I am putting together some training for the stake leaders. your thoughts. This is to be a resource for dealing with Faith Crisis w/o opening the issues to them that perhaps they are not prepared to handle.
What am I missing??????
A.) Acknowledge incorrect Doctrine
You have to acknowledge that church leaders at times in sharing their opinions taught incorrect principles or doctrine. For example Elder McConkie teaching that Evolution was a heresy while the First Presidenctcy both before and after said the church has no doctrine regarding evolution and members are free to believe either way.
At best the examples below are viable opinions and at worst these are false doctrine
1 – Great and abominable church is the Catholic Church
2- Evolution is a heresy
3 – Earth is only 6000 years old
4- Dinosaurs came from other worlds
5 - Joseph Smith was close to perfect.
6 - Earth is only 6000 years old
7 - Bigfoot is cain
8 - Jesus born on April 6th
9 - God is polygamous
10 - Jesus had multiple wives
11 – It is possible to become perfect in this life
12 - Follow the prophet at all costs, even if it goes against your conscience.
13 - certain specific forms of intimacy between a husband and wife is sin meanwhile others leaders said the intimacy was off limits.
14 - Coffee is excluded because of tanic acid or some other reason
15 - Jesus didn't really drink real wine it was grapejuice only.
16- God doesn't want us to have facial hair in our current times.
17- Thomash Marsh left the church of cream and strippings (primary reason)-
18 - black people were cursed
B.) They need to understand how faith develops and as they understand that they see that struggling in their faith is normal and they are not alone.
1.) This can be done by understanding James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith” or other cognitive theories on belief such as “Perry’s Scheme of Cognitive and Ethical Development” Fowler’s can be taught very simply
C.) They have to confront their false expectations and assumptions. For example many LDS see the prophet as infalliable but that couldn't be further from the truth or doctrine of the church. There are multiple.
Examples of incorrect assumptions
- Prophets and Apostles are infalliable or always speak for the church when teaching.
- Mistakes by Church leaders have not occurred throughout all dispensations.
- Faith Crisis is found primarily among those of the LDS Faith.
- The “BOM” as the “most correct book” implies there is no room for spelling, grammar, or linguistic errors.
- That all rules and laws in the gospel are black and white (Lying)
- Just because someone with more experience in the church teaches something , doesn’t make it accurate
- The Prophet and Apostles must speak to Christ on a regular basis
- Everything the church teaches is all the available truth on the Church’s History or lives of it’s leaders
- Doctrine is a giant tent that includes policies, cultural standards, appendages such as the WOW
- We should follow the prophet blindly no matter what.
- It is possible for all of us to know with 100% certainity that the church is true. The evidence should be dramatically in the church’s favor. That perfect Knowledge is attainable by all.
- A group of Facts can only be interpreted to guide you to a single conclusion.
D.) They have to have resources for their questions to be answered.
- http://www.fairblog.org/2012/12/12/keep ... eel-story/
- http://www.fairblog.org/2012/12/12/keep ... eel-story/
- http://mormonstories.org/terryl-givens- ... mormonism/
- http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/28/keep ... aith-pt-1/
- http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/28/keep ... aith-pt-2/
- http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/28/keep ... aith-pt-3/
- http://www.fairblog.org/2012/11/28/keep ... aith-pt-4/
E.) they have to see faith as a choice. They have to come to grips with the fact that this journey is about acting in faith and that there is evidence on both sides to leave one to choose Faith or to choose doubt... we are to act and not be acted upon. The Lord is sifting wheat from tares. And it is not a comfortable feeling to be in the middle of the sifting.
Elder Holland –when asked “What about people who question the history of the Book of Mormon?”
There are plenty of people who question the historicity of the Book of Mormon, and they are firmly in this church -- firmly, in their mind, in this church -- and the church isn't going to take action against that. [The church] probably will be genuinely disappointed, but there isn't going to be action against that, not until it starts to be advocacy: "Not only do I disbelieve in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, I want you to disbelieve." At that point, we're going to have a conversation. A little of that is more tolerated than I think a lot of people think it should be. But I think we want to be tolerant any way we can. ... "Patient" maybe is a better word than "tolerant." We want to be patient and charitable to the extent that we can, but there is a degree beyond which we can't go.
Marlin Jensen - We need to do the same for those people who are feeling disaffected – for whatever reason… doctrinally, or socially. I mean, if we really are truly Christian, it has to start there. Being less judgmental. Being more open and welcoming and inclusive. Someone asked Robert Frost once, 'What's the ugliest word in the English language?' And he said, 'Exclusive.' I think it is, too, in a way. So, if that environment can be created, and it should be, but often in the church, when someone comes with a bit of a prickly question, he'll be met with a bishop who number one, doesn't know the answer. Number two, he snaps and says, 'Get in line and don't question the prophet, and get back and do your home teaching.' And that isn't helpful in most cases. So, we need to educate our leaders better, I think, to be sympathetic and empathetic and to draw out of these people where they are coming from and what's brought them to the point they are at. What they have read, what they are thinking is, and try to understand them. Sometimes that alone is enough to help someone through a hard time. But beyond that, I think we really need to figure out a way to live a little bit with people who may never get completely settled."
Lastly this is a tough subject because you can't have this discussion with someone who is unaware of the issues, as it opens a can of worms for them and can cause them to struggle with their faith dealing with a plethora of new issues they had never even considered. On the other hand those struggling, need someone to go to. and there needs to be some amount of awareness.
It is a fine line of saying too much or saying too little and either way to far can be more hurtful then helpful