By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon.

Getting Personal With Christianity: Overcoming Doubt

never thought of prophets as perfect. The Book of Mormon even claims prophets are not perfect. I did not believe in Jesus as a God until I read the Book of Mormon since I had lost my faith as a young Christian--if I had faith at all back then. I suppose I had tradition and I accepted the things that were familiar to me.

Over and over, the prophets in the Book of Mormon claim that if there are mistakes in the record, they are errors of men. To me, that is an admission that there would be mistakes--that we should expect some! Joseph Smith, Mormon, Moroni and Nephi were all important men associated with the coming forth of the book to us. If they made mistakes how do they diminish God's role in revealing to them the truth? It does not change the fact, in my case, that I spoke to God about their work/writings and He told me that they are true, a true testament to the divinity of Jesus Christ.

God told me in answer to my prayers certain things. I care, but less what Joseph did before he became a prophet or how many wives he had. And

It kills my spiritual high sometimes when people find out that I am a LDS Christian and they say, “Well, you know that they don't like Black people." 

I want to say, "Really? I am so glad you told me that! I've been in this faith for more than twenty years, and I just could not tell! I just assumed they were nice to me because they were Christian, but know YOU let me know that they were pretending! Yeah, and all the Black Mormons had to be pretending a nice also since there are so many of them in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now!"

Umm, yeah! The members of the church come in all the variety of humanity. I wish that I could say it and it be overwhelmingly accurate that because LDS claim to have the restored truth that it makes us better people. 
Who doesn't want to think their faith makes them the best? Humble people don't want to think that I suppose.  If anything, our faith makes us more accountable before God since we claim to have a direct line to God through a prophet, but people are people.  Israel had a direct line to God through prophets and look at what happened to then. They still worshiped false gods! 
People will be good or bad regardless of the religion. I hope that as Christians, we are more inclined to do good deeds rather. It has been my experience at the beginning of my walk with Christ that LDS earnestly endeavor to live the teachings of Christ. 
I have been a LDS Christian too long to assume someone will be nice to me just because we go to the same church. It is not the case. I have met people with racist ideas and notions. I have met rude people. I met these people in church!

So, do I believe that Mormons have been racist in the past and that some are still racist? Yes, I do believe that. Since when did being a disciple of Christ, mean that we are instantly perfect as a person, community or faith? It is not the church I am converted to per se, but the faith, the teachings of God through the imperfect people in the church.

People cannot accept that I asked God on many occasions about the church and His prophets and He tells me they are authorized to act and speak for Him. I trust God, so I accept the prophets as His official reps on the earth.

I still have my doubts and my issues about this or that doctrine or policy, which I speak about appropriately, but my purpose is to promote faith in others and challenge the things that make me doubt. I still have bouts with God about if He is there! I could see myself slip away from Him if I were to stop praying because then He becomes a distant memory and His revelations just the fanciful whimsy of my simple mind.

I choose not to indulge my doubts. I am sure President Thomas S Monson has issues that his family would confirm if they were inclined to do so. That would not change the fact that for me, God has told me Monson is a prophet. He, Monson, will have to repent of his sins just like I do, but he still represents the Lord officially as His spokesman.

Prophets can fall and lose their way just like any person, but they can also repent and be forgiven without losing their calling. They can also be wrong about something all the days of their lives and teach it as if it is right! That is the reason God gave us the Holy Ghost so that we can discern.  That is why we have 15 prophets instead of just one. We as a people have to learn to trust our personal revelation. We must also learn to keep the commandments so that we are not being led astray because the devil can give revelations too!

We are never to trust the prophet in a way that we exclude prayer and due devotion to God ourselves. If we did, it would be Satan’s plan: to follow blindly in obedience.

Apologists have the wrong idea. I used to be one before I came to my senses. I received such a convincing jolt to my misunderstanding of my faith that I rebooted. I found out that I knew only these two things: that God is real and the Book of Mormon is true. This happened post-mission 12 or so years ago.  Apologists rattled me to the core. I alarmed my wife and friends. They had warned me to stay away from it.

See, foolishly, I had stopped reading my scriptures much and praying with faith while I engaged in apologetics. I only wanted to debate with people about the LDS religion and its preeminence over all others. What rattled me was something that ended up being false anyway! I was just so far from my relationship with God my mind was weak. Doubt worked its way into my mind. Apologetics is great if it is tempered by sincere faith.

We do not NEED to prove the faith or make exceptions for it. I find it comforting that there are people willing to give intellectual explanations for things that are not clear. Those exercises on intellect should never replace sincere and abiding faith in Jesus Christ on a foundation of keeping the commandments He has provided.

Faith is to believe in the absence of proof, which comes with revelation after the trial of our faith. I can promise any of you who are struggling with your faith that read this blog that if you keep the commandments prayerfully, God will reveal the truth to you as many times as you need it.

He set it up this way so that we would seek Him. I know I would not pray as often if I had all the answers right now. What need would I have to talk to Him or develop an open communication with Him at all? It is hard! I have to put my remote down and stop entertaining myself to do that!

There is no proof of any religious belief other than personal revelation. God designed life that way so that we can have the freedom to pursue the gospel or reject it without condemnation if we lose sight of the truth.

For example, we know the law gravity exists, so if we jump off a building expecting it to go away, we will suffer the immediate consequences. It is not so with the gospel. If we choose to leave the gospel level of consciousness we espouse, Mormon, Baptist, Muslim, spiritualism, etc., we lose a little bit of our testimony at a time until it is all gone. We are not doomed to outer darkness but only to a lower kingdom which is still a part of heaven if we fail to repent. Atheists, in my estimation, still go to heaven! Devil worshipers still go to heaven!

I find comfort knowing I can still mess up and get a great reward. I have not seen God, so I do not qualify for outer darkness. But, oh boy for those who have seen Him and decided to reject Him afterward. There are few people with that reward. Nephi lets us know that the hell they will endure exists only for them, and the devil.

So, it is okay for you all to have your doubts. Just, doubt your doubts more than you doubt the things you know. Since many of us still have not seen God face to face, we can get away with more. However, since some of us have heard His voice, we need to think hard how we dismiss past spiritual experiences.

Mormonism is a culture, but the gospel is more than a culture, it is the truth, and I would give up all my heritage and cultures for that.
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