Open your minds to possibility of science

    31

    I have been at BYU for about 4 and a half years. I have earned a BS and in a short time hope to be rewarded an MS. I have learned about the marvels of science and had the opportunity to see the beauty of nature first hand. I have learned the joys and frustration of teaching underclassmen as well as the desperation that accompanies enrollment in upper division courses. I have worked for the LDS Foundation Telefund (bothering alumni and students during dinner) and I have volunteered with the BestBuddies club, among other activities. I even met my wife on a school trip to the Amazon Rain forest (yes, I think this is superior to meeting at a singles ward). In all I count my years here at BYU as excellent. I have noticed, however, that from our sudo-benevolent vantage point of quasi perfection, we here at BYU have the blessed distinction of being by far the most peculiar bunch I’ve ever come across.

    I think at BYU we often corroborate ignorance simply because many of us feel reticent to develop an opinion we feel might be misconstrued as contrary to the views of the Church. My experience with the world at large has taught me that trying out my ignorance on those more experienced than myself ultimately leads to greater knowledge and understanding in me. Hence, with the paucity of differing views, some of us, I fear, are learning much needed lessons about life and humanity at an astonishingly slow rate. Or, as one of my sister’s roommates so famously put it; “Well, sometimes it’s good to be closed-minded.”

    In light of all the blessings and knowledge I’ve received while attending BYU I count two events uncannily cool. I wish to share them not because I think they are all that unusual in and of themselves but because they represent an attitude and breadth of understanding that can be had at BYU with just a little more effort than is required to find the RideShare board in the WILK.

    1) About a year ago a controversial topic among many LDS, evolution, was called upon to defend research that seemed to point out a glaring lie in the Book of Mormon via genetic data. Namely, the assertion that Lehi and his decedents were Jewish. My father was able to attend a seminar addressing the claims, with me, and was blown away by a new understanding of something he had felt was “ungodly.” In a new light evolution was transformed into a plain understanding apt at discrediting nay-sayers of a truth we both had had previously affirmed by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost (the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon).

    2) On Thursday, March 25, Dr. William Bradshaw gave a 60-minute talk about the biological basis for Homosexuality. He did a fantastic job introducing a mostly naive audience to the body of knowledge concerning a biological basis for homosexuality and the failure that has met attempts to correct same sex attraction through therapy/counseling.

    The treatment of these topics, here on campus, by good and knowledgeable Latter-Day Saints points out something I have had to accept time and time again: Our preconceived notions of how things should be influences how we perceive our world, our fellow brothers and sisters and our faith. And as soon as a little light is allowed to be shown on our preconceptions we are forced to reckon with the reality that they were indeed, just preconceptions: synthesis of ignorant observations masquerading as truth. So, go! Form opinions, embrace your ignorance and flaunt it unabashedly. I believe if we do, very soon, we will be able to more efficiently and effectively learn and teach truth, here and for the rest of our lives.

    David B. Gonzalez

    Provo

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