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Middle-aged Mormon Man: I am a Mormon, and I have questions

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  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    I have long said if the LDS church truly was open to dialogue and helping people find the truth, they would create a website where anyone could go with questions and these questions would be displayed for the all the public to see, without eliminating questions that are tough to answer to disprove things LDS prophets have said in the past(and yes, there are many). And no, such a thing does not exist.

    The lds church could then provide an official answer to each question, either refuting the "evidence" provided or giving their official explanation.

    The church is all too willing to publicly show their answers to the easy questions, but do not allow public comments/answers to the tough questions and the points in history that don't correspond to what they claim to believe in.

    I see it as somewhere between a Mormon side and an anti-Mormon website. The doubters/anti-Mormons can ask questions and provide evidence of their findings, and then the church can respond.

    Sadly the LDS church does not encourage finding the truth in all situations.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    Numbers 2 and 4 refer to believing that what Mormon prophets/apostles say comes from God. And yet, Mormons often get uncomfortable when nonbelievers point to numerous times LDS prophets/apostles have said things that are wrong. Flat out wrong. If you aren't aware of this, I'm sad for you that you are so in the dark.

    If you are aware, I ask, how does one know when a prophet/apostle is speaking for God and when he is speaking for himself?

    Even Brigham Young said: ..."I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture."

    And yet Brigham Young said many things either flat out wrong, or not supported by current LDS leadership.

    The words of an LDS prophet/apostle do not hold much weight if the excuse of "he was speaking as a man" is simply used whenever something has been said by one of them that is proven incorrect or does not reflect well on the church.

    I ask again, when is a prophet speaking for God or for himself?

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Great article!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    I find it deeply disturbing that the Mormon church has a history of excommunicating people who bring to light inconsistences/inaccuracies in what is told today vs. what history shows.

    If the LDS church was truly dedicated to helping people find the truth, they would welcome any fact brought to light by researchers and scholars.

    And at the very least, I would hope the church would attempt to disprove whatever "truth" is presented by those who don't believe, instead of simply kicking them out of the church, which seems to be the standard procedure for those who talk about any findings that are contrary to what the church says.

    All truth comes from God, even if doesn't go along with what Mormon leaders say. Especially then.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    I appreciate this article. I also questions that do not really affect my testimony that I don't particularly dwell on or send out as potential stumbling blocks to others to try to get them off the list. I also, however have a dilemma, which I believe is similar in tone to this article, but not quite addressed. I also have questions or experiences that, while not affecting my testimony, DO affect my faith...or ability to act. These questions usually surround the implementation of programs and events within the Church community that does not quite wash with my understanding of what we profess. While I understand that we are all imperfect and doing our best....the question remains for me...how do you work on bettering the implementation? You see because just letting them sit doesn't work when the error seems to self-perpetuate and replicate. Those questions are more difficult to deal with.

  • ironmania San Diego, CA
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Not sure why the Deseret News does not publish the identity of the author of this "article". Who is "middle age mormon man"? Or is that one of those questions we are not allowed to ask?

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    Questions are not the problem. Answers are the problem. Having a question of whether the Book of Abraham was correctly translated from the papyri is not a problem. Finding the answer to that question is a tremendous problem.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    I don't have a problem with questions OR answers. What I really don't understand is people like Chris B. and ThinksIThink, et al who post their questions on a blog and demand responses like that is really the way to effectively get to the bottom of anything.

    If you have questions, people, please find a Mormon friend you trust and ask him or her. I seriously doubt you are going to take my word for any response, nor should you. You don't know me from a hole in the ground. Which leads me to wonder if you really want an answer or just want to air your doubts?

    How did you learn Science, History or English in school? I doubt you just sat around posting your questions online. We all learn from books and teachers and dialog in a classroom (which is also taking someone's word for it). You need someone to TALK to and be able to challenge them 1:1 if you don't understand. I get it...you have doubts, you feel lied to. Fine. Now go find someone to talk to about this. Don't seek help of this nature from invisible strangers.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    eastcoastcoug

    They want OFFICIAL responses to legitimate concerns. They don't want to ask a friend, because the answer would only be the friends opinion. It would in no way constitute a real, official church answer. That is why.

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    Chris B and I don't always agree in the sports column, but I have to agree with a lot of what he says here. Its taken me a long time to realize that the LDS church leadership has been wrong. So I must conclude that "if the LDS leadership can be wrong in the past, they can be wrong now." This isn't a crazy thing to say. It makes sense. As LDS members we are encouraged to find out the truth through prayer and study. I don't have a problem letting my wife know when I don't agree with the church leadership. She's cool. We're still sealed.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    There have been questions as to the authenticity and divine origin of the LDS church since Joseph Smiths time. It is answers to those questions that have been minimal.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Chris B has several times asked the question "I ask again, when is a prophet speaking for God or for himself?" and I have yet to see an answer.

    I have seen lot of hedging, a bit of criticism for asking, convoluted responses that attempted to dismiss the question, or claim that is the wrong question to ask, but I've not seen an answer.

    A simple, declarative sentence would be sufficient for an appropriate answer. No need to talk to friends, missionaries, Ward leadership.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    Beautifully written post Brother! Thank you!
    It's interesting how everything written here just strikes me as "of course that's the way it is" for this convert of approx. 25 years.
    But I guess so many people are on different levels of understanding that sometimes it is important to bring it down to a basic explanation, so that those who are truly seeking can find some added measure of understanding.

  • MollyCheckedOut Draper, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    Do you really think they are asking you for these answers? More likely they are asking you to do some critical thinking. I am sure they already have searched out the answers on their own. If you can get over your fear of asking your questions out loud, instead of "boxing" them, you will find the information is out there, from reliable sources, including church approved sites such as lds.org, FAIR, Neal A. Maxwell foundation, there is also mormonthink.com where you can get the facts and the churches side as well as the doubters and decide for yourself. In the end if you can get past the fear, knowledge is power.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    Brahma,

    So go make an appointment and ASK. I have friends who've spoken with Apostles and other leaders about their questions. It's possible. The answers they received were very open and evocative in nature.

    I'm not suggesting people ask just ANY friend but rather someone they TRUST e.g. someone who has done their research and is balanced and open in their logic and opinions. My guess is that many GA's would welcome the dialog, if it is couched in terms of really wanting to know vs. making accusations. But some may not have background in the specific area of your question. There are institute teachers at the U. and religion teachers at BYU for example who have read lots of original writings and diaries of church leaders and members who are accessible.

    If you really want an answer, think about the best source where you can have a real dialog. In the end, you will have to make up your mind what to believe since nothing can be settled by debate. My point is that just airing these questions (actually, more like accusations) is not the way to find knowledge about any topic.

  • MollyCheckedOut Draper, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    Boxing our concerns up, and being overly concerned that your "stumbling blocks" will become someone elses doesn't do anyone any good.
    "D&C 101:32 when "the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things." Well, the Lord has revealed a lot and many it too scared to study deeper than what their Sunday School Teacher lays out each week.
    For example learn about the varying versions of the First Vision on lds.org if you read the Ensign from January, 1985, Joseph Smith’s Recitals of the First Vision, By Milton V. Backman, Jr..

    I don't know about you, but I never got 3 of 4 of these in my Sunday meetings.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 30, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    Very often those who "demand" answers aren't really looking for answers but rather trying to find flaws (or what they view as flaws) that they can expose. Most anyone who has served a mission knows what I am talking about. Simply put, there are people out there who just want to argue and use "their logic" to tear down. ChrisB's suggestion for a website with an official answer to all questions is pointless because of the type of "fact seekers" that it would bring.

    Sincere questions are always welcome, but questions aired in the spirit of contention are counterproductive. Some time back Neal A. Maxwell eloquently expressed that Laman and Lemuel were seeking answers to questions like they were playing a connect-the-dots game. The gospel doesn't consist of a set of questions and a corresponding set of answers to appease our curiosity, but rather reflective, thought-provoking questions and concerns that allow individuals to grow as they figuratively wrestle with the Lord to better understand Him and His designs. People that want to be spoon fed and skip any type of personal growth are just as well off if they rely on a fortune cookie.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    eastcoastcoug

    But this is the whole point. It doesn't matter if I ask somebody who I trust, the answer still isn't the OFFICIAL church answer. That is what I am looking for. An official declaration or answer to my question. If I ask 10 different members I might get 10 different answers. If not I know for sure I won't get 10 of the same answers. And that is where the problem with church doctrine lies.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    Moontan,

    Who do you want to respond to you? The Church leadership? Why not write Pres. Monson or another member of the First Presidency?

    The problem I have is that you and Chris (now there are 2 of you) seem to think you are speaking for the whole wide world in wanting certain answers. I have lots of questions about the Church too but they're not likely the same as yours. So I have to think about where I could research the answers or who I could talk to who is likely to be an expert in the field and will give me a balanced answer.

    For example, I have a relative who's done a lot of research on Abrahamic texts (PhD level at a non LDS university) who I could talk to about my questions on the origins of the Book of Abraham. Probably a lot more satisfying answer than I'll get from a GA.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    @Arizona1 re "The gospel doesn't consist of a set of questions and a corresponding set of answers to appease our curiosity, but rather reflective, thought-provoking questions and concerns that allow individuals to grow..."

    I wouldn't think the answer to a question, or its veracity, depends upon WHY the question is being asked. The answer is ... an answer, and that's about all you can say about it.

    Chris B has a very valid question. The answer is entirely independent of the reason he asked.

    Look at the responses since my first post a few minutes ago. Darts all over the board, not one bulls-eye.

  • MollyCheckedOut Draper, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:22 p.m.

    "People that want to be spoon fed and skip any type of personal growth are just as well off if they rely on a fortune cookie."
    This is really laughable. Pot meet kettle.
    The whole religion is based on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Sure there are people who are out there looking for an argument, but trust me there are gobs of faithful members learning the truth of the BoM and as they do their testimonies are crumbling, which is why so many doubtful find boxing their concerns preferable.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:27 p.m.

    Brahma,

    OK, I'll ask some questions I use when I"m helping someone at work who is looking for help: Who and what have you tried so far? What constitutes an official answer for you? What do you want that answer to do for you (what problem will it solve)? What do you think you could do to get an official answer?

    I've worked in large global organizations in areas of official communications, so I'm not being facetious in my response.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    @eastcoastcoug ... No, there's only Chris B. asking, and I doubt he considers himself asking for the whole wide world.

    He has asked that simple, uncomplicated question more than once. We are told by St Paul to 'always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you.' It seems to me that that admonition is relevant here.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    eastcoastcoug

    Care to share those answers about the book of Abraham?? I would love to hear an answer for how Joseph got such a translation out of that.

  • Northern Lights Arco, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:33 p.m.

    I truly enjoyed this article! Thank you for re-publishing it.

    For commentators who repeatedly ask the same questions, the Church has answered many of these - and answered them again - and again. For example, some recently question whether a Prophet is speaking the will of the Lord or expressing opinion.

    A Church commentary on 12 December 2011 explains how revelation works both individually and within the highest levels of the Church. Members who understand this process can generally differentiate between revelation and opinion. In addition, each may ask the Lord if the specific writings and teachings of Church leaders are correct. In October 1996, an LDS leader, L. Aldin Porter stated, "When the appointed servants of this Church speak under the influence of the Holy Ghost as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ, their words are carried by the power of the Spirit to those whose hearts are open to revelation."

    I'm grateful that this article provides some great advice on how to approach many of these type of questions in a positive light. And, like the article explains, with patience, faith (and might I add: honest, hard study) the knowledge will come.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    Northern Lights

    Ok.... So when I get the answer that the adam-god doctrine is true after fervent prayer and pondering, but others get the answer that it is false then what? Don't think I am being sarcastic here, this is something I really want to know. The spirit isn't a reliable guide because we may, indeed, get different answers to different doctrinal questions. So if I get the answer that it is true, and another member gets the answer that it is false, then who is right. Clearly both can't be right. This is why when people go to the "pray about it" answer they lose credibility in my view. That means there isn't an answer, but pray about it anyways.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 30, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    I love the quote from Elder Carmack:

    "I have a whole box of unanswered questions, none of them threatening to my own testimony. New questions enter that box regularly. Others come out of that box, yielding to both study and experience."

    This, I think, describes the experience many of us have. We have a testimony and the experience of interacting with the Holy Ghost. Questions do not rock our testimony. They can remain unanswered for months or even years but the testimony remains and allows us to exercise patience in the process.

  • E. Simnitt Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    There are questions that matters...and questions that matters the most. Knowing the true identity of God and His relationship with us is absolutely more important than knowing all the aspects of the First Vision.

    Besides, why would the Church give everyone, every answer? It is OUR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY to learn for ourselves, study the scriptures, acquire secular knowledge and then ask Heavenly Father what the truth is.

  • E.S Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    To Moontan and Chris B.:

    Please do not be offended or sad if some our faith criticizes you for asking questions. Guess what, that's exactly what we should do to receive revelation. So carry on, ask your questions and have faith that God can answer them.

    Having said that, Pres. Kimball once said that the prophets do not need to start every sentence with "Thus saith the Lord" in order for what he says be consider a revelation. If we hear for example Pres. Monson saying something on General Conference, we should probably consider it the voice of the Lord. How do we know? Because the General Authorities pray, fast, ponder and study the scriptures months in advance, in order for them to receive revelation while working on their talks. There is no topic assignment (unless is a very especial occasion) - still, it always feels like the next talk will build from where the last one stopped.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    RE: Twin Lights ,Questions do not rock our testimony…. and “saved“me.

    “Saved “from what? what we are saved from is really a who—God Himself. That the glory of the gospel is that the One from whom we need to be saved is the very One who saves us.

    Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s Wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:9-11)

    If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (YHWH)and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be “saved”.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:06 p.m.

    Here is where lots of folks fall off the trail.
    When they need to exercise FAITH.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    Dialog, questions, finding fault with another, much of what I read appears to mimic what Elder Maxwell said about walking in the light of our own conceit (or pride).

    I have more than enough to do to try to mind my own business and keep my spiritual yard mowed and weeded that much of what is worried about in these comments is of no concern to me.

    Much of what is worried about is superfluous to the central issue, the Book of Mormon. If it is true, Joseph is the Lord's prophet, and the rest are details that will be worked out.

    Meekness and lowliness of heart, Christ attributed character traits are not the hallmark of our generations, hence calls for dialog, forums, etc..

    Don't sweat the small stuff, most of the concerns appear to be "small stuff", IMO.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    Chris B.,
    Can you provide examples?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    You seem to suggest more answers than questions. But, your answers are fundamentally faith based. Only one problem with faith, and that is that it can be misplaced. Are you sure you are asking all the right questions, and are your answers grounded in anything that can be empirically demonstrated?

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    Rather than be afraid of questions, deal with them. Maybe your thinking in open will resonate with someone who has the same questions, and help them along their path. Otherwise, you just exude fear.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:19 p.m.

    M. Scott Peck, a Christian and a psychiatrist, wrote of four stages of spiritual development. In the highest stage a person becomes comfortable with paradox. He marvels in the mystery of God and the gospel. He understands that scripture and mortal words sometimes fail to capture truth in its fullness. Perhaps we as Mormons are uncomfortable with such a mystical level of personal attempts at understanding God, but isn't that really what we mean when we sense the Holy Ghost but can't exactly put it all into words?
    I find myself disappointed in the institution but must remind myself not to let that get in the way of growing my testimony. In the end it's how I feel about the Savior that will make the difference.

  • blessedhusbandandfather Rexburg, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    What an amazing article. I'm grateful for members of such faith who are an example to me. I Know that there will be many who have hard feelings on the topic of inspired leaders. I pray that we can be humble and trust the lord to speak through his servants. That is his pattern. It always has been. Let us not hold them accountable for mortality and weakness any more than we want to be held accountable for our own.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    Church issues come up in my life that are confusing and sometimes distressing. But, I cannot deny the reality of my own person spiritual witnesses of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This testimony, from a source greater than man's logic, outweighs by far the questions I have and the issues I have with imperfect people in the church. I just have to have faith that someday, perhaps in the hereafter, the questions and issues will be answered and resolved. In the mean time I know the covenants I have made and I will strive with all my heart to keep them.

  • utahcitizen1 Vernal, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:53 p.m.

    To answer Chris B's question about prophets. The prophet is the only person who receives revelation from God to direct the entire body of the Church and will never teach anything contrary to the will of the Lord. That is not my opinion, but what has been taught by the church.

    President (Prophet) Wilford Woodruff said: "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place."

    Prophet instruction is intended to guide us for the present day. This is not to say that you shouldn't consider and weigh their teachings for yourself. The church encourages us to ponder their words, search God's existing teachings (e.g the scriptures), and then to take it to God in prayer to ask to know for ourselves if something is true. They teach though, that we have to be willing to act on the answer we receive and go in with an open mind to receive God's answer for us.

  • Lbone Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    The answer to skeptics like Chris B. lie partially in the title of talk given by Davis Bitton: "I Do NOT Have a Testimony of Church History." If you earnestly strive to gain a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement, non-issues such as horses in America, JS and polygamy, BoA controversies, Elisha's mocking children, etc., will not trip you up. Sadly, many do stumble.

    Moreover, seeing is NOT believing. Were this so, EVERYONE who had contact with Jesus as He walked, talked, taught, breathed, and died, would have believed that He was the Son of God as He claimed.

    Some who saw and hefted the gold plates fell away. Clearly seeing was, and still is, insufficient.

    Were I in league with the devil, I would create diversions. I would try very hard to get people to gain testimonies of Church history and steer clear of anything having to do with a focus on Jesus Christ. Clearly, Satan's diversion in this arena is deceiving many. Sadly so.

  • Apocalypse please Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    Some, on this thread, have commented how they haven't let difficult questions affect their faith. I, however, can understand why some feel that the answers to "difficult" questions are inadequate. I can also understand why there isn't an official response to "difficult" questions. A BBC interview with Elder Holland highlights this problem.

  • utahcitizen1 Vernal, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    To those of you looking for answers. What I can say is that the answers don't need to be a big secret. They can be found by reading scriptures such as the Book of Mormon, The Bible,and the Doctrine & Covenants. The church has also put out A LOT of materials addressing different topics in more depth, the majority of those materials are available on mormon.org, lds.org, and in church books/magazines. These materials are freely available to anyone and reflect the "official" doctrine/answers of the church.

    I think the key here though is no matter how much you study in the end you still have to choose what you believe and how you adhere to those beliefs in your daily life. The church here also says, take it to your Heavenly Father, if you pray with true intent to act on the answer (no matter whether it is contrary to your will), Mormon's believe you will know the truth.

    Some answers don't come easily as understanding doesn't come right away. We believe that through study and prayer everyone will know everything (in this life) necessary for progress & salvation.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    We all have questions. Some of us are troubled by them some of us are not. It seems that to get our own answers when it come to religion there has to be a belief in God, His love for us and His willingness to communicate with us. Then, if our questions are sincere, we can go to God and along with our own studying get answers and/or peace regarding troubling subjects.

    If we insist on resolving questions based only on information generated by people, historic and otherwise, we will continue to wander from one inconsistency to another, never resolving anything. Our questions will never be satisfied and our demands for answers from others will become tiresome and suspect.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    Brahmha Bull and Chris B -

    Something tells me that even if you got an "official" answer from the very highest echelons of the LDS church, you wouldn't believe them anyay.

    Just sayin'....

    For those who believe, no amount of 'proof' is needed.

    For those who doubt, no amount of 'proof' is sufficient.

  • sallywf madison, WI
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    wow. I am so so so glad the church does not have a website for people to ask questions and get responses. Just think of the chaos this would inevitably cause. why is it that people have this desire and want to be told what to do in every aspect of their life? and then when the equally inevitable disagreements ensue about what they were told, it becomes a new excuse to blame the author and justify their further alienation? do we not have enough laws, lawyers, whiners, cynics and those lying in wait to deceive that we have to beg for more? Do you work in a place where you just long for management to tell you what to do? the fact that our church build unity through individual testimony and not declarations of policy and rule is in itself, a testimony builder. No, indeed it seems to be that this desire to expand on the words of man is yet another troubling sign of the times. sigh.

  • aka MOUNT PLEASANT, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    ...the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge...

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:56 p.m.

    Well, if the author of the article reads these boards.. I hope he takes one thing from it: that the posts are always filled with criticism and judgement. The concern for others and not spreading doubt is also the right thing to do. I agree with it completely.

    I enjoyed and appreciate the way the article was written. It was delicate, thoughtful, and far more intelligent than most would realize. It almost illustrates the development of belief that most members go through. Our faith is challenged in life, inescapably. The article doesn't highlight the existence of such challenges, but how we behave and respond to them. That's more valuable insight than what most have to say on the subject.

    Great article!

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:57 a.m.

    There are a lot of things I don not understand about my LDS faith. But there is one thing I do know for sure, and this has been demonstrated to me again and again.

    With the exception of one, maybe two people, every personal experience I have had with someone who is ex-LDS has left me with a feeling a shock and even sadness.

    One example, I knew a girl in high school who was once LDS, but is now ex-LDS. I so enjoyed getting back in touch with her on Facebook, but nearly right away I saw that 90% of her comments had something to do attacking the LDS Church.

    Another example, I have stumbled over a series of YouTube videos which have been produced by ex-LDS Church members, and to put it mildly, these videos are some of the most misleading, dishonest and vulgar things I have ever seen.

    I can not answer every argument critics of the LDS Church present, but I do know one thing. If being an ex-LDS person means becoming a self-righteous, vindictive, abrasive individual, I will gladly stay LDS.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 1, 2013 2:14 a.m.

    @eastcoastcoug:
    "... I have a relative who's done a lot of research on Abrahamic texts (PhD level at a non LDS university) who I could talk to about my questions on the origins of the Book of Abraham."

    Perhaps you could talk to your relative and post your questions and his/her findings. Because, as we speak, the papyri of the Book of Abraham is considered by many to be funerary writings.

    @MollyCheckedOut
    "... but trust me there are gobs of faithful members learning the truth of the BoM and as they do their testimonies are crumbling..."

    How about listing some of those so-called 'truths?'

    @E.S:
    "Pres. Kimball once said that the prophets do not need to start every sentence with 'Thus saith the Lord' in order for what he says be consider a revelation."

    Rarely is any subject addressed by Church leaders that which would fall into the category of revelation. Much of what is said (over the pulpit, etc.) is just encouragement and how to cope with, and make the best of life.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:44 a.m.

    I am not surprised this article has generated much back and forth from opposing sides who are trying to affirm their stance.

    It is after all the natural man [woman] who does not give place for the Spirit and those who have stewardship over him in spiritual matters. For those who walk with humility and repentance in their hearts, they "get it" with respect to the need for obedience and the truths about whom God has appointed in their stewardships.

    The more one receives of God's knowledge, the greater they realize their utter nothingness in the flesh. Such is a silent transformation process with no glory, boasting, lights, or public praise when it follow God's patterns of "becomming". It is an inward commitment of external action to follow the Savior and apply the prescribed patterns of His Gospel and Church.

    To paraphrase, the Savior has said, straight is the gate and narrow is the way unto eternal life, and few there be that find it. He also said, wide is the gate and great is the number of those who don't choose the straight and narrow path. Who can hear this faithful saying?

  • common sense in Idaho Pocatello, id
    Oct. 1, 2013 5:00 a.m.

    Chris B. - A direct answer for you.

    When the prophet or the apostles speak in general conference it is considered revelation.
    What we read in the official church magazines from the prophet and apostles is considered revelation.

    But you won't be satisfied with that answer because it didn't come officially from church headquarters. It is just my opinion, this is what I believe.

    Now, other than that when they speak it may or may not be considered the mind and will of the Lord. That is when you put to use your own ability to pray and let the holy ghost confirm to you that the things which they say are true.

    You seem to forget that the prophet and apostles are just men. Filled with their personal opinions about everything just like you. Just remember that.

    Now, Chris B. another thought for you. Where did the Book of Mormon come from? You've got two choices; either it came through revelation or Joseph Smith just made it up. Which is it? And how do you know? Just like you wanted a straight answer please be courteous enough to give one back.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Oct. 1, 2013 5:21 a.m.

    @ChrisB...."The lds church could then provide an official answer to each question, either refuting the "evidence" provided or giving their official explanation."

    The Church doesn't have "official" answers. It has their decided upon opinions.
    Making the assumption that the Church is always right and infallible is a mistake. The question is how well does the Church recover from mistakes. That's the crux of properly addressing an issue.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Oct. 1, 2013 5:24 a.m.

    I'm just slightly passed middle age. 61 to be exact. 5th generation member born and raised in Zion in the East Mill Creek Stake. I started having questions at age 13. At age 45 while serving on the High Council the Church ran out of answers. Today I'm very content not to participate.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    This may be hard to believe, but some members are looking for reasons to quit coming. Moreover they are looking to do this so they can have a beer now and then, and a Starbucks.
    Yes would I like a beer when stress is large, yes. I'm human.
    But I don't. Not saying this man has these thoughts, but many do,

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    Chris B after three posts is unable to provide one example of his complaints. Those are the type of people I enjoy sharing the gospel with face to face. I can find their strengths and weaknesses, and expose them to the person I'am sharing with. The Jehovah witness missionaries stopped coming to my home. I left them more questions for themselves, than they could possibly leave with me.
    On the article. Are you applying and obeying gospel principles?, it's that simple. I know where my weaknesses are, and I work on them. I use my strengths to build my testimony, and my weaknesses. You have to be able to recognize your own, and work on them. Obedience is the key to the gospel.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    DocHolliday (or anyone)-

    If you have sincere questions about the Book of Abraham, do a google search for FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE, click the first result, and then purchase the DVD entitled "A Most Remarkable Book: Evidence for the Divine Authenticity of the Book of Abraham." While you are at it, purchase the DVD "Evidences of the Book of Mormon" by Daniel C Peterson. Perhaps these DVDs can give you some intellectual reasons to believe in these divine books, and start a seed of faith of the restored gospel.

    However, ultimately, you will need to cultivate this faith and have a spiritual witness from God these things are true. This witness can come strongly into your very being if you have faith in Christ, real intent, and a sincere heart. "What greater witness can you have than from God?" (D&C 6:23)

    This spiritual witness is the most official answer you can get. From there, I wouldn't be surprised if you demand to be baptized into the church or want to run back into full church activity with a full purpose of heart. :)

    Hope to see you at church some day!

  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    We are enjoined to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. My friends with questions are mourning and in need of comfort. Do I really want them to just shut up so they don't "spread doubt"? To just suck it up and pretend all is well with them? Uh, no. I don't think that is the right way, and I am sorry the author of this piece believes otherwise. We can be actively seeking what we need to know . . . God does not withhold, but gives liberally and does not upbraid. Stop being afraid.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    The answer is simple. We as Gods children have been given brains that can ask questions that cannot be answered in this life. That should not affect anyones testimony. At least the author realizes that answers won't come in this life. As for you Chris B. Be careful. I have found trying to delve into the mysteries of the gospel can lead a person astray. There are entire groups of Mormons who have become Ex-Mormons because of worrying about not getting everything answered. Faith, one of the most important tests of life, could not be achieved if a person had all knowledge. That's why, no matter how much study and speculation, one can never find all answers now.

  • BYU Joe MISSION VIEJO, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    I give the simple answer to all your questions and it is to me the single most important doctrine found in the Book of Mormon.

    Those things which lead you to Christ are of God.

    Those things which lead you away from Him are not.

    The same item, doctrine, person or principle may lead one person to Christ and another away from Him.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    Chris B-

    The church's purpose is to help all come unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end faithful in Christ's gospel. With this in mind, the church naturally will not find it expedient to give official "answers" to every little detail for things that do not have bearing on our chances of gaining eternal life.

    The church doesn't need to give official answers to everything, as this is related to the scripture "it is not meet that God command in all things." (D&C 58:26)

    In other words, Chris B, don't get distracted with questions that likely won't have eternal value so you end up missing the mark completely of Christ's gospel!

    However, if you are sincerely seeking answers, tell us in this message board specifically what you want to know, and we will try to get answers to your liking. We will try to get official or as official answers as possible. I think there are a handful of LDS folks willing to help out. Deal? :)

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    @Aggielove,

    I was not going to comment feeling that Chris B and others had stated my opinion well enough. However, you comment is maddening and deeply hurtful.

    I did not leave to drink beer, coffee and have Sundays off. I have many friends and family that have resigned. I have not met one that left for such trivial reasons. The costs are just too high.

    I lost relationships with friends and family to follow my integrity and resign from this church. I lost business. I was shunned in my neighborhood by many, not all. I have endured gossip, judgement, seeing my children's friends leave them (the most heartbreaking thing) and having a wedge between myself and my mom (the second most heartbreaking thing).

    I was a devout member for more than 35 years. I served in multiple Relief Society and YW presidencies and was the primary chorister at the time of my resignation.

  • Leo Femedlers El Paso, TX
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Many years ago I sat in a religion class at BYU. The professor asked a thought provoking question. "How many of you would like to have a book this thick (he held his hand about 6 or 8 inches off of the desk) to direct you in your life?" Many members of the class raised their hands. He then explained that his example was likened to the children of Israel who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and whose spiritual law was manifested in the Law of Moses. It was a law of performances and ordinances. The leaders through time added to the law and by it were able to make a self-serving case to crucify their Savior.

    Here is my point. If we are commanded in all things (or given immediate answers) we cannot develop spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is what the Savior instituted when he came and fulfilled the Law of Moses. His law was a higher law with commensurate blessings. And if followed the spiritual maturity would far surpasss that of previous generations under the previous law.

    To those who cannot accept this I say belief is the beginning to understanding. (Mosiah 26:3)

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    The restoration of the Church was not a turnkey operation. One thing we learn from Joseph Smith is that he needed to put forth much effort to study, ponder, and pray to find answers. And he made mistakes along the way. In fact, 180 years later, the Church is still fine-tuning doctrines, policies, and operations. The lesson I learn from this is that it is by design that the Lord wants us, both individually and as a whole, to work through our problems and questions, which promotes our spiritual growth. That’s not to say he doesn’t help us along the way. He most certainly does. But he does so in a way that necessitates our continual need to exercise faith.

    To those who want “official” answers, I would ask that you consider the pattern of how God has always imparted knowledge to us. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Joseph Smith and other prophets throughout history have had to put forth great spiritual effort to get answers. We should expect no different for each of us.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Chris B
    Salt Lake City, UT
    "I find it deeply disturbing that the Mormon church has a history of excommunicating people who bring to light inconsistences/inaccuracies in what is told today vs. what history shows."

    Really? 'Deeply disturbing'? Why would you possibly be disturbed (and 'deeply' at that) when the Mormon church, which you don't believe is 'true' anyway, is excommunicating someone? Why would you care?

    No, I don't for a minute think you are really bothered by the church's excommunications. No, you just like to stir the pot.

  • silvercloud41NE Fremont, NE
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    I really don't want, or need, to know the answers to the questions others may have.... therefore no public forum on that. Have you ever had a question that your Bishop or Stake President couldn't answer? At one time it was suggested (by them) that I communicate with the First Presidency (who directed my question to a certain General Authority). I received my answer which satisfied all the "tests" and comforted me, in private, as needed. These things don't need to be debated in a public forum for they are private.

  • TruthOnly payson, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Brahmabull and Chris B. You will receive all answers through study and prayer. If you don't put in the effort you WILL NOT get the answer. I did this on one answer for almost 16 years--then the answer was right in front of me. Only I realized that for 16 years the Holy Spirit had to answer about 300 other things (line upon line) before I could comprehend the answer to my question.
    Even if a friend knew this and GAVE me the answer, I simply could not comprehend because I would be missing so much. It is like asking a 3rd level calculus question and you only know addition. So I give you the answer (and you look at me like lobsters are coming out of my ears)
    When you ask 10 people (some may guess) but if the Spirit gave them the answer you CAN know which is the guess and which is the Spirit.

  • Brian Utley Freedom, IN
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    The writer makes it sound as if it he thinks it's all right with him to deny his questions, to put them in his figurative box, and pretend they don't exist (until they do, when revealed by an answer that liberates them, one by one, from their chains). Like it's okay to deny, deny, deny. But I've never placed must stock in living in denial. I think that asking the right questions in life is most of what really matters---and what allows us to access the mind of God. On the other hand, this man's words almost sound like "when the prophet speaks, thinking stops," or maybe "until the prophets speaks, thinking shouldn't start."

  • daveferr Columbus, OH
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    When I was a child and a teen I loved the Church because I could ask anything. There were not "good" questions or "bad" questions, just questions. Yes, there are questions I do not ask in Church, but that doesn't make me fear talking about them openly. If we can't ask each other, we may never find the answers. After all, we are all "not smart." But together we can find better answers. I'll never forget standing in the hallway hearing a white sister missionary tell a black investigator that the "ban" was to keep white people in the Lord's Church. While this son of God just stood there looking sad because he just hear a white girl tell him the God didn't care about him or his race as much as he did white people. This, of course, isn't true. But, when we don't talk about these questions, someone will ask and when we don't have the answer to becomes too easy to just make stuff up. So please, ask your questions. Joseph Smith would approve and so, I think, would the Lord.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    I posted about an hour ago, and it hasn't come up, so what I'm about to say is largely a repeat if it does.

    The answer is simple. God gave us brains that can ask questions that cannot be answered in this life. Even scientists have such questions, so it is not a surprise that religion presents them. Faith is one of the most important parts of our lives here. If we had all the answers, a perfect knowledge, then we could not exercise faith. Many Mormons who delve too much into the mysteries, have found themselves Ex-Mormons. And, as a previous post alluded to, they rarely seem happy in their Ex-Mormon status.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Re. ClarkHippo. Your experience has been my experience. With almost everyone I know who has left the church, their lives have gone down hill. Adultery, divorce, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, cynicism, deceit, etc. seem to be a part of the pattern of the lives of many apostates. In fact, apostate behavior has helped strengthen my own testimony of the gospel. If they've found the truth, how come their personal behavior gets worse?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    A problem I have with LDS culture and many talks given over pulpits is that the LDS Church does have all the answers and that trials and tribulation can be explained.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    ClarkHippo
    Tooele, UT said "I can not answer every argument critics of the LDS Church present, but I do know one thing. If being an ex-LDS person means becoming a self-righteous, vindictive, abrasive individual, I will gladly stay LDS."

    AMEN!!

    The treatment and condescension I have received from the ex-LDS I know, who say they have now figured out the LDS church is wrong, is curiously-to-me all the same, even though these people don't know each other and are from different places.They all exhibit all that ClarkHippo mentioned as well as more. But all just the same.

    That alone tells me something... yikes.

  • Mama2Seven Kuna, ID
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    Yes, I may have questions. Yes, there are things that I do not understand. But this I DO know. When I read my scriptures and say my prayers, I feel happy. When I attend the temple, I feel a renewed strength to face trials. When I listen to general conference with a true desire to improve and grow, I feel a deep peace.

    So - what if I die and it turns out that the church wasn't true? Well, I lived my life in a way that brought me great joy and happiness. I worked to overcome personal weaknesses, devoted myself to my family and community, and spent my days trying to become a little bit better. I fell down, made mistakes,and started again.I tried to live the way the Savior would have me live - and I found joy. I do not believe I will have regrets.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Dennis said "At age 45 while serving on the High Council the Church ran out of answers. Today I'm very content not to participate."

    But those who read Dennis's comments on many articles knows that he (and those who feel like he does) are NOT content with being QUIET about it.

    No one who leaves the LDS Church is content to just go away and be content not to participate. They can never 'leave it alone'.

    That alone also tells me something. Again, yikes.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    There seems to be a rather broad misconception that it is part of the human experience to have immediate answers to any imaginable question, including religious. I can't think of any subject on which I don't have more questions than answers. The key, as described in the article, is to realize which answers we have that work and to not throw them out because of the answers we don't have. I have questions about current cosmological theories, but I'm not going to throw out Newton's Laws as a result - they're extremely useful, even if they're only approximations. The same is true with religion. I know which answers work, and I'm not going to throw them out because of some questions for which I don't have answers. I know that following Christ brings joy and peace. I know that reading and pondering the Book of Mormon enlightens me. I know that the Gift of the Holy Ghost provides insights and understanding I wouldn't otherwise have. I'm not about to abandon any of the answers I have simply because there are answers I don't have. That would be foolish.

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    utahcitizen1

    So when president Brigham Young taught the Adam-god theory, he was speaking for god right? But now god changed his mind and it isn't doctrine??

    You said that the lord would never allow a prophet to lead the church astray, so did Brigham lead the church astray with his Adam-god teachings, or did the prophets after him who denied the doctrine lead us astray?

  • DocHolliday reno, NV
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    Common sense in idaho

    So when prophets and apostles make contradicting remarks in general conferences that are years apart... How do you reconcile that if it is 'revelation'?

  • Meg30 Providence, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Good conversation. I think MMM was right on. I have learned that if I suspend judgment, eventually I start to understand things. I would never throw a whole lot of good away over some things I don't understand or don't agree with. God knows what he's doing. He has a plan. I study a lot of other religions,etc. too and I love learning everything but bottom line, I'm keeping my temple covenants. I do wish that we didn't whitewash history - I don't think it does anyone any good. I teach a ton of stuff because I think it's better to hear it in church than get surprised somewhere else. People should be able to handle imperfect people, including church leaders. If they can't, they can choose to look for a perfect church. It also helps me to remember that the Gospel, the Church, Culture, and Human Nature are 4 different things. Christ is married to the Church, but it's still a mortal organization. So let's all keep working together at all this. :)

  • reasonableUTE Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    @ all of you that are looking for official answers...

    If what the prophet is saying is accompanied by the spirit... then what the prophet (or what anyone else is saying for that matter) is of God. Ultimately this is how we receive answers to our questions. We pray, we study, we read, we ponder... and we believe that the answers to our questions are given to us through the power of the Holy Ghost.

    In some cases there may not be "official answers" to questions one may have about various aspects of the gospel, church history, or church doctrine.

    I understand an outsiders concerns when it comes to getting these official answers, but we believe it is up to the individual to find answers to questions through faith, study, prayer, pondering, and discussion. If you don't believe in revelation from God through the spirit, I can understand why this principle would be hard for you to swallow but ultimately this is truth.

    I hope that my answer has been helpful... and I hope that you some day find answers to the questions that you have.

  • Digomart Evansville, IN
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    But, if you write to a higher authority about a local leader who is doing something wrong, the higher authorities are known to refuse to intervene (to keep the lines of authority intact) and then tattle on you to the your local leader.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Mint Julip

    I am sorry to hear about that happening to you. My experience is similar to yours, but I don't think I paid that high of a price (yet). It is sad to see that some relationships you had were based SOLELY on your common belief in a church. A belief can be a part of a relationship, but should never define relationships. I am saddened when families and friends of mormons who fall away often treat people as you have been treated. It makes no sense to me that a person being honest with themselves and saying they don't believe in it should have such drastic consequences. It is sad that religion can tear a family apart if people have different beliefs. Press on the best you can, hopefully people will see you are the same person, and that you just don't believe.

    m.g. scott
    Rarely seem happy in their ex-mormon status?? I know many personally and they are quite happy. So I don't know where you get the 'rarely' from.

    JSB

    Their lives fall apart after leaving the church? Drug abuse, alcohol, affairs? Like god is punishing them for not believing?

  • E.S Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    Some members call those with questions "skeptical." They forget that this Church started because of not one, but many questions Joseph Smith had.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    I'm sure there are those who are happy with their ex-Mormon status. My brother is pretty much okay with it. He doesn't spend his time reading and commenting on every article about the LDS Church, or trying to sow doubt or otherwise rationalize his having left the Church.

    It's the people who leave the Church and can't leave it alone that don't seem happy. My advice: find something to believe, and go have a life! Don't waste your time in contention, because that is the opposite of joy and happiness. Don't anchor yourself to something you dislike, find something you like and focus on that. Be a positive force for good in the world, not someone who spends their time and energy tearing down other people's beliefs and generally being negative.

  • im4kids AUSTIN, TX
    Oct. 1, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    I wish I was as well spoken (or written) as "Middle-aged Mormon Man". Thank you for your post and this great article.
    If all readers read this post with the spirit it was written they will understand that we all have questions, some have answers now, some don't. Are you asking these questions to create fear, disbelief or doubt in other people's mind - or are you sincerely looking for the truth? Do these questions you have really matter right now?
    We are so blessed in this gospel - many other religions ask questions and get the "it's a mystery of God" answer. We know who we are, we know where we are going, we know why we are here. Be grateful for what you have and strive to learn more! Don't ask questions on a blog, newspaper article or post - ask a Bishop, a Stake President, a missionary, a friend with a testimony of Christ's gospel who is willing to open up and share their testimony with you! If you are truly searching for answers - you will find them.

  • Priscilla247 USA, GA
    Oct. 1, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    I think it's cool to have private questions. At the same time, lots of us have some basic questions that need answered. For example, if we believe "no success can compensate for failure in the home," then why aren't we providing parenting and couple/relationship classes in our churches on a regular basis. My husband is a therapist and sees lots of LDS clients. Based on his experience, many of the serious problems that come up in his offices could be prevented/resolved by teaching parents how to parent and married folks how to stay married. I don't know what we would have done in raising our 5 active children had my husband not been steeped in experience from his training and experiences as marriage and family therapist. Surely it's time for the Church to set aside time each Sunday to teach parents and couples how to effectively implement the commandment to not fail in our homes. Just saying!

  • clwnuke Park City, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    I have been a faithful Mormon man my whole life, but I have never agreed with the premise that sharing my search for answers or understanding is a faith weakening activity. My faith is increased by my interaction with people with thoughtful questions.

    Yes, some questions are motivated by ulterior motives, but teaching people to avoid the flock because of the wolves is misguided in my view.

    If truth is "one great whole" then nobody should have to fear the search. It's just my opinion, but innocence and righteousness do not require being "protected" from information that may or may not be perfect. Even our understanding of solid Gospel principles is often imperfect, and the question of a searching soul can often lead to a divine inspiration that enhances our comprehension. These opportunities are not limited to discussions with local church leaders.

    IMHO, curious people should not be made to feel like they are leading others astray by sharing their search for understanding. This article seems to infer that they are doing just this.

  • 3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    "...my questions might become your stumbling blocks — just as your questions could become my stumbling blocks."
    This has got to be the saddest thing I've read here in a long time. And what's with the "THAT kind of friend" explanation for the dodge? It makes no sense. The way the author is holding back his stumbling blocks rather than having an open discussion about them out of FEAR is very sad. What is this guy afraid of? Have an open honest discussion already.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    silverprospector

    The very fact that you would bring that up makes my point.

  • Cache Kid LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    The problem here, as I see it, is that the LDS have a differing definition of what is 'true' than do other people. To them, 'truth' isn't some concrete thing, it's a feeling. We could better understand if we change the word 'true' for the word 'good'.

    I know the church is good.

    Joseph Smith waa a good prophet of God.

    The Book of Mormon is good.

    When we speak of historical truths, for most LDS that holds no meaning. They judge on goodness as they perceive it, not actual truthfulness.

    So they won't give you a concrete answer to concrete questions, as they don't deal in concrete, tangible thought.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    @ Arizona1,

    You hit the nail on the head.

    Everyone here looking for the "Official Church Answers" need to study the difference between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel.

    Nephi hears Lehi's "ramblings" and may have thought his dad was crazy. But instead of assuming like his brothers did, Nephi prayed and received his answer. Lehi, is a prophet of God, and his visions are from God.

    Laman and Lemuel on the other hand, just complained and stayed confused and ignorant. No amount of miracles or angelic visitations proved to be enough.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    This discussion reminds me of Laman and Lemuel arguing about points of doctrine and The answer Nephi gave to them.

    "And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the olive-tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.

    Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

    Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?--If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you."
    (1 Ne 15:7-11)

    If you have questions the way to obtain answers to those questions is found in the scriptures. Not by debate not by posing questions online to Church authorities as some people would suggest.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    I find so much of this blog entertaining. It's a great article, and many are never going to understand the message. I'm cool with that, but I remain shaking my head at those who are more fixed on the foibles of others than they are for finding the pathway leading to the Savior, which is really the important thing. There's nothing anyone can tell me about errors or sins by prophets that matter to me. I'm fine with the fact that learning is a thing that even the church is doing as we move ahead. But for all the mists of darkness others choose to dwell in, I have found great peace in the authority, current doctrines, Book of Mormon, temples, programs, continual revelation, and everything else that helps me draw closer to the Savior. No errors or transgressions by leaders will change the personal experiences I've had on my knees. I don't care if J.S. used a hat, bathed in a river seven times, used a scroll or a tree branch to receive revelation. The gospel of Jesus is in the scriptures, and I'm better following the prophets.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    sharrona,

    I never mentioned that my testimony "saved" me. Those are your words.

    Why are you "replying" to something I never said?

    Honestly, you do this quite often. Please stop.

    Reference the scripture you cite. When Christ was asked what one must do to be saved, he had a different answer.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Chris B... if I were awarding blue ribbons, Common Sense would get it. Here is my attempt to answer you...

    "If the Prophet issues new directions or instructions and they are not contraindicated by Scriptures of the LDS Church, I consider it revelation from Heaven Father via the Holy Ghost."

    In Acts we are told the Bereans welcomed the Apostle Paul and "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Cp 17, vs 11.

    I think I could be a better man by listening to the Prophet's personal opinions, but in truth they have no bearing on my eternal salvation. His instructions and directions, establishment of doctrine, do. So if he were to establish something totally and completely new, and the Scriptures were either supportive or even silent on the issue, I'm good to go.

    Here is where I get boo's ... if an established practice of the Church IS in conflict with Scripture, I side with Scripture.

    4th and last post here.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:07 p.m.

    So many choose to focus their anti-Mormon decisions on perceived errors or sins of church leaders. I'm so glad I do not have to base my life on such an endlessly unresolved position. I find great joy repenting of my own sins and would find trying to learn of and dwell on the transgressions of others burdensome. Some thrive on that because it offers justification for choices to ignore truth in scriptures and Spirit. Some here are asking for official answers, yet any answer would never be sufficient. They would choose to advance the debate. The gospel is not a debate for many members of the church, me included. I'm grateful for the path leading to truth, which includes studying scriptures, modern revelation, and relying on the Spirit. President Hinckley said on national TV that church leaders learn by mistakes and revelation and that explains how and why some things change in time.

  • order66 Menifee, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    There is no way to stop people from asking questions publicly. Most people who have questioned mormon doctrine have left the church (or never joined in the first place). The attendance rates show maybe 30% to 40% still attend.

    Until someone starts answering questions - like how the Book of Abraham was translated publicly, people will continue to leave. Telling people to put their questions in a box might work for 30% of the population, but the other 70% won't stick around without some reasonable answers.

  • utahcitizen1 Vernal, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    Chris B to do my best to answer your question. I agree with most of what Moontan says.

    Personally I think that sometimes a prophet's personal opinions get mixed up with official revelations for the church. There is an example of where Brigham Young gave a sermon in general conference and in the next session retracted some of what he said with an apology. He stated that he had given his opinion, not God's will/revelation for the church. My opinion is God sometimes may allow prophet's to say things "officially" that may be incorrect if it doesn't interfere with his will for the church and if it isn't something necessary to someone's progress and salvation. After all, prophets are just men. I do believe though they will not be allowed to say anything that is incorrect that will affect people's ability to be perfected/have faith/be saved.

    If the instance that you refer to is a stumbling block for you though, then I suggest you take it to God in prayer. If you have a true intent to follow God's will he will let you know.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    as a returned missionary active latter day saint I will open up a few of my own box of questions...

    1. Why do bad things happen to good people?
    2. Why do wicked, corrupt and rotten people seem prosper?
    3. Why do prayers sometimes go unanswered?
    4. Why are innocent people hurt and even killed?
    5. Why can't BYU throw the ball anymore???

    I guess #5 isn't all that big of a deal but I still wonder about it....

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    The only conclusion? It's not truth, not if you define "truth" as an absolute term.
    It is riddled with many, many inconsistencies. 'Truth' and 'inconsistency' are mutually exclusive terms. Cannot have an inconsistency in a truth.

  • utahcitizen1 Vernal, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Chris B to finish up, If you don't believe in personal revelation, I suggest you give it a try :) In the end no amount of debate will convince anyone, since at some point we all have to walk by faith.

    Best of luck to you in your journey to find answers and ultimately peace.

  • Slangford Salem, OR
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    In response to eastcoastcoug's popular comment "If you have questions, people, please find a Mormon friend you trust and ask him or her." As a life-long member with questions, I have tried to carefully approach trusted Mormon friends to let them know in vague terms that I have come to see things differently. A close family member responded by sending me a link to this article!Two friends have been somewhat willing to listen, but very guarded. And the rest are like the author of this article and don't think open discussion is appropriate.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Oct. 1, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    There are many comments about where to go to get answers about the Restored Gospel and the LDS Church. I heartily recommend going to the only source that is perfect - ask God. Nearly everything I have learned about sacred things were revealed to me while I was praying, reading scripture, living a commandment or in a teaching experience. Once I learned that by the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things, that has been my preferred source of Truth. I recognize that I will only receive what has already been revealed through His servants, the Prophets. I read the scriptures voraciously, and they have come alive to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. I have learned one other key: you can't get a testimony of a commandment without living it.

  • 3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    @ Cinci Man
    "So many choose to focus their anti-Mormon decisions on perceived errors or sins of church leaders"

    Maybe many do, but don't forget those of us who have focused our decisions based on the regret we have for what perceive as moral errors we have personally made as a result of following LDS instruction. For me it was the realization that I was holding the ideas of LDS truth in a position above basic moral principles and "waiting patiently" for the day God would make it all make sense. Basically waiting to die to discover the answers that would justify acts I felt ashamed of. I understand many choose to stay and wait it out till death, but that was no way for me to live.

  • Meadow Lark Mark IDAHO FALLS, ID
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    I don't know all things. Why some things happened or why things were done in a certain way I don't know. I do know that our Savior Jesus Christ does lead his church. If a person doesn't have a core belief then some questions may cause people to not believe. I remember years ago I was talking to a person who had a lot of questions. After awhile I realized that this person's questions were not said to me to get answers but that the person's objective was simply to destroy my faith. They had absolutely no interest in finding the truth. I stopped meeting with that person when I realized they only wanted to destroy my faith. The only was to know if the truths taught by the LDS church are correct is to humble yourself and pray to Heavenly Father for the answer. You can have an absolute knowledge of the truth in this manner.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    These, to me, aren't real questions. If you are 100% convinced that the basics of the gospel as taught by the LDS church is true, then you aren't really questioning. Yeah, you may make a show of fretting about this or that bit of ephemera, but the effect of an actual answer to your question would be nil.

    I've been a member for life (well, since 8) and have heard that we are expected and encouraged to "question." Not buying it. Real questions don't come with a pre-set "correct" answer. When your dad/bishop/companion tells you to "pray about it," the implied solution is that God is going to tell you that The Church is correct. If you ask sincerely and come up with the answer that "yeah, it's all hooey," you'll be treated as if you're "struggling" or not being "open to the spirit." There's no real allowance for the idea that, hey, maybe the whole thing is fiction.

    Frankly, the bare foundations make no sense to me. Yet leaving would gash a perfectly functional family. On with the facade, I suppose.

  • MarkNutt Provo, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    This is all well and good for questions that don't really matter, but what about all the problems that directly call into question things like whether Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were actually prophets, or whether any of the event of the Book of Mormon actually took place?

    You can't very well just carry on as though all was well in Zion, when the things in your "box" lead you to question whether the Book of Mormon might be nothing but fiction!

  • Just trying Webster, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    Questions are a good thing as is looking for answers but no one will ever find every answer so one must be ready to accept at some point. We are only human after all. How can we truly say we have faith if we are hiding our own secret box? That sounds like a sin. I feel we have an obligation to have full faith in the one true church and get rid of the box.

    I like the idea of discussing box items with other trusted members. Members in Sweden had questions and got together to talk about them and as a result in 2010 the church sent Elder Marlin Jensen (Church historian) and Elder Richard Turley (assistant Church historian) to address their box items. They will either have full faith with no box items or they will not but they have tried.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    Folks are missing the point. This article is not telling us it is okay to have questions. It is blatantly telling us we aren't smart enough to question - not even smart enough to know what the opposite of "not smart" is and that we should sit and listen to those who are smart. And for heck sakes, if you are stupid enough to think of questions you would like to ask, don't ask anybody as you may threaten their testimony. Now sit down and quit thinking about things you shouldn't think about.

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    While I understand the author's point about not creating stumbling blocks for others by your own questions, I think it is dangerous to suggest that people shouldn't voice their questions out of fear that it might do so. Conversation is a good thing - how do we find answers unless we ask other people for their insight? It can be a very LONELY feeling, very isolating, to have questions and think no else would understand, or have gone through a similar thing, or might have some insight to help. We are here to BEAR ONE ANOTHER's BURDENS. This includes their questions or doubts. If someone else's questions become my stumbling block, that is on me, not them. I shouldn't shut people out of the conversation just because what they ask is uncomfortable.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    @ 3GrandKeys
    I'm sorry that you feel that the Church has led you to make moral errors. I suspect that it is you that perceives that you are making moral error and that the Church taught you to do so. I see that belief also among some gay Mormons who believe that one day God will reveal to prophets that gender has no meaning in the eternities. Anyone can be married to anyone forever. In this case, and perhaps you own case, it's just possible that there IS meaning and value to gender uniqueness. I hope that one day you will learn the truth about your perceived error. Perhaps it is true that only men can hold the priesthood. Until revelation changes doctrine, which may never occur, I'll continue to follow the prophet on both points.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    This article is full of bad advice.

    For example "*IMPORTANT NOTE: If your leader is doing things with you, or to you, that you know are wrong, please leapfrog to the higher authority. Don't keep quiet just to get along or out of fear. Don't be afraid to shine light on darkness."

    Implying that this is possible is wrong. If you have a problem with a Stake President and you send a letter to Salt Lake, they will send it right back to the Stake President. There is no redress or formal system to appeal to higher authority in this church. And openly sharing questions DOES shine light into dark areas.

    Imagine the advice given in this article (that we should box up our questions and just believe) given in other important areas in our lives. Let's say you are contemplating marriage... should you box up your doubts? Let's say you are contemplating a major purchase like a car... should you box up your doubts? Good grief!

    I'm guessing many of us have a great many of the same questions and many could be answered if the Church viewed it as advantageous to do so.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    "Members in Sweden had questions and got together to talk about them and as a result in 2010 the church sent Elder Marlin Jensen (Church historian) and Elder Richard Turley (assistant Church historian) to address their box items."

    Also, I heard members in a San Francisco stake received a visit (and apology of sorts) shortly after the Prop 8 campaign. But let's not kid ourselves here folks. These are one-offs and happen very infrequently. The Church would prefer not to have to address questions.

    BUT these visits were the result of public open questioning... which I view as a very healthy thing.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    @Wastintime,
    You’ve oversimplified the point of the author. The doubts the author has are small in comparison to what he already has come to know. In that case, it’s perfectly fine to shelve your doubts. Every car purchaser or bride/groom will have SOME concerns. But so long as they are sure of the basics, then fine! Move forward! We can’t go through life waiting for perfect answers and perfect clarity to be handed to us before living life.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Oct. 1, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    Chris B posted:
    Even Brigham Young said: ..."I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture."

    You are dishonest not providing the rest of BY's quote, as he further added ...(not verbatim) "after he had a chance to edit or correct the text".

    The Journal of Discourse was NOT edited or corrected by BY, hence not scripture by his definition. Scribes recorded the general authorities talks and sent the material to England, where the Journal of Discourse was published for the benefit of the Saints there. Copies of the JoD found there way back to Salt Lake and our critics have ever since, insisted it's same as scripture. The JoD does HAVE errors. It simply was not vetted in any degree to what our Canonized scriptures were.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    @teeoh

    The author himself stated "Some of the things on my list are deep and important" so I don't think I have oversimplified at all. You have conveniently ignored that some of the things on the authors list are "deep and important". Would you enter a marriage or buy a car if you had "deep and important" concerns about the transaction?

    What we have here is a (self-admittedly) not-so-bright person chooosing to ignore "deep and important" questions about a major life (and perhaps thereafter) decision. Fine. But as I said before, it's extremly bad advice to offer to others.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Oct. 1, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    DocHolliday posted:
    Ok.... So when I get the answer that the adam-god doctrine is true after fervent prayer and pondering, but others get the answer that it is false then what?

    The above false doctrine, is an invention of our critics. The text in the JoD IS in error. The JoD IS not scripture.

    BY's reference to God the Father by the title Adam, is just that, a title. God is NOT the man Adam. Just as Christ being called "Adam" in the NT doesn't make him the man Adam.

    Search on "Elden Watson Adam-God", read, and report back.

    Chris B posted:
    And yet Brigham Young said many things either flat out wrong, or not supported by current LDS leadership.

    Did BY say it wrong? Or was it recorded wrong? and/or set in type wrong? There are many steps, all prone to error, from the sounds rolling off BY's lips and the book arriving in you hands.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    LDSareChristians, The JoD does HAVE errors.

    What about H of C?
    (D.H.C. v 6. P 408,409) “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.

    (DHC 6:318-320.”)God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him.”

    Or, The original A of F faith. #8 We believe in the Word of God recorded in the Bible;..."

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 1, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    To posters who've gone astray... look over your lives before leaving. You'll likely find some unresolved sins there. Remember, 'the Spirit will not always strive with man' (or woman). In which case one ends up 'kicking against the pricks.'

    As for questions, here's some beyond LDS doctrine/history...

    Why did Matthew recount the history of Joseph in Matt 1 to show that Christ descended from Abraham, Issac, and Jacob? Mary was the blood relative, not Joseph.

    Was God the actual Father of Jesus? The Good Book says the 'Holy Ghost' (third member of the Godhead) fell on Mary.

    And, was there only two members of the Godhead (God/Holy Ghost) before Jesus was born?

    Why did God have but one kid via Mary? Wouldn't mankind be much better off if all possessed God's genes, like Christ?

    Why doesn't God visit more often? He's only appeared a few times... and once as a 'burning bush.' What's that about? What kind of a Dad would stay away from family making himself so scarce? Why the secret? As a result, most of the world is confused wandering aimlessly... for millennia.

  • RoyKirk Sandy, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    Chris B, and any others who may be asking, the answer to "when is a prophet speaking for God or for himself?" is that you feel it through the Spirit and you can verify through the scriptures. That answer begs us to ask, how can you tell if you are actually feeling the Spirit or making it up yourself? The answer to that is that you have to experience the Spirit's promptings enough for yourself to truly recognize Him accurately. We will of course make mistakes from time to time and those mistakes are what the Atonement is for, why Christ is so central to God's Plan of Happiness.

    Now, why Brigham Young said: ..."I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture." It seems to me that Brigham indicated at another occassion that he expected that people would understand when he talked with the Spirit and when he didn't. He was a man that didn't mince words by any means, but that often leads to people misinterpreting his meanings, especially in this overly-critcal age, an age he didn't address.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    "especially in this overly-critcal age"

    I would agree with Brother Maxwell and call this age overly-gullible (and underly-critical).

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    Neanderthal posted:
    Because, as we speak, the papyri of the Book of Abraham is considered by many to be funerary writings.

    Those papyri scraps found in the NY Museum, were not that from which JS translated the Book of Abraham. There were several scrolls in JS's possession. It is very obvious that the scraps were not those from which he translated.

    Mayfair posted: That alone tells me something... yikes.

    YES! You nailed it on the head twice!

    Wastintme posted:
    If you have a problem with a Stake President and you send a letter to Salt Lake, they will send it right back to the Stake President. There is no redress or formal system to appeal to higher authority in this church

    The next level up from a Stake President is the Regional Representative. Church headquarters can't vet the potential for millions of letters arriving at their desk. They delegate down. It's proper to leapfrog one level. Not to the top.

    Sharrona posted: What about HofC?

    Did a Prophet of God get a chance to edit/correct it? Then it isn't scripture. Wasn't the orignal #8 printed in a newspaper?

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    To all you continual arguers who have received answers herein. I was 100% correct when I said that no answer will suffice. You are not looking for answers. You can debate back and forth day and night forever, and you will never be satisfied. So, you are where you are. I'm good with that. I'm glad the Church leaders do not feel the need to debate you. Stick to principles or personal righteousness and seek God and Christ (or not) however you choose. I allow you to worship how, where, or what you may. But just because you cannot find answers, do not claim your exclusive right to knowledge and understanding. Let me worship God and Christ according to the dictates of my own conscience and accountability. Let me have joy in my faith. You may have no clue how faith blesses lives. John 16 tells us how Jesus felt about living by faith. btw, the standard I read applied to your targets, is not the standard you hold for yourselves. A lie is deliberate telling of a falsehood, not misinformation. Jesus will judge them, and rightly so.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    I have sufficient faith to believe there is a God in heaven who holds me responsible to my fellow human beings and to the truth. I've never had sufficient faith (if that's the right word) to state that I know with every shadow of my being that C.S. Lewis or Pope John Paul II were wrong in what they believed about God.

    The analogy of a laboratory has its limits. The scientific method works because, as a rule, when two different people perform the same experiment, they should get the same results. Religion doesn't work that way. If there are different results, the difference will typically be explained by "you did it wrong" -- but without identifying the specific misstep taken. The religious "experiment" is, as they say, "non-falsifiable," which means (following Karl Popper) that it's not science, and so not really an "experiment."

    Sorry, Alma. A nice metaphor, but it only takes you so far.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    My doctrine is not mine but his that sent me.
    If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine,
    whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    John 7:17

    "... he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light;
    and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

    Doctrine and Covenants 50: 24

    I received my testimony by the Holy Ghost when LDS missionaries testified to
    me. This was an answer to prayer. He / they answered many questions as did the scriptures, old and new, and still do.

    You can have revelations daily. Questions are answered often even as I ask them, or soon thereafter. If an answer is not necessary, if my faith is being tried, or if I am not living up to my privileges, they may not be answered so quickly.

    All this is by the Holy Ghost, speaking to my mind and heart, or through scriptures, the writings of prophets, talks, things someone says, once from a book I was led to,

    The key to it all, as one poster summarized, is obedience.

    "If any man will do his will...."

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Oct. 1, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    @Wastintime,

    You are oversimplifying it because you conveniently ignore that the author states that he is "convinced" of a whole litany of Mormon beliefs that act as a "core testimony that guides (his) life" and gives him "perspective." Yet you would have us believe that he is just too much of a simpleton to know how to properly handle his doubts, despite the fact that he clearly tells us they neither "torment" nor "rattle" him.

    This is classic oversimplification.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    @teeoh
    (last post)

    "Simpleton" is your word, not mine. But he does say "I'm not very smart", and based upon his article, I'm inclined to take him at his word. So yes, I would conclude that he may not be handling his doubts properly, despite the fact that he clearly tells us they neither "torment" nor "rattle" him.

    I submit that countless mistakes in life are made when people ignore deep and important questions that do not torment or rattle them. Few people, even those with incredibly bad judgement, act if rattled and tormented by questions. But "simpletons" jump-in all the time and make mistakes by ignoring important questions (that for whatever reason do not "rattle" and disuade them). So although his assertion that he is not tormented or rattled gives you comfort, it does not comfort me.

  • 3GrandKeys Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    @ Pops

    "It's the people who leave the Church and can't leave it alone that don't seem happy. My advice: find something to believe, and go have a life! Don't waste your time in contention, because that is the opposite of joy and happiness."

    I agree, it's not healthy to dwell, but let me offer you this insight. When people feel like they've been swindled about their very spiritual identity and world view and are genuinely emotionally injured by something they are going to spend some healthy time ranting about it, vent frustrations about it, then look to bolster up others who have had similar experiences, and also somehow try and prevent their heritage from dismissing them as spiritual/moral failures. Eventually I reckon most people move on, but it takes time. Their entire sense of self is interwoven with the church.

    Although there may be some who spend their lives unhealthily working against the church, I believe there are many more who are simply following a healthy progression through painful disaffection phases and then moving on their way, only to be followed by the next wave.

  • Gene M Orem, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    Questions are very important in gaining knowledge and testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The boy Joseph Smith had questions about what church was right and which one to join. Where did he go for answers to his questions? He turned to the Bible to James1: 5-6. He read it and decided to ask of God and went to the woods and prayed and he received an answer. We follow the Prophets example by praying with faith with nothing wavering. What else do we do to get answers? We seek out sources to study that are published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the top of the list is the Standard Works of the Church, the scriptures, and any other publication published by the Church. We then need to pray for a confirmation of what we have determined is the answer to our question. We do this by following Moroni’s exhortation given in Moroni 10:4-5 and rely on the Holy Ghost for an answer. I know this is true that answers come through fervent study, prayer and patience with a burning in my heart that they are true.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Oct. 1, 2013 7:53 p.m.

    I remember reading an article one time about a woman who said that according to all the tests and evaluations of marriage out these days, she had been happily married to the wrong man for 3 decades. And she stayed happily married to him.

    It's possible to overthink church doctrine. To think yourself right out of a testimony. If we just trust the Lord, let simple faith work and just allow testimony and all those questions to exist side by side, we, too can remain happily "married" to the Church without being bothered by outsiders telling us we're in the wrong one.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    LDSareChristians seems to think that the Journal of Discourses is the only place Brigham Young is reported as teaching that Adam is God.

    It might be helpful for him to Google the June 18, 1873, Deseret News, which reports Brigham Young as saying, "How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me—namely that Adam is our Father and God . . . "

    It is a fairly long statement and leaves no doubt. Also, Wilford Woodruff reported in his journal on at least two occasions that Brigham Young had taught that Adam of was God.

    The 1873 statement carries extra weight, because President Young says "which God revealed to me." Plus, it may have been his last words on the subject, which would tend to override previous comments.

    We LDS need to sustain Church leaders, but sometimes they err in doctrinal matters. This means that we must put wise exercise of agency before automatic obedience to leaders.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:43 p.m.

    Steve C. Warren,

    The newspaper article available on the web is not readable in certain areas I wanted to read. Regardless, we all know how accurate newspapers are. I have personnel experience with errors they make.

    BY considered God the Father as "Father Adam". He considered the man Adam, as Adam. The man Adam was named after Father Adam(God the Father). While God the Father and the man Adam were both considered Adam's to BY, he NEVER considered them the same being.
    BY always referred to Joseph Smiths father, as "Father Joseph".
    That was how BY's generation reference father and sons who had the same first name. In like manner this is how BY differentiated between Father Adam (God the Father) and the man Adam.

    Check out Elden Watson article title Adam-God for further/deeper details.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:57 p.m.

    This is why I can't embrace the idea of "spiritual knowledge" versus "plain, old, regular knowledge". Spiritual knowledge apparently is something that we have to hold onto tightly, hidden from view; we can't examine it, because we may get confused and accidentally trick ourselves into thinking it's not true. We can't share our questions with friends, because then we might deceive them, as well.

    With real knowledge, it's simple--we want to openly ask questions about any given fact--to try it and test it, and if it holds up to immense scrutiny, then it's worth hanging onto. Otherwise, it is sloughed off and discarded. Why can't we do that with religious knowledge? Why does it have the privilege of being different? Imagine how poorly our collective scientific knowledge would have developed if the principles from this article were followed!

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    @LDSareChristians:
    "Those papyri scraps found in the NY Museum, were not that from which JS translated the Book of Abraham."

    A prominent person (which will remain nameless in order to get this post past the persnickety DNews monitors) stated (which statement is in the public domain): 'If the only function of the scrolls was to awaken the Prophet to the idea of receiving such inspiration, they would have fulfilled their purpose.' Reflections of a Scientist, p. 46.

    "There were several scrolls in JS's possession. It is very obvious that the scraps were not those from which he translated."

    Au contraire mon ami. The facsimile papyri scraps in the Metropolitan Museum are identical to those in the BofA.

  • Wallypacker Orem, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 5:16 a.m.

    I agree with the comment I saw about how questions are easy. It is the answers that are difficult. The Book of Abraham is impossible to reconcile on so many levels. I am a 7th generation Mormon. But even my relatives try to hide the fact that my Apostle g-g-g-grandfather married hist wife as a plural wife when she was only 14. She was traded for a wagon and provisions so that her family could cross the plains in 1846. My experience is that the LDS church simply provieds the easy answers and then hides the unanswerable questions via social pressure and ex'ing those who shine the dim light of truth upon those tough question.

  • Filo Doughboy Bakersfield, CA
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    Seriously? Go ahead and ask away! You can't get straight answers, uniform answers, accurate answers from any church source. I've been trying for almost 30 years. It was difficult while in the church, impossible from outside.

    We had an ex-LDS support group for years in the early 90's. That was the #1 complaint- Inability to get a unifiorm/accurate/timely answer in any controversial topic. It is what it is- a smorgasbord of opinions, even when official Church documenation is staring you in the face.

    Now The Spin on the spin begins.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    We will all hear things that are troublesome, for instance, I have read in church magazine twice in the last 6 years the following, and I agree with it wholeheartedly, yet it is so tough a doctrine, that it can't be spoken from the pulpit; must be in print, and it is as follows, and I first read it in April 2007 Ensign by Elder Tingey and it has been printed in this year's Ensign, February or March. "If a man goes after a career before marriage, it is a tragedy." We could start naming names yet that wouldn't be nice. There are people in high callings who have had tragic lives. I don't have a problem with this line of teaching, yet it was meant to bother others who love money and Ph.d and college degree.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    @Wallypacker

    " But even my relatives try to hide the fact that my Apostle g-g-g-grandfather married hist wife as a plural wife when she was only 14."

    That is no surprise since a 14 year-old girl in 1850 was probably the equivalent (in physical development) of a 12 year-old today. People try to rationalize "it" (I can't call it by its proper name or the moderators will not post this) by claiming that it was a different time. But according to census data from the mid-1800's (when the data was first gathered) the average age of marriage for a female in the United States was approximately 21.

  • UKlurker UK, 00
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Hi Patriot. Will answer you as best as I can. But I think the main thrust of your issues here is thinking in terms of mortal time limits. Mortality is but a small part of our existance. Some people think of it as a test, I disagree I believe god knows before we come down what we will do. I believe that the true purpose of life is to grow, an experience that isnt always comfortable.

    1) I would guess theres as many reasons as people. But this can be an answer for some :- John 15:1-2, D+C 122:5-7 also think "refinersfire". These things may be hard at the time, but those with the humility to say "thy will be done" will grow from these things.

    2) D+C 121 helps with timescales on this one. Also perhaps as a loving father he allows some joy now, because of the dissapointment to come.

    3) Words of Mormon 1:7 For a wise purpose. I can thank god for many unaswered prayers!

    4) D+C 122:9 Latter part. Overall we must ask ourselves "Do we know better than God?" Ive rediscovered many times that I dont...

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    LDSareChristians

    You keep saying that Brigham Young never said those things... that all of the sudden that manuscript was wrong, or a mistake was made in translating.. These are not valid answers. Neither is your answer of you likening god to Adam... just a different Adam. That is not the case. It is clear from multiple statements by Brigham Young and others that they understood that he was talking about Adam, the ancient of days, the first human... etc. If you don't understand it that way thats your problem but it is clear that is not what he was talking about.

    "President Young followed & made many good remarks . . . He said that our God was Father Adam. He was the Father of the Savior Jesus Christ--Our God was no more or less than Adam . . . Michael the Archangel."

    We all know that Michael the archangel is Adam, the first man to live. That is who he was talking about.

    Even your friends at FAIRLDS.org acknowledge that Adam, the first man, is who Brigham Young was talking about in his many sermons. They state it is false doctrine, but they know he was talking about the same Adam.

  • Deliriousdd Benicia, CA
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    I think a lot of people have questions, but when the church gives the answer, it isn't what they want to hear, so they blame the church for not having dialogue. I also think a lot of these questions could be answered by personal study. We are all entitled to the opportunity to learn truth directly from God. Do some searches on lds.org, and read some of the talks related to your questions. But I did receive some really wise advice from a church leader recently. What I took away from his comments is the idea that sometimes it's not the question, but how we ask it that is the problem. The tone of some of these questions sounds rebellious and defiant. I think like any good parent, God is willing to answer our questions when we ask the " right question, for the right reason".

  • jayd Raleigh, NC
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Apostle Hugh B. Brown disagrees with you about whether members of the church should openly talk about their questions.

    "Freedom, dignity and integrity of the individual is basic in Church doctrine as well as in democracy. Here we are free to think and express our opinions. Fear will not stifle thought, as is the case in some areas which have not yet emerged from the Dark Ages. God himself refuses to trammel man's free agency even though its exercise sometimes teaches painful lessons. Both creative science and revealed religion find their fullest and truest expression in the climate of freedom.
    "I hope that you will develop the questing spirit. Be unafraid of new ideas for they are the stepping stones of progress. You will of course respect the opinions of others but be unafraid to dissent—if you are informed. Only error needs to fear freedom of expression."

    Even if you disagree with him, perhaps you can develop some empathy for those who honestly express their disagreements and concerns. It is an equally valid way to live the gospel.

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    As some have suggested, I asked my stake president my troubling question.

    I was told we don't have all answers in this life. I countered with the verse that led Joseph to the grove, "If any of you lack wisdom..." I pleaded with him that these answers were necessary to my ability to trust church leadership and critical to my testimony of the fundamental truth claims of the church. That I couldn't take a "wait and see" approach because I only have one life and I didn't want to waste it in this church if it wasn't what it claimed. I had been praying with faith for more than 5 years but had only grown in doubt as prayers were unanswered and questions multiplied. I asked, "if this church is true, God would care that my family has lost our testimonies due to lack of wisdom?" "Why does He not keep his promise to give it?"

    I left the stake president's office without any answer. Then I left the church.

    I had faith. I asked humbly. I sought counsel. However, there comes a point when one must acknowledge faith is misplaced and take corrective action.

  • observer50 kaysville, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    In response to ironmania. It's amusing to see people comment, without reading thoroughly.
    In the "editor's note" at the beginning of the article, it states that this is taken from the individual's blog. There is a link to the blog, and if you click on this link you will find the author's explanation of why his blog is anonymous. This is obviously not a Deseret News decision.

  • Mint Julip KAYSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Why does Chris B ask for the Church's official answer? Maybe it is because the unofficial ones are always contradicting each other.

    eastcoastcoug, "If you have questions, people, please find a Mormon friend you trust and ask him or her."
    versus
    Middle Aged Mormon Man, "What kind of brother would try and destroy my faith by planting seeds of doubt?"

    m.g. scott, "God gave us brains that can ask questions that cannot be answered in this life"
    Pops, "There seems to be a rather broad misconception that it is part of the human experience to have immediate answers to any imaginable question, including religious."
    versus
    "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him."

    utahcitizen1, "Personally I think that sometimes a prophet's personal opinions get mixed up with official revelations for the church."
    verus
    the temple warning about, "philosophies of men, mingled with scripture."

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    RE: LDSareChristians. The Bible vs LDS Doctrines:

    Romans 5:12 ..through Adam[God] that sin entered into the world. (I Cor. 15:22) "For as in Adam all die…”, in Christ shall all be made alive" . Adam/God

    @They tell us that the BoM states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches No Such Thing! Neither does the Bible!”( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation.

    ( Alma 7:10). (Jesus)…born of Mary at* Jersusalem … who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost=(Spirit) and bring forth a son yea, even the Son of God.

    (Mt. 2:5) "In *Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet(Malachi) has written: " Fulfilled Prophecy is what separates the Holy Bible from all other books.

    The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35).

    Christians believe the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle by the Holy Spirit/Ghost, same Greek word(Pneuma).

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Silverprospector, thank you for pointing out to LDSareChristians that there's no doubt that Brigham Young taught that Adam (i.e., Michael the Archangel and husband of Eve) was God the Father. Not only did he teach this on multiple occasions, but apostles also reported hearing him teach the doctrine.

    LDSareChristians says the June 18, 1873, Deseret News is not readable in certain areas on the Web. Well, I have a photocopy taken directly from the Deseret News microfilm, and it's readable.

    Here's more from the article: "'Why was Adam called Adam?' He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He, with the help of his brethren, brought it into existence. Then he said, 'I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this, in a mortal state. I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation. I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there will be no end. . . . "

    The tendentious Elden Watson article on Adam-God is best ignored.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    Mint Julip-

    I have found other scriptures enlightening that may help:

    D&C 46:11,14,17 - "For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift [...] To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful. [...] to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom."

    * Is the spiritual gift you have and should refine to believe the words of others instead?

    3 Nephi 18:20 - "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you."

    * Is the request appropriate in the Lord's eyes?

    Alma 44:4 - "Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; [...] "

    * Do I continue faithful to God and the gospel in all things?

    What we know in the church (Christ's atonement, priesthood restoration, living prophets) will always trump what we don't know!

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    utahcitizen1 - The prophet .. will never teach anything contrary to the will of the Lord. That is not my opinion, but what has been taught by the church.

    Moontan - Here is where I get boo's ... if an established practice of the Church IS in conflict with Scripture, I side with Scripture.

    Steve C. Warren - We LDS need to sustain Church leaders, but sometimes they err in doctrinal matters.

    KJK
    This should address the above. Joseph Fielding Smith stated a number of times that men would never walk on the moon nor sent spacecraft to other worlds because it wasn’t part of the Lord’s plan. After men walked on the moon, he admitted that the prophet can be wrong and stated that if he ever said anything contrary to the scriptures, that his words are to be ignored and that we are to stick with scripture. President Lee reconfirmed this. The brethren have stated that if a statement contradicts scripture, it’s wrong and if it discussing things not addressed in scripture, it’s just an opinion.

  • cougarsare1 Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    Chris B. That's a good question. How about, "He is always speaking as the prophet unless he otherwise states, or a subsequent prophet otherwise states."

    Don't like that answer? Oh well. It's good enough for me. And, no, I am not going to share my "box" with anyone else for similar reasons. It is not my place to create any source of doubt in someone else's mind. That role is specifically reserved for another being. Seek faith and resolutions will come...eventually. What else matters?

    Nothing. That's what.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Oct. 2, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    It's bad for Mormons to doubt their religion. It's good for Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and everybody else to doubt theirs. Otherwise they'd never become Mormons.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Oct. 2, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    @1.96 Standard Deviation

    You were very kind to take time to respond to Mint Julip. Unfortunately, the very scriptures you quote require circular logic. How can one be sure their faith is not misplaced?

    I could put faith in the words of others as stated in D&C 46, but what if the others' faith is misplaced and consequently their words incorrect? How do I know?

    I would think that requesting information critical to a testimony in a religion would be appropriate in the Lord's eyes and meet the requirements of 3 Nephi 18:20, but I do not know the mind of God. Nor do I know his timetable. I do not know if He answered yes, no or wait a while longer. This is a very ambiguous system.

    If I don't know if my faith is placed correctly, is continuing with it faithful? Would you give the advice of Alma 44:4 to someone of a differing religion so that they would continue in their faith?

    You said, "What we know... will always trump what we don't know!" If one is so sure of their answer before they have full knowledge they may just be deluded.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Oct. 2, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    As there is a big gap between what is revealed in scripture and where members (including many leaders of the church) are actually living at, it seems that there is actually a lot of room to question and strive for greater enlightenment.

    For instance, while the Lord has clearly revealed his preferred economy as the Law of Concentration (D&C 38:25-27), I have often heard and seen members, including leaders, vehemently advocate for Capitalism, as if the Lord was truly pleased with the economy in the world we now live in (D&C 49:20). I have even heard Apostles imply such, albeit often subtly, in conference talks and so forth. Just look at the number of the very wealthy called to high position in the church, as a gauge of how prevalent Capitalism permeates the thoughts of those in power. So while I endorse much of the council given, there are times, especially on consecration, that teachings are far from desired. The brethren who strive to unite the saints, via principles of consecration, I fully support; and those who teach the philosophies of men, like Capitalism, I am smart enough to discern -- and I am middle aged.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 2, 2013 6:44 p.m.

    @sharrona

    "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35)."

    I have a question about the Christian trinty concept.

    It says in John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."

    And from the book of Matthew

    "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

    Is Christ the son of God or is he the son of the Holy Ghost? is just a little confusing; Chirst is the Son of God but he was a miracle of the Holy Ghost?? Why would not God have begotton his own son?

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    ThinksIThink-

    I haven't space to respond adequately. However, please read the scriptures listed below on LDS.org for more context. Here is a summary response:

    Alma 32:28-43 provides a method to discern truth from error and if faith is properly placed. In short, Alma taught something good or true is discernible because it can be felt, is light, bears good fruits, and enlightens understanding. The seed of faith also needs to be nourished continually.

    We may not know the mind of God exactly or his timeable. Ambiguity is part of the process and the test of our faith. Ether 12:6 says, "[...] wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." Nephi 28:30 mentions, "[...] I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little;"

    So, our faith will be tried but we won't be left in the dark!

    Lastly, read Moroni 7:13-19 + Moroni 10:4-7. All true and good things point to Christ. With a sincere heart, faith, and real intent, all people from various (religious) backgrounds can receive a spiritual witness!

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Is it really healthy to only have once sided experiences shared?

    But this is anonymous so:

    I was a young Air Force Airman and return missionary with a pretty wife and new cute baby, my friend was reading the Book of Mormon, I testified ect, life was really good. Then my friend came to me that a preacher stopped by his house and told him the bofm is cursed ect and it curses anyone who reads it.. Well a week later my healthy wife died from a sudden illness and I'm dismayed. Oh and my Bishop gave my wife a blessing that she would make a full recovery in the hospital. She died. Where is that "binding" if you obey and have faith?...

    Now can I get up in church and share that? No.

    So ya. I'd like to get an answer to why the Lord didn't back up my testimony a little there, at least for appearances the timing for my cursing was pretty bad. And it's not that great for my testimony that I can't get real support from my supposed brothers and sisters unless I happen to have a nice story.

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    @redshirt007 - very tragic story, the likes of which have shattered the faith of countless people through the ages, and led others to strengthen their faith. When you suffer the most grievous experiences - and there's little as grievous as losing a young spouse or child - you're in the company of the finest people who've ever lived and were similarly tested. If you are indeed a man of faith, you might ask "why does God find me capable of enduring this, and how will I let this experience shape my eternal destiny?"

    You might reasonably ask your Bishop if the blessing he gave was based on his hope, or based on belief that his priesthood and faith were enough to establish (rather than seek) God's will, or based on full inspiration and actually speaking for God. He might not even know the answer to that question. Faith is indeed sometimes an elusive thing that requires great effort.

    I for one would not feel uncomfortable hearing about your humble seeking and trial of faith through this ordeal, including about the blessing, during any church meeting. You may be surprised by the outpouring of love and support you might receive.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    @Steve C. Warren:
    "LDS need to sustain Church leaders, but sometimes they err in doctrinal matters..."

    Makes one wonder how reliable 'revelation' is. I'd guess accuracy depends largely on the receivers receptors... which can misfire.

    @zabivka:
    "Why can't we do that with religious knowledge?"

    Religious knowledge is mostly about the non-observable with the five physical senses. Look around you... there's no visual, touchable, etc., evidence of the 'spiritual world.' Why's that? And, sometimes our perception of it gets addled.

    @Mint Julip

    My advice... think of life as the salmon swimming up the Snake to spawn in placid backwaters. Some make it. Some fall pray to eagles talons or fisherman's hooks and become fodder/stuffed trophies. Don't let your unanswered/unanswerable questions let that happen to you. You may be kicking yourself some day. As Apostle Paul says: 'Today, I look through a glass darkly...'

    Look at it this way: 'I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die and find out there isn't, than live my life as if there was no God, and die and find out there is.'

  • Well.ok Lehi, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    @LDSareChristians

    "Those papyri scraps found in the NY Museum, were not that from which JS translated the Book of Abraham. There were several scrolls in JS's possession. It is very obvious that the scraps were not those from which he translated."

    I don't mean this to sound rude, but I would recommend further study of LDS apologetics before further posting. Those of us who are familiar with the issues recognize your arguments simply aren't true.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Oct. 3, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    I've never been able to declare, with a mystic faraway look in my eyes, that the absolute literal truth of the LDS Church's claims, and all of them, is "something I can't deny." But what I cannot deny is my conviction that the true God is present among the members of the Church, and that a person who lives faithful to the gospel as the Church presents it, is living a life acceptable to any God worth bothering with. It's a pretty good church, as churches go, and that's not nothing.

    It may not be much -- I may indeed be what a prominent LDS apologist once called me personally, a "cultural Mormon stinking up the place" -- but that's the proverbial light & knowledge I've got, and I propose to live faithful to it.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    If you are demanding answers with out humility, unwilling to listen to the spirit, you will not get an answer. Answers for doctrinal questions are personal, the spirit teaches us each at the level we are right now. Understanding only comes through willingness to be obedient to the will of God.

    If you are questioning what the will of God is, start with the ten commandments. When you have them down pat and are living them completely, then you can ask the Lord for more.

    Any time we are confrontational, hateful, angry, prideful and spiteful the spirit will not dwell with us and we are alone.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Oct. 4, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    @well.ok,

    The papyri scraps and the Book of Abraham . . . well, a portion of those scraps are published in the Book of Abraham. The scraps published in the Book of Abraham do not say what Joseph Smith claims (according to scientists).

  • Well.ok Lehi, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    @ThinksIThink

    "The papyri scraps and the Book of Abraham . . . well, a portion of those scraps are published in the Book of Abraham. The scraps published in the Book of Abraham do not say what Joseph Smith claims (according to scientists)."

    Wellok:

    Yes, I realize that which is why I suggested to LDSareChristian that he/she study these issues further before making baseless claims.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Oct. 4, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    Country mom,

    "Any time we are confrontational, hateful, angry, prideful and spiteful the spirit will not dwell with us and we are alone."

    Where in the scriptures does it say that?

  • utah2759 Vernal, UT
    Oct. 5, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    For those of you that have followed the comments for this article I found myself wondering today if Dieter Uchtdorf from the LDS church Presidency has read this article and everyone's comments :)

    In listening to his talk today I felt that he officially answered almost every question brought up in these comments. If you wan't to watch it you can go to www.lds.org and click on watch general conference, click on archive, and click on the talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf during the Saturday morning session. If you wait a day or two the full text version should be available.

  • LittleDrummerMan ,
    Oct. 7, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    When a prophet is speaking for the Lord, he will say "in the name of the Lord," Or "thus saith the Lord."

  • rameumptum tipper East Dublin, GA
    Oct. 8, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    Didn't Joseph Smith say that the purpose behind teaching correct principles, so the members could govern themselves? "And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God... would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves." (Joseph Smith Jr., Millennial Star, vol.14 #38, pp. 593-95)

  • rameumptum tipper East Dublin, GA
    Oct. 9, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    There are answers to questions and they do not have to come through the hierarchy of the LDS Church because the Kingdom of God and the church are entirely separate. The LDS Church believes that there will yet be revealed many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Their own canonized scripture promotes the relevance of these independent sources in 1 John 2:27, Galatians 5:18, Luke 17:21, Alma 26:22, Alma 30:28 and D&C 58:26. Wasn't the "War in Heaven" fought over the right to think or worship how, where, when and what we may or is that privilege only granted to those outside the church? If that is what you believe, then it is safe to say that you follow the Plan of Lucifer. If modern leaders can override scripture, then what is the purpose of scripture? B.H. Roberts had 5 questions about the Book of Mormon that neither he,(the man voted the greatest intellectual in the history of the LDS Church)nor any other General Authority was able to answer. These 5 questions have all been answered by a middle-aged man outside the LDS Church.