I taught college courses for 15 years. I wasn't what you would call a professor, we didn't really have those at our school. I was an adjunct faculty member, which is a fancy word for part-time teacher... although for a stretch there I taught full-time during which period I also completed a masters degree in education. My subjects were usually technical in nature: website development, programming, web design, although I also taught some drawing & illustration courses along the way (I bounced around in college majors as both a student and a teacher).
Let me address directly the question of knowledge and doubt. Many Latter-day Saints (including many who have grown up in the church) are now re-examining their faith and are questioning whether or not they really believe the claims of the church to be true. In our information age we have a world of knowledge quite literally at our fingertips, and that has changed the landscape dramatically.
As I've been reading in the scriptures lately I've noticed a few central themes that I hadn't picked up before. There is a theme of our being sons (or daughters) of God. There is also the idea of our becoming the sons of God. While it's true that we are all children of God, it's also true that we are not all children of God. We came down from God, and he is our father, yet only a few become qualified while in this life for God to refer to us as truly his sons and his daughters. There are several examples of this:
I've been mulling over Moses 4:23-25 a bit more in connection with my earlier article about evolution and how it could fit within the gospel context.
And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
"..they shall know that I am the Lord their God, and am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of my people." (Mosiah 11:22)
What does the Lord mean when he describes himself as a “jealous God”? We often think of jealousy in a negative context, and even might well consider jealousy a sin. So why would the Lord use that word to describe himself?
The book of John contains many important truths the Savior taught us about his Father. We learn about the close connection and relationship of the Father to his Son. There was no one on this earth who had a closer relationship to God than Christ. Who better to teach us about Him? As we desire to grow closer to our Father, we would do well to learn from his Son.
Most of us would like to feel closer to our Heavenly Father. Ask yourself, has it been a long time since I've felt spiritual communication, or spiritual joy? When was the last time you felt his love? Does the Lord desire to speak to us, but we are not able to receive it? Sometimes we go to church, we sit through meetings, even accept and work in our callings, and still don't feel the spiritual blessings. Nephi charged his brothers with being "past feeling"... Does the Lord desire to speak to us, but we are not able to receive it? Is the problem with God, or with us?
Organic evolution and how it might either conflict -- or perhaps fit -- within LDS doctrine is something I've pondered and studied a fair amount over past several years. Michael Ash wrote an article for Dialogue which I think is a good place to start for members of the church who might be wondering about the history of the church's position (or non-position) on evolution:
I happened to read an article yesterday in the SL Tribune about the history of men wearing & then not wearing beards in the LDS church (of which I am an active member). Interesting article, but it was actually one of the comments that caught my attention. A woman was responding to a faithful LDS man who had said something to the effect of, "Whatever the prophet tells me to do, that's what I will do." To this woman that comment was very scary. She responded by saying "That's insane, I wonder if you realize how dangerous that attitude is".