Saturday, January 10, 2009

In Which SeagullJaap Gets Banned from His First Apartment

So, I frequently blog about doubt, right? Of course, many people in my faith tradition reject the role of doubt in their religious tradition. Lately, however, I have come to realize the importance of doubt even among the most faithful and doubt-scorning individuals. Let's discuss.

1. In order to repent there must be a sort of doubt. We must doubt our own strength and exercise a belief in Jesus Christ's atonement. If we have a full faith when we repent, it seems to me that we are not truly repenting. We must doubt our own abilities, the world around us, etc. So in the case of repentance, the twins of doubt and faith must come into play.
2. When it comes to examining the world around us, we must express doubts. We must take preconceived notions and examine them carefully. We cannot, we should not, and we must not take anything at face value. Even in a religious sense, we (apostate alert for some) can't take everything the Apostles and Q12 says as scripture. I often wonder what I would have done in circumstances where the Church got a few things wrong. In my humble opinion, I personally do not think the ban on blacks was God-established. I like to think that if I were a member of the Church at the time, I would have expressed my sincere doubts about that issue. And yet, in today's modern Church, to express doubt on the part of our leaders seems to indicate that I am an apostate, anti-Christ, out to get the members of the Church and in turn cause men to fall into forbidden paths. Hence, I was banned from my first apartment here at BYU. Apparently since I asserted that the prophet does have agency in the way he runs the Church. This particular BYU student could not handle this and when one of my friends from Salt Lake came to stay at his apartment, this child threw a fit, declaring that I could not enter their apartment. I am apparently the BYU boogy-man, out to get your eternal salvation through "heresies." Another time, I was called out for "raising my heel against the Lord's anointed." Apparently to assert any kind of humanity on the part of the brethren is sinful and something I must repent of. I am fascinated by this cultural aspect of our Church. I feel like if no one ever expressed doubt, we wouldn't see positive change in Church policy. Imagine if everyone, including the prophet of God, refused to actually ask God about something, merely accepting tradition. I imagine there are things that our prophets could directly ask God about and would be surprised about the answers they receive.
3. Another thing that is interesting about doubt. If I were to express that I believe x, y, or z in a testimony meeting rather than I know x, y, and z, I would be ridiculed or at least would cause some people to shift in their seats. The purpose of a testimony meeting, I believe, is not to express certainty but to express sincere belief. Of course, I think we all fall into this trap, which is a difficult one to fall out of. And for me, there are certain things that I would say I know, but I feel like we must come to embrace belief as an adequate expression of religiosity. In our culture of certainty, it is difficult to overcome this, but I hope and pray we can.

In other news, I have been doing well. Practicing, getting to bed earlier, staying on top of homework, etc. And now I must depart to read the Book of Mormon and do some other tasks today.

Comment away.


Michelle said...

hmmm, I think you have a pretty good balance going there. You may have doubts but you are balancing them with prayer, scripture reading and sincere study. What is a testimony if you don't search, ponder and pray? God wants us to find out for ourselves. Did you read my Segullah post on the 30th? Did you see the amazing comments? You are certainly not alone in your doubts; you are simply ahead of your age group.

Catherine Agnes said...

1: I think we have to have full faith when we repent. We have to have faith that our strength isn't great enough and faith that Christ's strength is.
2&3: amen and amen.

Janessa said...

What did you express to Mr. Unknown that wouldn't let you in? I would hope that he listened to you... although if he feels the need to ban you then who can say really. It looks like you're just ahead of the crowd when it comes to such topics but don't give up. People will come around soon enough.