Keeping the Faith 4: Mike Parker–Navigating difficult doctrinal, historical or political issues

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A long-time member of FAIR, Mike Parker, addresses a variety of questions related to apologetics and gospel learning: Where should gospel teaching begin? To what extent should teachers bring up and address troubling historical or doctrinal issues? Should missionaries tell investigators about such issues before they are baptized? What should be the goal of a Gospel Doctrine teacher or missionary? How can a faithful member navigate the challenges that are posed by difficult doctrinal, historical or political issues? Mike provides his insight on this issues and many others.

5 thoughts on “Keeping the Faith 4: Mike Parker–Navigating difficult doctrinal, historical or political issues

  1. Pingback: 22 November 2012 | MormonVoices

  2. mkprr

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I particularly liked the following quote:

    “When I know by the spirit that the gospel is true, and I do, then it’s a matter of simply being flexible and not setting rigid expectations of how the Gospel is supposed to be.”

    and

    “ Sometimes I have to modify my view of how the gospel works, or how church history works.”

    I think these principles are key to building a testimony that endures.

  3. Mike Parker

    Thank you for your feedback, mkprr. I hope I articulated clearly what I believe.

    One of the biggest problems we’ve seen at FAIR are the consequences of “fundamentalist” thinking among many Latter-day Saints: They expect the gospel or the Church to operate in a certain way, and when they learn or experience something that goes counter to their preconceived notions, they don’t know how to deal with it. Being open to receiving new truths and new perspectives is, in my opinion, a key to having an enduring testimony.

    Joseph Smith publicly stated:

    I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 331.)

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