The Temple and Observatory Group is dedicated to exploring issues related to Latter-day Saint doctrine, history and practice from the perspective of both faith and reason. Our guiding perspective is the expression of faith by Christ’s disciples when asked if they also would turn away from following him with others who had difficulty believing: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” Within that context, we affirm the value of reasoned investigation and discussion, recognizing that, properly handled, honest questions and open discussion make possible deeper understanding and faithful commitment. Above all, we affirm that we may decide to continue in faith even while we wait for answers to our questions and uncertainty.
Indeed, it is the crucible of uncertainty, in which faith must operate, that most profoundly reflects humanity’s agency. Confronted with such uncertainty, Mormonism affirms that the choice of faith is possible, but not compelled, over the alternative of doubt and skepticism. So understood, faith does not entail the absence of uncertainty, but a choice to proceed in the face of questions and incomplete understanding.
We explore these issues via conferences where believing scholars hold intimate discussions with questioning members.