I believe in God and Jesus, but I don’t really believe in a lot of doctrine of the Church, like God choosing Joseph Smith as a prophet to restore His Church. However, I grew up in the Church, I like it (most of it), but I don’t see it as many members see it. I taking the good things out of it. I like attending Sacrament because it helps me remember Jesus’ sacrifice, not because I think It will help me clean my weekly sins. I like attending the temple because I think is a great place to pray and meditate, not because I think I’m saving others through vicarious ordinances.

I have a girlfriend and she and I are planning to get married in the temple. She does believe is a true believing mormon, but knowing what you know about me, do you think it would work out?

Daniel from Rexburg,

One Response to “I believe in God and Jesus, but I don’t really believe…”

Felipe Santana
2018-08-26 11:00:22
Hi Daniel. Thanks for your email. Your relationship with the church should be based on integrity, a principle that shouldn't depend on the state of your testimony anyway. You should never lie about your intentions or beliefs. Let's consider some scenarios.

1. Can you continue to attend church, taking from it those things that are spiritually helpful for you? Sure. In fact, I wish the church was even more accommodating of people with doubts. It doesn't matter where you are in your spiritual journey. Anyone can worship with us.

2. Can you partake of the sacrament as a way of remembering Christ's sacrifice? Based on the words of the prayer, I think you could do that with integrity, as long as you're otherwise keeping the commandments.

3. Can you bear your testimony or teach in church? Sure, as long as you don't lie about your personal beliefs. You can speak about many of the benefits of church attendence with integrity. You can also talk about the teachings of the church as you understand them, even if you personally question them. You could also say you're working on strengthening your personal beliefs, if that's true.

4. Is it right to marry a believing Mormon? As long as you do so with integrity. That means making sure she fully understands your beliefs. She should also know whether you're actively working to strengthen your testimony, or whether you're fixed in your ways. As long as you make it clear to her what she's getting into, she can make the decision for herself whether she wants to proceed.

5. Is it right for you to attend the temple, given your beliefs? I suggest you take a look at the temple recommend questions. Based on what you've said about your beliefs, I don't think you could currently answer yes to all those questions. If integrity is you guiding principle, you should not lie to get a temple recommend.

I hope this answer helps. There's a lot of room for doubt in our church. Regardless of where a person is spiritually, it's important to be always working towards a stronger testimony. As long as you're actively working towards that goal, God will honor your sacrifice. I hope this answers helps.

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