Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bloggernacclers take heed.

This doesn't apply to everyone of course, but it seems a good response to some of the excessive navel-gazing occasionally found in the LDS blogosphere.

From a devotional address given Tuesday, November 7, 2006, by Elder Dallin Oaks at BYU Idaho.

Quoting from the news release:

Elder Oaks spoke about the importance of living the simplicity of the gospel, not looking beyond the mark to find answers to deep doctrine questions. "There is enough difficulty in following the words of plainness, without reaching out for things we have not been given and probably cannot understand," Elder Oaks said.

I think it's a good reminder that the gospel is not as difficult or convoluted as we sometimes make it out to be. Yes, there is always more to learn about the nature and attributes of God and salvation/exaltation in the eternities. But I think most of our energy needs to be applied daily to the basics. I have so much to learn about the first principles of the gospel: faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I need to focus more on CTR and WWJD, Choose The Right and What Would Jesus Do, in the here-and-now.

Yet I fall into the trap of reading and commenting at other blogs where people are discussing higher doctrines that are not official doctrines or teachings of the church.

I find enough material in Gospel Principles (or here), plus the weekly Gospel Doctrine Sunday school lesson, plus the weekly Priesthood lesson, plus the monthly Ensign magazines to fill all my study needs. Add to that daily scripture study, and reading the Book of Mormon every year, I don't see how people have much time for other reading.

Before you read the latest "scholarly" and "intellectual" books on church history and doctrine (especially those books not published by the church itslef) ask yourself:

Have I read the Sunday School lesson for this week?
Have I read the Relief Society/Priesthood lesson for this week?
Have I finished reading this month's Ensign?
Have I read the scriptures today?

Maybe if I spent less time cruising and commenting in the bloggernacle, I'd have more time for reading and doing the things I know I need to read and do.


At 11/11/2006 11:00:00 AM, Blogger Mary A said...

Good post, Bookslinger. You make some great points. I find as I grow older (from 28 to 29, you know! :D) that I am more than satisfied to work on living the basic gospel principles and studying those sources you mention. Thanks for writing about it.

At 11/11/2006 04:53:00 PM, Anonymous Barb said...

I like to speculate on deep subjects. However, I recognize it is is just speculation. I recall one of my MTC teachers saying how when we are "shooting the deeps" that is not when the Spirit will testify. It is in speaking of the basic doctrines that the Spirit will testify. I have such a desire to be versed in so many directions. I love comparitive religion as well. It is a good reminder that I need to focus on the simpler doctrine first. I try not to ask any far out questions for the most part online. It is so hard as there is no over-riding authority checking things and people who do not have a firm understanding of basics may get confused where one is just offering opinion. I do sometimes have deep conversations with my LDS female friend. That is fun for me. However, if it is something that is counter-productive to our faith or faithfulness, then that is a topic that I hope to avoid. I believe it is important to stay close to the center of the Church. I have a problem with some group blogs and individuals that seem to have agendas. I do not think it is our place. I am not saying that I never have my own agendas as I have strong opinions on certain matters that I have to keep myself in check. It is not mine to have all the answers. I am not a blind follower by any means. I couldn't stop thinking if I wanted to unless something were to happen to slow my brain down or cause damage. I have had many of my important questions answered. In addition, I have had witnesses of the basic truths. Some of my most spiritual experiences have involved hearing Jospeh Smith's converstion story read in public. Maybe this is because I am a convert and did not grow up with this and needed to have that witness. Well, I am rather in a talkative mood evidently. I hope somewhere I tied something together. I also hope you do not mind. Take care!


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