long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Meet your censors

I've been discussing the censorship in Saints, but I want to clarify that I don't think the historians want to censor anything. As a rule, all the historians I've met want to be accurate and complete.

And I emphasize again that I greatly admire and respect all the faithful scholars involved with Saints and throughout the Church, including those in the M2C citation cartel. They're all great people, and everyone has differences of opinions.

I object to censorship, not to differences of opinion.

In my view, censorship is driven by condescension; i.e., the censors think readers can't handle the truth. But I think readers can handle the truth. They can handle differences of opinion and make good choices--but only when those choices are fully informed.

The purpose of censorship is to prevent people from making informed choices.

Constraints of space drive many editorial decisions, of course, but as I've shown, Saints goes out of its way to avoid educating readers about the New York Cumorah. The book even uses a phony story about Mary Whitmer to avoid educating readers what Joseph Smith said about that messenger.

The pretext, of course, is being "neutral" about Book of Mormon geography. But how is it "neutral" to revise Church history and censor the teachings of the prophets?

True neutrality would let members of the Church know what the original documents say. Censorship, especially when targeted at specific subject matter, is the opposite of neutrality.

To understand the censorship in Saints, we need to consult the experts at censorship: the M2C citation cartel, especially at Book of Mormon Central, which I call Book of Mormon Central Censor.

I have a blog about it, here: http://bookofmormoncensor.blogspot.com/

You might ask, why does Book of Mormon Central Censor engage in censorship?

It's an easy answer once you understand their mission.

One of the major goals of Book of Mormon Central Censor is "to increase understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient Mesoamerican codex.*" This means that there must be two Cumorahs; i.e., the "false tradition" Cumorah in New York, and the "actual, true" Cumorah somewhere in Mexico. Hence, M2C.**

They can't effectively accomplish this goal if they let members of the Church find out there are alternatives to M2C.

Actually, they can't effectively accomplish this goal if they let members of the Church find out what the prophets have taught.

Hence, the censorship.

One would think that if Book of Mormon Central Censor was confident in M2C, they would welcome alternative views, if only to let their readers see how much more persuasive M2C is.

But the opposite is true.

The people at Book of Mormon Central Censor know that most members of the Church would reject M2C if they knew what the prophets have taught about the New York Cumorah.

The only alternative they have is censorship.

I have a post coming next week on the reasons why our M2C intellectuals persist with M2C. I hope you find it useful.


* A lot of people have donated a lot if time and money to Book of Mormon Central Censor in the belief that the organization is dedicated to accumulating and disseminating faithful material about the Book of Mormon. Donors believe this stated policy:

Book of Mormon Central at this time is officially geography neutral. 

Except the statement is not true. 

Book of Mormon Central Censor has an editorial policy of promoting M2C and rejecting alternative interpretations of the Book of Mormon--including the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah.

If you're a donor to Book of Mormon Central Censor, you might wonder why the organization doesn't follow its purported policy.

You might wonder, do I really want to contribute to a group that actively teaches the prophets are wrong?

Here is the reality.

"The legal organization behind Book of Mormon Central is the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit public charity chartered in the state of Utah in 2004."

You can go to the web page of this legal organization and see what the true goals are.


Our goals are 
(1) to increase understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient Mesoamerican codex, 
(2) to correlate and publish works of LDS and CofC scholars, 
(3) to help promote unity and cooperation among scholars and students of the Book of Mormon, and 
(4) to provide a forum where responsible scholars can present current ideas and discoveries. 

BMAF/BOMC corporate mission

Book of Mormon Central Censor does a good job achieving its goal of convincing Church members that the Book of Mormon is an ancient Mesoamerican codex.

And actually, I'm fine with that. Or, I would be if they were honest about it.

I really like the people at Book of Mormon Central Censor. They're all sincere, doing what they think is right.

Furthermore, I share their goals of accumulating and disseminating information about the Book of Mormon.

I just disagree about their censorship policy.

I think Book of Mormon Central should be open to all faithful members of the Church when it comes to the Book of Mormon. After all, they purport to be the "center" of Book of Mormon studies.

**FWIW, I don't think the New York Cumorah forecloses any geography beyond the New York Cumorah. It's the M2C intellectuals who have insisted that Cumorah cannot be in New York because of their obsession with Mesoamerica.

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