Recently I’ve noticed in the news that members forming support groups for members going through faith crisis or those struggling to stay in the faith because of questions relating to LDS theology is seriously frowned upon and may even lead to church discipline. Could you elaborate on why (reasons) when we’re also taught to care for one another as part of our baptismal covenants? Thanks.
Thank you for posting your question. I need to be totally honest, I have not seen, nor hard of such groups, so I will only give you my perspective on what I think might be happening.
You are right, we have been commanded to “Feed (His) Sheep”!
Brother Glen C. Tuckett who was BYU’s baseball coach, gave a devotional speech back in April 9th, 1974 and said this:
What do these sheep really need to be fed? I think first and foremost they need to be fed a thing called love. When the Man of Nazareth started his ministry, those that were in political power at the time more or less backed him into a corner and tried to get him to incriminate himself by giving the wrong answer to the question they were going to ask. They asked him, “What’s the first and great commandment? What’s the most important of all the rules and laws and do’s and don’ts that we’re trying to live?” Brother Talmage tells us that in the law of Moses, the decalogue, there were 732 do’s and don’ts—little picayunish things. Other scriptorians tell us there were 3,600 do’s and don’ts in the law of Moses.
The Savior did not hesitate but said that the first and great commandment is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.” And without being asked, he said, “The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor” (see Matthew 22:36–39; emphasis added). So his answer to the question contained the word love twice.
I love this because this is how I measure the level of participation with anything I do. I often ask myself, “will this thing I am doing (or about to do) make me love my Lord more? Will this make me love my neighbor more?” Then if the answer is no, I will not partake of it.
Similarly, if I see a group of LDS individuals whose main concern is to lovingly and prayerfully help others, then I would not see the Church be concerned about that. On the other hand, if I see an individual (or a group) say they are “helping” others with their concerns or biases, but the real intent is to manipulate and destroy their character and/or someone else’s character with backbiting or gossip, then I can also see how the Church would not sanction that. These we commonly refer to as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
President Ezra Taft Benson gave an monumental talk about pride and I’d like to quote part of it here:
Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us. (See 2 Ne. 9:42.) There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.
So, if a brother or sister insists that he/she is helping another, but employs these less-than desirable qualities, I would not support such group and neither will The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Lastly, here is a link to a previous answer I gave which is similar in nature and could lead those of such groups in dangerous paths.
I hope this helps clear your question up and thanks for following Gramps.