The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections On the Quest for Faith (NEW)
A very intelligent and insightful discussion of easily misunderstood concepts and principles Very enjoyable reading An elouent book that offers a fresh and hopeful perspective for those willing to think deeply about matters of faith If only it didn t fly against so much lived experience so many conference talks Ensign articles and Sunday School lessons which promulgate much rigid black and white reuirements for what it means to be faithful I had wanted to read The Crucible of Doubt Reflections on the uest for Faith by Terryl and Fiona Givens for some time especially since I was so impressed with Terryl s earlier book By the Hand of Mormon which I reviewed here Also considering that Terryl co authored the book with his wife who is a convert from Roman Catholicism I was especially intrigued However since the book itself is less than 150 pages I was a little surprised that they could tackle such a broad issue like doubt in so few pagesAs it turns out my surprise was warranted because the book has little to do with the subject of doubt and skepticism as much as it has to do with asking the right kind of uestion and believing for its own sake at times The book does start out strong showing that some of peoples doubts come from asking the wrong kind of uestion or making false assumptions For instance the Givens use the example of BH Roberts one of Mormonism s premier philosophers and theologians and how he was once asked how the tribes of North America who the Book of Mormon taught were descendants or a remnant of the NephitesLamanites could have so diverse languages and they shared a common ancestry of just 2000 years Roberts who was usually uick to answer critics was never able to answer this uestion during his lifetimeHowever the premise of the uestion was flawed the Book of Mormon does not teach that all inhabitants of North America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus were descendants of the family of Lehi Rather that is something that certain members chose to believe and they read their belief. Faith is the first principle of the ospel of Jesus Christ So what happens when a person has doubts uestioning is not the problem according to authors Terryl and Fiona Givens After all they write the Restoration unfolded because a young man asked uestions The difficulty arises when uestions.
The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections On the uest for Faith (NEW)
Re is no God do what Alex Rosenberg suggests in his book The Atheist s Guide to Reality take Prozac If a person cannot bring themselves to believe and the Doctrine and Covenants state that to some it is Here There Be Witches given to believe and to some it is not then a loving God who weeps at our pain will accept the honest persons unbelief and skepticism readily than a person who believed only toet Story of the Liberty Bell gainHowever the Givens do make areat point in the epilogueNot once but twice the Lord prefaced His commandment that we strengthen each other with this explanation As all have not faith He thus acknowledged that even among His modern disciples there would be and must be room for those who live in doubtIn the modern Church where many Mormons do not know much about their history and theology and then suirm when they hear it the first time the reaction cannot be to judge and dismiss them or to say that they do not have a testimony the reaction should be to help them weep with them and shoulder their burden After all that is what Jesus of Nazareth would do if he were present with them Can his disciples do any lessWhether or not one is impressed with the arguments or lack thereof presented in this book the Givens are splendid writers and a joy to read for their own sake If you have a friend who is doubting or if you doubt yourself this book is for you Even if you don t doubt there is something in this book for you as well 4 out of 5 stars This book makes sense to me than any I ve ever read The Givens provide not only a reason to believe but also an explanation of why one can doubt and believe simultaneously The three views of the world outlined in the second last chapter are a wonderful summary of three dominate belief systems that of the athiest and agnostic that of traditional christianity and that of the mormon faith I have never read or heard anyone encapsulate mormonism so well as the Givens do with the five principles outlined in the second last chapter Read them and rejoice in the eternal journey we are all on Love this boo. Ents and the opportunities it may open up in a person s uest for faith Whether you struggle with your own doubts or mostly want to understand loved ones who uestion you will appreciate this candid discussion You ll come away feelingcertain than ever of the Lord s love for all of His childre.
Into the text So there was really no conflict after allOne of the best chapters in the book is titled Mormons and Monopolies Holy Persons You Know Not Of where the Givens tackle the issue of religious pluralism which is the subject of whether one religion is true or whether all are true in some way While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints may be the Church that has priesthood keys there is truth in other religions and their sacrifice and worship is acceptable to God as well Also a key element of this chapter that might be overlooked is that often times members of the Church tell an incorrect narrative of the Restoration The common message is that the Church established by Jesus of Nazareth in the first century was lost and taken from the earth not long after that but that is not the case Rather it retreated and was held from view for a time but it was still thereAlso in this chapter the theme of judging religions at their best is repeated one that was first enunciated by Krister Stendahl former Bishop of Stockholm in the Lutheran Church Often we judge a religious tradition at its worst such is the case with the so called New Atheists rather than at its best A duty of anyone making judgement on the value of a tradition must judge it at its bestMost of the book in some is not written to those who doubt whether or not God exists or have troubles with certain matters of Church history blacks and the priesthood polygamy etc In fact the book is not really about doubt as much as it is about paradigms or ways of looking at things However the last chapter does address those with serious doubtsOn this subject of doubt the Givens offer the example of Pascal s wager although they don t mention Pascal by name that it is better to believe for beliefs sake and possibly be wrong because in the end what you ained will be better than what you lost I disagree You should believe what you have evidence or warrant to believe not because something makes you happy or not happy If you find life miserable because the. Are based on flawed assumptions or incorrect perceptions which can point us in the wrong direction misdirect our attention or constrain the answers we are capable of hearing This insightful book offers a careful intelligent look at doubt at some of its common sources the challenges it pres.