Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Because we said so, that's why.

From this New Era article:

Why do we call ourselves the only true church?

The Lord has declared that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D&C 1:30). This restored Church is true because it is the Savior’s Church; He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). And it is a living church because of the workings and gifts of the Holy Ghost. How blessed we are to live at a time when the priesthood is upon the earth and we can receive the Holy Ghost. -Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

***So, we call ourselves the only true church because we've declared ourselves the only true church in this scripture specific to our (only true) church and we can know that this scripture is true because it is given specifically to the only true church? 

Do they think teenagers are stupid?  Are LDS teenagers incapable of recognizing circular reasoning? Or, just too distracted by and enamored with their self-declared leaders to listen to/read carefully the answers to simple, reasonable, and worthwhile questions? 
From the same article:

Why don’t I get answers to my prayers?
With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow. - Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

***Does it though?  Really? In at least one case I know of, God's silence caused faith to diminish and nagging doubts of Gods existence to grow. In addition, it resulted in the defiant and willful use of critical thinking skills against the warnings of my (self-declared) (only true) church leaders.  I have to wonder, if God knows that this will be the consequence of God ignoring prayers (because he knows us all quite intimately) why would he withhold communication? Is it part of his plan that some of us will lose faith and leave the (only true) church? Does he set some of us up to fail? That would be a really dick move, would it not? 


  1. When I started questioning the church in 2008, I prayed fervently everyday for about 6 months hoping for an answer. I pleaded with my “heavenly father” to answer my prayers and give me a sign of truth. I never felt a prompting or an “answer” to prayers. I continued studying information that was both pro and anti about the church; I did not limit myself to one or the other. Still no answer other than my logical brain telling me that the church was not all that it claimed to be. I even read the Book of Mormon one more time all the way through. I decided that I would pray one time for an answer, no more multiple begging prayers. Again, no spiritual witness of the truth of the book.

    Earlier this year, I decided to have my name removed. As I drove to the post office to mail it, I decided to pray one last time to whatever god or “heavenly father” that might be up there. I asked for specific instances that would stop me from actually mailing the letter. Something, anything to show me that what I was doing was wrong. Nothing happened. I went to the post office and mailed the letter without incident.

    Is this a test of faith or just an affirmation that what I have discovered and chosen in my life is really just me choosing what is right for me? I’m still waiting for answer, if it ever comes.

  2. The idea of belonging to "the one true church" is an idea that we fall in love with. It panders to our ego which in turn placates us and makes us feel safe. But because it's only an idea it takes a circular reason to make it stick. The ego has no idea the reasoning is circular. It just needs to keep it so that it can continue to feel good even if it means telling ourselves that the good feeling is evidence that this idea is real.

    For some of us, the illusion can no longer be maintained and we end up falling out of love with the idea and then see it for what it really is, just an idea.

  3. The "one true church" and "valiant chosen generation" dogmas are disturbing. Could anyone believe anything more self-aggrandizing and devoid of empathy for others? It's like a not-so-subtle type of in-group sociopathic elitism. How can one reconcile this belief with love or respect for non-member friends and family? I guess this might explain in part why LDS people are so cliquish?

  4. Bowie, I had a very similar experience. I had a lot of confusion about being simultaneously angry with God for ignoring me in a time of deep depression when I'd needed him the most, and the comforting acceptance that there was no god and I didn't have to TRY so hard to believe something my brain screamed against. Did you have any of that in the beginning. It's weird to despise a god you don't believe in, is it not?

  5. Circular reasoning...gotta love it!

    I had just posted about prayer on my blog too. As a father, I can't fathom withholding communication...for any reason. Stuff like that helped me see what a horrible Father God is described as in the Bible.

    I also went through a phase when I read a bunch of biographies on LDS prophets. I probably read a dozen or so. I came to the same conclusion about them...that they had no moral high ground on which to speak to be offering me advice on fatherhood....although I do believe they emulate their Heavenly Father quite well.

  6. I don’t think I got upset with “god,” I was mostly frustrated that I was not receiving answers. Here I was praying fervently and not receiving the answer I was told I would receive. The Book of Mormon promises that the diligent seeker will receive a confirmation that the book is true. I never received that confirmation. I just kept receiving confirmations that what I originally believed was not really the truth. If there is a “god,” maybe this was his or her answer to let me know that the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon are a false hope for truth.