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, July 16, 2020

Our M2C and SITH friends

Just a quick note to remind readers here that we respect other Church members who still believe M2C and SITH. They are our friends and colleagues. We're all working together to improve ourselves, our associates and loved ones, and our society, local, national and international.

We want to work with everyone to clarify the message of the Restoration and to make it relevant and operative in the world.

We seek the pursuit of truth to support of the teachings of the prophets.

We don't mind if others disagree with our explanations and conclusions. We're happy for everyone to believe whatever they want. We don't seek contention, but we also don't avoid it when necessary to discuss important issues and clarify distinctions.

We recognize that people often disagree over interpretations of the exact same data because people see different movies on the same screen. It's an inherent human condition, driven by our mental filters, and it is often difficult for people to change filters.

On this blog, we appreciate and embrace fine scholarship, no matter the source or implications.

What we oppose is censorship, academic bullying, logical thinking and factual errors, tradition for tradition's sake, and intolerance of alternative perspectives, interpretations, and conclusions. We ignore anonymous trolls and don't waste our time responding to criticisms we've already addressed.

We encourage feedback through email and dialog.

To be crystal clear, we appreciate and respect the work of Book of Mormon Central, the Interpreter, BYU Studies, the Maxwell Institute, the Church History Department, and anyone else who studies these issues, whether independently or as part of an organization. We're happy to refer people to their work and we use and cite it ourselves.

However, we think that M2C and SITH have unduly influenced and even corrupted much of the academic work we see, but that is not a reflection on any individuals. We focus on ideas, not people. We're eager for new and better information and ideas, and we like nothing more than to change our minds in response to such.

We embrace this approach:

“Be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all. Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving.” 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, May 2013 Ensign

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