In conjunction with my last post, I have often heard it said that in order to test our faith, God has suppressed certain evidences of the truth of Mormonism.
No Nephite artifacts? If we had those, there would be no faith required. In fact, just about any concrete corroboration of the BoM seems to be regarded as a potentially faith-shattering event. If evidence was uncovered that a man stood on the walls of a Mesoamerican city and preached about the coming of Christ, apparently people would start signing up with the missionaries in droves. If we actually had golden plates with reformed Egyptian engravings, people would join the Church solely based on intellectual facts, not faith.
This scenario seems to have a couple problems to me. First of all, it is not at all clear to me that more people would join the Church if there was more concrete evidence of, say, the Urim and Thummim, or a close correspondence between BoM and archeological history. I guess we might get a few more converts, but Mormonism is a lifestyle, not just a historical world-view. Even if we had Laban's Sword sitting in a glass case in Temple Square and allowed it to be examined by metallurgists, people would not be chasing down the missionaries to get baptized (except maybe sword-freaks, like Ethesis).
So my question is, does the Lord really suppress favorable evidence just to make it harder to be a Mormon and thus increasing our requisite faith? Would the Lord allow some damaging, false information to come out, knowing that it would destroy the faith of some? It seems to me that hypothetically, if certain information is so damaging that it destroys the faith of some, that it is an involuntary response. Perhaps we can force ourselves to believe certain things simply through sheer will-power, but it doesn't strike me as a particularly good thing or Christ-like. Would we be blamed if we stopped believing?
Why would the Lord try to confuse us in this way? It is my contention (sure to be controversial) that if we allow certain troubling things to damage our testimony, that it isn't really our fault. Would we really blame Abraham if he stopped believing in God after he was told to kill Isaac? It seems like good sense to me that any God that required the murder of your son, probably wasn't the real God.
I wish it were easier to believe. I'm not entirely sure that it's my fault though.