I am giving a FREE presentation at Utah Valley University in a few weeks, as part of an ongoing series of talks on Mormonism. My talk will discuss Doubt.
What is it, anyway? A state of mind? Why then do we speak of it as something that comes upon us, that we fall into, that we have? Or does doubt-as-mental-state reveal something about mind that is not like the ordinary sense of mind as something “in here,” and subject to me?
Why are there prescriptions given by authorities for alleviating it, for avoiding it, and so on? How is it that one can do unto it, whatever it is?
Has doubt become essential to what is now called “faith,” so that I can “exercise faith” by participating in Mormon religion, despite having doubts? Is this what a “mature” faith looks like?
If so, we can ask, “faith in what, exactly?” Is Doubt here to stay, and so we ought to make a permanent habitation for it; or must we toss out traditions, histories, scriptures, rituals, and so on, which are now subject to doubting, in order to save The Church itself?
I probably won’t answer all these questions, and I’m not going to approach the topic of Doubt in a manner similar to discussions offered by any other Mormon.
I’m also soliciting honest reflections on doubt, provided by you guys. I may use some or all of what you write in that talk, although no names will be attached to whatever you happen to write. So, if you’d like to be subject potentially to anthropological analysis, please comment on Doubt below.