Such as, for instance, all the theories of Book of Mormon geography that reject the New York Cumorah.
The trunk being the words of the prophets and apostles.
Members of the Church, former members, nonmembers--people everywhere are confused.
Is the Book of Mormon a true history or is it fiction?
Were Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery ignorant speculators who misled the Church about the New York Cumorah, or were they teaching correctly based on their own experience?
Are LDS intellectuals smarter and better-informed than were Joseph and Oliver and all of their contemporaries?
This confusion has led to many people breaking away from the trunk. Others are barely hanging on.
There's a good solution to this problem. It involves pruning.
Jacob 5 refers to pruning 9 times. It's an essential part of successful tree management.
When trees are not pruned, they grow wildly.
The longer they grow, the more wild they become.
The unpruned tree is the state of Book of Mormon historicity and geography today.
I think it's time--well past time--to prune away the non-New York Cumorahs.
If we would only heed the words of the prophets, starting with Letter VII, we would have a nicely pruned, organized, and productive tree.
The Letter VII tree still has a variety of branches--people can interpret the geography in lots of different ways--but at least the trunk is sound. We're all accepting the words of the prophets and apostles, not going off in all directions as we are now, thanks to the various "two-Cumorahs" theories promoted by some intellectuals.
I think Joseph and Oliver pruned this geography tree back in 1835, when they declared in no uncertain terms that Cumorah was in New York.
But our intellectuals didn't accept what they said.
And because the intellectuals have come to dominate BYU/CES, the confusion their theories have generated have caused serious damage to the tree.
Let's see if we can prune the tree during 2018.
Let's cut away all the "two-Cumorahs" theories and bring order and productivity to the tree.