First of all, I’d like to bring attention to a new publication that has recently been published called Mormon Artist (http://mormonartist.net). It seems to be right up my alley, anyway, and features Mormon sculptors, painters, musicians, dancers (even glass-blowers, reads the site).
It is in the early stages at the moment but I’m looking forward to seeing great things from it. If you’re looking for a more articulate extension of some of the thoughts and ideas I’ve expressed here, check out the following article, called Toward a Mormon Renaissance by James Goldberg:
For myself, I’d like to relate a story that shows how, to me anyway, lyrics can be scripture. I am incredibly compelled by the story of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a book by Douglas Adams. Without going into full detail, he gives a fictional and humorous account of the creation of the Earth, and how it is merely a gigantic computer so complex that life itself on it is part of the hardware, and it was built to discover, in short, the meaning of life.
If I look at my own life, in many ways I believe that it’s true. We are counseled that if we go to the temple or the scriptures with deep questions, we can “plug” those questions in and the output will be the correct answer, through revelation. I’ve found that life, itself, can be our “computer.” This world was built by Christ, with complexities we can’t even fathom, and I’ve found that when I look to the Earth and my own surroundings with deep questions, life sometimes spits the answer right back at me and I know that God is taking care of me.
A few months ago I interviewed a friend who goes by the stage name Young Sim when he raps, and I’ve been interested in his music as of late. He is a courageous young man who served in the same mission as me, and I was always inspired by his musical tenacity, but it was a line in one of his songs that stuck with me. Almost as an aside at the end of his song “Respect Me,” Sim mentions “you’re gonna be before that judgment bar by yourself, and you’re gonna be in that pine box by yourself.” The first time I heard that line, maybe six months ago, I filed it away in my mind.
Since then, it seems that every major life decision I’ve made has been influenced by those lines. Every time I begin to worry what other people think of me, whether they think my decisions are right, I think of those lines. They lead me to think that I have to do what I think is right, no matter what anyone else thinks. When it comes down to it, my agency is my own. I am the master of my own fate, and at the end, I will give an accounting of my actions, good and bad, to my Savior and to my God. I won’t be able to blame anyone else or point fingers at that time. It’s between me and God.
I’ve been so thankful to my friend Sim for including those lines in his song because they have inspired me to make the right decisions. I hope to continue to use them.
I firmly believe that others can use their lives as Scripture just as I use these lines as Scripture. Some people find their inspiration in sports, or paintings. Some people are interested in microbiology or even mathematics, and they find answers in these things, and they find God in these things. Life, the Universe, and Everything, it seems, can be Scripture if seen in the right light.