Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Monday, March 2, 2015
Monday, February 16, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The blog resumes. It has been a refreshing several months off from my generally twice-weekly writing. I have had plenty of time to get moved into a house, make it through the holidays and reflect on the direction of the blog.
Interestingly enough, the posts that got the most attention were those that were critical of the LDS church. It’s well known to bloggers that negative articles always, statistically speaking, collect the most page views. There is just something about people that attracts them to the bug-light of negative articles. They were easy to write too, but they also drew the most criticism.
The criticism was mostly similar to a phrase that the Bishop Mark M Harrison included in the excommunication letter to Kate Kelly, organizer of Ordain Women:
You are entitled to your views, but you are not entitled to promote them and proselyte others to them while remaining in fellowship in the Church.
This phrase has stuck with me and caught my eye as I was reading over a few chapters of the Book of Mormon. Alma 36:9
And [the angel] said unto [Alma]: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
I’ve decided to take the advice from the personal criticism, that of Bishop Harrison and Alma’s angel and have decided that with my criticism well known, I would move away from writing about my personal grievances with the LDS church and rather focus on my personal faith.
The best metaphor for personal faith was inside of the book that I’d carried around for the better part of my youth. I’ve still got a copy boxed up somewhere. The story of Korihor, the Anti-Christ is presented in Chapter 30 of Alma in the Book of Mormon.
The story begins with the people of Ammon, who had been living faithfully in the land of Jershon for sixteen years. However, in the seventeenth year a man that was an Anti-Christ came to the land. An Anti-Christ is someone who is in opposition to the true gospel or the true church openly or secretly. By definition, I could be considered an Anti-Christ; in this story, his name is Korihor.
Korihor began to preach to the people that there is no Christ, there would be no resurrection, there were no crimes and that death was the end. After being thrown out of one land, he ended up in the land of Giddonah and was taken to the high priest.
The high priest asked Korihor why he preaches against the church and Korihor responded that he refused to teach the “foolish traditions of your fathers.” Korihor was then taken before the chief judge, Alma.
Alma: Do you believe in God?
Alma: I know there is a God. What evidence do you have that there is not a God? I have a testimony that these things are true. Look around you, all these natural things bear testimony to you. You’d believe me if you were not possessed by an lying spirit.
Korihor: Show me a sign that these things are true.
Alma: You have had enough signs: holy prophets, scriptures, the Earth, the planets. Will you deny against all these witnesses?
Korihor: Yes, just show me a sign.
Alma: If you would deny the existence of God once more you will get your sign. I will strike you dumb.
Korihor: I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God.
Alma: (strikes Korihor dumb)
This story represents some of the most basic apologetic arguments for the existence of a God or any un-falsifiable entity. Korihor is not convinced by the traditions and testimony of his fathers and is asking Alma for a sign; empirical evidence to convince him of the existence of an entity that can defy the laws of the natural world. Korihor, whether through the imagination of Joseph Smith or some ancient historical record, was searching for the same thing that many atheist/agnostics are searching for today.
What would make you change your mind? I hear this question presented often, and most memorably by the narrator of the Ken Ham, Bill Nye debate. Nye beautifully answered, “we would need just one piece of evidence.”
I’m not sure if God would ever strike me dumb, but if he did, that may be the one piece of evidence I need. I don’t have the faith needed to believe without empiracle evidence. I’ve found that if you have faith in something, anything, you can believe in it. Unfortunately, the only prerequisite to believing is wanting to believe and wanting to believe is merely having faith. In contrast, the prerequisite to truth, is evidence. And evidence is what Anti-Christ’s like me prefer.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Cheers. Don't be a wanker. Kindness Is Magic.