I can, of course, only really bring up the perspective that I come to the table with - that is, what would my desires and expecations be. So, let's start from the top:
there are two distinct sides who seem unable to understand the other side or even give them one inkling of credit or validation for how they see things.
I thought I gave a pretty good summary of my perspective. Part of it has to do with the sort of core of your post. You start by dividing people into two groups. That seems to be such a fundamentalist sort of understanding of what is going on - but it doesn't really work well. Anyone can divide any group into two groups (for example, I can divide all of humanity into two groups - those who divide humanity into two groups, and those who don't). In creating this false dichotomy, we have already started off on the wrong foot. Let's move on:
faithful believer - seems to reply on this board in a way that seems to discredit the thought that they ever struggled with the list of issues that trouble the biggest majority of those in a faith crisis and also seem unable to grasp how another got there.
So lets take this apart just a bit. The truth is, from everyone I have spoken with and communicated with during my time in the church, "the biggest majority of those in a faith crisis" aren't in that faith crisis over historical issues. I see this idea - this notion - that these historical issues are the biggest threat to the faith of the saints as part of a narrative that has been produced and mass distributed on the internet. But in fact, every bit of anecdotal evidence that I have suggests that this simply isn't the case. All that you can provide to argue that it is is a very poorly done study by John Dehlin, which creates this notion by manipulating data. So, I suggested that for those who come to this crisis of faith it is a crisis caused by at least in part by accepting this narrative that historical issues are a concern for a lot of people and that it ought to be a concern for a lot of people. This doesn't mean that some don't have these concerns with historical issues - but it does mean that it isn't as significant as you make it out to be - and that part of this idea that it is significant is part of the narrative itself.
For instance those who are having cognitive dissonance/ faith crisis seem to have very few on the faithful side who will even state they understand how one got there to this faith crisis.
Perhaps you would be willing to define cognitive dissonance for me. I have at least a passing familiarity with it, having read Festinger's work more than once. It seems to me that part of the entire notion of John Dehlin's study is itself a result of cognitive dissonance - as are the claims of the sort that you raise - i.e. that this kind of crisis of faith is typical of most Mormons who have a crisis of faith. Actually, most of those who use this term (cognitive dissonance) with respect to Mormons and their faith do so in a way that doesn't really conform to the theory of cognitive dissonance. Its use in these discussions is often a big red flag pointing back (again) to the idea that those in this particular boat have bought into someone's narrative that is not really their own. But, you are welcome to convince me that I am wrong. What do you know of cognitive dissonance?
2.) While a lot of extreme dissagreement seems to occur from both extreme sides, is there a way to have a conversation in the middle? Where perhaps group 1 can better understand how Group 2 took the different road and where group 2 might better understand how group one rationalizes struggles and maintain faith?
The first thing that has to happen is that the narrative has to go away. We can have this discussion without the appeal to cognitive dissonance, without the a constant reference to a laundry list of issues. We can have reasonable discourse about why we think one thing instead of something else. We need to have discussion over issues of ambiguity and faith. We could of course talk about a detailed historical event - by my experience is that any discussion on this level does little good, since there isn't enough impetus in such a discussion to move beyond to a rejection of the entire narrative - there is no paradigm shift in narrow discourse.
Why do the faithfull seem to discredit ever looking at the church truth in a Hisotrical manner. Not they they don't value history, just not as a mode of determining the possible validity of an event worth having faith in.
My answer is that it is because it simply doesn't work this way. Let me enumerate a couple of points.
First, history isn't an object. Let me quote just a bit from Douglas Cowan's book Remnant Spirit
... history is not an objective circumstance that can be abstracted and made to command fealty for purposes of ideological advancement. There is no one authoritative version of history that can indisputably separate the authentic from the inauthentic. Rather, in terms of its contribution to the social construction of reality, history is an intricate, often murky and inconsistent complex of situations and forces, attitudes and choices, memories and anti-memories, all of which serve the interpretive agendas of those who deploy history as something demanding allegiance.
So let me explain in terms of this discussion. History is something that has to be interpreted. We don't value "history" per se. We may value an interpretation of historical events that we can call history - but it usually remains as an interpretation. And, in any particular event, we can always place an interpretation on the history that is either more or less friendly to claims being made about that history. So, for example, we could talk about the ******* child of a woman who was engaged to be married to man, who admittedly was not the father of her child - as a way of speaking about Jesus (and in fact, there were those who discussed this in this way). We can talk about historical events - but in the end, there has to be some sort of narrative that provides the connective tissue. And I saw this in our previous discussion over seer stones. There isn't much room for mutual discussion if we use these narratives as the starting point of the discussion. Because the narrative isn't history, it is an interpretive agenda.
Second, there is a reason why every contemporary discussion on comparative religion or on the history of religion works very hard at separating these two issues. The moment we confuse them is the moment that faith based discourse goes out the window. Everett Ferguson tries to explain this in the introduction to his recent book Backgrounds of Early Christianity
Christian claims rest on whether it is a revelation from God, not on its originality, and this is a claim not directly verifiable by historic examination. The decision for or against Christianity is a matter of faith, however much historical inquiry might support or discourage the decision.
Likewise, Jonathon Smith (that I quoted in the other thread) mentioned this idea. In drawing this out - the way you do - you substitute this idea of history (and not just history as some kind of object - but rather the interpretive agenda that comes with the narrative you present) for the idea of ontological truth and faith. The challenge I have here is that since we can manipulate historical claims any way we really want to, we end up with a situation in which potentially belief becomes increasingly impossible. The other half of this coin is that presenting a different interpretive agenda of history doesn't actually help us separate this notion of ontological truth and faith from these historical accounts with their interpretive agendas. This is the reason why I reject the notion you present. I find it to be a method of sorts that doesn't work. For me, the acceptance of this idea that it should work (even though it doesn't) is a part of that narrative that this group of individuals has encountered and bought into. And it is in part why that narrative argues for this approach so forcefully (because it already knows the outcome - even if it doesn't recognize that it is error driven from the beginning).
In otherwords why can't faith ever be rooted at least in part in History. Ex: While one may have faith in Jesus or not, and though Historically we can never prove anything, it is a fact that Jesus was resurrected or he wasn't.
The oddity of this kind of suggestion is that it stands in a rather stark contrast to everything else you have written. Either Joseph Smith produced a translation of an ancient record or he didn't. The question of whether or not there were seer stones or a Urim and Thummim won't affect that historical reality right? And yet, there is this insistence that somehow the question of seer stone versus Urim and Thummim is somehow not only significant but able to help us determine whether or not a translation was really made. Have I missed something here?
Is there value in trying to find out historically if things happened the way Jospeh Smith and others said, and if it becomes extremely obvious they are not factual or historical, is that reason to rethink one's testimony based on the historical opinion?
Again, the issue is that we aren't dealing with facts in any discussion of these issues - we are dealing with agenda driven interpretations. If we can somehow get away from those agenda driven interpretations, then perhaps. But, when you come armed with these interpretations (and not just with facts and discrepancies), you will always run into this problem. History in its interpretation is quite malleable.
... suppose, contrary to legend, that Oedipus, for some dark oedipal reason, was hurrying along the road intent on killing his father, and, finding a surly old man blocking his way, killed him so he could (as he thought) get on with the main job. Then not only did Oedipus want to kill his father, and actually kill him, but his desire caused him to kill his father. Yet we could not say that in killing the old man he intentionally killed his father, nor that his reason in killing the old man was to kill his father. (Davidson)