"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specific)

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Life_Journey_of_Matt
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"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specific)

Post by Life_Journey_of_Matt » 07 Oct 2013, 16:04

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/w ... 001&cid=12 (Go to about 11:20 to get to this section of his talk)

I was going to tack this on to the other threads, but I thought this needed its own attention. It is true that much of social media has reduced Elder Uchtdorf's beautiful talk to this one line: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I sadly fear that the average TBM in the church heard something like this as they listened to his talk: "Blah blah blah...some things just don't make sense to us right now...blah blah blah...nobody's perfect...blah blah blah...Doubt is bad! Faith is good! Amen."

Now, the wise sentiment I choose to find in his statement is that it is important to apply scrutiny to both 1.the reasons for your doubts, and 2.the reasons for your beliefs. Still, I wonder if we are not continuing to cultivate an undue fear of doubt. Consider a quote from UU pastor Robert T. Weston:

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth.
Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.
A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error,
for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.
Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.
Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it;
for doubt is a testing of belief.
The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;
For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.
He that would silence doubt is filled with fear;
the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands.
But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock.
He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;
the work of his hands shall endure.
Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:
It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.
"So oft in theologic wars / The disputants, I ween, / Rail on in utter ignorance / Of what each other mean / And prate about an Elephant / Not one of them has seen." -- from "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by John Godfrey Saxe

"The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

My ongoing story: http://precariousironrod.com/

Roy
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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by Roy » 07 Oct 2013, 16:40

I agree with you but I think back to what was said after the missionary age change was announced. "Only one miracle at a time."

In Elder Holland's wonderful talk, "Help thou my Unbelief", He talks about the worth of belief and then closes by talking about what he KNOWS and invites those that only believe to lean on that knowledge.

I believe that these types of statements tie the new ideas back to the old ways. To give the old gaurd and generation just enough of a soundbite to keep them from saying, "What the Twinkie? :wtf: ETB would never stand for this type of "kumbaya, let's all hold hands, and get along even when you are a backslider" nonsense!!!" I guess what I'm saying is that the change must be gradual enough to almost not be noticed unless you are looking for it or there may be a risk of confusing and alienating the base of the church.
"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

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mackay11
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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by mackay11 » 07 Oct 2013, 17:23

Despite the frustration of it becoming the 'wrong soundbite' from the talk I actually think it's very good advice.

We really should do more to question whether we're so certain about the conclusion we reach that means Mormonism isn't what we thought it was. Did that make sense?

I've discovered in my studies that the leaders have sometimes been wrong. Therefore, if they are sometimes demonstrably wrong in their conclusions it stands to reason that I must be too sometimes (maybe often). It's not possible that I can be more right in my 'world perspective' than the other 7billion on the earth. It's improbable to the point of almost impossible.

Sooo... if my conclusions are 'probably wrong' (even though they work for me) then it stands to reason that it's possible that Mormon prophets are actually right (even though I'm convinced they sometimes aren't). If it's possible that they are sometimes not wrong (or often are right) then I should give them at least a bit of the benefit of the doubt a little more often.

This is of course a circular arguement. But it surprisingly seems to currently save my sanity than chase it away.

conflicted testimony
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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by conflicted testimony » 07 Oct 2013, 18:16

I doubt a lot of things that quite possibly save my life. I have a lot of (sometimes over-inflated) faith in my abilities to do things, it is the small niggling doubt that makes me stop and think sensibly, and remind me that my vision is not what it use to be, my reflexes are slower and I am slower to heal if it goes horribly wrong.

So I am doubting leaving the church right now for many reasons (mostly family). I have faith that I will be ok by stepping outside the "comfort and protection" of the church. So that, in effect, is giving me the totally opposite outcome of what is intended in the talk. If I were to follow my faith in myself and the prompting I am receiving, I would be out of there right now.

I just hope that doesn't become another obstacle to keep people from thinking, and following everything blindly.

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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Oct 2013, 18:40

ct, Pres. Uchtdorf said members need to understand and accept whatever decision you reach.

I actually like the quote - a lot. It doesn't say, "Never doubt your faith." It doesn't say, "Always doubt your doubts." It says, to change the wording but retain the meaning, "Before you doubt your faith, doubt your doubts."

In other words, it says, "Don't abandon your faith because of your doubts until you've examined those doubts thoroughly, to the extent even of "doubting" them. Once you've done that, doubting your faith follows." Another way would be, "Don't throw out the faith baby before before you examine the doubt bathwater."

I think that is wonderful advice, as worded - even though I think most people who are reposting it all over social media don't understand it very deeply and, in fact, misunderstand it.
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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SilentDawning
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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Oct 2013, 18:47

I knew Ray would pick up on the fact that Elder U's advice had a chronological order to it...he didn't say "don't doubt"...he said question your doubts BEFORE you doubt your faith. Now, I hope that's what he meant.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Life_Journey_of_Matt
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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by Life_Journey_of_Matt » 07 Oct 2013, 19:18

SilentDawning wrote:Now, I hope that's what he meant.
As do I. I've really grown fond of the guy.
"So oft in theologic wars / The disputants, I ween, / Rail on in utter ignorance / Of what each other mean / And prate about an Elephant / Not one of them has seen." -- from "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by John Godfrey Saxe

"The faith that stands on authority is not faith. The reliance on authority measures the decline of religion, the withdrawal of the soul." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

My ongoing story: http://precariousironrod.com/

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DarkJedi
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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by DarkJedi » 07 Oct 2013, 20:01

Ray Degraw wrote:I think that is wonderful advice, as worded - even though I think most people who are reposting it all over social media don't understand it very deeply and, in fact, misunderstand it.
I agree on both counts, Ray. I'm thinking the mass reposting folks didn't really listen to his talk - they saw that quote, liked it, and shared it. I don't think there's ill intent there. Nevertheless, I also agree they don't really understand it, nor do they really understand the rest of what Pres. Uchtdorf said. That may partly come from hearing what they want to hear. I certainly heard what I wanted to hear, I'm pretty sure my wife heard something completely different from that talk - and I think that's true of everybody. We all heard it a little bit differently (based on our individual points of view, of course). As I stated earlier in another thread, when I have that meeting with the bishop (it's going to be very soon now) I'm going to ask him to read the talk. I've actually decided that I'm going to ask him to read it before our meeting and pledge that I will do the same. In the interview I want to ask him what he heard, and I want to share with him what I heard. I'm looking forward to an uplifting experience for both of us - but I'm also willing to bet that he heard the doubt your doubts line and that it will play a far more prominent role in his interpretation of the talk than it will mine.
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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Re: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." (Specif

Post by Roy » 08 Oct 2013, 14:48

mackay11 wrote:We really should do more to question whether we're so certain about the conclusion we reach that means Mormonism isn't what we thought it was. Did that make sense?

I've discovered in my studies that the leaders have sometimes been wrong. Therefore, if they are sometimes demonstrably wrong in their conclusions it stands to reason that I must be too sometimes (maybe often). It's not possible that I can be more right in my 'world perspective' than the other 7billion on the earth. It's improbable to the point of almost impossible.

Sooo... if my conclusions are 'probably wrong' (even though they work for me) then it stands to reason that it's possible that Mormon prophets are actually right (even though I'm convinced they sometimes aren't). If it's possible that they are sometimes not wrong (or often are right) then I should give them at least a bit of the benefit of the doubt a little more often.
Truly, you have a dizzying intellect! :crazy: :lol:
"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

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