This is the question I ultimately had to answer for myself.
I am a life-long, multi-generational mormon who has lived decades trying my best to do the right things. I am also one of those people who has been blessed to be a spiritual person.
In this case, I am defining spiritual as a person who enjoys meditation, prayer, reading inspired words and can feel something during those experiences. So I would also say I have been a person who has desired to have faith.
Do I take my faith seriously?
Ten years ago I would have answered this question with a resounding yes.
But for reasons that aren’t important for the purpose of this blog, the day came when I realized I had not been taking my faith seriously. I was just accepting what had been given to me, applied a healthy dose of confirmation bias and avoidance and went through the prescribed motions.
Even though, I never would have agreed with this observation about my approach to faith prior to 5 years ago, I have to admit now that the observation is true.
I woke up to the idea painfully that faith requires evaluation. Faith requires honesty. And a true faith requires real intent.
There are 7 questions I explored to try and deepen and strengthen my faith. And to ultimately put my faith one step closer to a foundation of truth.
What are these questions?
1) What do I mean when I say I know something is true?
2) Is it okay to ask a question or have a doubt?
3) How do I respond to information that contradicts my beliefs?
4) Is there is only one valid answer to questions of faith?
5) Would I want to know if something I currently believe is not true?
6) How would I ever know if something I currently believe is not true?
7) Do I have real intent?
I am now an unorthodox mormon. I would even gladly describe myself as a happy heretic.
If you are uncomfortable reading the thoughts and journey of someone who has been willing to ask questions about their personal faith, then you may not want to proceed. But the tone is light and the historical issues are hardly touched.
But these 7 questions have profoundly changed how I view and approach the world.
Do I have some unique perspective on faith in general or Mormonism specifically. The resounding answer is NO.
So why am I sharing any of my thoughts and perspective?
Five years ago, when I began this journey for reasons not of my making, I felt alone. I felt like there was no one who could possibly understand what I was going through.
I was wrong. There are tens of thousands of other current and post mormons who understood the challenging questions of faith and were willing to share their journey and insights. I was not alone.
I share these questions and thoughts in hopes to give back in some small way. I hope that there is someone who is like I was 5 years ago, that may be helped on their journey, regardless of where that journey may lead.