The search for Truth

There are three passages of scripture (one unique to Mormonism, one from the New Testament) and a quote from Brigham Young (second prophet/president of the LDS Church) that have compelled me to write this post.  The first is Matthew 11:15, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."  The second is from Doctrine and Covenants 88:118
And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
The third is from John 8:32 .  "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  It seems to me that there is great scriptural precedent indicating the need to search for truth.  That is the journey I have been on my whole life, and recently that search has led me in an entirely new direction than it has in the past.  Actually, several months ago I even blogged about this very point, in this post.  I believe in absolute truth.  That is to say, I believe that every real question (not paradoxical ones like "Can God make a rock that's too heavy for Him to lift?") has a definite answer, irrespective of people's opinions on the matter.  That is to say, assuming God exists, even if every soul on Earth were to deny God's existence, God would not cease to exist but would still exist regardless of everyone's disbelief.  So, I believe that our purpose (at least part of it) is to seek that truth out, which is what I mean to do.

Finally, the quote from Brigham Young, which will introduce my topic of the day.
I will tell you who the real fanatics are: they are they who adopt false principles and ideas as facts, and try to establish a superstructure upon a false foundation...If our religion is of this character we want to know it; we would like to find a philosopher who can prove it to us.
-Journal of Discourses, Vol.13, pg270, 7/24/1870
I propose that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is of this character--that it has adopted false principles and ideas as facts and has established a superstructure upon a false foundation.  Lest I be misunderstood, I do not mean to attack the church nor any of its believing members.  I do not mean to insult, demean, or belittle any person who truly believes its doctrines to be true.  I do not wish to harass any of its members, nor try to recruit anyone to join me in leaving the Church.  I mean to be as meek as possible in declaring my concerns about the Mormon church.  Therefore, I will not do so on this blog, nor will I do so on Facebook.  I will also not do so in person or in private, unless expressly solicited to do so.

I often heard, while I was a member of the church, that those who leave the church are incapable of leaving it alone.  However, I am perfectly content to leave the church alone.  I will not go to church to stir up contention among people there.  I hold no quarrel with the church itself nor with any of its members.  I will not attack any of the leaders of the church (local or general).  I do not believe that asserting what I have found to be true is attacking the church anymore than a missionary teaching the gospel to an investigator is an attack on that person's (non-Mormon) beliefs.

Also, I do not mean to imply that I believe that the Church is a bad organization.  Whether it is good or bad only God can truly judge.  I assert that the Church does much good--it encourages its members to be good citizens, to be kind to others, and to love.  It sends aid all over the world to help clean up from natural disasters and to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.  In addition, nearly all of the Mormons that I have personally known throughout my life have been good, loving people and I do not mean to imply otherwise.  All I mean to assert here is that the LDS church is not what it purports to be.  It is not God's true church on the Earth.  Concerning any other implications that may or may not follow from that, I give no judgement.  Perhaps there are such implications and perhaps there are not.

I do wish to state that I believe some of the things the church teaches (such as that homosexuality is evil) have caused much harm over the years, and continue to do so (insofar as they are still taught by the church or believed by its membership).  There have been many unfortunate things happen because of some of the church's doctrines.  I believe that many suicides can be blamed in part on such doctrines--especially the doctrine about homosexuality.  However, I do not believe that any of this harm was intentional.  I truly believe that the leadership of the church was doing what it felt was best to do.  As I stated previously, I do not hold any hard feelings toward the church.  If it has done any wrong to me, I have frankly forgiven and forgotten, although I am wholly unaware of any such harm that it may have done to me personally.  None of this is about any ill feelings I have toward the church or any of its members.  I feel no need to attempt to justify my actions, since I feel no guilt about being gay, being in a relationship with a man, and planning to marry that man.  It is only about the pursuit of truth.

I do not wish to turn this blog into a list of doctrinal questions I have about a religion that I am no longer a member of, so I have created a separate blog to discuss all of these things.  Any who are interested, I direct you to that other blog.  To those who do not wish to read about such things, I promise that this will be the only post on this blog that mentions the issue.  I understand that many members of the Mormon church are very sensitive about this issue, especially since they are encouraged not to support or affiliate with anyone who teaches things against the doctrine of the church.  So, again, I want to say that I will not push this on anyone.  I will not publish here or on Facebook any of the information I have come across that has led me to the conclusion that the church is false.  I only made this post for the sole purpose of informing those who may be interested about my other blog.

Several months ago, I posted about how I did not believe that anti-Mormon websites and resources were the best source for learning the truth about the LDS church, and I stand by that.  So, as much as possible, that which I discuss will consist of things published (in the past or currently) by the Church itself.

And now, I make one final appeal to my readers.  That is this: if anything I have said in this post or in my new blog is false, please let me know.  If you have documentation that proves anything I disclose is false, I would like to see it, so that  I may enhance my research and arrive at a better estimate of the truth.  And, if the things I have said are true, then I invite you to study them and research the matter for yourself.  I firmly believe that if something is true, then it will withstand any argument that is put up against it.  So, if the Church really is true, then any argument that is given against it will fail.  Stating that a testimony must be protected by never allowing any exposure to differing viewpoints would be like my employer forbidding me from studying math books published from other universities, in the fear that I would learn that the math being taught at my university is false.  Rather, my employer encourages me to study all that I can about math and find out for myself what is right and what is wrong--that's the whole principle of peer-reviewed journals.

I fear that in announcing this endeavor I will lose many friends--good friends, even.  I truly lament this fact and wish that it were not so.  I truly mean no harm to any and only seek to discover what is right and what is wrong.  If you would like to debate any of the points I have mentioned, please do so in private or on my other blog, so as to keep this one as free as possible from that which could be construed as anti-Mormon.  And here is the link to that blog.  It is Scrutinizing Mormonism.