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…