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.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Travel: temples and evidence

Philadelphia temple at night

This web page has a nice temple counter:


In the last two weeks we visited 10 temples, some of them for the first time. That makes 87 total, just a little over half of the operating temples. We have visited temples in Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia/NZ, and North America.

(When we visited Antarctica there were no temples, only a small Chilean military base.)

It's always inspiring to visit these temples and the missionaries and members who serve there. Last week we met a missionary from Mongolia. Almost everywhere we go, we meet people we know, who know us, or who are related one way or another.

The Latter-day Saints are awesome everywhere in the world.

Me at an awesome,
undisclosed location
Evidence. I've been doing a lot of traveling lately, partly to accumulate evidence about the Book of Mormon and Church history.

Sadly, thanks to M2C, many Church members (especially the youth) have been taught to reject the teachings of the prophets and instead rely on the teachings of intellectuals, based on what they deem to be "evidence."

Once a person sets aside the teachings of the prophets, he/she is "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14). This is the situation in the Church today regarding Book of Mormon historicity.

Church members don't know what to think because they have rejected the teachings of the prophets, often without even realizing it.

While I think members of the Church ought to exercise faith and simply accept the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah, especially when the prophets have consistently, persistently, and uniformly taught the same thing, people cannot believe in something they have never been taught.

Paul expressed it this way: "how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

We have reached the tipping point on this topic because most members of the Church today do not even know what the prophets have taught.

Decades of traveling around the world meeting members of the Church of all ages on every continent have shown me a sharp distinction between two groups of members.

1. Most members who know what the prophets have taught accept the New York Cumorah. 

2. Most members who accept M2C don’t know what the prophets have taught.

The exceptions, of course, are the intellectuals (and their followers) who know what the prophets have taught but reject those teachings.

Those who study on their own, or who were educated before the 1980s, usually fall into category 1. This group is aging, of course, so there are fewer and fewer members in this category.

Because M2C is currently being taught by CES, BYU, Visitors Centers, and Church media, while the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah are completely censored, young and new members of the Church fall into category 2.

The youth in the Church today are being trained to rely not on the teachings of the prophets, but instead on the opinions of intellectuals, based (as they claim) on evidence.

Fortunately, the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah are fully corroborated by evidence, so even by the standards of the M2C intellectuals, those teachings will ultimately prevail. 

It's just a shame that, in the meantime, so many members of the Church are being deprived of the teachings of the prophets.

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