I don’t worry about such things going to your head, or really anything about you. If I were in your place the only concern I would have would be maintaining my intellectual integrity. I guess that’s the soul of the artist, what little there is of it in me. The whole subject of draping your personal belief on the gospel has been a real bugaboo with me of late. I’m constantly reminded of the various tales of the counsel in heaven, how that has been co-opted to argue against communism, socialism, health care.
Recently, and you made a comment on this about rape, chastity, and virtue, but the thing is that Moroni 9:9 wasn't meant as a comment about sin. The Lamanite young women were not sinful, but the Nephite men robbed them in a very real way of something they can never get back - [their innocence]. Even with the healing of the Atonement and feeling perfectly clean, victims of such things go through the rest of their lives changed. I’m not saying that the object lessons we teach about the atonement, with the nail leaving a hole, or other craziness are true, they aren’t. But still in this life we live with the burden of things taken, the result of our own sins or others.
I was thinking of the kind of man who abandons his family for another "interest." Even if he comes back, is perfectly clean, accepted, and the family forgives the act, there is still some of the consequences of the act to play out. Only in the next life can we fully recover, which is the way it’s supposed to be, after all, the effects of the atonement even if you haven’t sinned, aren't in full effect until you die and are resurrected and judged. They play out through eternity. The Atonement reaches into the past and projects itself into the future.
That’s why object lessons are generally of limited value. Even the parables break down at some level being meant to illustrate only a few things. It's like a map designed to be used at a specific scale. Zoom out too far and the details you need to see get mixed up in a blur of extraneous information, too close and the information you need is unrecognizable -too little information for your needs is shown. The current map isn't sufficient you need a different map. All three maps at the same time, given a better cartographer than I am, are perfectly, well, at least reasonably, true. The trick in teaching and understanding the gospel as in making a map, is assessing what scale is adequate to meet the current need.
“All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it.” D&C 93:30
Just thinking, there is no such thing as an idea that is “iron-clad protected”, well, no such thing as a political idea that is, and there are very few scientific ideas that are. Even our scientific ideas break down at some level (the mapping analogy again), as of yet there is no theory of everything, reconciling quantum mechanics and general relativity. Well, even in the gospel, which is the problem I have with my liberal and conservative friends.
I believe there is a God, I have a few ideas of his characteristic and attributes. I make covenants in the Temple which help me through the Priesthood to take on those attributes. I believe He had a Son, who reconciles me to the God, closes the gaps. I believe that through the atonement (the gap closing) of Christ, and keeping my covenants, I can one day “know Him” because I’m at least enough like Him to recognize the similarities. Someday, I believe that my Father and I will perhaps embrace and then see face to face. Everything else is a great mystery to me. It’s not that I can’t think about it, but I have no illusions that I’m absolutely correct.
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