Crap, Apologies, Mormonism, Rhetoric and Thou


Up on AMV, my new post on Elna Baker's new book's first chapter.

The comments have taken a surprising turn into semantics and definitions. What thinkest thou? How should we define faith, believe, know, doubt?


  1. I caught the 6 to 1 the first time and thought-I like those odds. We're winning!

    I don't see the hub-bub about Elna's way of telling stories bothersome? But then I am a very liberal conservative and might fall into the unlikely scenario of being like the Bortches. * see my 3 Year Old Made Me Breakfast post or your For Crying Out Loud.

    back to semantics
    I always looked at believe as "pretty sure-not 100% though" and know is "Positively" but I completely agree that a lot of people get up on sunday and play one off of the other-leading to doubt, because the semantics of what they are trying to say is skewed.

    Ask me anything about the gospel and I would say "I know" 75% of the time and "I believe" perhaps 15% and "I don't know" 10%.
    Because I am sure of where I stand on most anything. That probably comes with age and expierience though, I wouldn't expect the whippersnappers to be in the same boat.
    I do recall reading on either AMV or maybe Red Brick maybe Mormon Matters someone commenting "what if your beliefs choose you." And it struck me as terribly sad that that person didn't have a handle on their own life to even say that most fundamental of Mormon doctrines "I chose" that statement swirled about my mind for awhile and to me it is addressed numerous times within H.o.t.F.-whether you see it or not I am curious.

    ahh semantics

  2. .

    Choosing IS important, and Elna actually makes a big deal about that.

    One and a half books to go before I get to yours. (Which, at the moment, I am more excited for than Rift, but that may just be because it hasn't come in the mail yet.

  3. Personally, I'd say doubt is the opposite of hope and belief. Faith takes action; it's the experiment on a hypothesis.

    For example, I believe that if I exercise 45 minutes per day I'll feel great and look amazing in that cute little dress. Then again, maybe not. I don't really know until after I've tried.

    Maybe I start to try and it gets a bit rough, or I don't get the results I'm expecting right away. I start to doubt whether the exercise will help me. That doubt doesn't make the truth any less true, but it could make me less likely to work at finding it.

    As for knowledge, I do think that people know a lot less than they say they do. But spiritual knowledge does not have to be repeatable, accessible, and infallible like scientific knowledge might be. Consider the start of 3 Nephi chapter 2, and consider any miracle in your life. Were there other explanations? Maybe. But does plausibility make it any less miraculous? I think not.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. What do you think?

  4. .

    I think you've hit on one of the big problems: what we mean by knowledge in a spiritual setting is not a perfect match to what we mean by knowledge in any other setting. It's a different kind of knowing. But explaining that knowing's legitimacy is difficult, when the listener does not know, has not experienced it for herself.