Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thor's Day to reflect on experiencing Jesus

Thor would like to learn more

Thor was going to take the day off, thinking that if people either believe in a god or not – and that’s an end to it – then what’s a god to do but take the day off?
    But then last week’s column (“Experiencing Jesus: Is that experiment necessary?”) generated a detailed description of one person [Patrick Sawyer’s] experience of Jesus, posted as a five-part comment, beginning in the comments section of that column. Not having experienced Jesus himself, Thor read the description with heightened interest. And he would very much like to read other people’s accounts of experiencing Jesus.
    So, if anyone else reading today’s column experiences (or has experienced) Jesus, Thor appeals to you to describe your experience in a public comment, on either last week’s column or today’s.
    Thor would like to know whether your experience of Jesus is or was similar to Mr. Sawyer’s, and in what ways your experience is or was different from his.
    Thor thanks you for contributing to his understanding of a contemporary person’s experience of Jesus. Thor appreciates your contribution and is grateful. He says he’ll owe you one.

[Editor's note: You might compose your description in a separate file, then copy it to the comment window. That way, if the first attempt to publish the comment fails, you won’t have lost your text.]

Thor also shares the following congratulatory epistle from Susan C. Price to her disciple Moristotle, who last week announced his conversion from imagining that people only imagine experiencing a god, to accepting their word for it that they really do.
    Susan’s epistle:

sounds like you have indeed been saved ... saved from feelings of being left out ... saved from worrying that others perceive the world and god and jesus wrongly...
    that adds up to more joy all around ... mazel tov and totally fucking awesome!
    and yeah, if you need to, you may quote me ... LET IT ALL GO!
Copyright © 2015 by Morris Dean


  1. [Editor's note: received by email yesterday afternoon, in response to email request:]

    Thanks for this opportunity. I admire your conviction to take people's words and not disproving them.
        I read [Mr. Sawyer’s] lovely comment. I am afraid my words are much more simple, but I loved his story, and his clear knowledge of scripture.
        For [my husband] Jad and me, our comments are best related from previously written posts on the subject [on my blog, Making Life a Bliss Complete].

    For me, the post “You Aren’t Weird, but Your Beliefs Are: My Life as a Mormon,” which begins:

    Many of my friends are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church) just like me. However, I also have many treasured relationships with people not of my faith. For those of you who aren’t a part of my faith, but who know me well, you may have asked yourself at one time or another why I would be a part of such a religion. I know what people say about Mormons, and I know what preachers teach about them. You may have looked at me and thought, “Mandy is a smart, kind person. She has a good family life. I just don’t get how she is a member of such a church that believes such weird things.”
        I can appreciate that, and now, I want to respond to this paradox by first telling you about my life as a Mormon.
        I was born to two parents who were both members of my church, so since birth, I have attended the LDS church. [read more]

    For Jad, the post “Pioneer: One that goes before, showing others the way to follow,” which begins:

    Every year on July 24, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) celebrate Pioneer Day, the anniversary of the day that the first Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It is a day to honor and remember the faith, courage, sacrifice, and perseverance of the early members of the church. The early Saints were such powerful examples of putting God first and following His will no matter what the circumstances. They endured more hardships than most could ever imagine, fearing for their lives, being driven from place to place, grieving over the martyrdom of their beloved prophet, and traveling hundreds of miles by foot (some with only handcarts in the bitter cold of winter), to finally find a resting place where they could worship the Lord, Jesus Christ, in peace....
        My husband, Jad, is one of these pioneers. He grew up in Jordan with a very large family, all who affiliated themselves with the teachings and traditions of the same Christian religion. Throughout his childhood, Jad had many questions. He would look up at the stars and wonder where he came from and what the purpose of life was. When he was about 9 or 10, he asked a priest these questions. He was quickly rebuked saying that he should not ask such questions as they would make him crazy. When Jad sadly learned that there were no answers to his questions, he slowly slipped away from his religion and God. He finally denounced religion all together when he stopped attending his Christian school at age 15. [read more]

    Our spiritual experiences are ongoing, where we truly feel the presence of God and Jesus Christ in our lives. So many of our stories are on my blog, should anyone wish to look.

  2. My description comes from p. 6 of my 2002 memoir, “My Life ”:

    In November of 1974 I was attending a little Assembly of God church in Madera [California]. Our pastor's name was Pastor Bigler. One Sunday, while we were praying, he walked around praying for each one of us. When he prayed for me, this unusual joy came over me that I had never experienced anything quite like it before. About a week later, I was reading a book by Dennis Bennett about receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It seemed like a light bulb went on in my head, and I knew it was time! [My husband] Doug was not at home; I went in to my bedroom and started praying. Oh, such joy came over me, I spoke in tongues, and I knew something wonderful was happening! For the next few weeks I felt like I was in a joy-filled bubble! No matter what I did (washing dishes, vacuuming), I felt this wonderful joy! Everything seemed different, the Bible became real to me, and I wanted to tell everyone about Jesus! With the baptism came a boldness and a love for people I had never experienced before. It was wonderful! God's timing is perfect, and he was preparing me for what was ahead [including becoming a widow with three young sons].

  3. Mandy Al-Bjaly & Karen Abbey, THANK YOU for responding to the invitation to share your experience of Jesus here at Moristotle & Co. Two more accounts have now been posted as comments on the preceding Thor's Day column ("Experiencing Jesus: Is that experiment necessary?"), one by KyleE4HShootingSports (in Part 1 & Part 2), which was actually posted the day before I heard from the two of you, and another by Tony Diana Jr (also in Part 1 & Part 2), received just this afternoon. I invite you (and anyone else) to read their accounts.