There are a lot of “old sectarian notions” that Mormons accept without questioning or examining. The idea that we think we know it all, and therefore, there is no need to think more deeply about it, or query the mind and will of the Lord on the matter, it itself an “old sectarian notion”.
In fact, one of the defining characteristics of a sect is that they have notions substituting for true factual and revelatory insights.
I see it as a unintended test (but a test nonetheless) to see how long people will tolerate being governed and judged by a book of rules they cannot read (unless it is leaked), and by “revelations” they cannot read and have no voice in sustaining.
The Law of Moses was intended to be a “schoolmaster” to lead us to Christ. Its purpose was to impose such heavy burdens on the people that they would be led to see the futility of the law as a means to achieve perfection and would be brought to that point of tension in their lives where they are forced to seek “a more excellent way”.
The situation is similar today. The Letter of the law or the Spirit of the law. Obedience by micromanagement, or obedience by following the Two Great Commandments.
There are many people, especially LGBT people, who are at this point of decision in their lives and are faced with choices they refuse to make. Gay, Happy, Mormon. They can’t have all three with making some complicated rationalizations which force them to “navigate” their way through life.
The purpose of this policy is to force a decision: either stay in the church, fall in line, support the leaders with all your heart, live celibate,and cease whining about about the policy, or leave the church, live your own life, make your own peace with God, and create your own relationship and your own family with somebody you truly love.
If this policy doesn’t force people to face reality and the decision they must make, the Lord will surely up the ante, and another, even more stringent rule, regulation, or policy will leak out and bring them even closer to decision.
People act like questioning one’s faith is a bad thing.
Faith SHOULD always be questioned. PROVE everything and and hold fast to that which is good. And the corollary to this is, if it is not good, get rid of it.
The problem, as I see it, is people have NOT been questioning their faith, but simply taking everything on faith. There is a subtle difference. But, one day reality, as it is always prone to do, creeps up on them and forces them to make a decision. This is known as a crisis.
I had a “faith crisis” of a different kind. It wasn’t because of church history, polygamy, Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham, etc. My faith crisis came early on when I became converted to the church from the scriptures and the early writings. I became converted to a gospel, not a church. I believed that the church was best suited to implement the gospel of Jesus Christ, which has the potential to change men’s lives. Joseph Smith’s teachings about the fundamental god-like nature of man, free agency, and the principles of Zion that would transform society. All of this got me very excited about the possibilities of the church and its future mission.
This started to unravel when I moved to Utah and started college. I found a people who didn’t live, much less believe their religion. I found a church that was more interested in preserving the status quo and in damning its members to a life of mediocrity rather than lifting them up beyond the conventional norms of society. Instead of true prophecy and revelation, I find conservative talking points sugar-coated in Mormon-speak. I see no evidence of the keys their leaders claim to possess. They can’t even explain the Priesthood, or its ordinances. They cover their ignorance of the significance of the temple in a veil of secrecy.
I feel to say with Mormon: why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why have miracles ceased? It is because faith is not present, and all has become as if there had been no atonement made.
There is no faith in the church, and I have no faith in the church, and those who do so have misplaced their faith, and when the storms rage, and they are swept off their sandy foundation, they cry about a “faith crisis”.
I can’t understand anyone who was a Mormon having a “faith crisis”. From the very get-go, Mormonism is a religion based on KNOWLEDGE, not FAITH. Faith is a tool with which to gain knowledge, but the end product of faith is knowledge. I knew that God lived and loved me, before I was excommunicated, and I knew the same thing afterword. The church is just a temporary scaffolding upon which we can climb to learn about faith, knowledge, and to commune with God. When I was excommunicated, they took away the scaffolding, or the training wheels. Then, I realized that I didn’t need them.
If your faith is built on the church, then you have built your house on sand, not on a rock. You have trusted in the arm of flesh, which is guaranteed to disappoint you every time.
I’m grateful for what I learned from the church, and for the members, teachers, and leaders who helped me along the way. I’m even grateful that they showed me the door and pushed me out of it.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Religion is believing in other peoples’ experience.
Spirituality is having experience for yourself.