon, when touched, made you feel good. Gave you peace and pleasure. I know I sound like one of those about to be eaten, but I figure I will give you my advice anyway. How do you know that the dragon is bad? The boy had only heard that the dragon was bad by those in the village where he grew up, the same village that didn’t feel right to him. He left that village because he didn’t fit there. He was shocked to notice that the dragon was cute and not what the village (that he didn’t fit in) told him it would be. As the boy and the dragon interacted the dragon grew and the pain was only felt when the boy pulled away from the dragon. After re-reading the story in the Silver Chair, I cannot help but compare Dr. Robinson’s story of the Dragon with Christ.

Imagine that the dragon was instead Christ.

When you separate yourself from Christ do you not feel hurt? When you try and fight Christ are you not defeated with every tactic? Does not our image of Christ grow the more time we spend with Him? (This one is difficult but bear with me) Doesn’t Christ refine us through trials that we see for ourselves and for outsiders as the equivalent of being trampled and eaten? Do we not have men with beards teaching on a hill all about Christ? Whose very existence is centered on Christ? Are we all not drawn to the beauty and wonder that is Christ just as those young men are even when pressured to band together and fight against Christ?

Do you really want to leave and abandon Christ and Aslan and Narnia and the feeling that is so wonderful and instead settle for Underland, where there is no sun [or son], where there is not the same goodness felt in Christ? Do you really want to ignore Christ and return to the village in which you do not belong and live a life that is good in and of itself but not as fulfilling as a life embracing Christ, embracing the Dragon. Perhaps this is why he is even referred to as Quetzalcoatl, not the feathered serpent but the "Most Precious Serpent, the one who emerges from the serpent as Venus rises from the morning horizon"

I do not know about you, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The Lord of peace, whose spirits I feel when I feel joyful, a feeling of Christ and not of Satan.
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