In the LDS church, we were taught not to trust the Bible and not to trust apostate churches and pastors. Yet many of us came to a point where we no longer trusted the LDS church and its leaders. After that experience, it’s hard to trust again. So who can we trust? How can we trust another church and its leaders again?
There are reasons you can trust again.
Instead of becoming completely cynical, as many people do, realize that trust is possible and reasonable in many cases. There are many reasons why the Bible is worthy of trust. God is worthy of trust. You may have felt that you could not even trust yourself. But you can learn to trust your own discernment as you gain the right tools to do so. Trust is something that can be recovered. In fact, this is one of the first issues a transitioning Mormon must deal with in order to grow into a meaningful new faith identity.
[Related: The Historical Reliability of the Bible]
[Related: Why I Trust the Bible After Mormonism]
[Related: Archaeological Evidence for the Bible]
The Bible invites us to develop discernment.
Instead of just falling into skepticism, the BIble calls us to discernment. Skepticism posits that nothing and no one can ultimately be trusted to represent the truth. Discernment says there are some things that are true and some things we can trust. There are realistically some voices we cannot trust, but developing the faculty of discernment helps us know who we can trust and who we can’t.
1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
In a biblical worldview, discernment comes from understanding and studying the Bible, and prayerfully applying the Bible in our lives. The more we understand what God has said, the more we can discern what is and is not true. In 1 John 4:2-3, the writer applies a doctrinal test. If some religious authority puts forth a doctrine or belief that is contrary to what God has already revealed, we can know with confidence that he or she is not worthy of our trust. As we learn God’s truth, we can develop trust again – in the right people.
[Related: Discerning True and False Prophets]
Spend your trust wisely.
Our goal in this journey is to transfer the trust that we once gave to an ecclesiastical institution to God himself – and to his trustworthy Word, the Bible, which is how we know him.
If, on your faith journey, you find a Christian church that might have all the right doctrine, but they ask you to trust them in some ultimate way, avoid that church. If you encounter authoritarian leaders at some church who say, “I said it, so that settles it”, avoid them. That’s not a healthy church. That will not help you learn the faculty of discernment for yourself if you surrender your discernment to someone else.
So spend your trust wisely. People need to prove trustworthy. That takes time. The Bible never tells us to trust people blindly. Trust is earned. But as people prove they can be trusted, it is appropriate to put your trust in them at some level. We never trust another human being ultimately, because that level of trust belongs to God alone. But we can trust people subject to our trust in God.
[Related: Regaining Trust After Mormonism]
[Related: Can We Trust Our Feelings to Know What Is True?]
[Related: Study the Truth After Mormonism]