One of my goals is to do anything I can to help those going through the pain of a truth awakening. Therefore, here are some of the frequently asked questions I receive through the contact form, and some of the answers I have given. I hope this will be helpful to anyone with similar questions.
Since launching this site a couple of months ago, I have been inspired by hundreds of emails from others going through similar experiences, sharing their stories, support, and appreciation through the contact form. As I have read your accounts, my heart has reached out to you during these difficult and painful periods of faith transition and truth awakening. One of the most frequently asked questions in these emails is something along the lines of “where do I go from here?” or “what is the real truth?” or “what do I believe now?” We will explore this important question in the following post.
You are viewing Part 2 of 5 of the Gentle Awakening Presentation Series, which introduces the foundational problems of the Church.
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Part 2: Introduction
Continue to Gentle Awakening Presentation Series.
“For there are many yet on the earth … who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” (D&C 123:12) The Gentle Awakening series provides a concise introduction to our church issues and is divided into five parts:
- Introduction: Is it possible that we might be mistaken?
- Foundational Problems: What are the real issues about our beginnings, about which we may not have been told the whole truth?
- Post-Foundational Problems: What are the real issues that arose after our beginnings, about which we may not have been told the whole truth?
- Theological Problems: If this is Christ’s true church, wouldn’t it follow His teachings?
- Roadmap: What should I do now?
Note: You can read the full PDF document containing all 5 parts at this link:
For optimal viewing, click the “Fullscreen” icon in the lower right corner of each presentation. If you wish to interrupt or skip any video segment and continue through the presentation, simply use the advance button at bottom of the full presentation screen.
Part 1: Introduction
See also: Four Essentials for Accepting Truth
Part 2: Foundational Problems
Part 3: Post-Foundational Problems
Part 4: Theological Problems
Part 5: Roadmap
See also: Why Have I Felt the Spirit?
Many great sermons found in the Book of Mormon have been found to closely match the sermons being given in Joseph Smith’s day by revival preachers—such as Methodist preachers Lorenzo Dow, Ray Potter, Alfred Bennet, Eleazar Sherman, Abel Thornton, and George Whitefield—who gave stirring discourses at locations very near to Joseph Smith’s home and in the time era very close to 1828, when Joseph Smith started his work on the Book of Mormon.
Many people are unaware that a great deal of source material has been identified which contributed to Joseph Smith’s authorship of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon appears to be a “remix” of many source materials available to Joseph Smith in the early 19th century. This has been well established by scholars and historians, and you can even read the original source materials now for yourself, thanks to modern tools such as Google Books.
The fact that the Book of Mormon is a remix is actually in line with the basic elements of creativity:
For example, Star Wars has many elements of other movies and stories from the past, all the way down to the opening titles:
Within the Apocrypha, you will find many similar elements to the Book of Mormon. You will come across Nephi, Ammon, Ammonites, Laban, and many other familiar characters. You will also find the brass plates, the treasury where the plates are kept, and abridgments being made. You will probably also notice the faith-promoting nature of many of the stories that will have a ring of truth to them, even though they are widely known to be fictitious.