As I write this, I'm looking out at a city of over 8 million residents (about the same as New York City). The sky above the tall, modern buildings is blue and cloudy. There are trees everywhere. People ride electric vehicles, use fast public transportation, and walk, staring constantly at their smart phones.
Everything is awesome.
Last year, Elder Pearson said at the FairMormon conference that only about 1 billion out of the 7.5 billion people on Earth have ever heard of the Church.
This is fortunate, IMO, because there is a lot of confusion and discord in the Church today that needs to be resolved before the people of the world can take the truth claims seriously.
Certain intellectuals in the Church are rewriting Church history to satisfy critics and repudiate the teachings of the prophets. In so doing, they are replacing a firm foundation with one built on sand.
Other intellectuals, congregated at Book of Mormon Central, are spending millions of dollars to promote both the revisionist Church history and the inherently dubious theory that the "real" Hill Cumorah is somewhere in southern Mexico and that the events of the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica.
Elder Pearson noted that about half of the people who have heard of the Church have favorable impressions. This means 500 million people in the world have favorable impressions of the Church, yet baptisms continue to decline and we all hear about people leaving the Church because of the revisionist Church history and M2C theory.
I had hoped to take 10 months off from discussing Church history and Book of Mormon historicity. I have other projects to work on, completely unrelated to Church topics.
Plus, I wanted to observe, from a distance, the imminent disaster of ScripturePlus, the new app from Book of Mormon Central designed to entice Church members away from the Gospel Library to imprint revisionist Church history and M2C on the minds of the Saints, starting at a young age.
Book of Mormon Central is embarking on a fascinating social experiment. It seems obvious to me that embracing the ideas of William E. McLellin instead of the teachings of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery will cause people to become confused and disturbed in their faith in the Book of Mormon.
The intellectuals at Book of Mormon Central justify their experiment because they live in a bubble of delusion that causes them to read M2C into the text of the scriptures, to the point that they expressly reject not only the teachings of those they refer to as the "dead prophets" but also the Church's policy of neutrality as expressed in the odd, anonymous Gospel Topics Essay on Book of Mormon Geography.
With this in mind, I figured that, 10 months from now, we'd see how well the revisionist Church history and M2C are working out. The final Hill Cumorah pageant next summer, along with the remodeled Visitors Center there, would pretty well erase all remnants of what Joseph and Oliver taught, except for what remains in the never-cited Letter VII and other early Church documents.
But then, in my first Sunday meetings here, people discussed how close family members have left the Church. One person described how many former Church members were encountered while on a mission to Idaho. Plus, I still get emails from people relating these experiences.
And, I have a lot of material I've never posted or published.
I'll post probably once a week.