Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 237: Mormonism and the Ivory Tower

I have attended two academic lectures by LDS scholars in the past week – Sunday here in Oxford by Cole Durham, and Tuesday in London with Jack Welch—and found myself, among other things, energized in being reminder of my faith's strong academic tradition.

Cole Durham was a great follow-on from last week's discriminatory interchanges. He has dedicated his life to fighting for religious freedom – for those of my faith, and, more often, for those of other faiths. He said that roughly 30% percent of countries have high religious restrictions (both social and legal), and 70% of the world's population live in those countries. He related standing for religious freedom to several scriptures in revelations given to Joseph Smith regarding befriending those laws which are constitutional, and support principles of religious freedom. Not only will promoting religious freedom benefit the Church directly, it is simply the right thing to do.

Jack Welch discussed the legal cases in the Book of Acts. Fascinating. It was good to see both of them (previous law professors), but specifically to be reminded of the reinforcing nature of my faith and scholastic advancement. For most faiths, the more education one receives, the less one believes. Generally speaking. In my faith, the opposite is true, generally speaking: once one overcomes the large requirement of faith to accept all of the regular Christian doctrines (resurrection, ancient miracles, propitiation) and LDS doctrines (modern-day revelation and modern-day miracles and heavenly interactions), as they grow intellectually, their faith grows. This, I believe, is in fulfilment of a scripture in the Book of Mormon:

“For the Lord God giveth light unto the bunderstanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their clanguage, unto their understanding.”

As one's understanding (and therefore understanding of the language) grows, the Spirit is able to speak more deeply to a person and testify more deeply of gospel truths. I also believe that, as expressed in the last post, the doctrines of my church, once the faith hurdle is mounted, simply make sense. The Lord says, 'Come let us reason together,' and He does. The peace spoken regarding faith is to our heart *and* mind.

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