Doubt is not always a matter of choice. With regard to many LDSs who experience a crisis of faith, I would state the matter more strongly: Doubt is rarely a matter of choice. In this previous post I told a fictional story about Jack, who was born in the Church, loved the Church, but came to doubt the Church. For people such as Jack, keeping his faith in the Church would in many regards make his life easier. Transitioning out of the Church would entail painful personal and social consequences. I’m of the mind that very few people actively seek out that kind of disruption. Continue reading “Doubt is Not Always a Choice”
On Doubt and Trust
Doubt can be thought of as a kind of questioning; and to question is to ask for reasons or an explanation for something one does not understand. One might wonder, for instance, what the Church does with its money. People do not always provide reasonable answers to questions; and how one processes an unreasonable answer will depend on a number of factors including one’s relationship with the individuals (or entities) one questions. If I trust the Church, for instance, I am much more likely to accept an answer that does not provide reasons. In looking at the question about how the Church handles its money, I might accept “doing good things” as an answer even if such an answer does not fully address the question.
In my experience, there are a lot of things we (LDSs) accept on trust. We trust that the Church is spending our money responsibly and ethically. We trust that keeping the commandments will bring blessings. We trust that our leadership receives revelation to guide our lives, etc. Trust, IMO, is often good; and it is an important part of a meaningful relationship. The trouble with trust, however, is at least two-fold. For one, trust is much easier lost than it is gained. One untrustworthy act can unfortunately undo a dozen trustworthy ones. Secondly, trust must be continually renewed. In some regards, trust is like money in a bank account. Every time I say, “trust me,” I withdraw some money from the account. If I do not replenish the account, there will come a time when the account will be empty.
I believe that many disaffected members of the Church are disaffected because this bank account of trust has zeroed out. Continue reading “On Doubt and Trust”