Posted by: Jay | August 7, 2007

Lazy faith

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I’ve been lazy! I recognize how pitifully lazy I have been. Growing up in the LDS faith I accepted everything that was told to me as accurate, whole truth. It didn’t occur to me that it was my job to search out facts and decide for myself. I just assumed (yes I know ass-u-me) that those I trusted (i.e. teachers, GA’s, parents, friends) would present me with unbiased information. I now know it is wrong to assume you are getting an unbiased view when talking to anyone about anything, even at church. As the cliché goes, there are always two sides to a story. Find the two extremes of an issue and the truth will usually fall somewhere between.

Most people call lazy faith by its common name, blind faith. Blind faith is the act of believing what you are told without knowing why or perhaps believing even though there may be evidence, which contradicts the belief. Believers of this type hold hard to their belief even when faced with abundant evidence to the contrary. They may not even have a logical argument to support the belief, but by gosh someone told them it was true so they will hold onto it or die trying.

In Priesthood last Sunday I shared a comment that blind faith (i.e. lazy faith) can actually be a bad thing. Another brother in the quorum refuted my statement. If I were itching for an argument I would have brought up the Mountain Meadows Massacre (MMM). If you adhere to the LDS interpretation of this event in Mormon history, as I mostly do, you are forced to admit that sometimes you should not listen to your leaders. You should not always do what they say, but should question them when something doesn’t seem right. The way the LDS Church portrays the MMM, the members blindly followed their local leaders and obeyed their order to kill innocent people. Are those that did what they were told blessed for murdering innocent people or condemned for not following Christ’s admonition of love your neighbor?

It is ironic after such a horrific event 150 years ago that I would still be taught to follow my leaders no matter what they said. If they were wrong the Lord would bless me anyway for my obedience. This is the mantra I received growing up and particularly from my mission president. I couldn’t disagree more. I believe that when you sustain a leader in the LDS or any Christian Church it is to support him in building up God’s kingdom and bringing souls to Christ. Anything contrary to that does not require our obedience.

If a leader asks us to do something we view as wrong, how can God expect us to participate in it? Now most of what our current LDS leaders say is thankfully good, but we should feel free to object when our conscious dictates that we do so. Unfortunately, in today’s Christian community (i.e. All Christian denominations and LDS) we want our leaders to tell us what is wrong and right. We hang on every word as if it were spoke by God himself and do little to think, reason, and know for ourselves if what has been taught is true.

When we do this, aren’t we giving up our freedom to choose? Someone pushes our buttons and we obey. We are encouraged to seek after truth to find confirmation of that truth and obey it. Why do we so often give up the right to know for ourselves by just following blindly? I think it is because we are lazy.

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Responses

  1. would you have written this post a year ago?

  2. 28 months ago I would have never dreamed of writing any of the posts I have for this blog. I’ve undergone quite a transformation since then. Some think it’s bad and others think it’s a good thing. I still haven’t figured that out for myself.

  3. I would say it’s a good thing. I’m proud to know you! Why would it be a good thing to go through life blind-folded, even if you were going the right direction? Isn’t God glorified more by those who choose with all the facts in front of them?

    Look at it outside of Mormonism. How do we respond to people who blindly follow someone else in faith? Take extreme examples like Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate. We either pity them or mock them.

    Check your email for me.

  4. The stake patriarch once came with my missionaries to visit me .

    He told me that we should always follow the church leaders , and even if they are wrong we will still be blessed for it . I knew straight away that that was ‘crap’ .If we follow our leaders and they are wrong then we are the bigger fools .

    Then he was telling me how great his friend Paul Dunn was at inspiring people in his talks .

    Well that comment just added another slap in the face for Mormonism for me when he said that .

    Had I now known better then my feelings would have probably encouraged me to join . But good old decency , honesty and common sense ( all Godly qualities ) suggested I start distancing myself from Mormon Teachings .


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