In my spiritual exploration of late, I’ve come to realize and take understanding of an agnostic/atheist perspective: you feel more in control when there is no god; when there isn’t a puppet master, you work harder, and take ownership of your actions. The Christian adage goes, “Pray as if everything depended on Him, but work as if everything depended on you.” I’ve liked that since I heard it in high school, but not till now did I understand it. God, should be an afterthought—and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful or heretical sense—I mean that you should put as much effort as you can will, as much sweat and blood that can be mustered, and then consider in what God can have a hand. Of course, prayer should be done in anticipation of an event, and grace can be requested during; but I’ve yet to understand that for myself as much as prayer after [And I do mean for myself. In no way are these exhortations for anyone else. I philosophize and muse for my own benefit, and publish them for the same].
I have found that in my life I give credit to God enough for it to be a fault (again, here me out). When things go right, He, of course, is due; when things go wrong, He also, improperly, is due; I could have boosted my own effort instead of calling the circumstances His design. Instead of working half-heartedly, and expecting His intervention for my benefit, I could work as if He’s not there at all, and it is up to me to make the best out of the materials I have as well as their consequences. Some would call the first credo faith, but I find that a weak and crutch-like definition. Faith should embolden you, and give you cause to embark further, not go half mass. Possibly. I don’t know. I’m still exploring.
None of this is concrete. I’m confident that a god exists and that He is parental in nature. I feel so because I’ve felt cared for so. I’ve felt—what I can agree is God’s messenger—the Holy Ghost, testify of Joseph Smith’s role in the restoring of the true gospel of Christ. I can say I’ve felt a significance when I talk about repentance and Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. Those are a few things I feel concrete about. And I’m still exploring what traditional Mormonism means for me.