Saturday, May 13, 2006

Making decisions, Part 2: Decision making in Mormonism

Mormonism is not balanced

In most religions, including Mormonism, they make nearly all their decisions within the context of emotion. Nearly every decision that is made is emotionally based. The emotions are on a spectrum: on the right side, there is love, joy, peace, happiness, etc., and on the left side, there is fear, terror, anger, hurt, pride, etc.,

Why is this dangerous? When you live in the world of emotion, it becomes very hard to separate reality from these feelings. What is actually happening in your life will be interpreted through these emotions, and so the decision making process is not balanced; then your decisions become extreme because they do not have the balance of data on the other side of the spectrum. They are not based within the context of life and reality.

Constantly making emotional decisions leads to manipulation

Also, if we only make decisions on emotion, we can easily be manipulated. Fear is a very, very powerful emotion. It is natural human instinct to use fear for safety. As animals, we rely on our instincts to make decisions. Just like a dear in the forest, if we hear a twig snap, that fear will send us running. Likewise, fear can help us be safe in situations where trying to use our reason and process the data would take too long. But, if we are constantly making decisions on fear, we are headed for an emotional disaster. When we use fear to make decisions, we are reacting. We are no longer in control. We are reacting to the danger that may be in front of us, but this emotion is only supposed to be used in emergencies and only temporarily.

We don't want to live our lives constantly reacting. We want to act. We want to be in control. If we are constantly making decisions because of fear, we are no longer in control, someone else is controlling us. People in power understand this, and they will use fear to scare you into action. They will say phrases like: the fear of god, eternal damnation, being separated with god, being separated with your family, being excommunicated, all these are emotionally based realities. And we know that fear makes us react, not act, and we want to be in control.

Religions are very good at using fear and terror to make sure you do what they want. In Mormonism, they use the fear of not being with your family eternally to make you do certain things. They wave the option of being with your family forever in front of you, while they make you jump through many hoops to get that reality. If you live in this world of emotion, you are being controlled. You are being used to do what they want, and they will use these emotions on you to make sure you comply with their demands, and now, you are in their power.

If they were correct, they would never, ever need to use fear. Fear is a base emotion, which means it appeals to a very low side of our human animal minds.

Using the spirit as a way to make decisions

There are a couple very important reasons not to use the spirit to make decisions. First, the spirit is entirely emotionally based. It only operates within the context of emotion, and we know that there is a whole other side to information that needs to be looked at in order to make the right decision. The spirit is not balanced.

Second, the spirit is ineffective. It is very difficult to make sure that you are listening to the spirit and not your emotions. Sometimes it may be impossible to tell what is happening whether it is your emotions communicating to you, or if it the spirit communicating to you. If you have to rely only on the spirit to make decisions, and you can't tell if it is the spirit communicating to you or not, then you are headed for trouble.

Third, what good is the spirit if it is not constantly there? When you make decisions, you sometimes have to make important ones quickly. If you only rely on the spirit to make decisions, and sometimes the spirit comes and sometimes not, then you can never totally rely on the spirit to make decisions. It is not there all the time, so you can't always trust it to make decisions when you need to make them.

God is not inefficient.

Because the spirit is so emotional, and because it is so infrequent, it is not wise to use it as a decision making tool. It should be used within the context of the spectrum. Leaving out data and reason can lead to an imbalance and manipulation, and we don't want to be there. We want to be in control of our own lives and our own actions. If we constantly give up our decisions to the spirit, we are no longer in control of our actions, the spirit is.

In nature, everything is used for something. Nothing is ever wasted. Nature did not give you a mind that can use both emotion and reason to only listen to emotions. Nature did not provide you with such a powerful tool so you could shut if off and listen to just the spirit. That would be a mistake and that would be an imbalance. Everything should be used in its proper context, and figuring out that context is what we must try to do.

Using the spirit within the proper context

The spirit can be a powerful tool to unlock some of our emotions inside us. At times, those emotions can be very beneficial in making our lives have meaning and finding peace. But to rely solely on the spirit will lead to an imbalance. So we must check the spirit with data and facts. We must use the spirit within its proper context and then we will be in control, not our emotions.


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