Adam S. Miller

“Wanting love is good and wanting to excel is good. The trouble comes from trying to tie them together. Pursue love and pursue excellence – pursue them with abandon. But you will spoil the joy native to each if you spend your life wanting to be loved because you are loved. Love is for its own sake. It works only as a gift, never a reward. It can’t be earned or bartered or not given at all.”

Adam S. Miller  |  Letters to a Young Mormon

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“Faith is more like being faithful to your husband or wife than it is like believing in magic. Fidelity is key. You may fall in love with someone because of how well they complement your story, but you’ll prove yourself faithful to them only when you care more for the flawed, difficult, and unplotted life you end up sharing with them. Faith isn’t the opposite of knowledge. Rather, like love, faith perfects knowledge by practicing fidelity to it.”

Adam S. Miller

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“In itself, doubt is neither good nor bad. Its value depends on what you do with it.”

Adam S. Miller  |  Letters to a Young Mormon

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“Why would God go out of his way to hide evidence and make his own (world-historically pivotal) message more obscure and less credible? Or even more to the point, what about God’s own absence? Why put us in the same weak position as Lehi? Why give us a text, at least twice removed from God himself, rather than give us some kind of direct interaction with God? Is this a game or a test? Is God just testing us to see if we’ll believe things that we don’t have good evidence for? If this is the case, then what is God testing for, credulity? Is credulity the measure of a life, the litmus test for salvation? In effect, is God saying, ‘You’re welcome to join me in eternal bliss, but only if you’re willing to believe (in exactly the right way) things that I intentionally and unnecessarily made it really hard to understand and believe?’ I don’t buy it. I don’t buy this version of the story.”

Adam S. Miller  |  Future Mormon, p. 21

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Moral creativity does not mean making up new morals. God’s law is God’s law. Rather, moral creativity has to do with the kind of creativity needed in order to be moral. It has to do with the kind of creativity needed to break bad habits. Or the kind needed to breathe life back into broken relationships. Or the kind needed to unbalance cycles of anger or violence. Or the kind needed to see past prejudices. Or the kind needed to be something more.

Adam S. Miller  |  Moral Creativity

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“Grace doesn’t grease the wheels of the law. Grace isn’t God’s way of jury rigging a broken law. It’s the other way around. The law is just one small cog in a world animated entirely–from top to bottom, from beginning to end–by grace.”

Adam S. Miller  |  Grace Is Not God's Backup Plan: An Urgent Paraphrase of Paul's Letter to the Romans

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“Grace is original. Grace is what comes first, and it is sin that then comes in response. Or creating is what comes first, and it is the fall that then comes in response. Sin at root, is a rejection of what God by way of creation, has given as a grace.”

Adam S. Miller  |  Future Mormon

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“We don’t have to work our way into grace; we have to stop working so hard to pretend we aren’t already in it”

Adam S. Miller  |  Future Mormon

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“Why would we suppress God’s grace? Because it scares us. What God gives is beyond our control, much of it is difficult to receive, and a lot of it fails to line up with what we thought we wanted. More, because we’re incapable of receiving, all at once, everything that God wants to give, God can only give a few things at a time. And because God can only give a few things at a time, all of God’s giving also arrives as the passing away of what was previously given. That is, all of God’s giving arrives as a kind of taking.”

Adam S. Miller  |  Future Mormon

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At some point, God will ask you to sacrifice on his altar, not only your stories about your own life, but your version of his stories as well. Your softly lit watercolor felt-board version of scripture stories and church history must, like all your stories, be abandoned at his feet, and the messy, vibrant, and inconvenient truths that characterize God’s real work with real people will have to take center stage. If they don’t, then how will God’s work in your hungry messy, and inconvenient life ever do the same?

When God knocks, don’t creep to the door and look through the peephole to see if he looks like you thought he would. Rush to the door and throw it open.

Adam S. Miller  |  Letters to a Young Mormon By Adam Miller

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