I started listening to episode 20 of the This Mormon Life podcast this morning. I would have listened to it last week, but my iPod wasn’t syncing podcast for some reason.
Anyhow, I really enjoyed the analogy they started where they compared cynicism in the Church with stages of marriage.
The honeymoon stage corresponds to the stage of our youth (or a converts first years). It is during this stage when we are blind to imperfections and are under the impression that everything is ideal and imperfect.
During the stage right after the honeymoon (not sure what it would be labelled, maybe something with the word dissonance in it), quirks or annoying habits start to appear. From a ecclesiastical standpoint, this could be the stage when we come to a realisation of (or are exposed to) inconsistencies or imperfections in the Church (whether apostles debating doctrine, actual church history, repulsive statements from leaders, offending actions of members, etc).
During this second stage, many marriages end up in divorce. Likewise, many members at this stage in their faith fall away. Some even become very bitter, a parallel to bitter divorces.
From what I have heard so far, it doesn’t seem like Dallas, Janelle and Amanda go much further in the analogy (granted I haven’t heard the entire thing yet), but I think there is at least a third stage. In this stage in marriage, a person comes to a realisation that quirks and habits are inconsequential in a marriage and love amounts to more than that. They realise they need to adjust their way of thinking and how they view their spouse.
Same goes for the Church. As Amanda said, we come to a realisation that we need to accept the new things we learn, adapt our understanding to match the things we learn, or completely reject the thins we learn. Successful church membership, like successful marriages, I believe cannot be built upon rejection.