I am a voracious reader of books and online content relating to religion, especially Mormonism, film, politics, Batman, music and other things. As I read, I find myself in various states of agreement and disagreement with the authors, often crafting counter arguments in my head (perhaps a side effect of being a debater in high school). These thoughts build up and meld with each other influencing my view of the world and my opinions. Occasionally I scroll through comment sections and my hope in society generally begins to disappear. There appears to be a shortage of clear, thoughtful discussion by people that genuinely want the world to be a better place. Rather than simply being a frustrated, embittered bystander, I realized that the time has come for me to add my voice, to push for understanding, tolerance, respect, and a little more love. All you need is love, right?
I believe that everyone’s voice is important, something I try to promote here in Provo with the Student Review, which you should check out if you haven’t. In listening to and seeking the value in various voices, I often find myself pulled in different directions and feel a bit out of place, a black sheep if you will (more on that for another day). I hope that my experiences and interactions with varied people provide a more level-headed look at the world. Of course I have biases, but I try and acknowledge or look for them in myself.
As I write, I hope to better understand myself and my view of the world, while simultaneously helping others see things from a different perspective in a way that hopefully adds meaning to their experience. I seek truth and as John Taylor said, “If there is any truth in heaven, earth, or hell, I want to embrace it; I care not what shape it comes in to me, who brings it, or who believes in it; whether it is popular or unpopular, truth, eternal truth, I wish to float in and enjoy.”
My thoughts will be colored heavily by my religious understanding, raised in a conservative, orthodox Mormon home, attending BYU as a liberal, believing, less than orthodox Mormon, but won’t necessarily always be directly tied to religion. However, Mormonism is incredibly important to me and a huge part of my life, so it will likely appear often in my thoughts and opinions. My understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Gospel has evolved as I’ve learned more about the history of the Church and theology in general, leading to a more expansive view.
I hope that my voice can provide something of value, a little reason perhaps. Maybe if I’m lucky I can become as influential as Peter and Valentine posing as Locke and Demosthenes in Ender’s Game, impacting the entire world. Probably too much to hope for, but I can dream, right?