Sunday, July 24, 2011
I've been reading a book this week that has really given me a lot to think about: Through His Eyes: Rethinking What You Believe About Yourself, by Virginia Pearce.
I have underlined so many things so far, I couldn't possibly share them all. So I'll just give you a few highlights, and say... I really recommend this book.
"In his personal history, Joseph Smith described his audience as "inquirers after truth." I like everything about that descriptive title: inquirer after truth. It seems to imply humility, courage, faith, an allegiance to straight thinking, a kind of mental toughness. I believe it is a description I would like to own myself – the kind of person I would like to be.
"In order to be inquirers after truth, you and I must be willing to embark with enthusiasm on a personal adventure. It is a journey outside as well as inside of ourselves. . . In essence, it requires the periodic exercise of taking everything out of the closet of our minds and purposefully returning only that which is truly useful – or actually true. Over and over again."
"Each of us is largely the product of his or her beliefs. Our behavior is governed by these. They become our standards of conduct." – President Gordon B. Hinckley
The first step is to brainstorm about the things you believe, about yourself, about others, about God, and the way the world works.
"This is where you need to be a fearless inquirer after truth. There may be some information that you're not really proud of or that seems ridiculous."
The next step is to examine your beliefs and decide which of them are true and which are not true at all. Sort the ones that are true into eternal truths and general worldly truths, because sometimes in adhering to our worldly beliefs, we get in the way of our eternal progress.
"Emotions reflect our beliefs and expectations. They do not initiate themselves, coming out of nowhere, as we sometimes think. . . This is where we, as inquirers after truth, have to be willing to be a bit brave. . . We can change our thinking as we reassess and examine our beliefs for their validity. And when our thinking changes, our emotions will change automatically."
"Emotions become debilitating and pathologic when they are driven by 1) lies posing as truth, or 2) small truths unsupported by big Truths."
"Expect to become more aware of the Spirit operating in your life. That's when you are an honest inquirer after truth."
I love the way Sister Pearce is real, the way she gives experiences from her own life and her own thinking. I am engaged in some serious soul-searching this week (which I'm sure will be ongoing), with the aim of becoming an honest inquirer after truth. Care to join me?