protecting our personal boundaries leaves us free to act in positive ways

I believe it is useful to acknowledge the “let’s pretend” basis for mental and emotional investment in religious and spiritual activity. Religious activity directly connects us to that faith world that is almost entirely unseen and only perceived through internal senses – predominantly feelings.

Whether subjectively sensed or objectively perceived … our religious sense is not a tangible object that can be dissected and subjected to a reductionist effort that serves the positions and perspectives of those who oppose religion in general.

Specifically for our conversation, we of Mormon heritage and culture are – or were at one time – totally immersed in a game of “let’s pretend it is all real and all true.”

Because of how we are taught to perceive and respect things that are “true,” we culturally and in almost knee-jerk fashion reverence our specific Mormon truths in the same way we respect other “truths” that merit respect and recognition such as gravity, weather, speed of sound, etc.

This reverence enhances the religious tendency to take literal any religious idea propounded as a truth from God – including a sect’s specific truths about God.

Such is one way we must recognize what it means to be believing Christians in general and believing Mormons in particular.

In so doing, with lives that are weaved into our family and LDS societal tapestries, we tend to allow ourselves to become almost Isaiah-like souls of sorrow.

We, just like the sermons we hear about the Suffering Servant, tend to take upon ourselves responsibility for the feelings and spiritual contentment of loved ones who ignorantly but cruelly insist that all who are family must sing in the same choir and with the same intensity.

This is not what we as real live human beings should be doing. This is especially true in the religious or spirit venues regardless of any communal pressure to make them mandatory and common to everyone in town.

We do our families no good by letting them cross over their own weak boundaries in disrespectful and ignorant attempts to shatter our boundaries.

We must resist that activity to stay sane.

We do not need to be rude, cruel, overly and aggressively blunt.

However we do it, protecting our personal boundaries leaves us free to act in positive ways – if such is possible in family interactions – for the highest good of all concerned. Failure to do so amounts to conceding defeat. It amounts to giving in to that very spiritual coercion Mormons talk about when they proudly assert that we – in the true version of The Pre-Existence – rejected that very coercive plan as proposed by Lucifer/Satan.

Bottom line is that we forget sometimes that we are willing actors in a dramatic performance that is pretend from its roots to its highest branches.

We can choose to walk off stage at any time with no obligation to justify feelings or actions to anyone – particularly to anyone still inside the drama and lost in their portrayal of the roles they’ve be taught to project themselves into absolutely.