I don't like everything about publications like Sunstone, but one thing I definitely do love is when they publish an article or story that supports a traditional gospel principle or Mormon faith claim.
Why do I find "nontraditional testimonies" (for lack of a better term) particularly potent? I can think of a few possible reasons, but they each seem to have problematic undertones. Maybe I feel like nontraditional Mormons don't have the same incentives to want parts of the church to be true so their testimony is less biased. But does that mean I am discounting to some degree the testimonies of people who believe everything about the church as (at least potentially and/or partly) colored by self-delusion? That seems kind of silly. I mean, if I'm going to believe the church's truth claims myself (which I do), why would I weight the testimonies of people who agree with me less than the testimonies of people who only partly agree with me? That seems awfully problematic. It makes it sound like I should only believe some of the church's truth claims to avoid the bias I might be detecting in others. (I don't know if this part makes much sense.)
Or maybe it's not that I think nontraditional testimonies are less biased, but simply that if they agree on principle X, and I and other true believers also believe in X, then there's just more consensus that X is true! The more overlap among people of many different belief systems about a certain proposition's truthfulness, the more likely it is to be true, no? But that has the problematic flavor to it of being kind of theology-by-popular-vote, which undermines the idea of organized religion with any claims to absolute truth.
I could delve into some twists and intricacies in the above arguments, but I think they're generally legit. So should I stop prioritizing nontraditional testimonies over more traditional ones? Maybe. Not that it's so easy as to say I'm going to start reacting in certain ways to certain types of testimonies. We'll see. I still just kind of like 'em.
[Blah, I feel like this post really needed a good dose of more work, but NaBloPoMo means you get the first draft. Take it with a few tablespoons of salt.]