A religion is a lens by which an explorer attempts to see that which is heavenly, God. When I engage with Mormonism, with my lens, God appears more clearly to me and life becomes more meaningful. My lens is not perfect and I have no doubt that other lenses provide a similar experience. A specific lens, or lenses in general, may be unimportant to or disliked by certain explorers. Some explorers may have no interest in the heavens, because heaven seems so far. Lenses themselves may be tweaked and changed over time to give seekers a better perspective. One lens may work for one person, but not for another, not due to anything “wrong” with the lens itself, but that the people engaging with the lens are different. It is important to disengage with one’s lens in order to get a more holistic view and get one’s bearings.

The heavens are the same for all, but the lenses that we use are different and we, explorers, are different. The infinite amount of lenses and the infinite amount of explorers allow for unique combinations and thus unique experiences. One person may look through a lens and be overwhelmed by the beauty or experience an epiphany, while another looks and wonders what was so special. The first may return to analyze the same point in the sky and not be effected at all, while the second may try again and be enlightened themselves. Timing matters. People change. The heavens change. The lens changes.

Most people believe that their lens is best, for it is what they have the most experience with and it has added value to their life. Their friends and family probably use the same lens or type of lens. A lot of people engage with their lenses together and share experiences with what they have seen and experienced.

Some people have found fault with their lens, perhaps an imperfection in the glass or a frustration at the lack of detail or the difficulty of trying to engage with the lens.Man and Stary Sky

Some days, when you look through the lens, the sky is clear and the celestial bodies are brilliant, on other days the sky is cloudy and you may wonder if there is any use to using the lens at all.

How clear is your lens?

Has it been a long time since you have engaged with your lens?

While you may consistently engage or appear engaged with your lens, have you lost your passion for exploring the heavens?

Do you envy other lenses or desire to give up lenses all together?

Matt Kern was born in Provo, grew up in Orem, and moved way out to American Fork, Utah. He is a new father and has been married and sealed for over 5 years. He served a mission in McAllen, Texas, 2005-2007, on the frontera with Mexico where he gained an addiction to gospel study and theological reasoning. Thanks to awesome resources like Rational Faiths, Matt went through Fowler's stages of faith 3-5 in right around 6 months. He is currently serving as 2nd counselor in his ward's bishopric.

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