LDS Faith Crisis. This is a great document that can introduce a nuanced view of historical issues. It can be shared both with members struggling with faith issues and also with LDS leaders to help them see the direction LDS scholars are going to address these issues. This 10 page pdf is a very helpful resource.
In a talk to CES instructors in Feb 2016, M. Russell Ballard spoke about the faith crisis many in the church are having, going online and discovering difficult information about the church’s past. He asked CES teachers to rely on faithful, LDS scholars to obtain current, accurate information to address these concerns.
Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, “Don’t worry about it!” Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church. Fortunately, the Lord provided this timely and timeless counsel to you teachers: “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”
In this document, Elder Ballard’s counsel of seeking out current information from the church’s best, faithful scholars is taken to heart. The criteria for these quotes: only top scholars recognized both within the church and outside the church are included. Only faithful scholars who are accepted in mainstream LDS circles and appear to be supported by the brethren are included. Only recent publications, presentations, and interviews are used.
The scholars included:
Richard Bushman: PhD in history from Harvard University. Former stake president. Retired professor from Columbia University. Former Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont University. Author of many books including Rough Stone Rolling.
Terryl Givens: Professor at University of Richmond. Former bishop. Author of The God Who Weeps, Crucible of Doubt, and other popular LDS books. With his wife, Fiona Givens, chosen by the church to do a “faith crisis” fireside tour in Europe and North America. Richard Bushman was also involved with some of those.
Spencer Fluhman: PhD in history from Wisconsin. Current head of the Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU. LDS bishop in Cedar Hills, Utah.
Patrick Mason: PhD in history from Notre Dame. Current Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont University. Author of Deseret Book popular selling book: Planted. Author of article at www.ldsliving.com “Surviving a Faith Crisis (and How Church Members Can Help)”
Adam Miller, PhD in Philosophy from Villanova. Professor at Collin College in Texas. Director of the Mormon Theology Seminar.
Grant Hardy: PhD from Yale. Professor of Religious Studies and History at UNC Asheville. Currently serving LDS stake presidency. Speaker at FairMormon conference. Author of book “Understanding the Book of Mormon” used in BYU Book of Mormon religion classes.