It is time to address the tricky topic of individual “apostasy”–falling away from God and the Church. Are the two the same? Can you do one without the other? What does “being deceived” mean in this context? What is the relationship between doubt and apostasy?
The lesson and discussion will address the following topics:
- The role of the label “apostate” in navigating group boundaries
- How our gifts and strengths as well as weaknesses risk leading us into apostasy
- How can we discern truth from error, especially in spiritual contexts?
- Discuss integrity, both in the sense of honesty (not claiming to be what you aren’t) and in the deeper sense of being true to your best self
- The relationship between questioning, doubt, and apostasy
- The relationship between leaving the Church and leaving God and gospel
- The broader context of young people leaving religion and what we can learn from those trends
- The need to love and respect those on different paths and how to do so
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Additional Teacher Reading: 2 Nephi 2:18, 27; D&C 112:2–3, 10; Ether 12:27; D&C 64:8–11; D&C 82:1; D&C 43; D&C 28:13; D&C 20:65; D&C 42:11; D&C 1:37; D&C 33:16; D&C 52; 3 Nephi 11:29; James 1:27; Alma 1:30
We were fortunate to be joined by Terryl Givens this episode; he, Leslie, Mike and I discuss these crucial topics.
You can access my Reading Notes here.
- The By Common Consent presentation of this lesson
- Elder Holland’s 2013 Conference talk on Doubt and Belief
- Elder Stephen Richard’s 1932 talk on Humanity and the Gospel
- Terryl Givens’ “Letter to a Doubter”
- On the Crucial Necessity of a Faith Crisis, Jacob Baker’s Post on By Common Consent
- The balance of individual and institutional Church (by Bonner Richie, professor of organizational behavior at BYU)
- BYU Studies article on “the seduction of our gifts”
- Dan Ariely: The (Honest) Trusth About Dishonest
- Mormon Matters on “Recognizing the Spirit”
- One of my favorite episodes of the podcast on revelation
- What is Truth? CES devotional by President Uchtdorf
- Elder Nelson on personal revelation (Conference 2009)
- PEW data on changing religious demographics, especially young people disengaging from organized religion.
- Young People and the Future of Religion, Huffington Post
- An NPR special on why young people are leaving religion
- The role of social issues in driving young people from religion, and what religious leaders are doing to reclaim them
- Daniel Kinniman on his survey results about young people and religion
- Daniel Kinniman, Are Christians Losing Touch? (You can also find this episode on iTunes)
Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!
Thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his timely and high quality post-production.