I’m feeling a little bit sheepish that it’s been 2 weeks since Psychochemiker introduced me as a new author and I have yet to post. While I do have something in the works, I would like to give a little more background on myself so you can know what to expect from me.
What I am. First and foremost, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but ever since I was a child I have had a strong desire to follow Him. My life is committed to Him – emulating Him and trusting His grace to bring me into His kingdom after my time here is finished.
I am a husband, a friend, a member of the LDS Church, a chemist, an aspiring physician, a musician, a thinker, and now I’m trying to be something of a writer. Honestly, my desire to blog is purely selfish – I want to organize my ideas as carefully as I can, and get feedback from others. I grew up mostly in Georgia, where I had many, many discussions with Protestant friends about my LDS beliefs. I recall those years as a time when I was able to critically evaluate my own beliefs and decide where I really stand with regard to LDS doctrine. The result is that I am 100% convinced that Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are exactly what they claim to be – inconsistencies, oddities, and (unsanitized) history notwithstanding.
I tend to be logical and analytical, but I am also very emotional and sensory (sometimes too emotional). In the LDS paradigm, this works out well since we are taught to employ both mind and heart in discerning truth (DC 8:2-3).
What I am NOT. I am not a “scholar” when it comes to religion. I went to BYU and took as many religion courses as I could, but I haven’t read many of the Christian classics. I haven’t read many of the LDS classics. As a result, you will find that most of my viewpoints will be well-thought-out, scripturally-based opinions, but they won’t have the scholarly approach that many in the blogosphere employ. I will try to provide supporting references whenever I can, but my reading in religious topics is nowhere near that of PC, Jack, Jessica, and many others with whom I’ve corresponded over the last few months. Whatever I write, it represents my opinion at the moment I click “Publish” and is subject to change as comments come in and as I read, pray, and learn more. That’s the beauty of dialog.
I am not someone who has large amounts of time to write, so I cannot guarantee how often you will hear from me. Nor can I guarantee the quality of material when I do post.
What I hope to gain from you. As a reader and commenter, I hope that you will point out areas where we agree, and challenge me to think carefully on areas where we disagree. I do not tolerate well ridicule or scorn of my ideas, and I admit from the outset that I am a little hyper-sensitive at times. While all my posts will not directly address religious topics, I hope to gain a greater love for and knowledge of my Savior Jesus Christ as a result of my blogging interactions.
A final note. Maybe someday I’ll be as cool as Jack, and I’ll be comfortable attaching my blog to my true identity. Until then, I’m just Tomchik or Tom, whichever you prefer. And no, I’m not having a gender-identity crisis. A good friend who speaks Russian calls me Tomchik – it’s sort of a Russian diminutive, but only sort of since “Tom” isn’t directly a Russian name.