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Faithful Questioning


Lamanite

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I agree! I think faithful questioning is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Mormon culture and faith. Honestly, the reactions to my faithful questioning were the biggest force driving me away. I think that when a member has legitimate concerns and articulates them respectfully, there needs to be a respectful dialogue, not just ad hominem.

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I agree! I think faithful questioning is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Mormon culture and faith. Honestly, the reactions to my faithful questioning were the biggest force driving me away. I think that when a member has legitimate concerns and articulates them respectfully, there needs to be a respectful dialogue, not just ad hominem.

I agree, but, you are alluding that faithful members when confronted with legitimate concerns, that all that happens is ad hominem instead of respectful dialogue. I disagree with this if that is indeed what you are alluding to.

Oh and that little bit about respectful dialogue, that is 2 way road that is often not reciprocated.

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I agree, but, you are alluding that faithful members when confronted with legitimate concerns, that all that happens is ad hominem instead of respectful dialogue. I disagree with this if that is indeed what you are alluding to.

Oh and that little bit about respectful dialogue, that is 2 way road that is often not reciprocated.

I do think disrespectful dialogue goes both ways. In my personal experience, when people don't know how to answer something and it challenges their deeply held beliefs, they get defensive and (possibly just) mean. This is not unique to mormonism, and (just my own personal experience) with a lot of members not versed on possible issues, questioning members that bring it up are attacked. I certainly was.

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Right now the church has no institutional mechanism in place to deal with doubting/questioning members.

FAIR/FARMS/Maxwell/MADB as well as a new crop of apologetic books are indeed useful, but I doubt many members or church leaders even know about them.

I wish there was a church-sanctioned forum for such dialogue, because it certainly isn't at church.

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I wish there was a church-sanctioned forum for such dialogue, because it certainly isn't at church.

I AGREE!! I think this would be infinitely helpful and less painful for questioning members. Right now, questioning members have such varied experiences because there is no approved, consistant way to deal with it. I think if it were more widely acknowledged and dealt with by the institution, we could avoid a lot of hurt.

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Even in context, I'm not sure what "faithful questioning" is supposed to mean...

Elder Hafen related his remarks specifically to anti-Mormon literature found on the Internet, and stated that too many people of faith let initial curiosity give way to feelings of dismay and betrayal when they come across unfamiliar arguments against the church.

Faithful questioning is a hallmark of a searching soul, he said, but claims found in anti-Mormon literature are no reason to abandon one's testimony, especially because many of the issue-taking and arguments out there have already been addressed by Mormon scholars and leaders. That's one problem with the otherwise wonderful information tool that the Internet is.

"Readers have no way of knowing which critical claims have already been discredited, and the anti-Mormon sponsors are certainly not going to tell them right there on the site," he said.

The democratization of ideas sometimes confuses the reader as to what is true and what is not, as all ideas are presented horizontally and as fact, thus positioning the blogger's flippant opinion alongside the scholar's well-researched dissertation.

So, it appears that "faithful questioning" involves asking questions, but only doing so on the condition that you will never, ever lose your testimony, regardless of what the answers to your questions might be.

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I do think however, think that many Mormon's are in need of a refresher course in "faithful questioning."

Lamanite,

What do you mean by this statement?

Are you saying that many Mormons need to a learn how to ask their questions in a faithful manner?

or

That many Mormons simply need to do more questioning?

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I don't have a blog like "life on a plate", so I don't have a forum for my quasi-intellectual pondering(s); so I just post them here. :P Let us also note that it is only my pondering(s) worthy of the adjective "quasi", not LOAP's.

But at second glance, I think there were a couple of questions nestled somewhere in the middle of my OP.

First let me say "Big UP!" to cinepro for catching my proof texting of Elder Hafen's remarks. Nevertheless, I think coupled with Uchtdorf's remarks we may still be able to get an idea for how some of the brethren view "faithful questioning." I am still more interested in the literal and implied meaning of these two wonderful words when paired with each other, "Faithful" and "Questioning"...."faithful questioning"-- BRILLIANT! These words conjoined just taste good to me. Just like a cafe mocha tastes, (so they say)

Secondly, my remarks about a Mormon refresher course would be that each member should read the following twice a week and put it into practice at least as often as they attend the Temple:

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Lamanite,

I'd add that "blind-self security" sounds an awful lot like living on "borrowed light" - something we've been warned will not sustain us in the days to come.

MnG

I don't understand who or what "blind-self security" is referring to?

As for "faithful questioning", it is the pinnacle of humility. It presupposes our fallibility and underscores our own limitations. It requires that we look outside of our self for something greater.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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I don't understand who or what "blind-self security" is referring to?

As for "faithful questioning", it is the pinnacle of humility. It presupposes our fallibility and underscores our own limitations. It requires that we look outside of our self for something greater.

Big UP!

Lamanite

Really? It came from YOUR post.

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Really? It came from YOUR post.

I read it as a description of the tendency to feel "safe" so long as one's actions are in accordance with leaders or stated policy without seeking the Lord out independently for confirmation. It's an immature faith that seeks to gain exaltation by riding into the Celestial Kingdom on another man's coattails.

MnG

Sorry MnG, my response was phrased poorly. I recognized the reference...I just didn't understand your point. I may I get it now.

I think I understand "safe" as you've defined it. It almost goes without saying that inasmuch as I follow the Prophet I will be spiritually safe. And I really do want to feel safe. But there is rarely any growth in the benign world of safe. Growth takes place amongst difficult, dynamic, challenging circumstances. And in my experience, rigorous intellectual and spiritual probing provides such a landscape.

In the burgeoning Church of BY's time, it was more of a necessity to question leaders. Williard Chase or the MMM for example. Both issues could could have been diminished in consequences by the faithful questioning of leaders or doctrines.

Faithful questioning is what the path to enlightenment is paved with. *sound of gong resonates*

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Even in context, I'm not sure what "faithful questioning" is supposed to mean...

Elder Hafen related his remarks specifically to anti-Mormon literature found on the Internet, and stated that too many people of faith let initial curiosity give way to feelings of dismay and betrayal when they come across unfamiliar arguments against the church.

Faithful questioning is a hallmark of a searching soul, he said, but claims found in anti-Mormon literature are no reason to abandon one's testimony, especially because many of the issue-taking and arguments out there have already been addressed by Mormon scholars and leaders. That's one problem with the otherwise wonderful information tool that the Internet is.

"Readers have no way of knowing which critical claims have already been discredited, and the anti-Mormon sponsors are certainly not going to tell them right there on the site," he said.

The democratization of ideas sometimes confuses the reader as to what is true and what is not, as all ideas are presented horizontally and as fact, thus positioning the blogger's flippant opinion alongside the scholar's well-researched dissertation.

So, it appears that "faithful questioning" involves asking questions, but only doing so on the condition that you will never, ever lose your testimony, regardless of what the answers to your questions might be.

Did you really arrive at that conclusion from the material quoted? Or are you just being a flippant poster?

Glenn

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"we should have an open mind but not so much that our brains fall off" -- Richard Dawkins. (wildly paraphrased by elguanteloko)

The key, for me at least, is to keep myself conscious of why I am asking or what my reasons for questioning are. if I see I am not being honest with myself then I try to fix the personal problem first and then question... not all that easy for me, though.

IIRC, Pres Uchtdorf addresses "contentious" reasons for inquiry. A very important piece of the equation indeed.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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