A few months ago the Mormon world became aflutter over the re-release of the book, “Letters to a Young Mormon.” I ordered my copy and it made me totally rethink my faith, how I approach it, and how I share it.
Basically, the author split up major topics of faith (like prayer, salvation, and heaven) and explained his own beliefs about them to his children/teenage self. It wasn’t about what official teaching is (although that’s there), but really about what HE, as an individual, believes and how he got there. It’s really an incredible revelation and something I would genuinely love to read from all of my loved ones to get to know them better.
What an incredible gift to get the answers to–what, exactly, do you think/believe and how did you get there??
That may sound like an easy letter to write, but it’s complex and intricate, emotional and deeply revealing.
I started to really think about this. I mean really spend time mentally writing myself a letter about what I believe and why as a 34 year old mom. This isn’t what is orthodox or technically correct, but where I truly stand after a lifetime of interactions, disappointments, poetry, books, travel, study, etc.
I quickly had to stop, though, because I realized how many assumptions this kind of exercise entails (especially as a Christian). So I had to step waaaaaay back and ask myself some fundamentals. Here’s a list of some questions I’m wrestling with:
◦ How do you feel about this quote from W.E.B. Du Bois: “If by being a ‘believer in God,’ you mean a belief in a person of vast power who consciously rules the universe for the (human) kind, I answer No; I cannot disprove this assumption, but certainly see no proof to sustain such a belief, neither in History nor my own personal experience.
If on the other hand you mean by ‘God’ a vague Force which, in some incomprehensible way, dominates all life and change, then I answer, Yes, I recognize such a force, and if you wish to call it God, I do not object.”
◦ Is there a supreme being in the universe?
◦ Is this being omnipresent? Omniscient?
◦ Do supernatural beings and forces exist (even if there is a Supreme Being, or not)?
◦ Have you ever had an interaction with something not of this world?
◦ What happens when we die?
◦ Does Karma or eventual justice exist?
◦ Do other gods exist even if there’s a supreme being?
◦ What do you think about pre-destiny? Is some being behind it?
◦ Do individuals (some or all) have supernatural powers (dormant or otherwise)?
◦ How was the world created? Do you care?
◦ Why are you here?
◦ Do people reincarnate?
◦ Is the supreme being interactive with humanity?
◦ Do you believe the supreme being talks to you? Is it obvious or do you feel like it’s a code you need to unlock to hear/see/feel/understand?
I invite you to read “Letters to a Young Mormon” for inspiration.
I invite you to write these letters for yourself. Wrestle with exactly what you believe and why.
I invite you to share what you discover with loved ones. With yourself. With me, if you want a safe sounding board.
I invite us all to take the luxury, and yet necessity, of time to think, question, push, and discover who we are at this moment. This isn’t a binding contract. This isn’t how you will feel in a year, 5 years, 25 years…it is who you are now.
I can’t wait to meet me. I hope you feel the same way about you.