Asked in Mormonism
Why can Mormons not research or read other books to see if false claims are real?
We can research and read anything that we want to. The church doesn't tell us what to read. We can figure out for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, and pray about the answers we come up with and see if we are in agreement with God... just like anyone else. I have never been told what to read, and I *have* read many of the anti-Mormon tracts that I ran across on my mission, and lots of things that people throw around. Mostly I find it laughable, and only occasionally is there a little bit of truth in there, twisted in with a lot of falsehood. If people would put even half the effort into being positive about their own beliefs (or examining their own beliefs) that they do into denigrating others' beliefs, the world would be a better place. The assumption made in the question, and in other answers to this question... that of *course* we wouldn't believe if we really thought about it... is absurd. I've studied this religion inside and out, my whole life, as have many others, and we're still here. ______________ They are taught that some books are dangerous if they are not faith-building, meaning if they go against Mormon teachings. Most cults are very exclusive in what they allow their members to read, because they don't want them to be exposed to anything that could show them that their church is wrong. Mormons are told that they have free will, but let one of them try to read an "anti-Mormon" book and they are immediately warned that they cannot and should not do that.
_____________ The Christian Bible in the New Testament encourages people to 'test everything and hold fast that which is good' - so applied here this would suggest that the Mormon teaching would stand scrutiny if true and so they should have nothing to fear. The Book Of Mormon has in its front a saying or verse inviting people to pray and ask God if it is true. This would tend to suggest that scrutiny is encouraged in one sense, but from the Mormon perspective this does not appear to extend to having God reveal it is not true. So they are thus selective in the type of scrutiny they encourage. Positive scrutiny is encouraged while negative or critical scrutiny is not.