I believe in the principles of the gospel as I learned them. I also believe in some other principles I have learned from other sources - religious as well as secular. I have explored a few cultures of the world and found them to be very similar in they they teach us to be good and to belong and participate. I see Mormonism as a single "tribe" in a world of valid tribes. I am fascinated each of these tribes that I have connected with. I work to see these tribes as different facets of the same "us". They are all human societies and cultures and religions. I prefer to see us as all human rather than seeing the classic "us vs them" scenario. I believe in people and their ability to construct these tribes to understand the world and their place in it. To inform each of us of our own culture and history and to give a communal sense of belonging. I believe in people to do right as defined by their tribe and understood by the individual. I also hope or want to believe in a spiritual facet of being human. I believe there is great mystery in the universe but I don't feel adequate naming it or codifying it. Yet, I still strive to better understand it and mindfully experience it. I do my best to live life with mindful purpose and meaning. I'm very drawn to principles from the great wisdom traditions of the world too. I enjoy studying Buddhism and other "native" cultures. Integrating these "original" principles with my own beliefs and worldview has brought me peace, comfort and understanding.
I see God in the mystery of life. The fact that humans, animals, plants, anything exists is a miracle. I live in joy that I have consciousness, and get to experience the world. Some resources that have helped me find purpose and meaning include Stoicism and Secular Buddhism.
I'm not sure. I still believe that there is some higher power. I am comfortable in "not knowing" how it all works on the other side. For me, it has been easier to handle what I don't know, than it was for the things I "did know," but had legitimate issues with while in the church. If I don't know, then I don't find myself getting hung up on answers that I find problematic or troubling, like I did with many of the "known" answers we supposedly had in the church. I have no interest in trying to find another religion. This experience has left me severely disillusioned with religion in general.
My wife and I celebrate different cultures for our wedding anniversaries, and this year is our 20th wedding anniversary, and our 20th cultural celebration. As a result, we have had an opportunity to learn about so many different cultures, traditions, and religions. Further, I have actively participated in the rituals of some religions. I fasted for the entire month of Ramadan, and have read the Quran three times. I attended a Jewish synagogue and participated in the service. I have attended many different Christian faiths, participated in the services, and volunteered at their service projects. I currently volunteer as a coffee team member at an evangelical Christian church. I attended a Hindu temple, stood at the base of a human pyramid, and have attended their services. All of this to say that my beliefs now are very fluid. For the most part, as mentioned in a previous question, I primarily follow a secular form of Buddhism, and make meditation and mindfulness part of my daily practice. But I find that no single religion claims ownership of spirituality, and my beliefs very much reflect that. They are far more encompassing than exclusionary.
Honestly, belief is really hard for me. I guess I have come to the realization that we all have confirmation bias, and ultimately most of our beliefs are just that--ideas that we come up with to make ourselves feel better or to motivate ourselves. So now my new journey is examining my beliefs and deciding which ones serve me and which don't. Many of the ideas I grew up learning in Mormonism still serve me, many do not. But I now definitely believe that there are many ways to live a good life, not just one pre-prescribed set of beliefs.
Now I find inspired people are all around me and not just in an office building in Salt Lake City. I have begun to study philosophy and draw wisdom from a host of spiritual people from Richard Rohr to the Buddha. Podcasters from Krista Tippet to Science Mike. I am discovering a wealth of wisdom and spirituality which I never imagined possible. I try to develop a practice of "Effective Altruism" as I meet new communities of people working together to make the world a better place.
I believe in humanity. I believe there is mystery in the universe but I don't feel adequate naming it. I make space for people to believe differently and hope they give me the same with complete respect. I love people's stories and hope you recognize your story has value. Don't let anyone tell your story inaccurately. You have a right to your story being told. So with that I wish you the best on your journey.
I live for today. Life is too precious to waste time serving an unseen god. I believe in having fun and being nice.