A big cornerstone of the Mormon Church is, of course, prayer and listening for an answer. It’s said to come in the form of a “still small voice” that is the Holy Ghost. I’ve heard many members of the congregation that get up on Fast Sunday to bear their testimony that start talking like that woman that recently was circulated on Facebook who was crying and talking about fried chicken and how she was told to not buy it for the homeless man. They would stand up in front of the congregation and carry on about whatever happened that week, and this is how they’re so righteous, and how they’re doing what God says. It was like a monthly bragfest among the adults as to who was the most holy.
So often I heard about them hearing the spirit literally talking to them, and I was jealous. Why did I never hear anything? Didn’t God love me too? Did I have not enough faith?
The quick explanation they’ll give is that the spirit will also confirm things with you by giving you a “burning in your bosom” if you’re doing the right thing or as a way to confirm the truth. That I have experienced a few times, but not exclusively at church or from the scriptures. Every year, almost like clockwork, once I put in my Trans-Siberian Orchestra CDs to listen to on the way to work, I feel that. It’s a joy I can’t hold in (and if I don’t have the cruise set, I find myself speeding a little bit) and I’m always moved to the brink of tears the first time I listen to it for the season.
In the Church they like to say that music is another way to worship God so they would account this as being from him. I now disagree, and here’s why: it’s an emotional response. And the last time I felt this was to something that they wouldn’t agree with.
A couple days ago I listened to an episode of Waking Up with Sam Harris, episode 60, “An Evening with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris (2)”. (If you haven’t listened to that podcast, I would highly suggest it. That episode was awesome!) After listening to this I really came to adore Professor Dawkins. There was something he said that brought that same feeling to me as when I listen to music that really touches me or when I had “felt the spirit” back in my Church days.
I wonder what my parents (or anyone in the Church leadership) would say about that?