20140820

A Jack Mormon Confession (satire)

Since June I personally have refrained from hot drinks, alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco. As well, I am celibate.

Between myself and God, I am repenting my past sins in private. On Friday, August 29, I am to be baptized as a Mormon.

So all that talk of remaining a Jack Mormon is pure satire. My epiphany came when I read the anti-Mormon views on the interviews preceding baptism: they gave me the wrong impression.

Nobody in the hierarchy asks you to confess your darkest sins to them, for that isn't supposed to be shared with another mortal soul.

While I am still going to be liberal and still write about Buddhism, politics and other topics that I am interested in, I am also going to write about Mormonism as objectively as I am able. Though the anti-Mormon propaganda will no longer be of interest to me, except perhaps to provide inspiration for commentary.

For now, this post will provide me with the opportunity to explain simply why I decided to be baptized as a Mormon.

With eyes open and an open heart, I attended all the instruction hours since the end of May until now and will continue to do so.

While I am convinced that Joseph Smith Jr was inspired by God to write the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, the Testimony of the Three Witnesses only convinces me of his inspiration. However, I will go along with the cover story that the angel Moroni took those brass plates back to wherever he went.

My own statement above is not a confession of doubt but is made because I have never been shown the original literature by the angel Moroni.

As well, the Egyptian hieroglyphics which inspired Joe Smith to write the Book of Abraham do not translate as that book. Even so, I would consider Mr Smith as inspired by God to write all the scriptures specific to Mormonism and consider him a Mormon prophet.

Nothing I have written so far will fully explain why I became a Mormon. I am sure that it's because I am a people pleaser.

Also, the fact that this local Mormon community is the least judgmental of all Christian denominations has also convinced me that my choice is the best one to make out of all the choices that I faced.

For I could have rejected Mormonism and dealt with being a Buddhist whose spirituality accepted that there is a God and even allowed for the Christ. On closely examining my sarcastic statement that "my Christ is the Buddha", I realize that the statement is considered a religious one by Christians of other denomination.

So my explanation for becoming a Mormon is actually summed up by the concept of the Buddha as my Christ, due to the religious pluralism that I have been quietly practising since 1990. This has been confirmed for me by the Mormon cosmology regarding the souls of pre-mortal times to today's current incarnation on Earth and to the Afterlife. Even Spirit World and Spirit Prison fit into my Buddhist worldview, though the Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms would become similar to Buddhist heavens.

Of course, at first glance, the Mormon cosmology is in my eyes more like a rough draft of the more complex Buddhist cosmology. Though it is more likely that I am not going to revert to Buddhism because of this revelation.

Another reason why I became Mormon because I like the fact that the Mormon literature has had articles on Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism written without critique of each religion.

It is that religious pluralism which confirms my belief that Mormonism is going to be the most wonderful part of my spiritual journey.

Even so, everyone who thinks I have gotten sucked into a cult have no idea at all because they might keep forgetting that I have become Mormon with my eyes open and my heart open to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. That does not mean I am going to forget my roots as a Buddhist. Instead, Mormonism will take what I have learned about Buddhism to a new level.

Because this blog is semi-private, I will only refer to the Elders and the wonderful brothers and sisters of my local Mormon ward without specifically identifying anyone.

Thank you too to the brothers and sisters, and especially Elder M and Sister M who all served as hosts for dinner - three wonderful dinners that led from uncertainty to confusion and finally to understanding.

However, my thanks goes out to Elder L who invited me to church, Elder M who patiently instructed me, Elder F who knows his wushu very well, and Elder T, whose words impress me the most. Also thanks to Brother C for his sponsorship.

A poem on My Baptism (which I plan to read after baptism): http://gandhara.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-baptism-poem.html

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