This post is for all of you that love to read LDS blogs, or that are fascinated by LDS blogs, or that are secretly disturbed by LDS blogs.
When I was in college I took a Spanish intensive course. Part of this involved living in the Foreign Language House, an apartment complex devoted to helping students get a taste of language immersion. While in the apartment we would eat, socialize and interact completely in Spanish. When we left the apartment, say, to go grocery shopping or to work, we could speak English, but as soon as we entered our apartment we were back to Spanish.
A native Spanish speaker lived with us, to help us keep the rules. As long as she was around we ate, talked, sang, read and prayed in Spanish. It was intense. Every day I could literally feel my brain expanding, and it hurt.
Our native speaker was kind and encouraging. And when she wasn’t at home we did our best to always speak Spanish. But sometimes, in her absence, we would slip back into our Spanglish, or, even worse, we would start creating a whole new language altogether.
“Por favor, pass-a-me el salto. Gracias.”
It was faster to speak that way, especially when we became better friends and had more we wanted to say to each other. Often we tolerated each other’s mistakes without correcting each other because we knew what our roommate meant to say. Plus, it was hilarious, and our feeble attempts at fluency would often leave us rolling on the carpeta (real word: alfombra).
But then the native speaker would return home, and we dutifully went back to speaking proper,
Now, back to LDS blogs (and blogs in general).
There are a lot of great blogs out there. They are interesting, colorful, easy-to-absorb, witty and intimidating. And they are written by people. People who have opinions and flaws and who are still in the process of building their testimonies (a process which lasts forever).
So sometimes they post or write things that make us feel uncomfortable and we think, “This person is a Mormon. Why are they writing/posting/sharing this or that? Oh my heck. The church must not be true.”
And then we lay awake at night, thinking about it.
Okay, well maybe you don’t. But sometimes I do.*
And that is when I have to remind myself about this prophet who had a dream. He dreamed about a misty land with an iron rod running along the landscape towards a magnificent tree that bore fruit that, when eaten, brought unspeakable joy. He knew that if he held on to that rod as he walked everything was going to be okay and it would lead him to the tree, and that it would bring great happiness to him and his family.
In the interpretation, the tree is the love of God, or more specifically, Christ. The fruit is the atonement. The rod that helps us get there is the word of God, or, in other words, the scriptures and the prophets. The rod is like the native Spanish speaker. All of the other stuff we read–facebook posts, videos, blog articles–these are people who are trying to learn Spanish. They are working through it. Sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they get it wrong. Sometimes they are just speaking craziness and are making up their own languages and calling it Spanish.
I just wanted to remind myself (and anyone else who might be listening) that it is easy to get confused, and that when we want to know the real truth the best place to look is in the scriptures. It is not as easy, it doesn’t have as many pictures and it is not as witty, and sometimes studying it makes your brain hurt. But that is just because it is expanding.
Some things are True. Everything else is just someone’s opinion.
Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. D&C 19:23
* Let me clarify. I do not doubt my testimony, the truthfulness of the gospel or the church, but it troubles me deeply when I read things written by members who seem to be actively spreading doubt rather than building faith.