Scripture study

(also see “Prayers”, “Priesthood”, and “Testimony and spiritual experiences”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Many believers cherish the time they spend in scripture study. Scripture study is a daily opportunity to draw closer to God and receive inspiration about how to deal with life’s difficulties and trails. This can have real power to make us better people, and many believers have firm testimonies because of the undeniable influence of good they see in their lives from reading the Book of Mormon and other scriptures. The words of scriptures themselves promote goodness, but the real power is the spirit that comes from reading.
Many nonbelievers acknowledge that some of the words of scriptures themselves promote goodness. There are many good teachings in the scriptures, such as courage, love, honor, the value of family, and so forth that even a nonbeliever can appreciate.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Even believers frequently acknowledge that scripture study can be boring.
 
Because scriptures are admittedly imperfect, it can be difficult to know which scriptures to take literally and make the foundation of testimony. This can cause some believers considerable anguish and cognitive dissonance. The same thing applies to knowing which words from modern day prophets are true or not.
Scripture study can be boring.
 
Not only are scriptures admittedly imperfect,  but they are probably entirely manmade. It is dangerous and arrogant to assume we have the literal or even figurative words of God in front of us to read. Not all words in scripture are necessarily good principles to live life on (such as forgiving those who abuse you, turning the other cheek when attacked, killing in the name of God, ideas that contradict science, racist ideas, etc.) Putting God behind ideas that might be harmful amplifies the power and potential to cause hurt.
 
This being the case, scripture study is likely a waste of time when it takes away from study of other books. Think of all the other good fiction and nonfiction that one could read instead of reading the Book of Mormon over and over again. Inspiration can be found in all literature, not just works claimed to be from God. There are probably other books out there that are better written, more inspiring, and do more to encourage good than the standard works.

 

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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