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Thursday, August 18, 2005 

Sheep Go To Heaven, Goats Go To Hell

This was a harder topic to write on than I thought it would be. And it is NOT because I don’t think I have false gods and idols. (Ya’ll should know me better than that by now.) In truth, I had a hard time dissecting how I view false gods and idols and what those were in MY life. The outcome is far different than what it will be for any of you.

Or will it?

I have an addictive personality. No, that doesn’t mean that others are addicted to MY personality. (Although, I am a lot of fun.) What I mean by that statement is that my personality or character has addictive tendancies that will TAKE OVER MY LIFE if I am not careful. But I have learned that statement can be said about anyone of us. It is how we deal (or not deal) with these tendancies that define who we are.

I need a 12-Step program for my caffeine problem. We joke and say that anytime I need “a fix” that I am worshipping at St. Arbucks. It is a joke…but perhaps it’s not that funny if I go slightly out of my way to work each morning because of it. There are TWO ways to work…why do I take that second way? It’s not good, people…and I know that. Yet why do I continue on like I don’t have a choice in the matter?

I just finished the Sixth Harry Potter book. I loved it. I wished the seventh one was already written so I could continue reading. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading that book because I just HAD to see what Harry and Co did next. I put off other things that I should be doing to read that book. But have I ever done that while reading the scriptures? Have I ever stayed up late glued to the scriptures because I just HAD to see how the parable of the laborers in the vineyard turns out? No, I never have. Does that mean that I have to include Harry Potter to “The List” of False Gods & Idols? Kinda looks that way, doesn’t it?

The problem is, there really isn’t anything wrong with me reading Harry Potter. (Notice I did not include the statement that ‘there really was nothing wrong with my caffeine addiction in their too.) The tricky part of the equation is letting books (like Harry Potter) or money or cars or clothes or worldly people become like an addiction that gets in the way of other, more important aspects of our life. You may even say that anything that takes away from the importance of Heavenly Father in our lives could be added to “The List.”

It’s scary when you actually stop and think about it. The List keeps getting longer.

I think it is important to remember that each person struggles differently with their “addictions.” I’m not going to lose sleep at night about my Harry Potter reading…but I am going to make sure that I have balance in my life to make sure I’m putting the Lord first. It always goes back to the balance issue, doesn't it?

For the record, I MAY lose sleep over the caffeine issue…but that could be due to compounding reasons. I'm just saying.

I’m not going to lose sleep at night about my Harry Potter reading...

... but you did :)

Good post, JP.

What's with the title?

I take full credit for the title. It's a Cake song. And JP and I were talking about this post (instead of working, which is one of the JOYS of working with JP) and talking about the "sheep" mentality many LDS people have. She was "going" to talk about that... but apparently did not. Still, the title is fun... and I like it. :)

Also... good post JP. I think it's interesting that if we really allowed ourselves to, we could get seriously bogged down in thinking of ALL the things we DON'T do right. I honestly believe this is one of Satan's greatest tools. It is SO easy to see when we fall short, or have behaviors or habits (why can I sit and read a novel from cover to cover but not the scriptures?)that don't go exactly hand in hand with the things we think we SHOULD be doing.

The point of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that Christ atoned for our sins, for our short comings, for the things we can't do perfectly. I honestly believe that the Lord knows our hearts. He knows the struggle we have with our personal idols and pet sins. I think we (and more often than I think is nessecary other members of our faith) find it easy to point out the obvious and glaring flaw. Christ atoned for us so we can do the best we can and when we fall short not beat ourselves up about it.

Yes...i couldn't dump the title just because I changed how I wrote the post. And I totally laughed at myself for my pun...sort of intended...sort of by accident :D

I was going to write about how much I worry about what I'm NOT...how I worry about how I look, how I dress, etc...but, you know...i'll have to cover that topic another day.

"It's a Cake song."

I knew it. I love Cake! Particularly "Long line of cars", "wheels", and "Comfort Eagle"

I love cake too!

particulary German chocolate, marble fudge, lemon... just about any flavor.

Ahh, so many questions...

I've seen Cake in concert and it's great when they sing that song, because they get the audience to scream, "GO TO HELL! GOOOOO TOOO HEEEEELLL!" while they sing the chorus. Too much fun.

In other news, I liked your post. Very true.

And perhaps if the Scriptures were faster paced and more exciting with more vivid characters, then we'd all read them into the wee hours. Maybe we could get them in CD form, read by Keifer Sutherland and Jude Law. Sariah can be voiced by Nicole Kidman. Totally sweet. Then the characters would really come to life!

You are a funny lady. To go along with the addictive personality thing, I would have to add food to my list of idolatrous problems. I would drop $500 bucks for a meal for myself, no problem, if I had it. I mean I have a sort of addiction to all things salty and fatty, but I love, even worship fine food.

I remember sitting in a restaurnat in Lahaina, Maui with my sis-in-law having a rather intense discussion about food. While I have had the opportunity to eat in some pretty swanky places around the country including big cities and resorts, she has not. I love and appreciate the nuances of fine food, she does not. But her argument was TOTALLY valid: it is immoral to spend more money on food than is necessary. I have a hard time agreeing although I know she is fundamentally right in the long run.

There are people who obsess and spend too much time and money on all sorts of things. For each of us it will be different, but I sort of consider that type of behavior idolatrous (to use the word broadly).

As a side note, when it comes to Harry Potter...to illustrate how I feel...tonight is our big ward/neighborhood ladies' social sponsored by the Relief Society. We will be meeting at the ward house and will have different rooms for different activities: karaoke, dance dance revolution, food, chatting, and...as sort of a joke and sort of not, a Harry Potter discussion room. There are still people who are finishing book six and still need to process it. Call it cheap therapy.

Great post! Reminds me of this great book "The Ladies Auxialiary" which could be written about us--the best and the worst of us (think "Breakfast Club")--it takes place in the Jewish version of Provo. In any case, there is one character who always feels guilty because she secretly keeps a tupperware bowl of non-Kosher crab salad (it's probably even Krab with a "K" salad) hidden away in her fridge. My thoughts on Mormondom: "We each have our little bowl of Krab salad."

As for losing sleep over Harry Potter, who didn't?

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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