On Facebook, I have been attempting to engage my family so they can explore for themselves things I have learned. I suspect, though, that the backfire effect has reared its head and my family has entrenched themselves even deeper into the delusion of LDS belief. I am my own worst enemy.
So, I have chosen to desist on Facebook and put my thoughts here.
Now, speaking of choice.
What differentiates me from someone like one of my uncles, an educator who has read at least as much as I and who has studied areas I have not? How can I drop the beliefs I grew up with while he has developed an attitude of expansiveness?
I am a reasonable person, I think. Rational. I look back on my religious upbringing and see a lot of encouragement to exercise faith. Faith in what? LDS members are told their faith should ultimately be placed in Jesus Christ. But that isn’t all. Faith must be placed in leadership. In teachers. In parents. In teachings. In the Spirit. In scripture, particularly the Book of Mormon.
That seems to me to be a lot of faith needing to be placed in insubstantial things. Of course, leadership, parents, teachers, and books are not insubstantial! But where one’s faith needs to be placed essentially is insubstantial.
Like when leaders tell us that when leadership speaks, the thinking has been done. Like believing the story of the First Vision (but which version?). Like believing the story of the translation of the Book of Mormon (interpreters, Urim and Thummim, or seer stone in a hat?). Well, read any of the so-called “Essays“. There are things contained therein that I was not taught in my youth, that I did not teach as a Missionary, or that I was not taught as a young married adult. Or was taught differently.
Faith is asking too much. I am sticking to reason. If there is evidence, I’m in!