Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mormons are supposed to think for themselves

I was asked recently what my favorite scripture was. I have to say that it's Alma 32:27 which says, "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." (emphasis added)

It tells us to "arouse [our] faculties," in other words, to think! And to "experiment" upon God's words. Not to just accept them blindly. And yet, many people of faith don't put forth the effort to think and consciously apply the teachings of their doctrine. It gets to the point where from time to time I hear non-Mormons ridiculing and mocking Mormons for not being willing or able to think for themselves and this frustrates me because I know too many Mormons who aren't willing to think for themselves, who find comfort in just doing as their told and not questioning anything or anyone in the Church despite the doctrine clearly instructing them to make use of the gift of thought that their Heavenly Father has given them.

This scripture tells me that faith isn't supposed to be blind, that it should be the impetus to open our eyes and apply what we learn, even if the best we can do is to just have a desire to believe. And if all that can be given place in the hearts of those with that desire is just a portion of God's words, so be it. At least it's something.

These words give me comfort when I find myself struggling with the attitudes and "beliefs" of people in my own faith that conflict with my own. That all we need to do to resolve these conflicts is to do the work, to experiment and to ponder with an open mind and an open heart.