Sep 28, 2010

FD Recommends: "Pure Mormonism"

I don't do this nearly enough on here, but from time to time I've featured certain blogs or articles that I've found worth sharing. I've been following one blog in particular for a while that some of you may have seen, but in case you haven't, I recommend checking it out.

Pure Mormonism, by Alan Rock Waterman (pictured right) has become one of my favourite blogs. Here is a brief description in his own words:

"I've had a lifelong interest in what the early Latter-day Saints understood to be the "pure theology" of The Restoration, unfiltered by many of the common assumptions prevalent among a majority of modern Mormons today. In Joseph Smith's time, a teaching was accepted as valid only if obtained through divine revelation from God. Today, much of what passes for doctrine among my fellow Saints appears to contain "the philosophies of men mingled with scripture." I've been further intrigued by warnings of the falling away of the latter-day saints in our day as foretold in the Book of Mormon, and this blog was created as a forum for discussing some of the possible signs of that prophesied derailment."

It seems a bit unlikely, actually, that Rock's work would appeal to me. His views are very Mormon -- purely Mormon, you could say -- while mine have taken a much more universalistic shift. I don't share his theory on Joseph Smith's (non) practice of polygamy, neither do we have much in common politically. He's libertarian, has a great appreciation for the writings of Cleon Skousen, and well, I'm a "pinko" as he jokingly put it. :)

But don't let these things scare you off!

Rock was a vegan for a year and a half before admittedly falling off the wagon. How many libertarian vegans have you known?

Rock's take on war here and here are particularly worth reading. On an ironic note, I find myself a bit further on the conservative side -- as a reluctant supporter of the NATO presence in Afghanistan -- which has only come after getting to know Afghan refugee ethnic minorities who have become a part of my family, and learning more from them about the enormous complexities of the conflict there.

While the term "Pure Mormonism" may give you an impression of ultraconservative fundamentalist, Rock's approach to the Gospel is one that is as liberal, open-minded, and inquisitive as any of the free-thinking liberal Mormon bloggers out there. He also has a great sense of humour that really comes out in his writing, which is probably why I enjoy reading his work.

Rock's posts consistently call for a return to a Gospel that's more about love, acceptance and open discussion, rather than rigidness, conformity, and dogma. As he stated in his latest post, Living The Gospel, Or Walking In Zombie Land? (which is perhaps his best yet):

"Rather than simply emulating Christ and allowing His light to shine within them, some in the church seem to define “living the gospel” as a desperate race to obey all the rules of the institutional Church. This counterfeit gospel keeps the membership focused on their shortcomings; constantly worried about what they should or should not be doing, they're motivated by the fear that what they're doing is never enough, rather than allowing themselves to simply be who they really are: Sons and Daughters of the Light."

I think that's something that most of my readers -- pinkos and non-pinkos alike -- can appreciate. :)


Alan Rock Waterman said...

You're gonna make me famous!

I don't usually like giving over to my ego, but I just read your words about me TWICE, and I'm going back for a third dip.

You've probably noticed that I linked to your blog some time ago on my list of "Blogs I Think Are Worth A Look."

Going back to check, I notice that yours sits right at the top of the list. This is not my doing, but some random order the workings of which I know not. I prefer to think the universe is rewarding you for your kindness.

Mormon Heretic said...

Rock, I remember your posts from Mormon Matters. I really need to check out your blog, but time has been really tough for me lately.

T.J. Shelby said...

Great post!