Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

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deacon blues
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Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by deacon blues » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:03 am

I'm interested by the fact that I've never heard about a General Authority who has talked about working through a faith crisis. I'm aware Elder Holland has dealt with depression, and other leaders have dealt with losing a loved one, but no G.A. has been down the rabbit hole, or had a shelf break, or studied the man behind the curtain, at least not that I've heard of lately? Is it because they have had extraordinary faith experiences, or are so faithful, or is it due to lack of curiosity, or something else?
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Palerider
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Palerider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am

I would think for a GA to even admit that they had experienced a faith crisis would be like putting a damper on their "church progression". Kind of like, "Yeah, you made it through that bad spot but what were you doing there in the first place?"

Would their position be suspect from then on?

I seem to recall David O. McKay having a faith crisis before his mission. But the emphasis was on how he came through it with renewed conviction.

But at the time, a "faith crisis" didn't have the same connotation it may have now. I think the GAs have to be seen as Rock solid and impervious to skepticism right now.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:32 am

Didn't Hinkley talk about going through a period of doubt in college? I seem to remember it. I don't know if you would consider that a full on crisis though. Hans Mattsen and the early 1830's apostate GAs are all we have it seems. Everybody today wants to keep the status quo gravy train going for their posterity.

I wonder of BH Roberts could be considered with his studies of the book of mormon experience.
Last edited by FiveFingerMnemonic on Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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2bizE
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by 2bizE » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:57 am

I think there was a letter by Hugh B Brown that suggested he had a faith crisis.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by RubinHighlander » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:39 pm

It seems to me that Dieter U. was having some struggles when he gave that talk a few years ago about doubt your doubts. How could he have not experienced some cogdis over reading through that Faith Crisis Report? It certainly caused him to admit past leaders had made mistakes. Who knows why he was taken out of the top 3 corporate spots and demoted down to throwing darts at the map for mission calls.

https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_ ... t_R24B.pdf
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:11 pm

I would suspect that if any of them did, it is carefully censored and would never be allowed to be talked about in public. If knowledge of a real faith crisis got out, it would put a huge wedge in their divine providence image.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:21 pm

There is a rumor about as special wing of the UofU psychiatric hospital that is kept ready for just such occasions. I'm not making this up, but it is just a rumor.

If I were running the show I would invest heavily in a set of special effects that could provide a convincing visitation for any of my underlings who showed potential signs of derailing. Maybe that's what happens at the rumored facility. "Elder Uchtdorf, what you need is to spend a night of prayer in this special off-site Holy of Holies that's surrounded by projectors, sub-woofers, and fog machines. I'm sure you'll feel much better in the morning."
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Rob4Hope » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:36 pm

Just This Guy wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:11 pm
I would suspect that if any of them did, it is carefully censored and would never be allowed to be talked about in public. If knowledge of a real faith crisis got out, it would put a huge wedge in their divine providence image.
I think by the time they get to the Q15 stage, they are vetted as expert liars or wack jobs who believe at all and any cost. I don't think you will get those at that level who defect.

Other than that, I can't say. But, I'm sure that censorship denies any type of FC being made public.

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:46 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Just This Guy wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:11 pm
I would suspect that if any of them did, it is carefully censored and would never be allowed to be talked about in public. If knowledge of a real faith crisis got out, it would put a huge wedge in their divine providence image.
I think by the time they get to the Q15 stage, they are vetted as expert liars or wack jobs who believe at all and any cost. I don't think you will get those at that level who defect.

Other than that, I can't say. But, I'm sure that censorship denies any type of FC being made public.
Yep it's the whole language of "church broke"

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Mormorrisey » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:54 pm

The only one I can remember was Brent Neilson in 2015, about the "prodigal" and how his sister fell away from the church:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... l?lang=eng

But it was the standard party line that "she was lost, and here's how we brought her back," not even mentioning some of the challenges she had with the church's practices or doctrines. It was all about how being Christlike and accepting is the way to go - for that purpose it was a good talk, but it doesn't really go into details about a faith crisis per se.

I have a friend in the eastern US I talk to fairly frequently, and at their recent stake conference had a GA visit who talked about a inactive sister he knew in Utah that they harassed to such a degree, that she lost her job over members visiting her there. But instead of saying how much this interfered with boundaries, he lauded this as a way of showing people they really care about the lost sheep. My friend was horrified at this.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Dravin » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:50 pm

Palerider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am
I would think for a GA to even admit that they had experienced a faith crisis would be like putting a damper on their "church progression". Kind of like, "Yeah, you made it through that bad spot but what were you doing there in the first place?"
Yep. With the connection between sin and doubting any GA admitting to a serious faith crisis would be also admitting to sin. How many Bishops respond to admitted faith crises by asking about pornography, not praying or reading scriptures, or various other possible sins or failures. The assumption that if you do everything right you'll stay strong in the faith and therefore if you aren't strong you aren't doing everything right is alive and well. Makes it dicey territory for a GA to venture into.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:25 pm

Dravin wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:50 pm
Palerider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am
I would think for a GA to even admit that they had experienced a faith crisis would be like putting a damper on their "church progression". Kind of like, "Yeah, you made it through that bad spot but what were you doing there in the first place?"
Yep. With the connection between sin and doubting any GA admitting to a serious faith crisis would be also admitting to sin. How many Bishops respond to admitted faith crises by asking about pornography, not praying or reading scriptures, or various other possible sins or failures. The assumption that if you do everything right you'll stay strong in the faith and therefore if you aren't strong you aren't doing everything right is alive and well. Makes it dicey territory for a GA to venture into.
Good point. When I went to my bishop I told him I was depressed and had no testimony of God, the church, nothing. He first asked if there were any worthiness issues in my life because that my be causing it. I told him no, but I wasn't sure if the depression was because I had lost the testimony or if I lost the testimony because of the depression. He sent me to LDSFS counseling for the depression. Want to guess what the counselor's first question was?

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by deacon blues » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:30 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:46 pm
Rob4Hope wrote:
Just This Guy wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:11 pm
I would suspect that if any of them did, it is carefully censored and would never be allowed to be talked about in public. If knowledge of a real faith crisis got out, it would put a huge wedge in their divine providence image.
I think by the time they get to the Q15 stage, they are vetted as expert liars or wack jobs who believe at all and any cost. I don't think you will get those at that level who defect.

Other than that, I can't say. But, I'm sure that censorship denies any type of FC being made public.
Yep it's the whole language of "church broke"
This makes me wonder if B.H. Roberts, who although brilliant, was something of a loose cannon (as Fivefinger relates above), made church leaders extra cautious about vetting prospective apostles for showing the characteristics which we now call "Church Broke." I do believe Hinckley and MacKay did relate that they had doubts in their younger years, as did J. Reuben Clark. Even Joseph Smith considered whether the Moroni appearance had been a "dream of vision" in his 1832 account.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by deacon blues » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:32 pm

IT_Veteran wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:25 pm
Dravin wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:50 pm
Palerider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:17 am
I would think for a GA to even admit that they had experienced a faith crisis would be like putting a damper on their "church progression". Kind of like, "Yeah, you made it through that bad spot but what were you doing there in the first place?"
Yep. With the connection between sin and doubting any GA admitting to a serious faith crisis would be also admitting to sin. How many Bishops respond to admitted faith crises by asking about pornography, not praying or reading scriptures, or various other possible sins or failures. The assumption that if you do everything right you'll stay strong in the faith and therefore if you aren't strong you aren't doing everything right is alive and well. Makes it dicey territory for a GA to venture into.
Good point. When I went to my bishop I told him I was depressed and had no testimony of God, the church, nothing. He first asked if there were any worthiness issues in my life because that my be causing it. I told him no, but I wasn't sure if the depression was because I had lost the testimony or if I lost the testimony because of the depression. He sent me to LDSFS counseling for the depression. Want to guess what the counselor's first question was?
Yeah, been there. I've had two LDSFS counselors. One was OK, but one was totally into guilt trips; a total waste of money.
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:26 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:32 pm
IT_Veteran wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:25 pm
Dravin wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:50 pm


Yep. With the connection between sin and doubting any GA admitting to a serious faith crisis would be also admitting to sin. How many Bishops respond to admitted faith crises by asking about pornography, not praying or reading scriptures, or various other possible sins or failures. The assumption that if you do everything right you'll stay strong in the faith and therefore if you aren't strong you aren't doing everything right is alive and well. Makes it dicey territory for a GA to venture into.
Good point. When I went to my bishop I told him I was depressed and had no testimony of God, the church, nothing. He first asked if there were any worthiness issues in my life because that my be causing it. I told him no, but I wasn't sure if the depression was because I had lost the testimony or if I lost the testimony because of the depression. He sent me to LDSFS counseling for the depression. Want to guess what the counselor's first question was?
Yeah, been there. I've had two LDSFS counselors. One was OK, but one was totally into guilt trips; a total waste of money.
Mine at least took my word for it and didn't keep pressing (I really didn't have anything) but I worry about the messages that people are getting when they have been doing something not in line with LDS standards. What if I was a habitual coffee drinker - does that mean that's the cause of my depression?

Such a twisted way of seeing the world.

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:34 pm

I think many have become self deluded into thinking they are special and blame any doubts they have on being weak in the flesh. Then they bare testimony to themselves and feel good all over again as if The Lord is refining them. Then as the process repeats, they become more convinced that they are a special witness of Christ only to continue the self delusions.

As members continue to worship them and young GA's continue to kiss ass, the refining process and self delusions continue. By the time they are in their 80's they've become completely out of touch with reality and the voices in their head start telling them God is talking to them.

It's like when Vanilla Ice became the world wide superstar of the music industry!
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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Palerider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:28 pm

IT_Veteran wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:26 pm

Mine at least took my word for it and didn't keep pressing (I really didn't have anything) but I worry about the messages that people are getting when they have been doing something not in line with LDS standards. What if I was a habitual coffee drinker - does that mean that's the cause of my depression?

Such a twisted way of seeing the world.
This reminds me of an old talk by Harold B. Lee.

Some member came into his office and stated that he didn't believe in the BoM or Joseph Smith. Said he'd prayed about it and gotten the answer that it was bunk.

Lee likened reception from the Holy Ghost as being analogous to a radio. (This was back in the day when radios operated on tubes.)

He said if one of the tubes (commandments) was broken or weak then you wouldn't get good reception. The more that are broken, the worse the reception.

So keeping ALL the commandments was the only way to get good reception and a correct answer.
He then proceeded to give the guy an in depth interview and found him "wanting" in the righteousness department.

That's why he'd gotten the wrong answer. Great analogy right? Great wisdom from a man of God.

Except I keep thinking about the Savior, how during HIS life he continually communicated and befriended those who were less righteous but really wanted to know which way to go. Anyone who approached him sincerely got an honest and sincere answer in return. As I understand it, it was the lost sheep that Christ spent most of his time with.

The idea that God only speaks to those who have achieved an "acceptable" level of righteousness is, dare I say it?.......Satanic. :twisted:

Who would be the person who would tell you, "God won't talk to you, you're not good enough."...?

Joseph Smith started this crap by saying that anyone who opposed him was guilty of adultery and it has become inexorably engrained in the Mormon culture.

It is a false doctrine and Joseph was no prophet. :oops:
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by IT_Veteran » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:24 pm

It’s actually made me glad I adhered to the rules. If the blame had been shifted to my worthiness, I don’t know I would have found my way out the way I did.

The idea that one has to be following the commandments to feel the spirit has also cemented my belief that Joseph couldn’t have been a prophet based on his behavior.

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by Blashyrkh » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:16 am

GA's? Not that I know of. I did have a Bishop in Georgia while on my mission who stood up in opening exercises, explained how the Church calling was taking too much time out of his life and damaging his family and marriage. He walked down, took his wife by the hand and walked out through the door with their kids in tow. That was thr most memorable experience of my otherwise uber lame mission.

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Re: Have any GA's talked about a faith/truth crisis?

Post by blazerb » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:14 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:34 pm
I think many have become self deluded into thinking they are special and blame any doubts they have on being weak in the flesh. Then they bare testimony to themselves and feel good all over again as if The Lord is refining them. Then as the process repeats, they become more convinced that they are a special witness of Christ only to continue the self delusions.

As members continue to worship them and young GA's continue to kiss ass, the refining process and self delusions continue. By the time they are in their 80's they've become completely out of touch with reality and the voices in their head start telling them God is talking to them.

It's like when Vanilla Ice became the world wide superstar of the music industry!
Not to mention that everyone they deal with on a daily basis is having the same experience. Survival bias gives them pseudo-evidence that doubts only come if you don't follow the program. They rarely deal with those of us who were following the program to the best of our ability and still experienced a collapse of faith. If they do, they can always find something we were doing wrong because everyone is doing something wrong. They can ignore the peccadilloes of the faithful. However, if I act the same way, I'm told that my actions drive the spirit away.

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