Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Religious analogy


My visit to the Mormon ward was far removed from all of those experiences.

The closest analogy might be something along these lines: Imagine that you are an observant Jew attending a Christian church for the first time. There are many things that you will recognize, including concepts and even scriptures, but they will be recast in a way that is weird, in fact, utterly foreign to you.

Sure, members of this relatively new faith will use the same Hebrew Bible, but they will call it something different, the "Old Testament," which hints at a divide. They also use other authoritative books, and their method of interpretation has little to nothing to do with your own tradition. They have transformed the Passover meal into something barely recognizable to you. They profess faith in a messiah, but their idea of him is different from your own hopeful notion of the savior of the Jewish people and the world. They affirm the truth of your religion to a point, but insist on a newer, fuller revelation from God that has superseded yours, and invite you to join them in this final dispensation.

My visit to the Mormon ward was a bit like that...

Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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