Friday, January 07, 2011

A post-mission post

A letter to a dear friend

I'm glad you liked the essay I sent. I really liked the "thus we see" part, it has informed my scripture reading. As I read it again with my mission with fresh eyes I notice some parts.

(note: I may not be able to properly express myself in the following sentences)

Pres. Eyring's point, that even if honest seekers meet together it will often increase doubts because they will encounter new ones, strikes me as prescient.

I think -- and it might be too early to tell -- after my mission I'm kind of in a new place with regard to doubt, intellectualism, Dialogue, the bloggernacle, etc. It's really not that important to me anymore, at least the skeptical questioning part. I might still see "as in a glass darkly," but I know my Father more deeply than I did before.

But I have not yet developed the patience and experience to be someone like, well, you. Or President Eyring. You -- and here I presume, I can't read your mind -- go with love for the Lord and your fellowmen, not to collect doubts but to serve others by building their faith in the Lord whom you love. And you have the tools to do it.

I will join you at some point, I believe -- but it will take a lot more experience first. I have the desire but lack the tools.

Ultimately the Dialogue/bloggernacle is commentary, and I'm pretty much commented out right now. I read the Dialogue issue with our pieces in it -- I loved the first article, describing Godel's incompleteness theorem and the limits of the knowable. And of course the parts about both of us. (My essay is here. - SB) Other than that I lacked interest in it.

Not because it was uninteresting, at all, but because now that I've finished my mission I see so many other things that are so interesting.

I see the importance of shaping personal goals -- I've spent a lot of time on that. I see the importance of finding an eternal companion. I am in a completely familiar culture, but I now see it in a completely different way.

The gospel is more real to me. I am more committed than I was two years ago. I see a moral current in the day-to-day events far more than before -- and feel a far stronger love for my brothers and sisters walking around campus. Yet I still need to figure out my new role, unique and "peculiar" as I am among them. (Looks like I'm going to have a newspaper column in the student newspaper, so Stanford should get ready for my trenchant critiques. Ha.)

I see so many amazing things in the world that I want to learn about. I see the complexity of God's "secular" creations again and am newly amazed by it all.

Right now, I need to go apply the principles of my mission in my own life; smile, laugh, listen, go magnify a calling and date some girls and pursue my goals and live a Stanford life again. Maybe if I get a chance, I can lift some doubters around here.

I'll be back in the Dialogue circles in a few months or a year or two. I don't know. I need to live my own life a bit and experience life in all of its amazing complexity and beauty. Then I'll feel somewhat qualified to comment in Latter-day Saint dialogue on Life in the abstract, universal sense, again.

Anyway, I'm not sure if I was writing this to you or myself, but I'm happy I got the preceding narrative down on paper.

Your fellowservant,