One of the things I love best about my faith is the doctrine that all truth – no matter where it comes from – is part of our religion. It doesn’t matter if I find truth in paganism or Mormonism, it’s all part of my LDS faith. This is how I fit all of the things that don’t traditionally fit into my faith.
Truth is truth.
That single doctrine is where everything I believe has to come to be judged and evaluated. Is it true? Does it contradict the other things I know to be true? If so, I have to reevaluate both that thing and whatever it contradicts. Sometimes I just decide the two live together because they are both true, even though they contradict. I’m smart enough to know I don’t always have all the pieces.
One of the greatest benefits of wholly embracing this idea is that it allows me to bring into my life whatever is good, no matter where it comes from. This has impacted me greatly in the spiritual area of my life (someday I’ll talk about the spiritual vs religious and how I differentiate them).
A few years ago, I was looking to make my Easter holiday more meaningful. I have long embraced traditions that have filled out and enriched my Christmas celebration, but Easter was a day-and-gone holiday for me and I wanted more.
So I decided to observe Lent. I gave up eating candy and it was hard! Really, really hard. But every time I wanted to eat candy, my mind and heart turned to Christ.
That same year, my husband and I also decided to hold a Passover Seder. This ancient Jewish celebration of Jehovah’s goodness holds a lot of significance to the LDS people as well. Besides laying claim to the same heritage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Mormons, like the Jews, have been highly persecuted and driven from our homeland. We have temple grounds where a temple is supposed to stand but cannot yet. Although we cannot pretend to understand the extensive hardship our Jewish brothers have endured, we have drunk out of the same bitter cup.
So three springs ago I spent six weeks preparing for and thinking of Easter. And my experiment worked. My Easter was so much better. I’ve made these observances part of my traditions now and appreciate the way they enrich my life.
After this, one of my friends teasingly accused me of being a “Multidenominational Mormon”, a term I have embraced. I believe there is much good in all religions and anywhere spirituality is found. Even in the nonspiritual and “secular”, truth can be found. It doesn’t matter if it comes from Islam, Buddhism, Coptic Christianity or Atheism. Truth is truth. It doesn’t matter if it comes from conservatives, liberals, moderates, progressives, socialists, libertarians. Truth is truth. It doesn’t matter if it comes from Gandhi, the Pope, the LDS prophet or Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Ladin or Hitler. Truth is truth.
The point is to find the good and embrace it, no matter the source. Sometimes truth comes from places we find distasteful. Often we limit our exposure to truth by limiting our exposure only to our “boxes”. We stay in our little box and miss out on great good or truth because it’s not part of our religion or politics or culture.
I embrace being non-conventional. It allows me to embrace the good wherever I find it and that enriches my life. Truth is truth. Good is good. Somethings really are that black and white.