Monday, January 23, 2012

Literalism and Spiritualism

In my previous post I discussed what I thought were two different traditions within Mormonism in their interactions with the Divine. Now, I want to share a story.

There was a panel at BYU a couple of weeks ago where panelists discussed how their homosexuality has been influenced by their religious views. A question was posed by someone asking whether the panelists believed that they would still be married to their someday same-sex partner in the afterlife or would God separate them.accept their marriage? Several of the panelists answered that they believed God would accept their future marriages.

I have had a hard time understanding this viewpoint. I have gotten into debates with different people trying to understand how anyone could think as they do. I mean, after all, the scriptures, church leaders, and modern revelation not only go against such sentiment but even against the very heart of what those individuals are proposing. God has called it an abomination in the passed, put every possible sin on it during Paul's journeys, and sentenced gay people to a nearly two thousand years of humiliation, degradation, and horror. In modern days with the "only true church," God was willing to sacrifice families to hide and obscure gays from the public eye.

But then I realized something. I realized that I followed in the literalist tradition. I don't find it something to be ashamed of. I was raised and had reinforced throughout my life the view that spiritual information should be viewed and assimilated through texts and stories and interpreted in a literal way in most cases. Such thinking has allowed me to comprehend and understand just how much of the Church thinks. It has allowed me to understand how revelation and visions occur in the modern Mormon Church.

The Mormon Church is not the same church that inspired visions of the eternities, of Christ and the ancient apostles. It is not the church that sporadically met and gave rise to such organizations as the Relief Society. It is not the same. No. Today's church is encumbered with doctrines, dogmas, and systems of understanding and rule following. It is a religion not of liberal ideas but of musty, stuffy conservative ideas. This attitude has led to the rise of literalism and the rise of mindless obedience and blind faith.

In so understanding this, I feel I can take a step closer towards understanding Mormonism as it really is and not as it would like to be seen or as how many would like to see it.

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