“You can’t prove God doesn’t exist!”
Of course you can’t. You can’t prove a negative. Whether or not God existed was not the reason I left the LDS church. I didn’t leave the Church because I was looking for some sort of sign, some sort of empirical evidence of the existence of God. No one is saying that science is all knowing, all powerful, and the trump card against belief in God. In fact, my decision to leave the Church was not even about science, it was about truth. (That being said, there is plenty of peer-reviewed, reliable, testable science in multiple fields such as archeology, Egyptology, and genetics that makes very good cases against Mormonism. But this isn’t about that.)
The Spirit is said to be the ultimate measure of truth. It testifies of pure truth. So why is it then, that it has testified to so many people things that are not true? Things like the ban on blacks and the priesthood being divine? The method of Book of Mormon translation? What about other churches, who receive a witness that Islam is God’s one true religion? What about the fresh high school graduate whose bosom burned when she prayed about marrying one of Warren Jeffs disciples?
How does one follow the prophet, who “knows the way” so we “don’t go astray”, when prophets have made so many mistakes and false steps? Science is not the enemy of the Church – the Journal of Discourses and contemporary journals are. The doctrine of prophets perfect leadership “never leading the Church astray” is a bold faced lie. How does the Church claim moral high ground while at the same time stopping short of apologizing for racism, polyandry, teenage brides, secret polygamy, etc?
I remember arguing “God needs to test our faith!” and “There has always been contrary evidence!” But at what point do we stop blindly doubting our doubts and objectively look at our own beliefs like we do everyone else’s? If these same arguments for “staying in the boat” could equally apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists, they are neither intellectually or spiritually honest.
Science was not the issue when church leaders continued to practice polygamy after the supposed “revelation” that was the manifesto. Science was not the issue when Joseph told majorly varied versions of the First Vision. Science was not the issue when Church leaders insisted it was the will of God that blacks should not receive the priesthood. Science was not the issue when Joseph publicly lied and violently suppressed his practicing of polygamy. Science was not the issue when City Creek and Florida cities were built using interest off of tithing money.
It is easy to vilify science and call those who criticize the Church faithless doubters or unwilling to listen to the Spirit. But perhaps if less people listened to the Spirit as taught by LDS leadership there would have been less child marriages, less racism, less lies, and more love.