1. This has become a Church Blog. Nine times out of ten, I dislike all- Church- all the- time blogs. But I don't like talking about my job, (too risky,) or most aspects of my personal life (none of your business,) so Church blog it is. Until I sew something (sorry, non-crafters,) or read another Jack Weyland novel.
2. A few days ago, I inadvertently annoyed one of my family members with my posts on a Conference talk. She asked "why can't we just be happy that a General
Authority is trying to address issues that matter to us even if it is not exactly what you wanted?"
Which led to me saying something snarky and mean. Which led me to apologize for saying something snarky and mean. So while I hope she doesn't mind me talking about this (I spoke with her in person, so I think yes,) her post caused me to seriously wonder about my need to rehash, analyze, and yes, question, most of the things I learned growing up.
One could perhaps blame it on my experience as an History major/English minor. Why is that event important? What was the result? Why did that poet use personification in that stanza? But not all the others?
In school, it was never enough simply to read the poem, read the book, fill-in-the-blanks. The assignment was not to just be happy that the book exists, the assignment was to question.
Or, maybe my questioning nature comes from my job? Why is that kid struggling? What do I do? Did that lesson work? How do I make it better? Should I just be happy that the students are in class?
Or maybe that is just who I am. You get what you get, and don't throw a fit.
Here is the thing about questioning the paradigm you grew up in: It is uncomfortable. It is painful. Sometimes it is so uncomfortable, and so painful, that it dissipates to those around you. And if they do not choose to question, that nuclear fallout can be seen as an unkind invasion.
I chose to openly question, I chose to drop that bomb. But I cannot choose who gets annoyed, upset, or hurt by the results. I don't get to decide who will retreat into their concrete shelters because of what I say.
Or is it not a bomb? Is it as simple as turning on the lights in a dark room, thus annoying the sleeping inhabitant, who then must squint and rub their eyes as they adjust to the light?
I don't know.
What I do know, is that poetry becomes more meaningful when I question. Events in history stand out, clear in my memory because I studied them, learned their faces, and remember their names.
The first time I had an honest-to-goodness faith shattering crisis, I found myself at the U of U Institute Building, listening to this talk: LINK
Later, during another crisis, my friend sent it to me again.
"My dear young friends, we are a question-asking people. We have always been, because we know that inquiry leads to truth. That is how the Church got its start, from a young man who had questions. In fact, I’m not sure how one can discover truth without asking questions. In the scriptures you will rarely discover a revelation that didn’t come in response to a question. ...
Some might feel embarrassed or unworthy because they have searching questions regarding the gospel, but they needn’t feel that way. Asking questions isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a precursor of growth.
God commands us to seek answers to our questions and asks only that we seek with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ. When we do so, the truth of all things can be manifest to us by the power of the Holy Ghost. Fear not. Ask questions. Be curious. "
Or, as my good friend Walt Whitman said, (I consider any poet I studied in college my friend,)
"Be curious, not judgemental."