Monday, June 24, 2013

The Truth


Benjamin Franklin devoted his life to searching out truth.  As a youth, he devoured literature, spending what little money he had on books.
I wonder what he'd do with the Internet at his fingertips?  I don't imagine he'd ever leave his house!

Ours is The Age of Information!  His?  The Age of Common Sense (not officially, I just made that up.  But it feels official, doesn't it?).  Instead of feeling like I don't have to work as hard to find truth, I feel exactly the opposite.

Information does not equal truth.
Ben Franklin didn't have enough information.  I have entirely too much.

Alicia is devoting her life to searching out truth as rigorously as did Uncle Ben (not to brag, but we are distantly related through a sister) (okay, I'm totally bragging).

Ben Franklin had to man handle truth out of the world.  Like the farmer in the desert, he had to pull truth from the earth with sweat and muscle.

Alicia has to weed truth out of the world.  Like a sleek scientist in the lab, I have to dissect truth from sources with patience and prayer.

In coming to Know Myself(!) I've come to know that chaos does not become me.  While facebook is buzzing with articles about Mothers on iPhones and articles defending Mothers on iPhones, articles about modesty, articles about modesty from another angle, and something about wearing pants to church...

I'm shutting my laptop.  I don't care if people wear pants to church.  I don't care if moms are on iphones or  playground swings or couches or drugs. I have no control over those situations. The articles were swarming with "shares" and "likes" and "comments."  And the Spirit would softly prompt, "This is not for you."
And I would walk away.  I never read any of those articles, but the modesty articles about swimwear peaked my interest for obvious reasons.  I started to read, I started to study.  I donned my lab coat and worked overtime, dissecting, searching, combing, thinking...
And the more comments I read, the more crazy I started to feel.  The tornado of information and opinions began to swirl around me, the velocity of it's pulling force was more than I could handle.
I was overcome with that age old feeling of "out of control." 

I recognize it so well.  In the past, I welcomed it, accepted the thought tornado as truth and reveled in the storm, however fleeting.
Now I calm the crazy, step away from the situation, halt behaviors, and pray.
Still the nagging question hung on in the back of my mind, "What was the truth?  Was Jessica Rey right?  Were the other sites right?  Where was the truth?"
In prayer, I found My Truth, My Answer.

Fear and Love.

I knew it was right because it was so simple and profound.  It wasn't covered in words, draped in flowery language or examples or backed up scientific data.  What's more: it's my truth not only for modesty, but for life eternal.
The truth I have found has changed my perspective and my life.  I can feel it changing my heart as well.
The truth is simply:
Anything done out of love is right.  Anything done out of fear is not.

If I dress modestly because I'm afraid of what others will think of me -whether because I'm afraid people will lust or the Matronly Mother of the ward will reject me if I don't... then it isn't right.

If I dress modestly because I love myself, because I love others, and because the Lord loves me and I love Him... it IS right.
The same is true of immodesty.  If I dress immodestly because I fear rejection from men, it isn't right... and so on.

This broad truth spans every facet of my life.  I find myself questioning my choices, which I've come to know have primarily been fear-based.

Am I cleaning the house because I'm afraid of my husband's temper?
Am I having sex because I'm afraid of his bad mood?
Am I serving because I'm afraid people will think I'm selfish if I don't?
Am I working out because I'm afraid of not being enough?


Am I cleaning the house because I love the feeling of peace that stems from order?
Am I having sex because I love my husband intimately?
Am I serving because I love the Lord?
Am I taking care of my body because I love it?

Truth, for me, can be boiled and dissected down to the absolute core.  Once the opinions, words, and information have been pulled away, the truth reveals itself and peace ensues.
Truth is always simple.
Truth is always plain.
Truth is always constant.

Truth for Benjamin Franklin was love, courage, faith...
and so it is for Alicia.
It's a mortal experience to uncover it, from Adam on down to Alicia.

And I'm not surprised in the least that this truth, along with all other truths, takes it root from Love and spits out Fear.
If I could leave one truth to my children, that would be it.

Are you acting out of Fear? or Are you acting out of Love?


  1. LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! I love this. And I love you. You are the best ever!!! (And I'm saying that out of love, so it must be true :)

    1. You're so awesome, haha. I'm so glad I know you.

  2. This is amazing! Thanks for writing this. I appreciate the reminder to look behind the reasons why we do things, and I appreciate that you put it simply and beautifully. It speaks to my heart! (it's much better than the anger I felt all day before I wrote about modesty. haha... but it was an angry week, so it is what it is). You are SO AWESOME!

    1. Oooh, I was feeling anger FOR you when I read some of your recent posts! I feel for you, woman! I understand you for sure. For sure!

  3. Totally being obnoxious here- but is a wrong thing done out of love still a wrong thing? For example, enabling an addicted husband because I love him?

    1. I had the same thought- sorry to be obnoxious too haha. I think what we label as "wrong" according to God's law is wrong because certain actions can and/or will have negative consequences, and those consequences won't be avoided because we were doing it out of love. But, I think motive and intentions do factor in. (i.e. God will look upon our hearts). So, enabling of your husband is still enabling, allowing addiction to continue, and other potentially negative consequences to follow that can deter our progress and happiness. I don't know-

      I love what you've said Alicia. I almost always tend to be stuck in the middle of these kinds of debates, the bathing suit/modesty one for example. I think so many people have valid points, but everyone wants the issue to be black and white and the same for everyone. We're all at different points in our journeys. As long as we are making decisions out of love I don't see how we wouldn't be moving in the right direction!

    2. I really like these thoughs Anna Belle.

    3. I love ALLLLL of these thoughts! This has made me really think, and I love it!

      What it comes down to for me is that when I make a choice out of love, it is right for me even if the books say it's wrong and even if bad consequences ensue. The Lord looketh on the heart, thankfully.

      So even if I have enabled out of love, it was right for me (if for no other reason that it was a teaching experience).
      (But I will say that I've usually only even enabled out of fear, not love. But that's just fearful Me.)

    4. what a great thread! I love these thoughts and ideas. So thought provoking!

      And I LOVE this post. You are amazing!!! Love you!

    5. Thanks, Harriet :) This is a pretty great thread -I love the thoughts in it!

  4. Love this simple, yet profound! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I love simplicity!!!! The farther I get into recovery, the simpler everything in life is.

  5. Replies
    1. I'm glad! It sits to well with me -I'm glad it hit home with you too :) Love you, lady!

  6. i would have to say i agree with vs fear. Our motives are everything. So i am going to wear modest swimsuits this summer and not for fear of judgment of my white thighs! haha!