Monday, November 24, 2008

Pride... preventing Deification

In preparing lessons for Sunday School recently, I've been thinking a lot about pride.  As I was reading a bit, I turned to some C.S. Lewis, as I like to do, and came accross one of my favorite things he wrote, from Mere Christianity.

Pride is essentially competitive - is competitive by its very nature - while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl. But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Greed may drive men into competition if there is not enough to go round; but the proud man, even when he has got more than he can possibly want, will try to get still more just to assert his power. Nearly all those evils in the world which people put down to greed or selfishness are really far more the result of Pride.
I just think it's such an interesting point, that pride is such a different sin than others, and it's the competition in it that sets it apart.  Pride is all about being better than others, and that, as I see it, is as far from progressing towards exaltation as we can get.  I see Christ's prayer for us to be one with Him & the Father as an invitation for us to enter into the same kind of relationship with Him as He has with the Father.  That requires total unity, complete one-ness.  Pride is completely incompatible with that type of relationship.  This need for competition is keeping us from having that kind of relationship with Them, and with each other as well.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mormonism, Masturbation, and growing up Male

First off, I want to apologize... this is going to be a long post.
So... We'll jump right into something. I've been skipping around on a few other mormon blogs recently. I was reading on the, and which I'm sad to say has shut down (temporarily I hope). Anyway, I ended up there linked from another blog, but found my way to an article called "Confessions of Serial Masturbator/Repenter." A very interesting read.
So, since the site is shut down for comments, I thought I'd put my two cents in here. Fair warning, this may take a while for me to get through everything. But, be patient.
Growing Up
We'll start at the beginning, my beginning. I grew up in a Mormon family... pretty much. We went to church every week. But there was very little religion at home, no FHE, prayers, scripture study, etc. I grew up more or less believing that the church was true, but never really had reason to doubt it either. When I was approaching puberty, my dad lost his job, and had to go back to school. Since we live in a rural area, that meant he was gone during the week, and came to visit on weekends for a few years. That meant dad was no longer coming to church. I'd also reached that age where you start to question things, and, long story short... I pretty much decided over the next few years that there was no such thing as God, and that was ok.


Well, here begins a blog... I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while, and finally decided to do it, as a place to put some of my thoughts that I don't want to put on someone's comments section, either because it would take too long, or maybe a little unusual.   Sometime's it just helps to clear the mind to write things down.  And hopefully, a comment or two can help clear up my thinking.  I really do try to have an open mind about things, so comment away, I'm always open to the idea that I'm completely wrong, completely crazy, or both!  I plan to covor some philisophical and theological issues, in relation to the LDS church (I'm LDS, and studied philosophy, among other things in college).  Maybe an occasional deep thought, and I'd guess I'll jump into politics rather frequently (I'm a libertarian).  Happy reading!