This is turning out to be more of a “testimony” blog than I expected so far, but being LDS is a big part of my life and it’s the lens through which I see a lot of things. I guess it fits if I’m going for a little more personal flare with this blog. 🙂
Something that’s really important to the LDS faith is our modern-day temples. When I was still working on my undergrad at Brigham Young University, I was taking an Old Testament class, and one day we discussed a provision in the Law of Moses specifying a certain amount of time that had to pass upon touching a dead body before one was “clean” to enter the temple in ancient times. Well, as it happened, I was taking a human anatomy class the same semester. Just for the heck of it, I went to the cadaver lab, handled a dead body, and went to do baptisms for the dead at the temple the same day just because I could (and the ancient Israelites couldn’t). This turned out to be a deeply meaningful experience for me.
Being a scientist, I like to ask questions. Being religious and an active Mormon, I also like to think of God as a God of questions–someone whom I can question about anything and hope for a real answer (though not always immediately or in ways I might expect). While I didn’t feel like I really learned why God’s standard for the ancient Israelites was so different than for me, in my act of questioning, in a manner of speaking, why things were so different I came to ponder my role in what I believe is the Restored Gospel in the Latter Days; gained greater appreciation for the wonder and sanctity of the human body; and gained greater appreciation for the wisdom of ages I have available to me in approaching death and dead bodies with respectful curiosity and an attitude of learning rather than fear and disgust.
The point I want to get to is that I think it’s healthy to have questions and normal to face moments where fundamental things we think we know seem to turn upside down and we have to adjust our perspectives. I like to think that my “testimony” or belief in God and the LDS Church is strengthened most when something about my beliefs (or my perspective of my beliefs) is genuinely challenged and I seek to understand better how things fit together or what to do with things that just don’t seem to fit for me.
So, as you’re writing…ask questions–real questions–and I guarantee that your story will be much more effective, flow organically, and feel genuine in getting your point across than a story set up as a preachy lecture. Sometimes exploring a question might even change or deepen your own perspective. 🙂