Thursday, April 25, 2013

When Faith Fails

Something happened this week. And man . . . it was just such an awful thing. This church apologetics bug strikes both ways. For people who ask questions slowly with one eye on faith all the time seeking to understand and enhance, it is a godsend. At least it has been for me. When I found FAIR a few years ago it was like coming home to my people. Over the years I found many answers to periphery things and much to stimulate my mind and grow my testimony.

Now imagine that you stumble across LDS apologetics all at once. . . and in a way that simply creates questions for you that you had never had in 40 years. Suddenly it just looks like a gateway to what-else-have-they-been-keeping-from-me and an invitation to visit other venues as well. Venues where people share their poignant and sometimes angry exits with such logic that you doubt every spiritual impression you've ever had. Well, if you can imagine that, then you can imagine the conflict that has played out over the last two months in two very dear, once-faithful friends. Maybe this broad statement reminds you of some people that you love too.

I can't help thinking if they had just hung on long enough to hear Elder Holland's wonderful April Conference talk things might be different. But I don't know. Maybe there is nothing that will help. At least not today.

Plantboy sent me a Q & A that was done with President Hinckley by the Ensign back in 1985. There is one quote in particular from his remarks that I love. When asked about seeming discrepancies in Church history and if was all right to seek answers, he affirmed that it was all right. However, he did leave a caution,

"When we are called before the bar of God to give an accounting of our performance, I think it unlikely that any of us will be commended for wearing out our lives in an effort to find some morsel of history, incomplete in its context, to cast doubt on the integrity of this work. Rather, I believe we will be examined on what we did to build the kingdom, to bring light and understanding of the eternal truths of the gospel to the eyes and minds of all who are willing to listen, to care for the poor and the needy, and to make of the world a better place as a result of our presence."

Well, said, President Hinckley. Very well said.


Janssen said...

This was just exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for your faithful AND questioning example - I'm so grateful to you.

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

This happened with a relative of mine about a year ago. While it grieves my heart, I've been surprised to find that it has made my own testimony and love of the Gospel stronger.

As I consider her doubts and grievances, I remember all the confirmations I've received that this Gospel is true. As I see how unhappy and empty her life has become, I feel so grateful for the peace and clarity God's plan and principles offer me. I hope she'll remember it, too, someday.

Cathy said...

I'm posting a link to an Ensign article about intellect and faith. It was especially significant to me because the author is my cousin(well, step-cousin) and so I know that her intellect is strong and so is her faith. She's amazing, and that gave greater depth to this article for me. It can stand on its own though--is a well-written piece and explores what it is like to reconcile faith and intellect.

Desmama said...

Excellent observation by Pres. Hinckley. And Elder Holland's talk was masterful (as his usually are). Thank you for posting this.

kanaboke said...

Thanks for posting this!