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Is the right Church or creed the important thing, or is there something else we came here to learn? I'm interested to hear what everyone believes and why they believe it. That would add to our understanding of each other. We have a good mix of people here. I wonder if we could talk about our first person experiences on the subject and support it with simple faith, scriptures, opinion without putting anyone on the spot about their beliefs. Maybe another way to frame the question is "What is the point of all this? What is the purpose of this life? Is it to embrace a certain belief, or is it to live a certain way?" Or is it something else?
When I was a nice little Catholic altar boy, I was taught that I should wear the "brown scapular" which on one side had some religious symbols, and on the other side it had some brown cloth.
I was told that it represented a garment like the habit of Catholic "Brothers" ("monks" to non-Catholics though that is a very vague term which really doesn't grasp all the nuances) and Catholic "Sisters" ("nuns" to non-Catholics- but that is at least as vague as "monks" is, and barely scratches the surface of all that is entailed)
I thought that was VERY cool that I could be a "kind of Brother" even as a kid and resolved to be extra good to live up to the promise I had made to God.
Later I studied Mormonism and thought it weird that everyone called each other "brother" and "sister", then I found out that they too wore a special kind of garment like the habit of monks and nuns.
Then suddenly it became reasonable. Mormons also wore special clothing and were all kind of like monks and nuns who made covenants with God.
So the parallels instead of being something "weird" suddenly became very comforting to me, and I could not wait to get to the temple to get my very own "garment"
But I know that many here are not aware of scapulars, though I have mentioned them in passing before and since we have some Catholics who visit here, I thought it might be fun to discuss. No Protest-ants please. (Just kidding )
Catholics also believe that scapulars offer a kind of spiritual protection for wearing them, which also parallels a Mormon belief about garments.
Religions often debate about what God IS in an ontological sense, but I would like to set that question aside for this thread and talk about what God IS from an experiential perspective. What IS God to each of you, individually, experientially, what IS God. I think this list of descriptions will be constantly growing and changing, but let me go first with what God IS to me.
God is love
God is wonder
God is a voice inside my head
God is confusing
God is hurt
God is essence
God is the beautiful leaf, the majestic mountain, the crashing wave
God is silence when I need the comfort and I get nothing
God is there
God is nowhere
Having heard the song "Oh my father" sung in primary, sacrament meetings and Sunday school old services. What when we think even if it is philosophical, does God the Mother exist outside this thinking honorifically or in reality?
I recently attended the Spirit of Dialogue conference at UVU and they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/50th-anniversary/spirit-of-dialogue-conference/
It was a great meeting with wonderful guests. One of the highlights for me was the last session, a discussion between Marlin Jensen (former church historian and emeritus status GA) and Gregory Prince. The audio is posted at the above link. He said something that I've been pondering about ever since the meeting. In talking about the essays and the challenges that the information age presents to members he said:
The part in bold is what I've been struggling to understand. He mentioned meeting with many people over the years who're struggling with their membership. Why is belief so important to him, and why is it a choice? Why is it more important than who you choose as your spouse? Why is belief the most important choice we will ever make in this life? I don't get it.
I have some thoughts, but I wanted to ask to the group. Thanks