Comfort

(also see “The Atonement”, “Believing that a loving God is watching out for you”, “Plan of Salvation”, and “Suffering, philosophy of”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
The favorite hymn “Where Can I Turn for Peace” is a good example of why Mormonism is so powerful and important to believing members. Mormonism brings peace to our souls in times of turmoil; it encourages us to be a source of comfort to other people; those that mourn are comforted; at times of death we are comforted with hope and joy in a glorious reunion with loved ones.
 
Although Mormons do not believe in Hell per se, the concept that the wicked will be punished and that there is some sort of true justice in the world is very comforting. How comforting is it that there is a glorious day of judgement where the wicked will shrink in awful fear and justice will be served.
Some nonbelievers occasionally lament they no longer feel the pro of all the comfort they once felt as a believer.  They likely remember that Mormonism brings peace to our souls in times of turmoil; it encourages us to be a source of comfort to other people; those that mourn are comforted; at times of death we are comforted with hope and joy in a glorious reunion with loved ones. However, the nonbeliever likely does not feel any comfort from Mormonism anymore, and this important pro does not apply to them. While they might find comfort outside of religion (and actually prefer it and find great relief this way), the transition from finding comfort in God to finding comfort outside of God is not always easy.
 
Because of this, some nonbelievers are even hesitant to do anything that would destroy the testimony of their friends and families. It can be a traumatizing thing to lose the comfort that the gospel once brought you, and this isn’t necessarily an experience that one wishes thrust upon loved ones. Indeed, the comfort that religion and Mormonism in particular brings is powerful. It is a strong pro for those who experience it.

 

 

Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
We are taught that Christ will comfort us or even deliver us when we experience trials. It can be crushing for believers who experience truly terrible things and try but fail to feel any real comfort. How can they believe in a loving God without coming to the conclusion that it’s their own fault that God won’t comfort them? Ironically, the promise of comfort when none is received can in of itself be a damnation to the believer.
The Mormon who cannot find belief in God can feel emptiness and feel like an outcast when they attend church and hear testimonies of peace and comfort from believers. Many nonbelievers do not feel this peace and comfort and can feel out of place at church.
 
Conversely, many nonbelievers start to feel comfort in different ways when they stop believing in God or when they leave the church. Believers might find this surprising, but many nonbelievers actually do find as much or more peace and happiness and comfort outside of Mormonism than they found inside it. It can be comforting to not have to believe in a God that allows injustice or is entirely unpredictable, it can be comforting to let go of guilt and shame; it can be comforting to make decisions on your own and to make life your own, it can be comforting to stop defending polygamy and misogyny and bigamy. It can be comforting to feel that death is the end.

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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