I’m going through a lot of turmoil lately. It seems like sharing the gospel online has been more difficult than I thought. While the internet (and Tumblr too) is a great place to share your beliefs, there are opportunities to destroy others. I can’t lie and say there isn’t a lot of hate and ill-feelings here. So after some introspection I’d like to present a rational approach to my faith and testimony.
As I see it, when I die there are three options:
1. There is nothing. No afterlife, nothing. I cease to exist.
2. God is nothing like I imagined and believe. He could be a mysterious gas, or a giant purple elephant.
3. God is loving and respects my desire to follow Him, regardless of whether I aligned myself with His true church or not.
So lets analyze the results of my current actions to these three results:
1. I attempt to follow a faith and religion, that turns out to only be an opiate to my mortal life. But, if there is nothing after this life, then why can’t I do what makes me happy now? My religion makes me happy, so obviously I’m not harmed by taking this gamble.
2. God is not the loving, understanding, merciful being I imagine Him to be. Perhaps He sends me to an everlasting hell for being an infidel. Or perhaps I am reincarnated into a lesser soul because of my disregard for His truth. I will either be punished or not.
3. God is the loving, understanding, and merciful being I imagine Him to be. He respects my desire to follow His commandments, and my attempts to live a Christ-like life. If I am in the true church, then there are greater blessings tied to my penitence. If I am not, then surely His mercy and grace will still allow a happily ever after.
Based on my odds, I have a 33% chance of ceasing to exist after this life, 18% chance of being wrong about God and being punished, 16% chance of being wrong about God and not punished, 16% chance of being right about God but wrong about my religion, and 16% chance chance of being right about God and right about my religion.
This means only 1/6 of the possibilities result in punishment. Pretty good odds.
There are those however who say, “But what about your church, clearly it’s the spawn of Satan. How can you align yourself with a church that is so corrupt, despicable, and evil?”
I then look at myself and ask “Am I evil?” Not really. I have yet to see an instance where my faith (not my church, but what I believe and do) has directly hurt someone else. I am not perfect, but when I read the scriptures, pray, and go to church, I find within myself a desire to do good to others, to support them, and to show Christ-like love.
There are those who will say, “But how can you believe this <deep doctrine either taught or mentioned by the church>?”
I again look at myself, and think, “Well, I’m not to that point. Right now I’m still learning the milk.”
Life is pretty complicated. I don’t know if I can accurately give an opinion and describe my feelings for anything that has ever been said to taught by the church. Instead, I focus on the basics. I have a tiny portion in mortality to learn these simple truths. I can wait until eternity to learn the greater truths. Until then I will try to do these three things:
1. Love God with all my heart
2. Love my neighbors as myself
3. Do what brings joy into my life, which includes my testimony