Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mormonism: The Ability to Hold 2 Conflicting Ideas in Your Head Simultaneously...Well Almost

I once knew with every fiber of my being that Mormonism was true. I believed it wholeheartedly. The thought that the church could be anything but what it claimed never crossed my mind. Yet I also held beliefs that I also knew to be true that I just couldn’t reconcile with my Mormon beliefs. They weren’t huge conflicts like evolution vs the Adam and Eve fable or America being populated by an Asian immigration vs being populated by Lehi and his fictional descendants…those would come much later…no my initial conflicting ideas were my firm knowledge that dinosaurs existed millions of years ago vs the churches claim that 6,000 years had passed since the time of Adam and Eve when death was first introduced into the world…thus making the existence of dinosaurs impossible. So being unable to reconcile these seemingly unreconcilable beliefs, I simply found a way to build various compartments within my brain where I could place each of these seemingly unfalsifiable truths…apart from each other.

Despite knowing that this conflict existed, I also knew that if I were to take the time to scrutinize and examine this conflict that one of my firmly held beliefs would not come out unscathed. The rational part of my mind feared that this could be the church…so I built a particularly strong wall between my natural desire to resolve this conflict and my belief in the church. Upon reflection, I can now see that my mind had been trained to build these various compartments within my mind in which to place these truths that conflicted with my Mormon beliefs.

I had been taught that the truth claims of the church trumped all other truth claims, Mormon truth was truth with a capital T. Scientific truth on the other hand was unreliable and subject to change as new information was discovered. I was taught that eventually, scientific discoveries would come around to support LDS truth claims.

Therefore, despite knowing that the church was true and that dinosaurs existed…I blamed this seemingly unreconcilable conflict on the unreliability of science. It also caused me to buy into ridiculous LDS apologetics to explain away the dilemma… the false apologetic idea that dinosaur bones had been parts of other worlds…gathered together during the earths creation. This is why they existed…they never actually had lived on our earth…but had lived on an alien planet who’s part had been used by God to form our own earth. As bizarre as it seems now…I was taught this in Seminary and Sunday School and sadly I believed it…why? Because the church was true god damit.

Any religion that requires its members to hold beliefs that conflict with scientific reality is a religion that is built on a false foundation. By this standard Mormonism is a false religion.

I am so grateful that I was eventually able to find the courage to face reality and confront the various mental conflicts that Mormonism requires in order to maintain belief. I am so happy to be able to have a mind free of the burden of mental gymnastics and cognitive dissonance. The truth really does set you free…

1 comment:

John Draper said...

Hello,

My name is John Draper. You don't know me from Adam. What led me to you is I'm a first-time novelist who is furiously marketing his first book, A Danger to God Himself. As such, I'm continually scouring the internet looking for blogs who might be willing to review my book.

My book is about a Mormon missionary who goes insane on his mission. I'd like to send you a free copy, paperback or Kindle.

Let me tell you the story behind my story:

Writing this novel cost me my religion. I’m not bitter or anything. Actually, it was liberating.

I started the book eight years ago as an Evangelical who wanted to skewer Mormonism. The book took me eight years to write. I probably read 25 books on Mormonism (and read everything on Mormonthink at least twice) and 25 books on schizophrenia. What’s more, I started attending a local ward undercover.

Long story short, I saw that devout Latter-day Saints had the same religion I had, really. Basically, we both loved God and Christ and we wanted to serve God and live more like Christ. I had to admit, the only difference between us was the words we used to describe our experience.

Further, I came to realize that the only reason I believed what I believed was that someone had told me to believe it.

I was just like so many Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals—if not all.

Bottom line, I became an agnostic.

The novel is narrated in the first person by Kenny, the missionary companion who watches his companion, Jared, succumb to schizophrenia. At first, Kenny and others assume that the voices Jared is hearing and the visions he’s seeing are from Heavenly Father.

But as Jared gets sicker and sicker, Kenny has to rethink his whole view of God and how God does or doesn’t interact with the world. Kenny’s journey became my journey: theist to, at best, deist.

So . . . I’d like to send you a free copy of my novel. I’m hoping you’ll write a book review—good, bad, or indifferent. Or maybe you’d like to interview me. Or maybe I could do a guest post.

If nothing else, you get a free book out of this.

Obviously, I want to sell more books, but I really think this book would be of interest to your subscribers. I think they will be able to see themselves in Kenny.

I know the book's not for everyone. My mother, for example, loved it but complained it contained too much vulgarity. I'm not sure how much vulgarity is too much, but the book does contain 91 F Bombs. (I counted.)

Let me know if you would like to talk more.

Thanks for your time

-john
Hoju1959@gmail.com