Many are disappointed that the new Gospel Topics Essay doesn't even cite, much less reaffirm, these consistent and persistent teachings about the New York Cumorah.
I say, don't give up. Eventually the right thing will happen. This is a process.
Remember, a few years ago BYU professors were told to stop teaching M2C overtly; i.e., they were told to stop teaching that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica. That's what led to the development of the computer-generated fantasy map that, as we all know, was a ruse. They simply applied the M2C interpretation of the text to create a fantasy world that looked just like what they wished Mesoamerica looked like. I discussed that before here.
The new essay asks members and leaders not to discuss Book of Mormon geography in "Church settings."
Purging "Church settings" of M2C is an enormous development. It's a critical first step because it disrupts the academic cycle.
They have taught M2C throughout the Church, starting in Primary and proceeding through CES (Seminary and Institute), BYU, and Church media, visitors centers, manuals, etc.
The new Gospel Topics essay disrupts the academic cycle.
No longer can the M2C advocates push their theories through "Church settings," a term that presumably includes Church media, CES, BYU, etc., as well as Primary, Sunday School, etc.
As long as the Visitors Center continues to teach M2C, we can see that the new policy is not completely in effect.
We can expect quite a few additional changes.
For example, the two paintings below specifically teach M2C, yet we see them throughout "Church settings." According to the essay, they should be discontinued because they take a specific position on Book of Mormon geography. We'll see how quickly they are removed.
Lots more to discuss, but I hope everyone sees the new essay as a very positive step.
|Painting of Christ visiting the Mayans, labeled as visiting the Nephites|
|Painting of Christ visiting the Mayans, labeled as the Nephites|
It's even possible that we'll see the re-insertion of the following painting into the Book of Mormon. This is the one that depicts both Mormon and Moroni at the New York Cumorah. It was in the missionary editions of the Book of Mormon for many years before being replaced with M2C artwork.