As a side note, if no discrepancy bugs you, then you need to start asking yourself why.]]>
It is reasonable to suggest that being a strict young-Earth creationist in your own home and personal life is harmless. I think the potential for harm comes in when you go from there to supposing that since this belief is right, it should replace heretical/wrong alternate ideas in the public sphere. This can lead to building “Creation Science” museums and claiming that Intelligent Design is a scientific theory that belongs in a science classroom.
Such developments are harmful to both science and religion. On the one hand there’s potential to teach young people wrong ideas about how scientific reasoning works. On the other hand, there’s the potential to give young people the impression that religious people find science threatening; that religious people need to combat scientific thought if they are to protect their beliefs.]]>
Just lasy Sunday I experience a conflict over that very thought. In my HP Group I am one of perhaps 2 or 3 that would (proudly) consider themselves liberal. Another HP who is definitly liberal says that I’m not liberal, I’m just a Democrat. Whatever the case, the group is predominently conservative. I think we usually do a pretty good job of keeping politics out of our weekly discussions but last week we discussed President Kimball’s teaching on the Law of Chastity. We discussed the usual issues of pornography and the related dangers of that despicable industry. Then the instructor brought up recent legislation passed in the state of California that has obviously been influenced by “alternative lifestyles” that sometimes dominate the culture of that state. The discussion moved quickly to the issue of homosexuality and a quote from President Kimball was read. Without stating the actual quote (this may not be fair) I can tell you that President Kimball’s quote from 25 years ago was much more harsh than the words we have heard recently from President Hinckley and other General Authorities, including Elder Dallin Oaks, relating to homosexuality and that quote from President Kimball heightened the tone of the class discussion to a level that I thought was meanspirited. I felt it was unfair of the instructor to focus on that statement without acknowledging the more recent words of the Church hierarchy. I’m not suggesting that President Hinckly or any other GA has spoken in favor of the gay lifestyle, but they have softened their rhetoric (that’s probably the wrong term to use) on the issue. Call it PC or any other term but for those of us who count gay people as our friends (boy was that a cliche’?) it is welcomed change that I believe is influenced by the Spirit.
Despite my feelings about the atmosphere of the class I didn’t take the opportunity to express my concern while in the classroom. I have since had a discussion with the instructor to let him know of my feelings.
And so it seems that just listenng to what the modern day prophets have said can sometimes be confusing. I prefer to listen to my heart, which of course is informed by the words of the prophets, but more importantly it is influenced by the Holy Ghost.]]>
Bret, good answer about the serenity prayer. Contrary to the impression I may have created, I don’t spend much time worrying about how these issues will all be resolved, but I do find it extremely interesting and intellectually challenging.
I can’t take credit for the Great Info Booth; that one belongs to my 9th grade seminary teacher.]]>
How much work is enough? I’d refer to the Serenity Prayer for that one:)
The “Great Information Booth in the Sky”! I’ve always called it the Heavenly Archives but yours seems more fun.]]>
I’m also curious as to why you keep referring to gay marriage. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but since you started this series out as a kind of scientific-type thing, it’s kind of sounding like you have something else you’re getting at. I’m not concerned, just curious.]]>
You bring up an interesting point, there may be a difference in how we respond to commandments vs. more abstract doctrinal questions. But even so, there is often a real conflict, not just an intellectual problem. As I pointed out, this may not be the case with the evolution question, but what about other issues that impact us personally? For example, if you are gay, and the church requests that you write your senator regarding the proposed amendment to the constitution. (btw, the church did not tell anyone specificlly what they should write to their senator, although I think it was clearly implied.) But you feel in your heart that although you peronally will obey the Lord’s commandment not to get married to someone of the same sex, it’s not right to deny other people the legal benefits of marriage based on their exercise of agency. There are other issues that can illustrate this point, that sometimes there really is an impact on your life when conflct issues arise.
Another note: my personal choices about whether or not to confront issues head on always rest on the assumption that reconciliation is possible. I realize that many people may not begin from that assumption, which would complicate matters.]]>