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.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Who is the judge?

In the Federalist Papers, number 10, James Madison made an important observation:

"No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.  With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time.”

Madison wrote about the advantages of a republic over a democracy, but the principle applies to many power structures, including academia.

For decades, one group of people--LDS scholars and educators who promote the Mesoamerican two-Cumorahs theory--has been allowed to be "both judges and parties" on the question of Book of Mormon geography. They have used their control over LDS scholarly publications to confirm their biases about their Mesoamerican two-Cumorahs theory and to exclude publication or even fair consideration of alternatives. This continues today, as I've discussed many times on this blog. Look at Book of Mormon Central, for example, which promotes the Mesoamerican two-Cumorahs theory to the exclusion of any other. They won't even let their readers know that growing numbers of Church members believe there is one Cumorah and it is in New York.

Thanks to the Internet, the two-Cumorahs advocates are losing control of the narrative.

People throughout the Church (and the world outside the Church) are discovering that there are faithful alternatives to the Mesoamerican two-Cumorahs theory.

Those whose faith as been challenged "because of this theory" of two-Cumorahs (to use Joseph Fielding Smith's phrase) now have alternatives.

Today it is you who is the judge. 

You can make up your own mind, based on all the evidence. You are not bound by the theories of proponents of the Mesoamerican two-Cumorahs theory.

If you know people who have lost their faith in the Book of Mormon because of the Mesoamerican two-Cumorahs theory--and there are plenty of them, as Joseph Fielding Smith warned--you should share with them the teachings of Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith and so many others. Start with affirming the one Cumorah in New York and go from there.

You may find, as I have, that people who have long been estranged from the Church experience renewed interest when they hear that there is evidence to support what Joseph and Oliver said from the outset.

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