Category Archives: Seeking real truth

In an age of instant reporting and an overload of information, it can get confusing to know what really is the truth and what has been spun to fit someone’s needs. We have the responsibility to dig until we know what the truth is, and then share it with all who will listen.

It seems there are many versions of the truth out there. How can we separate fact from fiction?

Growing up in the ancient of days like I did, you know with only one TV on in the house at a time and everyone watching the same thing (and having 5 channels to choose from!), we were used to voting on what we watched.

Of course, parent’s votes always carried much more punch than did the kid’s votes.

This resulted in enduring through documentaries and science discoveries and news programs from time to time. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would actually CHOOSE these programs. Not when The Dukes of Hazard was on the other channel.

Recently, though, we had a pretty good laugh in our home when the kids came in and asked what I was watching. Before realizing it I told them it was “this really interesting documentary about Salt Lake City in the 1940s.”

Their looks took me back immediately to my childhood and I knew exactly how they were feeling.

We all laughed as we realized that I had become old. Well, I guess they have known it for some time. Maybe the laughter was about the fact that I was now up to speed with the rest of them.

What changed?

Did they learn how to make documentaries or news programs more interesting in the last 30 years? Maybe.

But then wouldn’t my kids find them interesting too?

I think the change wasn’t in the programs so much as it was in me.

While grabbing something to eat, I will actually turn to the news channels first to see what is going on in the world. I’m interested now. I care about what decisions are being made, what changes are coming, what problems people are dealing with.

During times of breaking news I will switch to different news channels during commercials so that I don’t miss any information.

Have you ever tried that?

What is so interesting to me is often how different the coverage and spin is on the exact same news stories.

What one station will blare as breaking news the other station will not even be covering it. Or the blame lies squarely on one party, only to be shifted to the opposite party on a neighboring station.

Aren’t they reporting on the same story?

Maybe you’ve seen the commercial that has been on for years now about insurance. The person is quoting misinformation as if it is fact. When asked where she got her information, she replies “The Internet. Everyone knows that you can’t put anything that isn’t true on the Internet.”

There may have been a day when we thought that. Not so much anymore.

There are people who purposefully put much out there that is, at best misleading, and at worst direct lies.

Depending on which station or newspaper you use really depends on what “truth” you are made aware of. It seems easier to find sources that support our perceptions and validate our opinions than it is to find a source that will simply and forthrightly tell the truth.

So, what do we do?

I feel that now more than ever before in the history of the world we have the responsibility to be educated and informed. There are many who depend on the masses being too busy and too tired to pay very close attention to what is going on. That leaves them free to quietly make changes in one area while others are focused on different things.

For example, Vladamir Putin was probably quite relieved to find the intense focus on the problems in Ukraine to shift immediately over to the missing Malaysian airplane.

Just because the news reports have shifted, doesn’t necessarily mean the problems have stopped.

How do we sift through it all and get down to the truth, the real truth?

I’m sure it sounds naïve and old fashioned, but that’s okay (remember my kids helped me understand that I am now officially “old”), but I only know of One source of pure truth.

While there isn’t a Heavenly news channel that we can just flip on as we have time and partially listen to as we are doing other things, there is a source that we can tune in to and know for ourselves.

I’ve discovered that there is genuine interest and help when I study things out and quietly take some time to talk it over with Someone I completely trust, Someone who knows, Someone who sees.

I’m sure I’ll make mistakes in my understanding and interpretations and get things wrong at times.

But I will also get it right sometimes.

Then I will understand, and I will see.

Don’t we all have the responsibility to open our eyes and see what is going on? Once we understand the truth of things, then we are prepared to act.

“Evil thrives when good men do nothing.”

I think evil has been thriving long enough.

 

We can actually know for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. It takes a lot of work and consistency. When we let our guards down we can get swept up with the tide pretty quickly. But maybe it being so hard to do is part of what makes it so important.

When each of us steps up and does our small but unique part, it is enough.

Together, we all see the truth, the real truth.

Should a religious organization be a democracy?

With work already beginning at the grassroots level for the elections this November, we each have the responsibility to step up and be informed on what is happening in the primaries. We need to understand the direction and abilities of the candidates and cast informed votes.

This is where we have the most opportunity, and again responsibility, to make the changes in our government that we feel need to be made. Of course, there will always be changes that need to be made as government is made by men and women and run by men and women. Mistakes will happen, personal greed and hunger for power will get in the way, and radical segments will seek to take away the freedoms of others.

After all, it is a democracy where everyone gets to cast their vote and express their opinion. Generally, then, it is the consensus of the masses which forms the direction of the country.

I am struck with my jaw dropping at times, though, that people think it is the same process that should happen in a religious organization.

I suppose that if we see our religious organization as one made by men and women and run by men and women, then it would be logical to think that church policies and direction should also be democratic.

Of course, I can’t imagine caring that much about my religion if I felt that it was just another group of opinions and passionate feelings. If the group had conflicting policies with my personal belief system, I would simply leave. No one is forcing me to attend or be a part of it. I can certainly hunt around for a church that seemed to fit my personality better. If one couldn’t be found, then I could always start my own.

After all, I apparently believe that religion is no more than a social gathering of people who have similar thoughts.

If this were the case, then why would I spend time and energy “protesting and making demands” of existing religious organizations? One who does obviously doesn’t agree with all that this particular church professes as doctrine.

Why would I want to change it when there are so many people who do agree with it?

I guess a better question is what has suddenly made me superior, smarter, and better equipped to decide for all?

If we really think about it, it would remind us of a battle long ago where one stood and said he would decide for everyone what was best. Gratefully, Another stood and said that He would do the will of His Father.

I’ve always loved plan B.

When we take a sincere moment to think about it, isn’t that the example for each of us?

Is our religion and our faith based in man/woman-made precepts?

Or, do we deeply and fervently believe that our religion and faith is of God? That everyone has a place and a responsibility and we are acting under divine guidance and not just by general vote or consensus?

If we do, then wouldn’t it be incredibly pretentious and brazen of us to be “protesting and making demands” of something we believe is being guided and run by God?

We know of one who did exactly that. We know what happened to him.

If we are following his example and plan, and declaring that we know what is best, then I don’t think it is that far of a jump to realize just who we are following.

I don’t want to be under his power.

Do you?

The day will come when we witness the Second and Majestic Coming and the government will at last be under the direction of Heaven. Gone will be the stalemates and power mongering and arguments about what is the right thing to do. It will be better than we can even imagine.

Until then, we have the responsibility to stand up and try to promote what we feel is in the best interest of the country. We will vote and campaign and debate and compromise.

That is as it should be.

But I am so grateful that I don’t have to attack my religious beliefs with the same dogged determination to make sure it is being run correctly.

I know it is being run correctly.

I get to focus my energies then on learning and understanding and serving and loving. I get to be with people I trust and change the things about myself that block my happiness.

And I am so deeply grateful for it.

After all, no one is forcing me to stay.

I am free to choose.