LAST WEEK, I LISTENED to a previously recorded broadcast of LDS apologist and nuanced thinker, Patrick Mason, who asked something like: how can we minister to members with serious doubts and difficult questions about LDS doctrine and practice? It’s something I’ve thought a great deal about. But this time, the question hit me differently, and I understood the disempowerment inherent in categorizing people in faith (or trust) crisis as doubters and questioners of the gospel rather than as those in disagreement with the LDS Church. I felt down to my bones how condescending the question is, how it supposes doubts and questions are weaknesses in need of fixing as opposed to a step forward along a path of spiritual growth.
I consider myself a nuanced Latter-day Saint, but I’m not someone plagued with doubts and questions that disrupt my faith in God. I’m a woman who’s invested decades in study, reflection, and prayer about the difficult realities associated with being LDS. Although I’ll never relinquish questioning as a vehicle for learning or cease to view faith as impossible without its companion, doubt, I assert I am not weakened because of these perspectives, nor am I living in some miserable state of unknowing. My state of unknowing broadens me because it prevents me from shutting out possibilities. My study, reflection, and prayer (each catapulted by curiosity and desire for self improvement) have brought me to a state of disagreement with the LDS institution on some significant issues, not to a state of faithlessness in God.Continue reading “The Strength of Serious Doubt, Difficult Questions, and Disagreement with the LDS Church”