The Journey Through LDS Faith Crisis and Fractured Ego Structures

Going through a faith crisis within the LDS community often entails profound personal transformations as individual beliefs begin to evolve. For many, their identity is intricately linked with their faith. Thus, when doubts and questions emerge, it not only challenges their religious views but also prompts a deep introspection about who they are outside of their religion.

This internal conflict can be disorienting as people find themselves navigating between their longstanding beliefs and the unsettling yet liberating realm of new perspectives. The familiar comfort of past certainties fades, making room for a journey of self-discovery. This journey can feel like being adrift in uncharted waters, where every question leads to more uncertainty about one’s place in the world.

Opportunities for Growth

However, this period of questioning also presents a unique opportunity for growth. It allows individuals to forge a more robust identity that incorporates diverse experiences and broader understandings. This expanded sense of self can lead to greater resilience and adaptability, fostering a deeper connection with oneself. As people rebuild their self-concept, they often find that they engage with the world around them in more meaningful and nuanced ways.

Ultimately, navigating a faith crisis can transform a disorienting experience into a revitalizing journey. By embracing the complexity of their experiences and the breadth of their new insights, individuals can emerge with a renewed sense of purpose and a more profound connection to their inner selves and the larger world.

From Single Pillar to Multiple Pillars

In this discussion, we take an enlightening approach to spirituality for those undergoing a faith crisis within the LDS community, emphasizing the transition from relying solely on LDS teachings to incorporating a more inclusive, varied spiritual framework. This method shifts from what is described as a ‘single pillar’ approach—where LDS principles stand as the lone support for one’s spiritual life—to a ‘multiple pillars’ approach that embraces a wider array of spiritual and intellectual resources.

The ‘single pillar’ approach, while providing a clear and focused foundation, can be limiting when individuals start to question or diverge from established teachings. As doubts arise, relying solely on one source for spiritual support can make the journey through a faith crisis particularly tumultuous. In response, Valerie advocates for the development of ‘complex thinking skills’ that enable individuals to seek and integrate diverse sources of knowledge and belief into their spiritual lives.

This broader approach includes drawing from various disciplines such as philosophy, to provide a deeper understanding of life’s big questions; science, to complement spiritual insights with empirical knowledge; other faith traditions, to introduce alternative spiritual perspectives and practices; and personal morality, to ensure that one’s spiritual journey aligns with their ethical convictions.

By integrating these multiple pillars into their spiritual framework, individuals can construct a more robust and resilient foundation. This diversified foundation not only supports them through the immediate challenges of a faith crisis but also enriches their overall spiritual experience. It allows them to hold and reconcile multiple viewpoints, helping them to manage the nuances and contradictions that often accompany spiritual growth and self-discovery.

Valerie often emphasizes that this enriched approach can shield individuals from the psychological strains associated with questioning deeply held beliefs. It prepares them to face a range of emotional responses and fosters a sense of stability and continuity in their spiritual journey, making the process of exploring new beliefs less daunting and more fulfilling. Through this transition to a ‘multiple pillars’ approach, individuals can find a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper connection to the broader human experience, cultivating a spirituality that is as diverse and dynamic as life itself.

Embracing Growth and Discomfort

Embracing growth and discomfort in the Latter-Day Faith Crisis involves a profound journey of self-discovery and the reevaluation of personal beliefs. Individuals experiencing such a crisis may grapple with a shattered self-identity, primarily if that identity was heavily intertwined with their religious faith. As these individuals encounter this discomfort, they are presented with an opportunity for significant personal development. It requires the reconstruction of a more resilient ego structure, refining complex thinking skills, and developing the courage to confront and transform less effective coping strategies. This growth demands embracing paradox and uncertainty, as well as fostering a deeper, more meaningful connection with one’s true self. It’s a path toward autonomy and the empowerment to make choices that align with one’s evolving values and beliefs, leading to a more authentic and fulfilling life, whether within or outside of their previous faith framework.

Additional Resources