Thursday, August 5, 2010
Religion Classes in the Summer Part 2
Got to my Doctrine and Covenants class today, which was all fun and dandy. Had a quiz, 5 questions, didn't know the answer to one question and I got a third of the points wrong ... in the words of one enjoyably creepy and philosophical bounty hunter, "Does that seem fair to you?"
My teacher in that class, Mr. Chingchang we'll call him, is a sweet guy. He's completely indoctrinated in the church, talks about food storage, and goes off on tangents about all the amazingly ridiculous things that will happen at the second coming, but I love the guy, he's great. For one, he tells us every single question that will be on his exams. He also tries to polite to people of other faiths. Though, like Mr. Stiggley, he is not very accepting of non-believers and atheists and has commented on our evil nature. I think the universal perceptive Mormons have for atheists speaks of the dogmatism within the church.
So my classes have tons of exams and I still have one more to do before finals. I decided to leave his class half an hour early to get out of there, and to study some extra for the exams I have. But then right at the moment I was about to leave he started going on about a Brigham Young quote, always enjoyable. It was about not agreeing with something. Brigham Young, when faced with DC 76 that talks about the three degrees of glory and how hell is not a permanent place (aka, Plan of Salvation) didn't accept it right away, and wrote his feelings down. But the message was this:
'When faced with something new, don't reject it even if you don't understand it or agree with it. Think and pray and wait until you get the correct answer.' This reminded me of a talk I had with some elders in my ward. They asked me to read my scriptures and pray and wait till I got my answer, even if it took a month. Then I told them that the whole notion is silly. How am I suppose to get any answer EXCEPT a positive answer? The whole process only leads to getting a 'yes this is true' answer, through feeling good at the right time. I watch a funny movie, read my scriptures, still high on endorphins, I pray and feel good. Must be true! In this way there is no room for a negative answer, God won't say "I do not exist." And no answer just means you need to keep going. It feeds off itself.
But, back to class, what really kept me was right after this Mr. Chingchang asked, "what are some issues in the church that people do not always agree with?"
OOOOOO, exciting. Students start shouting out 'blacks and the priesthood, prop 8, gays (most don't even know what LGBT stands for), women and the priesthood, women giving blessings in church history, feminism (which is always said tongue-in-cheek as if feminism is so ridiculous Mormons wonder why it even exists), rated AARRRR movies, food storage, patriarchal society, and finally plural marriage. Sadly we didn't really talk about these, we just brought them up, but I listed them and wrote my thoughts next to them, and the girl next to tensed up when I caught her reading them.
Which brings me to another things Mormons do with church history. Plural marriage, polygamy, and it wasn't just multiple wives, some women got married to more than one man, but I only know of Joseph Smith doing this. But whenever the topic is brought up with Brigham Young the professor or some random guy, never a girl, brings up how Brigham Young didn't like polygamy. This was brought up after we read his comments on dc 76, how B.Y. didn't want to be polygamous. He didn't like the idea, I think he said he would rather die.
Okay, Brigham Young said he would rather die? So when having more than one wive he was like, ''nnoooooo, kill me!" but after having 20 wives he was like, "oh, i want 20 more!" Sure, it is possible, but seriously, we're supposed to be like, 'oh poor B.Y.' when he was first asked? I say, "oh, poor B.Y." when he had over 40 wives, cause I know that all the women were not happy.
And then second, what are we supposed to gain from them saying this? Oh, B.Y. didn't really want to, he was the type of guy that didn't want several sleeping buddies, he was a decent guy that thought one wife was good. Or, are we supposed to say B.Y. doubted God and the prophet and that was a good thing? That he thought polygamy was crazy and didn't want to be a part of it, but eventually did and got even more wives than his old buddy Joseph Smith? Maybe this one, "Brigham was a good guy cause when he first heard this he said no." Maybe that's what we are supposed to take from this.
PHEW, that's it for now. Whenever I start posting lots of ideas come to mind and once I get going I forget half of what I was going to say.