Before every journey is a prior journey. We start a little way back — not the first fork, and certainly not the last….
Pedal and pray.
During the summer of 2014 I was a couple of thousand vertical feet up the mountain and still climbing, though the rate of ascent was less arduous. Getting away from all things man-made clears my head, my heart, and my soul. It is where personal inspiration flourishes. On this particular day the words, “the church is true, but not all of it” broke into my consciousness.
One naturally attempts to connect such things to the reality they know. “Well of course, we teach that we believe the Bible to be true to the extent that it is translated correctly. We know that Nephi, Mormon and Moroni all wrote of the potential of errors and faults in their record. Joseph frequently talked of his own frailty.” Such were my initial thoughts.
With 20/20 hindsight, that response seems sophomoric, at best.
That simple and powerful idea sliced through our paradigm of gospel, church, leadership, keys, culture and testimony like a two-edged sword through a wisp of smoke. It has changed our entire life view. It is a complex DNA wrapped in a small seed that is growing into a large… well, we don’t know yet, but it seems big!
For many decades we believed that truth came within the church as a package deal: the church was perfectly aligned with Christ, the Father, and the Holy Ghost. You could safely extrapolate from a testimony of a single truth to the truth of the whole. It was very empowering, very efficient, and very comforting. It was also very, very, very wrong. The powerfully addictive nature of that reasoning may have to do in part with the ease with which one abdicates responsibility and alienates themselves from everything important: God.
We weren’t the first people, and we certainly won’t be the last to figure out that without some degree of ambiguity, some degree of conflict, we would have no reason to approach God. Consequently, we would be incapable of developing a personal relationship with members of the Godhead. Dissonance is a key motivator of spiritual growth.