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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Eventually the right thing happens-Church History Museum

One of the most common questions people ask me is this: "Why doesn't the Church fix the problems caused by the M2C intellectuals?"

My answer is usually this: "Eventually the right thing happens."

Elder Packer liked to say that the Church moves at two speeds: slowly, and not at all. Yet I'm happy to give kudos to the Church History Museum for correcting a significant problem.

In this case, the right thing has happened. So be of good cheer. Eventually the Church will purge the M2C nonsense and get back to the teachings of the prophets.

New Exhibit showing "Indian Mission" with Chief Anderson
A while back, I reported on a misleading display in the Church History Museum about the "Indian Mission."

See here:
and here:

I told some of the docents about the problem. I submitted a comment to the Museum. I blogged about it and showed this in several presentations.

Others, too, have commented about the display.

Yesterday I revisited the museum. I'm happy to say they have corrected the exhibit.

I'm not saying I had anything to do with it, but whatever motivated the change, we can be grateful. No longer will visitors to the Church History Museum be misinformed about Church history on this point.

The old sign told visitors that "Early Church members believed that these Indians were descendants of Israelites who were known as Lamanites in the Book of Mormon."

The new sign deletes the rhetoric about what "early Church members" believed and instead declares this:

In the autumn of 1830 in New York, Joseph Smith received three revelations in which the Lord called Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Parley P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson to preach to the Lamanites, one of three groups of people described in the Book of Mormon. Lamanites are among the ancestors of the American Indians.

Consequently, in late 1830, Oliver Cowdery and his companions preached to Seneca Indians in New York and Huron Indians in Ohio. Both nations expressed some interest in the Book of Mormon, which the missionaries shared with them as a record of their forefathers.

Oliver, Parley, and a new convert, Frederick G. Williams, journeyed into Indian Territory (present-day Kansas and Oklahoma), where the Lenape (Delaware) and Shawnee Nations showed great interest in the Book of Mormon.

This description is close to perfect. (I would have had the term "Lamanites" included in parentheses after the term "Indian" in the heading, and I would have quoted D&C 28, 30 and 32. But this is a definite step away from the M2C dogma.)

And it's cool they accompanied the display with an image of Lenape chief William Anderson.

Now, if we could just get the Joseph Smith Papers editors to delete the misleading rhetoric on their web page, we would really be making progress.


Notice how the summary still says "Early church members viewed contemporary American Indian tribes as the descendants of the Lamanites."

This is the type of rhetoric we expect from the Correlation Department. Maybe the Church History Museum is not under the thumb of the Correlation Department so the Museum can tell the truth. Or maybe this change slipped past the M2C censors at the Correlation Department.

Either way, I suspect the Correlation Department didn't catch this change.

Well done, Church History Museum!

I'm very happy to see this change!

Old Exhibit showing "Indian Mission"
with Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt
New Exhibit showing "Indian Mission" with Chief Anderson

Side panel of new exhibit. Notice how the images of
Chief Anderson and Cowdery/Pratt have been swapped.

Old display that claimed "early Church members"
believed the Indians were Lamanites
New display that explains these Indians are Lamanites.

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