Elder Thomas S. Monson on science

Elder Thomas S. Monson on science

Excerpts from an internet bulletin board messages:

How the youth of today are to deal with doubts (February 2001 Ensign) . . .

By President Monson in the “First Presidency Message”:

“Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.

Should doubt knock at your doorway, just say to those skeptical, disturbing, rebellious thoughts: ‘I propose to stay with my faith, with the faith of my people. I know that happiness and contentment are there, and I forbid you, agnostic, doubting thoughts, to destroy the house of my faith. I acknowledge that I do not understand the processes of creation, but I accept the fact of it. I grant that I cannot explain the miracles of the Bible, and I do not attempt to do so, but I accept God’s word. I wasn’t with Joseph, but I believe him. My faith did not come to me through science, and I will not permit so-called science to destroy it’.”

This BOTHERS me. I’ve always really liked Pres. Monson, but he’s telling people to just turn off their brains. Don’t ask questions, and pretend they don’t exist. Shut your eyes, plug your ears and just keep saying “I know the church is true” no matter what.

And isn’t he just partially admitting that if you pursue those thoughts, if you think it through critically, that your faith will fail? If faith was well-founded, how could it be harmed by additional information, study, open discussion, and rational thought?

And if testimonies were built SOLELY on the witness of the spirit and NOT at all on personal opinions, couldn’t the Holy Ghost STILL give someone a witness of the truth AFTER studying science and asking the hard questions?

The church seems to think that studying and questioning is a sin, (at the very least it’s dangerous) because it causes you to lose the spirit. And it does seem that those who question and study DO tend to leave the church. But I have a different explanation. I think the spirit is your own feelings. And your feelings change when you have more information. It’s hard to feel the spirit when your brain is telling you it’s BS.

So much for “The Glory of God is Intelligence”, and seeking after truth.

Monson is imploring people to ignore the best route to intelligence: scientific inquiry. Instead he advocates faith, which is superstitious hope, no matter what other words people use to describe it.

Notice when they fear science is leading people away, they call it “so called science.” How preposterous to presume the only real science is that which agrees with their myths.

Why doesn’t he just use his faith instead of science to get to his next overseas testimony-fest? Because faith isn’t going to get him there. Science will.

His message clearly pleads with people to live in a box, and slap themselves if they start to want a glimpse outside. If they fear investigation and questioning will shake faith, it is an admission that the basis of faith was groundless.

He should feel safe. It is difficult to disrupt the lives of people who live in faith-bubbles. How do you uproot something with no roots?

Note that a couple of active, LDS members commented on the above (before they received their copies of the Ensign) with disbelief. They claimed that I must have gotten the quote wrong or posted it out of context. Unfortunately for thinking Mormons and the youth of the church everywhere, such is not the case.