"I AM" . . . Me

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Curt Sunshine
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"I AM" . . . Me

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Jun 2018, 12:01

When the Old Testament records God giving Moses a name to share with the Israelites when they questioned his "mission", the name God gave was "I AM". I understand the ways in which that has been interpreted over the years, but my favorite interpretation of it is my own. I see it as saying descriptors and titles are not important. I see it as God saying to Moses, "Who is sending you? Me - and that is enough of an explanation."

At various points in my life (sometimes at the same point in my life), I have been called: conservative, liberal, socialist, Democrat, Republican, harsh. soft, a bastard, a great friend, intelligent, stupid, intellectual, ignorant, judgmental, charitable, and many more conflicting, contradictory things. At some point in my life, I have been almost all of those things.

I have thought about the clash between how others perceive me and my own self-perception. Individual moments of personal failure notwithstanding, there are three things that are important to me. 1) I try to make decisions based on as much information as possible. 2) I try to make decisions based on both my head and my heart, not from only one of those areas. 3) I try to avoid extremism in almost all situations, since I believe the extremes are easy and destructive.

Those three things mean I have no traditional, large group that believes exactly as I do on all issues. It also means I get criticized by people on all "sides" of any issue. I am okay with that, since I believe life is healthiest when I am authentically myself, as long as being authentically myself is not inherently harmful to others. I don't share everything I believe with everyone I know, even many of those closest to me, because sharing some of my views would hurt some people unnecessarily.

In the end, what am I? I am me, and that is enough.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: "I AM" . . . Me

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 04 Jul 2018, 07:28

I like your interpretation Curt. I had replied to your post and obviously forgot to hit post, and when I came back to this tab, my reply wasn't saved.

I have to paraphrase now as I won't be able to be as eloquent as I was before.

The main point I was going to stress was that of perception, and I think it was Freud who said we see ourselves as the way we think others percieve us. I don't totally buy in to that, but it got me thinking. I have a friend who is very tall, I always see him as the same height as me (I'm average). I realized I see everyone around me as an equal regardless of status. I also realized that he treated others that he considered 'subordinates' differently. He was in a professional position, and had an air about him that was of the "higher status than you" feeling. Subsequently I started to feel that I was lower than him. I had projected his perception of everyone else upon myself.
It's an interesting concept and once I realized what I was doing, I switched it off and put us back on a level playing field.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "I AM" . . . Me

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Jul 2018, 22:37

My egalitarian view was influenced greatly by being raised in farm country among "common folk", many of whom (including my family) truly were poor and not college educated - and then going to college among some of the best-educated, richest students in the United States (and the world). I then worked for about a decade in inner-cities and extremely rural areas, while meeting with state-level politicians and leaders of major philanthropic organizations to identify large-scale funds for those schools.

I saw firsthand that people are people, no matter their observable differences. I was able to discern their character independent of their social standing or other characteristics, and I learned to see and understand their own "I am".

Accepting people for who they are and not for whom we want them to be can be difficult, but it is a wonderful blessing that is worth pursuing.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Roy
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Re: "I AM" . . . Me

Post by Roy » 09 Jul 2018, 10:47

Curt Sunshine wrote:
04 Jul 2018, 22:37
I saw firsthand that people are people, no matter their observable differences. I was able to discern their character independent of their social standing or other characteristics, and I learned to see and understand their own "I am".

Accepting people for who they are and not for whom we want them to be can be difficult, but it is a wonderful blessing that is worth pursuing.
This is wisdom!
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Holy Cow
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Re: "I AM" . . . Me

Post by Holy Cow » 10 Jul 2018, 15:02

I love this message, Curt! It reminds me of one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs that has a line, "I know I was born and I know that I'll die; the in-between is mine. I am mine."
My FC has truly taught me the value of each individual having their own journey and being their own person. I no longer believe in a "we are" mentality when it comes to the church, but I am a strong believer in "I am." I don't believe in 13 articles of faith that start with "We believe," but have my own articles of faith that start with "I believe." Realizing that we can all get to the point of "I am" can be a very powerful tool. It gives us the opportunity to really apply the scriptures to ourselves, rather than being told how to interpret each verse. It helps up focus on our own relationship with God, rather than focusing on the church's checklists of how to have a relationship with God. I can imagine leaving this life and stepping into the afterlife, and when realizing you're not alone, asking, "Who is there?," and hearing God's response, "I am." And then when God, in return, asks us, "Who is there?," we can respond, "I am." I don't know what the afterlife will really be like, but I would imagine we will get to meet with God as individuals, not as a huge herd of "we."
My introduction: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6139

Curt Sunshine
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Re: "I AM" . . . Me

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Jul 2018, 19:54

That is beautiful and profound, HC.

Thank you.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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