If you start with a very literal testimony of the gospel and move through this paradigm, it’s easy to doubt yourself and whether you are doing the right thing.  The honest in heart will receive confirmation from God, but there still may be a concern whether you are square with your priesthood leaders.  You might wonder if you can still honestly answer the temple recommend questions.

The questions that have to do with behavioral issues, there would be no change.

This how I approach the questions that have to do with belief.


Do you believe in God, the Eternal Father, in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost; and do you have a firm testimony of the restored gospel?

Yes. There is no requirement to go in depth or clarify. Even the most extreme emerging paradigm believer in the LDS church can honestly say yes. Words like believe and testimony are complex words that mean a lot to different people.  No one will ask or judge whether your belief is literal or metaphorical.  Additionally the brethren have used the word belief commonly as a substitute for the word faith, meaning to express loyalty or support or to act “as if one believes or knows”.  For example L. Whitney Clayton in April 2015.

We are choosing to believe when we pray and when we read the scriptures. We are choosing to believe when we fast, when we keep the Sabbath day holy, and when we worship in the temple. We are choosing to believe when we are baptized and when we partake of the sacrament. We are choosing to believe when we repent and seek divine forgiveness and healing love.

Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator; and do you recognize him as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?  Do you sustain the other General Authorities and the local authorities of the Church?

Yes. I have love, respect, and belief in a living prophet and other general authorities and local leaders and sustain them in their callings.  Again, words like prophet, authority, priesthood, keys are all words that have a wide range of meaning.  The church has never claimed that prophets are infallible.  I have no doubt that the view of prophets, priesthood, and authority within the framework of the emerging paradigm safely fits within the big tent of Mormonism.

Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?

Absolutely not. This is not a movement. I don’t sympathize with groups or individuals that are enemies to the church.


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

If you could see into our hearts, you would probably find that you fit in better than you suppose. You might be surprised to find that we have yearnings and struggles and hopes similar to yours. Your background or upbringing might seem different from what you perceive in many Latter-day Saints, but that could be a blessing. Brothers and sisters, dear friends, we need your unique talents and perspectives. The diversity of persons and peoples all around the globe is a strength of this Church.