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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132 I Dialogue There are a limited number of men that I know of who feel the same way that I do—to the same degree that I do. I sense this. There are certain individuals to whom I relate, to whom I resonate in a strong way because I know that they have the same magnitude of feeling about these things as I do. I consider that each of us is a product of three very influential factors. The first factor is eternal intelligence. We are spirit children of God and even though our remembrances and recollections are shielded from us, there is still the influence of that innate core of our being. The second factor is that we are the product of Mendelian genetics—we are the product of the physical heritage that we absorb through our ancestors and through genetics. We are also the product of the environment in which we grow up and there are substantial influences of that environment. I think another principle of my religious experience is that all of the things we do, as Alma points out, should be done unto the Lord, and that our counseling should be done with the Lord. I know without a shadow of a doubt that at the present time I should be here. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is the very position that I should have right now, because of the fact that this is where the Lord through the Spirit has told me to live. I can tell you that the house I buy or the car I drive are mine or the man who runs my research laboratory works with me because of a spiritual conviction that that was the right thing to do at the time. When one comes to the point where one realizes that one learns slowly, line upon line, precept upon precept, as stated in the 98th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, and that one must bring into subjection to the will of the Lord all of the features of one's life, one then begins to realize the true measure of one's success in life. That is hard on one's ego because one must realize and acknowledge the fact that the direction, the strength, the sustenance for all those things comes from another source. Only to the degree that one learns to do that does one truly begin to realize the fullness of the cup that is there for us to drink of. Let us just spend about five more minutes together for we have come to the end of the hour. Others we have interviewed—men who have undergone scientific training similar to yours—say they feel a little intellectual dishonesty in saying "I know" or in other people using those words without any qualification. From your comments I would guess that you have no qualms whatsoever about using the words, "I know." To me, religion is as scientific as anything I experience, because all I have to do is to plug in the formula of keeping my thoughts clean, of keeping charitable attitudes in my mind, of living the physical commandments of the Lord, of doing the things I am asked to do, to the degree that I know the Lord would have wanted, and then I can repeat that religious experience. There is a reproduc-ibility there that I want to convey to you that is so important to me because all I have to do is to plug into the processes of the Lord to reproduce the experience and feel the peace. That is such a sustenance to me; I cannot really say, "I don't know." If a person cannot say intellectually, "I know," in my own mind I say to them, "Friend, I am sorry that you have not experienced what I have experienced, because I feel absolutely no intellectual dishonesty in saying to my