Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll find this project to be useful. Let me tell you a bit about what it is and how it came to be.
I think there is a tendency within Mormonism for people (including members, apologists, and even leaders) to focus on only one troubling issue at a time. Sometimes people may find what seems to be a reasonable explanation for that issue, and other times they may resort to “putting it on their shelf.” However, what often seems to be lacking is a wide perspective of all of the issues seen in relation to one another. And I believe that perspective is essential.
As the saying goes, I think that sometimes people can’t see the forest for the trees. It is natural to focus on one concern and try to find a suitable explanation. But when we look at things in isolation we only ever see a part of the whole picture. I’m speaking from experience, as this is exactly what I did for a long time as a Mormon. But after years of interacting online with others who have also faced the troubling issues of the church, I realize that I’m far from alone.
This project was born out of thoughts like these about the tendency to isolate problems. Because I am a visual thinker I gravitated towards something that would depict the connections and relationships between the various issues in the church. It started out small, as something I was just trying for fun, and then it got really big and turned into something I wanted to share.
My process involved three main steps:
– First, I listed all of the major areas in which I feel like the church has significant troubling issues.
– Next, I looked at each category individually and listed what seem to be the biggest concerns within that area.
– Finally, I began looking at them all together to analyze how the issues are connected within each category, as well as from one category to another.
Because I created lists in each category before looking at them all together that means that there will be some overlap. If a particular issue applies in more than one place then it got included in more than one place. This is part of the whole point of the project. In order to put things into perspective, we need to see issues wherever they fit, even if it’s in more than one category.
The process I went through on this project reaffirmed to me that most of the troubling issues in the church are not isolated, but are part of larger trends and patterns. It is easier to find ways to dismiss problems when they are viewed one at a time. But when looked at with a wider perspective that demonstrates how issues relate to one another, patterns emerge that are not as easily dismissed.
Please understand that I am not an expert of any kind. In fact, none of the information I present is “mine.” Nor is any of it new, but rather, has been pieced together from a wide variety of resources. I’m not the first person to raise these issues and I won’t be the last. I’m just a girl trying to share some of the things that I’ve learned because I believe that truth is important and that everyone should have access to it. But like I said, I’m not an expert. This is not the “One True List” of concerns about the LDS church. It’s not intended to be. I’m sure there are flaws and mistakes in it, and I’m sure some people will disagree about things I’ve included or things I may have overlooked. That’s fine. The point of this project is to help people put things into perspective – to take a step back and look at how the issues relate to one other, to see them as part of larger patterns that come up repeatedly. I’m not out to prove this point or that point, I’m only here to encourage people to take a step back from looking at things in isolation.
The arc chart is provided as a visual representation of these patterns and connections. Each color represents a different category, and there are trends and patterns within each category. Lines between different topics are used to represent a particular pattern within categories or patterns that cross category lines. Don’t worry about trying to follow all of those lines, though. They’re more for visual impact rather than functionality. Each connection is also indicated by “See also” numbers included below the text (with hyperlinks for easy navigation).
In addition, I have also provided references and links for most of the issues addressed. I strongly recommend that everyone do their own research about any concerns that are troubling them. The resources I include are by no means an exhaustive list on any of these topics, and they may not even be the best resources available. (Remember? I’m not an expert.) I don’t want anyone to take my word on anything. So feel free to use the links I’ve provided, but only use them as a starting point.
I also feel like I should point out that some of the links are from websites that I don’t necessarily endorse – meaning that some of them may have an agenda that I disagree with. However, unlike the church, I don’t think the source of information matters much if the information itself is good. If you feel like you’re not sure if you can trust something, that’s fine. Do your own research! Dig a little deeper. Check out their sources. There’s a wealth of information available about most of these issues.
Thanks again for taking the time to look at my “Latter-Day Perspective” arc chart. I really do hope that it’s useful. Sometimes adjusting our perspective on things has the power to change our lives. That was the case for me, and I know it has been that way for countless others as well.