I was reading my Patriarchal Blessing last night, and noticed something. There is a paragraph that says "I bless you with an understanding of the gospel, with a love for the gospel and with a desire to learn more of it, and in doing this your testimony will be strong, you will have the ability to bear testimony to others in such as way that their hearts will be touched and that they will have a desire to learn of the gospel."
I hadn't read my blessing since I've started reading and commenting on the various LDS themed blogs. I have taken real pleasure in reading what others have to say about various doctrines. Here's my question, is the enjoyment I get out of participating in the bloggernacle related to whatever it is in me that prompted my Patriarch to say this in my blessing?
When I very first starting reading/posting here it made me and my husband a little uncomfortable. My husband said "I get the idea that the church sort of frowns on things like this." I asked why, and we couldn't come up with a satisfactory answer. The best answer we had is that it is a good place for people to promote and espouse false doctrines. It's venue where testimonies could be weakened and where non-members can get false impressions that what we are talking about is really church doctrine. That same thing could be said of Fast and Testimony meeting. (In fact I've heard that some missionaries keep family photos in their wallets to distract visitors with when someone starts to bear testimony that Pepsico is run by Satan, and caffiene is of the devil.)
Here's the thing, I've been able to work through several things that have bothered me about the church by participating here. I'm better able to reconcile the treatment of women in the church with 'the plan.' I'm mostly at peace with the prior practice of polygamy. I'm learning how to teach correct principles better.
Here's the phrase I'm most intrigued by; "...in doing this your testimony will be strong..." I've decided that this means two things. Learning more about the gospel, and the church's history can be tough on one's devotion to, and belief in the gospel. My initial discomfort with this venue stemmed from a belief that learning *too much* about the church's history, and talking about it with too many people is bad for one's testimony. I believe my blessing tells me that my testimony will be strong, that I can learn tough things, and still believe. Also, I think it means that as I learn more and work through my issues, my testimony will be made stronger.
There are all sorts of people in the world, some can just believe and would suffer if they question too much. Others suffer when they are told to just believe, but thrive when they can dig through the muck and find the gems of truth anyways. I think I'm the second sort of person.