19: Surrender and Spiritual Expansion

In this episode, Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon goes solo this time to talk about the aspect of “surrendering” or “yielding” or “allowing” the Divine to work in us. He asserts that if we allow the idea that God is all in all and in and through everything, including ourselves, and if we seek to abide in and be influenced by our spiritual center that exists “in” God and is God, we will be able to grow spiritually in ways our minds and plans and goals can’t even imagine, as experiencing deep abiding in God is far richer than these can ever touch. From there, he moves into aspects of surrender and yielding, and reveals through various LDS scripture how deeply embedded this practice is, this stance of allowing something more than what our dualistic minds and beliefs can change us in our very core. 

If “ideas about” God or aspects of the universe as describe in religions language are increasingly feeling constrictive and impotent, let this episode and its focus on experiencing God sink in a bit. You’ll be intrigued and hopefully motivated to trust the deepest calls of your soul.

Links:

One” by Birdtalker, video and lyrics

Latter-day Faith Retreat, October 11th to 13th

____________

Change the Game

Life is so immeasurably vast,
that to conclude
you are limited
is only because 
you are accessing
a minuscule, subjective twig
of infinite Reality.

There will come a time,
when you will not be bound
by this current body and brain,
and instantly you will
experience and remember
more of your eternal heritage
and ethereal nature.

Why wait for that time,
when it is available to you now
while you are still here?

The game changes
when you release
your current reference points.

Poem from Educare Unlearning Institute (daily emails)

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018: Zion


This episode features an interview with the wonderful Kim McCall about the concept (and small instantiations) of Zion, and especially how it activates and animates his soul and spiritual life. Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon gets into sharing mode about it, as well. Kim’s recent reflections on Zion were prompted by his being asked this past year to give a sacrament meeting talk on the Second Coming, a topic Kim wasn’t at all enthusiastic to speak on. (Neither would many of us, we suspect!) But then, as he further queried his heart and mind, he found a way into the topic: Zion and how it animated so many early Latter-day Saints’ focus and efforts and unified extremely diverse people with genuine purpose and a sense of call to prepare a community to which Christ would feel comfortable returning. Kim shared his beautiful heart with his ward, at the Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium this past week, and even more in this episode. The conversation here also explores what it means to have a “good will,” as well as how we can each catch the vision of Zion and go about implementing it in our portions of this world despite a world and mindsets that do not (yet?) hold much space for such things, and even work against them.

This is a terrific episode! Please jump in and then share your own vision of Zion and tales of bringing these ideals into your spheres of influence.

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017: The LDS Temple and the Vitality of Ritual Immersion

Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the various rituals and ordinances that take place in LDS temples are considered to be the highest expression of God’s love for us and the path of human ascension. And for many church members, especially the ones who have really leaned into temple ritual, it is. But for a significant number of others, most likely a majority of those who have participated, temple experiences baffle them or even become sources of deep internal conflict or discouragement, or they even play a role in their choosing to leave Mormonism, either through being less involved or even fully removing themselves from its membership records.

In this episode, my very good and wise friend Jody England Hansen and I acknowledge the experiences of participants all along this spectrum of reactions, but discuss the temple and ritual in general through the lenses of myth and ritual studies, symbolism and archetypal energies and truths, and our own experiences with the temple, including key moments from our own journeys with the temple that have led to our own shifts toward greater appreciation of what gifts lie within when we let go of certain preconceived notions and wrong-headed rhetoric about the nature of the endowment and other ordinances. A key feature in our journeys through life and in faith must be a willingness to allow our world views to expand as we accumulate more and more experience. What can seem like THE truth at one time in our development must be able to yield to the lessons found in all the complexities life will lead us into. And an absolute key in all of this shifting must involve embracing mythic truths and rich symbolic methods that teach us in ways that are impossible simply through what our minds alone can discover.

I think you will find the discussion herein to be challenging but also liberating, unusual in its frankness while also empowering. May it be so!
__________

Links:

Dan Wotherspoon, “Why Ritual ‘Makes Sense,‘” Sunstone, Fall 2016

Charles Randall Paul, “The Sacred Secret Open to All: Ye Are Gods,” Sunstone, May 2009

016: Defending the Family: Alternative Emphases

In this episode, Latter-day Faith host Dan Wotherspoon is joined by Jordan Harmon, a terrific and thoughtful therapist, to talk about the threats to the family that loom larger than the external ones most often emphasized in religious circles: acceptance/normalizing of same-sex marriages, ubiquitous pornography, and so forth. Certainly, these are valid and shouldn’t be dismissed. But what if, instead, we focused our attention within ourselves as well as on our relationships with family? What internal motivators are driving our interactions? Are they healthy, or are might they be clues to some deeper wounds we need to explore and heal from? What habits of mind have we developed that keep us from fully knowing how to love others and to receive love from them? (There’s more to both of these than we usually give attention to!) Are we trying to protect ourselves and our family from life’s vicissitudes by trying to control everyone and everything, insisting they do things “our” way rather than accepting others’ agency and differences and truly trusting that they have the wisdom within to figure things out for themselves? We can certainly discuss things with them, seek to understand and validate the emotions they feel as well as what is coming up for us, but when our fears lead into unrighteous dominion, we have definitely missed the mark for the unfolding of happy and healthy families. The panelists also discuss so much more!

Put on your headphones, car stereos, or whatever ways you generally listen to podcasts and give this one a good listen! It contains many terrific ideas that you might find yourself chewing on for many days to come!

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