Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Tim and I'm a Mormon

As we are in the middle of General Conference I thought I would share the profile I created on A lot of my friends have read this on Facebook, but not all blog readers are also my Facebook friends. I've really loved this general conference and it has given me a lot to think about, but mainly has just filled me with new commitment to do what I know to be right. I've gone into it with an open mind and tried to be teachable and its been a great experience, even if Theo is getting stir crazy (even though we've taken him outside for a few sessions while I listened on my iPod.

So, here's the profile. Feel free to disagree, but I tried to be really honest.

Feel free to share a link to your profile in the comments if you like, I would interested in reading other's thoughts on faith.

Hi, I'm Timothy Browning

I'm a runner, a writer, a gay rights supporter, an ardent feminist, a father and husband, and I'm a comfortably conflicted Mormon.

About Me

I"m in my last semester at BYU studying Arabic and MIddle Eastern Studies. I love the MIddle East even if I'm not very good at speaking their languages, and have spent time in Egypt, Israel, Palestine and Jordan. I'm a father of two and a husband to my wonderfully feminist wife, Cait, who after I finish school, will be going on to get her PhD in Political Science while I stay at home with the kids. I've grown up in the Church and had many wonderful experiences with the church (along with a smattering of negative ones). I served a mission in Argentina Mendoza and had a wonderfully difficult time. I plan on eventually getting a degree in Library Science and becoming a university librarian wherever my wife ends up teaching. I am a fairly liberally democrat, a firm supporter of gay rights, including their right to marry. I am also a ardent feminist, which for me means striving for gender equality by combatting the urge to impose fixed roles on either members of either sex. I am also a runner and have finished 3 marathons and numerous shorter races. Also I am an aspiring writer and a very active reader and would like to publish a few successful novels before I die.

Why I am a Mormon

I've had so many spiritual and meaningful experiences in my life to doubt that, for me, living a Mormon life is pleasing to God. I get great strength from the belief that I am a son of a Heavenly Father and Mother. I believe the Atonement was an act that reveals great fundamental truths in the universe and that by accessing the Atonement I can gain the spiritual strength I need to succeed in this life. I also believe the Book of Mormon to be an inspired, if not perfect document and Joseph Smith likewise to be an inspired Prophet who had flaws like all prophets through history. I believe that those prophets and leaders of the church that have followed Joseph Smith have been similarly inspired while still being similarly human and flawed. I also have a fundamental recognition that, while there is great truth in the church, the greater, universally governing Truth, is much greater and grander than can be comprehended by the human mind, and that the gospel, beautiful as it is, is in many ways but a symbol and type of this greater Truth. This also leads me to understand most other religions as having the same inherent value as my own, as symbols and types of the greater Truth that we now see only through a glass, darkly. Despite my level of ambiguousness regarding absolute truth, at the core of my faith is my love for the Savior and what He has done for me. He has stood by me in dark moments and in bright, and I would be a liar and a hypocrite to deny what I know I've felt.

How I live my faith

I live my faith by striving to live a life that in some way follows the example of Jesus Christ. The principles of faith, hope, and especially charity are what I would hope to base my life upon. Living a Christ-like life for me means believing in God's love for me, believing in my own eternal potential and looking for that same potential in everyone I come in contact with. I work to make sure that my doubts don't distract me from the core truths of the gospel that give beauty and meaning to my life. In church, I try to make myself a part of the community, and although I'm quite shy, I try to make an effort to reach out to others worshiping with me. I currently serve as a Family Search Indexer and help out on my own time with the Family Search Indexing project of the church.

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