Looking Beyond Apologetics Toward Faith

Much has been said about the possibility that a large number of people are leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That might be true, although it hasn’t been proven with certainty. A lot of what is happening now occurred in the 90s with high profile excommunications. The membership survived and actually for a time thrived. Even if the numbers are falling, there are areas of the world where it is growing. Culture and politics are as influential in determining the destinies of communities as truth claims and criticisms. Much of the apologetic work is not helping the situation, reacting rather than getting at the root of the problems.

There are two apologetic approaches that represent a majority of the attempts at recovering those who are losing faith. One of them is a more literal (for the most part) group that tries to explain history and doctrine with evidence that traditional narratives are generally true. Many orthodox members, if they know of them at all, appreciates these efforts with some reservations. Another group tries to embrace the skepticism of those who have left, coming up with reasons for them to stay despite questions and doubts. It would come as no surprise that orthodox members are mostly not impressed. Of course, there are degrees of apologetics that fall anywhere between the two. To put it bluntly, they are minimal effective tools used to help keep people from losing faith.

Losing faith is the real problem that hasn’t been taken care of sufficiently. It doesn’t matter the why of how it is lost. A person might find problems with the history, they might have been wronged by another member, they might have sinned, or they might have just gotten bored. A good amount of apologetics has focused on public reasons in the hopes of helping a large number of people at once. The Gospel is for the world, but God has only rarely delivered His word as a mass media event. He wants to touch the heart one person at a time. Above all else, people have freedom and cannot be forced into belief or faith or obedience.

Western society is lost.

Remember the warnings of the Book of Mormon? It seems that many faithful Mormons have forgotten the lessons of that marvelous work and a wonder. Time and again the Prophets and Apostles, and other teachers, have warned of the pride cycle. Although the problems of today have been building over a few generations, not since World War II has such a large number of people considered themselves above morality. They will deny that since what they have done is develop a set of morals that they think superior to tradition or religion. Because their morality is (as they perceive it) natural and logical, anyone who thinks differently is evil. Aside from that, having divorced themselves from religion of faith they are free to force others through the power of the State. Once the State has all the power any competition is seen as the enemy worthy of getting crushed. No amount of lies, propaganda, pressure, and social manipulation is too much. People have been told for so long how wonderful they are without all the old authority dragging them down that they are full of pride. They don’t need anyone other than feel good notions of who they are.

Having become hyper individualistic, especially in the electronic age of superficial relationships, they deny God. Again, they will claim to have found this evidence or that new thing that proves no God exists or that the Church has lied to them. The truth is, they had such little faith to start with that it was easy to push them away from the Holy Spirit and into the hands of secularism. Too many have lost the ability to form deep social connections that allows human civilization to remain intact. The newly unbelieving could care less if they have a relationship with God or the divine. Apologists, on the other hand, find it easier to write general rebuttals than find the individual lost sheep.

We should stop apologizing.

Maybe saying that is going too far, but how the faithful witness to those who lose faith has to change. We are playing by the rules of the world and that will always be a losing strategy. Too often they have made up their minds and that is why they left. Once they are gone then what efforts might have worked before that time are nearly useless. Even trying to “inoculate” against getting to that point has been a failure because the tools used are based on secular scholarship trying to argue a religious truth.

The only real way to help with keeping people in the Church is find a way to teach people how they can communicate with the Holy Ghost to gain a testimony. Nothing should be used other than the words of Scriptures, living Apostles and Prophets, and doctrine unadorned by sophistication. Obviously in the modern Western culture an approach such as this will be unpopular and against social trends. It does have the added advantage of having been endorsed by God since the beginning of time (if the Scriptures can be believed). Pure testimony will either bring a person to their knees or leave them without excuse when judgment comes.

Additionally, there should not be any fear calling out sinners to repentance. Too many are afraid either that doing so will drive people out of the Church or that it isn’t their responsibility. If done without inspiration and wisdom there is no doubt those fears are warranted. Holding back can be just as ruinous to the unrepentant individual and the whole Church membership. It is no good to have a hospital full of sick people who refuse the medicine that can make them whole, wanting instead quick fixes and alternative methods that will only act as a placebo. They reject the Master Doctor and will end up spiritually dead in the end, often seeking to take over the hospital. What will remain is a house of the living dead and not of the living God.

Unless the apologetic approach has directions for spiritual self-discovery and calls for repentance, it is probably best to let the sinners and those who have lost faith to leave. That is not to say that the door should be locked after they exit, but it should not be held wide open for just anyone to come and go. To do that is courting the devil to take over in the name of modern morality against the will of God and His Gospel. In that case all the pleading and arguments for the doubters to return will be in vain.

Above all, those who wish to bring people who have lost faith back must make it personal. It should almost never be done over e-mails, social networks, or blogs. They need to know that you care. Present them a full testimony no matter if they accept it, share your favorite Scriptures that keep your faith intact, and offer to pray with them. When none of this is working then let them go without protest. Don’t rely on intellectual or apologetic arguments that do little to invite the Spirit. They must be only a small part of a discussion. In the end, each person must decide for themselves and cannot borrow the oil of faith from others for long.

25 thoughts on “Looking Beyond Apologetics Toward Faith

  1. I enjoy apologetics as found through FAIR or the Interpreter Foundation, but I don’t expect to find it from the pulpit, either in conferences or sacrament meetings. The witness of the Holy Ghost, feasting on the scriptures, serving others, timely and intense prayer, sacrifice,and self discipline in giving up folly of any kind that distracts from feeling the spirit are the foundations of sturdy faith. However I have often found it useful to be up to date on the facts and evidences that support the integrity of Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God and the Book of Mormon as a miraculous and authentic work.

  2. That was extremely wise, and undoubtably correct.
    I am sorry to say.
    Appologetics usually functions to strengthen and entertain the faithful.
    But less often to recover the faltering or lost.
    I still dig it though!

  3. “Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, ‘Don’t worry about it!’ Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church. Fortunately, the Lord provided this timely and timeless counsel to you teachers: ‘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.’ (D&C 88:118)
    . . .
    “The ‘best books’ include the scriptures, the teachings of modern prophets and apostles, and the best LDS scholarship available.”

    “You should be among the first, outside your students’ families, to introduce authoritative sources on topics that may be less well-known or controversial so your students will measure whatever they hear or read later against what you have already taught them. [i.e., parents have an obligation to teach children about less well-known and controversial issues].

    “You know we give medical inoculations to our precious missionaries before sending them into the mission field so they will be protected against diseases that can harm or even kill them. In a similar fashion, please, before you send them into the world, inoculate your students [and children] by providing faithful, thoughtful, and accurate interpretation of gospel doctrine, the scriptures, our history, and those topics that are sometimes misunderstood.

    “To name a few such topics that are less known or controversial, I’m talking about polygamy, seer stones, different accounts of the First Vision, the process of translation of the Book of Mormon or the Book of Abraham, gender issues, race and the priesthood, or a Heavenly Mother.”

    The Opportunities and Responsibilities of CES Teachers in the 21st Century, Elder M. Russell Ballard, Address to CES Religious Educators, February 26, 2016

  4. I have to amend my comment after being reminded of Tad R. Callister’s October 2017 General Conference talk which presents both apologetic and spiritual witnesses of the Book of Mormon. While giving several examples of supporting evidence, his strongest emphasis remains the witness of the Spirit. This is an entirely appropriate use of apologetics from the pulpit. I have witnessed examples of faltering faith being temporarily shored up by such means until a firm foundation is established by service, prayer and scripture study.

  5. A good Institute teacher at the University of Utah many years ago presented the Doctrine and Covenants in a way that exposed me to both criticisms of the Church and some good defenses that countered those attacks. This served as a vaccination against both those criticisms and charges that the Church was covering up or doctoring its history, as I had already had time to think through some issues. Faith is very important, of course, but an examined and educated faith can more readily stand up to assaults that might overthrow those blindsided by seemingly threatening information.

  6. Austin Farrer wrote:
    It is commonly said that if rational argument is so seldom the cause of conviction, philosophical apologists must largely be wasting their shot. The premise is true, but the conclusion does not follow. For though argument does not create conviction, the lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.

    Jett, please also read Elder Holland’s remarks to a group of LDS apologists,
    as quoted by Jeff Lindsay here:

    The official LDS Newsroom also published Elder Holland’s remarks, but a third link would cause this comment to be filtered, so get the link there from the Mormanity post.

  7. In each of these responses to my post, there is a recognition that a focus on spiritual books and teachings are essential. Apologetic of the FARMS variety has maintained my faith over the years, but only because I had faith already built up around the doctrines of the Church and the whispering of the Spirit to my soul. My main concern is that apologetic and intellectual responses to faith crisis have ignored even the advice of Elder Ballard, “The ‘best books’ include the scriptures, the teachings of modern prophets and apostles,” and focused too much on “the best LDS scholarship available.” Scholarship is great, but to what end? It fails at creating faith and convince the doubters.

    My main concern is that a rush to “prove” with intellectual arguments has left repentance out of the equation. Not enough has been done to argue the merits of the moral basis of the Gospel. Despite those leaving saying they were troubled by the history, most of them end up with liberal political beliefs at odds with the LDS moral teachings. A slight small number go on to join a different conservative religious community. Therefore my mention of the State as a new moral authority to replace the Religious one. My observation has been that the loss of faith has been more a political than a spiritual or even intellectual action.

  8. (Quite lurker posting here because this feels so important to me)

    I absolutely agree that apologetics are not the way to find faith and that they are really about appeasing the people that already agree with basic church doctrines, policies, history, etc. so that they don’t end up in a faith crisis. I also absolutely agree that faith and personal revelation are the actual keys to building a testimony.

    However, there are two things that I think faithful members trying to understand/help those in a crisis should keep in mind.

    When I realized I was in a full blown faith crisis, I went to God, told Him I was going to struggle for a while, and asked for His patience and guidance. Over the next 10 years, I lost (and don’t expect at this point to gain back) pretty much all of my Faith and trust in the organizational church and LDS leadership, but my Faith in God has grown exponentially. And that happened primarily because I lost my old foundation of belief and had to build a new one from scratch. This was before the Bushman’s, Givens, A.Miller were publishing, but I personally see the work they are doing as trying to help people along the path I ended up following. (I’m still active at church, etc., I just see things differently.) What I’m trying to say is that it is important to recognize than when it comes to Faith, that which you gain/lose/keep Faith in (Church vs/and/or God himself) makes a difference and it doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. When people struggle, let them struggle with the church. Maybe even support them in that so that they are free to turn to God, rather than combining the two and rejecting both.

    The second thing… My largest struggle in fighting to stay active is not doctrine, policy,etc., but rather the amount of pressure I get from my ward members/leadership to do it their way. This has nothing to do with keeping the commandments or meeting basic obedience standards. In fact, it tends to be this: “Present them a full testimony no matter if they accept it, share your favorite Scriptures that keep your faith intact, and offer to pray with them.” The first problem of this is that it is never reciprocated. I’m never asked to share my testimony of God or my spiritual experiences (I half expect to receive comments on this post telling me me experiences aren’t really of God, but rather of Satan because God hasn’t led me back to a Faith that is traditionally Mormon. Which is what has actually happened to me.). Generally, the testifier isn’t really all the interested in my Faith, they just want me to conform to theirs. And I feel that EVERY time a concerned ward member/leader corners me to try to ‘help’.

    What I end up feeling is pressured. (like a form of peer-pressure maybe?) And to be honest (and I don’t want to be too critical as there is a lot of good in this article!), I felt the exact same way when I read this article. If I’m given space, I’ll stay active and engaged in the church. If I’m pressured because you (whoever you happen to be) are right and I am wrong, I go hide in a corner and start fretting over how I can manage to stay.

  9. “My observation has been that the loss of faith has been more a political than a spiritual or even intellectual action.”

    I agree with you there.

    “My main concern is that a rush to ‘prove’ with intellectual arguments has left repentance out of the equation.”

    Perhaps you’re falling into the antis’ trap there. Apologetics is about _plausibility_, not proof. Critics demand proof, but apologetics is not proof. As per Farrer, apologetics is about creating “climate for faith.” A rational (intellectual) defense can create that climate or space for faith for those for whom intellectualism is a stumbling block.

    For those who have an intellectual stumbling block, an intellectual “stepping stone” is needed to get to faith.

    “Not enough has been done to argue the merits of the moral basis of the Gospel.”

    Correct, but then that’s not apologetics.

    My take-away from Elder Ballard’s now famous remarks, is that promulgating the gospel is now a two-pronged approach, spiritual preaching and rational defense.

  10. Lehcatrj: I’ve encountered something similar, but kind of rare. “Spiritual bullies”. They say and do the right things… both the gospel AND the church are true after all. But the way some people try to shove it down your throat can be offensive. Technically, they are speaking the truth. But when some people say it, I don’t feel the Holy Ghost, I just feel _their_ spirit bullying me.

    Forgive them.

    (BTW, they are not unique to the LDS church. I’ve come across evangelical-type preachers doing the same thing while flipping through TV channels.)

  11. Lehcatrj

    “When people struggle, let them struggle with the church. Maybe even support them in that so that they are free to turn to God, rather than combining the two and rejecting both.”

    To me that is unacceptable. Although the Church has leadership that are mortal and imperfect, it is the Lord’s Church and that cannot be separated from God. This is the Lord’s/God’s Church or it is not. To claim a person must choose between the two is a rejection of the mission of the Church and the reason it was organized. When one questions the Church they question God and when they question God they question the Church. Now, we might question individual human leader’s choices, but to doubt the authority of the Church as God’s institution rejects its foundation purpose to restore the Priesthood and Saving Ordinances.

    I know you won’t like what I am about to say because of “pressure,” but everything about Mormonism goes and works together or it doesn’t work. I am less worried about having only slight faith in one area and lots of faith in another (for myself I haven’t moved mountains and personal prayer is a difficult concept) than a faith crisis with full on doubt in something. This is especially the case with major history, teachings, and doctrine.

    “Generally, the testifier isn’t really all the interested in my Faith, they just want me to conform to theirs,” is expected. So long as they themselves are not teaching false doctrines or have a mistaken testimony, then they are trying to perverse the integrity of God’s word as taught within the Church by proper authorities. There may be some leeway in deeper doctrinal opinions, but basic foundational teachings (such as Priesthood authority) are absolutely essential to maintain and defend.

    ” If I’m pressured because you (whoever you happen to be) are right and I am wrong, I go hide in a corner and start fretting over how I can manage to stay.”

    And that is the main question isn’t it? Who is right and who is wrong? That is the very question that brought Joseph Smith to pray in the Grove. I think it is absolutely essential that you do go into a corner and start fretting over how you can manage to stay. We all go through that, even myself when I was a teenager with an existential crisis. The problem I believe is too many decide to stay despite their un-orthodoxies while refusing to acknowledge they are unorthodox. Or worse, they seek to change the Church to accommodate them and make it worse for everyone just so they can feel better about themselves.

  12. Hmmm… It’s an interesting conversation. I can see and accept that for you it does come down to ‘Who is right and who is wrong.’ When I read through your post, your view of Faith is very ‘black and white’ from my perspective. ‘Yes or no.’ ‘It is or it isn’t.’

    I see the world in shades of gray. In your perspective, those shades of grey automatically turn into ‘Black, No, Isn’t’ (feel free to correct my understanding of your perspective here if I am misunderstanding).

    My entire struggle with pressure, I suppose, is not that I have any problem with you claiming your Faith as ‘White, Yes, Is,’ but the insistence that I see the world and experience Faith in only those two colors. God exists in a beautiful place of uncertainty for me (shades of gray?). And with that, I suppose I see Faith as needing a soil of uncertainty to grow (speaking of myself only), otherwise it isn’t Faith anyway.

    I will add that it is hurtful to me that the color/shape of my Faith is something others actively want me to leave the church over.

  13. Lehcatrj,

    Thank you for your response. Your words could very well describe my faith journey as well, except that mine was aided by Bushman, and to a lesser degree Givenses and Miller. My faith in the Church looks very different than it did 10 years ago, but I can only describe my faith in God as having grown throughout the whole process.

    “If I’m given space, I’ll stay active and engaged in the church.” Whole-heartedly agree.

    “If I’m pressured because you (whoever you happen to be) are right and I am wrong, I go hide in a corner and start fretting over how I can manage to stay.” Personally, I am more likely to laugh at their over-reach than let it drive me into a corner. This isn’t their church anymore than it is mine. We are both guests in a much grander organization.

    I will leave hope that Jettboy’s approach could help some, but it certainly wouldn’t have helped me.

  14. I didn’t come to my conclusions out of nowhere and not all of my beliefs are cut and dry. For instance, I am both an Evolutionist and Edenist even though it is very rare to have both together. It took years of pondering and “less faith” between one and the other before a conciliation. There are some things that I believe that can only be shared online if at all (because I know they are NOT official doctrine or are my own speculations). Most people who hold “black and white” faith do so after lots of research, spiritual discussions, and prayer. Those who don’t do those things and hold to the “black and white” faith are the most likely to fall away. On the other hand, those who don’t hold to a “black and white faith” are more prone to distort and teach a False Gospel in contrast to the True (see Galatians 1:8).

    I see the world in shades of grey, but not God and His Gospel. The Truth (capital T) cannot be bargained with, deconstructed, or made allegorical. Our understanding of Truth can grow, be refined, discovered, re-discovered, and personalized. It cannot be changed without destroying what constitutes Reality, leaving nothing more than Lies and False Idols.

    “I will leave hope that Jettboy’s approach could help some, but it certainly wouldn’t have helped me.”

    My personal mission is not to “help” anyone. It is to protect the Church against false teachings, unbelief, and moral relativism. Depending on what kind of faith someone ends up with I question what the “help” did to improve the person’s spiritual development. Trying to “help” someone stay in the Church for staying’s sake does no one (in my estimation) any real service. Everyone ends up, from my experience, miserable while self-assured.

  15. The difficulty I see with the implementing the recommendations of the original post is that it assumes millions of local members can get the doctrine correct and call all those who see the world differently than they do to repentance. The post itself seems significantly more strident than the vast majority of material I’ve heard come across the pulpit during General Conference in the past 50 years or so.

    Short of stating: 1) the Restoration happened, 2) the LDS Church is God’s recognized organization for delivering the Gospel ordinances to the world, 3) that God is literally our spiritual Father, and 4) that we can become like him by following Christ and the Holy Ghost’s directions I don’t think the LDS Church has much “defined” doctrine.

    Actions which help people retain or gain faith and salvation are good, anything which detracts from that is not good. Being over-zealous or under-zealous can be problematic. Do what God wants you to do (I suspect there will be a bit more individual variation in that spiritual guidance than the original post contemplates).

    Just my opinion.

  16. Interesting OP and delightful comments.

    As I said in a comment on a different post, I was faith crisising before faith crisising was cool.

    I’ve come through the other end of those decades of disbelief and doubt after realizing that God, the god I have experienced, is the God of the restored gospel. Then that God gifted me an autistic daughter to refine me through the crucible of experience.

    Hey, lehcatrj, have you read Reluctant Polygamist? If so, I’d be interested in how that entwined with your current faith in God.

  17. Jettboy, I honestly didn’t intend to imply your testimony was not very well researched, thoughtfully considered, and deeply prayed about. If my comments came off as such, you have my deepest apologies.

    To continue our chat, I don’t see the human brain as being capable of understanding capitol T truth in the same way we aren’t capable of really understanding God (we are 2 year-olds in a graduate level physics class…). On a good day, we get some of the symbolism right. But the attempt to understand stretches us to be more like Him and seems important to our growth.

  18. Meg – I haven’t read the Reluctant Polygamist yet, although I keeping eyeing it as I have a HUGE love of history. But that love also means my TBR pile is out of control. I’m likely to get there eventually.

  19. Thanks, Jettboy for your head thoughts.
    In my 35 years in apologetics, I find that it does help people. This is especially true of those shocked at some historical truth hidden by the church. Inoculation is very important to retaining our youth and others.
    However, the problem isn’t apologetics. All it can do is stop the bleeding. It cannot restore a lost or damaged testimony.
    That is where faith, repentance and the HG come in.

    Besides those who fall away via sin, there are key things that push some towards apostasy.

    First, as noted, Church history or teachings that show problems. This includes evolution, polygamy, MMM, seer stones, etc.

    Second, As a church, we’ve made this worse by promulgating bad history. In seminary, I was taught MMM was the Indians’ fault. Many teach evolution as a demonic heresy, even though the church officially has no policy. Even here on this post, Lehcatrj’s personal efforts to remain active were denounced as insufficient and wrong.

    Third, i’ve heard many GAs, including Elder Holland, over the years lament our lack of power from he pulpit. They want the pulpits on fire. Instead, we tend to teach “theological twinkies”, spiritually empty calories. People come to church seeking spiritual nourishment, and too often leave hungry.
    We impose our tradition on them as doctrine. We allow no room for others to find their own spiritual path. We insist our history must be embraced, our politics preached, our favorite GA quoted, and scripture understood through our personal interpretation, and none else. In other words, we often drive people away from the church with our elitism.

    If our members were full of charity, faith, priesthood power, hope, and kindness, we probably would not be losing very many members to apostasy or inactivity. But we’re not a Zion people yet, and so we need apologists.

  20. Hey, you guys need to come to my ward. Just saying.

    lehcatjr, you can check out reluctantpolygamist.com and browse the 2017 version of the text online. In case that makes it easier. I think I made it point and click easy to simply read the notes section for each chapter, so you don’t even have to do all the bothersome reading except where it piques your interest.

  21. @GS, in regards to pulpits on fire, I recommend this book (double book actually) that is currently on sale in KIndle format for only $.99:

    “What Ever Happened to the Power of God” by Michael Brown. The second book, which I have only skimmed a little, is “Time to Rock the Boat”. But it’s included in the package.

    Brown is an Evangelical, but he clearly comes down on the “Obedience/walk-the-walk/keep-the-commandments” side of the faith-vs-works thing as the key to blessings, miracles, power of God, etc. I think the book is rather Spencer-Kimball-ish, along the lines of his “Faith Precedes the Miracle.” (And of course by “faith” Pres Kimball also meant “faith and the obedience that it generates.)

    As you read it, you will likely automatically translate some of Brown’s “Ev-speak” into LDS-speak, and see how well it parallels much of what we hear at General Conference.

  22. A couple of days ago I was conversing with several faithful ‘mission field’ millennials who talked about the problem created by LDS social advantage in the mountain west. People who are non-believers continue to attend Church after their faith has withered and succumbed to some variety of heresy. Some are quite active in contributing misinformation in classes and talks. The usual response is credulity on the part of most members. It is at such time I speak up with corrections to ‘information’ gleaned from the Tanners and other similar sources. This is when I find most value in the ongoing efforts of organizations like Book of Mormon Central. Those who struggle to find God pretty much includes all of us. Faith has to be nourished continuously or it withers. Complacency is its greatest enemy.

  23. In regards to pulpits on fire: Yes, we need much more testimony and scripture and testimony (did I say that already?) than academic talks about talks. If the assignment is fasting, please don’t read Elder ___’s talk on fasting — please read to me from the scriptures and tell me your own stories, successes, and struggles with fasting, all with a focus on and testimony of Jesus as the Savior and Messiah and in a context of the restoration, and in invitation to join in the celebration.

  24. These beautiful words from the Book of Mormon are my doctrine. This is what I like to preach from the pulpit and in the classroom.

    “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” 2 Nephi 25:26

    “20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
    21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.” 2 Nephi 31:20-21.

    We need more teaching, preaching and feasting upon the words of Christ and less discussion about opinions and speculation of what doctrine is or should be, to increase our faith.

    We need less dwelling on perceived historical mistakes made by imperfect humans like us that were trying their best at their particular time, which we are so far from completely understanding as we were not there.

    We need less relying on scholarship and more relying on the Spirit to teach us. Less taking offense at what others do to try to help us regain loss faith and more introspection and repentance when analyzing how we got there in the first place.

    If we are honest with ourselves, no matter how black and white or shades of gray we believe we see, the Truth only has one color and if we cannot see it, it probably is because we are blind to that color and need some special corrective glasses, like those developed for color blind people, once they wear them they realized how much they were not seeing.

    We lose our faith because we open the door of our spirit to let in doubt and the dark cloud of the spirit of apostasy to come in and dwell in us. And those kinds of guest are hard to kick out once you let them in.

    We need more relying on prayer in search of truth than searching on the Internet.

    That’s my humbled opinion who some may call orthodox. I don’t care about labels either. The Lord doesn’t care for labels either only for open teachable minds and contrite hearts.

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