Jump to content

Theories Of Faith Development : A Model To Assist Those In Faith Crisis


Recommended Posts

President Gordon B. Hinckley frequently said it in sermons and interviews.

 

President George Albert Smith said it before him. And Joseph Smith also said it.

 

See the quotes in this editorial I wrote a while back.

And this:

 

A revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1831, soon after the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke of those who had been given “power to lay the foundation of this church.” The Lord then referred to the Church as “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased” (D&C 1:30).

Because of this declaration of the Lord, we refer to this, His Church—our Church—as the “only true Church.” Sometimes we do this in a way that gives great offense to people who belong to other churches or who subscribe to other philosophies. But God has not taught us anything that should cause us to feel superior to other people. Certainly all churches and philosophies have elements of truth in them, some more than others. Certainly God loves all of His children. And certainly His gospel plan is for all of His children, all according to His own timetable.

So what does it mean that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true Church?

Three features—(1) fulness of doctrine, (2) power of the priesthood, and (3) testimony of Jesus Christ—explain why God has declared and why we as His servants maintain that this is the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth.

 

https://www.lds.org/youth/article/print?lang=eng&url=/youth/article/only-true-living-church

Link to post

 

We say other churches have truth with some errors too.

 

But we say that of ourselves too, don't we? If there are faults they are the faults of men etc? Didn't Elder Uchtdorf just say that only God is perfect but that the church is imperfect? There is error in every church, including our own. 

Edited by canard78
Link to post

Again, the OP assumes that our issues with the church are a product of an inability to deal with nuance and imperfection....I suppose that this could also apply to a rigid attitude towards the church's foundational claims (BofM, First Vision, etc.), I'm not sure how that applies to most of us apostates, either.

 

I believe it is important to listen to what JKW is saying, because he knows personally of what he speaks, and he is very intelligent and self-aware, and is capable of articulating his experience and perhaps also the experience of others similarly situated with whom he has interacted over the years.

 

And, while I haven't lost faith, I can see some plausible problems in using models for faith development in assessing loss of faith. Metaphorically, in a way it is like using models for producing automobile tires to explain why tires go flat.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Link to post

We say other churches have truth with some errors too.

 

But we say that of ourselves too, don't we? If there are faults they are the faults of men etc? Didn't Elder Uchtdorf just say that only God is perfect but that the church is imperfect? There is error in every church, including our own. 

Yup. 

Link to post

I believe it is important to listen to what JKW is saying, because he knows personally of what he speaks, and he is very intelligent and self-aware, and is capable of articulating his experience and perhaps also the experience of others similarly situated with whom he has interacted over the years.

 

And, while I haven't lost faith, I can see some plausible problems in using models for faith development in assessing loss of faith. Metaphorically, in a way it is like using models for producing automobile tires to explain why tires go flat.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

A good point, certainly, but on the other hand some of us have come full circle from belief to atheism back to belief.

 

But I certainly agree ever single case is different. 

 

My only caveat is that it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of cases of loss of belief ultimately come down to something like the Fowler or Perry schemes, or as Wittgenstein would see it, a misunderstanding of the religious language game/ vocabulary.

 

I quoted W earlier, but the bottom line is that I think ultimately that religion is not about something that happens in the world, but something that happens inside each of us.  Criticizing religion as if it is about something in the world misses the point, I think, and I see that again and again and again around here and every religious board I have ever seen.

 

Most of the loss of faith we see around here is about historical issues. Book of Mormon archaeology, what a "true"prophet should be able to do regarding factual reality, "translations" of the Book of Abraham, science vs religion, etc.

 

In each of these cases the problem is the same- the belief that religion is about factual information, and not about finding meaning and purpose in one's life.

 

I think that misses the point totally.

 

Yes, there are presumed "facts" in religion, like the historicity of the resurrection for example, for  but what MAKES those beliefs "religion" and not "science" is precisely the fact that religious beliefs are always non-falsifiable.  Period.

 

If religion was science, there would be no atheist scientists and theologians would be in laboratories.  For some reason this point is almost universally unrecognized among those who lose their religious beliefs. 

 

The two disciplines are as far apart as baseball and music theory.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to post

 

Yes, there are presumed "facts" in religion, like the historicity of the resurrection for example, for  but what MAKES those beliefs "religion" and not "science" is precisely the fact that religious beliefs are always non-falsifiable.  Period.

 

If religion was science, there would be no atheist scientists and theologians would be in laboratories.  For some reason this point is almost universally unrecognized among those who lose their religious beliefs. 

 

The two disciplines are as far apart as baseball and music theory.

 

I think that's the mistake: religious beliefs are not always non-falsifiable. Mormonism rests in part on the historicity of its sacred texts, and that is falsifiable; if it were not, we wouldn't have apologetic attempts to place the Book of Mormon in an American setting, or try to explain why smelted steel isn't anachronistic, or try to show that NHM is a "hit" related to the Book of Mormon description of Nahom.

 

The problem I see with your approach is that you see no difference between such falsifiable claims and unfalsifiable matters of faith.

Link to post

It is also good to mention that none of us can actually prove or provide evidence as to what physical reality actually 'is' (due to the circular use of our senses to prove things).  What that means is that when you get down to the grit of things 'meaning' and 'utility' are really what we decide upon.  In other words, we believe in all things because we desire to.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

Edited by TAO
  • Upvote 2
Link to post

It is also good to mention that none of us can actually prove or provide evidence as to what physical reality actually 'is'.  What that means is that when you get down to the grit of things 'meaning' and 'utility' are really what we decide upon.

 

Sure, everything is contingent and tentative. but I reject the notion that whatever "works" for us individually is good and useful. I find that profoundly amoral.

Link to post

I think that's the mistake: religious beliefs are not always non-falsifiable. Mormonism rests in part on the historicity of its sacred texts, and that is falsifiable; if it were not, we wouldn't have apologetic attempts to place the Book of Mormon in an American setting, or try to explain why smelted steel isn't anachronistic, or try to show that NHM is a "hit" related to the Book of Mormon description of Nahom.

 

The problem I see with your approach is that you see no difference between such falsifiable claims and unfalsifiable matters of faith.

 

Let me ask you something.  Can you prove to me your senses work accurately?  If no, why do you trust them?

 

It's because they make your life have value.  That's why we all trust them.

 

If I want to believe that science doesn't fully and completely accurately portray the world, because believing such makes my life have value, wouldn't I be justified for the same reason?

 

I think I would be.

 

It all comes down to what we 'want' to believe in.  You have several options

1)  You can believe the religious perspective has an error

2)  You can believe the scientific perspective has an error

3)  You can believe that what is called a conflict is not really a conflict.

 

You have to choose the one which you will be willing to live with.  Choose wisely.  Choose the choice you will be willing to hold to.  Choose the choice that holds the most value.  Consider each.  But find which one you are willing to live by.

 

For me, I have chosen to live the religious path, because it is more valuable to me.  If science conflict, I am not worried, I know that with God, things will work out in the end, regardless of how things seem.

 

That's not the choice for everyone though.  Different people might cringe at my choice, at my willingness to admit I don't know things, but I'm willing to choose nonetheless.  But, I guess it's my choice, and I'm willing to live by it =p.  Hopefully I won't regret it.

Edited by TAO
  • Upvote 1
Link to post

I believe it is important to listen to what JKW is saying, because he knows personally of what he speaks, and he is very intelligent and self-aware, and is capable of articulating his experience and perhaps also the experience of others similarly situated with whom he has interacted over the years.

 

And, while I haven't lost faith, I can see some plausible problems in using models for faith development in assessing loss of faith. Metaphorically, in a way it is like using models for producing automobile tires to explain why tires go flat.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

I'm not even sure myself that it's a good idea to listen to anything I say. I know what I've experienced, and I believe I have learned some valuable things, but I don't know how far beyond myself they apply.

Link to post

Sure, everything is contingent and tentative. but I reject the notion that whatever "works" for us individually is good and useful. I find that profoundly amoral.

 

What is good?  The answer is that it depends on who you ask.  It's based on your perspective.  What we consider 'universally good' really has another definition.  It means 'good in God's perspective'. This is one example of how the conflict between objective morality and relative perspective is resolved.  God has a perspective.  And if we consider it higher than our own, that sort of resolves the problem.

 

And isn't the idea that we choose what 'works' for us the idea behind agency?  That we will rise or fall to the kingdom that most suits us - to the kingdom we are most willing to 'work' for, that we are most willing to do things for?  You have to understand, I'm not saying that whatever 'works' is right - right is a matter of perspective.  But I'm saying whatever works is justified - that means that in order to reserve that for ourselves, we have to be willing to let others do the same thing, even when their path is different from ours.  This is what I mean by 'what works'.  It is what we are willing to live by.

Edited by TAO
Link to post

I'm not even sure myself that it's a good idea to listen to anything I say. I know what I've experienced, and I believe I have learned some valuable things, but I don't know how far beyond myself they apply.

 

Don't worry about it, nobody here bites, and a good discussion is a great thing (provided it doesn't get contentious =p).  I think we are all in the same boat - we all know what we have experience, but don't know what others have, and so we try our best to help each other, but fail, fail indeed.  Or perhaps we succeed.  Only God can tell us, I guess =).

Edited by TAO
Link to post

What is good?  The answer is that it depends on who you ask.  It's based on your perspective.  What we consider 'universally good' really has another definition.  It means 'good in God's perspective'. This is one example of how the conflict between objective morality and relative perspective is resolved.  God has a perspective.  And if we consider it higher than our own, that sort of resolves the problem.

 

And isn't the idea that we choose what 'works' for us the idea behind agency?  That we will rise or fall to the kingdom that most suits us - to the kingdom we are most willing to 'work' for, that we are most willing to do things for?  You have to understand, I'm not saying that whatever 'works' is right - right is a matter of perspective.  But I'm saying whatever works is justified - that means that in order to reserve that for ourselves, we have to be willing to let others do the same thing, even when their path is different from ours.  This is what I mean by 'what works'.  It is what we are willing to live by.

 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but behind all the citations of Wittgenstein is a variation on the old 70s idea: "If it feels good, do it."

Link to post

 

What- that other churches have truth?  Oh come on- you really are going to make me look that one up? 

 

Besides- your whole argument is based on the bible, so you are basing your whole argument on one bible verse, and there is no way to determine that the bible is even "correct" to use your way of thinking, except by testimony. 

 

Your Deuteronomy test for prophethood is based on a circular argument that we can know the bible itself is true only if it is inerrant- it is not.

 

The deut. quote is only true if it was written by a "true prophet" which makes it all false if there is one error in the bible.   Good luck with that line of thought.

And you're the guy telling someone else their logic is mushy?

Link to post

 

What- that other churches have truth?  Oh come on- you really are going to make me look that one up? 

 

Besides- your whole argument is based on the bible, so you are basing your whole argument on one bible verse, and there is no way to determine that the bible is even "correct" to use your way of thinking, except by testimony. 

 

Your Deuteronomy test for prophethood is based on a circular argument that we can know the bible itself is true only if it is inerrant- it is not.

 

The deut. quote is only true if it was written by a "true prophet" which makes it all false if there is one error in the bible.   Good luck with that line of thought.

No silly,

Your contention that the LDS faith is not the only true and living church authorized to act in God's name, isn't what the church really claims. That's what I want you to support.

Or are you going to try to wriggle out of that claim as well?

Link to post

I think that's the mistake: religious beliefs are not always non-falsifiable. Mormonism rests in part on the historicity of its sacred texts, and that is falsifiable; if it were not, we wouldn't have apologetic attempts to place the Book of Mormon in an American setting, or try to explain why smelted steel isn't anachronistic, or try to show that NHM is a "hit" related to the Book of Mormon description of Nahom.

 

The problem I see with your approach is that you see no difference between such falsifiable claims and unfalsifiable matters of faith.

No, indeed that is the strength of the approach.

 

I find all these scholarly attempts at finding "evidence" rather silly since all the evidence in the world would never make the BOM "scripture" any more than archaeology proves that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world who suffered for your sins and mine.

 

Apologetic efforts in that area are doomed to failure because they are barking up the wrong tree.  Even if the Book of Abraham was a perfect literal translation, its value as a spiritual book would be an entirely different matter.

 

The way I see it, for example, it IS a spiritual book, pure and simple, and its origins are irrelevant.

Link to post

 Your contention that the LDS faith is not the only true and living church authorized to act in God's name, isn't what the church really claims. That's what I want you to support.

 

Oh my.  Unfortunately I never said any of that.  I never said anything about authority to act in God's name at all, nor did I say that the LDS church is "not the only true and living church".

 

What I said was that there were many ways to interpret the quote you gave.  You have made about 3 erroneous logical steps at once.

 

I don't know where you are getting this stuff.

Link to post

Not to put too fine a point on it, but behind all the citations of Wittgenstein is a variation on the old 70s idea: "If it feels good, do it."

Not even remotely close.  Not even remotely.  In fact I am shocked that you would get this out of those quotes.  I thought you actually understood Wittgenstein.

 

He is speaking about the nature of language, nothing more, nothing less.

Edited by mfbukowski
Link to post

Sure, everything is contingent and tentative. but I reject the notion that whatever "works" for us individually is good and useful. I find that profoundly amoral.

Only if immorality is good and useful to society which it is not.  Immoral societies - like that one in Germany 70 or so years back- are condemned and executed, by other cultures, just as murderous individuals are.

 

The point is, there is what "works" in the short run and what really works in the long run.  Of course this is just shorthand for a Utilitarian ethic, and of course since you have studied Utilitarianism you know that Mill speaks of the "higher pleasures" of the intellect as being more important than base ones.

 

Robbing banks works for a while until you end up in prison, and then it kind of shows itself to be a poorly-chosen road to the finer things in life

 

So of course you will not bring up that silly argument, will you?

Link to post

 

And you're the guy telling someone else their logic is mushy?

Uh yes I am.

 

What is supposed to be the purpose of this post?

Link to post

Not to put too fine a point on it, but behind all the citations of Wittgenstein is a variation on the old 70s idea: "If it feels good, do it."

 

I dunno, I've never read Wittgenstein, sorry to say =/.  (Just so you know ahead of time, me and mfb have somewhat different views, though similar, so we may not be consistent with each other)

 

In any case, trusting anything takes an act of faith, and faith is a gut action.  In other words, following your feelings.  Think about it, why do you trust your friends?  Because you've observed them?  But do you know they will never do anything 'bad'?  Not at all.  You just trust your gut instinct.  And (most likely) you won't be happy with yourself if you follow someone elses instinct, without consulting your own first.  In other words, not 'if it feels good, do it', but rather 'if it feels right, do it'.  That's a bit different from the 70s motto.

 

Anyways... I don't think it is wrong to trust our feelings that fell right.  After all, that's why we trust our senses.  That's why we trust the spirit.  Because it feels right.  Others may use it to trust things we would not trust.  But regardless, that's their choice to make.  We can still disagree with them though, and act in our own interests, even if it contradicts theirs.'

 

Meh... I dunno if I explained that well.  =/.  Tell me if I did an okay job.

Edited by TAO
Link to post

Not even remotely close.  Not even remotely.  In fact I am shocked that you would get this out of those quotes.  I thought you actually understood Wittgenstein.

 

He is speaking about the nature of language, nothing more, nothing less.

 

I wasn't talking about Wittgenstein but rather how his ideas are being used in this case. I'm a little shocked that you thought otherwise.

Link to post

Only if immorality is good and useful to society which it is not.

 

But your beliefs rest on assertions of amorality: nothing is inherently moral or immoral. Surely you recognize that. "It works for me, so it's good" is the approach you've outlined over and over again.

 

But, you say, what is good is what God commands us to do.

 

"That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, 'Thou shalt not kill.' At another time He said "Thou shalt utterly destroy.' This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire."

 

In short, actions are moral when God commands them and immoral when God prohibits them. This is the morality behind Nephi's killing of Laban, but also of the murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty. If you are going to say that reason and logic and evidence are irrelevant to determining religious truth (and that's what you've been saying), all you have left is whether something is of God or is not--and as you have rightly pointed out, that's entirely subjective. If we accept your approach, we cannot judge anyone else's religious beliefs because they "work" for them. By that logic, the Laffertys were only doing what God commanded, so therefore it was right; if we can't see that, it's because we don't understand God's ways yet.

 

Immoral societies - like that one in Germany 70 or so years back- are condemned and executed, by other cultures, just as murderous individuals are.

 

Are they condemned if God commands them? If not, how do you determine whether God has actually commanded them?

 

The point is, there is what "works" in the short run and what really works in the long run.  Of course this is just shorthand for a Utilitarian ethic, and of course since you have studied Utilitarianism you know that Mill speaks of the "higher pleasures" of the intellect as being more important than base ones.

 

Of course yours is a utilitarian ethic, but the problem I have with it, again, is that you determine utility not according to any notions of good, long-term or short-term, but rather by what "works" for you and what you think God commands.

 

Robbing banks works for a while until you end up in prison, and then it kind of shows itself to be a poorly-chosen road to the finer things in life.

 

Again, if we go by your logic, there is nothing inherently wrong with robbing a bank. If God commands it, it's good and right.

 

So of course you will not bring up that silly argument, will you?

 

Why would I do that?

Link to post
In each of these cases the problem is the same- the belief that religion is about factual information, and not about finding meaning and purpose in one's life.

 

I think that misses the point totally.

 

I agree. Well said.

 

However, I am just not sure how this relates to what is described in the OP, or the Perry Scheme et. al., though I am happy to learn.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Link to post

 

But your beliefs rest on assertions of amorality: nothing is inherently moral or immoral. Surely you recognize that. "It works for me, so it's good" is the approach you've outlined over and over again.

 

The problem is that all forms of morality are based on this.  Every single one of them comes down to this, when you get down to the nitty gritty of it.  It's all based off of what we 'feel' is right and wrong, correct?

 

But your beliefs rest on assertions of amorality: nothing is inherently moral or immoral. Surely you recognize that. "It works for me, so it's good" is the approach you've outlined over and over again.

 

But, you say, what is good is what God commands us to do.

 

"That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, 'Thou shalt not kill.' At another time He said "Thou shalt utterly destroy.' This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire."

 

In short, actions are moral when God commands them and immoral when God prohibits them. This is the morality behind Nephi's killing of Laban, but also of the murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty. If you are going to say that reason and logic and evidence are irrelevant to determining religious truth (and that's what you've been saying), all you have left is whether something is of God or is not--and as you have rightly pointed out, that's entirely subjective. If we accept your approach, we cannot judge anyone else's religious beliefs because they "work" for them. By that logic, the Laffertys were only doing what God commanded, so therefore it was right; if we can't see that, it's because we don't understand God's ways yet.

 

No, that's actually a bit further than we assert.  We assert you can't call them 'morons' for doing what they believed God said.  We can't see anything beyond what we have experienced though, so we are not bound to what they have experienced.  That means we can act against their interests if we believe what they are doing is wrong according to what God has revealed to us.  In other words, we can believe that their actions don't come from God, but we have to respect that they are allowed to believe that their actions come from God, even if we think they don't.

 

It's really about that dichotomy between thoughts and actions.  We are getting into an ethics bit here.

 

 

Of course yours is a utilitarian ethic, but the problem I have with it, again, is that you determine utility not according to any notions of good, long-term or short-term, but rather by what "works" for you and what you think God commands.

 

That would kinda be circular logic.  Good is another word for moral.  We are trying to determine what 'good' is here.

 

In any case, yes, we think you should do what you think God has commanded you to do, even if others disagree with you.  Is that wrong?  I don't think so.

 

 

Again, if we go by your logic, there is nothing inherently wrong with robbing a bank. If God commands it, it's good and right.

 

That's correct.  Why did Nephi kill Laban?  Because God commanded him.  I am getting an inclination that you do not like the idea that inherent morality doesn't exist beside God's morality.  Is that correct?  I can understand your reluctance.  But I don't think the other paths are any better than this one.  They have their consequences of their own, in a sense.

Edited by TAO
Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Bernard Gui
      Something I wonder about...
      In 3 Nephi 12, Jesus says to the people at the temple,
      How are they more blessed if they believe the words of the eyewitnesses? Those who witnessed, believed, and were baptized also received forgiveness and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I understand the implication that greater faith is required, but in what way are they “more blessed”? Is this a quantitative or qualitative increase? 
      Those who were at the temple already had their faith sorely tried. They survived persecution, threats of death because of their faith, cataclysmic destruction, and days of darkness. They were allowed to see and touch the risen Savior. That in itself is an incomparable blessing reserved for very few mortals. Their obligation then was to be His witnesses. Without them, we would not know of the Resurrection. 
      I understand that signs do not necessarily lead to faith. Many who see signs never believe or fall away, but none of these Nephites nor the disciples in Jerusalem who saw and touched the risen Lord fell away. Sister Gui suggested it means those who hear the testimony of the witnesses and believe are more blessed than those who hear the testimony and don’t believe. It seems to me, though, that the Savior is comparing two groups - the witnesses and those who believe the witnesses - and the latter are the more blessed. 
      On two other occasions, some people are declared more blessed. 
      1. Those who humble themselves without compulsion.
      2. The three Nephite disciples who desired to tarry.
      However, speaking to Thomas, the Lord said,
      In this instance, those who believe without seeing are not more blessed. 

      I understand how these people are more blessed because of their faith. What do you think the Savior meant in 3 Nephi 12?
    • By nuclearfuels
      Looking for some insight into Alma 29:3 -
      But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
      Seems like if Alma's faith grew he would naturally pray for not only his people but the Lamanites, and then others (people in Jerusalem and Middle East, Lost Tribes, etc.).
      But then he chides himself for wanting to do that.
      What's the problem here?
      Should he trust God to have called Prophets to cry repentance to all those other people so Alma should just "stay in his lane?"
      When you pray and you're really feeling the Spirit, what would be incorrect about praying for your family, ward, stake, the whole church, the whole world - to be blessed with health, prosperity, a greater acceptance of the restored gospel?
      I guess we should focus on the jurisdiction of our own callings but honestly I pray for things I'm quite sure God laughs out loud at, not to mention when I pray for others outside of my stake, church, etc.
       
    • By Calm
      https://www.uvu.edu/religiousstudies/heavenandearth/


      Heaven & Earth
      Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith
      February 22nd - 23rd, 2018
      Classroom Building, Room 511
      Utah Valley University

      click here for a pdf version of the program 
       
      Description
      The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos. Some have argued  for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths. From its beginnings, Mormonism has wrestled with the implications of modern science and has produced a variety of  theological responses. This conference will explore the landscape of Mormon thought as it relates to the relationships between science, theology, scriptural narratives, and LDS authoritative discourse. It will also examine abiding questions of faith, reason, and doubt and the reactions against the intellectualizing forces that bear on the truth claims of Mormonism.  
        Keynote Speaker
      Molly Worthen
      Assistant Professor of History
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      author of Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism Eugene England Lecture
      Steven L. Peck
      Associate Professor of Biology
      Brigham Young University
      author of Science the Key to Theology Conference Participants
      Philip L. Barlow
      Leonard J. Arrington Chair in Mormon Studies & Culture
      Utah State University
      author of Mormons and the Bible: The Place of Latter-day Saints in American Religion
        Brian D. Birch 
      Brian D. Birch, Director, Religious Studies Program
      Utah Valley University
      series co-editor, Perspectives on Mormon Theology
        David Bokovoy
      Online Professor of Bible and Jewish Studies
      Utah State University
      author of Reading the Old Testament: Genesis - Deuteronomy 
        Matthew Bowman
      Matthew Bowman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
      Henderson State University
      author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
        Deidre Nicole Green
      Postdoctoral Fellow
      Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
      author of "Becoming Equal Partners: Latter-day Saint Women as Theologians” 
        Jamie L. Jensen
      Associate Professor of Biology, Brigham Young University, author of “Influencing highly religious undergraduate perceptions of evolution:  Mormons as a case study” 
        Boyd Jay Petersen
      Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies
      Utah Valley University
      author of “One Soul Shall Not Be Lost': The War in Heaven in Mormon Thought" 
        Jana K. Riess
      Senior Columnist
      Religion News Service
      author of The Next Mormons
        David W. Scott
      Professor of Communication
      Utah Valley University
      author of “Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?"  
      Ben Spackman
      History of Christianity & Religions of North America Program
      Claremont Graduate University
      author of “Truth, Scripture, and Interpretation: Some Precursors to Reading Genesis”  
      Co-Sponsors & Partners
      Religious Studies Program, Utah Valley University College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Utah Valley University
    • By hope_for_things
      As an orthodox Mormon, when I have questions and critiques on topics that I hear at church or read about, I'm frequently told that it all boils down to just having faith, especially when people don't have good answers to my questions.  Terryl Given and Fiona Given's even articulate this idea in their book, The Crucible of Doubt, about how when presented with information on both sides of an issue, that this is precisely the point of God's plan so that we are able to choose and exercise faith.  
      Here is my question, what are we supposed to have faith in exactly?  Should I have faith in the historicity of an event described in the BoM?  Should I have faith that a talk given in conference by a church leader is an inspired talk that accurately reflects the mind of God?  Should I have faith that the words written in the Sunday school manual are inspired by God?  Should I have faith that the interpretation of scripture espoused by my high council representative is the one true interpretation?  What exactly should I have faith in?  
      From my reading of scripture, particularly the Bible and the BoM there is a repeating theme that humans continue to mess things up. In the bible, some of the worst offenders are often the prophets.  They are constantly falling short of the divine will and making big mistakes and getting chastised by God.  Many passages warn against trusting in the arm of the flesh. 
      So this brings me back to the question of faith, and I wonder if all the times that my fellow Mormons encourage me to just have faith, if they aren't actually are giving me really bad advice.  I'm thinking from the experiences I've had and the examples throughout history, that the thing I need to put my faith in is God directly, and not in humans or scriptural interpretations.  Maybe having faith in a church leader is not the purpose of faith at all.  Maybe having faith in a traditional church truth claim is also not the point of faith.   Faith in God, directly is not the same thing as faith in the church or faith in scripture or faith in authorities.  Faith in God seems like the only kind of faith that really can work. 
      Thoughts? 
    • By nuclearfuels
      So if you were called over a period of 8 years in let us say a certain calling which you had reservations about but accepted anyway, at what point would you say no to future callings in the same certain calling area?  If you said no to such a calling and then received a similar calling a few months later, what would you think? Not enough adults to call or inspiration coming back again?  In all honesty when Auxiliary leaders make recommendations for certain callings in ward council/correlation mtg, is there further prayer/consideration/Spiritual guidance by Ward Leaders?  I believe so and I hope so; just seems strange to get a calling quite similar to one I said no to a few months earlier.
      I've heard that Sunbeams coteacher in a former ward I was in received seven no's in response to callings and I can't judge anyone who turned it down as I wasn't part of those callings' issuance.  A friend of mine in college turned down a Primary call since she was a homemaker with three boys and said she needed a break.
      The non-linear part makes sense; we all don't progress in the same order of callings...BUT it seems odd to me to have received such a similar calling in multiple wards over many years, in a chartered organization that I do not support.
       
×
×
  • Create New...