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Doubt is not a bad thing.  Doubt is a catalyst to improving knowledge.  I wouldn't call it a virtue just like me having a bunion on my foot is a virtue.  Doubt just is.

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I see doubt like I see sin.

 

Its not good but we can count on getting entangled by it aways.

 

When we do its not the end of the world, we can over come.  But if we aren't careful and aware they can both destroy us

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Doubt is what lead me to a stronger testimony. Doubt is what lead me to dive into the scriptures more than I ever had before, because I wanted to *know*. Doubt motivates me to really "search, ponder, and pray" to know and understand a Truth. As such, when I *do* come to a knowledge of a particular Truth, I feel a greater sense of security in that knowledge; that it's not going to be suddenly ripped from me because I accepted it too quickly without fully understanding it first, like has happened to me before.

 

That's not to say that those who never doubt have weak testimonies, or don't search for Truth, but for ME, mine wouldn't be as strong without it.

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Let's discuss doubt.

 

It seems quite trendy, in some circles, to embrace doubt as some sort of virtue. What are your thoughts on doubt?

 

When the doubter speaks, the thinking has been done.

 

(Wait--that's not right, is it?  Hmm . . .)

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Doubt is what lead me to a stronger testimony. Doubt is what lead me to dive into the scriptures more than I ever had before, because I wanted to *know*. Doubt motivates me to really "search, ponder, and pray" to know and understand a Truth. As such, when I *do* come to a knowledge of a particular Truth, I feel a greater sense of security in that knowledge; that it's not going to be suddenly ripped from me because I accepted it too quickly without fully understanding it first, like has happened to me before.

 

That's not to say that those who never doubt have weak testimonies, or don't search for Truth, but for ME, mine wouldn't be as strong without it.

 

This is a very interesting perspective. I'll have to think on it.

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When the doubter speaks, the thinking has been done.

 

Sounds about on par with what I'm hearing about on the interweb. Having faith must include a failure to have thought it through.

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I think the differences comes from what we do with it. It can cause us to throw in the towel and abandon a belief, or it can cause us to try and really hash things out, and try to come to a knowledge of the truth, or at least come to a knowledge that it's something we probably won't really "know" this side of the veil, but we can still have *hope* that it's true.

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"Where doubt is, there faith has no power." - Joseph Smith

 

How do we reconcile this with Jenmarie's excellent perspective?

 

 

Ask yourself....  Do people become stronger or weaker after repenting from Sin?  Jenmarie's strength is because she overcame her doubts.

 

It seems to me that this whole mortal existence is largely set up to help us become better by overcoming the challenge.

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Some scriptures about not doubting, for consideration:

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/6.36?lang=eng#35

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/hel/5.49?lang=eng#48

And there were about three hundred souls who saw and heard these things; and they were bidden to go forth and marvel not, neither should they doubt.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/8.8?lang=eng#7

Therefore, doubt not, for it is the gift of God; and you shall hold it in your hands, and do marvelous works; and no power shall be able to take it away out of your hands, for it is the work of God.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/morm/9.27?lang=eng#26

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/1-tim/2.8?lang=eng#7

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/morm/9.25?lang=eng#24

And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/morm/9.21?lang=eng#20

Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/26.10?lang=eng#9

And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/isa/7.9?lang=eng#8

If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

 

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/32.22?lang=eng#21

And now, behold, I say unto you, and I would that ye should remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word.

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Ask yourself....  Do people become stronger or weaker after repenting from Sin?  Jenmarie's strength is because she overcame her doubts.

 

I think the question should rather be... Are people who have sinned and repented stronger than those who never sinned in the first place?

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I consider doubt to be the coexisting condition of faith.  That is, I consider doubt to be a necessary condition of faith.  I do not consider the two to be opposites or enemies, but colleagues and collaborators.

 

I've enjoyed and encouraged this "trend" toward expressing doubts because I feel like the past few decades of church culture has held that doubt is bad and should never be expressed.  And that those who have doubts are on some spiritually inferior level.  What I've enjoyed about this doubt trend is seeing people who have both serious reservations and doubts while simultaneously having profound spiritual insights.  

 

The purpose of the doubting trend has been to illustrate that doubt and faith can coexist and that the liberty to express one's doubts without fear of ostracism or marginalization can bring one to greater faith and understanding.  

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Guest

This is what I want to discuss. Is it really not? I'm not so sure.

 

It is not.

 

Just like having an IQ of 80 is not a bad thing.  Now, if you have an IQ of 80 because you smoked crack, then it's a bad thing - the smoking, not the IQ.  If you have an IQ of 80 because your parents smoked crack, it's not a bad thing.  If you decide to rob people because you have an IQ of 80 because your parents smoked crack then it's a bad thing - not the IQ, but the robbing...

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https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/faith-in-the-lord-jesus-christ?lang=eng&query=doubt

 

A relevant talk 

 

some interesting highlights:

 

 Consider it this way: our net usable faith is what we have left to exercise after we subtract our sources of doubt and disbelief. You might ask yourself this question: “Is my own net faith positive or negative?” If your faith exceeds your doubt and disbelief, the answer is likely positive. If you allow doubtand disbelief to control you, the answer might be negative.

 

First is doubt. Doubt is not a principle of the gospel. It does not come from the Light of Christ or the influence of the Holy Ghost. Doubt is a negative emotion related to fear. It comes from a lack of confidence in one’s self or abilities. It is inconsistent with our divine identity as children of God.

Doubt leads to discouragement. Discouragement comes from missed expectations. Chronic discouragement leads to lower expectations, decreased effort, weakened desire, and greater difficulty feeling and following the Spirit (see Preach My Gospel [2004], 10). Discouragement and despair are the very antithesis of faith.

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Guest

Thanks for this topic. It has helped me sort through some thoughts I've had since my brother and his wife decided to take the apostate road several months ago.

 

There is questioning. Questioning is what's good. We don't understand something, we ask questions, we go to appropriate places for the answers (prayer, scriptures, trusted people, etc.). We question in faith that we will get the answers when the time is right. We question in faith that we do have testimonies of certain principles, and that faith is enough until we understand the rest.

 

Doubt is when we let other sources creep in. Doubt by definition is assumption that something is likely incorrect. When I tell my kids that I doubt something they're telling me, I'm saying that they are likely bending the truth. So doubt is a different animal. Doubt puts the philosophies of men mingled with scripture above faith and understanding. 

 

In summary, questioning is good, and necessary for spiritual growth. Doubt is subject to bad influences and the beginning of abandonment of our faith.

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Guest

2. Questioning and not understanding are not necessarily the same thing as doubt.

 

I don't understand the implication you're trying to make here.

 

Questioning and not understanding is, of course, not the same thing as doubt.  Uncertainty is more the synonym of doubt (there's a slight difference in nuance - uncertainty and indecision are more stagnant while doubt is pulling to unlikely, know what I mean?).  Questioning and not understanding are simply causals to uncertainty/doubt (things that happen before or after).

 

When something is too magnificent for the brain to grasp (not understanding something magnificent), uncertainty can be too mild a reaction.  Doubt is more the natural inclination.  What you do with doubt (the causals) decide the outcome.  Questioning is a good thing, speaking against the church is not a good thing - both causals.  For Thomas, his doubt required a physical display which the Lord felt inclined to provide.  What would have Thomas done with his doubt if the Lord has not manifested the truth to him?  Therein lies the good/no-good.  Doing nothing about the doubt is also a bad thing.

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A few additional thoughts:

 

1) How do we see the concept of doubt? Is the "unbelief" mentioned in Mark 9:24 ("Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief") considered doubt? Or is doubt limited to refusal to accept some truth ("I refuse to believe that Joseph pulled a gold bible out of the ground and translated it. It is just too fantastical of a story.")?

 

2) How important is humility and teachability (is that a word?) to the question? I can see some like Jennamarie describes who have doubts but are earnestly and humbly seeking to understand. There are also others who have no desire to even approach the subject.

 

3) Doubt is a good thing if we are "doubting" a falsehood. In spite of his claims in the premortal councils, I doubt that Satan really has the power to get me to heaven. It seems to me that some of this question around doubt is centered in the process of discernment. It might be all about the process of trying to find out what is truth and what is error.

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Let's discuss doubt.

 

It seems quite trendy, in some circles, to embrace doubt as some sort of virtue. What are your thoughts on doubt?

 

I believe there are doubts and there are Doubts. It is not uncommon for someone to read a scripture or hear a story and have doubts about the veracity of it. I can think of many instances in my life where I felt like that.

 

But then you have Doubts, with capital D. The kind of Doubt that makes you think about your whole existence and purpose on this planet,  the one that makes you wonder about God, who is he and what the heck is he doing, the one that has a deeper, serious meaning.

 

Many times, due to unexpected life circumstances, you are faced with the second one without seeking it. You either have the choice to continue believing (even though perhaps you have no good reason to do so) or abandon the faith. Sometimes the pain is too much for someone to bear and they decide to abandon their belief.

 

I am very careful about labeling anyone and bothers me when others who did not go through the same challenges these people faced see them and they sit down and point fingers labeling them as weak and lacking faith. I see them as brothers and sisters who couldn't bear the pain any longer.

 

The other group, decides to press on, decides to believe even if they don't see why or understand why and they continue having Doubts but they are determined to seek truth, to find it. Many times the journey takes a lifetime.

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I consider doubt to be the coexisting condition of faith.  That is, I consider doubt to be a necessary condition of faith.  I do not consider the two to be opposites or enemies, but colleagues and collaborators.

 

I've enjoyed and encouraged this "trend" toward expressing doubts because I feel like the past few decades of church culture has held that doubt is bad and should never be expressed.  And that those who have doubts are on some spiritually inferior level.  What I've enjoyed about this doubt trend is seeing people who have both serious reservations and doubts while simultaneously having profound spiritual insights.  

 

The purpose of the doubting trend has been to illustrate that doubt and faith can coexist and that the liberty to express one's doubts without fear of ostracism or marginalization can bring one to greater faith and understanding.  

 

So how do you reconcile this with the Joseph Smith quote above? He was full of it? :)

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So how do you reconcile this with the Joseph Smith quote above? He was full of it? :)

 

I know your post is to MOE but what quote are you referring to? :confused:

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So how do you reconcile this with the Joseph Smith quote above? He was full of it? :)

I can't speak for MoE, but I agree with the gist of what I think he's saying. What I've seen of the "doubting" trend has, so far, been mostly about doubting the Church as an institution. Different "camps" would like to see different results from that doubting.

 

The Third Lecture on Faith deals entirely with the "correct nature" of God, and continually stresses the importance of exercising "perfect faith" (LoF 3, Q. 20) unto "life and salvation" (LoF 4:1) to be able to actually achieve said salvation. To attain salvation you have to have perfect faith in God. In fact, the only being or concept you can ever have perfect faith in is God, and the result of that perfect faith is the receipt of life and salvation.

 

It's impossible to have perfect faith in men or men's organizations, and if anyone were to attempt it they would be damming themselves by setting up a barrier between them and the author of their salvation, Christ. Unfortunately, in the modern Church there's been a trend among the members to try to view the Church, or the line of priestly/prophetic succession from Joseph Smith, or a specific Church President with perfect faith and depend on the keys the leaders hold for their salvation.

 

That is an attempt at idolatry which Joseph warned against when he preached Ezekiel 14 to the Relief Society a few years before his death, and that the Lord described in D&C 76:100 as belonging to those who inherit Telestial glory ("These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias..."). Therefore, inasmuch as the recent trend of doubting shakes faith in the Church (without attempting to destroy it) and re-centers it in God, it's good. However, inasmuch as it shakes faith in God and tries to center one's faith in man or the philosophies of men, it's bad.

 

It's all about what you're doubting or having faith in.

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