Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Food For Thought With a Grain of Salt

As I watched a religious film with my family for FHE, many thoughts came into my mind and this late night rant sort of happened! Take it with a grain of salt and realize that I'm not the best publisher of exactly what I'm thinking. Enjoy! (:

Sometimes we ask ourselves and others, “why does God allow bad things to happen?” I’d like to pose a question that might stand opposite to it—“why has God blessed me when another is more worthy?” The answers to both of these questions differ slightly but must be addressed with one valuable and important truth; whatever happens and for whatever purpose it DOES happen, God loves us unconditionally and does not favor one individual, race, nation, history, or kind above the other. Oh how quick we are to doubt. And Satan…oh. He is SO clever. So so VERY clever. Such doubt slides into our hearts like a black silk glove slips over our hand. It is so comfortable and so much easier to side with doubt. What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us right? I am one to say wrong. We cannot doubt. We cannot take that narcotic and expect to feel happiness the remainder of our days. As we doubt that there is a God because bad things happen, can we honestly believe that there is a God in a world where nothing bad happened? Is it just ‘paradise’ all the time never knowing sin from salvation? Darkness from light? The worst of times to the best? The depression and low of addiction to the freedom and joy of recovery? We must stop blinding ourselves to the idea that there is no God behind creation and existence. We cannot expect the purpose of life to be, 'simply exist.' 

Truly. Ask yourself. Think and feel as hard as your soul and mind can bear it. Why do we exist? 
What is the point?
Why why why??

I’m not the one to chip in and say, "look here! I have the #1 top selling religion that tells truth more effectively than the leading bargain brand. It’ll answer all of your questions and provides a sensory evidence guarantee of God or your time and money back.” 
No. Just no. 

Those who believe in a God or ‘higher power’ arrive to that belief like the individual arrives to happiness. There are personal and general things that make each person on earth tick. Some are fancied pink by dogs. Some find joy in clean sheets on a bed. A lot of people find comfort in chocolate! It’s a safe bet that all people find happiness in love. But with the comparable journey to finding happiness, the journey to a belief in God is detailed and tailored to fit each individual. It is comprised of trials and blessings in which a belief in God, the Atonement, or other means of religous nourishment have fulfilled otherwise sorrowful states. The only way the individual wears such a coat of belief is if they allow the prick of a needle to correct a misunderstanding. 

While many may argue, “you're just choosing an unintelligent and easy path to believe in a God instead of facing facts, science, and philosophy to explain life,” they miss one very important principle in their argument. God is not the opposite of science and fact and vice versa. Why does God have to be associated with make-believe, magic, and smoke & mirrors? And why is science viewed as a sensory based explanation that allows no spiritual revelation of thought?
It is such a fault of human nature to box God and man’s work into two separate categories. If both sides—and I mean the nonreligious and the religious—would lend themselves to the truths found in both, I believe there would be so much less contention between the two.
I can testify that as a religious person, I’ve witnessed the dismissal of scientific fact as explanation for many things on earth as an ‘evil that man has created to lead away the minds and hearts of men.’ This doesn’t infer that all science is sound and that every theory is perfect. It does infer, however, that man—and I believe with the mercies of a God who has brought revelation to men through the spark of intelligence and creative thought—can explain parts of this world through scientific discovery. 
On the other hand, as a student and friend to nonreligious individuals, the dismissal of God is often derived from a belief that crazed individuals are paranoid about a damning and hateful God who won’t save them unless they do every little thing he commands perfectly at the turn of his thumb. In trusting what science points to and what they can only see, hear, taste, touch, or smell—the confirming of truth beyond the abilities of man is evidenced in a quiet but ever real feeling in the heart that is NOT excluded to the mind. 

My hope in bringing awareness to the combination and complementary power within science and religion is not to create a perfectly matched fit with both of them. There are times when religion admits that they simply don’t know and when science just doesn’t have the means yet. When so called ‘proof’ of some scientific theories is the rumor and conjuring of false facts from deceitful sources so it is even with religion. There are many who conjure up and deceive men with false beliefs and ‘truths’ about God. There is evil on every side but there is so much good to be found as well. If we so allow, a humble respect and reverence for both practices can invite the environment of a beautiful intertwining. 

As this is coming from a pondering of religious thought, I must bear my testimony. I bear because I need my testimony for myself and I bear in hopes that you will feel compassion for new ideas and not feel deceived or wrongfully persuaded. I truly can’t prove with physical evidence that there is a God who loves and cares about me. But I feel it. I feel it in every single mercy I’m given, in every kindness from mankind, in every shoulder given to cry on, every tear fallen at the loss of love, every affectionate kiss of loving parents, every last breath I’m granted to take. Open yourself. Open yourself as I have to the love that God will provide you and open yourself to an understanding of the imperfections of our carnal state. He lives and while He lives I’ll sing. There is beauty to be found. There is joy to be felt. There is a God who longingly awaits your return. 

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