Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Rees, Robert A.
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130 I Dialogue As you have traced the history of your religious experience from your mission, through school, to the present, I did not get any indication that you were really meant to be a discoverer and let religion sit on the shelf. Have you ever experienced those feelings in your own life? I think that one goes through an ego struggle in which one has to realize one's limitations and has to sit down and say, "I am not an Albert Einstein, I am not a Robert Good, I am not a Michael DeBakey," and to realize that if one is going to maintain a balance, there is a limit to that which one can achieve. I could tell you the names of individuals who probably spend about 70 or 80 hours a week in their medical and academic endeavours. They achieve more than I do. I have decided that in my own professional situation, my involvement will be one which has variety. I have a research lab; I administer a service laboratory operation that brings in over a half a million dollars a year. At the same time, I am involved with teaching and I see patients in clinical consultation. So the conflicts or the circumstances that have arisen in my life relate to how I am going to balance all of these things and how I am going to maintain myself at a level in which I am competent in my profession but in which I give to the Lord the time which the Lord through His chosen servants asks of me. There is a tempering that one has to go through; there is a discipline time wise that one has to exert and I think that it takes an effort to maintain the balance. Seeing what others have gone through in becoming lukewarm or inactive in the Church has fortified me in determining that I am not going to fall prey to those deceptions mentioned previously, because I feel that they are self-deceptions. I feel that to maintain the balance one has to be willing to give that which he has promised in temple ordinances and other covenants, that is, a total commitment of one's time, one's means and one's abilities to the Lord should the Lord ask for those things at any time. Let me probe a little bit now into the last thing you mentioned, your temple commitments. I have the feeling that your life is minutely organized and that you have made certain commitments to yourself, to the Lord, and to other people. Could you elaborate for me on the nature of those commitments? I know that in your parents' home you did not get the same kind of doctrinal foundation that a good number of Mormons do, but that you have risen, as it were, through commitments of some kind. I think that I have come to understand somewhat my own weaknesses. I think I understand my own vulnerabilities and I work hard to avoid placing myself in situations where I might become vulnerable. I do not by any manner or means maintain that I have everything under control, because I do not. But I have learned certain defensive efforts that I can bring into play. One which I consider to be very effective relates to the promise of the Lord as given in I Corinthians 10:13 and also in Alma 18:27, that the Lord gives no temptations unto the children of men except as are common to all of us. It is helpful to know that my colleagues and my good friends have the same kinds of pressures that I do. I have made a commitment to live the commandments of the Lord as fully as I am capable of doing. I think that this begins with the mental process. One of