After guest hosting an episode with John Dehlin on Mormon Stories Podcast, many new listeners began working through Scott’s catalog of episodes. Today, Scott will respond directly to some of the comments he received on the Mormon Stories episode.
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Your podcast has an interesting name. Very. Do you feel like a humble…person? Or in honesty, do you feel like a proud person who rejects truth because of his sin? Sin is always the reason people fall away. Can you honestly say that you were not engaging in sin? Or is the truth that you seek to excuse your sin and blame your guilt on the truth. God is not limited by your lack of understanding. And yes, free will does exist in terms of our own journey. God knows the end from the beginning, and does things that our feeble mortal minds (that we seek to limit Him by) find hard to comprehend be honest with yourself, and do not seek to excuse your sin by putting limits on God, which I see you clearly do. We are here to gain knowledge and experience. So what if God knows the choices we will make? That’s what makes Him God.
As for the church being “the only true church”? This is where it gets sticky. I cannot accept that Kimball was a prophet. What an absurdity that masturbation would lead to homosexuality! The later interpretation of “The Word of Wisdom”? Utterly divorced from the original revelation. Blacks were never meant to be excluded from the priesthood. Anon…
But the state of the church today is nothing more than fulfillment of ancient scripture. The watchmen are wicked, asleep. The world has strayed far from God and the madness we’re seeing in the world today is ripening us for destruction.
My friend, I’m sure we could talk for hours, and I’m sad this will probably never be a reality, but I implore you to seek the Lord who is gracious and loving, and slow to anger and quick to forgive; I believe he loves everyone, Laban, Hitler, Stalin, FDR, Obama, Trump, Huntley, Kimball, you, and me also. Eternity is a long time, and more than long enough to work everything out. We all have an end to our lives, and just because we die before our opportunity to repent does not mean that we will not end up where we belong, and in a state of happiness. Moreover, I believe that “hell” is more a realization of the pain and suffering we have caused others by our own actions, because in a state that we feel nothing but love, and injurious actions by ourselves to others will hurt us all the more. Imagine how much pain and suffering Hitler would have to experience under those circumstances. This life is not so much about what people do to us, but what we do to others. This is where accountability comes in. We need to own these things, and this cannot be overstated.
I am also a clinician. I treat people with emotional and mental “disorders” and despite the place for the use of medications, the gold standard and most reliable treatment for successful long-term outcomes is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), not drugs. Drugs merely treat the symptoms and do nothing to address the cause. This means that the only way to overcome most phycological and emotional problems is to confront the root cause and work them out. They are not primarily the result of merely chemical imbalances, but said imbalances are the result of non reconciled emotional trauma. True happiness is in truly respecting and obeying God’s commandments. I think the context of concerns over past sins returning to you if you sin again is misconstrued, and there is a difference between mistakes and weaknesses such as anger etc, and returning to sins such as adultery.
Admittedly, I only listened to a couple of your episodes, and plan on listening to more, as I do find them interesting, if not necessarily compelling.
And by the way, I am 46 years old, grew up in England (only member in my school. Nope, not even two of us, certainly not TEN). Fell away in teenage years, sex, drugs, you name it. Never served a mission. Served in the USMC, after returning to the states at age 23 (was born in Provo; mother attended BYU, met, married, then subsequently divorced my father and took me back to England as a baby). Met my wife, married in San Diego temple. And in spite of everything, my testimony is stronger than ever. Trust me, I have my fair share of emotional trials, history of abuses, etc, but the only true happiness in this life I’ve found is when I am living my life for the Lord, truly. Not merely going to church, but serving others, loving others, not judging others, praying for forgiveness and striving to be better, and most of all in being thankful for everything that I have. We are commanded to give thanks in all things, good or bad. And this is how I want to live. In no thing is God offended more than when we do not acknowledge his had in all things.
May the Lord bless you and may you be able to find peace.
There is so much here for me to unpack in a single comment. I might do an episode response to this. May I suggest the next time you approach a stranger online not to start the dialogue with an insult?