December 6, 2010

truth and substance: an essay

Last week I stayed home from church.

Sam had spent the whole night before with bad acid reflux/ulcer-like symptoms and was still doubled over in pain when the alarm went off. I was still fighting a large and insistent cold that had lasted more than a couple of days. We made an executive decision that church was not going to be an option that day. It made me a little sad. Sabbath worship in our own church building, with our own ward members, fulfilling our callings, and partaking of the sacrament are all very important to us. Still, when it can’t be, it can’t be.

We resolved to read from the General Conference edition of the Ensign and listen to gospel music so that we still had some sort of spiritual upliftment. We did so. It was spiritually uplifting.

The reason for this story, however, came later that day. I was reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, since everyone in the world was reading it. From what I knew about it beforehand, there was a fair chance it would be worth reading. I like eating, praying, and loving.

The part about eating made me hungry. The part about loving was disappointingly salacious (I’m not a fan of reading/watching/hearing about other people’s sexual acts regardless of reason).

The part about praying, however, made me think. I’m still thinking, even.

Before I go on, I want you to know that I write these thoughts now because sometimes there is so much meaningless fluff here on my blog, I want to smack the author (you know, myself) and say, WHO CARES. In deference to my better self, the part of me that yearns for a higher plane of living, I am writing this, not to be preachy or holier than thou, but because I need to express it before it loses its meaning to me. I hope it is as much of a relief for you as it is for me. If not, I’m sure there will be more of the fluff later.

As I read about the different religions and beliefs and “paths to God” that Gilbert encountered, I noticed there was a large amount of truth, more than I expected, maybe. Truths like, we are all divine ourselves, that God is loving and all-powerful and involved with us as individuals, that miracles happen, that our life experiences are to teach us and mold us and shape us for our divine heritage. Inspiring and beautiful truths were in that book.

And yet.

missed church.

There is truth in reading the Ensign. There is truth in prayer. There is truth in meditation, in nature, in reaching out for our Creator. There is truth in Eat, Pray, Love.

But the whole truth? That all-encompassing, eternal, and unchanging truth, without fallacies or murkiness? The comfort of knowing exactly who I am and exactly from where I came and exactly where I am going? That is found only in following the principles of God through the teachings of Christ revealed to prophets. That is why I eagerly go to church. Because while truth can be found in lots of places, fully redeeming truth is rarer and more precious than gold. 

4 comments:

Danny and Jannifer 12/6/10, 11:33 AM  

Krista, I love the fun "fluff" as you call it on your blog, but I also love your inspiring thoughts. Thank you. :)

I'm AE Jones 12/6/10, 2:37 PM  

Very well said. Bravo.

Rachel 12/6/10, 9:53 PM  

Beautifully said =)

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