Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I was born and raised in a suburb of Salt Lake City Utah into a wonderful, large, and largely LDS family, the youngest of 8 children. We tried to live in California, but the renowned appeal of Utah was too strong; here we are again, a 20 minute walk from where I was raised. Turns out politically friendly is worth less than family friendly.

We'll get to that...

I grew up in a strict private school. It claimed to be nondenominational, but was near 100% LDS in children and faculty. It was a very different environment than most experienced, with prayer, Bible study, corporal punishment, and a strictly enforced moral code, but I very much loved the experience and appreciate it to this day (probably because I never stepped out of line and got the paddle :-)).

I’ve a BS, a MS, and will soon receive my PhD. I have been thinking I will soon receive my PhD for merely 3 years now.

I am the president, lead researcher, secretary, mail boy, and janitor of a small medical technologies company.

Though my parents had become inactive by the time I could understand religion to any extent, I joined the LDS faith on my own (with, of course, encouragement from my siblings and other extended family). I was quite happy, but the more I learned of the details of the religion, the less I could maintain a testimony. I mean no offence to my LDS friends or family (or anyone LDS) by that; it was my personal experience and God knows I want to keep away from the largely pointless practice of debating faith.

From there I turned to more traditional Protestant Christianity, but eventually couldn’t maintain faith there either. Then I had a period of embarrassing experimentation with bastardized eastern religions. I ended up reading all sorts of religious texts, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Quaran to Atlas Shrugged, only to end up atheist; some may say a militant atheist. But that too did not last.

Today, I’ve greatly given up the fight. I’ve had to admit I’m a Christian by culture. I enjoy Christianity. The Bible, its imagery, and ideas have a comfortable familiarity that go all the way back to kindergarten for me. I also very much appreciate the ethics presented by Christianity, not that we don’t have our disagreements here and there. So, perhaps, I’ve settled on being a Christian-y Agnostic.


-L- said...

I've been the "ardent" mormon all my life and I recognize the silliness of claiming one's religion to be the "one true church" when one is simultaneously ignorant of all the beautiful faiths out there (and the not so beautiful, I suppose). Still, I'm quite comfortable with my faith and only slightly regret never having gone through my own embarrassing period of "experimentation with bastardized eastern religions". Ah well, we can't have everything.

Scot said...

You could still get something out of the texts, and may be surprised how much is familiar. At the very least you can impress, say, your Hindu friends at parties :-).

Also, I really didn’t read all those books thinking they would be the One True Answer (TM), I was just browsing on some of them, looking for a place to plant me feet on others. Becoming, for example, a Muslim, was never an option that I considered too seriously, but I’m still glad I’ve read the Quran. (I just realized; I hope Mr. Gault isn’t too into Ann Rand, and would take my Atlas Shrugged joke in stride…)

On the other hand, I do recall the variety of One True Answers can diminish the certainty in My One True Answer. If it ain’t broke, maybe it’s best to not browse.