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Friend, Do you measure land with a barometer? Can you understand The law of gravity By testing The freezing point of mud At its greatest density? There is no God By knowledge's rules? Friend, Examine your tools. To discover God You must form your plan To the nature Of God Not the nature of man. The only key Is that forgotten faculty That pulses through you Now and then Eluding the hand And startling the mind. Spirit, it's called. Friend, You will not find God through mistaken tools. Who weighs a stone with a measuring tape? Fools. --- Carol Lynn Pearson

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator God is our loving Father in Heaven. As a Father He knows each of us individually. He wants to be involved in our lives on a daily basis and asks that we approach Him in prayer. He loves us so much He sent His only Begotten Son to atone for our sins and overcome death. This act of love by the Father and the Son makes it possible for us to enjoy eternal life with our Father, His Son and our families! I know I can turn to my Father anytime and He will hear my cries and direct my path in life. His work and his glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator God is the Father of our spirits. We lived with Him before we were born. He created a plan that would allow us to gain a body and experience mortal life with our spirits and bodies united. Birth and death are essential to our progression. God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to overcome sin and death and unlock the door to eternal life for all God's children. If we use our time wisely in this life and devote ourselves to serving the Lord and our fellowman, and raising our families in righteousness we can enjoy true happiness in this life and a fulness of joy in the world to come. Agency is essential to our progression. Unfortunately, agency carries with it inherent risk. God honors our agency and allows us to choose for ourselves. Some may ask why God allows terrible things to happen; much of it has to do with agency. If the Lord were to take away the harmful effects of agency He would have to remove agency itself - destroying the major purpose of our life on earth.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That's a tough one. I'm not sure I can nail it down to one moment. There have been thousands of moments throughout my life that have confirmed my belief for me. I suppose the first time came when I prayed to know for myself if the things my mother had taught me from my youth were true.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I honestly can't think of a moment I have seriously doubted my faith since I received a witness of it's truth. I doubt myself from time to time and I wonder about things I do not have the answers to, but I always seem to back up to the wall of faith and that sees me through.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Everything to me! It is the foundation for all the decisions my wife and I make with our marriage, our children, our goals, etc. I try each day to spend legitimate time examining my spiritual life through prayer, scripture study and pondering. I'm not a live-in-the-mountains-stay-away-from-society religious recluse or anything; I am just an honest, mainstream American who is trying his best to thank God, through my life, for all that He has done for me and my family.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That we are not Christian or that we have plural wives. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Christian. Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and the Savior of the world. Nothing matters without Him! I have one wife as does every other married man in my faith. None of us practices polygamy! In fact, if a member of our faith is found practicing such things in any form he or she is excommunicated. In addition, Mormons are not Amish or Mennonite. We are mainstream Americans. Our children attend public schools, we wear modern clothing, have electricity, drive cars, listen to our iPods, watch TV, live in regular neighborhoods, etc.
http://www.mormon.org/people/find/
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The Savior Himself! I strive to pattern my life after Him. I will NEVER come close to His perfection. But I believe true worship is emulation.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That families can be together forever through the atonement of Christ. I love my wife and our children with all my heart. It would not be heaven to me without them there. In addition, we believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that He continues to speak to man through living prophets, just as He did anciently. I love knowing the Lord cares about us now just as much as He did anciently. Only the Lord gets to decide when He is done speaking to us, so we continue to seek Him not just through the word of scripture but from the voice of the Spirit of God and through His living prophets.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator God was somewhat distant and vengeful. He played a limited role in my life and the life of my family.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Difficult and wonderful! I did not just blindly accept the faith of my mother. Turning my heart and mind to the Lord was very uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful. However, few things in life that are worth it are easy. This was something I had to choose for myself and come to learn for myself, not just accept because it was taught to me. Obviously my progression continues daily, incrementally and sometimes at a snail's pace, but once I put my "hand to the plow", as it were, over 20 years ago I have never looked back. I have so far to go still, but it has been and continues to be the best thing I've ever done.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A Mormon...on and off -- if that makes any sense.
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My parents are divorced. They divorced when I was young (about 8). My mother is a faithful member of our Church. My father is neither Mormon nor Christian. His beliefs are vastly different from my own. I respect his beliefs...his faith means a lot to he and his wife. He was raised Presbyterian, but never seemed to find what he was looking for in that faith. He just recently (within the last 5-10 years) turned to his faith. I am happy that he seems fulfilled.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Having children bolstered my faith. It made me realize what a privilege and responsibility my wife and I have to help these children return to God. They were His children before they were ours -- that fact makes us very responsible TO my children, not FOR them, to teach them all that we can in hopes that they will use their agency to be responsible citizens, adults and someday, hopefully, parents themselves.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I practice my faith daily. My family and I attend church services in our hometown each Sunday, but my faith is not a cloak I can take on and off depending on the circumstances. I pray and try to study the scriptures for a few minutes each day. In addition, my wife and I try to attend a Mormon temple monthly to remind ourselves of the promises we made there when we were married for eternity.
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Our oldest is only 14. At this point we only practice one religion. We hope that our children will choose to remain faithful to the faith of their parents.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Life is tough...but living my faith makes it easier. Am I tempted sometimes to choose other paths? Of course. But the benefits of remaining faithful far out way the gratification of whatever fleeting thing passes before my view. It is not always easy to be a practicing Mormon. Sometimes, mostly because of misconceptions, you face a little persecution, and sometimes all that is expected of a disciple of the Savior can be a little overwhelming, but the reward always surpasses the cost.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator We have some paintings of the Savior in our home, but we don't have a certain place or item that we use to enhance our worship. I suppose the thing that best represents our faith in our home is our scriptures. We use them daily and try to abide by their precepts.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator The books that represent my faith are the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible. These books testify of the life and mission of Jesus Christ and serve as evidence to me that God loves us and continues to speak to us today.
http://www.mormon.org/book-of-mormon/

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I don't think America should be a theocracy, but I do believe the pendulum has swung way too far to one side. Religion in the public square has become almost taboo. The Bill of Rights promises that politics or policy cannot dictate our worship practices, but that does not mean that a politician or local, state or even federal branch of government can't encourage public worship. It is one thing to grant us freedom of religion, it is quite another to then not let us ever practice or profess any of it publicly.
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Again the pendulum has swung way too far to the other side. I have no problem with a religion class -- intended to inform not convert -- being taught in public schools. If my children can be taught about the theory of evolution or the importance of birth control certainly they should be allowed to hear and be informed of other alternative views. What are we afraid of...that somewhat might accept the alternative and, heaven forbid, abstain from premarital sex or exercise faith in a Creator? Worse things could happen.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Of course they should, how many textbooks are still being printed after hundreds of years? If these books are not considered literary treasures I don't know what would be. 1 person liked this
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is essential! Any faith that encourages goodness and responsibility should be anxious and eager to join forces with other faiths in an effort to improve conditions in our world. A lack of dialogue leads to ignorance, which in turn leads to prejudice -- never good!
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Absolutely I do! I do not consider myself the type of person who wanders street corners to find someone to "convert". I basically just quietly go about my business and hope and pray for opportunities to discuss, where and when appropriate, my beliefs and how they have brought happiness and assurance to my family and me.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A religion that does not require the sacrifice of its constituents cannot produce the faith necessary for salvation. I firmly believe that. If I simply have a system of "doctrines" or "principles" stuck in my head without any application of those beliefs then what good is my religion to me, and what good am I to anyone else? Those actions include complete fidelity to my wife, an obligation to protect, and provide for my children, honesty with my fellowman, regular attendance in our worship services, personal, private religious behaviors with my family and myself such as prayer, scripture study, fasting for 24 hours once a month, regular donations of time and money to charitable causes, etc.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I suppose that depends on what is at stake. I don't think a religion should tell its members how to vote, but I do believe religion has a right and an obligation to uphold moral and honest laws and individuals in our country. A country is only as strong as its individual citizens and strength comes from moral courage and moral behaviors. When morality is threatened in a society a religion and its members has every right to defend that morality. Some say morality is relative. I disagree, some things are right and some things are wrong, regardless of whether they are accepted by everyone or no one. Making or changing a law does not make something suddenly morally acceptable no more than creating a law against gravity suddenly changes that fact.
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I am ashamed to admit 9/11 made me nervous about Islam. I know little about their practices and beliefs. Coming from a religion that has faced its fair share of misrepresentations and persecution I should be much more understanding. As a result, I have studied more about all other religions. I don't feel less comfortable sharing my beliefs, why would I?

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Published October 11, 2010

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