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Stories For Mormons: 001: Introduction/The Boy Capsized In The Ocean

How can one express that which is inexpressible? How does one convey a truth that transcends description? The Parable, is a form of storytelling that exists in every spiritual tradition. It is a way of exploring universal truths. Parables often use metaphorical language which allows people to discuss more complex or difficult ideas.

I hope this series can explore concepts more specific to LDS, customs, culture, theology, and doctrine using stories. I invite you to write me your interpretations and understanding of the stories shared on this series. I will then post a follow-up episode where I read your responses so we may all learn from each other.

To send me your interpretation email me at [email protected]. If you can, in the header of the email, write the Episode number so I know which episode you are referring to. I look forward to your responses.

This Story takes an alternate look at Elder and Sis. Renlund’s story about the boy capsized in the ocean given at their young adult address in Jan 2019.


10 thoughts on “Stories For Mormons: 001: Introduction/The Boy Capsized In The Ocean”

  1. I wish we didn’t start off with this analogy because RFM & Reel sort of hacked it ad nauseam. That said, you seem to have taken Rendlund’s analogy and replaced it with a more honest transparent church with a female captain (priesthood ordination)?

    Not sure if arriving to land happens, thought that projection was meant for the life to come, but if we are to mark smaller milestones as success then great analogy. When will the church thanks us for helping repair itself and acknowledging it’s mistakes.

    Till then, all very wishful thinking, but I suspect that our church will look like the one described within next the 20-40 years (do you have the patience to wait around for those changes to be brought about?).

    1. Thank you for your comments. It seems like you might be trying to understand what I think about the story but what does the story mean to you? Do you see the female captain as female priesthood ordination? Do you interpret the land as the afterlife? Or do you interpret it as something else? I am most interested in what you take away from the story. What is your interpretation?

      1. I think that with all parables we have to be careful with what was meant to be conveyed, and what is actually understood. We tend to project our own understanding given our own life experiences, internal struggles and desires.

        Mind you, I did not tune in with 100% of my attention… and so many different interpretations and conclusions can be offered by the analogy.

        Is the first boat meant to be the church we were born into?
        The second church obviously while still imperfect seems to be more transparent and efficient, at least you were able to touch land. Once you touch land do you abandon ship?

        Open interpretation of the analogy sends everyone in array. But here goes my two cents.

        First boats seems to imply the current LDS church. Second boats seems to imply a better version of either the LDS church or even another church. Which church would I rather be on, well the second one, duh.

        Since we touch land and still live to tell about it, then it must mean that we actually get to partake of the fruits or fulfill the purpose of getting on the boat in the first place within our lifetime. What partaking of that fruit actually means seems to vary within our interpretation of what enjoying eternal life might be. I no longer see enjoying the afterlife as an objective, I expect that to be a consequence of enjoying the present life here and now. If I can’t do that now, then what guarantees will I have to enjoy it later.

        Does living by a set of rules bring more joy in life than without them? Does breaking the rules allow me to feel more fulfilled and enjoy life more? Will heaven be restrictive or liberating?.

        Enough of my mind dump.Can you show me which is the best ship to be on, or is that one of our own making? While I think it’s great to live true authentic lives this is best done not in isolation.

        1. Personally I don’t like the boat analogy. To me I take the implication that the ocean as being a horrible world that one cannot navigate on their own. Where do the boats come from? Like they have to be an organization. Of course there is only one true boat. ug.

          I feel like I have been recycling many peoples words as I have been in this journey. Last summer I was in the wind rivers and away from my group. Had a thought that felt organic and original to me. I recognize the words from U2’s Acrobat that “every artist is a cannibal – every poet is a thief.” Perhaps there is some seed of someones words in my thought – if there is I don’t know the source. Rambling disclaimer done.!

          I felt and thought that religion is a vehicle. I certainly looked forward to getting back to the trail-head parking and getting in the truck to drive the 6 hours home. That was an efficient vehicle for that purpose. However, I also recognize that my shoes/feet were like wise a functioning vehicle to get me back to Utah and home. But I would much prefer the truck. So perhaps religion is a vehicle to spirituality. Perhaps at some point in our life we learn how to transport ourselves and no longer have need of the prescribed forced or otherwise vehicle/religion and can now find our own spirituality.

          I also felt that religion to be like a career. And with the comparison of me to my kids juxtaposed to god to us. I don’t care what career my kids choose. Let’s put that concept into mormon-ese – Do we really care that our kids find the ‘one-true-career?’ What Contractor or home builder was wrong, you mean I should have choose mechanic – like that was the true career. As if it was new spin on the south park episode.
          If there is a god – Perhaps he is more looking at us like we look at our kids. Be good to each other and serve each other.

          Thats my penny and half

          TL;DR – Order onion Rings and be good to each other

          1. This is great. Thank you for your take on the story and how the analogy of water and boats don’t work for you. I love your vehicle analogy and career analogy. Would it be ok with you if I shared your thoughts on my follow up commentary episode?

          2. Thanks for sharing this. It really struck a chord with me. I will say that your vehicle analogy should be modified such that the Wind Rivers is the destination…that place is heaven on earth.


        2. I would say that we can’t read anything without projecting our own understanding onto it and this is why it is so important to allow space for multiple interpretations of a story. I love your thoughts. There are things that your life experience have brought to the interpretation of the story that I haven’t thought about or examined in the same way. This is why I hope that we can share our personal interpretations in order to experience the story from multiple perspectives. This allows us to expand our own perspectives. Thank you for your comment. I will be sharing my interpretation on the follow-up episode. would you mind if I shared your interpretation in that episode?

  2. There are many of us who were born on the boat and in our life’s experiences we have absolutely no other context of what land is or how we would act ounce there many years of practice as a physician having not been to medical school might still make an effective doctor in some cases but not all so it goes with the l d s faith most of us are believing because we refuse to notice the crackers or the water or the holes in the boat we are convinced that any other way I e boat barge dinghy Raft you get the picture will not provide you with spiritual protection it is in fact the basis of Mormonism and is still front and center threats shame blindfolds the religion will fail again soon as it has many times before and it will rise from the ashes and sheep people will follow their shepherd right into another change of Movement it gives you pause to watch the world shape the one and only true church but it does and we need keep our eyes closed and hope that the descriptions given by the q15 are spot on not knowing how easy it is to open them up for ourselves

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