I generally try to avoid talking about religion online. I don’t like all of the bashing and the hate that comes from talking about God or anything organized, so most of the time I just leave it alone. Today, however, that will not be the case.
I consider myself LDS (which means I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). However, I reject the label of Mormon. A lot of people don’t believe there is a difference, but I think the difference lies in whether you subscribe to the culture, the doctrine or both. I believe that the doctrine of the church is true and is my path in life. I know that it is given to protect us from the woes of the world, if we should choose to follow it. I don’t agree with a lot of the culture that comes in wards and stakes, but that is something I will talk about at another time.
I also believe that everyone has their own path to salvation. I will not disown you if you don’t agree with the gospel. I fight for everyone’s rights, even if I don’t agree with their beliefs or personal choices. I believe that as human beings, we all have the right to be treated equally, no matter what.
However, I also stand by my church’s decisions to not change their doctrine. If you don’t like what they have to say, then don’t believe it. Don’t listen and write them off. But as a private institution, they have the right to preach what they believe as true.
I recently read something in one of my communication textbooks that supports this idea. I found it on page 27 of the book “Organizational Communication in an Age of Globalization”
(The paragraph previous is talking about organizational structures)
“Lately researchers have noted the value of some degree of system “closedness”. From German sociologist and system therist Niklas Luhmann, we learn that organizations must not become too open toward their environments, or they will lose coherence, boundaries, and identity. It’s like using a sieve or a filter with holes that are too big; you can’t retain the things you need. This is what happens to some religious organizations that attempt to bend too much to the attitudes and values of those around them. They may succeed in expanding, but their message becomes watered down, and their membership may become less committed. Organizations may be open to their surroundings in the way they collect information but closed in the way they interpret and use it, or vice versa. To be open in all these processes is impossible.”
I stand with the church in refusing to compromise what I believe because it might offend someone. I still value and respect people of all backgrounds and beliefs. This world needs a variety of people. That’s why I chose to go to my institution, I need the diversity because I do not believe that there is only one type of “good” person (that’s what my high school was like and it was awful). However, if anyone tries to bend their values to appeal to friends or avoid offending anyone, pretty soon, they won’t know what to stand for. And that is no way to live.