Many claim they want honesty, so do I, so here goes. I was born and raised in the church, served a mission (all my siblings served missions) and only one of the us is inactive. I am active in that I go to church and live its principles, law of chastity, word of wisdom, etc., I even graduated from BYU but I have struggled with my testimony all my life. I am very analytical and logical and many, many things don’t make sense to me and I question a lot. I think if anyone is really searching for truth then questioning should be OK – if it is true then it will stand up to any questions / doubts / etc.
Thomas Jefferson once wrote this in one of his letters, "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."
Galileo Galilei (the astronomer) once said “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
It should always be OK to explore ideas, history, beliefs, etc. and to try to reconcile discrepancies if one is truly “searching for truth.”
If we are here to live by faith (which is NOT knowledge but belief) then why do so many profess to have “knowledge” that things are true when they are truly saying “I have faith that . .” or “I believe that . .” or “I feel strongly that . .” all of which could be true statements but to say that you have absolute “knowledge” or “know” is rarely possible in this life because most of us are here to live by 'faith' - So if you say you “know” the church is true, Jesus is the Christ, Joseph had his vision, the Book of Mormon is factually accurate, etc. is to deny faith because – I guess – you have knowledge – so you don’t need to rely on 'faith' anymore. Maybe some people might have “knowledge” but I think that most do not but rather hold fast to their faith – which I think is a good thing but let’s call it what it is.
I have known people who claim they are always “feeling the Spirit” and the “Spirit” is telling them to do this or that, sometimes what they claim to be spiritual promptings makes no sense and is contrary to logic and my understanding of the gospel but I guess the feelings of the Spirit can trump the prophet, the scriptures, logic, etc. I think many do not fully grasp the concept that not every feeling comes from God - if this were the case then many people at BYU would be married to that boy or girl who said that God had revealed to them that the person they were talking with was to be their eternal companion - when those feelings were not mutual. Feelings can at times be untrustworthy liars as anyone who has comforted a child who is scared of the dark should understand. As human beings all of us have many feelings - some good, some bad, some touching, some fearful, some full of excitement, some full of anxiety, and some are even inspired by the spicy food we ate the night before ;) Discerning which ones are from divinity and which ones are just part of the human animal is very difficult for most humans.
I have had many experiences where my friends and family have wanted something really badly, felt strongly about it, prayed about it and then claimed their strong feelings were of divine origin and now God wants them to have or do what they wanted to have or do in the first place, even when the thing they wanted to have or do doesn’t align with common sense and )seems implausible that God would instruct them to have or do that (span style="font-weight:bold;")thing
I have also known many members who have a ton of rules that have nothing to do with the gospel (in my view) but people bolt them on and claim they come from God. I am of the belief that we should just try and be more loving, compassionate and accepting of others instead of looking down on them because they have one too many ear piercings, have a slightly different view of what modest dress means, or maybe are just struggling with their testimonies.
Now, I am not one of those people who is dwelling on my past but I wanted to put this out there because if you are looking for that future Bishop, or if you have a ton of rules and are more focused on the application of those rules than on loving and appreciating all of us as we journey through life then I am not the guy for you and, knowing that, you can move along and feel good that you may have dodged a bullet. However, if you can understand this and would like a good guy then continue on reading and maybe send me an email.
I think that most people want to be loved unconditionally, I have that kind of love for my kids (I LOVE kids) – I will love them no matter what choices they make. I will encourage them to choose wisely but I will not look down on them if they choose differently than I do. I can love children if they are born to me or not born to me (a concept I found is very difficult for some, as I found out to my surprise - blending families can be extremely challenging if this is not the case or if there is judgment or non-acceptance of the other spouse's children - that experience is a horrible one to live through for the spouse and his/her children from the other marriage). All children are on their own journey through life and I hope they have a happy one.
I think that spouses should also love each other unconditionally and work for each other’s good, learn together, grow together and support each other, etc.
I think it is very sad if any relationship has to end just because the parties cannot just “agree to disagree” at times – I think that is an emotionally healthy place to be in.
As for what I am looking for, because of the above I don’t really feel I fit with a stereo-typical LDS woman (whatever that means) but I don’t fit with a non-LDS one either because I want a home where we live the word of wisdom and law of chastity etc. I don't really want to go outside the church because I have found that most outside of the church love their alcohol/coffee - which I am still uncomfortable with having in my home.
So maybe what will work for me is a luke-warm (or fully hot - as long as they can accept me as is) LDS woman, a partner where we can just love each other and accept each other where we are in life. Someone who doesn’t have a ton of expectations on what a good member is but can see the good in a person for who they are and will not look down on a person just because they do not claim to have a strong testimony, someone with whom we will love each other if we lived in a trailer or (span style="font-weight:bold;")a mansion but didn’t just expect me to provide for all her wants just because the proclamation on the family says the father is the provider – I am a great provider but I want a team member not a dependent.
BTW I think that both men and women can be nurtures and providers and need to do 'whatever it takes,' 'fill whatever roles need to be filled' in order to make their family work and that should not be overlayed with stereotypical gender roles.
Also I prefer an intelligent / educated woman because I would like to have a partner that can understand and appreciate differing points of view and with whom I can have a great discussion, learning and exploring ideas in a safe environment. Isn't that one of the things that we are here to do - to learn through experience? Isn't one of the things we teach 'the Glory of God is Intelligence?' If this is the case we should get busy learning in addition to developing faith and the other things we are here for. I think I am interested in finding someone with the moral character to dare to question (because it is not easy to live in that spot in our faith as you know) and the intelligence to know that they must question if they really do value truth over orthodoxy or dogmatic following of tradition without understanding the 'why' of it all. Understanding "why" makes living any principle much easier and weeds out the ones that are irrelevant I think.
Well, this is enough for now and should help those who want something different to know enough to weed me out as incompatible or maybe, just maybe, to consider me a potential partner.
Please let me know what you think. Does any of this make sense to you? I am OK if you disagree - if you want to talk/email about this with me then you can let me know and we can have ight:bold;")a great discussion - I think that helps make life more interesting. BTW I am OK if you tell me "you are full of CRAP." Am I full of crap?
(OMG'osh he wrote the "crap" word - he is going to H E double hockey sticks now for sure! - joke ;)