There were some great articles, this month, on trust as it relates to the church that really help to bring focus to our goals at Mormon Spectrum.
Jana Riess, in her Flunking Sainthood blog, talks about her research on Mormons leaving the church and shares that “second most common reason overall (and tied for first among Millennials) was “I did not trust the Church leadership to tell the truth about controversial issues.” And that’s the core problem right there. It’s a trust gap.” She concludes her article with “And I have to wonder: How many more people have to feel betrayed that they were kept in the dark about something before Church leaders realize that it has a major trust problem on its hands? And that further battening down the hatches is not going to resolve the larger problem?”
Kevin Barney, in the blog By Common Consent, talks starts his article off with “The Church has long been governed by a fundamental, basic instinct, to restrict access to sources and to control information and thought that doesn’t match its preferred self-perception as the only true and living church on the face of the earth. That instinct served the institution pretty well for much of its history when information about the faith was not so easy to come by. But we now live in the internet age. And all of that stuff the Church wanted so badly to keep under wraps is but a mouse click away. And all of a sudden that deep-seated instinct to hide the ball is not serving the institution so well anymore.” He then shares several examples of this and concludes with “My point is that the Church’s instincts to try to protect faith by these kinds of actions and policies have turned out (in my view) to be counterproductive. And while I applaud the Church’s efforts to bring its policies into the 21st century, it hasn’t been enough, not by a long shot. We still haven’t quite figured out that these kinds of things are now only a click away, and the way to preserve faith is not to bury them in the back yard but to engage them responsibly.”
The Salt Lake Tribune covers both of these articles and begins with “Some Latter-day Saints may leave the fold after finding out aspects of their history that don’t match the Sunday school version — like the fact founder Joseph Smith used a stone in a hat to help him produce the Book of Mormon — but such a discovery is not what drives away most former believers. It’s the realization that they didn’t hear it first from their church. They feel deceived by Mormon authorities, whom they blame for keeping such details from them, and wonder what else these men might be hiding.”
Our goal is to provide access to the best resources available for Exploring, Unorthodox and Post/Ex Mormons in the hopes that they will be able to explore, discover and choose what works for them. We hope to provide a safe and empowering space for those who are on this journey or trying to understand loved ones who are.
You aren’t alone in navigating this.
Note: We recently updated and added several new things to the site so take a peek and see all the super amazing stuff we’ve linked to.