Because of mistakes, I have made, I have learned it is wise to be cautious answering religious questions. It is easy to place ourselves between God and the person who is asking for answers. I have decided most of the time it is best to politely encourage people to ask God not men for answers.
It is not kind to impose unwanted knowledge upon loved ones
I have previously mentioned that I recently left the Mormon church. I was a devoted member and diligently taught my children the principles embraced by the LDS (the abbreviated name for the Mormon church). I have three children who left the church and three who remain very faithful members of the LDS church. It is difficult for my children who remain faithful to understand why I left because I was a devout Mormon for over 50 years before I began to question the accuracy of Mormon history. Despite the difficulties we think we can overcome, it is best to let those we love, ask God not men. God can always do more for our families than we ourselves can.
At first, I felt I needed to convince my children why I left the Mormon faith, but I learned quickly that it is not kind to impose unwanted knowledge upon loved ones who don’t desire to receive it. To do so is a formula that causes contention.
Book of Mormon Scripture: Contention is not of me but is of the devil
For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away. 3 Nephi 11:29-30
A couple of contentious experiences that hurt my relationship with my children taught me to be cautious about answering religious questions. God is no respecter of person, everyone can learn to ask God not men.
Ask God not men – Kindly directing my son to consider studying and to ask God
My son asked me the following question:
How does priesthood work in your new faith? Is there a line back to Joseph Smith? If so, through whom? Or maybe you believe in a new line directly from Jesus? Is so, through whom?
Here was my answer: