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Wonderful 'quotable' words from president nelson.


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8 minutes ago, Analytics said:

Since you asked, a "true" Church should embrace not only the truth, but also the best intellectual tools that best separate truth from error.

To understand what I'm getting at here, science tells us not only is the human mind not very rational, it is irrational in predictable ways. Perhaps the most important way the brain is predictably irrational is its powerful tendency to engage in confirmation bias. From an article in Psychology Today,

"Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea or concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views or prejudices one would like to be true. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices."

I encourage you to read the article in its entirety here: What Is Confirmation Bias? | Psychology Today

Once you understand confirmation bias, President Nelson's remarks, as quoted above, seem designed to create belief on a foundation of confirmation bias: have a desire to believe. Choose to believe. Try to believe. Think about the evidence that supports belief. Don't think about evidence contradicts belief.

If your goal is to believe, then doing that is great. But if your objective is to find out what is actually true, a different approach is in order.

 

I once spent a couple of years in a PhD program in Accounting; my minor was in Judgment & Decision Making.  My studies into these areas were very illuminating and life-changing when it came to consideration of how I was viewing evidence.

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8 minutes ago, Analytics said:

Since you asked, a "true" Church should embrace not only the truth, but also the best intellectual tools that best separate truth from error.

To understand what I'm getting at here, science tells us not only is the human mind not very rational, it is irrational in predictable ways. Perhaps the most important way the brain is predictably irrational is its powerful tendency to engage in confirmation bias. From an article in Psychology Today,

"Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea or concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views or prejudices one would like to be true. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices."

I encourage you to read the article in its entirety here: What Is Confirmation Bias? | Psychology Today

Once you understand confirmation bias, President Nelson's remarks, as quoted above, seem designed to create belief on a foundation of confirmation bias: have a desire to believe. Choose to believe. Try to believe. Think about the evidence that supports belief. Don't think about evidence contradicts belief.

If your goal is to believe, then doing that is great. But if your objective is to find out what is actually true, a different approach is in order.

 

Once you understand that that President Nelson is also encouraging critical thinking skills that manage confirmation bias (as with Alma 32), his approach is designed to find out what is real, acknowledging that all experience and experiment are ultimately subjective.

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1 hour ago, Maestrophil said:

My real honest question in an attempt to understand 'doubters' (I put the word in quotes because I think we are all doubters to some extent)...  What would a church look like to you (as a doubter) if you could tailor how they talk about doubt?  Is the only way to mollify a doubter for the church to tell them that coming to a conclusion of unbelief is absolutely fine? What IF the church IS true (even with flaws)?  Would then the church and the prophets not be doing their job/calling if they didn't at least promote faith and obedience?  Should Jesus have omitted the "go and sin no more" line when being kind to the adulterous woman - should he in-effect have said to her "hey, you just do you"?  

Honest thoughts are awesome?  I personally would love to be better at both being understanding and accepting of my loved ones who have left the faith, while still feeling like I am being true to my testimony (and in the case of my children, my stewardship to teach them).

 

 

Imagine being someone that is trying to make a mixed faith marriage work. How do you think hearing your spouse or yourself described as a "lazy learner" / "lax disciple" here or "sinner" / "taffy puller" / "unruly child"  elsewhere impacts that dynamic? Does it help or does it merely serve to drive a wedge deeper on an already extremely painful issue.

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1 hour ago, ttribe said:

I once spent a couple of years in a PhD program in Accounting; my minor was in Judgment & Decision Making.  My studies into these areas were very illuminating and life-changing when it came to consideration of how I was viewing evidence.

I googled "how to overcome confirmation bias," or something like that, and interestingly, most of the answers that popped up on the first page were in the field of accounting. I'm sure there has been tons written about what happened to Enron and Arthur Anderson, and my suspicion is that some important voices blame confirmation bias on the debacle. 

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5 hours ago, Teancum said:

Not a fan of this quote.  To much like only read stuff we tell you to read. Don't talk to those evil apostates, etc.  Don't critically think. Seems to me the church leadership is worried about slow growth and the ever increasing numbers of disaffected members.

Odd that you would think this quote is meant to discourage “critical thinking”. It is however suggesting that if such thinking  is only intended to find the flaws (as all men are flawed) in the lives of others, or to disprove the all scripture, based on a few errors in translation, meant only to be “critical”. This is usually done to seek out and share such, with others to have them share the same such attitudes. As for your “evil apostate” comment, I don’t want to guess, or understand the anger behind that comment. 

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I think sometimes we do not see how a certain passages sounds to those who do not hold the same views we do. For example if we were to take President Nelson's quote and change it to another source and belief, how does it sound to us then?

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“Choose to believe in Scientology, if you have doubts about L. Ron Hubbard, and Dianetics, or the validity of the Scientology, or  the truth of L.Ron Hubbard's work, choose to believe, and stay faithful. Take your questions to an auditor, and other reliable sources. Study with a desire to believe, rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw, in the fabric of a our founder's life. Or a discrepancy in Dianetics. Stop increasing your doubts, by rehearsing them with other doubters. Allow the Scientology to lead you, on you journey of discovery.”  

I am not comparing Scientology to Mormonism rather I am comparing the methodology suggested. 

Edited by CA Steve
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1 hour ago, Analytics said:

I googled "how to overcome confirmation bias," or something like that, and interestingly, most of the answers that popped up on the first page were in the field of accounting. I'm sure there has been tons written about what happened to Enron and Arthur Anderson, and my suspicion is that some important voices blame confirmation bias on the debacle. 

Yep...I was in a PhD program from 2003-2005...Arthur Andersen collapsed in 2002...you can see why I found my minor so relevant, at the time.  Of course, it was later, that it became REALLY relevant to me personally, but that's a story for another day.

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4 hours ago, Maestrophil said:

My real honest question in an attempt to understand 'doubters' (I put the word in quotes because I think we are all doubters to some extent)...  What would a church look like to you (as a doubter) if you could tailor how they talk about doubt?  Is the only way to mollify a doubter for the church to tell them that coming to a conclusion of unbelief is absolutely fine? What IF the church IS true (even with flaws)?  Would then the church and the prophets not be doing their job/calling if they didn't at least promote faith and obedience?  Should Jesus have omitted the "go and sin no more" line when being kind to the adulterous woman - should he in-effect have said to her "hey, you just do you"?  

Honest thoughts are awesome?  I personally would love to be better at both being understanding and accepting of my loved ones who have left the faith, while still feeling like I am being true to my testimony (and in the case of my children, my stewardship to teach them).

 

 

Well this is the dilemma of religion. In order to keep you in line they have to disparage skeptical inquiry and honest doubts as well as disparage those who lose their faith.  Your know the lazy learners.....

It is all about mind control.

 

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2 hours ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Odd that you would think this quote is meant to discourage “critical thinking”. It is however suggesting that if such thinking  is only intended to find the flaws (as all men are flawed) in the lives of others, or to disprove the all scripture, based on a few errors in translation, meant only to be “critical”. This is usually done to seek out and share such, with others to have them share the same such attitudes. As for your “evil apostate” comment, I don’t want to guess, or understand the anger behind that comment. 

No anger behind the comment at all.  Maybe cynicism.  Telling someone not to talk to other doubters (apostates) is discouraging a step of critical thinking.

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9 hours ago, Analytics said:

Since you asked, a "true" Church should embrace not only the truth, but also the best intellectual tools that best separate truth from error.

To understand what I'm getting at here, science tells us not only is the human mind not very rational, it is irrational in predictable ways. Perhaps the most important way the brain is predictably irrational is its powerful tendency to engage in confirmation bias. From an article in Psychology Today,

"Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea or concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views or prejudices one would like to be true. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices."

I encourage you to read the article in its entirety here: What Is Confirmation Bias? | Psychology Today

Once you understand confirmation bias, President Nelson's remarks, as quoted above, seem designed to create belief on a foundation of confirmation bias: have a desire to believe. Choose to believe. Try to believe. Think about the evidence that supports belief. Don't think about evidence contradicts belief.

If your goal is to believe, then doing that is great. But if your objective is to find out what is actually true, a different approach is in order.

Respectfully, I would like to submit that the settled status of "predictable human irrationality" differs from field to field. Behavioral economics has wholeheartedly adopted the paradigm. In general psychology, however, the dispute is a bit more lively. There have been trenchant critiques written of the "heuristics and biases" paradigm pioneered by Kahneman and Tversky, which posits that the human mind is "irrational in predictable ways."  Here's an article by Gerd Gigerenzer, widely considered to be the most prominent critic of Kahneman and Tversky, discussing the variance in understanding between various consumer disciplines of psychology: https://www.nowpublishers.com/article/OpenAccessDownload/RBE-0092.

The argument that the human mind is predictably irrational is predicated on the presumption of the homo economicus, which posits that man is effectively a Laplacian demon without constraints on our rational functions like time and energy expenditure. Such a strawman can be easily pilloried by experimental demonstration of mankind's failure to always make correct judgements in laboratory settings, and indeed this sort of experimental verification is the empirical basis for the idea that humans are predictably irrational. However, there exists another way to view the data, which starts by rejecting the homo economicus and the assumption that cognition in laboratory studies (where all the variables are known and controlled) is reflective of the validity of such cognition in the real world. In the real world, cognition is limited by time constraints and the finite energy which we have to devote to any given task. Thus we must rely on shortcuts, simple systems as opposed to fully-fleshed out rational consideration. These systems are generally more reliable when ambiguity is present. The interesting thing is that, at times, simple systems counterintuitively work better at prediction than more complex systems. See here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014829631500154X. This last paper even floats an intriguing proposal that Occam's Razor, long a staple of philosophy of science, is not universally reliable. Heady stuff. 

Returning to your post more directly, I'd like to comment on your article quotation. It appears to me that your quotation is unnecessarily prejudicial. It imparts agency to what is largely an unconscious process. Confirmation bias, if it indeed exists as presently described, exists as unconscious tendencies rather than conscious decisions, but the language of the article heavily implies agency. This implication of agency confers accusation where none is warranted. 

Now, I'd like to turn to your interpretation of President Nelson's remarks. I have interpreted them differently than you did, and I would like to present mine as an alternative understanding. I don't see President Nelson encouraging us to, as you put it, "Don't think about evidence contradicts belief." He tells us to study. He tells us to take our questions to the Lord and faithful sources. In my experience, having studied both faithful and unfaithful sources, the faithful sources don't obscure evidence. They engage it. 

If choosing to approach one's questions from a position of belief is bad, then choosing to approach it from the position of disbelief is just as prejudicial towards one's conclusion, no? Isn't that the point of confirmation bias? You see what you look for? THAT approach is the approach President Nelson is critiquing: "Study with a desire to believe, rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw, in the fabric of a prophet’s life. Or a discrepancy in the scriptures. Stop increasing your doubts, by rehearsing them with other doubters." He is addressing a binary. This is a call to a) avoid being socially conditioned in the direction of disbelief by continual rehearsal of critical narratives, which would trigger the Illusory Truth Effect and thus increase doubts illegitimately, right? It is also a call to b) choose which frame you will approach the questions from. President Nelson assumes that there is no neutral. The scriptures also assume such. And I think it is right. The gospel is such an emotionally charged topic that any pretension to neutrality requires conscious repression of one's own cognitive tendencies, which to me constitutes a form of self-deception. How can such repression be properly calculated so as to be truth-tracking instead of merely chaotic? How can we trust it? It seems better to me to let my cognitive faculties interpret the way they will and let the chips fall where they may, rather than try to put my finger on the scale in a vain pursuit for "neutrality." 

I turn here to William James. He makes a salient point in his beatdown of W.K. Clifford which deserves repeating. The world is not an abstraction. The decision to believe or not to believe has consequences far beyond academic theories. In such an environment, the burden of proof for a belief is influenced by the consequences of accepting that belief. I think that the burden of proof for potential disproofs of the gospel is such that, if they are true, they should be able to withstand being observed from a faithful lens. If they cannot, then they don't deserve to succeed.  

 

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7 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Respectfully, I would like to submit that the settled status of "predictable human irrationality" differs from field to field.....

Its precise nature is still being discovered, sure. But its existence is not in dispute.

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In the real world, cognition is limited by time constraints and the finite energy which we have to devote to any given task. Thus we must rely on shortcuts, simple systems as opposed to fully-fleshed out rational consideration. These systems are generally more reliable when ambiguity is present....

Cognitive biases came into existence for a reason.

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Returning to your post more directly, I'd like to comment on your article quotation. It appears to me that your quotation is unnecessarily prejudicial. It imparts agency to what is largely an unconscious process. Confirmation bias, if it indeed exists as presently described, exists as unconscious tendencies rather than conscious decisions, but the language of the article heavily implies agency....

Some striking manifestations of confirmation bias can be thought of as heuristics for making real-time decisions in the face of complexity and ambiguity, sure. But the nature of the biases go way beyond quick decisions made in artificial situations. Take the field of auditing, for example. Auditing firms are paid rather obscene amounts of money to do one thing: make a professional, competent, impartial, and independent evaluation of a company's statements: is the company being audited following the accounting rules both in letter and spirit, and do the financial reports accurately represent the financial strength of the company?

Here is a quote from submitted written testimony by business school professor Robert Prentice on the issue of whether auditors ought to be forced to rotate clients. Quoting his own book in the testimony, he said, 

"In valuing their deals, Enron employees would be prone, the psychological studies show, to seek out information that would support the higher valuations that were consistent with their self-interest. Similarly, in auditing Enron’s books, the auditors would be prone to search for information that supported the conclusion that the financial statements accurately represented Enron’s financial condition and to ignoring evidence that contradicted that conclusion. This is called the confirmation bias. Psychologists are well aware of this tendency, and studies show that even auditors and research scientists who are supposedly trained to be skeptical are as prone to it as anyone else. Related is the notion of belief persistence--the fact that people tend to persist in beliefs they hold long after the basis for those beliefs is substantially discredited. The self-serving bias and its closely related phenomena of confirmation bias and belief persistence unconsciously affect the information that people seek out. They also cause them not only to search for confirming rather than disconfirming evidence and to hold on to beliefs even if the face of conflicting evidence, they also affect how people process the information that they do access."

ps_Prentice.pdf (pcaobus.org)

 

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In my experience, having studied both faithful and unfaithful sources, the faithful sources don't obscure evidence. They engage it. 

Quoting Professor Prentice, "The self-serving bias even affects how people remember information. Studies show that people are more likely to recall evidence that supports their point of view than evidence that opposes it. People involved in negotiations tend to remember information that supports their bargaining position more than information that undermines it."

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If choosing to approach one's questions from a position of belief is bad, then choosing to approach it from the position of disbelief is just as prejudicial towards one's conclusion, no? Isn't that the point of confirmation bias? You see what you look for? THAT approach is the approach President Nelson is critiquing: "Study with a desire to believe, rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw, in the fabric of a prophet’s life. Or a discrepancy in the scriptures. Stop increasing your doubts, by rehearsing them with other doubters."

Everyone is subject to their own biases--these psychological tendencies cut in all directions. The question is whether we are going to indulge in our own biases or are we going to challenge them to come closer to an objective evaluation of what's really going on. Even people who sincerely endeavor to do the latter often fail--such is the nature of the human brain--but that just means that rational analysis is difficult, not impossible. Studying something with "a desire to believe" is directly indulging in these biases. It is encouraging it. Relying on it. Letting it carry the day. Somebody who is trying to come to the actual truth will in fact do the opposite of this.

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He is addressing a binary. This is a call to a) avoid being socially conditioned in the direction of disbelief by continual rehearsal of critical narratives, which would trigger the Illusory Truth Effect and thus increase doubts illegitimately, right? It is also a call to b) choose which frame you will approach the questions from. President Nelson assumes that there is no neutral. The scriptures also assume such. And I think it is right. The gospel is such an emotionally charged topic that any pretension to neutrality requires conscious repression of one's own cognitive tendencies, which to me constitutes a form of self-deception.

How can such repression be properly calculated so as to be truth-tracking instead of merely chaotic? How can we trust it? It seems better to me to let my cognitive faculties interpret the way they will and let the chips fall where they may, rather than try to put my finger on the scale in a vain pursuit for "neutrality." 

I turn here to William James. He makes a salient point in his beatdown of W.K. Clifford which deserves repeating. The world is not an abstraction. The decision to believe or not to believe has consequences far beyond academic theories. In such an environment, the burden of proof for a belief is influenced by the consequences of accepting that belief. I think that the burden of proof for potential disproofs of the gospel is such that, if they are true, they should be able to withstand being observed from a faithful lens. If they cannot, then they don't deserve to succeed.  

Like I said. If the objective is to believe, relying on these biases is a great way to achieve that objective.

Edited by Analytics
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14 hours ago, CA Steve said:

I think sometimes we do not see how a certain passages sounds to those who do not hold the same views we do. For example if we were to take President Nelson's quote and change it to another source and belief, how does it sound to us then?

I am not comparing Scientology to Mormonism rather I am comparing the methodology suggested. 

We should always maintain what we know in good faith until / unless the seed "groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away." (Alma 32). We should always maintain what we know in good faith without attributing and nurturing doubts to individuals, a lack of critical thinking, ignoring reliable sources, studying in good faith and not to flaws in others, etc. That way errors will become self-evident.

I think you've conflated beliefs and practices with conscience in that last substitution: we should not let the set of beliefs and practices guide us, but our intent and conscience. E.g., we should not allow Mormonism to lead us, but the Lord. We should not allow Scientology to lead us, but our intent and conscience on our journey of discovery.

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7 minutes ago, Analytics said:

Like I said. If the objective is to believe, relying on these biases is a great way to achieve that objective.

But the objective is to believe, test, and then to know, do and become. Confirmation bias is countered by good faith exploration, even if you later find that you were wrong.

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4 minutes ago, CV75 said:

We should always maintain what we know in good faith until / unless the seed "groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away." (Alma 32). We should always maintain what we know in good faith without attributing and nurturing doubts to individuals, a lack of critical thinking, ignoring reliable sources, studying in good faith and not to flaws in others, etc. That way errors will become self-evident.

I think you've conflated beliefs and practices with conscience in that last substitution: we should not let the set of beliefs and practices guide us, but our intent and conscience. E.g., we should not allow Mormonism to lead us, but the Lord. We should not allow Scientology to lead us, but our intent and conscience on our journey of discovery.

Sounds like something my thetans would say.

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

Sounds like something my thetans would say.

aka, fundamentally, the light of Christ!

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3 minutes ago, CV75 said:

aka, fundamentally, the light of Christ!

Considering they spend most of the day telling me to burn things and when I don’t start whining about what a waste of space I am I hope it is not the Light of Christ.

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13 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I think you've conflated beliefs and practices with conscience in that last substitution:

Feel free to substitute another religion.

My point remains. Would you encourage adherents of another religion to maintain their beliefs in the same manner?

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32 minutes ago, CV75 said:

But the objective is to believe, test, and then to know, do and become. Confirmation bias is countered by good faith exploration, even if you later find that you were wrong.

No, what you call "good faith exploration" is engaging in confirmation bias as a mechanism to build faith.

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14 hours ago, Teancum said:

Well this is the dilemma of religion. In order to keep you in line they have to disparage skeptical inquiry and honest doubts as well as disparage those who lose their faith.  Your know the lazy learners.....

It is all about mind control.

 

I think there may be four ways to go about this. 1. People who choose to believe without thought. 2. People who refuse to believe. 3. People who flop back and forth between them.  4. People who do the work to find out where they should be and then choose to believe or choose not to believe.

The first 3 are the lazy learners.  

The fourth does take a lot of work.  It's important to find out just what is true and how to live your life.  But ultimately if you stay at this point you are going to waste a lot of your life working on it.  At some you need to make the decision, whether you recognize it or not to either choose to believe or not.  Ultimately doing neither makes person number 4 turn into person 3.

Choosing to believe is not a problem if you are not a lazy learner.  Think of the concentration it took in learning to tie your shoe.  Now you can do it without thinking about it.  Imagine concentrating so much on it so much still.  Multiply that with all the simple things you learned in your early years.  So much time and effort! It's a good thing we can do those things now without much thought - but we wouldn't be able to do them in the first place if we hadn't made the effort.

It's the same thing with belief of lack of belief.  We need to put in the effort to find out whether we should believe or not, but at some point we need to choose one and get past concentrating on tying our shoes.

 

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1 minute ago, Rain said:

I think there may be four ways to go about this. 1. People who choose to believe without thought. 2. People who refuse to believe. 3. People who flop back and forth between them.  4. People who do the work to find out where they should be and then choose to believe or choose not to believe.

The first 3 are the lazy learners.  

The fourth does take a lot of work.  It's important to find out just what is true and how to live your life.  But ultimately if you stay at this point you are going to waste a lot of your life working on it.  At some you need to make the decision, whether you recognize it or not to either choose to believe or not.  Ultimately doing neither makes person number 4 turn into person 3.

Choosing to believe is not a problem if you are not a lazy learner.  Think of the concentration it took in learning to tie your shoe.  Now you can do it without thinking about it.  Imagine concentrating so much on it so much still.  Multiply that with all the simple things you learned in your early years.  So much time and effort! It's a good thing we can do those things now without much thought - but we wouldn't be able to do them in the first place if we hadn't made the effort.

It's the same thing with belief of lack of belief.  We need to put in the effort to find out whether we should believe or not, but at some point we need to choose one and get past concentrating on tying our shoes.

 

Beautifully said.

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18 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Imagine being someone that is trying to make a mixed faith marriage work. How do you think hearing your spouse or yourself described as a "lazy learner" / "lax disciple" here or "sinner" / "taffy puller" / "unruly child"  elsewhere impacts that dynamic? Does it help or does it merely serve to drive a wedge deeper on an already extremely painful issue.

I also think this might cause the believers to wonder what Pres Nelson is saying, maybe they don't realize there are many doubters and will that cause them to have doubts. If it's such a problem, will someone unaware of these people wonder why? And will that make them search out the problems? I have felt for a long time that the more the church brings it up the more problems it will bring. 

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33 minutes ago, Rain said:

t some point we need to choose one and get past concentrating on tying our shoes.

The older I get the more I am discovering different ways to tie my shoes.

Edited by CA Steve
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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Considering they spend most of the day telling me to burn things and when I don’t start whining about what a waste of space I am I hope it is not the Light of Christ.

Oh, that is just a matter of correction and fine-tuning through the process of beginning with what you’ve got and advancing in your belief, testing and actions, knowledge and positive attributes. It is not lazy learning. Even the Scientologist can become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ given this honest approach to epistemology.

1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

Feel free to substitute another religion.

My point remains. Would you encourage adherents of another religion to maintain their beliefs in the same manner?

My point is that any religion will do. Anyone can be “as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things” and begin with what they’ve got and advance in their belief, testing and actions, knowledge and positive attributes. The antithesis of the “lazy learner.”

Yes, I would encourage anyone to follow this approach (regardless of their level of receptiveness to my more direct proselytizing) because I know they will eventually benefit from knowing their own religion better, leading them to discover and advance in the Restored Gospel.

1 hour ago, Analytics said:

No, what you call "good faith exploration" is engaging in confirmation bias as a mechanism to build faith.

No, what I call good faith exploration is beginning with what you’ve got and by being “meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things” (i.e. open minded) in order to advance in belief, testing and actions, knowledge and positive attributes. Not for the “lazy learner.”

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3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

The older I get the more I am discovering different ways to tie my shoes.

If they all produce the same result, they are all valid.

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Thank you all for your thoughtful response.  Gave me a lot to think about, especially @SeekingUnderstanding. I agree words matter.

So what I think I am hearing is that there will not be a good way to approach this unless the church includes a "and at the end of it all - if you find your searching leads you away from the church, then that is alright."  Is that correct?  My personal approach tends to lean this way with my loved ones, but I can understand why the church would not officially want to let the camel's nose in the tent this way. 

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