I’ve never seen a case where a doubter successfully returned to the Church through shaming tactics such as these. Not once.
Elder Montoya's warnings to avoid doubt at all costs ignore one of the most important truths of the process of faith formation: doubt is a catalyst to spiritual growth.
Race? Seer stones? Polygamy? Mormon apostle M. Russell Ballard says the church's seminary teachers should address controversies openly to "inoculate" students.
All this Mormon emphasis on correct knowledge and possessing the fullness of the truth misses the point: Amassing knowledge is not our job. Having faith is. And faith absolutely requires uncertainty.
Talks like Sister Wixom’s are turning doubt into a legitimate topic of conversation in Mormon culture, and not a dirty word. Decriminalizing doubt and doubters is the first step. Our next task is much harder.
If you're a Mormon who struggles with doubt, join our book club. Over five Fridays, we'll be reading "The Crucible of Doubt" in chunks and discussing it.