Doubts

Gary has good advice on doubting. He explains that most doubt is emotional. And provides strategies.

“Train your habit of faith.” Good advice from to C.S. Lewis.

Dealing with emotional doubt:

Dealing with factual doubt:

Church of Christ – Temple Lot (Hedrickites)

Rick Bennett interviews Jean Addams, who is a former president of the John Whitmer Association. Jean tells about his family connection to Granville and John Hedrick.

The Hedrickites play an interesting part in LDS Church history. Especially at the time they were involved in a lawsuit with the RLDS Church and feuded over polygamy. The RLDS Church insisted Joseph was not a polygamist. The Hedrickites insisted Joseph had multiple wives.

Part 2 discusses the gradual gathering back to Independence and the feud over the temple lot that eventually went to the Supreme Court.

Faith is a Unique Journey for Everyone

Many members never become less active. Yet, many do. Everyone’s path is unique.

I’ve never left the Church, but certainly have modified my views as I’ve been exposed to truth from all kinds of sources. Nobody’s faith should remain the same for long, is my view.

Below are stories that show how and why certain Latter-day Saints stopped believing and practicing their faith. And how and why they returned.

Great insights from Elder Uchtdorf:

Three prominent Latter-day Saints left the Church.  Years later they returned.  Each story of deconversion and reconversion is very unique.

I’ll introduce each panelist briefly:

  •  on the right:   Janet Eyring; niece of Spencer W. Kimball and cousin of Henry B. Eyring; grew up in Berkeley, CA; graduated from BYU in 1976; served mission in Toronto; got Master’s & PhD at UCLA; crisis of faith started as a child & wasn’t resolved till 46; spent 20 years outside the Church
  • middle:   Don Bradley; grew up in Upstate NY; Bachelor’s in History from BYU; spent time as an agnostic and atheist, then back to theist, then Baha’i, then generic Protestant before returning to the Utah-based church where he had begun; now getting Master’s in History at Utah State
  • on the left:   Maxine Hanks;  related to Marion G. Hanks; was excommunicated as one of the “September 6” in 1993; was out of the LDS Church for 20 years; 1/2 of life in the Church, 1/2 of life out of the Church; feminist who has authored or co-authored several books including Women & Authority: Re-emerging Mormon FeminismMormon Faith in AmericaGetting Together With YesterdayA History of Sanpete County, and was a contributor to Secrets of Mary MagdaleneReligion in America, and Latter-day Dissent.

Don Bradley was interviewed about his period outside of the Church:

Dusty was referenced in a talk by Elder Uchdorf as one who opposed the Church who returned to faith:

For young Latter-day Saints:

Patrick Mason — author of Planted — discusses belief and doubt.

Pearl of Great Price Central

Stated goal of this site: Building faith in Jesus Christ by making the Pearl of Great Price accessible, comprehensible, and defensible to the entire world.

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The book that concerns us was purposely called “The Pearl of Great Price,” that term being . . . the designation of a treasure that is both hidden and inexhaustible. Being hidden, it must be searched out and dug up—brought out of the depths by the strenuous and determined efforts of whoever would possess it. Being inexhaustibly vast, it can never cease to be a source of new wonders to the inquiring mind. . . . The Pearl of Great Price is unique among scriptures in that its message is available only to that extent to which God’s children choose to make it so, but at the same time it is capable of conveying knowledge of undreamed of scope and significance.

– Hugh Nibley, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price,” Improvement Era, May 1970, 94.

Book of Mormon Central was created several years ago. I was pleased to see this site roll out. Many folks have had questions and struggled with the Book of Abraham.

I appreciated the details shared in these two recent articles: 

The Relationship Between the Book of Abraham and the Joseph Smith Papyri,

The “Kirtland Egyptian Papers” and the Book of Abraham.

KEP1

From Jeff Lindsay in the context of recent scholarship by Jensen/Hauglid:  

To understand

New Testament Issues that Can Challenge Faith

Jeff discusses issues relating to manuscripts (age, numbers, and contrasts with classics, such as Homer’s Iliad), erring scribes, the fidelity of oral transmission of histories, source criticism, and more.

The dating of the 1 Corinthians 15: 3-7, for example, is 2 years after Jesus’ resurrection! Paul was told orally many things when he met the Apostles in Jerusalem around 30 AD. Critical, non-believing scholars agree on this early date.

“Within 3 years of Jesus’ death, the early church was circulating a creed that Jesus was bodily raised from the dead.” That’s early!

Old Testament Issues that Unnecessarily Challenge Faith

Jeff discusses several issues: the flood, Jonah & the whale, Genesis’ creation account, and others.

The Bible is similar to a library. Lots of books there. Lots of books from different genres or styles there. Not all the books are historical non-fiction. Same with the Old Testament.

Some in the Old Testament is poetry. Some is parable. Some is absolute history. But not all is absolutely historical.

Did the Good Samaritan story really happen in the New Testament? Probably not.

Did Jonah really get swallowed by and remain in the belly of the whale? For three days? Almost certainly not.

Ben Spackman is a helpful source on this topic: