As I have reflected on this topic lately, I came to think of all the heart and mind passages in the Book of Mormon. I thought it was significant that heart (faith and desire) always was mentioned before mind (our intellect). But as I studied it further, I realized that it is all about our faith and desire. I created a post about this when I realized that the original word for "mind" in the Book of Mormon probably has little to do with our intellect.
I have had my share of discussion with former believers or non-believers. I think I understand where they are coming from. When you don't believe in God, the highest intelligence in the universe that you are aware of is that of man. In our time, using logic and reason and the principles of the scientific approach is not only the best approach to discovering and verifying truth, it is the only approach. To the non-believers, religion and faith, like any other topic, must be approached this way. "To a man with the hammer, everything looks like a nail". The scientific approach is the hammer and religion is just another nail.
For a believer like me, matters of faith differ significantly from matters of quantum physics, biochemistry or even social sciences. If there really exists
- a supreme intelligence (God)
But behold, the devil hath me; for he unto me in the of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success (Alma 30:53)
Does this mean that logic and reason has no place in religion at all? Of course not. What the Book of Mormon warns against is depending solely on the wisdom of man. Wisdom of man is simply inadequate to know the things of God
How are the depths of the of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man of his save it be revealed unto him (Jacob 4:8)
Faith must come first
God is unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word. (Alma 32:22)
Then a heart that is soft enough to enable the planting of a seed. Speaking of Alma 32, I find it quite interesting that the best description that I know in the Book of Mormon of developing faith and learning eternal truth, uses the term, "experiment".
But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith (Alma 32:27)
And even all this can you do if you will (Alma 33:23)
That is the final point I would like to make: If logic and reason is God's way of approaching Him, that means he favors people with the highest cognitive abilities and deductive reasoning skills. That does not sound fair to me. "The way" is prepared for every single one of his children and he favors noone. Some might say that the faith/revelation approach favors people with the highest capacity of faith. But Alma assures us that we don't need anything more than a desire for a start. It is not about our skills or capabilities, it is simply about our will. This is the true meaning of "heart and mind".