Dear 100 Hour Board,
Besides Mormonism, what religion do you have the most appreciation for, in terms of their beliefs or practices? And why?
-Trying to appreciate other faiths more
I feel like I have an appreciation for a lot of different religions for different reasons. Here are some of them.
I love the traditions of Judaism, and the people's commitment to them. Most deeply symbolic rituals and practices by other religions I find very beautiful and sacred. I love the concept of the Passover feast, and I think that the commitment to rules and tradition is a beautiful way to show commitment.
I love the beauty and grace of Islam. I think that Islamic art is beautiful, and I think that their prayer beads, together with their 99 names of God is beautiful. Once again, I think that reflects my appreciation of ritual worship. I've had some really good Muslim friends and I've really loved talking about their theology.
I really love the practice of the Jains showing non-violence toward everything, and appreciate that aspect of many religions. Asceticism in any religion is a cool concept to me, and I think is a really worthy goal, though there are a lot of religions that I think take it too far. But I have a ton of respect for the devotion.
Keep it real,
I've always thought Pastafarianism was pretty entertaining. My (incredibly brief) study of it in high school helped me on my mission when some random dude told my companion and I that he was Pastafarian, and I won his respect by knowing what the "religion" was.
But more seriously, I've recently been reading the story of Buddha, and it's pretty incredible. The conclusions he's reached, and the means by which he came to them, match what I believe as well. I haven't read much so I can't talk in depth about what I appreciate, but hopefully that will change soon!
-guppy of doom
I love this question! There are so many wonderful faiths out there and I think every faith has something that we can learn from and use to bring ourselves closer to Christ. I really wish I was more familiar with eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and especially Islam. The religions that I'm most familiar with are various branches of Christianity and it has been really interesting to see the different ways people believe in and try to follow Christ.
Of all the different branches of Christianity, I really appreciate how Evangelical Christians believe in and follow Christ. To me, I think one of the defining characteristics of their faiths is their enthusiasm and appreciation for Christ. I admire how their gratitude for our Savior's atoning sacrifice is such a constant and exciting part of their life. I love how vocal they are about giving credit to God, thanking him for their blessings, and hoping that other people can have the same blessings. Sometimes I think that as Mormons we can be a little hesitant, shy, awkward, or worried about sharing the gospel. I like how Evangelicals are so willing to talk about how much they love Jesus.
Another thing to me that is really interesting is how many of them are service minded and go out of their way to help others. One aspect of Evangelical Christianity is that most Evangelicals believe that all that you need to do to be saved is to accept Christ; no good works necessary. Yet, despite not believing in the need to repent for salvation, they repent and help others anyways because they have been born again and love God.
I realize that I have made some generalizations, and obviously there Evangelicals who go through the motions, as well members of all faiths who are enthusiastic about the gospel and make it part of their everyday lives. I just think that Evangelicals are better than most at doing things for the right reason and at maintaining the fire of the testimony. I think that members of the LDS faith do a pretty good job with this, but I think sometimes we just go through the motions or take for granted the amazing blessings we have. I think if we could combine the beautiful truths of the Restoration and our cultural and practical strong points with the enthusiasm of Evangelical Christians it would be truly awesome.
Also, I like Vocal Point and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but Southern Baptist Choirs are way better in my opinion. If there was a Southern Baptist congregation nearby I would totally go once in a while just to hear them sing. If I could have our church adopt one practice from another faith, it would definitely be singing like they do.
Anyways, I hope you learned something. You should totally get out and interact with some Evangelicals. you'll get a much better appreciation from them then you can from me. Also, if you're looking to learn more about other faiths, BYU offers a World Religions course that would be a good starting point to appreciate other faiths more. That way you could learn some background on other religions so you can have more meaningful experiences with them. Hope this helps!
I really like Buddhism, and I think it promotes a good way of living and helps produce good people. I think the Noble Eightfold Path has a lot of truth in it, the practice of meditation is awesome, cultivating good personal virtues is a great thing to do, and I love what an all-encompassing perspective it has. Also I'm a big believer in karma (I mean, up to a certain point, because I don't believe in reincarnation), and although we basically teach the same thing in the LDS Church (you reap what you sow and all that), I like how much emphasis it receives in Buddhism, because I think it's important to remember that actions have consequences and that being a good person matters.
I also like Islam a lot. Muslims are facing so much discrimination and hate right now in the world, and I have a lot of admiration for how much grace and resolve and faithfulness they show even in the face of ugly Islamophobic beliefs. I also think the 5 Pillars of Islam are pretty cool, and help promote a good way of life.
Obviously any religion can be twisted to be used as justification for horrible things, which is tragic, but I also love seeing how so many different religions promote goodness in the everyday lives of those who follow them.
Almost all of them. I think it is easier to say that I don't really appreciate the Pastafarians, mostly because they admit their "religion" is a joke.
-Sunday Night Banter
It's not a religion, but I kind of like agnosticism.
My backup religion is Rastafarianism, tbh. They believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly, the scattering and gathering of Israel, the second coming of Christ, personal and continuing revelation and lots of true things (though the blessings of those truths seem to be rather ethnocentric in their view.) Unlike Rastafarians we believe all will be gathered and exalted, not just certain African diasporas. But BONUS: Group marijuana mediation and good music. Unfortunately, I'm not black and I don't smoke weed and I'm against cultural appropriation. So I would probably in reality just end up agnostic or Buddhist.