Monday, April 15, 2013


Dear #,

I had a thought today, and for some inexplicable reason I feel I ought to be sharing. This idea may be heretical, or it may be so obvious that those more spiritual than I am will just laugh at my simplistic epiphany.

Either way is fine, because it feels important.

There are too few things we actually Know about God. Revelation and scripture are notoriously silent about Him and Her. Philosophic ponderings are laughably vulnerable to Atheistic arguments which the best Theodicy can't defeat. The sheer Faith of the non-Mormon Christian community is astounding, or maybe my personal testimony just finds modern testimony to be less opaque.

We do know some things, though. We know He couldn't bear to watch his foolish children execute his fIrstborn son. We know they are our Father and Mother, and love us deeply. And we know They are responsible for the creation of our planet.

This isn't much to go on, but I think if we're using our Heavenly Parents as an example, the single greatest thing we could do to Follow them is to Create. Simple physical creations are good. Christ's birth father was a carpenter, after all, and we see other great stories of physical construction, like Noah. Biological creation (Babies!) is good too, as long as you take care of and love your creation.

But the greatest followers created something entirely... Different. Moses created a People. Joshua forged them into a Nation. Solomon created a vast repository of wisdom. Even the Great Heretic himself forged a church. Joseph Smith created a people as well, and Brigham created a Home for them. Hinckley created temples, and Monson is creating a Missionary Army.

We are tasked with building a community, a church, a nation, Zion. Are we failing?


  1. I actually made a comment in Sunday School about this. The topic was on 'gathering' the teacher made a comment about the difference from Utah and Mission field. I had to comment that in mission field, the wards and stakes were 'family'. They supported eachother and relied on eachother for more than just spiritual matters (it was the church that brought them together, but they kept themselves together). Compared to Utah. In Utah, many are raised in the Church, but also in the 'Mormon Culture' and many fall away due to that culture vs. gospel and gain animosity towards the church due to that. Especially in Utah, you have 70% of youth that do not stay with the church. The majority of this is you don't have that community base. The change in the youth program is one way to help that, get the youth involved in the church(community) by giving them responsibilities. It also helps get the adults more involved with the youth, rather than thinking they are non-entities until they finish mission/get married/other event.
    The next step to me is to also work on family wards. Newly married, the biggest complaint I have and hear from other newly married/aged out is that the 'single' wards were more family-like than the family wards. There aren't as many activities, and most of the interactions between adults are due to ward callings. In the singles ward we had dinner nights, we used the ward communication methods (social media/websites, etc) to announce parties, outings, clubs, opportunities. A common excuse may be time, but you have a family ward, have the youth baby sit (and let them socialize) while parents do an activity (dinner, games, dance, etc)
    In my mission field family ward, groups of parents would have those parties and dinner nights. They would invite other families for Thanksgiving and other holidays. One major reason is that they were away from their extended family and made the ward into the adopted family. If your family is next door, like most cases in Utah, you don't have that reason anymore. As it is, when we've invited other families in the ward for dinner or what not, they act like it was a new concept. My brother (soon on mission) gave a talk/testimony about family wards actually being a family, and it SHOCKED that ward, and got many compliments afterwards of that 'revelation.' I won't say we're failing, but we have a lot of work to do.

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  3. In the land of things that would be rather heretical, I would suggest that "invention" even more than creation, is the thing that would be our purpose. If God wants toast, he makes toast happen. Man wants toast, we gotta tame electricity, invent the toaster, learn to make bread, etc. God in scripture never made or used tools (except the Liahona, which was totally weird for him), he just willed things into being. This was actually pointed out to me by a rabbi... it is Man who looks at what is before him/her and uses that to make something new, different, that wasn't there before.

    My two cents :) -Brittany

  4. I don't see creation quite that way. I think God took existing matter and rearranged it. Maybe he pulled it from outer space or wherever. But why would he not follow the same laws he expects from us?

    Also, the Liahona is not so outstandingly weird...Aaron and Moses had a rod, there was the battle where Moses had to keep his arms up, God put Adam and Eve in a garden...just for a few examples off the top of my head.

    And what is creation but taking ideas and matter and combining them to make something new and wonderful. A poem, a story, a picture, a computer...

  5. The last comment was in reply to Brittany. As for your original theory: if we are not building a strong family, ward, church, nation, Zion...are we doing our parts? There's only one Moses or JS or Monson at a time, but the members must be willing to pull their weight or nothing is built. The Salt Lake Temple was not built by one man. A strong ward does not come about by one strong bishop.

    As Activity Days leaders we are doing a lot of creating, both of projects and of youth, and it takes the efforts of hundreds of thousands, even millions, of us, one or two at a time, to make a difference.