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.
Dialogue Foundation, University Station -- UMC 7805, Logan, Utah 84322-7805
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Peterson, F. Ross ; Peterson, Mary Kay
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Why Am I Here? Gay Taylor I wonder why clouds aren't on the ground. Why do things grow? If the sun has eyes? Why does everything start with a letter? Why is the moon there and not down here? I wonder why people don't float, and why they don't fly, and why am I here? I found this philosophical bit by Chip Janis in In the New World (1988), a little book of poems put together by young Indian students at the Pretty Eagle School and St. Charles Mission in Ashland, Montana. Why am I here? It is a question most of us come face to face with. I have heard that Leo Tolstoy, after he had fathered thirteen children, helped Tsar Alexander II free the serfs, and written dozens of articles and books, still tortured himself with the question: "Why am I living?" During one period this question so haunted him that he refused to keep a rope in the house for fear he might throw it over a rafter and hang himself. Yet by his late sixties, he did have an inkling of what life is all about. "The only meaning of man's life," he wrote in his book The Kingdom of God Is Within You, "consists in serving the world by cooperating in the establishment of the kingdom of God; but this service can be rendered only through the recognition of the truth, and the profession of it, by every separate individual. 'The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you' " ([Luke 17:20-21] Boston: L. C. Page, 1951, p. 380). Mormons, of course, hold fast to the idea that we came from God, that we are here on earth to gain virtue by resisting temptation, and that we will return to God to whatever degree of glory we have earned. GAY TAYLOR was born and grew up in Idaho, a state with sensible names for their towns like Bliss, Chili, Fish Haven, Potlatch, Lava Hot Springs. Traveling around she knew immediately what to expect. Then she worked one summer, in her student days at BYU, in the registrar's office mailing out catalogues to towns in Utah called Tooele — pronounced Two Will Uh — or Panguich, and only the Panguiches know how to say that. It was unsettling. Being married—is it only fifty-six years?— to S. W. Taylor hasn't helped.