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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Stay Far Away From The Muck and Mire

I can’t tell you how sad it makes me when those outside of the Church try to tear it down. What I think is perhaps the most regrettable is that people inside and outside of the Church associate the feelings of doubt and disgust when they read or see anti-Mormon material with the Church itself. Please remember that it is not produced by the Church. Most anti-Mormon material is taken completely out of context, or omitting words, sentences or paragraphs to make a point. (For a thorough analysis on how books such as “No Man Knows My History” skew history, read “No Ma’am, That’s Not History” by Hugh Nibley.)

Remember that the Lord works in his own due time, and in His own reasons. Remember what He has done for you. Remember what President Kimball wrote:

Apostasy often begins with criticism of current leaders. Apostasy usually begins with question and doubt and criticism. It is a retrograding and devolutionary process. The seeds of doubt are planted by unscrupulous or misguided people, and seldom directed against the doctrine at first, but more often against the leaders. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, Pg. 462)

The Lord loves each and every one of His children. He wants them to return to Him, but the enemy of all righteousness would have otherwise. The Lord will answer all questions, through proper personal preparation on our part, and revelation from the Holy Ghost.

Elder Neil L. Anderson has said:
Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts—these are part of our mortality. But we are not alone. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”4
Through the years we take these important spiritual steps over and over again. We begin to see that “he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”5 Our questions and doubts are resolved or become less concerning to us. Our faith becomes simple and pure. We come to know what we already knew.

President Hinckley added:
[Faith], as it was then, so it is today. This precious and marvelous gift of faith, this gift from God our Eternal Father, is still the strength of this work and the quiet vibrancy of its message. Faith underlies it all. Faith is the substance of it all. Whether it be going into the mission field, living the Word of Wisdom, paying one’s tithing, it is all the same. It is the faith within us that is evidenced in all we do.

Our critics cannot understand it. Because they do not understand, they attack. A quiet inquiry, an anxious desire to grasp the principle behind the result, could bring greater understanding and appreciation.

I was asked at a news conference on one occasion how we get men to leave their vocations, to leave home, and serve the Church. I responded that we simply ask them, and we know what their answer will be.

What a marvelous and wonderful thing it is, this powerful conviction that says the Church is true. It is God’s holy work. He overrules in the things of His kingdom and in the lives of His sons and daughters. This is the reason for the growth of the Church. The strength of this cause and kingdom is not found in its temporal assets, impressive as they may be. It is found in the hearts of its people. That is why it is successful. That is why it is strong and growing. That is why it is able to accomplish the wonderful things that it does. It all comes of the gift of faith, bestowed by the Almighty upon His children who doubt not and fear not, but go forward.

If you are struggling with an issue in the Church, speak with your leaders. Pray about it. Work as hard at finding the answers as those who would convince you otherwise work at trying to lead you astray.

Remember that Joseph was a prophet. That President Monson is one now. And above all, that Jesus is the very Christ, the Son of God. That He taught, healed, suffered, died, and rose again. Because if this is true, what else matters? Really. What else matters?


  1. First, I think members need to be more careful before throwing around the term "anti-Mormon." The word invites comparisons between those critical of Mormonism's claims and, say, antisemites. Some do hate Mormons, but I am not one of them nor are many of the LDS Church's critics.

    Second, Brodie's book is flawed, but Mormons too quickly dismiss. The book was an incredible landmark in Mormon studies, and it was among the more responsible biographies of Joseph Smith of its day. Even Richard Bushman, author of "Rough Stone Rolling," has on several occasions defended Brodie as a good historian. Brodie's work was so influential on our current understanding of Joseph Smith. Brodie was also important in demolishing arguments against Mormonism that were once popular--like the "Spaulding-Rigdon theory."

    Brodie had an agenda in her biography, no doubt, but I don't believe her agenda was driven by a hatred of Joseph Smith. Her book even lovingly humanizes Smith at parts, and I walked away from her book with an improved opinion of Smith.

    There are many good critiques of Brodie's biography, but trust me--Nibley's is not one of them. I'd instead refer you to Dialogue's critical review of the book, written by Marvin Hill:

    Finally, if you ever feel that I take things out of context or make unfair arguments against Mormonism, challenge me on them! I make an honest effort to be responsible in my arguments. At the very least, I'm amenable to correction.

    I respect your opinion, Joey, and I really wish you'd comment more on the stuff I write about the LDS Church.

  2. Joey...words are an inadequate way to truly express to you how much I needed to read this RIGHT NOW, I am referring your blog to several people as we speak. Bless you friend! You're amazing!