Friday, February 5, 2016

SL Tribune: Tell us about your faith crisis

The SL Tribune is running a survey for those who have experienced "faith crises." You can go here to fill it out:

http://www.sltrib.com/blogs/upin/3500753-155/tell-the-tribune-have-you-experienced

Here are some of my responses.

Q: What was the trigger for your doubts?
A: It came slowly over time. The more I studied the scriptures, the more discrepancies I noted between what they said and what is done and preached in the church. The more I studied church history, the easier it became to detect the causes for the deviations--causes that are not justified and actually condemned by scripture.

Q: What did you do when you began having doubts — discuss it with family or friends, go online, pray, talk to a chuch leader?
A: I have tried. On one occasion I met with a general authority who told me that the reason the Church doesn't follow the Doctrine and Covenants is because it doesn't apply today. I asked him if a President of the Church had received revelation to replace it, and he said the current doctrine of the church is found in their talks. I realized early on that my local leaders (several wards, several states) did not study the gospel, and therefore had less understanding on these topics than I did. The church makes relatively public the fact that if you attempt to contact a higher authority, they will return your letter to your stake president. The Lord was the main resource for me during that time, and he led me to resources online and in print to help answer my gut wrenching questions.

Q:If you've resolved your faith crisis, how did you?
A: The Lord was the main resource for me during that time. As I prayed to him with specific questions, I was given specific answers. The scriptures played an important role. The scriptures of the Old Testament, in particular, give plenty of ancient parallels for what is happening currently in the church.

Q: Anything we should know about this topic?
A: The most unfortunate thing about what is going on currently--what Elder Marlin Jensen called the greatest apostasy since Kirtland--is that when through the internet and print the younger generation in the church are inundated with plain contradictions between what the church says and does and what the scriptures say, their reaction is rarely to consider that part of what the church teaches (namely, the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith) might actually be true despite the obvious falseness of much of what they teach. Many throw the baby out with the bathwater. The church is no longer a productive place for those with faith in Jesus Christ, as the damage of the false traditions far outweighs the benefits of what truth they have to offer.