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Things almost remembered

November 11, 2008

Don’t you hate when you have something on your mind that you know you heard or read…but you just can’t find where it came from?

I have something like that. I was reading…something…maybe a blog or perhaps even something by a General Authority, and basically this article talked about the ramifications of the Pearl of Great Price being found to not be anything special. It was just an Egyptian standard burial hieroglyph.

Well…the author of this note reasoned that for True Believing Mormons (TBMs), this would not shake their faith…because these guys would stay rock-solid no matter what the evidence said for or against the church. On the other hand, cultural Mormons and those who did not strongly believe would inevitably leave the church in droves because their tenuous faith would be shattered and snapped by such adverse news.

Of course, no such mass migration happened. The author then remarked something special…the reason the falsification of the Pearl of Great Price did not cause those who were supposedly weak in faith to leave was because these people already did not accept the historicity of the standard works.

When I read this line, even though I recognize the author was speaking out against these members for being such poor believers (but then again, it was a long time ago that I read this article, so perhaps I am projecting my own anticipatory disapproval onto his tone now), it appealed so much to me. He had basically read my thoughts and put them on paper.

I occasionally read things in my online perusals that ring just as clearly (even when the authors of these respective passages are actually chastising such positions).

I remember my days in Sunday School… I knew enough of the gospel to be able to answer the questions well enough (but I still think that I was nowhere as sharp as the scriptures as I should have been; it’s just that all the other kids were just so much worse). I was a model kind of kid, I like to think.

I just didn’t believe. This was never really a problem for me, because the parts about the church that I liked were what people got to see. I liked all of my priesthood callings…I liked organizing, planning, conducting meetings. I liked giving talks. I somehow managed to slip by without bearing my testimony, but even when I did, I focused on my activity-based faith instead of a real faith. I have a testimony of service, for example. It just happens that this requires no faith in the restoration.

In class, between answers, I would always joke with my brother or a friend about our perceived illogic of some scripture. Horses? In America? Steel? And how did full civilizations develop in such a short time? Malthus would be rolling in his grave.

But still, these kinds of jokes never went anywhere. I didn’t really recognize that some people actually thought these details to be vital and that these would be dealbreakers. For me, it didn’t matter if Nephi lived to still appreciate what things about the church as it is today. So, a lot of apologetics makes me chuckle…because it seems that everyone’s so adamant on filling 11 holes in the ceiling with 10 fingers.

Nope, my fall away from the church was based on much different things. But that’s for another note!


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