About the Open Mormon Blog
"Mormonism, for me, is about True Openness - Open Hearts and Open Minds - Openness to a diverse range of People and Opinions, and Openness to the Truth. In practice, this means Compassionate Teachings and Compassionate Action, and it means Earnestly and Honestly Searching for the Truth - even the Uncomfortable and Inconvenient Kind."
Some core values guide my personal understanding of Mormonism and give shape to this blog:
Regarding the Centrality of Love in the Gospel:
Regarding the Centrality of Love in the Gospel:
"Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
-Matthew 7: 9-11 (NRSV)
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ..."
-Romans 8:16-17 (KJV)
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
-Matthew 25: 40 (NIV)
"Follow the way of love..."
-1 Corinthians 14: 1 (NIV)
- God is our heavenly parent, who loves all of humanity as parents love their children. God cannot be less loving than the most loving person you know. As children of God, we have inherited many divine characteristics. God's spirit inspires us and fills us with love for our fellow human beings. This love also moves us to care for God's non-human creations.
- One of the most profound and important purposes of Jesus' mortal ministry (which is often overlooked) is that he came to show us what God is really like. In his life and teachings, in word and deed, Jesus gives us a personal look at the loving character of our Heavenly Father. At the same time, he models the divine path for us and urges us to "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." -Luke 6: 36 (NRSV)
- Discipleship means loving all people (as God and Jesus love us). I advocate loving religion, and tear down hurtful religious principles no matter what authority such principles may be based on. I interpret the scriptures and other teachings of our religious leaders through the lens of compassion and the golden rule, weighing them against these values, because Jesus said that on these things "hang all the law and the prophets" (the whole scriptural canon at the time).
Regarding The Importance of Keeping An Open Mind:
“… Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.”
-Joseph Smith Jr.
“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?
-Luke 6: 39 (NIV)
"Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?"
-Mark 8: 17-18 (NIV)
"In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear."
-Matthew 13: 14-16 (NIV)
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
-Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
- Mormonism embraces all truth. Jesus' Gospel denounces willful ignorance - dismissing things before giving them any real thought, refusing to look at the evidence or hear the arguments, being closed-minded and hard-hearted. I try to be open to the truth, wherever it leads. As a result, some posts will celebrate Mormonism, others may be challenging, but ALL are intended to be for our benefit - to encourage an understanding of Mormonism that is both credible AND calculated to do the most good for individuals, families, and society. Embracing all truth (and rejecting all error) means being open to the truth revealed in the natural and social sciences, and in scholarly history, and in the various religions and philosophies outside of Mormonism proper.
- I claim the privilege of worshipping according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all people the same privilege. Ultimately, matters of personal belief must be decided through a process of searching, pondering, and praying. It is okay if one person comes to a different understanding then me on a subject. As the Apostle Paul said, "For now we see through a glass, darkly" and know only "in part." I trust that in the end, God will lead us right, and will not fault us for coming to different conclusions during mortality, so long as our search is sincere and we love and care for one another. This blog is intended to promote greater freedom of thought in Mormon culture; and to help Latter-day Saints develop informed opinions on Mormonism - taking into account all of the relevant information that becomes available to us.