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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Inventing M2C

People wonder why intellectuals invented M2C. I'll be discussing the intellectual ancestry of M2C in a couple of weeks, but there's another factor to consider.

M2C was developed to fill a void, a lack of information that was intolerable to many believers in the Book of Mormon.

Long ago, Hugh Nibley pointed out this psychological reality:

The penalty we pay for starving our minds is a phenomenon that is only too conspicuous at the BYU: Aristotle pointed out long ago that a shortage of knowledge is an intolerable state and so the mind will do anything to escape it; in particular, it will invent knowledge if it has to. 

Experimenters have found that "lack of information quickly breeds insecurity in a situation where any information is regarded as better than none." (11) In that atmosphere, false information flourishes and subjects in tests are "eager to listen to and believe any sort of preposterous nonsense.'' (12)


The early hemispheric model created by the Pratt Brothers, Benjamin Winchester, William Smith, etc., filled a gap in knowledge. Even after Joseph Smith tried to clarify the situation in the Wentworth letter, his associates insisted the ruins in Central America had to originate with the Nephites.

The anonymous articles in the 1842 Times and Seasons were absurd on their face, and in hindsight they are even worse because they describe ruins that postdated Book of Mormon time frames. Nevertheless, they constituted a "hook in the sky" upon which certain intellectuals, first in the RLDS church and then in the LDS church, could hang M2C.

By now, the M2C intellectuals have invented all kinds of knowledge about the Nephites that originated with Mesoamerican studies but not the text of the Book of Mormon. And their zeal knows no bounds; they'll spend every penny they raise from members of the Church and the Church itself to promote M2C to the world.

Just watch what happens with ScripturePlus as it replaces Gospel Library.

Watch all the internet ads.

And watch how the 2020 Come Follow Me curriculum fits like a glove over the hand of Book of Mormon Central.

The tragedy of all of this is a little more patience would have let the intellectuals satisfy their thirst for knowledge by focusing on all the archaeological information coming out of the Midwestern United States.

Brother Nibley made another insightful comment:

True knowledge never shuts the door on more knowledge, but zeal often does. One thinks of the dictum: "We are not seeking for truth at the BYU; we have the truth!" So did Adam and Abraham have the truth, far greater and more truth than what we have, and yet the particular genius of each was that he was constantly "seeking for greater light and knowledge."

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