Doubt your doubts

Public forum for those seeking support for their experience in the LDS Church.
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Thoreau
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Doubt your doubts

Post by Thoreau » 06 Nov 2013, 22:57

I doubted my doubts and look where it took me. You doubt and dig deeper.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau

church0333
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Location: Springfield OR

Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by church0333 » 06 Nov 2013, 23:28

Ain't that the truth. The more I doubt the more I research and thus the more I doubt. My faith is getting weaker but I find my ability to deal with it has become stronger in many ways. Maybe I just don't care that much anymore and tried of trying to fake it. I was talking to a friend who his about 4 months into his faith crisis and he is at the very angry stage and would be happy to see the church go down in flames and I was the one encouraging him to keep it together for a little longer and see if the church can be a little more honest about its history.

Ann
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by Ann » 07 Nov 2013, 03:00

church0333 wrote:
My faith is getting weaker but I find my ability to deal with it has become stronger in many ways.
Seems like there is a word for that ability, but I can't think of what it is right now. It's very comforting, though, and functions like my faith used to. Maybe it's serenity.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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mackay11
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by mackay11 » 07 Nov 2013, 04:33

I loved that he said "doubt your doubts" not "ignore your doubts." Despite the fact that it's been hi-jacked as a 'mormon meme' I smile a little when I see so many people sharing what is, essentially, an acceptance that there will be doubts that legitimately challenge your faith. Yes, of course we should doubt them first. Challenge them, study them, look to the original sources in context. At the end of that, there are some doubts that I've set aside and decided there's not enough evidence to have them affect my faith. But there are several others that still stand and do challenge my faith, even after I doubted them.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Nov 2013, 05:54

Pres. Uchtdorf:
Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?”

It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is some context to "doubt your doubts." The first paragraph talks about how natural it is to have questions, how there are few members who have not had questions, and how one purpose of the church is to nurture faith. It concludes with the statement about faith being hope for things that are true but not seen. The word faith has several related definitions which I believe can be summed up as a "firm belief" especially related to a religious belief. The word hope does not indicate a knowledge, it indicates a desire or perhaps a desire with an expectation. I think that last sentence in the first paragraph can be modified to "Firm belief is a desire for things which are not seen but which are true" without changing its meaning.

The second paragraph starts with the word "Therefore." Therefore is a word used to indicate a conclusion is following. It means "for that reason" or "because of this." The second paragraph, then, really starts with "because of this"...first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. I think that sentence was crafted very carefully and purposely. Pres. Uchtdorf could have simply said "therefore, doubt your doubts." But he didn't leave it at that, he included "before your doubt your faith." Doubt means to feel uncertain about. So now we have a sentence that says "Because questions are natural, there are few members who have not had questions, and the church is here to nurture firm belief; and because firm belief is a desire for things which are not seen but are true, feel uncertain about your feelings of uncertainty before you feel uncertain about your firm beliefs." I think before is a key word in that sentence, both the original and the revised. Going back to the first paragraph, Pres. Uchtdorf mentioned how the "acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding." At no time has Pres. Uchtdorf indicated it is wrong to question or doubt, and in fact honest questions often lead to very strong (indicated by the oak) understanding. I think Pres. Uchtdorf did mean for us to question our doubts, to feel uncertain about our uncertainties, but after we have done that, after we have honestly inquired about our uncertainties, then we are in a position to feel uncertain about and honestly question our firm beliefs.

I think Pres. Uchtdorf's hope is that after questioning our doubts then questioning our faith we will develop that "mighty oak of understanding" which can include both doubt and faith because (yes, there's more) we shouldn't let feelings of uncertainty keep us from "the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." When the scriptures speak of faith, they generally mean specific faith in Jesus Christ as referenced here by Pres. Uchtdorf. Many of us - almost every member according to Pres. Uchtdorf - have or have had questions or feelings of uncertainty about some aspects of the church. Usually those things are some question or doubt about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, or wrongs committed by church leaders past or present among other things. We can't let our feelings of uncertainty keep us (hold us prisoner) from the love, peace and blessings that come from a firm belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(Edited to fix typos)
Last edited by DarkJedi on 07 Nov 2013, 14:54, edited 3 times in total.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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mackay11
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by mackay11 » 07 Nov 2013, 07:44

DarkJedi wrote:Pres. Uchtdorf:
Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?”

It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is some context to "doubt your doubt." The first paragraph talks about how natural it is to have questions how there are few members who have not had questions, and how one purpose of the church is to nurture faith. It concludes with the statement about faith being hope for things that are true but not seen. The word faith has several related definitions which I believe can be summed up as a "firm belief" especially related to a religious belief. The word hope does not indicate a knowledge, it indicates a desire or perhaps a desire with an expectation. I think that last sentence in the first paragraph can be modified to "Firm belief is a desire for things which are not seen but which are true" without changing its meaning.

The second paragraph starts with the word "Therefore." Therefore is a word used to indicate a conclusion is following. It means "for that reason" or "because of this." The second paragraph, then, really starts with "because of this"...first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. I think that sentence was crafted very carefully and purposely. Pres. Uchtdorf could have simply said "therefore, doubt your doubts." But he didn't leave it at that, he included "before your doubt your faith." Doubt means to feel uncertain about. So now we have a sentence that says "Because questions are natural, there are few members who have not had questions, and the church is here to nurture firm belief; and because firm belief is a desire for things which are not seen but are true, feel uncertain about your feelings of uncertainty before[i/] you feel uncertain about your firm beliefs." I think before is a key word in that sentence, both the original and the revised. Going back to the first paragraph, Pres. Uchtdorf mentioned how the "acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding." At no time has pres. Uchtdorf indicated it is wrong to question or doubt, and in fact honest questions often lead to very strong (indicated by the oak) understanding. I think Pres. Uchtdorf did mean for us to question our doubts, to feel uncertain about our uncertainties, but after we have done that, after we have honestly inquired about our uncertainties, then we are in a position to feel uncertain about our firm beliefs.

I think Pres. Uchtdorf's hope is that after questioning our doubts then questioning our faith we will develop that "mighty oak of understanding" which can include both doubt and faith because (yes, there's more) we shouldn't let feelings of uncertainty keep us from "the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." When the scriptures speak of faith, they generally mean specific faith in Jesus Christ as referenced here by Pres. Uchtdorf. Many of us - almost every member according to Pres. Uchtdorf - have or have had questions or feelings of uncertainty about some aspects of the church. Usually those things are some question or doubt about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, or wrongs committed by church leaders past or present among other things. We can't let our feelings of uncertainty keep us (hold us prisoner) from the love, peace and blessings that come from a firm belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Really excellent analysis Dark Jedi. Really appreciate that perspective. If we have a lesson on this topic I might have to bookmark this comment to use in the class.

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SamBee
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by SamBee » 07 Nov 2013, 12:13

Quite a Buddhist idea. Doubt doubt. If you meet the Buddha kill him.

Of course, a lot of folk will think it is a command to be more conservative whereas, to me, it means test everything, especially your assumptions.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by Roy » 07 Nov 2013, 13:43

mackay11 wrote:Really excellent analysis Dark Jedi. Really appreciate that perspective. If we have a lesson on this topic I might have to bookmark this comment to use in the class.
I agree! Given this analysis I might rephrase this catchphrase as "Give faith the benefit of the doubt." I hope to do this. In areas of uncertainty - I hold open the possibility of faith. In areas where my faith makes me a better person, I might even choose the position of faith over a more logical conclusion - simply for the positive net effect of faith in my life. But this faith I speak of is my personal faith, and is not now directly connected with the COJCOLDS.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2013, 14:40

Excellent, DJ. Truly excellent analysis.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Thoreau
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Re: Doubt your doubts

Post by Thoreau » 07 Nov 2013, 20:10

What all the above said. You were able to put my feelings into words.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau

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