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 31, 2018

Noel Reynolds, John Sorenson, CES, and other thoughts

I posted some comments about two of the principal promoters of M2C (the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory that repudiates the prophets) here:


Speaking of that blog, I noticed that the most popular post there is the one from October 2016 about Mesomania and CES (the Church Educational System). Here's the link:


In that post, I offered a suggestion that still stands:

It would be very helpful to have the CES director do one or more of the following:

1. Announce a position of actual neutrality; i.e., declare as a matter of policy that there is no CES (or Church) position on Book of Mormon geography, and any CES instructor who says otherwise is violating policy.

2. Include Letter VII in CES materials, along with the statements of Joseph Fielding Smith and others.

3. Give students an overview of the basic issues involving Book of Mormon geography so they're not blindsided by detractors. 

Since I posted those comments, I have met more CES employees who still advocate M2C and who insist the prophets are wrong about the New York Cumorah. I've even met some at the Hill Cumorah itself (the one in New York) who insist the "real Cumorah" is in Mexico.

I don't know what it would take to have CES (and BYU) start teaching the youth what the prophets have taught instead of teaching them what the scholars teach--that the prophets are wrong--but I hope that day comes soon.

A good place for CES to start would be teaching the youth about America's Destiny. They could use President Romney's talk, here:

In the western part of the state of New York near Palmyra is a prominent hill known as the “hill Cumorah.” (Morm. 6:6.) On July twenty-fifth of this year, as I stood on the crest of that hill admiring with awe the breathtaking panorama which stretched out before me on every hand, my mind reverted to the events which occurred in that vicinity some twenty-five centuries ago—events which brought to an end the great Jaredite nation. ...

As the conflict intensified, all the people who had not been slain—men “with their wives and their children” (Ether 15:15)—gathered about that hill Cumorah (see Ether 15:11). ...

As I contemplated this tragic scene from the crest of Cumorah and viewed the beautiful land of the Restoration as it appears today, I cried in my soul, “How could it have happened?”
The answer came immediately as I remembered that some fifteen to twenty centuries before their destruction, as the small group of their ancestors was being divinely led from the tower of Babel, the Lord “would that they should come forth even unto [this] land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people....
This second civilization to which I refer, the Nephites, flourished in America between 600 B.C. and A.D. 400. Their civilization came to an end for the same reason, at the same place, and in the same manner as did the Jaredites’. ...
The tragic fate of the Jaredite and the Nephite civilizations is proof positive that the Lord meant it when he said that this “is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.” (Ether 2:9.) ...
Now my beloved brethren and sisters everywhere, both members of the Church and nonmembers, I bear you my personal witness that I know that the things I have presented to you today are true—both those pertaining to past events and those pertaining to events yet to come. The issue we face is clear and well defined. The choice is ours. The question is: Shall we of this dispensation repent and obey the laws of the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, or shall we continue to defy them until we ripen in iniquity?
That we will repent and obey and thereby qualify to receive the blessings promised to the righteous in this land, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.

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