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, July 3, 2019

Neutrality-Teaching M2C to LDS chaplains

Thumb on the scale of justice
outweighs everything else
Here's a fun example of how "neutrality" on Book of Mormon geography is actually implemented.

In 2013, LDS chaplains attended a seminar. One session was titled "Finding Mesoamerica in the Book of Mormon."

[The video itself is titled "Book of Mormon and Mesoamerican Archaeology."]

The seminar was presented by a BYU professor of Ancient Scripture. He has all kinds of credentials and was introduced to the audience with a strong endorsement.

(This professor is a great guy and I like him a lot, so I'm not posting this to be critical of him. He's just doing his job, and he really believes M2C. There's no problem with that. It's the non-neutral neutrality I'm focusing on here.)

You can still see the video on the Church's website, here:


Needless to say, the chaplains were never told about the New York Cumorah or any theories other than M2C.

What do you suppose they'll believe and teach for the rest of their lives?

This type of indoctrination at an official Church function, made available on the Church's web page for future instruction, teaches all these chaplains to disbelieve the prophets when they (eventually) discover what the prophets have taught about the New York Cumorah.

Title slide
Here are some great stills from the presentation, all teaching the typical M2C ideas.

LDS chaplains learning M2C

Citing anonymous editorials to support M2C by
claiming Joseph Smith wrote them

The 1929 Ivins quotation, avoiding the 1928 Ivins quotation
in which Pres. Ivins reaffirmed the New York Cumorah
Using Mayan artwork to illustration the scriptures
Claiming the single large stone mentioned in the Book of Mormon
was one of the thousands of Mayan stelas

The chaplains learned it all, including the claim that Joseph Smith wrote the anonymous 1842 Times and Seasons articles that show he learned Book of Mormon geography from a travel book and supposedly changed his mind about the New York Cumorah.

Here they learned about Pres. Ivins' 1929 talk, the one that was in the original version of the Gospel Topics Essay on Book of Mormon Geography.

After I pointed out that in 1928 Pres. Ivins had re-affirmed the New York Cumorah, the committee removed the 1929 statement from the Gospel Topics Essay instead of providing both of his statements.

Here, the chaplains learned that the Mayans were illustrating the Book of Mormon.

Who needs Arnold Friberg?

Here, the chaplains learned that the one large stone with a story written on it that is mentioned in 1,000 years of Nephite history was actually just one of thousands of such Mayan stelas.

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