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, September 13, 2021

Individual responsibility to make informed decisions

I frequently hear from M2C and SITH scholars and their followers who say that we should accept the theories of the credentialed class because they are experts who have studied these things. They've reached a "consensus" about M2C and SITH and they expect all Latter-day Saints to agree with them.

To use President Nelson's term, "lazy learners" defer to others to do their thinking for them. "Engaged learners" study for themselves. They don't bow to credentials.

In yesterday's Face to Face, Elder Bednar said, "We should not expect the Church as an organization to teach or tell us all the things we need to know and do to become devoted disciples and to endure valiantly to the end. Rather, our individual responsibility is to learn what we should learn, to live as we know we should live, and to become what the Master would have us become."

If we can't expect the Church to teach us everything we need to know, we definitely cannot expect the credentialed class to teach us everything we need to know.

To be sure, scholars have a lot to offer. I respect and admire them for their expertise, diligence, ability to communicate, etc. But we should all recognize the difference between an expert's discovery of and explanation of facts, and that same expert's assumptions, interpretations and conclusions.

It's the same principle whether the "expert" is a believer or an non-believer. If you let the expert assign your opinion to you, you're shirking your individual responsibility.

We embrace facts, and the more the better. For the rest, we consider multiple working hypotheses and decide for ourselves which best explains the totality of the facts and circumstances.

We are each responsible for our own education. We can choose to make our own informed decisions, or we can choose to defer to others and let them make decisions for us. 

If you make an informed decision to believe M2C, great. But if you think you've made an informed decision because you've read materials published by Book of Mormon Central, the Interpreter, FairLatterdaysaints, Meridian Magazine, BYU Studies, or any of the rest of the M2C citation cartel, you're kidding yourself. The M2C citation cartel has made deliberate editorial decisions to promote M2C to the exclusion of other faithful interpretations of the scriptures, while also directly and openly repudiating the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah.

If you want to make informed decisions, read what the M2C citation cartel publishes, but also read what the prophets have taught (such as the compilation here: http://www.lettervii.com/p/byu-packet-on-cumorah.html). Notice the things the M2C citation cartel keeps from its readers and followers, such as the extrinsic evidence that supports the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah. 

There is abundant evidence that supports the teachings of the prophets, but you won't read about it in the work of the M2C citation cartel because they expect Latter-day Saints to defer to the M2C experts.

It's the same with SITH, as I discussed last week.

Are you awake yet?


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