No Objection to Careful and Critical Study – A Search for Truth

To Latter-day Saints there can be no objection to the careful and critical study of the scriptures, ancient or modern, provided only that it be an honest study – a search for truth.

John A. Widtsoe, Apostle
In Search of Truth: Comments on the Gospel and Modern Thought(1930)

No objection to the careful and critical study? An honest study… Is an honest study one that only includes sources you already agree with? Is an honest study one that doesn’t look at the subject with two eyes open?

This seems to be a rational statement, is it really from a church leader? Well, yes, but a lifetime ago. Before the honest study was so easy to come by. Now, church leaders have messages that gaslight us to “Give Brother Joseph a Break” or even that “Research is not the answer“! And then when honest research has revealed the true colors of the church, the honest truth seeker is marginalized as an immature dissident.

Widstoe, born in Norway and earning a PHD in chemistry, was familiar with science. He must have been familiar with study and gathering information from many sources. This quote only mentions scripture – but it does mention modern and ancient. We should also study where these scripture come from if we’re doing an honest study. Just because we can hold a book in our hand does not make it true, or even good. It is proof that it exists, but it is not proof that it is what it says it is.

Honest study and truth seeking is a leading reason why people choose to step away from the church. Their shelf breaks when they actually do an honest study and look at the issues on their shelf. Some are able to dismiss the cognitive dissonance or keep some form of a faithful yet nuanced perspective, some are not. What is on your shelf? How is it holding up? Follow along by reading the personal stories of others or join today and share your own! Where has your search for truth taken you?

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply