About

DSC_0092 copyWelcome, I’m Lon.

How best to introduce myself?  Mormon? Buddhist? Humanist? Labels can be  such ill-fitting suits.  Living in the Beehive State, as I have for much of my adult life, these three world views occasionally grind against each other, causing all kinds of hullabaloo with my neighbors (who expect their former bishop to be much more . . . predictable). But on good days, these three seemingly incongruous approaches resemble a trio of finely-tuned cogs, propelling my spiritual life forward.

Maybe the best label of all is, simply, that I’m a human being. Better yet, a human, being. That suit fits. For me, it’s the experience of being human that generates such surprise and delight. As a human, being, I resist wearing the straitjacket of any supposed orthodoxy, nor will I try to fit my custom-tailored clothes on anyone else. I like a little room in the elbows and I assume you do, too.

DSC_0241My world view swirls with contradictions. Since all attempts at adopting a coherent, unified theory have hitherto failed, I’m coming to terms with my fate: the telescope through which I seem to perceive heaven and earth has been fitted with a warped and kaleidoscopic lens. Therefore, dear reader, be advised: these shifting, distorted, and multi-faceted observations are merely one man’s attempt to describe what is, ultimately, beyond our ken.

with peace,

Lon Young

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6 thoughts on “About

  1. Clean Cut

    I LOVE this. Everything about it. I share your views and felt inspired–genuinely moved–by reading this (“being” human–love that–as well as your post about shouting “Thank you for giving my daughters heroes”. As one who has been carving some of that space for myself and pushing back on imposed orthodoxy (and also as one who knows you previously because I taught with you for a couple years before leaving Provo for San Antonio), this thrills my soul.

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  2. marilynsandperl

    Hi Lon,
    I just accidentally (although I don’t believe there are any accidents in life) came upon your blog. I had no idea it was you! I’ve read about you because I also ‘accidentally’ came upon Michael Sowder’s blog several years ago (and am continuing to read his posts) before my husband was going to bring me to Ramana Maharshi’s ashram in Tiruvannamalai, India. I learned a lot about what to expect in India from him- although everyone’s experiences are unique. We have been communicating via blogposts, and he has mentioned you a couple of times…and I was especially fascinated and moved to hear that a former Mormon bishop now Buddhist is going to move to Chennai with his wife and six children for a year to work with the lepers. I lived in Duchesne, Utah for 17 years. I even received my teacher’s certificate from the Utah State University extension program. I was the only Jewish girl in the county, surrounded by Mormons whom I mostly adored. I am still in touch with many of them, especially my former students, many of whom have thanked me for showing up being different from what they knew as the norm. (I came back to Massachusetts when I met my husband.) Your blog is fascinating. I’ve only read a few posts but am looking forward to reading much more. Thank you for sharing it!

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    1. lonyoung1973 Post author

      How nice to make your acquaintance, Marilyn! I hope to meet you someday. No doubt your students were enriched, not only “showing up being different,” but also by your gift of seeing deeper than the differences. Knowing Michael and Jennifer, first as a student and then as friends, has been one of the blessings of my life. Having read their posts, you can sense why so many of their students regard them not just as literary mentors, but as spiritual mentors as well. May your day be filled with peace. –Lon

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      1. marilynsandperl

        Thank you, Lon, for your kind words. (And I can definitely see why Michael and Jennifer’s students regard them as spiritual mentors because I feel that way about them too!)

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  3. Jennifer

    Lon,
    I’ve never found anyone, or read any thing that so closely mirrors my own expanding religious and spiritual views as the ones you have so eloquently expressed in your blog. I am deeply religious, and was raised Mormon, but feel deep in my soul that there is so much more beyond that perspective. I love Christ, but yearn to connect with the divine on a level that is much deeper than simply following the dogma of the standard Mormon faire. I am searching for ways to help my children have a balanced spiritual upbringing and am struggling with how to give them both the beloved traditions of the Mormon church along with the wisdom, selflessness and temperance of Buddhism.
    I can not thank you enough for your inspiration and courage to express your true feelings and live an amazing life of true discipleship. The love and reverence you have for the gospel is beautiful and all the more enhanced by your willingness to find new lights to shine on it.
    Thank you
    Jennifer

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    1. lonyoung1973 Post author

      Jennifer, welcome to the blog! I’m so glad you took the time to share. I do hope that we all continue to learn from each other’s perspectives. Story-telling–the sharing of our personal journeys and insights–seems to do more than anything else to cultivate empathy and foster understanding in communities that might otherwise try to marginalize us or be suspicious of our non-traditional ways of navigating our own personal spiritual journeys. And now and then, we find others from whom we take courage.

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