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.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A simple choice

The issue of Book of Mormon geography boils down to a single question:

Do you believe the prophets (New York Cumorah) or the intellectuals (M2C)?

Here is the key: the fundamental premise of M2C--the very foundation of the theory--is that the prophets are wrong about the New York Cumorah.

Everything else they teach is confirmation bias.

This means that every member of the M2C citation cartel has repudiated the prophets. It's that simple.

Obviously, professors at BYU, teachers in CES, historians in the Church History Department, employees in the Correlation Department, and other faithful Latter-day Saints don't like this observation. They tell their students and readers that they follow the prophets. 

How do they rationalize this?

Two ways.

First, members of the M2C citation cartel say they haven't repudiated the prophets because they define "prophet" as the person holding the office of President of the Church, while he is actually President.

They impose this limitation to rationalize away the teachings of Church Presidents about the New York Cumorah made before they became President of the Church. 

And yet, every one of these M2C citation cartel members has sustained the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency as prophets, seers and revelators. 

They claim to "sustain" these leaders as prophets, yet they freely repudiate their teachings if they disagree with what the prophets teach.

And they are teaching the youth in CES and BYU to follow their example.

Second, the M2C citation cartel members claim the prophets have never taught the New York Cumorah. Thanks to the censorship underway at Book of Mormon Central, the Saints book, etc., they have largely succeeded in fooling Church members this way.   

But when someone actually reads Letter VII, or President Romney's conference address, or one of the many other places where the prophets have taught the New York Cumorah, the intellectuals ask their students and readers, "What are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?" 

Sadly, too many Church members prefer to believe the intellectuals instead of the prophets.

The psychological power of confirmation bias has led people to form strong opinions on the topic of Book of Mormon geography. Many, probably most, of them think their opinion is based on "the evidence" or on "the text."

Anyone who believes that believes a delusion.

Everyone involved in this discussion has the same faith and testimony.

Everyone is reading the same text.

Everyone has access to the same physical and scientific evidence.

Everyone has access to the same teachings of the prophets.

Yet people reach completely contradictory conclusions. Why?

We all interpret "the evidence" and "the text" through filters that confirm our biases. 

And our bias is driven by whether we accept 

(i) the prophets who teach a New York Cumorah or 
(ii) the intellectuals who teach a non-New York Cumorah. 

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