Community

I want to start my own town. Is that weird? Probably.

I want to create an intentional community. A community of people with common beliefs. Common goals.

I want to live around people with the same values as me. People who will help me be better.

I want my kids to be around other kids who will influence them for good. Who won’t try to get them to smoke or drink or watch porn.

This community would start online. Then we would create it in the real world. We would buy a few square miles in a rural area. People from our online community would settle there.

Who’s in?

Question authority

Don’t believe everything you hear.

Even if it’s on the news.

Even if it comes from an “authority.”

“Authorities” are just people.  With their own ideas.  Their own flaws.

Their own agenda.

How did this person get the authority they claim?

Some people have authority from God.  God doesn’t give his authority to just anyone.  If an authority in the Church tells me something I believe it, unless I have a good reason not to.

Is this person an elected official?  In my mind that gives them some legitimate claim to authority.  I’m more skeptical of them, though.

Is this person an unelected bureaucrat?  I may listen to what they have to say, but I won’t necessarily believe it.

Do they represent a large corporation?  I’ll hear them out, but I know they’re trying to make their corporation look good.

Are they a teacher?  Who taught them?  Where did they get their information?  Did they do their own research, or are they just regurgitating what’s in the textbook?  What are their biases?

Is this a TV news anchor?  Next, please.

Always maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.

Mr. Krueger’s Christmas

2017 First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

Why I’m still a Mormon

I’m not a shining example of  “Good Mormon.”

I’ve struggled with pornography most of my adult life.

I’ve lied countless times.  I don’t want people thinking bad things about me.

I’ve been inactive in the Church for most of my adult life.

It would be easier to just leave the Church completely.

But I don’t.

I can’t.

I know it’s true.

Turning my back on the Church would be like turning my back on myself.

When I was twenty-four I hadn’t gone to church for several years.

I felt like I needed to go back.  I was afraid to talk to a bishop.  Afraid to confess my sins.

I decided to take some religion classes.  I could get some spirituality in my life without any pressure.

After about six months I decided to go to church.

I only went for Sacrament meeting.  I didn’t go in the chapel.  I sat out in the foyer and listened.

After a few months I had my records transferred to that ward.

I started sitting in the chapel during Sacrament meeting.

Eventually I started going to all the meetings.

Then one day in priesthood meeting one of the other guys told me a group of guys were going to see a movie together.  He asked if I’d like to come.

I got spooked.

I didn’t go back to church for awhile.

I slowly started going again, eventually going to all the meetings.

Then one Sunday it happened.

Just before Sacrament the Bishop’s Secretary came up to me.  He asked if I could see the Bishop after the meeting.

This was it.

The Bishop had just wanted to meet me.  I spilled my guts anyway.

I felt so much better afterward.

I started meeting with him every week.

At that point I decided I’d better find out for myself if the Church was really true.

I’d believed it was for years.  I was never quite sure, though.

I’d been reading the Book of Mormon on and off for several months.

I’d never finished the whole thing.

I decided now was the time.

I finished it.  Then I prayed about it.

I got a feeling I’d never felt before.

I knew it was true.

I still do.

I’m not a “Good Mormon”

I’m a hypocrite.  I’m lazy.  I just don’t wanna go.

I don’t say these things to condemn myself.  I just need to work on them.

I haven’t gone to church for most of my adult life.  I’ve been wandering in the wilderness.

I don’t have a good reason.

That’s not to say I don’t have any reasons.

I have social anxiety.  Especially around people I don’t consider friends.

I haven’t made any friends at church.  Because of the social anxiety.

I feel ashamed.  I don’t live up to the Church’s standards.  I want to, but it’s hard.

That’s no excuse, though.

I love the feeling I get when I’m at Church (as long as no one’s trying to talk to me).

Sometimes I feel the Spirit so strong.

It moves me to tears.

Every week I think, “I’m going to go to church next Sunday.”

Then Sunday morning comes.

Those of you who struggle with getting to church know what I’m talking about.

Dragging myself out of bed.

Dragging the kids out of bed.

Getting them ready.

Getting me ready.

Etc.

The people who go to church every week have these problems, too.  Well, maybe not all of them.

I want to be more like them.