- I believe that the religion that does nothing for people in this life isn’t likely to do much for them in the next. The church is true to the extent that it is useful. (Yes, that makes me a philosophical utilitarian.)
- I believe that exposure to a variety of information and experiences (including those that are disagreeable, challenging, or foreign) is the foundation of discovering truth. It is our responsibility to seek out and understand positions that conflict with our own so that we can obtain perspective.
- However, I believe that even a perfect knowledge of truth wouldn’t give us the power to convey that knowledge perfectly to others. Language is limited, and the interpretation of language depends heavily on the context of the listener. Two individuals can hear the same principle taught and understand it in two very different ways — even to the extent that truth taught to one person can become falsehood by that person’s understanding of it.
- I believe that worship is the act of instantiating God and heaven. To the extent that we live as gods and build heavens, we are engaged in worship, whether that is through traditional methods like prayer, church attendance, and service, or more mundane activities like housework, secular study, creative projects, walking in nature, or spending time with friends and family.
- I believe that guilt is not an appropriate form of motivation.
- “There’s no accounting for tastes.” I believe that just because something makes you happy doesn’t mean it will make your neighbor happy.
- “Saying doesn’t make it so.” I believe that truth is determined not by authority, but by reality.
- I believe that one central purpose of life is to learn to choose and then achieve joy over pain, and to help others do the same. The chief virtue is sustainable happiness.
- I believe that to worship a god who would cast his own children into suffering without end is to worship Satan.
- Celebrate excellence.
The Manner In Which I’m Mormon: My Articles of Faith
Over the past ten years, my approach to the doctrines of the church has shifted dramatically. I’m Mormon now in a very different way than I was then. With the various discussions attempting to define what it means to be Mormon, I thought I’d share what it means to me (well, what it means to me at this time — check back in ten more years and we’ll see where things are at).