SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) It is wrong to assume that Mormons who leave the faith “have been offended or lazy or sinful,” a top leader told members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday (Oct. 5) during the church’s 183rd Semiannual General Conference.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing First Presidency, speaks during the 183rd LDS General Conference. Photo courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing First Presidency, speaks during the 183rd LDS General Conference. Photo courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


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“It is not that simple,” said Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the LDS Church’s governing three-man First Presidency.

Some struggle with “unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past,” Uchtdorf explained. “We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of church history — along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable and divine events — there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question.”

“To be perfectly frank,” Uchtdorf said, “there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine.”

God is perfect and his doctrine is pure, he said, but human beings — including church leaders — are not.

The German-born Uchtdorf, dubbed by several Mormon commenters as “our Pope Francis,” urged those who have left the LDS faith to come back, even with their doubts.

“It’s natural to have questions — the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding,” he said. “There are few members of the church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious  or sensitive questions.”

Regardless of one’s circumstances, personal history or strength of faith, he said, “there is room for you in this church.”

(Peggy Fletcher Stack writes for The Salt Lake Tribune)

2 Comments

  1. It would be SO wonderful if Pres. Uchtdorf could get this theory across to all GA’s and members. I just read an LDS book about people who have questions about the faith, and it pretty much did say that people who leave the church just want to do things that are against LDS standards.BUT It also said that we ALL SHOULD have questions, just as Joseph Smith had, and he sought out the answer, and got personal revelation. We as intelligent people will have questions until the day we die. The book is called Holding Fast by Robert Millet, subtitle “Dealing with doubt in the latter days.” I have a strong testimony of the restoration, but I have friends who have left the church, and it was not because they wanted to sin or be lazy. It was they wanted to know MORE, and get closer to the Lord, and the Internet had so much info from history that was not what we were always taught, that they could not reconcile the things we were taught vs. the historical truth. They still are very strong Christians and still do their best to live as the Lord would want them to. Still VERY spiritually active. Just the opposite of “sinful and lazy”.

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