Believing that a loving God is watching out for you

(also see “Comfort”, “Making Decisions”, and “Miracles”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Believing that a loving God is watching out for you is one of the most crucial advantages to faith for many believers. Having faith in God can give one great confidence. It can be a great comfort knowing that God is always there and will watch over you when you need help. Perfect love casteth out all fear, and those with faith are assured that God will deliver us out of trials, troubles, and afflictions.
        Many believers who enjoy this kind of faith will ask themselves: “How could there possibly be a better way to live than this?”
Many nonbelievers acknowledge the power and comfort of faith. Having faith in God can give one great confidence. It can be a great comfort knowing that God is always there and will watch over you when you need help. Perfect love casteth out all fear, and those with faith are assured that God will deliver us out of trials, troubles, and afflictions. The member who has a crisis of faith likely loses this confidence, even if they wish they could believe in God again and feel the comfort they once felt, and some nonbelievers truly regret no longer being able to enjoy this “pro” of Mormonism.
        On the other hand, many nonbelievers start to feel comfort in no longer having to believe in an unpredictable God that allows injustice. Perhaps surprising to many believers, many nonbelievers come to a place where they feel as much or more comfort and happiness outside of religion.

 

 

Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
It is often difficult to know when a feeling is from God and when it is from one’s own mind. In other words, it’s hard to know if one’s self-confidence is misplaced and to know if one is making an important decision based on the spirit and what God wants or based on emotion. Although we are promised to be blessed if we obey the commandments, these blessings are not specified and laid clearly out before us. Thus, there is no guarantee that God will bless us how we want to be blessed. Gods ways are not our ways, he does things in his own time, he requires Abrahamic sacrifices, and theologically there is no guarantee that things will really “work out” in this life, even if one has faith and is righteous. We are promised miracles, but they might not come until after we die: “But as we trust in the Savior, promised miracles will occur. Whether in this life or the next, all will be made right.”
         The faithful might occasionally have cognitive dissonance when they ponder why God watches out for Mormons looking for car keys but neglects other things like starving children in Africa or child pornography.
It is often difficult to know when a feeling is from God and when it is from one’s own mind. The nonbeliever, if they believe in God at all, probably does not believe that keeping the commandments of Mormonism will bring God’s blessings and protection. Many nonbelievers become agnostic or atheist and come to believe that trusting in God leads one to make important decisions based on emotion, ignoring or severely downplaying logic and evidence. Indeed, Mormonism encourages doing things by the seat of your pants. This can lead to bad or rash decisions about important things (moving, changing jobs, getting married, etc). The nonbeliever might come to the conclusion that a God who watches out for Mormons looking for car keys but neglects other things like starving children in Africa or child pornography is not a very nice being and not someone we want to emulate.
        The basic question that missionaries use – “Do you believe in an all caring god that is watching over you?” –
assumes a fundamental bias about the way the world works. A bias like this is at odds with rational thinking and the scientific method, which seeks to remove errors from bias and assumptions. People with this bias paint those without it negatively, as skeptics. Thus, the nonbeliever sees Mormonism and the view that God is watching out for the faithful as harmful because it inserts a bias that makes it more difficult for clear, rational, scientific thought (see “
Critical thinking” and “Science”).

 

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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