I Walk Imperfectly

I'm Not Over the History

Wed 29 June 2016 |

I attended a recent Mormon Stories Live event where Gina Colvin, Thomas McConkie, and Dan Wotherspoon discussed how they stay positively engaged in the LDS church despite its shortcomings.

One point emphasized by both Gina and Thomas was that they're not really bothered by the problems in the church's history. There was an implication, perhaps unintentional, that being bothered by the history put you on a lower spiritual/developmental plane than if you had just put it behind you.

I don't know whether they're on a higher spiritual plane than I am or not, but I'm still bothered by the history. I sacrificed a great deal for the LDS church, over many years, because I had been taught that it was literally God's one and only true church. It was the only one led by prophets. It was the only one with God's priesthood authority. It was the only one with God's essential temple ordinances. And these things are true, I was taught, because of historical events that actually happened.

In many, many lessons I was taught about Joseph Smith's First Vision, and the translation of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham, and Joseph receiving the priesthood from the resurrected John the Baptist and the apostles Peter, James, and John.

Then while serving a mission. I taught these things to other people. I testified that they were true. I reassured them that the contradictory things they'd learned on the internet were anti-Mormon lies.

And then in recent years, I learned that much of what I'd been taught was half truths. I learned that in many cases the whole truth had been known by church leaders, but deliberately omitted from conference talks and lesson manuals because it was not seen as faith promoting.

I believe that when you tell others that you speak for God, and that they need to obey you, and make great sacrifices for the institution you lead, you have a duty to tell them the whole truth. You have a duty to disclose things