That being said, what are one or two things that:
- Keep your faith alive.
- You have reservations about despite seemingly working for others.
- Are red lines that you won't cross in terms of your convictions (i.e., if someone bluntly asks, "do you believe that?" you must honestly answer, "no, I don't").
1. The Good
- If life exists now, the laws of mathematical probability dictate that it must always have existed and will always exist. Life is eternal. That being the case, humanity is on an almost explosive trajectory toward artificial intelligence, which, given enough time and resources, could yield an omniscient presence if it manages to avoid annihilating everything as it develops. In my view, the LDS Church has the most credible explanation for what God is all about for the most part, but I'm beginning to accept that God may not be what we have been led to believe by our stablemates who also look through a glass, darkly. Still, the idea of a great plan — rather than a great anarchy — resonates with me.
- If the Book of Mormon was produced in the timescales claimed, it was nothing short of a modern-day miracle. Try dreaming up (if not translating) just a fraction of the length of the material produced within a few weeks — in coherent sentences and paragraphs — to discover what a truly remarkable achievement it was.
- Prayer. I accept that it can be therapeutic to pray, but I don't believe God steps in to invoke change based on the prayers of individuals or of multitudes. I am willing to let it go, but when I peel back the layers, I am unconvinced.
- Scriptures. Christianity cherry picks the bits that support the narrative it wishes to hear and discards the rest. If some parts were inspired while others were not, what does that imply about the gift of prophecy?
- Garments and much of the temple experience. I've been doing it for over 40 years, so I can handle it — but I suspect the primary purpose is to keep us invested "in the club." I took out my endowment back in the day when it included death threats. How was that content inspired if it has since been removed? Am I still under the original covenant that has been removed?
- Teachings about gender and identity — past and present. If the Spirit has ever taught me anything, it's that doctrine in this area is little more than the expression of uninspired gut feelings touted by conservatives.
3. The Ugly
- Polygamy. Yuck. For me, it should be a dictionary definition example of the word "predilection." And people who supported it (and probably still would given half a chance) would convince us that it is me who is a pervert.
- Murder for the greater good in the Book of Mormon. Nope, I won't accept it being justified under any circumstances. Why stop there? How about rape for the greater good? Maybe throwing individuals off roofs for the greater good — oh, hang on, that's still done in some parts of the world.