Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Whither the (sorta-)unbelievers?

Participating in temple worship is a necessary thing if one wishes to be a full participant in the Mormon religion. However, receiving a recommend requires not just adhering to accepted Mormon practice, but also believing in it.

This poses a problem for those amongst us who are affiliated with Mormonism, and self-identify as Mormons, but for whatever reason have not received a spiritual witness of some part of the faith—some, in fact, of as basic a thing as whether God actually exists.

So those who don’t have a testimony (as generally defined within Mormonism) of such things are stuck with something approaching a Morton’s choice: either participating fully as a result of lying by saying they believe when they don’t, or telling the truth and not participating fully. It seems to me that this is a problematic position to place those people in, and the sort of thing that might well drive them away rather than bringing them closer to the faith. I don’t know how to resolve this problem, but that doesn’t stop me from perceiving it as a problem, you know?

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