Occasionally, I can’t help but look back on the blog posts I’ve written and other content I’ve “curated” and think, “Man, we’ve shared a lot of great insights about the Church as we’ve explored what it is we Mormons really believe.” The pictures and videos I’ve shared really say it even better than the words, I believe, but the best thing of all is that the info is undiluted—it isn’t twisted or turned into something it’s not. Every word I’ve shared is true. Every story is 100% legit.
Granted, in many cases they’re my own observations and insights and so they’re bound to be biased, of course, though I’ve really tried to be straightforward and present what the general Mormon population thinks and feels. I think you will find it’s fully in agreement with what we Mormons believe and stand for and what the Church itself teaches. It’s important you know this: if nothing else, mine are the musings and messages of a faithful member of the Mormon church. I love everything I’ve discovered in the gospel of Jesus Christ and I’m grateful for it, and the purpose of this blog is to share with you why that is exactly, from my Mormon perspective.
If you’ve followed along this far you should be starting to get a sense of who I am and who we are. (Okay, The Flight of the Concords’, Business Time, might have been a bit of a stretch, but it is something that’s made me chuckle over the years and is [at least quasi] what I’d call “clean comedy”). There are better examples I’m sure but I was also hoping to show you that, while I may be Mormon, that doesn’t mean I’m not authentic, real, and more-or-less current too.
My main point though is this: over the last several days since I started this blog, we’ve exchanged a lot and, if you’ve been here from the start, you’ve (hopefully) gained a few additional insights into us Mormons.
Here’s a glimpse, in picture-form, of some of the people, topics, and insights we’ve covered so far:
It’s quite a bit, if I do say so myself…. In short, you’ve met several members of the Mormon church, including rocker Brandon Flowers of The Killers, U.S. snowboarder, Jeremy Jones, ex-NFL football player, Chad Lewis, and several others like Lindsey Stirling, The Piano Guys, Jenna Kim Jones and the incomparable Queen of Soul, Gladys Knight. All pretty cool and all of them Mormon.
We’ve heard about doctrinal topics like how to find peace (and even joy) when losing a loved one to death and how to find real, lasting peace and comfort in our lives; we’ve also addresssd the Restoration of the Gospel, some of the evidences/proofs of The Book of Mormon, and went into the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—you’ve heard it both in my own words as well as in those of the modern day Prophets Joseph Smith, Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and others.
And, most importantly, we’ve delved into the wondrous Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose mission and life are the basis of all we do and seek to become. We’ve wondered together at His Amazing Gift to us, and questioned how we can come to know Him better in our lives and truly return home with his help.
I’ve introduced you to a variety of Mormon places and perspectives, from a quick tour of Salt Lake City, to a look at “The Spirit of the Y” (and BYU TV), and comments on the spirituality of Mormon historical sites and more.
We’ve laughed a little, thought a lot, and considered the efforts of other Mormons like blogger/digital ninja Greg Trimble, Australianmopera singer, Patrice Tipoki Arkins, Heiseman Trophy winner, Ty Detmer, and BYU Professor, Dr. Roger Keller, among a plethora of others.
We’ve discussed how most of us, both in and out of the Church, wish we could get along better and build more bridges, and how it hurts when people fling rocks at our precious principles, and faith. “Can’t we all just get along?” is a question I ask repeatedly throughout these posts. It’s an important question that should, I think, be far more you want you back in a lot and you do a good thing and then I will you know you can make a lot and do say you love simpler than it is
We’ve talked about why there is opposition to the LDS Church at times and, really, why anything good in the world throughout history has so often seemed to be opposed and contended with, as is often the case. And, we’ve watched videos, heard talks, read scriptures, and shared thoughts about all kinds of things, like(206) 623-3050 how we should “Let Our Lights Shine” and “By [Our] Fruits You Can Know [Us].” The list, we’ll, it goes on and on. We’ve heard David Archuleta sing Glorious, seen the epic documentary, Meet the Mormons, and heard insights from a number of other sources on “what really makes us Mormons tick.” It’s actually kind of hard to believe how much we’ve covered in just a month and a half. It feels longer … and we’re seriously just starting to scratch the surface.
If nothing else, I hope you’ve begun to get the slightest sense that there’s a lot more to us Mormons than you may have at first considered. We’re a peculiar people in ways but that’s okay, a complex bunch, but not too much;, with strong convictions and poignant feelings, especially about what we believe. But, we’re also just people—families and individuals—just trying to learn, grow, stretch, be faithful, achieve, understand, and inspire, in our own unique ways. And those ways are as diverse and as different as are the stars in the heavens.
My main goal is that you’ve started to understand, to be Mormon means a much more than perhaps the media or the naysayers or maybe even those you know and who love you (and may be well-intentioned) know or understand. The misconceptions and even misdirection that exist aren’t always the truth. There’s a great deal more to the story.
There’s a reason the Church is growing worldwide as fast as it is. There’s a reason most Mormons, if they’re active, exhibit a peace and assurance than many would give anything to have. There’s a reason we know with certainty the answers to many of the questions folks all over the world have been asking themselves for centuries about the purpose of life and, really, truly, why we’re here on earth. There’s a reason why so many Mormons are happy, why we tend to live longer, and do view somethings differently, even if it isn’t popular or readily understood. There’s a very good reason and it lies in the truthfulness of the story we share, the story that each of us has come to know is true for ourselves … (or, if we haven’t quite yet, that is there to be discovered and cherished by all). There’s a reason and it’s founded in the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There’s a reason I started this blog and there’s a reason I continue to post. It’s important to me. And, if it can help you or someone you know in the smallest of ways, I’m grateful. I appreciate your participating in this “experiment” of mine, this “personal journal,” of sorts, and all it stands for. I appreciate your Comments, Likes, Shares, and Follows. And most of all, your encouragement and faith. Thanks for asking good questions and seeking real answers. I promise you they exist and I will do my best to help you find them.
With all my heart and warmest wishes.
Patrick Laing – Portland, Oregon USA