Individuals who are surprised by new details in the Gospel Topics essays and from other accurate sources, may discover that their previous views of Joseph Smith and other Church leaders were sanitized and unrealistic. At that point they may feel as if they have lost something they had cherished, and may grieve at the loss.

  • Some Church members may question their beliefs as they proceed through the stages of grief, but if they will continue to learn “by study and by faith,” they will find their testimonies are soon based upon a much more solid foundation.

Grief_stages

  • Richard Bushman cautioned against panicking. He noted:

We are in a period of transition with regard to our history. The narrative is in the process of reconstruction. Right now that means there is the standard, comforting story, and then a series of controversies. . . . In time I think this problem will go away. All the controversial questions will be absorbed into the standard narrative, and we won’t have a sense of two tracks. . . . There are already lots of surprising things in the standard narrative. We will simply flesh that out.[1]

  • This requires patient study, which seem to be contrary to this Google generation accustomed to answers at a click of the mouse.
  • Church members, families, and friends should provide with affirmation, support, empathy, and, importantly, more accurate information. Encouragement, validation, and direction will provide needed support as they grieve.
  • If members who doubt don’t find this care within their congregations and families, they may feel their only option is to turn to other communities for support who may foster doubts, not faith.

[1] “Richard Bushman AMA, 3 pm to 6 pm, Eastern Time,” accessed July 25, 2015, https://www.reddit.com/r/latterdaysaints/comments/3dnmfn/richard_bushman_ama_3_pm_to_6_pm_eastern_time/.

 


 

 

Additional Resources:

 

Podcasts:

Best of Fair 11: “Believest thou…?”: Faith, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Psychology of Religious Experience, Dr. Wendy Ulrich, 0:53:25

Best of Fair 4: Shaken Faith Syndrome, Michael R. Ash, 0:53:15

Best of Fair 13: “Uh oh!” to “Ah ha!” in Apologetics: 20/20 Foresight for a Faithful Future in Defending the Church, John Lynch, 0:57:08

FAIR Questions 2: Recognizing the Voice of the Spirit 0:10:55

FairMormon Frameworks 9: Richard Bushman – Helping Those in Doubt, Richard L. Bushman, 0:49:17

Keeping the Faith 5a: Don Bradley–Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 1, Don Bradley, 1:22:46

Keeping the Faith 5b: Don Bradley–Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 2, Don Bradley, 1:19:34

Keeping the Faith 5c: Don Bradley–Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 3, Don Bradley, 1:26:24

Keeping the Faith 5d: Don Bradley–Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 4, Don Bradley, 1:03:01

Keeping the Faith 12: Janet Eyring–Lost then Found, Janet Eyring, 0:48:15

RiseUp Podcast: Building a Testimony on a Sure Foundation – Part 1, J. Max Wilson, 0:22:24

RiseUp Podcast: Building a Testimony on a Sure Foundation – Part 2, J. Max Wilson, 0:16:11

Best of Fair 18 – Mike Parker: The Challenge and Choice of Faith, Mike Parker, 1:00:15

RiseUp Podcast: Trying to Serve the Lord Without Offending the Devil, James E. Faust, 0:22:01

Keeping the Faith 14: Leaving and Returning–Lessons Learned pt. 1, Rich Millar, 1:00:31

Keeping the Faith 14: Leaving and Returning–Lessons Learned pt. 2, Rich Miller, 1:06:44

Articles of Faith Podcast #22 – Neal Rappleye – Making God in Our Own Image to Cast Aside His Prophets, Neal Rappleye, 0:19:29

RiseUp Podcast – Israel’s Faith Crisis 0:07:49

RiseUp Podcast: Small and Simple Truths Blog Interview, Blake, 0:18:45

RiseUp Podcast: Helping People in Faith Crisis, Tanner Gilliland, 0:12:49

Articles of Faith 20: Geoff Biddulph – Why Didn’t The Church Teach Me This Stuff?, Geoff Biddulph, 0:36:03

Articles of Faith Podcast: Dan Peterson – Reason, Experience, and the Existence of God, Daniel C. Peterson, 0:31:55

RiseUp Podcast: Building a Testimony on a Sure Foundation – Part 2, J. Max Wilson, 0:16:11

RiseUp Podcast: Building a Testimony on a Sure Foundation – Part 1, J. Max Wilson, 0:22:24

How I Lost and Regained my Faith pt 2

How I Lost and Regained my Faith pt 1

Israel’s Faith Crisis

Our Own Image to Cast Aside His Prophets

Interview with Terryl and Fiona Givens: Crucible of Doubt

Why Didn’t the Church Teach Me This Stuff? Controversial Topics in the Church

Reason, Experience, and the Existence of God – Daniel C. Peterson

Building a Testimony on a Sure Foundation

To Help Advance the Pursuit of Truth as it Concerns our Way of Life — Ralph Hancock

Reflections on the Quest For Faith by Terryl and Fiona Givens

Defend Your Beliefs Game Show Podcast

Finding Answers to Your Prayers pdcast

Overcoming Struggles and Doubts Podcast

Keeping the Faith 10: Reconverted.Org

A Household of Partial Faith, pt 2–Keeping the Faith 6b

A Household of Partial Faith, pt 1–Keeping the Faith 6a

Seeing with an eye of faith-pt 4-Keeping the Faith 5d: Don Bradley

Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 3–Keeping the Faith 5c: Don Bradley

Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 2–Keeping the Faith 5b: Don Bradley

Seeing with an eye of faith, pt 1–Keeping the Faith 5a: Don Bradley–

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

Keeping the Faith 3b: Cody Anderson–Cultivating the seeds of faith, pt 2

Keeping the Faith 2b Michael Ash and Shaken Faith Syndrome, pt 2 — Fair Mormon Podcast

Keeping the Faith 2a Michael Ash and Shaken Faith Syndrome, pt 1 — Fair Mormon Podcast

Keeping the Faith 1: Letter to a Doubter by Terryl Givens– Fair Mormon Podcast

The Cure for an Intellectual Apostasy — Fair Mormon Podcast

Can Imperfect Scriptures Lead us to God? Part 2 Fair Mormon

Can Imperfect Scriptures Lead us to God? part 1 Fair Mormon Podcast

Are Prophets Perfect? — Fair Mormon

What are the Consequences for not Following the Prophet? Fair Mormon Podcast

Can we Pick and Choose When to Follow the Prophet? — Fair Mormon Podcast

Is an LDS testimony based only on emotional “feelings”? — Fair Mormon Podcast

Is it a sin to have doubts? — Fair Mormon Podcast

Shaken Faith Syndrome- Michael Ash- Fair Mormon Podcast

Tom Mould on Folklore and Personal Revelation- Fair Mormon Podcast

Dealing With Difficult Historical and Theological Puzzles–Terryl Givens–Fair Mormon Podcast

Testimony and Lifelong Conversion- Fair Mormon Podcast

4th Watch 2: Testimony and Lifelong Conversion, Ned Scarisbrick, 0:31:22

 

Videos:

pt 1 Autobiographical notes on my Testimony

pt 2 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 3 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 4 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 5 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 6 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 7 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 8 Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony

pt 1, Enlarging Ones Testimony with Answers and Evidences

pt 2, Enlarging Ones Testimony with Answers and Evidences

pt 3, Enlarging Ones Testimony with Answers and Evidences

Pt. 1, How to receive answers to your prayers

Pt. 2, How to receive answers to your prayers

pt 1, I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church

pt 2, I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church

pt 3, Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church

pt 4, Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church

pt 5, I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church

pt 6, I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church

pt 1, Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment

pt 2,Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment

pt 3,Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment

pt 4, Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment

pt 5, Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment

pt 6, Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment

pt 1, Seeing our Blindness: The Impact of Personal History on our Understanding of God

pt 2, Seeing our Blindness: The Impact of Personal History on our Understanding of God

pt 3, Seeing our Blindness: The Impact of Personal History on our Understanding of God

pt 4, Seeing our Blindness: The Impact of Personal History on our Understanding of God

pt 5, Seeing our Blindness: The Impact of Personal History on our Understanding of God

How to Recieve Revelation

Autobiographical Notes of my Testimony by Daniel C. Peterson

Being a More Christian Christian- Elder Robert D. Hales

Being Born Again

Endure ‘Til the End — Elder Kevin S. Hamilton

Finding Your Purpose in Life Does Faith Matter – His Grace

Forgiveness After Tragedy

Great Advice on Life from Elder Busche

How to recieve answers to your prayers

I Don’t Have a Testimony of Church History by Davis Bitton

I Have Kept the Faith

Karen Payne Joining the LDS Church

My Story – Finding Hope & Strength Through Trials

No Other Gods

Obtaining Revelation for your Personal Life — Elder Richard G. Scott

Reading Between the Lines in Standing on the Promises

Shaken Faith Syndrome

Sharing Your Beliefs

Spiritual Experiences as the Basis for Belief and Commitment by Blake Ostler

Strengthening Faith and Testimony — Elder Robert D. Hales

Telling Our Story

The Name of the Church

The Plan of Salvation

The Power of Personal Experiences

The Spirit of Revelation — Elder David A. Bednar

The Strength to Endure ‘Til the End

Things Will get Better — Jeffrey R. Holland

Why Do People Ask?

Wrestling with the Scriptures_ Informed Faith Vs. Ignorant Faith

 

Essays and Articles:

Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony (2004 FAIR Conference) by Daniel C. Peterson

“Believest thou…?”: Faith, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Psychology of Religious Experience (2005 FAIR Conference) by Wendy Ulrich

Can We Trust Our Feelings? by J. Cooper Johnson

Disenchanted Mormonism (2013 FAIR Conference) by Rosalynde Welch

Education, Scholarship, and Mormonism by Scott Gordon

Feeding the Multitudes: Being Fishers of Men (2001 FAIR Conference) by Ross Baron

Hard Questions and Keeping the Faith (PDF) by Michael Ash

I Don’t Have a Testimony of the History of the Church (2004 FAIR Conference) by Davis Bitton

Letter From a Youth Pastor: Four LDS Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

Response to Leaving the Saints by Boyd Petersen

Seeing the Light: Parallels in Mormon Conversion and De-conversion Stories (2012 FAIR Conference) by Rosemary Avance

Shaken Faith Syndrome, Part Deux (2013 FAIR Conference) by Michael Ash

Spiritual Experiences as the Basis for Belief and Commitment (2007 FAIR Conference) by Blake T. Ostler

Shaken Faith Syndrome (PDF) (2008 FAIR Conference) by Michael Ash

Take Heed That Ye Be Not Deceived (online book) by Richard I. Winwood

The Loss and Rekindling of Faith (2013 FAIR Conference) Panel Discussion

The Sariah Dilemma: Finding Increased Faith When Our Children Misplace Their Own (2009 FAIR Conference) by Vickey Taylor

“Well Nigh as Dangerous”: Latter-day Prophecy and Revelation; Infallibility and Blind Obedience by McKay V. Jones

What I Learned about Life, the Church, and the Cosmos from Hugh Nibley (2005 FAIR Conference) by Boyd Petersen

When the Prophet Speaks, Is the Thinking Done?