The following was forwarded to me by a friend. A Facebook comment made today by Natalie Hess, a Provo-based real estate agent, read:
This is going to be bold, so be prepared. I’m so sick of hearing about lds people who are watching & reading anti-lds propaganda & then actually believing it as 100% truth. Seriously use your brains people! Don’t believe everything u watch/read. Consider the source, usually it’s begrudged people coming up w/ this crap!
Richard Dutcher, yes the Richard Dutcher who made “God’s Army” and “Brigham City”, replied:
And this is going to be unpopular. So be prepared.
You have a point, Natalie. But, as one who has studied and researched more Mormon history and doctrine than anyone I know (other than some scholars and published writer friends of mine), there is another side to that coin.
There are so very many church members who are familiar with only material published by the church/Deseret Book. And then they come into contact with something controversial from an outside source (not all outside sources are “anti-Mormon” by the way) and turn to Deseret Book or the church for an explanation and…guess what? There’s little to nothing.
And so they research a little more and find out not only that what some of these outside sources are saying is true, but that the church deliberately hid and/or lied about the information. And then they’re really confused. They’ve trusted in the church, they’ve sacrificed for the church, they’ve LIVED for the church, and then they find out that the church has lied to them, repeatedly.
It can be quite a faith shaker. In many cases, a faith destroyer.
Yes, there are anti-Mormons who lie and cheat (using partial information) and do anything they can to fight against Mormonism. But there are very many historians and scholars with no axe to grind who simply put forth material that is contrary to the church’s official story.
Some of us can manage to live with the cognitive dissonance of holding two contrary realities as somehow both true. Some of us can’t.
Be patient with those who are struggling with information that is shaking their faith. They’ll need your support. It is a hellacious ride which will most likely end in a very painful collision with reality.
It is also a painfully confusing experience to realize that the church you love and have sacrificed for is withholding information from you, while your “enemy” is telling you the truth. So very painful and confusing.