An Open Letter to Dieter Uchtdorf:

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Craig Paxton
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An Open Letter to Dieter Uchtdorf:

Post by Craig Paxton »

I've been doing some research back into my ACTIVE Apostate Days and came across this open letter I wrote. I'm quite proud of it, thought I'd share

Written Originally October 9, 2013

Dear President Uchtdorf,

When is it OK to Stop Doubting your Doubts and just go where the evidence leads?

There is a scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy along with the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man are standing in front of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz having accomplished everything that the wizard had asked of them. Having finish their task they ask Oz, through all of his blustering smoke and fire, to keep his end of their agreement.

But then something unexpected happens, the Great and Powerful Oz starts to hedge on his promise and asks for more time telling Dorothy and her friends to come back the next day, but Dorothy and her party begin to ask questions telling Oz that he's had plenty of time already. Dorothy begins to question the power of Oz and tells him that if he were really great and powerful he would keep his promises to them. Oz quickly responds to her impertinent questioning of his authority by verbally attacking her for daring to question and criticize him.

It's during this time of doubt and questioning that Toto, Dorothy's dog, pulls back a curtain exposing a man hiding behind the curtain, pulling levers and speaking into a microphone. The man behind the curtain, realizing that he has been exposed, makes a failed attempt to keep up his charade by warning Dorothy and her companions to. "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Even when the man behind the curtain knowing that the jig is up, admits that he is OZ.Dorothy still doubts her doubts saying "I don't believe you". But the evidence is overwhelming.doubt has conquered faith and given way to pure knowledge. The truth has been exposed that the once Great and Powerful Oz is merely a man with the same powers as any other ordinary man.

Those that begin the journey to seek answers to hard questions are bound to receive unsatisfactory institutional responses to their questions. Apologetic answers are not designed to satisfy the doubts but instead divert the questioner away from the path that their question may ultimately lead. Institutional answers are designed to offer plausible alternatives to answers that may lead to disbelief thereby providing a safe harbor where faith can survive. They are designed to support the truth claims of the institution not satisfy the questioner. Their purpose is to help those that doubt maintain faith in the truth claims of the church. It is from this safe harbor that we get apologetic answers such as the 2 Cumorah's and the wack-a-mole, multiple hemispheric models for Book of Mormon settings. Answers yes, but these answers never quite quench or fully satisfy and resolve the doubt.

Just as the Wizard of Oz attempted to divert attention away from the man behind the curtain, the church uses apologetic answers to divert those who doubt away from answers that lead to a loss of faith.

But answers that do not fully extinguish the question leave behind burning embers that quietly smolder on the back burner of one's mental stove until some event reignite the flame of doubt again.

Doubt in a truth claim is the first step one must take in our quest to seeking empirical truth.

As Robert T. Weston said, we should."Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief. Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.

Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it; for doubt is a testing of belief. The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;

For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure. He that would silence doubt is filled with fear; the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands.

But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock. He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge; the work of his hands shall endure. Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help: It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth."

But what do you do once you've doubted your doubts, what do you do once the fog of doubt has been replaced with the light of truth.should you continue to cling to a faith that no longer stands up to scrutiny?"

Like the Scales of Justice carried by the Greek Goddess Themis, there comes a point in our search for truth where the weight of evidence tips the scales against the claims made by the church. Remaining in the holding pattern of doubting our doubts requires a lot of energy but eventually given enough evidence, reality reaches a saturation point where doubt gives way to understanding, truth and knowledge. To continue in our doubts once we have reached this point, to hold on to faith when faith no longer makes sense is just wishful thinking in a hopeless lie.

For me, this process took of 40 years mental gymnastics. 40 years of ignoring, apologizing, compartmentalizing, and bending my brain into a pretzel with each new revelation and discovery. 40 years of doubting my doubts until the weight of evidence was just too great. 40 years of denying the undeniable until I could no longer deny to myself that something in the church was just not right. That its claims just didn't add up.

So Dieter, When is it ok to just accept that the pieces to the puzzle will never fit together no matter how much faith one has? When is it ok to allow oneself to ask the question...."What if the church isn't what it claims to be?" When is it ok to accept the answers to the conclusions that your doubts have led you to?
"...The official doctrine of the LDS Church is a Global Flood" - BCSpace

"...What many people call sin is not sin." - Joseph Smith

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Phillip K. Dick

“The meaning of life is that it ends" - Franz Kafka

Star A
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:12 am

Re: An Open Letter to Dieter Uchtdorf:

Post by iwanttotalk »

Craig Paxton wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:17 pm
I've been doing some research back into my ACTIVE Apostate Days and came across this open letter I wrote. I'm quite proud of it, thought I'd share

Written Originally October 9, 2013

Dear President Uchtdorf,

When is it OK to Stop Doubting your Doubts and just go where the evidence leads?
The answer is never

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