Friday, August 17, 2007

Optimism Defines My Christian Faith

I read an interesting article posted by Dana at Principled Discovery, “The explanation of evil: religion, resentment or sin?” where she starts off with, “I must confess I have a bizarre fascination with Richard Dawkins.” I never heard of the fellow as I continued to sift through the linked articles which attempted to explain how the intellectuals, the real thinkers in our society, view religion in general and how those with faith in God might one day be cured of their illness. It’s possible I read more into the article than was there; but then again I’ve been suffering from religious delusions for much of my adult life.

I never considered my religious beliefs as threatening to others; my belief that I am made in the image of God, that my life’s purpose is to improve daily as my desire to become more like Jesus through service to my fellow beings and to eventually pass beyond this mortal frame and take on the eternities in an immortal and perfected body. If I’m right then my spirit goes on and on for time and all eternity, if not it all ends at the grave and the intellectuals still have no victory as we all lose; either way the outcome should pose no threat to those who remain among the living.

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39

The knowledge that mortality is not our total existence, that our lives are so much more than the challenges between that first breath at birth and the last one before dying defines the difference between the secular world and those with faith. It is this optimism that permits the human spirit to see beyond the tragedies of mortality. The sad part, at least for me, is watching so many wandering about without any clue as to their individual worth as pertain to the eternal nature of the human spirit.

I’d have to ask the question, much as Peggy Lee did many years ago in song contemplating the futility of living a life of disappointment and sorrows along with the prospect of simply ending it all, “Is that all there is, If that’s all there is my friend, Then let’s keep dancing, Let’s break out the booze and have a ball; If that’s all…there…is.” The song was an interesting short study on the sadness associated with those with little or no faith in an eternal promise as found in the scriptures.

In many ways the intellectuals might have the upper hand; after all, the only way to prove my faith is to die and find out what happens on the “other side”. The intellectual secularist need only die with the understanding that the physical body will eventually dissolve and become part of the earth, no more, no less. I prefer my optimism and would prefer not to be treated as if I had some sort of infection.

I’ll go one step beyond, entertaining or even provoking many as I explain that I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and is another witness to go along with the Bible as to the divinity of Jesus Christ as our Savior, that Joseph Smith actually saw God the Father and Jesus Christ as he testified. This is my belief and the information is either correct or it isn’t; there being no “half ways” to nibble with. If I am correct then I am no threat to my fellow beings as I go about serving those who will permit such simple service, all the while attempting to emulate my Savior through selfless acts with the hope of eternal rewards beyond the grave. I force no one to believe as I do, to conform through threat or coercion and if this is a “virus”; may the rest of society be exposed to it and take on the symptoms of my delusion.

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