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lemongrass noodles, Ephesians 2, and the cloud of the impossible

12 Dec

1.

Last week I met a friend for dinner. Our conversation was lovely and lively and deep, as it always is. At some point we landed on the topic of faith versus works and the very specific set of works in Mormonism that comprise the ordinances of salvation. Having just read Ephesians 2, I pulled out my phone to quote from it. I read verses 8, 9, and 10 across our noodles:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

I talked about Christ creating us unto good works and about those works being emblematic of our walk of faith in Christ. Incidentally, one of the waiters approached the table and said he had worked there for two months and had never heard anyone quote Ephesians 2 (he could possibly work there many more months and never hear it quoted) and that it was awesome and that that was all. A few minutes later he walked by again and said, “It is a walk of faith. People don’t know that. People in churches.” I wanted to ask him if he was a Christian, but the opportunity passed too quickly. It was a moment of witnessing together that was special, and I am glad I could be a part of it. Continue reading

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Fallen and Renewed

7 Jun

I wrote this in February, posted it, and took it down. It was infinitely too personal at the time. Somehow, it isn’t anymore. I can accept God’s will for me and the closeness with God to which I am being called.

Turmoil perhaps best describes the state of mind I am in. Some days I feel as though my head is screwed on upside down or oblique to my spine. I gratefully took refuge at home after a traumatic two and a half years that challenged some of my core beliefs (albeit quirky ones; I won’t regale you with details here) and opened me up to new avenues of thought and belief. After the first year of divinity school I felt completely deconstructed with no reliable tools with which to put myself back together again.

My existential angst has once again intensified with a strange twist. I have been considering going on an LDS mission. Continue reading

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

7 Apr

I found General Conference, on the whole, to be wonderful. Many talks addressed the exact problem I found with the Young Women meeting. The message? Life is hard and the atonement helps us deal, helps us grow, helps us endure, helps us repair parts of ourselves we didn’t even know were broken. I appreciated Elder Kent F. Richards‘ acknowledgement of suffering as an inherent part of the human condition and not something for which we are necessarily culpable. Continue reading

Condi Rice at BYU

13 Jan

What do you do with a grad student when she stops being a grad student? What does she do when she retires? That is what I have been asking myself since I completed my master’s coursework in December. I followed the trend  of moving back in with my parents until I figure out “what comes next.” And, for lack of anything else to do besides troll the internet for job opportunities, I drove to Provo to hear Condoleeza Rice speak at a university forum. Continue reading

Gleefully pluralistic?

13 Oct

Glee is a guilty pleasure. Lately the show has become more schizophrenic and at the same time ideologically subtle than usual. One week high school cheerleaders are debasing themselves in hallucinogenic Britney Spears covers; the next, members of the glee club are discussing belief through a variety of “spiritual” popular songs. The second of these two trends is a perfect representation of the religiously based secularism that has become American civil religion and, not surprisingly, popular culture. Continue reading