Sunday, February 27, 2011

In which I may have conquered a fear.

A friend once asked me what I feared most. The conversation had consisted of answers along the lines of spiders, snakes, rapists, the like. My response: "Being wrong." I was terrified that I was going to die, and find out that everything I ever believed in was wrong.  That I would wake up, look around and realize, "Hey, this is hell, not heaven!"
But today, I realized...I could handle that.
Well, not the being in hell part. That would suck. Just the being wrong part.
That if I died and was having a good old heart-to-heart with God, or St. Peter, or my great-great grandmother-- whoever shows you the ropes and answers your questions after you die-- and was told, "You know, your beliefs were great and all, but the Baptists were actually a lot closer to the truth" I'd be a little confused, but I could take it.
That if I learned that the Trinitarian conception of the Godhead was a lot closer than the Mormon one, or that the prophets have made mistakes and said things that weren't true, or that Elijah (or was it Elisha?) really did sic she-bears on children (or that he didn't)....I would get disoriented, but then move forward and be okay with it, as long as I still knew that the following were true:
There is a God.
We are His children.
He loves us.
He knows best how our greatest good will be achieved and is constantly working for that good.
We have free will.

Because, you see, I feel that these are the things that I know. Because I have seen God answer my prayers. I have felt His love. I am constantly reminded of the ways in which He guides my lives and others' lives.
And because I know this to be true, not much else matters except that I trust God and follow His guidance in my life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In which the bloggy-blog gets a makeover.

Hey friends. Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, I was thinking about starting a blog (actually, I had to for a class) and I was trying to think of a URL for it. Around the same time, I watched a documentary on the life of an LDS concert pianist named Reid Nibley (Yes, Hugh's brother). When Reid was asked what advice he had for young piano students, all he said was, "Practice beautifully."  That little phrase changed my perspective. Previously I had practiced mechanically, trying to memorize songs, perfect technique, all that jazz. But how much more enjoyable, how much more wonderful can practicing be, if every second that I'm at the piano, I am striving for beauty, for emotional connection with music, for purity in sound and feeling?
And outside of music, what if we lived every second like it mattered, not like it was a practice for something later?
I decided to take Nibley's "Practice Beautifully" one step further, and use the phrase "Live Beautifully" for my URL.  Unfortunately, this phrase was already taken, so I had to throw a diminutive of my name in there, creating "livebeautifullyriss.blogspot.com".
This URL has been with me a long time, and I'm a bit attached to it. On the other hand, it's always bothered me a bit. The private meaning of the phrase, the awkward way "Riss" is thrown in there...it's just bothersome, really. So today, I said goodbye to that URL.  The new one goes with the theme of all my titles, and still keeps the "aliveness" idea. I think it's just easier to remember and less unwieldy.
So here is what I ask of you, dear readers. I'm a bit worried that no one can find my blog now that the URL is different. I'm not sure if blogger will still list it in my followers' windows. So, can you do me a favor and comment if you can see this post? I'd sure 'prishiate it.