When I was little I definitely found the Bible intriguing. Its society seemed so incredibly distant from mine, its language totally foreign, its culture and people decidedly odd. Accounts of the Creation of the world, floods that cover the earth, wars between brothers and nations, miracles in the form of frogs and snakes, bread from heaven that turns into worms if you store it on any day but the Sabbath, marching around city walls to knock them down... all mixed in with page after page of genealogical entries, numbering the people, and cartographical references of some faraway place.

I found myself reading for the stories, and skimming everything else. The judges were dull until I read about Samson's feats of strength or Deborah's leadership in battle. 

But as I grew up and had my own problems to face, I found that the Bible, like the Book of Mormon, really did have applicable, personal insights into how to live my everyday life. David's prophetic and poetic psalms that seem to come to mind daily, and the warning intrinsic in his life to beware of sexual sin. The spiritual greatness of Solomon who, when he could have asked for anything, asked for the ability to bless others and help them as their king... and yet another warning in his life against the effects of sexual sin. 

One of the application issues with the Bible is that it can be easily interpreted, or translated, in a gazillion different ways. That means that referencing it without a common base of interpretation or a common authority is not incredibly helpful in discussions. Take the debate on homosexual sin. Bible scholars who have read the manuscripts in their many languages bicker over word choices, projecting their own logic into the text and trying to prove their point - on both sides. As soon as one brings up Sodom and Gomorrah, the Law of Moses, apostolic references as supporting evidence... the other side shows their own private interpretation... and vice versa. And since both are interpreting the scriptures within the imperfect frame they have - the literal translation from one archaic language to a modern one - there is no way to know which is right without choosing to accept the assumptions they make... or appealing to a greater authority. The Lord gave living authorities - prophets - to interpret His will for the welfare of mankind, and much of the New Testament is the story of the apostles trying desperately to rein in false doctrine and misinterpretation of sacred texts. Today, there are modern prophets, and thankfully, they're pretty direct in their statements and their application of the Bible to life.

Today the Bible continues to be a strength to me - one of the doors on which I can knock to speak with God. In its pages God helps me find direction, strength to overcome my temptations, and He helps me see who I really am. I'm not a gay Mormon guy - at least not in His eyes. In His eyes, I'm His son. I can feel that, and it blesses my life. And that's why I believe.
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