Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why did Jesus teach so little about the family?

Recently, I was contemplating Jesus’s view on families, and I realized that Jesus actually seemed to have said very little about families. He certainly didn’t seem to share the same rhetoric so common in the LDS church today regarding strengthening and protecting the family.

Consider Luke 14:26, for example:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Or Matt. 10:36–37:

And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Or Mark 3:31–35:

There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

I wonder if it’s at all significant that we have so few teachings from Jesus on the family, and that those we do have are seemingly dismissive of the family.

Is it apostasy to believe something the prophets don’t believe?

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the role of prophets in the LDS church. It goes without saying, I think, that they act as God’s mouthpiece, dictating to us what God would have us know as a collective body.

Something that seems less clear to me is their role in interpreting scripture.

When one of the 15 prophets, seers, and revelators uses a scripture in general conference, for example, to illustrate or prove a point, is that divine endorsement of that interpretation? Can we safely assume that what they say is God’s intention when that scripture was originally revealed?

Assuming yes, then are Latter-day Saints whose beliefs differed from that interpretation bound to change their personal beliefs to match that interpretation?

Is it apostasy to interpret a scripture differently from how a prophet interprets it? Should beliefs among Mormons be homogeneous or is it completely acceptable to believe different things?

Hello, Readers! Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Kim was already kind enough to welcome me formally to Our Thoughts, but I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about myself.

My name is Daniel Faris. I’m 25 years old and I live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I graduated from the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University in 2011. I’ve been making my living as a freelance journalist and ghostwriter ever since, as well as helping out with the marketing efforts of local businesses like Kramer CAT and more nationally recognized brands such as Earbits. My work has appeared on Forbes, the London School of Economics & Political Science, and a number of pop culture blogs.

I’ve come to Our Thoughts to share my musings and experiences as a struggling Christian. I grew up attending church, but have always had difficulty applying the tenets of faith to my life in a practical, personal way. My years at college also saw me drifting further from the church and from faith in general.

I’ve flirted with atheism throughout the years. I’ve doubted and wondered whether there was any room in my life for the God my parents taught me to fear when I was a child.

And, yes, I still doubt. Regularly. But faith is nothing without doubt to compare it with, yes?

As for my intentions for the site, I plan to share, in my time here, some of the ways that my faith has, in turns, been tested and reaffirmed over the years.

I’ll also make a point of exploring faith through the lens of modern music. I listen almost exclusively to secular artists these days, and I’m continually surprised to find theological discussions in the most unlikely places.

Anyway, I suppose that’s a suitable introduction for now.  I’ll be back soon for my inaugural post: a look at a former death metal band whose discovery of the phrase “musically uninhibited” has given their music a thoughtfulness and a renewed clarity of purpose.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Google+, or stop by my music blog, The Sound of Progress.

Humiliez-vous et persévérez dans la prière vers lui.

I was reading my French copy if the Book of Mormon tonight. I’m in Alma 34, and as soon as I had read verse 19, I stopped for a moment:

Oui, humiliez-vous et persévérez dans la prière vers lui.

I’m not sure why, but that verse touched me. Every once in a while, a verse will jump out at me in French that never had in English. For some reason, this one did for me today.

Maybe it was the use of persévérer instead of continuer, implying that perhaps Amulek intended something more than what we read in the English version. The French translation seems to indicate that not only should we pray, but we must persevere at it.

What makes it more interesting is its pairing with the admonition to be humble, a possible allusion to trials and testing. If that’s the case, then it shows not only that continuing to pray will be difficult, but it will be necessary.

More merciful or more just

We had a couple of baby blessings at church today. For one of the babies, some of the family aren’t members of the church.

As the testimonies went in about families, a question came to mind: will God be more merciful or more just at the final judgement when it comes to families being together forever?

What do you think?