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I read this article today that said much of what I said here much more eleoquently:




Thanks for your comment. Sorry it took me so long to post it. I wanted to wait until I had time to respond. I appreciated the fact that you expressed your views respectfully too.

I see your argument for the most part. If I am purchasing something, say a book on Kindle, a camera, a car, I would definitely read the reviews and get as many trusted opinions as I could.

I guess from my perspective, the gospel is no less true if I get five or ten or one hundred people who say it's bunk. The only opinion that really matters is God's and the only way we'll get that revelation is if we sincerely ask, with sincere intent to act on his answer. And then once we get that answer, or maybe if we don't but we still want to know, we have to act on faith.

We would never buy a car on faith or a house on faith. They are huge investments. In a way, though, you could say that WE are investments to God, and we need to have faith for that investment to fully be realized. But if we don't show that faith, then he can't help us to understand his truth more fully.


I like some of your article, but I find some of your arguments flawed.

If I'm "looking to find the truth," it is most valuable to look at all sides of the argument. So, using her example, if I'm trying to decide whether or not to be a BYU student, only talking to BYU students would be valuable, but would not give me a full picture. Talking to Ute students is valuable if I'm viewing it as an either/or situation (i.e., I will ONLY be a BYU student OR a UofU student), but not valuable if I'm only trying to evaluate the merits of BYU, UNLESS, of course, that Ute student happened to be a former BYU student who transferred. In that situation, it would be very valuable to ask them what they liked about BYU, why they decided to transfer (bad experience with the teachers? too big? got married and they and their spouse were going to be in SLC instead of Provo?), and how they like the U of U comparatively. Now if they had such a terrible experience at the Y that they just want to rant about it instead of have an objective conversation--at that point they go back into the realm of "not productive to seek information from that source."

When I purchase an item from Amazon, I like to start by reading the reviews--both positive and negative ones. With most items, there are going to be some people who have an awesome experience and some people who have a terrible one and lots of people who have an experience somewhere in between. If only one person complains or raves about something, out of hundreds, I'm probably not going to put much stock into it. However, if I read enough reviews--which I will, if it is a product that matters to me--I'm going to find common themes emerging. Some parts of the product are awesome--some parts are not awesome. When I identify common themes that lots and lots of people are saying, that is the information I'm more inclined to believe. You look at the overall good things and bad things and then make a decision about whether to buy. Our church is very similar. Plenty of good and bad "features" you can identify about it--if you talk to enough people on both sides or read enough opinions on both sides, you will quickly identify tons of both. And based on that, you can determine whether or not you will "buy." Everyone is able to make their own decision on that.

But point of the matter is: yes, I do frequently find the truth of matters by talking to detractors. But I talk to supporters as well. Accept that people have biases--cuz everybody does--and you can put more or less stock into their opinion accordingly. In fact, if you talk to someone who left the church but still has positive things to say about x, y, or z, you can probably put even more weight on those x, y, z items than you would by hearing it from someone in the church. For example, growing up, my dad loved to talk about how all 3 of the original BoM witnesses left the church, but none denied their testimony of the BoM. Thus showing an even more powerful proof that the BoM was true.

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