“For all its beneficial advances, our secular age has also weakened some people s ties to religious belief and affiliation. Latter-day Saints have not been immune to this trend. In recent years, many faithful Church members have encountered challenging aspects of Church history, belief, or practice. Feeling isolated, alienated, or misled, some struggle to stay. Some simply leave. Many search for a reliable and faithful place to work through their questions.
The abundance of information online can make them feel frustrated. Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt offers people who struggle with questions and people who love those who struggle practical ways to stay planted in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Rather than attempting to answer every possible question or doubt, Planted presents an empathetic, practical, and candid dialog about the relationship of doubt and faith.”
Seth Payne gave this talk “Pastoral Apologetics and the LDS scholar: in the video below. Dr. Payne is on faculty at Yale University.
Seth, now active, was less active for years. Seth still has questions.
Wendy Ulrich: Faith, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Psychology of Religious Experience.
Prominent Latter-day Saints who were out of the Church for many, many years before returning.
Evangelical Gary shares his thoughts about the most common issue Christians face. Gary dealt with 10 straight years of doubt with partial years thereafter.
Geoff Biddulph is a convert to the Church of just over 15 years. Before joining he read a lot of anti-Mormon literature. However, it was the Spirit that converted him and helped him be open to being baptized. Since then, Geoff has read the book of Mormon more than 10 times and have read the entire Bible at least five times.
He has a large library of Church-related material from which he draws upon as he writes for the Millennial Star blog—where he has contributed for nearly a decade. He his wife Cindy were married in the Denver temple nearly 11 years ago and they now have five kids. He is joining us by phone today from Denver, CO. Geoff is here to talk about an article he wrote for the Millennial Star Blog entitled, “Why Didn’t the Church Teach Me This Stuff”
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:
Lee, a young LDS actor, shares his story about leaving the Church and coming back.
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 Feminism, Mormon Faith in America, Getting Together With Yesterday, A History of Sanpete County, and was a contributor to Secrets of Mary Magdalene, Religion in America, and Latter-day Dissent.
For young Latter-day Saints:
Patrick Mason — author of Planted — discusses belief and doubt.