Seven Deadly Assumptions
Latter-day Saints should know that it is okay to have questions, doubts and uncertainties. Dealt with properly, they can be the source and spring of treasures of truth and wisdom. It is natural to be afraid of uncertainty but periods of questioning and doubt can be a very positive experience if we are patient and exercise faith. Faith is forged in the furnace of our fears, and a righteous man who walks with Christ has no need to fear the flames.
Wonder is a great and positive adventure that I find particularly fulfilling. I like to be stumped and then work through it and eventually find answers or not. Not finding an adequate explanation is also thrilling. Difficult questions challenge my intellect – not my faith.
Of course, then there are the hard questions - the questions unlikely to be answered in this life - questions about God that may not even have answers because the questions are wrong. When Moses asked for an answer to a hard question the Lord told him: “Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me” (Moses 1:32). In other words, “I am not going to tell you”. He has not told me many things and I trust His wisdom in that regard.
Heavenly Father wants us to grow, and there is usually some kind of pain involved. Some members learn new things about Church history or doctrine that are at odds with their assumptions. Rather than re-evaluate their assumption and try to learn more, they get confused and lose faith. I think that many who fall away, fail to consider the possibility that their expectations may be wrong. Of course, they blame the Church for creating the false expectations, and there is some validity to that charge, but only because the Church is a Church of people and people make mistakes.
Most Church members are sincere and act out of love, but their knowledge is limited. The true test of a disciple of Christ is not their knowledge of Church history or their opinion on Book of Mormon Geography, or if they know how many wives Joseph Smith was sealed to. What matters is their love for the Savior and love for others. In this, most members excel. Still, they teach each other things that are not always correct. The list that follows includes broad assumptions that some Church members may want to reconsider.
The Seven Deadly Assumptions
1. Doctrines are revealed in perfect and complete form all at once, and changes cannot occur.
2. Church leaders do not make mistakes and never disagree. A prophet must know everything and surely would never be wrong.
3. Members are called “saints” and therefore must be fairly perfect.
4. Science must prove the claims made by the church.
5. All questions have been answered.
6. All other churches and religions are completely wrong and the LDS Church is completely right.
7. Time and culture are irrelevant when considering church history and doctrine. All things should be understood in the context of modern American culture.
And a Few More
Many assumptions that members have are just little ones. The list could be quite long but here are a few examples:
1. The Book of Mormon lands include North and South America with the "narrow neck of land" being Central America.
2. Joseph Smith and the early brethren lived the Word of Wisdom just like we are taught today.
3. The only account of the First Vision is found in the Pearl of Great Price.
4. The revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants have never been changed.
5. Joseph Smith practiced polygamy and was married to some younger women.
6. The Book of Mormon was translated entirely by Joseph's use of the Urim and Thummim.
There are plenty of resources available to disabuse members of their assumptions. Following is a short list of resources to aid you as you discover the truth about Mormonism. The Church has cleverly hidden them in locations that many members rarely see, so consider yourself fortunate that you have found them.
1. The Scriptures
2. The Ensign Magazine
3. General Conference
Click on this link to see just a few examples that show how well the Church has hidden scandalous facts relating to the six assumptions above.
Joseph Smith once said: "“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."