I Love Gellies

Mormonism, Evangelicism and Chaos Theory

Introducing….

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.

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June 17, 2009 - Posted by | Religion

7 Comments »

  1. Good start Tom! 🙂

    Comment by Clean Cut | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Wow, Tom! It’s so nice to “meet” you! 🙂

    So you grew up in Georgia? That would explain your southern charm.

    You definitely have some writing skills… In addition to many other skills it appears. You are a musician? What do you play? I play guitar and piano a bit (I’m not proficient at either) and I love to sing.

    I’m so glad you will be writing some posts when you have time. I look forward to them!

    Comment by Jessica | June 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Jessica, I’m not sure how charming I’ve been on your blog (sheepish grin).

    CC – thanks – now I’ll get to writing some (hopefully) good stuff.

    Comment by tomchik | June 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Tom also used to live in my ward at BYU and has met me in person. I’m kind of scared of him because he knows what I’m really like and can reveal just how not-cool I really am in real life.

    For the record, I first registered for a blog back in 2005. Then it sat around for three years while I was too afraid to put my ideas out on the market, and also afraid of certain shady figures in my past making contact with me again. I began doing some family-only blogging in 2006, but it was unpublished to the search engines and only family and friends had the URL.

    I finally took a deep breath and went public in July 2008, and I didn’t have a lot of regular readers for the first six months of blogging. Seth found my blog in October 2008, after I did my first evangelical anti-Mormon smackdown post, and for several months it felt like he was my only reader.

    It took me a while to feel like I’d found the right blogging groove for me—my early blog entries were very unfocused and covered a lot of different topics. Someday I may go back and delete the old political and really personal entries, or move them to a private blog. I have the feeling they’ll only come back to haunt me, but I’m leaving them for now.

    Anyways, if I could impart any advice, it would be to just go for it. Blog about what you want. Don’t be afraid to look stupid, or be afraid that your posts are old ground that’s already been done by someone else. It’s okay for your thoughts on topics to evolve, and I wish I’d started blogging back in 2005 when I first wanted to.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers | June 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. Whatever, Jack! The only things I remember about your brief time in my ward are a few awesome conversations you and I had.

    Oh, and I remember that your wedding was awesome, too. I don’t remember what the pastor said, but I remember that we all (me and the other A-11 gals) really liked it and talked about it afterward. Maybe sometime you can remind me.

    And maybe sometime I’ll blog about the conversations we had.

    Comment by tomchik | June 19, 2009 | Reply

  6. You were at the wedding? Hmm, you know, I think I can even see you sitting on the groom’s side in one of my wedding pictures. Or the back of your head at least.

    Here’s the wedding album if you want to re-live the experience.

    I think my father has a video of my wedding somewhere; if I can get it I’ll post it on YouTube. I really need to ask him about it, but I’m sure he’ll grumble that I should have asked Mom where it was before she died. *eyeroll*

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers | June 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. Yep, that’s definitely the back of my head, between Kirstin and Lynda. I didn’t even know we were on the “groom’s side.” I think we just came in and sat down. LOL

    Which means I’m going to be in Holzapfel’s book. Sweet! Think he’ll give me royalties? I also think that I should have been asked for consent! 😉

    Comment by tomchik | June 22, 2009 | Reply


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