Four talks in the October 2015 General Conference focused, at least to a significant degree, on the issues of doubt and faith, and also chose to warn church members about possible harm should they turn primarily to Internet sources when they are faced with questions about Church teachings, practice, or history. Many of us who participate in the kinds of online discussions take place in social media spaces that have grown up around various blogs and podcasts like this one have felt uneasy about some of these messages and their rhetoric. For us, doubt and skepticism feel second nature to us, part of our personalities and the way we approach life in general. Furthermore, these tools, as we work with them and see both their strengths and limitations, seem to us to be helpful as we try to grow into better rounded and more firmly centered spiritual adults. Were these talks nodding toward all forms of doubt and skepticism, or was their focus on more caustic types and the cynicism that often flows out of that? Were these talks casting dispersions on the kinds of conversations hosted here and/or in the more constructive and “spiritual journey” related groups? How can and does doubt relate to “faith”? What about to “truth”?
In this two-part episode, Adam Miller, James Patterson, and Jordan Harmon join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a discussion of these topics and more. While focusing mostly on the subjects at hand, they also engage with parts of the four talks under consideration. How should we “hear” these talks? If we do so less defensively, what pieces of wisdom are there for us? Certainly we all have spiritual work to do. How can even difficult messages serve us well?
Please listen and then share your comments in the section below! And feel free to register for and then begin using the World Table commenting system. It’s easy to do, and you can begin right away developing a great online reputation for engaging with others in constructive ways. As you seek to create and raise your World Table “score,” you will one day find your voice magnified (deservedly so as someone who engages fairly and forthrightly) across all sites that adopt the WT system.
The Four Talks Concentrated on in this Episode:
President Deiter F. Uchtdorf, “It Works Wonderfully,” October 2015 General Conference
President Deiter F. Uchtdorf, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe,” October 2015 General Conference
Elder Vern P. Stanfill, “Choose the Light,” October 2015 General Conference
Elder James B. Martino, “Turn to Him and Answers Will Come,” October 2015 General Conference