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  • Jennifer Roach

Ask Your Own Questions


I read the Book of Mormon for the first time last year. It's a strange book, but so is the Bible, so that didn't put me off. But I found myself wishing for the short cut to understanding it. The short cut's name is Google.


There are a lot of people on the internet talking about Mormon belief. A lot. And there is nothing wrong with that. My initial internet search made one thing very clear to me: People who are on the outside of this faith has passionate opinions about what happens on the inside. I don't really know why, but many people who have never stepped foot in a LDS church want to tell you all about it. Secondary sources like this have a place. They might be able to see systemic problems that those inside the system can't see. Or they might more quickly recognize logical fallacies because their own beliefs are not in danger if they challenge them. But there is a problem with secondary sources.


Other people's questions are not my questions. They are motivated differently and wonder about different things. So if I were to read the Book of Mormon with their questions in mind, it would be a pointless activity. I needed to read with my own questions in mind.


Figuring out what your own questions are isn't always easy. It actually can be quite painful. But the payoff is huge because then you can come to a source (not just the Book of Mormon, but any source) and test it against what is really important to you, instead of what is important to some random person on the internet.


My 2 initial questions for the Book of Mormon were actually pretty basic: Is there truth/good in this? Can that truth/goodness be for me? (Spoiler alert: The answer turned out to be, "Yes. Sometimes. Maybe. Probably.") My questions developed from there, but that's where I started. So if you want to read the Book of Mormon, or any other source, please, for the love of all goodness and truth, start out with your own questions. There is plenty of time to read everyone else's opinion on the internet. And you actually should go read some of that stuff, but not until you have some answers to your own questions first.

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