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How LDS Church members can help themselves and loved ones deal with doubt

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  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    Great article! Wish I had attended the seminars!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    I think this is a good start, but if I'm right the LDS church will fall far short of truly answering peoples' questions. You guys can dismiss me all you want for not being LDS, I work with several ex-Mormons who in their words left because the church refuses to answer or address issues about their past.

    My sincere suggestion.

    Set up an official church website for the whole world to see where anyone can post UNFILTERED QUESTIONS. And by unfiltered I don't mean for vulgarity(I am ok editing those), I mean don't filter any question as it relates to doctrine or history, simply because you do not want to answer it or because it doesn't shine positively on the church. Let everyone see what others are asking and give the church a chance to have an official answer to each and every one of these "tough" questions.

    And no, such thing does not exist.

    I see it in between the many "anti-LDS" sites and the "LDS sites"

    Allow the "anti-LDS"(or doubters or whatever term you want) people to ask their questions and give their proof.

    And the church can respond.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    I agree with Chris B, but add that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles should be answering the questions, NOT BYU professors, public relations spokespersons, or any other unauthorized, non-ordained, people in the Church.

    It is strange that the Church claims to have the ONLY men with the proper authority to receive revelation from god, yet those with the so-called authority are rarely heard from on the most troubling and controversial issues and questions.

    IF these men have such priesthood "keys", it is a waste that they don't use them to answer the most pressing questions of our day.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    I’m guessing that compassion goes (for doubting members) only up to a certain point. If someone’s doubt reaches a critical mass – where big light bulbs start going off all over the place and the entire enterprise (religion) seems like little more than made up stories & superstitions – my guess is that compassion will go away pretty quickly and the Church will want nothing more to do with you (which is understandable but sad when that extends to friends and especially family members).

    But this does seem like a big step forward from the days of old (perhaps not that long ago) when most churches would completely ostracize any who lost faith, and in some cases (Islam today) threaten their lives.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    Doubt is a messy problem because the word "belief" has so many layers of meaning. When a religion requires you to believe in propositions that can be scientifically tested, all kinds of hideous arguments result. But "belief" is a totally human concept. I once read somewhere that the Latin word for "believe" (credere) means "to give your heart to" and comes from even earlier words for "heart" and "give" (cardio + dare). The happiest religious people I know have given their heart and commit to religious propositions because they believe those propositions lead us Godward, not because they can be proven true in a mathematical sense. I've always felt the true measure of a religion is how much it changes you as a person.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    "Some might feel embarrassed or unworthy because they have searching questions regarding the gospel,” President Uchtdorf said. “

    Some are treated by local leaders and members as "unworthy" because they have doubts and questions. Some are called unworthy for not belonging to the "right" political party. The Church perpetuates the idea that the Republican Party is the "correct" party through its ownership of DN. DN unabashedly promoted Romney's candidacy in its coverage--before and long after the election. Aside from a local BYU Prof. Richard Davis, (a recent addition) it does not carry a single left-of-center op-ed.

    For me, the accurate and whole history of the church has caused me to adjust my views of the Church. Additionally, I am troubled in the way (negative, misleading, fear-mongering campaign, not the loving/positive/accurate campaign I would've expected) the Church got involved in Prop 8 and other political issues--such as the more recent statement by the Presiding Bishop regarding the contraceptive mandate--and its "war against religion" stance. The increasingly close alignment between the Church and political right-winged groups who don't have a high standard of accuracy and truthfulness is hugely troubling.

  • Euroskeptic Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    Chris B - great suggestion. Would you kindly point me to the website where your church does that?

  • Indiana H Mission Viejo, CA
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    The church's job is to teach the basics: faith, repentance, &c, and to give people opportunities to serve and grow. It's not to answer most of the hard questions and details. By following the basics you keep yourself clean enough to approach the Lord on your own and work out the details and hard questions.

    The big reason for this is that many truths outside the basics change under different conditions and circumstances (including scientific truths). Plus many complicated truths offend people easily if they haven't had the life experiences or done the hard work necessary to understand it's reasons. The church, like any public institution in this day of political correctness, has to be sensitive to different people.

    I'm very religious and scientific (work in science every day) and have very little doubt. People need to learn to pray and get answers. D&C 8:2 says the Lord speaks to you in your Heart AND Mind. You stay humble, work it in your mind (study & research), pray, and repeat until the answers come. You'll come to a point (sometimes soon, sometimes longer) when you'll know what's right in both your heart & mind.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    @Red Corvette

    You said - "My suggestion would be to EDUCATE yourself and learn to USE that knowledge and logic instead of superstition and sanitized histories that are being spoon-fed to you."

    It cuts both ways.

    I recently chatted with a co-worker who is not LDS and has only lived in Utah for a short time. She asked me some simple questions about the early LDS Church and my family connections and was surprised to learn a few things which went against what others had told her.

    She told me that the LDS Church gave up polygamy only so that Utah could become a state. She did not know about the hundreds of men who were imprisoned because of polygamy. She did not know the government was on the verge of confiscating church property.

    She did not know that many early LDS women were educated and that some even had master's degrees. She had been told all LDS men practiced polygamy and that, like Warren Jeffs Church, the early LDS Church kicked their "lost boys" out. In fact only about 1/4th of LDS men, at the most, were polygamists.

  • Average Human Being west jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    It's actually OK to leave the church to see if your doubts are valid. If they end up not being valid, you can always come back to the church with open hands. If your doubts end up being valid, you no longer need to belong to a church that was unable to answer your doubts. That's the part the church leaders are afraid of.

    If enough people are willing to live a life outside of the gospel and find out for themselves their doubts were valid for a reason, the church will have to change. Just like Bro. Marsh quotes science not knowing and always changing because someone was willing to experiment with touching a human heart, you have to be willing to experiment with life outside of the gospel because of your doubts to see if your doubts are valid or not. Maybe a changed church will be a better church.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Doubt is normal, natural behavior. It's what we do with doubt that either leads us to grow or decline. Those who doubt who then put in effort to find an answer will find that answer and will have grown for the experience. Those who doubt but fail to put any effort into finding an answer will linger in doubt and will eventually have eroded confidence, and little chance to come out of the hole. God has promised that the Holy Ghost will attend truths and will help us realize truths but we've got to put forth the effort.

    @ChrisB - I'd guess that your friends didn't put any effort into finding the answers and just waited and waited for someone to offer an answer. Had they put forth some effort they'd have found an answer, which might have still not eased their concerns.

    If you're not finding answers then look harder and try harder, they're there. God wants us to be happy and informed, else why would we not still be in a Dark Ages kind of society where knowledge is controlled by the few and the masses are restricted.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Maybe they can't (or won't) answer some of the questions because they either don't know the answer or because it isn't that important to overall scheme of things.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    Various levels of doubt will exist for all of us so long as we live on planet earth. The veil that separates us from our former life as well as the next life requires that we 'work' to develop faith. As the New Testament states "the things of God are foolishness to man". The actual correct translation is better stated that the things are God are foolishness to the "natural man". The natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the beginning.... We learn this truth from the Book Of Mormon. Our work here on earth is to overcome the natural man and become a saint. It takes humility, study, patience, persistence, courage, and above all it takes an honest and open heart and mind. Doubt never really leaves us but faith can replace doubt to the point where we can find peace at the moment we depart this life rather than that awful fear and anxiety that results from a wasted and worldly life. My wife had an aunt who was dying and the fear that shown in her face was truly heart breaking. She was a worldly person and death was near.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    It seems every time an article of this sort comes up, the same kinds of comments are there:
    - the truth is on the outside of the church and "rational" people are finding the real answers
    - church leaders don't know how to deal with "tough" questions
    - all who question feel ostracized and pushed out of families and communities

    While the above may be the experience for some, it has not been mine. I've lived in several countries and parts of the US and have seen dissenters treated with respect and love. I've had my own questions treated with respect and have observed church leaders (even General Authorities) to have insightful answers.

    I also find that in general, Gospel principles work i.e. forgiveness works better than revenge, serving and helping others helps keep the focus off oneself and the pursuit of wealth, prayer and meditation help one to find a higher purpose and meaning, being grateful helps one find the positive and reframe problems, family living fosters more well-rounded and better educated children...and the list goes on.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 27, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    There are things that Joseph Smith said and did that still don't make sense to me, but he is responsible for over 800 pages of our scripture and to me there is so much depth and substance, thoughtful reflection on human behavior and its consequences, and pages of teaching about God and Christ that to me have the weight of scripture. And it works when put into practice.

    So what can I do with stories of Joseph Smith taking others' wives or other strange accounts?? I'm not sure at this point. But I can't throw out all the good and what works. I also have many ancestors who were there and they seem to have come through it knowing Joseph firsthand and still stayed faithful. Who am I to say I know better 180 years later?

    I hope those of you who have serious doubts can find answers and that you will be treated with respect in your search. Please allow me, as a lover of Science, History and seeker of Truth the same respect.

  • BeThouHumble Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    @Truthseeker: "I am troubled in the way the Church got involved in Prop 8 and other political issues..."

    The scriptures are full of examples of people that were "troubled" by the involvement of prophets in their "political issues". That has never stopped God from sending prophets to make known His will and to condemn wickedness. They were regularly critisized, rejected, beaten, stoned and killed. Today is no different.

    Also, like you, I live in CA. I know many good LDS members of both major political parties. In general, the more conservative social views of the Republican party naturally appeal to the majority of LDS people. Not to mention the removal of "God" from the DNC platform in Sept. 2012 - only to have it hastily added back when announced.

    The truth is that every disciple of Jesus Christ has some degree of doubt (however small or large). That is why the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ is faith. It wouldn't be a test if we all had a perfect knowlege. The Church was restored because a sincere question was asked and answered. Questions are good. A modified version of Chris B's suggestion could be good.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    One final word....I would just encourage all of you on both sides (doubters and believers) to stay engaged in things that really "matter" i.e. helping and serving others. I find when I am involved helping other people in some cause, no matter how small, all this other "stuff" really matters so little. When I have too much time on my hands and am focused on myself, I get critical of others and lose sight of what is important.

    When I'm engaged building others up, I find people of faith and often people of no faith - all that have similar values, and we work together. All are enriched.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    There have always been unanswered questions and there always will be because no person knows everything! To say that a person leaves the church because of unanswered questions is most often just an excuse. Those who do leave do so because they don't want to live the commandments; usually the law of chastity or the word of wisdom. Saying its unanswered questions just makes them feel less guilty about their personal failures, nothing more!

  • Average Human Being west jordan, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    @ Eastcoastcoug, I agree 100%. I think the problem some people have is associating that service with the church and therefore the church is true. I have seen hundreds of people engaged in a good cause and serving others outside the church. The church certainly provides an opportunity for service, but it is not the only way to lose yourself in service.

    Being a doubter does not make you a bad person. Nor does acting on those doubts. I think more and more people are leaving the church, but those people are still good people. They still have good intentions. Still have hope for humanity. Still value family relationships. Still contribute to society. They just do it without the church.

    So for doubters and believers alike, if you're a good person, you're a good person. Your church membership does not define who you are or want to be.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    @ClarkHippo – “@A Scientist, Your comment reminds me of some… were just interested in mocking us.”

    Why would you take it that way? Sorry, but I didn’t see his question as mocking at all… are you sure you’re not projecting some unpleasant missionary experiences here?

    Why not give people the benefit of the doubt (pun?) and assume we’re all sincerely looking for truth. Why not engage sincere questions with that mindset rather than brush such people off as “not humble enough” or “childish” or whatever other dismissive label you want to attach?

    You may not be able to answer certain questions, but wouldn’t you be on far better ground saying “I don’t have the answers you’re looking for” and let people decide from there? Isn’t that consistent with the LDS teachings on agency?

    But you’re right - dishonest, misleading and slanderous attacks are fair game.

    @patriot – “aunt who was dying and the fear that shown in her face was truly heart breaking.”

    Religion’s main project has always been to provide answers to the unknown. And death is the biggest unknown of all.

    @eastcoastcoug

    Nice sentiments…

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    ClarkHippo

    Okay, in return, can the LDS Church and its members ask "Unfiltered Questions" to critics and present proof of when critics have been dishonest, misleading and slanderous in their attacks of the LDS Church and its members?

    ABSOLUTELY YES

    That is EXACTLY what I think would be best.

    "Doubters" can present evidence/questions.

    LDS officials can then refute the evidence or give their explanation of it if they don't refute it.

    What part of my original post suggested anything different?

    You seem to like my idea then huh?

    Why get so defensive?

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    Euroskeptic,

    "Chris B - great suggestion. Would you kindly point me to the website where your church does that?"

    Though technically Catholic, I don't really consider myself one.

    But YES, I would say the same thing for the Catholic church.

    Unlike Mormons, I don't follow blindly what I'm told by the Catholic leaders.

    I think they absolutely should establish the same thing.

    Tried to catch me on that one huh?

    FAILED!

    LOL

    The catholic church should do it.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Doubt is nothing to recoil from or be ashamed of. Just be honest with yourself about how you feel about what you’re not sure of. It may take some time but you’ll get it figured out in time. You won’t have all the answers you want to have but knowing that is part of it too.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    Mountanman

    I laughed out loud at your comment because of all of the judgemental things I have heard, yours is definately at the top of the list. How judgemental of you to lump everybody who doesn't believe as sinners who don't want to obey the word of wisdom or the law of chastity. You don't think there are people out there that simply don't believe the stories told by your religion? Why is it so difficult to believe that not everybody believes in what you believe in? I don't get it.

    Furthermore, I would be willing to bet that you eat meat when it isn't winter or famine, so you as well break the word of wisdom.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    re:BeThouHumble
    The Democratic Platform's wording changed in many ways between 2008 and 2012. I would guess that the RNC and DNC make changes to their party platform every major election. The whole unnecessary PROCESS of adding the word "God" back into the platform was ridiculous and prompted many to boo.

    If we are measuring each party I would point out the Constitution doesn't have the word "God" in it.

    "the more conservative social views of the Republican party naturally appeal to the majority of LDS people."

    "That has never stopped God from sending prophets to make known His will and to condemn wickedness."

    HOW one "condemns" wickedness is important. The ends don't justify the means. If one engages in perpetuating lies and untruths then they are no better than those they condemn. Furthermore, behavior not people should be "condemned." Christian values should not include use of demonization of groups of people to make a point.

    The "majority" of LDS people live outside the U.S. with totally different party structures, govts. and demographics.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    @Christopher B

    I apologize for the defensiveness in my previous comments. That was not my intent. It is simply that, I have attempted to engage critics of the LDS Church on various websites, as well as discuss with people different controversies about topics like the Book of Abraham and Joesph Smith's polygamy, but for the most, people on these websites are more interested in lobbying personal attacks than in discussing topics.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    Chris B

    Perhaps the questions are not posed as you ask but FairMormon addresses a lot of very tough questions (but it is more posed by one scholar and answered by another).

    BTW, do you spend as much time commenting on Catholic news sites as you do on the Deseret News? Not a slight. Just curious.

    A Scientist,

    I think you have heard their answers. Theirs are answers regarding faith. History is not their forte. Priesthood keys are about administering the ordinances and church governance.

    Tyler D,

    I can only say that, out here, doubters are not ostracized rather the doors are opened to try to welcome them in.

    Red Corvette,

    For the many of us that come to the church as converts, and the many more that do experience doubt and conversion, your description does not hold. Our faith is the result of our testing, not from the absence thereof.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 27, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    I have had my moments of doubt like many others. When they have happened, I have evaluated my own commitment to the gospel and increased my efforts to stay close to the Lord. Before long, though some questions may linger, the doubt does not. Read "Shaken Faith Syndrome" by Michael Ash for learning how to deal with doubt--both your own and others.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Most, if not all, faithful believers have had doubts. Some have felt deeply betrayed by what they have been taught. I count myself among this last group. At one point in my life everything I had been taught and tried my best to live since childhood suddenly made no sense given the surprising circumstances that had entered my life. There were two decisions I made. First, I would not stop praying even though I felt it didn't matter and I did not want to hear what God had to say anyway. Second, I would continue to attend church no matter how I felt.

    In time I came to understand that the way I had pictured God and his ways was based on MY construction of Him. His ways were bigger than I could construct to fit my "happy little world", and much, much more loving and wise. I will forever be glad I hung in there - if maybe for no other reason than stubbornness. I now believe there is a much bigger picture than the details we can get hung up on.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    @Average Human,

    Fully agree - I have lots of non LDS friends who do great things, have awesome values and are great people. I would say some can be motivated more by one vision or sense of purpose. For me, I enjoy service for the same reason as many of no faith at all, PLUS I feel motivated by the idea that we are children of the same God and somehow I NEED to be doing more with what God has given me just as I would hope my kids would help one another. I feel inspired by the fact that Jesus spent his days in service and set that example. I like the WAY he served and how he loved.

    There are many reasons though why I feel the church is true. I don't understand everything, but like Jeanie, I try to be patient and "hang in there". It's been worth it every time I have.

    I hope you find your answers and find peace in whatever path you choose. I think we all have a lot to learn from one another and need to listen and talk less.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    @ jeanie - orem, UT - "Most, if not all, faithful believers have had doubts. Some have felt deeply betrayed by what they have been taught. I count myself among this last group. At one point in my life everything I had been taught and tried my best to live since childhood suddenly made no sense given the surprising circumstances that had entered my life. There were two decisions I made. First, I would not stop praying even though I felt it didn't matter and I did not want to hear what God had to say anyway. Second, I would continue to attend church no matter how I felt."

    jeanie -

    First, I applaud your commitment to God. You have chosen wisely.

    Second, if you don't mind me asking, what "suprising circumstances" entered your life that caused such difficulty?

    Hang in there!

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 27, 2013 7:43 p.m.

    I do not "know" everything. Not even close. The older I get the more I realize how much I DON'T know. As my mission president once said, "there is more to learn in life than there is time to learn it."

    And yet, though I don't know everything, I do know the LDS church is true. Again, I don't know everything, but I do know "the seed" is good. (see The BofM, Alma chapter 32) That "seed" HAS been planted in my soul and it DID emit/put forth light and it WAS "good" and I "know" it was good, even to the point where I have a "perfect knowledge" as to the "goodness" of the seed. Now, what that seed will grow in to, I have to yet work and wait for, in faith.

    What disappoints me is my former LDS friend who think I'm a weak-minded person who has never fully investigated WHAT I beleive and WHY I believe it.

    Rubbish.

    What an insult.

    I wondered. I even doubted. I prayed and fasted like never before. And...an answer was given. Not once.

    Twice.

    To the doubters I say: stay strong!

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    Twin Lights:

    Is it possible that you are wrong about your beliefs?

    Just because you think you know the "truth" doesn't mean that you are right.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:06 p.m.

    Caravan

    I'll just say that life can be like a heat-seeking missile that detonates in our most weak or vunerable areas. When that happens we are left to conclude that God has abandoned us or He doesn't exist at all (or he has a really bad sense of humor).....OR that when he said he would try us - he REALLY meant it. The last reason was what I finally concluded after considering all the other options. In the many years since I have seen ample evidence in my life and the lives of my loved ones to be satisfied with my answer.

    There a reasons to hold steady, even as doubts arise.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 27, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    Church Member,

    I think very little is outside the realm of possibility. But I do not find it probable.

    I try not to disrespect others' beliefs (or lack thereof). But I do feel that the Church is true. Of course others believe their faith to be true as well. But most that I know do not profess a divine witness to their belief (at least not to their specific sect).

    I was simply responding to the suggestion that the LDS need to use knowledge and logic rather than superstitions that were somehow spoon-fed to us. It was (in part) logic that caused me to leave the religion of my youth and search for the gospel (not that I would have described it that way then). I gained my knowledge of the gospel by hard study (as have many others).

    I do not assume that those who believe differently than I are somehow lacking in logical ability. Yet I often find the LDS so categorized. Such charges are not simply incorrect, they are demeaning.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 11:13 p.m.

    It is the job of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve to administer the Church and travel the world to regulate the Church and pass priesthood keys to new leaders. Those are responsibilities based on scripture. It is not their job to spend their time answering whatever questions detractors might dream up about what is right or wrong with the Church. We are told over and over to keep a strong testimony of the Gospel by doing the basics - sincere prayer, scripture study, repentance, studying the words of the prophets and apostles, service, worship, etc.

    All of our questions will never be answered in this life. We are here to build our faith, and that means we will be expected to stay on the path and keep God's commandments without knowing all of the reasons why. It is critical that we seek and document experiences where we see the hand of God in our lives. This will help carry us through those times of doubt.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 27, 2013 11:24 p.m.

    Doubt may be your common sense telling you that you are being fed a bunch of baloney. The answer is to educate yourself and learn from others.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Aug. 28, 2013 3:42 a.m.

    Jesus says in Mark 13:19-22, "For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days...For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."

    The "elect" are the "saints" of God as His covenant people. The ancient Israelites were the "elect" until scattered, save Judah (Jews) before falling away by breaking the covenant repeatedly. Following the death of Jesus, the "saints" became all who believed and followed the 12 apostles. Today it is members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Jesus repeats the warning in D&C 63:33-34, "I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man; And the saints also shall hardly escape...".

    How true is this prophecy today?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    EternalPerspective

    The problem with the scriptures you cite is that they are so vague you could apply them to any time period after they were given. They aren't specific. I could give a prophecy today that said that a country in the middle east will rise against another country in the middle east and many lives will be lost and children will weep... and it would be the same thing. You could apply it to anything remotely close and say a ha - his prophecy was right.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    @ Brahmabull. Religious debates are such a waste of time. So, when you and I stand before our maker to give an account our lives on judgment day, as we all will, when He will ask to hear about our faith and obedience, you can tell him all about your "unanswered questions".

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Eternal Perspective,

    "....The "elect" are the "saints" of God as His covenant people. The ancient Israelites were the "elect" until scattered, save Judah (Jews) before falling away by breaking the covenant repeatedly. Following the death of Jesus, the "saints" became all who believed and followed the 12 apostles. Today it is members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...."
    ______________________________

    It’s not difficult for any given people to see themselves as elect, chosen, covenant, or in some way special or favored by providence. It encourages attitudes of exclusiveness or group superiority. Think of the damage that has been done by that kind of thinking, Hitler telling Germans they are the master race, whites regarding blacks as inferior, etc. Where does it end?

    Latter-day Saints are no more special, elect, or chosen than any other people. Yes, they have a history that makes them who they are. So do others. The way to stay grounded and see things in perspective is to remind ourselves that each of us is but one of 7 billion people on this Earth.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    DN, will this version suffice? It doesn't make sense for you to deny my comment because it was a "duplicate" when you didn't even post or deny it the first time.

    FAIR/Church leaders can try to offer explanations to questions, but for many questions there simply aren't adequate answers available--such as the nature and scope of Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy.

    However, religion is a matter of faith--not knowledge.
    Losing one's faith is an understandable response to difficult and unanswerable questions. People can get different answers through prayer and study. I've heard people of different faiths testify about deeply spiritual experiences--described in the same way, that we LDS people describe them. Who are we to judge the "legitimacy," of these experiences and conversions?

    The 2nd commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves. If this commandment was the face of organized religion, looking for common ground, extending love, rather than framing others as the enemy in a "war" or engaging in politics, my guess is there would be fewer people leaving organized religion.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    @Mountanman – “He will ask to hear about our faith and obedience, you can tell him all about your "unanswered questions".

    My response might be “if blind obedience is what you wanted, why is that quality the number one characteristic necessary for people to follow despots & tyrants and commit horrible atrocities?”

    Seems like a strong moral compass coupled with resistance to peer pressure would be a better test of character… IMHO… sir.

    Oh, and I do have a few questions before you torture me for all eternity.

    Why do so many of your prophets, book writers, followers, etc… get so many things wrong?

    Why is rational inquiry and the scientific method so superior to acquiring knowledge than revelation or consulting the book you wrote?

    Why is there so much moral relativism in your book (e.g., slavery – bad if Egyptians are doing it, not so bad if Israelites are doing it. Killing – “thou shall not do it!” unless it’s to an Amalekite, or person or entire town worshipping another god, you child if they talk back to you… the list of exceptions is long)?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    RE: EternalPerspective, The "elect" are the "saints" of God as His covenant people. The ancient Israelites were the "elect".

    Jesus came to the lost children of Israel ,the early church was largely Jewish, the gospel was spreading among the Gentiles much faster than among the Jews, most Jews saw the gospel as a stumbling block (1 Cor 1:23) and rejected Jesus.

    Throughout Romans 9, Paul shows that God’s sovereign election has been in force from the very beginning. “For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel” (Romans 9:6).

    This means that not all people of ethnic Israel ( those descended from Abraham)belong to true Israel (the elect of God).

    Paul shows that God chose Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau. Just in case anyone thinks that God was choosing these individuals based on the faith or good works they would do in the future, he adds, “Though they [Jacob and Esau] were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad – in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls” (Romans 9:11).

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    @ Tyler D. Then He might say back to you that faith is the evidence of things not seen that are true (scriptural). Why did you not see the evidences? Seeing evidences requires sight, not blindness!

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    To doubt is one thing but to abandon living the gospel standards because of doubts can have dire consequences. To double cross is to betray an ally or friend or associate by acting contrary to an agreed upon course. When people get sealed in the temple they agree to abide by and support each other in living the temple covenants. If one of them begins to live in violation of these covenants they are, in effect, double crossing their spouse by acting in contradiction to their prior agreement. The victim of a marital double cross experiences pain, sorrow, grief and despair in addition to mistrust of the double crosser. The person who double crosses shows a meanness of spirit and contempt for the other person’s feelings that reveals that in spite of any other superficial positive behaviors they may have, something very rotten and corrupt is festering deep inside their heart and soul. How can anyone ever trust someone who has such contempt for others and for their own word of honor?

  • ultragrampa Farmington, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    @ Mountainman: Your sweeping generalization is not an accurate portrayal of why many of us have left the church. There are REAL questions that go unanswered; REAL issues that need addressing. Your comment blindly judging us is not helpful and is, in fact, counterproductive to open communication.

  • Legalize_the_Constitution SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    I'm an active LDS member, return missionary and until recently an absolute believer in everything about the church. The last couple months have been a challenge, and I'm finding that my view of many doctrines are being thrown upside down with the new knowledge that I'm learning.
    I didn't intentionally start questioning, and honestly, life was a lot easier before I started learning things about the history of the church that have caused me to change my beliefs about things like, what a prophet is, and how revelation comes. The best way I can explain this transformation is that instead of having a testimony of "I know" certain things are true, like the BoM or Joseph Smith, or the Priesthood, I've been questioning what I know about each topic. This has been an uncomfortable journey. I recently told my wife about what I'm going through without going into detail about the doubts and thankfully she has been very loving and supportive.

    The best advice I can give is to take things slowly, and do like Elder Holland recommends, and to lead with your belief, not your doubts.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    Tyler D:

    Arguing with Mountanman about religion is probably about is fruitful as trying to get him to understand basic economic principles. He has a set of rigid beliefs that make sense for him. There is no room in his cabin for facts or reason or logic that may prove his beliefs incorrect. As Paul pointed out, we see through a glass, darkly. Obviously, some of us see more darkly than others. And some of us keep our eyes shut tightly. But someday, I think, a lot of those who are most sure of their beliefs are going to have some surprises.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:01 a.m.

    Legalize_the_Constitution,

    I wish you well. I came to the gospel as a convert over 35 years ago. I did not have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon at first. That took several readings. Same with Joseph Smith. Only as I considered his writings over and over did I come to believe him to be a prophet of God. Oddly, even with these keystones not yet fully formed I had a testimony that this was the Church of Christ and that it was led by modern prophets (yes, I understand the conflicts).

    Over and over as I have had questions I have come back to the basic questions of whether the church is true and whether it is led by God. I have often thought of Peter's response to Christ when many of his disciples were upset and leaving as recounted in John 6. Christ asked "Will ye also go away?" and "Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."

    That has been my touchstone. That the gospel has the words of eternal life. And I have been able to reconcile everything else.

    Take care.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    sharrona

    Romans 9:11 is the foundation for "predestination", or God has already chosen who is saved without considering works. This is false Christian doctrine like the belief that faith alone without works saves by grace alone. Both take away free will by justifying disobedient works.

    Foreordination is not predestination. Those foreordained before mortality unto election must still exercise free will on earth to be chosen with a calling to make covenants through Priesthood authority.

    Satan's plan was to take away our free will that he would save everyone, but only to get God's glory, not because he loved us. In the Bible, being God’s “elect” people increases responsibility as stated in D&C 82:3, “For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation”.

    Ancient Israelites were foreordained by heritage (blood) from Abraham and later adoption when the Gospel went to the Gentiles. God is no respecter of persons and won’t favor one people over another. Rather, the Abrahamic covenant ensures future offspring have the "election of grace". But works are required to receive grace.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    @ Lew. "There is no room in his cabin for facts or reason or logic that may prove his beliefs incorrect". Gee, and here I thought I was using facts and logic! Attacking faith with logic and facts is ok but defending faith with facts and logic is somehow not allowed?

  • KAS Cincinnati, OH
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    Many thinking people of great faith have had doubts. Small doubts that stay only seconds, as well as lifelong doubts that a person can try repeatedly to starve into non-existence. Mother Theresa had great doubts, but lived a holy life of great service to the poor.

    I suggest a thought here, in addition to remembering what "really matters". Accept the proposition that our comprehension of Heavenly Father and the after-life is somewhat like primary children attempting to comprehend adulthood. We hear the words of revelations, but our individual lives and Church history are an attempt to comprehend and live out these revelations. In adulthood, there are complexities of relationships, earning a living, living on a budget, parenthood, heartbreak, true love, etc, etc, that very simply cannot be comprehended by a young person. Remember the "line upon line" concept, and realize that we are here to live a complicated and NOT SPOON-FED existence.

    There are times that I envy those with no doubts. Then, I pull up my big kid pants, and get on with life.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    sharrona,

    "....Jesus came to the lost children of Israel ,the early church was largely Jewish, the gospel was spreading among the Gentiles much faster than among the Jews, most Jews saw the gospel as a stumbling block (1 Cor 1:23) and rejected Jesus...."
    ______________________________

    The issue (or stumbling block) for Jews was Jesus as Messiah. The stumbling block issue for Gentiles was Jewish law. Paul dealt effectively with the later issue but it was at the expense of making Christianity incompatible with Judaism.

    That was never his intent. Paul didn’t want to do away with Jewish law. He just didn’t want to force it on the Gentiles. There are no total victories in life. But Paul’s was impressive enough to change history.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 28, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    To "Chris B" why should the LDS church waste resources like that? If you want to know something about the LDS church, you can go to their web page and search for the answers that you seek.

    There are some other websites that can also help, so what you propose is not only a waste, but is redundant.

    The FAIR Mormon website can help answer some questions.

    It is the lazy that want to be spoonfed everything. Once the basic principles of the gospel have been explained, it is up to the individual to expand their knowledge or not.

    To "A Scientist" what do you see as the most pressing questions of the day? My kids can answer the big ones like where did we come from, why are we here, and what comes after this life.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    After Christ's death, when Mary Magdalene told the apostles that he was alive and she had seen him, they didn't believe it.

    When two of the apostles saw Jesus on the road, and went back and told the others, they didn't believe it.

    Only when he "appeared to the eleven themselves," and they saw him with their own eyes, only then did they believe (Mark 16:9-14).

    "Now Thomas, (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came," and when the others told him that they had seen Jesus, he refused to believe it.

    When Jesus appeared again to the apostles, eight days later, Thomas was with them, and only after he had seen Jesus with his own eyes and touched the wounds did he believe (John 20:24-28).

    The apostles were among the people who knew Jesus best, they had witnessed his miracles, but none of them took other people's word for it that he had been resurrected. They all acted according to the maxim "I'll believe it when I see it."

    It seems only reasonable to act according to that same maxim today.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    RE: Craig Clark Paul v.14, God is not unjust in any way. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Romans 9:15).

    God is sovereign over His creation. He is free to choose those whom He will choose. The creature has no right to accuse the Creator of being unjust.

    The thought that the creature can stand in judgment of the Creator is absurd to Paul, and it should be so to every Christian, as well
    .
    God’s elect (John 6:37-45 and Eph 1:3-14, to name a couple). God has ordained to redeem a remnant of humanity to salvation. These elect individuals were chosen before the creation of the world, and their salvation is complete in Christ. Jesus Saves.

    RE: EternalPerspective “For those whom he foreknew he also *Predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he *Predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Aug. 28, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    Doubt is a natural part of one's progression through faith regardless of what religion or denomination. I find it interesting however how different people deal with issues or don't have issues at all regarding one's faith. The main thing is that we continue to reach out with love no matter what people decide with regard to their religion.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 28, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    sharrona,

    "....God has ordained to redeem a remnant of humanity to salvation. These elect individuals were chosen before the creation of the world, and their salvation is complete in Christ. Jesus Saves."
    ______________________________

    I can’t see why God would handpick one select group and not others to save after he took the trouble to create us all. But I do see why people want to believe they are special. If they’re not, they must be ordinary and no one wants to be just ordinary.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    If we were immune from doubt there would be no need for faith. This is by divine design. When it comes to acquiring knowledge, some answers will be made clear immediately, others over a period of time, and the rest will be known in the next life. It requires faith also to know which of our questions fall into one of those categories.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 28, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    JSB

    You are wrong. You say that to leave the faith over doubts would have dire consequences. Do you think god would rather have a person lie and say he believes when he really doesn't? Or would he be more pleased with a person who acknowledged that they don't believe, and thus, left the church and followed what they did believe. If you really think that one should lie to themselves and stay in the church when they sincerely don't believe in it then I don't know what to tell you. Believe it or not, not everybody believes it, and that is ok.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 28, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    Mountainman -

    Just remember you will have to do the same thing as I will. You will also have to explain why you choose to break the word of wisdom by eating meat, but condemn others for breaking it in other ways.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 28, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    Faith is the most over used and least understood word used in these postings. Faith is nothing more than taking an action without knowing all the consequences. Ie, I have walked to the store hundreds of times, I walked to the store again this morning having faith that I would not get run over. Big deal.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 28, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Brahmabull: It's one thing to doubt; that happens to lots of us. It is something else to inflict pain and sorrow and grief on the victims of the dirty double cross. This is real pain which often results in divorce and the compounding and spreading of the pain to any children that might be involved. A person can go through periods of doubt and still strive to be honorable. But some people who have a compromised conscience,choose to be weak and mean spirited and selfish regardless of the anguish they may spread to others. I doubt God would be pleased with a person who behaves in a dishonorable way and who inflicts real pain and sorrow on others through betrayal of those whom he once claimed he loved.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    Maybe the "dirty double cross" is what Emma felt at some point when she discovered there were other wives. I know that's how I felt when I learned about it.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    @ jeanie - orem, UT - "Caravan - I'll just say that life can be like a heat-seeking missile that detonates in our most weak or vunerable areas. When that happens we are left to conclude that God has abandoned us or He doesn't exist at all (or he has a really bad sense of humor).....OR that when he said he would try us - he REALLY meant it. The last reason was what I finally concluded after considering all the other options. In the many years since I have seen ample evidence in my life and the lives of my loved ones to be satisfied with my answer. There a reasons to hold steady, even as doubts arise."

    Well, God bess you then in your trials. Some day I hope to meet you and get REacquainted and tell you that I am proud of your courage and strength.

    Til then!

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    The older I get the more and more grateful I become for my testimony. To those who doubt (as I once did) my heart goes out to you.

    And yet.....I seriously wonder how many of you conclude that the LDS church is not what it claims to be, do so while at the same time secretly struggling with a particular commandment of the gospel. Perhaps it is the Word of Wisdom or an aspect of the Law of Chastity or maybe tithing, etc. Maybe you find obeying the commandments not difficult at all but I'm sure that many of you secretly are looking for a reason to find fault with Mormonism. Yes, many of you.

    I remember vividly, on my mission, understanding very clearly the reality that a seed cannot grow at all if it is continually ripped out of the ground in order to see if it is still "good". How can it grow at all if we are constantly pulling it out of the ground?

    No, after light is received it needs to be left in the ground and nourished with patience and faith. There is no other way.

    Good luck to us all!

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    Thanks Caravan. That will be a fun meeting. :)

  • Unwieldy Toaster Bluffdale, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    It has always been interesting to me to see that many Mormons cannot even fathom the idea that the church "isn't true." The problem must lie with the person leaving the church. They want to sin, were offended, or whatever. I like to think of Mormonism as being as true as Catholicism, Hinduism, or Scientology.

  • Average Human Being west jordan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    @ Caravan, what you have said is the problem for most LDS faithful. You just assume that someone who is struggling with doubt is struggling with a particular commandment. That is the attitude of most faithful members. It's also why a lot of people that struggle with doubts remove themselves from the LDS faithful because of the judgments of people like you. It's impossible for most active members to conceive a person can just struggle with faith without it somehow being tied to some commandment or sin. If this were true, every member would struggle with doubts because no one person is perfect. Whether that "sin" be the word of wisdom or simply a bad thought, every person struggles with some of the commandments. Are you suggesting you live a perfect life? When I left the church, I was a temple recommend holder, faithful husband, word of wisdom living, full tithe payer, bishops executive secretary. What was my "sin" that caused me to doubt the church enough to leave?

  • Average Human Being west jordan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    Furthermore, my doubts started out of love. If God is our father in heaven to ALL of humanity, I don't believe that he is mutually exclusive to the LDS church. Being a father myself, I love my kids regardless of what they believe, say or do. I assume God is the same for his children. That's where my doubts started. My doubts won out. I like my God better than the one taught about in the LDS church. My God loves everyone regardless if they believe in a prophet or not.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Aug. 29, 2013 4:19 a.m.

    Why so much opposition on a web site featuring LDS themed content? Do Mormons influx web sites of unbelievers and other Christians?

    The history of Mormonism contains more persecution than any modern Church or other organization. With Mormons who mostly keep to themselves, do many humanitarian acts, and strive to be Christ-like in word and deed, why so much opposition?

    Why when the Church was formed in 1830 did so many leading religious and non-religious groups in America suddenly become so interested in trying to "disprove" Joseph Smith's claims of the First Vision while many other new churches went unnoticed?

    John 15:19 explains, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

    Mormons are God's covenant people of the latter days, but are they somehow better in God's eyes? Not remotely. Rather, Mormons covenant with God by Priesthood authority to consecrate their lives to Christ by sacrificing the world as He taught. They put on the “full armor of God” and suffer a degree of what Christ did.

  • wzagieboylo Nofolk, MA
    Aug. 29, 2013 5:27 a.m.

    I disagree with the premise that all people have doubts and one should just try to ignore them. To doubt seems to me to be fearing something may not be true and therefore staying aloof from it and possibly fussing about whether it is true - waiting for a sign or something before daring to believe. It is better to "believe all things" meaning to prove all GOOD things with your commitment and sincere actions. Doubters sit aloof and fear. Believers may believe things that prove to be untrue, but after proving them by their commitments and actions, they come to know the truth of all things without doubt. Like guilt, doubt is a useless emotion.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    Legalize_the_Constitution,

    It sounds like you are going down the rough road that many of us have gone down. Church history has been heavily cherry picked to promote the faith and unfortunately it is a surprise when people read the actual accounts.

    As you know, the LDS faith provides a wonderful structure for people, but as a flaw, also creates many judgemental people.

    I wish you well and hope you go down the path that brings you and your family the most happiness.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 29, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    "If you want to know something about the LDS church, you can go to their web page and search for the answers that you seek."

    No. You can go to the web page and see the answers to questions that the church wants to answer.
    Certainly there are many many questions are not addressed on that website

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    To "JoeBlow" what questions are not answered? They have open and honest articles on some of the questions that most anti-LDS people have.

    To "Average Human Being" LDS teachings say that God loves all his children and wants them to return to him. In many ways the God that the LDS teach about is more loving than the God that many other Christian religions teach about.

    Think about it, how many other religions teach that God has set up a way that allows us to perform the saving ordinance of Baptism for those that did not have a chance to hear it in this life?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    @wzagieboylo – “To doubt seems to me to be fearing something may not be true and therefore staying aloof from it.”

    In my own experience talking to many agnostics (former believers) over the years, the vast majority do exactly the opposite. They are the ones who actually read the sacred books deeply & critically (and slowly lose their rose colored glasses) and continually ask “does this make sense?”

    Doubters don’t let the unpleasant feelings associated with cognitive dissonance drive them into ignoring the things that don’t make sense, but this is what believers (in any ideology) do constantly. They (believers) chose to ignore, or more often never even begin to engage the areas of their belief system that strains credulity.

    And in response to some other suggestions here, almost no one I know fell away from belief because they just wanted to party like it’s 1999 (i.e., sin). That’s something believers tell themselves so they can keep doing what I said above (i.e., stay in the bubble).

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    RE: Craig Clark, The Lord works out everything to its proper end, even the wicked for a day of disaster.(Proverbs 16:4 NIV), “the greatest degree of faith is exercised when we believe that God is merciful even though he saves so few and damns so many.” Martin Luther.

    RE: EternalPerspective Born again or born from above (John 3:3, 5, 7, 8). The new birth is the work of God, “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). Or, as 1 Peter 1:3 says, it is God who “caused us to be born again to a living hope.” The means God uses to grant such new life is the gospel, for believers “have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23; cf. Jas. 1:18).

    As we cannot do anything to be born physically, so too we cannot do anything to cause our spiritual rebirth.

    (1 Cor 15:46 NLT )”What comes First is the natural body, then the Spiritual…. The natural man is 1st. The Spiritual is 2nd, VS Mormon pre-existence.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    JSB - I really can't even fathom where you get your train of thought. To think that a person who has doubt and leaves the church should affect anybody but themselves is simply untrue. If other people have a problem with it, that is on them. If a wife or husband doesn't love a person anymore just because they don't believe in it anymore then it wasn't love to begin with. If children cant understand that adults are allowed to think for themselves and to change their mind when new evidences are brought up to them then they need to be educated in that regard. do you honestly think that leaving the church is somehow a stab in the back, or an unhonorable thing to do? If a person doesn't believe then you are saying they should lie to everybody around them to make them happy instead of being honest and doing what they think is right? So to clarify, lying to appease others about religion is honorable, but being honest and leaving is dishonorable?? Boy, I think you have it backwards. most people don't leave the church because they want to sin.

  • Silverprospector SAN ANTONIO, TX
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    cont...

    You can sin and go to church. That is easy. It takes guts to say to your family, friends, associates, bishop that you don't believe anymore. That is honorable. Again, an asult can change their mind about their beliefs, and that should be acceptable not frowned upon.

  • Utahdane Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 31, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    I have found that when I look up the meaning or possible meaning of a scripture in the original language, it often erases the conflict between science and religion. For example creating the earth in 7 days can also be translated rearranging the world in seven different indefinite time periods. Wish more LDS would consider language before getting into scientific vs religion discussions.