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Comments about ‘Mormons navigate faith and doubt in the digital age’

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Published: Friday, July 26 2013 8:50 a.m. MDT

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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Plenty of reliable resources are available in the digital age. Not all of them are flattering, but they can't be discounted.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The Internet is a great tool that is brining a lot of knowledge to many people, including LDS church members.

20 years ago it was harder to find answers for those with questions.

Answers and facts are literally at our fingertips now.

People's doubts are now being confirmed daily about what they'd long been told by their parents and church leaders.

Knowledge is a great thing.

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

@ Hutterite -

Between "digital" sources that are "reliable" and "God", I choose "God".

You?

The Caravan Moves On
Enid, OK

I applaud this conference. However...

For those who know, no physical evidence is needed.

For those who honestly don't want to know (key word being "honestly"), no amount of physical evidence will ever be enough.

I'm glad I know.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

Sometimes the problem isn't the historical record but the reaction from the church. The editing of the chapter headings and explanatory notes can do more harm than good.
You cannot simply erase the common understanding of the members.
For example, the notion that blacks were banned from the priesthood by custom or practice alone is implied in the current rewrite. If we accept that explanation we must also discount everything the leaders say at conference unless it is declared a revelation.
Calling the family proclamation less than a revelation is a political expediency, but if it is not from God to his prophets, seers and revelators (my poster bears the signature of all 15) it becomes easy to dismiss just about every message from the Brethren with few exceptions.
Our faith is indeed shifting these days.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Caravan,

There is a difference between "demanding physical proof" and "denying the physical proof that exists"

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

I never understood why people have such a need to "know" where religion is concerned. What is wrong with saying "this is what I believe to be true, however, I wont KNOW until I die"

There are lots who claim to know. I am fairly sure that those who flew planes into buildings on 911 KNEW.

I am fairly sure that the Heavens Gate followers KNEW also.
Same with the Jim Jones followers.

Whatever I believe, I am quite sure that I dont KNOW.

And I'm OK with that.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

The Caravan Moves On

So you take god over facts? That is disturbing to me. Isn't god the one that created all of the 'facts' in this world? You can deny facts all you want, but if facts come out that go against the church, why would you dismiss them? Why not take all of the information in, evaluate it, and then make your decision. Just as sure as you know it is true, I know it isn't true. God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

Uh, faith is not perfect knowledge. So faith and some level of doubt MUST exist together. You can still act on a belief (exercise faith) while doubting if it will produce the result you hope it will. Do that enough times and your faith (or willingness to act on that belief) will increase, but doubt can still exist in some degree.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@The Caravan Moves On
"For those who know, no physical evidence is needed."

"For those who honestly don't want to know (key word being "honestly"), no amount of physical evidence will ever be enough."

This goes both ways... some of those that "know that don't need evidence" could be those that "know" but don't want to know and no amount of physical evidence to the contrary will ever be enough.

grj
Bountiful, ut

Do any of you who claim to "know" the truth see any inconsistency between that stance and the statement by your Elder Holland, quoted in the article, where he says "And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.”

Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

Two thoughts.

1. There is a great deal of 'information' available to read on the internet. However, as with all things on the internet, you must assess the validity of what is being presented. What is the motivation of the author? How has he slanted the material, what is being left out, and are there blatant lies? Truth is tough to find and to discern.

2. I have been through a tough five years with my faith being tested and frankly at times I thought broken. The struggle is the most important part of life and as much as we, I, dislike the struggle (and enjoy the easy times), it is the struggle and how we react to it and eventually overcome it, that defines who we are in the end.

dustman
Gallup, NM

For me the result was realizing that LDS leaders can be wrong. Now its sorting out what they got right and what was wrong. To this day I ask myself if what is being said in Conference is right or wrong. Its between me and God I guess.

The idea that we are all imperfect is both comforting and scary. The result of an imperfect man being called of God and making a bunch of mistakes along the way is scary to me. Both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young said and did some things that I'm trying to understand.

md
Cache, UT

Faith is more than belief.

Faith is a term of action. It means to be firm and reliable. I think it means more about our nature than our belief.

tll
Ogden, UT

Information is easy to obtain. We have the choice to believe or not; it's a personal decision. Faith is an integral part of the process. Use when reading/listening/learning.

Ghost Writer
GILBERT, AZ

A lot of the criticisms of the church I see online from disaffected members displays what therapists call "victim syndrome"; people have problems with whatever in their lives, they have to find someone or something to blame, and the church becomes their #1 target.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@Mark from Montana,

I agree 100% with your statement that the struggle is what matters. That's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced the "long, dark night of the soul". What I believed when I said "I know" has been rebuilt - the components of my faith remain the same, but they have been completely rearranged in that process.

The Church has been playing it "safe" in its curriculum for decades, in part because of an understandable concern that it will lose souls to challenging issues. But that's not possible now and the blowback is that when members encounter some of these issues for the first time, it combines the challenging issue with a sense of betrayal and anger that the Church has been 'whitewashing' things. I feel that this is far more harmful in the long run than it would be to address certain things head-on.

Doubt is natural. It can be good. It has made me stronger. I wish we could make more room for the doubter instead of convicting him for lacking faith. Knowing that there were others navigating the path of doubt/faith made an enormous difference for me.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Faith is a challenge in all religions, not just Mormonism. The subject might be golden plates, the Holy Grail, the Red Sea parting, or Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee. Do you need to believe in every teaching you ever heard taught? Is it sinful to doubt? Is a rational basis for faith even possible?

A greater question is, what is your faith in? I don’t need to take incredible claims at face value to believe in human decency and respect for others. On Brigham Young’s teachings about blood atonement or the Adam/God theory, I don’t even want to go there.

Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. That’s a place to start. It’s large enough to include a multitude of diverse opinions.

Candide
Salt Lake City, UT

To me 'faith' is a dirty word. Why would you want to take anything on faith? Most people do more research on buying a house or choosing a mechanic than they do with figuring out why they believe as they do. The majority of people just accept what they are inculcated with by their parents. Faith is belief without evidence and not something to be admired.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend
to persist as the new bamboozles rise.)”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Bloodhound
Provo, UT

I've heard it said, "The Catholic Church teaches infallibility and no Catholic believes it. The Mormon Church doesn't teach infallibility, but no Mormon believes it." Although I don't completely agree with this statement, I certainly understand it. Many LDS, especially those who grew up in the faith, are taught a white washed history of their religion where the bad guys always lie and the good guys always tell the truth and where Church leaders never teach or say anything suspect. The problem is, it's hard to square that with the historical record. The study of Mormon history is getting better and the LDS people will adjust to hearing a more balanced approach to their history. My knowledge of LDS history hasn't destroyed my faith.

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