I am re-posting something that I wrote on Dana's blog quite a while back. Timpani made the mistake of mentioning to me that she liked it (aaaaaah... the ego purrs!) and so I have been thinking for a while that I should put it on my blog if for no other reason than so that I don't lose it if Dana's crashes for some reason. In context of the previous discussion, I thought now was as good a time as any:
I am a born skeptic- it always takes me alot of convincing before I can accept anything as true. I don't know that this is always good or always bad- for me it just is. I like my skepticism- "Skepticism is the chastity of the mind"
Anyhow, when I committed myself, after 2 years of thinking, to the becoming a full time missionary for the LDS church for two years, at age 21,- I was going into it aware that my "testimony" was incomplete. I was not sure it was all true- not entirely sure. I knew that I didn't know. But I was at a point where I needed to take the next step in my experimenting with faith- and that had to be the mission. The chance I took there paid off in spades.
There are somethings I know now that I didn't know then- somethings that I could only learn through experience. There are still other aspects of Mormonism and Christianity that frankly make no logical sense to me, but that I accept because I have personal experience/ knowledge/ understanding of other, more core aspects of the gospel. For instance the notion that we live on in another form after death has an easy home in my soul- it seems so obvious to me that we are more than the sum of our physical parts. Other things are less obvious to me.
I can accept that there is much I don't understand. I suspect that there are many popular, widely held views within both the LDS church and within the world in general, that in the end, will turn out to be dramatically wrong. Life has always been this way. One thing that I think is apparent from history is that almost any widely held belief is bound to have some fundamental misconceptions in it. I first heard about Galileo in a children's story book written by religious folks about religious heroes, but during his lifetime, he was thrown in prison, threatened with torture, and forced to write a recant of his scientific discoveries by the religious leaders of his day. (Nice!)
Even- and I may be weird this way I dunno- the very core blocks of my personal beliefs are always available in my mind for review and reevaluation. At least I try to keep them that way.
(this is getting long)
The whole process of reaching for more truth and more personal perfection all must begin with admitting that you have been wrong about something, I think. In some ways, I think being able to say "I don't know..." is as important as being able to say "I know". Certainly there are more things to say "I don't know" about than there are to say "I know" about.
time to goto bed-