In 2014 I experienced what is commonly called a “faith crisis.”
In 2014 I experienced what has come to be known as a “faith crisis.” It couldn’t have come at a worse time. I won’t go into specifics, but my life, even before my faith crisis, was in turmoil. I lost just about every material possession I owned. The added weight of questioning the very existence of God was the last thing I needed. I was facing the very real prospect that my entire life had been a lie, that there was no God and that I was nothing more than a cosmic goof, the result of a lightning strike in a pool of primordial ooze. I was devastated. I no longer wanted to live. It was an agony I don’t care to revisit.
In the midst of my despair, I threw a Hail Mary, A final prayer to a whom I didn’t even know existed. I looked heavenwards and audibly said, “How much longer will I feel this way? I can’t go on.” In that every moment, God reached down and in the literal blink of an eye excised my suffering. Instantaneous. All the fear, anxiety, sadness, despair and depression immediately vanished and was replaced with peace. It was quite literally rebirth. The old me was gone, and with it a lot of baggage I had been carrying around for a long time. It was a miracle in every sense of the word.
I know now that my emotional and spiritual suffering was a very necessary step for my personal growth and faith in God. As the Swedish philosopher/theologian Søren Kierkegaard wrote,
“Infinite resignation is the last stage before faith, so anyone who has not made this movement does not have faith, for only in infinite resignation does an individual
become conscious of his eternal validity, and only then can one speak of grasping existence by virtue of faith.“
When I emerged from my faith crisis, I was certain of only two things: God was real and the Book of Mormon is what it claimed to be. And that was it. For a time I tried to convince myself that Joseph Smith was part of that equation, but he wasn’t. And I didn’t understand why. (It would be many years before it became clear.)
I was starting from scratch. From that point forward Mormonism was fair game. There were no sacred cows. Everything was on the table. Instead of avoiding or ignoring the difficult questions and aspects of our doctrine and history, I actively sought them out. I no longer feared the unknown. On the contrary, I was excited about it.
This website is a direct result of my personal six year study of Mormonism: it’s doctrine, it’s history, and its scripture. I claim no visions, dreams, or angelic visitors. The things I write are the result of good, old-fashioned study. I reserve the right to be wrong as the process of learning is continual.
What I have discovered is that most of Mormonism, including Joseph Smith, doesn’t withstand a lot of scrutiny. For those who devote the time to study, the cracks immediately begin to appear. I view this as a positive thing. I believe we should always strive to sift the false from the truth so we can better exercise faith in the Almighty God. Faith in untruths isn’t faith, but the very antithesis of faith. False belief systems are the impediment of faith. As Alma said,
“And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (Alma 32)
Lastly, I want to make my personal beliefs publicly known lest anyone try to misrepresent me.
- I believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the One True God who condescended into mortality to offer Himself as a sacrifice for mankind.
- I believe the Book of Mormon is exactly what it claims to be: a historical record of God’s dealing with a branch of the House of Israel called the Nephites. Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Mormon and Moroni existed. They were real people.
- I do not uphold Joseph Smith Jr. as a “prophet, seer and revelator.” I don’t know if he “translated” the Book of Mormon, or “read the words” as described in 2 Nephi 27. I still have questions about the “translation process.”
- I believe Joseph Smith’s mandate was the publication of the Book of Mormon and nothing more. (Book of Commandments, chapter 4)
- I believe Joseph Smith let his own pride and ambitions to overtake him.
- I do not believe the Books of Moses and Abraham are inspired texts.
- I do not believe John the Baptist or Peter, James and John restored “priesthood.”
- I do not believe the Old Testament patriarchs visited the Kirtland Temple and gave Joseph Smith “keys.” (I don’t know what “keys” are.)
- I have no ill will or animosity towards the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the current leadership. I would put the Mormon people up against any other group and feel good about the odds.
- I do not affiliate with any of the restoration branches, including the Brighamite branch centered in Salt Lake City.
I welcome any challenge. I don’t presume to be the final authority on anything. I only want the unvarnished, warts-and-all, capital-T Truth.