Wednesday, April 11, 2012


This essay started several months ago and has evolved into something much longer than anticipated.  At the beginning of the current school year in my calling as an early-morning seminary teacher I had a philosophical disagreement with one of my directors over my less literal view of Old Testament teachings.  A friend of mine was very interested in this microcosm of a larger Mormon issue: the clash between fundamental cultural beliefs and a more nuanced understanding of life which has become more prevalent due to the information age in which we now live.  I have had a hard time separating that issue with my similar, but slightly distinct issues because one (overly fundamental dogmas) often leads to the other (faith issues on the journey of life).  In other words, because I can't separate my story from the broader issue here, this has become more of a memoir instead of the originally intended short essay. 

I wish to share what this has grown into to help three groups of people: those who struggle like I have in the past; those who don't struggle, but agree with my assessment (like my wife); and those who simply don't agree with me, but could benefit from understanding these struggles.  Disclaimer: those who are unaware of these issues might say that I'm obviously wrong because I'm telling the Church what to do and I'm not following the prescribed chain of command.  This is an incorrect assessment for two reasons.  First off, I'm not telling the Church how to do things.  I'm pointing out how the culture and members are doing things that push out a certain group of members.  Secondly, President Monson has even said that correcting this issue is his signature initiative[1].

BTW, ignore the links to cross references.  They numbers correlate to the CR's at the end of the essay, but they don't link.

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