…is how we are described by the Catholic blogger who writes as “The Anchoress.” I read her pretty much daily. On the whole, she’s usually a refreshing combination of entertainment, spiritual insight, and wisdom. My kinda person, and especially so since I teach from within her tradition.
It’s always interesting to find out how you’re viewed by others. And I don’t mind being “always placid.” If, through this Proposition 8 tempest, one of the labels that sticks to us is “placid,” it won’t be such a bad thing.
In fact, I could go for the placid thing on my tombstone: Here lies Mogget, usually reasonably placid unless you get frisky with the 2nd Amendment or you proof text from the Bible…
The 20th comment on David Clark’s “Mormon Anxieties” post comments that the request to support a “yes” on Proposition 8 was “time sensitive.” After comparing this to President Hinckley’s recent directive to read the BoM before the beginning of the year, this same author writes “we didn’t have the luxury of weeks and months to ‘gain a testimony’ of it.”
There are instances where we must react based without detailed thought. For example, those who use firearms regularly in their line of work rely on decisions made earlier, in more leisurely moments, about how they will react under certain legal conditions and circumstances. But moral-political propositions presented for a vote with an understanding that there is insufficient time to seek genuine spiritual confirmation seem to me to be similar to $700 B bailouts for which we likewise somehow lack the time for public debate. Katy. Bar. The. Door.
Like David, I am not going to open a debate on the Prop. 8 issue. But I am interested in the idea that there might be circumstances in which we should act without spiritual confirmation on some major political or moral decision. This does not seem likely to me, because the LDS lifestyle seems to be full of at least anecdotal evidence of major life changes made on the basis of rather sudden spiritual inspiration. I am, however, open to learning more from those who have given it some thought.
I am Mogget the Exegete and, as I have already exercised due diligence in the Quadrennial Varmint Detection and Selection Exercise, it’s time to prepare for the Day.
First, I’d like to introduce the newest member of my household:
Is she pretty, or what? That’s the SA 1911 EMP. My CC should be coming in soon, too. It’ll make an unusual, if not unique, fashion statement in RS, or it would if anyone were to see it. But we gotta be mindful of what the first “C” is for, eh!
And notice the JHP there on the left. Who would have thought that the single greatest need in my storage might be another 200 rounds of Hydrashock, just in case the 2nd Amendment becomes a casualty of the messianic woes, so to speak?
So anyway, to the point of this post. Have you noticed that gun shops are doing a booming business these days, even as the rest of the economy appears to be shrinking a bit? It’s probably the right time for one of those EBRs before they’re all bought up. What are your suggestions? Should my purchase be adjusted for the results of the Varmit Detection and Selection Exercise? Can you think of an EBR that might really, really, be irritating to any duly selected Varmit? Or hey! How about a suppressor? Heheh. Always wanted one of those…
In 1219 Francis of Assisi traveled to Damietta, Egypt, in order to convert Sultan Malek al-Kamel and avoid the Fifth Crusade. He did not baptize the sultan but he did work out a peace treaty which was later rejected by his fellow Christians. He also spend time in Egypt and in the Holy Land ministering to the needy regardless of creed.
After Francis returned he drew up a Rule for those who were to join him as Franciscans. This document is called the First Rule, or, because it was rejected by Pope Honorious III, the regula non bullata (Rule not ratified by papal bull). According to official reports, the pope rejected Francis’ first effort because it was too austere. The real reason, however, may lie in the way in which his experience among the Muslims was reflected in the First Rule.
And you thought I was going to say something about Mountain Meadows, right?
Nope. I am not feeling serious today.
I sometimes hear folks at church distinguish themselves from other Christians by asserting a difference between the LDS “I know that…” and the non-LDS “I believe that… The former, it is implied, is the stronger and therefore the better faith. At the level of individual intent, I am not sure that such is the case. But the real issue is a bit of a misunderstanding about the effectiveness of faith.
The efficacy of faith does not depend on its fervor, but on the trustworthiness of its object. It is quite possible to believe passionately in something or someone who is less than worthy of this trust. The results of such misplaced confidence can be quite devastating. On the other hand, a minimum of faith reposed in a trustworthy object or person is always rewarded. This, I believe, is one facet of what Alma meant when he insisted that our experiment with the seed must entail a “good” seed. For if the seed is good, then “a particle” of faith is all that is needed.
The first words of his testimony today were “Been sittin’ on my butt at home for the last six months so I thought I ought to at least give up smoking.” He said he hadn’t been at church during that time like he ought to, “prolly because the fish were biting and the ducks were flying.” And finally he allowed as how, after fifteen or so years, he’d started to feel like he was finally good enough to join the rest of us.
Pretty strong stuff, you know?
In recent weeks both TT and Chris have each made controversial posts. By this I mean no criticism, but simply that each has created entries on “hot” issues that invite responses from a wide variety of readers. I could tell from reading the responses that many folks had spent a great deal of time thinking about these issues. All in all, I have really enjoyed those threads.
But alas, I am Mogget the Bible dork and teacher. And the teacher in me also noticed quite a spread in the level of the arguments. I am not talking about who is right or wrong, but a matter of how each writer “sold” his or her ideas. For example, when it comes to time to take account of feelings, those who have experienced something have a natural lead. And in talking about the legal aspects we accord those with the appropriate credentials some respect. These are all issues of credibility.
Some time ago someone made a comment on one of our threads characterizing the LDS notion of revelation as a “hot sensation brought on by emotionally charged media.” In regard to the role of revelation in the conversion experience, the writer also felt “challenged” by the need to explain the revelatory experience to an investigator because he or she had “expected divine communication to be more clear.”
I share the writer’s distaste for the maudlin and sentimental in media, from which I protect myself via the “off” button. The remainder of the critique, however, is less than compelling. The key to the writer’s anxieties and discomfort probably lies within his or her expectations. If I had to guess, I’d say that those expectations were forged almost completely by interaction with the BoM and perhaps the surviving popular accounts of early LDS experiences.
The LDS conversion paradigm, however, is grounded in the NT conversion experience and the NT idea of what is communicated during conversion. Conversion events in the NT are emotional but they do not tail off into emotional incoherence. Instead, these experiences lead to behaviors that form and shape the community into the body of Christ. Missionaries are uniquely qualified for their role in bringing the conversion event to culmination.
Yesterday’s post was on Vatican II as a background to Dei Verbum. Here you will see how the Catholics talk about integrating critical methods with the pastoral mission of the Church. This is a very interesting topic, but I am assured that students at BYU would find this scary and useless (See comment #30) so if you came out of that institution you’ll want to read the rest of this with your eyes closed and the blankets over your head.
Although pretty much all of the documents of Vatican II made extensive use of scripture (the result of the research directed by Divino), the teaching of the Council on scripture is found in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation and called Dei Verbum. This document has six chapters, five of which we’ll cover today.