I know there is a lot of science behind these stages of faith and different models to view things through.
For the sake of this discussion we will focus on just a few generalized stages.
1.) A person have a very black and white, innocent, naive view of their faith. They accept everything at face value and it is very easy to assimilate their reality of truth and fiction.
2.) One encounters information that forces them to re-evaluate their beliefs and what they hold to be true. Their faith is no longer simple or cut & dry and in fact can be very complicated.
3.) One must move their beliefs to handle the new information. We will assume for this discussion one still wants to have faith in the LDS church and has reassimilated their viewpoint to be able to incorporate that.
Now the issue - Many who are at level 1 above find the church to be awesome. Almost magical. It seems to fit perfectly with all the visions, miracles, healings they have read. Seagulls eating crickets, rain coming when people pay tithing, Men speaking face to face with God. The Church is extremely fulfilling and is everything one needs from their faith.
When one encounters in #2 that prophets may not speak to God directly, some miracles have been way over exaggerated, some miracles were much more coincidence then first surmised. This rips the #1 view right out of them.
Once someone makes it to #3 the church has become for some an entirely different enity then one fell in love with. While some seem to find more fulfillment at #3, many are left feeling like the Monk Elder Holland quoted in "the only true God"
In 399, when a letter from Theophilus, the bishop of Alexandria, insisted that the biblical description of God was only allegorical and that the monks must not attribute to God any anthropomorphic characteristics, one Sarapion, an elderly monk of great reputation, found himself unable to pray to the new God, this God of the philosophers, at all. Falling on the ground he groaned: “Woe is me! They have taken my God away from me, and I have none to grasp, and I know not whom to adore or to address.”
While perhaps the LDS deity has not changed, almost every facet of the their revelaed religion has... at least to them
The church becomes to intricate, too many loopholes, too many hoops, too much stuff that no longer is simple and clean cut. There becomes way too much effort to hold faith and to stave off the doubt. Way too many shades of Gray.
For some this takes the joy out of active membership. They see the church as too complicated to find the prior peace and fulfillment that once came so easy to them. They want it, but struggle to hold onto it. It seems to always be the proverbial carrot at the end of a stick just out of reach.
For those who want to find fulfillment in the gospel please address the following questions in sincerity knowing that some who read this will be in this boat. They lack faith to grab back onto the rod and yet whisper out "Help thou my unbelief". All these individuals want is the impossible.... to go back to the way things were.
1.) Many of you have gone through this. Why helped you come out the other side?
2.) For those who lost faith and didn't recover, what would have helped, what would have benefeited you to regain faith?
3.) What advice do you give someone who is trying to find it again and seems to losing it within the grasp of their hands each day?
4.) How would you change the advice for someone who is going through this who holds a major calling? One who has no calling at all? One who is burdened by other responsibilities of the world and has little alone time to work these things out?
5.)If you had the person one on one, face to face, what would you say to them?
6.) What is your feelings, view, understanding of the beauty, peace, and fulfillment that awaits on the other side of this trial?
7.) For those who lost faith, Are you happier now then you were when you were in Phase #1?, #2?, #3? What is your center revolved around now?
Edited by reelmormon, 10 June 2012 - 08:48 AM.