On faith: Part 1 - Introduction
During my experience as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have had numerous opportunities to listen to people as they experienced deep personal crises of faith. I myself have endured such crises. I've decided to share some of these experiences in a series of blog posts.
What do I mean by spiritual crisis?
For someone like me who grew up with believing parents who taught me from childhood about God, a crisis of faith may be as simple as wondering whether I actually believe what I was raised to know. For a recent convert, a crisis of faith may occur because of intense frustration associated with the inability to leave behind old habits and establish new ones. For everyone, a crisis of faith may come about when life, with its often cruel and merciless twists, presents a set of extremely personal and frighteningly intense circumstances that seem to directly contradict the faith we have embraced.
What of these crises?
Allow me to say that there is nothing wrong with having a spiritual crisis if you are a believer. And if you are not a believer, there is nothing wrong with wondering why anyone would bother having a spiritual crisis in the first place. Feelings of guilt are common among those who are passing through difficult experiences. Rest assured that, having experienced similar trials myself, I will not write anything accusatory or that would cause shame or stress. In my view, crises of faith are nothing more or less than magnificent opportunities to learn more about yourself and the world around you. They are a necessary part of life.
As we begin this journey together, keep in mind that my intent is not to argue for or against faith. Rather, I intend to share experiences and thoughts that will pave the way for an open dialog between believers, those struggling with their faith, and non-believers.
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by Tyler Smith