Dangers of Partisanship

What is a democracy? What is a political environment? It is a place where different personality types fight out among each other how to run things. Since your personality has biological roots in its formation, both at the start and developmentally speaking, talking to someone in another political party can be very frustrating because you are essentially trying to rewire their brain.

There are legitimate reasons for viewing the world from a right or left wing perspective. Take capitalism. Has it created suffering? Yes. Has it created prosperity? Yes. Has it created an economic system where people can take advantage of others? Yes. Has it created an economic system that raises the standard of living where it is practiced? Yes. (Similar things can be said about agency, and I can imagine the attacks levied by the opposition to its implementation in the mortal part of the plan.)

The dangerous thing about partisanship is that it feeds pride. The pride starts when one says “My side is always right, there is no reason to view the world from another perspective.” Even for the temperamentally liberal types who are open to new ideas struggle with this, though they pride their side on being open. Little needs to be said for those who are temperamentally conservative. Of course they are going to stick with their pre-conceived notions more often than not. And who is right in their navigation in the world? The ones who are open to information, or the ones who stick to tradition? The answer is both.

This can sum up the warning to both sides: all progress is change, but not all change is progress.

There are strengths and weaknesses to both sides, just how there is a strength and weakness attributed to each personality trait. This is because political attitudes are linked to personality traits. The Big 5 personality theory is the best accepted theory in academia, since it was derived from statistical analysis. So often one side calls the other stupid for interpreting a set of facts differently. More on this theory here: link

People are tribal, this can be seen in the annual ‘holy war’ between BYU and Utah. People want to belong in a tribe, and feel superior to the others. This can translate into the political landscape by creating the presupposition of superiority of one’s own tribe. How they interpret new information will either fit or reject their notion of superiority. Even neutral facts will be interpreted as a ‘win’ for one’s own team.

Logic is a tool to reinforce what is being felt. This is what world renowned moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt explained in his book “The Righteous Mind”. If you say “OK the other side is obviously wrong about this one, now how are they wrong about this fact or situation is what I need to find out.” You ask a question, your logic will find an answer.

If this isn’t bad enough, once your logic provides you with a reason to feel morally superior to another, your brain gets a shot of dopamine. You’re literally getting yourself addicted to seeing others as inferior. And your brain will want to feel superior all the time, so it will want you to interpret ALL situations as the other side representing moral degeneracy. Leave the question of whether a fact is objectively right or wrong, the mindset of moral superiority is what polarizes people. This happens both in and out of the political realm. Pride destroys families by first destroying dialog. We are seeing the dialog of our country destroyed by this (especially since the vast majority of mainstream media outlets are tilted to the left, and it will only get worse as students majoring in journalism are only coming from one side of the isle, and representing only one faction of the personality types). Polarization is amplified by the formation of echo chambers on social media. People follow the accounts that agree with their views, feeding their confirmation bias and thus providing their brain with the dopamine it craves, along with the feeling of moral superiority.

What one should ask themselves is what are the blind spots of their personality, then not assume omniscience in the political sphere. You should always ask yourself, what does the other side know that I don’t? (And you have to really want an answer, otherwise your pride blocks you.)

Doubting the Gospel

The First thing to do is congratulate yourself, you are a normal human being!

In my opinion, if you never doubted anything, that’s really naive of you and maybe you’re too trusting of everyone, or everything. Perhaps you have been hurt or betrayed by someone, and your confidence in other people’s intentions has wavered. Perfectly normal.

Now when it comes to doubting things in the church, like doctrine or the prophets, that’s where things can get dicey.

Here’s a shocker to you, I sometimes doubt what things the prophets and apostles and other auxiliaries of the church say. And I am not ashamed to say it. That is because I am proud of the way I approach it; whenever I have a doubt, or I disagree with something someone at the pulpit has said, I remind myself these things:

1) I have a testimony of The Book of Mormon, and I have received a witness of its truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost

2)I have witnessed miracles, been healed instantaneously, and seen supernatural forces at work in my life as a result of me living the commandments, and the advice given to me by the leaders of the church.

3) I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, no matter how imperfect he was in word or deed. I know this because of the previous two reasons.

Sometimes when I am in the shower I question everything. Is this religion really the one that God leads? Does God even lead a religion? Does God exist? What if I’m just wasting all my time? And if all of this wasn’t true, why be obedient to commandments that were made up or that I’m told to follow by people who aren’t led by God?

That’s when I go back to my three reminders.

I even had to remind myself the days following a miracle that I had witnessed while on my mission. No one who has doubts should be ashamed, it’s in our nature as humans to be skeptical at times.

We read in the book of Moroni about those that have the gift of “exceedingly great faith” (Moroni 10:11). I at times envy these people. That’s when I tell myself this:

The story of my life will be one for the books. I was a doubter, and despite my human nature I held on as tight as I could to the rod of iron. I grasped on for dear life, not because I knew with absolute certainty that it was true, but because I hoped it was. I fought my way through all that Satan threw at me to make me doubt my faith, and I was wounded at times. I was knocked down, I was knocked off the path. I was knocked so hard I hung on with one hand from the cliffs that led down to the dark and murky waters. But I got back up. I was lost in the mists too many times to count, but I kept feeling for the rod, searching for the path. Because somewhere in my soul, my being wanted the rod to be true. I could feel a silent cry emanating from within me, calling out to it. And somewhere in my soul, I could hear the rod calling back. I know that I can’t know if the rod is true or not unless I follow it, and because of this, I will press on. Despite my doubts, my lack of complete knowledge.

“Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.” – Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

That’s easier said than done for me. But I know my understanding is weak, and I know I won’t grasp everything until I take that great leap past the veil. So for now, I’ll rely on what I do know. I know The Book of Mormon is true. Because of that, I trust that all my questions, my doubts, my fears, will be resolved. And I study them out. I have books on everything from polygamy to blacks and the priesthood. I study it out, then I pray to know whether what I am learning is true.

Same with the words of the prophets. If something is said at the pulpit that I don’t agree with, I ask myself, is it in harmony with doctrine, and if so must it be correct if The Book of Mormon is correct? And if that is not enough, I’ll pray to know whether those words were true, and when I get my confirmation, I pray for my Father in heaven’s help to assist me in changing my attitude towards what was said.

I am on a quest to align my opinions with God’s views. And in order to do that, I cannot simply let my doubts sit and simmer, because that’s not healthy for me or my faith. I need to constantly reassess my views, keep up to date on what the Lord’s anointed say.

Parents, if your children say they have doubts, don’t be alarmed. Don’t react. Simply say “So do I. Let me know if you ever want to talk about them, I’d like to know how you see things too.”

Cool things to watch when you doubt:

BYU Devotional by Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy


Safety for the Soul by Elder Holland

About Us

We are a community dedicated to studying out threats to the Church, its doctrine and members from a cultural, philosophical, and psychological perspective. We strive to be non partisan in our activities, and have a combination of persons from both the right and left involved in the creation and analysis of content.

From the government, institutions, and people. Threats can come from (but not limited to) these three main categories.

  • Policies that are linked to a sentiment or idea contrary to the commandments of God or His plan.
  • Institutions, run by those in unknowing opposition to eternal principles generate cultural tides against truth, even if intentions are commendable.
  • Person to person threats include the spreading of sinful behavior and ideas that can cause the corroding of testimonies.

Our purpose is to help others to come unto Christ, and also to avoid deception and illuminating ways of perceiving the world, situations, and ideas that can lead them down a path of contradictions and nihilism.

Our team watches the YouTube videos, read the websites, visit the ex-Mormon Reddit page frequently and collect books attempting to either draw people away from the faith, or arm others with talking points against the Church of Jesus Christ. While other more known apologetic organizations deal with the gritty facts of archaeology, history and semantics, we focus on cultural patterns and the grand scheme of two plans: God’s, and Lucifer’s. How do current trends and events, policies and laws fit into these two plans? This narrative is what we focus on.