I face a dilemma. As you know, a dilemma involves choice between undesirable options. Mine: Hold my tongue regarding certainty that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is bogus, or speak up and risk hurting and loosing the love and respect of people I love and respect. Despite LDS and Constitutional precepts guarantying freedom of religion and speech.
I love my Mormon family and friends and respect their right to believe as they do. At the same time, I hold my tongue out of fear that, hearing my conviction that the LDS Church was fabricated by the most successful Con Man in American history, people I love and respect would cease to reciprocate.
It’s not fair. The First Amendment to The Constitution of the Untied States of America states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . .” The Eleventh Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints affords this same guarantee: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. ” (My emphasis.) Implicit here is the understanding what while I may disagree profoundly with what you say, I respect you as a person.
Officially, of course, the Church must support these guarantees. In practice, questioning Church doctrine is heresy–excommunication! The most cursory glance at anything which might threaten that faith is anathema, forbidden! To survive, Mormonism demands blind faith.
Faith isn’t a problem. Blind faith is. Even science depends on faith. Faith is one thing, fact another. My friend Kathleen points out, it seems better that investigation and fact precede, or at the very least proceed hand-in-hand with faith. Blind faith opens the door to snake-oil peddlers like young Joe Smith.