Some Articles of Faith

June 8, 2011 | 19 comments
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Some (Wednesday morning) articles of faith:

1. The gospel is terrifyingly simple: Give up!

2. Stop avoiding the gospel by pretending its complicated.

3. The gospel is not at all simple to talk about. Exempli gratia: “Stop pretending that giving up on the hard work of giving up is the same thing as actually giving up. This is just another excuse – either for still trying (to not give up) or not trying (to give up) at all.”

4. The gospel is not a “plan.” It is not a “map” of the road. The gospel is the road.

5. The gospel is more interesting than any of our explanations of it.

19 Responses to Some Articles of Faith

  1. Matt W. on June 8, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I don’t understand

  2. Jonathan Green on June 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Adam, have you been reading Kafka? In any case, this post is opening up a whole new area of discussion the next time I teach Kafka.

  3. Grant on June 8, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Yes, yes!!! Thank you, Adam! This is like what I’ve been trying to say! Simple as it is, it ain’t that easy to express! (Well, basically impossible) Because it’s all about the process, baby!

  4. SilverRain on June 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I think I like the original twelve better. ;)

    Good points, though.

  5. Adam Miller on June 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Thirteen’s always been one of my favorites ;)

  6. Michelle B on June 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I thought they almost all started with “We believe …” :)

  7. Jax on June 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Not only is the gospel more interesting than our explanations, it is more interesting than almost everything else as well!

  8. Dave on June 8, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    If I were to digest and restate Adam’s points in my own words, I would say something like this: Living the Mormon gospel is simple: attend church, contribute financially unless circumstances prevent it, accept callings, and be nice to people. Talking about the gospel can be as complex and detailed and interesting as one wants to make it, but that potential complexity (profundity?) does not negate the relative simplicity of living the Mormon gospel. [Of course, simple does not necessarily mean easy.]

  9. Adam Miller on June 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Dave says: “If I were to digest and restate Adam’s points in my own words, I would say something like this: Living the Mormon gospel is simple: attend church, contribute financially unless circumstances prevent it, accept callings, and be nice to people.”

    I think there’s something to this, but I also think it’s entirely possible to do all the things you indicate – which I agree are central to Mormonism – without coming anywhere near the gospel.

    The gospel really is terrifyingly simple: Give. Up.

  10. Martin on June 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    What Matt W. said.

  11. Grant on June 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Faith and repentance are simple and pretty terrifying to me. That’s what I think the gospel is. Give up yourself to the Lord. Serve others.

    Going to church is only a tangential issue even if a natural result of this. (There are a lot of other reasons people go to church.)

  12. Jax on June 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    terrifying simple indeed! Give up, not only yourself, but everything you have. give your time (all of it, not just non-employed hours) to building the kingdom, give everything with which you’ve been blessed to help those around you, give up your pride, give up seeking for “your own life” (Hel 10:4), give up your will, give up consuming resources on your own lusts, give up seeking for wealth and show Father that your aren’t emotionally attached to that which hath no life ……. just give up and do the very simple and expressly stated things we are commanded to do, and none of the stuff we are commanded not to do.

    And quite frankly, the picture of the type of life that would lead to IS VERY TERRIFYING to most of us! It is SOOO contrary to our culture that it we are almost impotent to do it!

  13. Adam Miller on June 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Re: #12. Yes.

  14. Jax on June 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    @Adam…. so how do we overcome the terrifying aspect of ‘giving up’? Any thoughts?

  15. Cameron N. on June 9, 2011 at 12:01 am

    @14 – I think Jesus ‘try me’ statement applies here for us. Live the doctrine and see. Scary, I know.

  16. Miskky on June 9, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Adam: “I also think it’s entirely possible to do all the things you indicate – … – without coming anywhere near the gospel.”

    I agree but this, “which I agree are central to Mormonism”, is perhaps more central to mormons than to “Mormonism” itself. The central point the Gospel has become more importance over time but the mark of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly is quite often totally missed.

    Christ said his Yoke was easy and his burden was light. Are we all “Marthas”? We do seem to be cumbered by much doing and have not chosen the better part.

  17. Adam Miller on June 9, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Re. #14. Good question, Jax. For my part, I don’t think this terrifying aspect is something that gets overcome. I think the best thing to do, rather, is to just sit with it and make friends with it. Don’t try to overcome it, but don’t try to run away from it either.

  18. Jax on June 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Adam, I agree that it probably can’t be overcome, but we can move forward anyway. But faith and fear aren’t good bed companions. It is terrifying to many to live the gospel (as opposed to just being members of the church), but it shouldn’t be. Christ has promised it will be okay and that there is nothing to fear – except perhaps His wrath if we don’t obey.

    Basically, we do have fear, but we shouldn’t. We have fear because we lack faith – faith that blessings are greater than sacrifices.

  19. Grant on June 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Jax – I don’t think it’s God we fear. Even though the scriptures say “fear God.” Happy Mormons (or at leased supposed to be happy) don’t like that doctrine. But I don’t think it is fear of God’s punishment we are talking about here. It is the fear of confronting the evil in our own hearts and turning that over completely to the Lord. And I even think that is the proper doctrinal interpretation but we have to face that fear, own that fear, and persevere until the end in “fear and trembling” before the Lord. Either that, or I’ve just read too much Kierkegaard.