‘Cause it feels wonderful

“How about me not blaming you for everything. How about me enjoying the moment for once. How about how good it feels to finally forgive you. How about grieving it all one at a time” (Alanis Morissette).

I have been writing a post over the past two weeks about the doctrines and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that I disagree with. As I have polished and thought about the post, I thought about what kind of response it would garner and who it might benefit. A few people will tell me they agree whole heartedly, and others will argue. In the end, no one will benefit. It will only make me sound negative and critical. So I’ll save the post for when I’m in a pissy mood. Since I’m not pissy now, I’ve decided to write from the positive side and make a list of the good and beautiful doctrines I have gleaned from the LDS faith and express my gratitude for them.

1. The Eternal Nature of Man
I appreciate being taught that the soul of man existed before birth and will continue after death. To me, that is significant belief that provides hope, accountability, self worth, and a desire to seek greater things. While the teaching is not unique to Mormonism, the Church is certainly one of the few Christian sects to emphasize and teach the idea of a pre-mortal existence.

2. The Atonement of Jesus Christ
Often people cite the song “I am a Child of God” as the greatest gift that Latter-day Saints have to offer Christianity. They’re wrong. “I Stand All Amazed” is the greatest gift that Latter-day Saints offer Christianity. The teachings of the Atonement, the need for Christ, the nature of His Sacrifice, and the breadth and scope of the applications of that sacrifice are one of the most remarkable contributions of Mormonism. Though the doctrine is taught clearly and emphatically in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon provides beautiful additional descriptions of it that other Christians could benefit from.

3. The Divine Heritage of Man
“I am a Child of God” is the second most important contribution of Mormonism. I appreciate growing up with a theoretical understanding of the divine worth a human has as the offspring of deity. I definitely understood the divine potential of man. Though I may disagree with the specifics, I still believe that man is meant to become one with God and like Him.

4. A Passionate Call to Action
Joseph Smith had a way of getting his followers excited about this new movement. That legacy lives on. Growing up I got very passionate about the religion. I love the way he wrote about this cause and the enthusiasm with which he and other leaders have spoken about what they believe is the future of the Church. It helped shape me into a passionate person.

5. The Need for Modern Revelation
I am so thankful my parents taught me how to pray and taught me that prayer was a vehicle for seeking knowledge from God. I have drawn upon the powers of prayer time and time again. The fact that we need to know things from God and that we can know things from God and that we should seek things from God is one of the most appealing aspects of Mormonism. It is the very principle that gives me confidence in what I have decided to pursue now. I will always strive to petition the Lord’s will for me and the path that will lead me to the most happiness.

I may get distraught over certain Church teachings, or over our history, or even over the attitudes of Church members, but I will always be grateful that I was raised by parents who taught me these five beautiful principles. They have blessed my life, and will continue to guide and motivate me.

“How about no longer being masochistic. How about remembering your divinity. How about unabashedly bawling your eyes out. How about not equating death with stopping” (Alanis Morissette).


6 thoughts on “‘Cause it feels wonderful

  1. One of the doctrines I strongly believe in is the sealing ordinance. Although you must be sealed to a spouse to obtain the highest degree of celestial glory, living faithfully and being sealed to your immediate family will allow you to enter the celestial kingdom. As Elder Nelson said in the Saturday morning session of Conference, all of God’s blessings are available to those who live worthy of them.

  2. Not to get into an argument-The sealing ordinance is one of the aspects of the church that bother me most. I think it not only represents a misinterpretation of the New Testament, but it turns heaven into a country club.

  3. What bothers me about the sealing ordinance is that it makes salvation and exaltation dependent on people, not God. If you want to be exalted, you need a spouse. Or, at least a sealing to your parents. That makes you dependent on people who may let you down. What if your parents don’t get sealed, or you can’t be sealed to a spouse? Well, if you’re righteous, then God will make it up to you. Well what if you’re not righteous? (Because NO ONE is righteous).I’d like to rest my exaltation in the hands of a merciful God who sacrificed Himself to provide salvation for His children. I would like to not rest salvation in the institutions of men.

  4. Despite no longer being Mormon, these are all ideas that I still very much believe. I do love the way the Mormon religion introduced a totally new way to look at Christianity – one that really (originally) focused on the Love of God more so than any other Christian denomination previously. It really makes me sad that so many have forgotten what the real point of the Gospel is and have gotten so caught up in the little, really unimportant things. If the church truly just focused on these 5 core doctrines, it could do so much more good. I find it very interesting that the church claims that the “fulness” of the Gospel is contained in the Book of Mormon, which does contain all 5 of these doctrines, but where, interestingly enough sealing is never mentioned, and temple work is mostly unheard of. If those are such important, core doctrines, why aren’t they in the Book of Mormon, and why did it take so long for them to be instituted? It seems to me that they’re not quite as important as some other, more core things.So basically, I agree with Peter on this one.

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