Dear Believer, Why Do You Believe? ~ By Lance Miles

image

These are some wonderfully insightful comments from a recently resigned member of the Mormon Church, Lance Miles, which I thought were worth publicising:

There has been a lot of talk about “Truth”. The church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. The Gospel is true. My question is, what is truth? Can we test truth? How do we determine truth? Is truth found in prayer alone?

Please humor a small analogy: What if a stranger came up to you with a glass of clear liquid and said, “Drink this, it’s pure spring water.” Would you simply drink it? Certainly not. So, how do you determine if it’s truly water and not some poison?

Well, you can look at it and see that it’s a clear liquid. You can smell it. You can move the glass around and see that it behaves like water. You can always pray about it. But, is that it? Would you trust the stranger enough to risk your life on his word alone? Do you give in to blind obedience? What if he had an official looking letter certifying that he says it’s truly water? Would that be enough? Would you obey him with this limited knowledge and feelings?

What other ways can you test that liquid to make sure the stranger is telling the truth? Well, you could do a litmus test to find its PH Balance. You could run electricity through it to see if it conducts like water. You could do a chemical analysis of the liquid to see what it contains. You could even analyze the liquid to see if its molecular structure contains two Hydrogen and one Oxygen.

Back to the question posed; how do we test truth? Through ignorance and blind obedience? That actually takes away our free agency. To close ourselves up in a dark, little box hinders our growth and potential. It is no way to live an independent, authentic life.

The default answer in Mormonism is prayer and “personal revelation”. But praying only tends to confirm a bias already seeded in our subconscious. A “feeling” is not a reliable indicator of truth. It only takes a bit of honest reflection to look back into our own life history and see how many mistakes our good feelings have caused.

For forty years, we were taught NOT to question authority. “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan—it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy.” -Ezra Taft Benson (Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354) Interesting that this was preached when blacks couldn’t hold the priesthood.

Mormons are taught from toddlers to “Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, Follow the prophet; don’t go astray. Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, Follow the prophet he knows the way.” It’s blind obedience through and through.

The incredible thing about this day and age is we have more tools to test truth than ever before in history. We’ve never had so much knowledge sitting at the tips of our fingers. Any question or idea can be searched and, instantly, we have volumes of information weighing on all side of the issue. We no longer need to have a shelf full of untestable religious questions for which, “we’ll just have to wait until the next life to get answered.”

The problem is we allow those supposed leaders whom we arbitrarily give authority over us to dictate our thinking and behaviors for us. We give up our critical thinking skills and, in turn, our free agency. We are taught to not question authority. Just stay in that dark, little box and do not test truth for yourself.

As a Mormon, I’m sure you’re shaking your head and saying, “No! That’s not the way it is! I’ve learned the truth and I love it. I’m not in a little box. I can think for myself.” If that’s the case then you must answer this one question honestly: Can you right now take one of those many, seemingly unanswerable, questions off your shelf and simply type it into Google? Can you take a few hours to research just one of your questions and really learn about it from every angle with unbiased, out of the box thinking?

Did you just wince? Did you justify or rationalize why you shouldn’t? Did you say to yourself, “Those questions bring an evil spirit so I will not do it.”? Or, “The internet is full of lies and anti-Mormon propaganda.”? Mormons are told to “doubt your doubts” yet every member and missionary is telling any non-member to completely doubt their current belief system. That, supposedly, Mormons have the real “truth”.

Ignorance is bliss but truth based on ignorance leads us into wrong conclusions and false ideas of reality. As I now seek for truth I put the “answers” into three categories: 1) Absolute truth 2) Justified/rationalized truth 3) Fallacy. When presented with a question, after exhausting my research and learning on the subject, I can put my “truth” into one of these three categories (ie-the earth revolves around the sun in #1). As you honestly seek truth through study and learning, see how many questions were/are in the “2) Justified/rationalized truth” category. Then ask yourself, “Why do I have to justify this belief?”

~ Lance Miles

image

*******//*******

Are you willing to bet your eternal soul on your particular religion?

You already know what it’s like to be an atheist in regards to every other religion. As do millions of other believers of other religions in regards to your God. How do you determine which god to worship?

image

This entry was posted in Humanism, Mormon Issues, Religious Epiphany, TRUTH and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dear Believer, Why Do You Believe? ~ By Lance Miles

  1. Stormin says:

    Excellent job! Wish I would have realized this years ago —— but I realize it now at least. So yes I left Mormonism a number of years now. I still am a believer in God/prayer (do not support any organized religion) because I have had numerous great answers to prayers in different manners (voice, documentation, insights, feelings, etc.). I agree there is a chance my unconscious mind could be the god I worship and am accessing. However, I access my God through prayer and it seems to work so ——- If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. So I believe in prayer because it benefits me and it seems to work. I do not plan on making any major monetary or work efforts to any religious organization that I don’t think I benefit from. I still search for religious and cosmic truths (some way out things psychics/mediums, meditation, use of faith, etc.) but in the end, I adopt things only if they appear to benefit me. Again, if it works and you don’t know why for sure ——- why fix it?

  2. Great article, thanks for sharing.

  3. Camille Biexei says:

    One issue few people seem willing to talk about is that many “true believers” are terrified to question because they might shatter the beliefs which have governed their lives for years. Mormonism keeps people in thrall in part through its set of guarantees–”obey and you will receive your reward”. Loss of the possibility for the reward for which one has sacrificed one’s life is too frightening. but even more, the crushing realization of having given up so much for the Church most believers will avoid almost at any cost. The feeling is that it is better to be ignorant than to realize one has been duped and wasted one’s life.

  4. What saddens me, is that active Mormons have been induced so thoroughly to accept that a ‘spiritual witness’ is the superior and ultimate decider of truth – and falling back on this, when all else fails.

  5. Kemari says:

    I love this. It’s always amazing to see how afraid a believer is to simply question! It’s crazy. Yet, they will deny they are apart of brainwashing.
    Let’s be glad we are out and free:-)

  6. Lance M. says:

    I originally posted this article on my Facebook page. My old bishop responded by saying, “Joseph Smith was, and is , a Prophet of God and the Book of Mormon is true. Of these two truths I cannot deny. If we look for faults in life we find them, if we seek for truth we will also find it; We find truth by the power of the Holy Ghost, not by Google. <– eyes wide shut! Sad.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Our beliefs blind us to reality.

      Steven Covey used to say, “Believing is Seeing”, but that’s not entirely true. It’s probably more true to say, what we believe is what we see, and what we see is not always reality or truth.

      What we see with our eyes is only what our attention is drawn to.

      Our attention is focused on those things we believe based on our fears, guilt, phobias, biases, prejudices & assumptions.

      So we only see what we want to see. What our subconscious minds will allow us to see.

      What we think is true is not always of the same value as other truths.

      For instance there are three categories of thought; personal opinion, socially accepted truths and scientifically validated objective facts.

      ‘Attention’ is a powerful principle.

      It’s how stage magicians, con-men & religious tricksters are able to fool their victims.

      It’s what makes us blind to those things our subconscious minds want us to avoid because it would be too painful to contemplate, even though in the long-run it would be to our benefit.

      If only more people realised this they’d be less susceptible to the “deceptions of evil & conspiring men!”

      “The eye only sees what the mind is willing to accept.” ~ Robertson Davies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s