I would say that I had the start of my faith crisis about 7 years ago. I don’t look back at the emotional turmoil with much fondness as it was quite gut-wrenching. Without trying I have always been one to look at situations and attempt to evaluate them from something of an observer. I have been told that I over-think some things rather than just experience them. This has been the case with my faith crisis and as I move into what I would call my faith journey (of course our entire lives are journeys, but my faith crisis was certainly the biggest change I experienced). I have written some about this in The Road Less Traveled post and in other posts I have made on this site. I have made a bit of a study of faith crisis as I find it interesting the patterns that many experience in and after a faith crisis. I have read books such as, “Disenchanted Lives: Apostacy and Ex-Mormonism among the Latter-day Saints” by E. Marshall Brooks and several books from the sociologist Armand Mauss where he views the LDS church with his sociologist lens. And of course there now limitless blogs, sub-reddit’s, youtube channels, etc. to see how people experience these transitions.
Like many others I have moved from having a (somewhat) very clear set of what I was led to believe about God to much more of an “I don’t know” position. Pre-faith crisis I would have assumed this would be totally alarming, but I have come to be comfortable and enjoy not having all the right answers, but having lots of questions to contemplate. With that I have branched out listening to quit a variety of voices. Many don’t resonate with me, but a few do. There are two that call me to give Christianity another look.
I just finished reading the book, “Inspired” by Rachel Held Evans. I really enjoy her books and a few articles I have read from and about her. Many of you may recall that she passed away unexpectedly a year ago this week. Before she passed I had her book, “Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church” on my list of “to read.” Hearing of her passing moved it to the top of my list and I really enjoyed it. I feel a bit sad that I didn’t get to know of her work before she passed. I love her honesty and insight leave me wanting to try to feel/believe as she does.
Another person that I really enjoy listening to is Richard Rohr. I have read several of his books and listened to his podcast, “Another Name for Every Thing.” I even mentioned in one of my posts a quote from Rohr that I rings true to my experience. It both gives respect to the LDS church where it is due, but also calls it out on a shortcoming. I think it was from a conversation he had with someone that was LDS.
Mormon’s do first-half of life spirituality better than anybody else. And you have almost no second half of life [that is taught]
There are also a pair of brothers that I also enjoy listening to their words. Those are Richard Ostler, the podcast host of “Listen, Learn, and Love” and David Ostler, the author of, “Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question”. When I listen to either of them I hear someone so sound in their beliefs that they don’t defensibly react to others criticizing the LDS church. Instead they are willing to look at the criticism and also still love the person asking – even if they feel the criticism isn’t valid or it isn’t their experience. And they are willing to admit where there is room for improvement. I love that both of them are doing more than just pointing out issues, but they are working to help fix the issues.
I consider some of these people my spiritual heros. One thing that I notice among all of these is that they are willing to critique and admit there are issues to be worked on – in a loving way. To me that indicates this is an issues that I have – that I feel the LDS top leaders are not truly humble and willing to admit issues and then work to fix those issues. But I am not one that wants to march up to the church office building with signs and chants. That is my perspective and I respect that others don’t feel the same across the spectrum.
I am interested in hearing who are some of your spiritual heros and how they help you.