Monday, June 06, 2005

Lessons of Time

These are some lessons I've learned:
  • It doesn't take very much time at all to have doubt cast on your beliefs, if you heed sources who are intent on casting that doubt.
  • It takes a lot of time to research relevant topics to the point where you can cast enough truth on those doubts to strengthen your testimony.
  • In my experience, every time somebody causes me to doubt the truthfulness of the doctrines and revelations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon, and other such things, deep research always results in a deeper understanding and a stronger testimony of my religion.
Based on these discoveries, my conclusions are thus:
  • It is wise to study deeply any question that has been raised, if it has shaken your faith.
  • In such cases, it is unwise to rely on the people who raised those questions as a primary source of information for your research.
  • It is unwise in the first place to heed the words of people who would raise those questions, unless you have enough free time to devote to deep research.
These truths have become increasingly clear to me over the past year or so. Time after time, I have found these things to be evidenced by various experience--even beyond the scope of religion. I am not one to turn a blind eye toward people's misdeeds, but neither am I one to point out the speck of dust in my neighbor's eye, whether my "neighbor" is a friend, relative, stranger, the President of the United States, or a prophet. All these people make mistakes; I'll never pretend otherwise. But I'm not about to listen and accept the words of people whose sole goal in life seems to be finding fault in authority.

Don't watch Fahrenheit 9/11 unless you're ready to watch Fahrenhype 9/11. Don't read The Da Vinci Code unless you're ready to read The Da Vinci Hoax or something like it. Pay no attention to anti-Mormon shock talk unless you're prepared to read through a lot of information. And when you've seen enough and heard enough that you learn to recognize propaganda on sight, be willing to set aside curiosity now and then, and spend time doing something that really matters, like raising a family.
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