Sunday, June 3, 2007

What I'm trying to say...

I immediately regretted hitting the post button on that last post, but it would have shown up on a few news feeds anyway so I decided not to bother with deleting it. Besides, I rather like the story anyway, I wouldn't want to lose it because I didn't make a record of it.

What I'm talking about with this story is group dynamics. It is the nature of groups to need something to pounce on, to need something to unite against. It's what holds them together. A group which wishes to remain in existence must either have a common goal toward which clear progress can be made and seen, or a common enemy. While nobody here has yet treated me as an enemy, I find myself questioning every move that I make here because I don't want to risk being familiar enough, and yet just different enough, to be the one to pounce on.

With my recent comment over at -L-'s blog, this is especially true. A fellow blogger and friend informed me that many actually do hold precise phrasing to be divinely inspired. I hadn't even considered that, and if I had I would not have made the exact comment that I did. Rather than go into the chain of reasoning, which is actually based on scripture, that explains why I believe that way, I'd just like to say that I'm sorry if I insulted anyone's personal beliefs. My understanding of the gospel is imperfect, as it is with any man.

Part of my reaction to finding that out is that I really truly don't want to offend anybody. I am but a man, and I can err, and I do not want to tell anybody that they are wrong unless I know it for a 110% fact. Even then I'm hesitant. The other part is a fear that I've set myself up to get pounced. To become collectively viewed as "that guy" because of my radically different view on something. I mean, I know that nobody is going to just suddenly stop reading my blog because I believe something different from what you do, but I do fear that I'll become a second class MoHo...
But what's done is done, and whatever consequences come from it I'll accept.


Abelard Enigma said...

Personally I agree with your comment over on -L-'s blog

...just because a message or idea is inspired does not mean that the wording in the final delivery must also be...

The fact that the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet has undergone several changes over the years supports this. Even some of the text of the Book of Mormon has been changed over the years. If Joseph Smith had been given the exact wording to be used in his translation then why would this have been necessary?

There seems to be this notion of infallibility. However, there has only been one perfect, infallible person who has ever walked on this earth. If asked, I'm sure President Hinkley would tell you he is not infallible.

I also reject the notion that, just because you are a general authority, you become a puppet of God who pulls your strings and tells you to "say this" or "say that". The restoration of the gospel didn't start with the first vision, it started when Joseph Smith went to the Lord with a question. Regarding homosexuality, perhaps our leaders just haven't quite figured out the right questions to ask.

drex said...

I'm not weighing in on the issue - I just wanted to make sure you were aware of this video on YouTube.

Let me know.

Stephen said...

Drex, you just made my day. I'm grinning broadly from ear to ear just now.

-L- said...

Are there classes of Mohos? Man.

Well, I try to appreciate those who challenge my views. It's not very helpful for everyone to just mutter in agreement about every single issue (that's the way I feel about some of the gay Mormon groups I read). It can be sticky at times, but it's usually one of those "no pain, no gain" scenarios. A little edginess can go a long way. A lot of edginess... is just not pleasant.

And while I do agree with your point that phrasing can confuse an issue, I'm more interested in discussing the specific of where you think that might be true. I do not feel that there is any ambiguity or room for rationalization in the doctrines of the church regarding gay relationships or the importance of heterosexual ones. It's hard, but that's not a very compelling reason to strain so wildly to find a way to contradict what has been made so plain.

If you see me as being "a little bit spiteful in [my] ardent advocation against an apparent assailant", I hope you'll let me know, publicly or privately, because I'll take that to be a constructive criticism. I may or may not agree, but I'll appreciate the feedback.