Many people have asked why we don't resign instead of going through the disciplinary council for what seems to be a sure conviction of apostasy. The main reason is that we know a lot of people that don't believe anymore, want to discuss their doubts and problems in public, but don't for fear of apostasy or shaming from family, friends and people at work. Because we are in a position that we've already been through that by coming out about our disbelief publicly we feel that we can be a voice for them to hopefully create that middle ground in Mormonism that Carson worked for so many years to create from the inside.
So, what am I going to say in my DC?
As I always like to post things in bullet format :-) I'll do that here:
- I'll give a 2 minute synopsis of my growing up in the church and feeling the feelings of the spirit, but only when people did good things, never when praying about the BOM or the church and the conflict that created, compounded by the fact that I felt those exact same feeling while watching fictional movies, etc. Finally, after serving an extremely dedicated mission and still not getting a witness I partially gave up the hope that I would receive a testimony in 1997, almost 20 years ago.
- Since then I've been very sympathetic to others that suffer emotional pain from similar circumstances. I've tried to mourn with those that morn. This made me spend lots of time over several years trying to help those that suffered shaming and isolation in Mormonism. A much bigger problem than you realize if you're not experiencing it, one that has grown tremendously over the past few years as more of the factual church history has come to light with the internet.
- Similarly, because members too often demonize doubt and doubters I've been very public and open about my doubts to normalize the pain others feel and I've shared some troubling church history facts (very few of the many available) to show those that harshly judge doubters that the issues are legitimate and difficult to resolve.
- My stake president has said that this is not the way of the church and doing so causes some people to lose their testimony when they see what I write, even though its for good intentions. Also, since the brethren are encouraging people to deal with doubts in private, not public, I'm going against the brethren in being public with my normalization and help.
- To prove I should not be excommunicated (and more importantly they shouldn't excommunicate the people that are afraid to speak up) I'll share the following 5 handouts that explain my logic. Yep, handouts :-)
- http://bit.ly/cantblindlyfollow - This will have a bunch of quotes from prophets and apostles telling us themselves that we can't blindly follow them.
- http://bit.ly/errorsinchurch - A list of obvious errors committed by the prophets and apostles showing that we should listen the previous document. Many of these are not known by the general membership.
- http://bit.ly/thinkforourselves - List of more quotes from the prophets and apostles saying that we have to think for ourselves and not let them do all the thinking.
- http://bit.ly/churchchanges - A list of changes in the church and implementation of various policies and practices which started at the grass roots level and were later adopted by the general church. As you can see there, almost every program in the church started this way, almost never top down. Combine that with the recent request from Elder Clayton Christiansen telling members to help make changes so the brethren can see what helps.
- With the above stated I hope they'll see that doing what I have done for years (1-search for truth, 2-help others suffering from troubling church history know they are not alone, 3-show those demonizing doubts and doubters that there are legitimate church problems) is not only allowed in Mormon doctrine, but encouraged, and even recently. To cap that all off, I'll give them my list of top 7 questions about church history that I couldn't solve to show them that these issues are legitimate. I'll give them only the first two pages, not the several pages of source material http://bit.ly/7LDSquestions.
- Does the truth have anything to fear?
- Will the truth not set us free?
- Isn't the glory of God intelligence, or light and truth?