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 22, 2022

Dealing with critics

Recent criticisms in comments and publications by the SITH-sayers and M2Cers have led people to ask how I respond.

Last General Conference, we were taught how to respond to critics. "How does a peacemaker calm and cool the fiery darts? Certainly not by shrinking before those who disparage us. Rather, we remain confident in our faith, sharing our beliefs with conviction but always void of anger or malice."

That's the approach I like to take. As readers here know, I don't think anger or malice has any place in discussions about Church history or Book of Mormon historicity. There's no cause for anger or malice when we are discussing different interpretations of facts.

Anger and malice arise from a sense of threat, arising from insecurity or fear of loss of status, income, or reputation, as when an academic/apologist sticks with and defends a theory he/she has taught for decades, to the point of censoring contrary information. 

We seek "good information" because, as President Nelson has taught, "good inspiration is based upon good information." 

This is why censorship is so destructive, and why I disagree with the censorship approach taken by the M2C and SITH citation cartels, including the Interpreter, Book of Mormon Central, and FairLDS.


I prefer enabling people to make informed decisions, and I'm fine with people believing whatever they want because any set of facts accommodates multiple working hypotheses. In an ideal world, or even just a better world, the citation cartel would acknowledge and accommodate multiple working hypotheses that are faithful, without disparaging faithful Latter-day Saints who simply interpret the evidence differently.

We were also reminded that "There are times when being a peacemaker means that we resist the impulse to respond and instead, with dignity, remain quiet."

The question, then, is when to "not shrink" and share our beliefs, and when to remain quiet.

For example, recently I was reminded of an episode of Midnight Mormons titled "The TRUTH about Book of Mormon Geography | Oh Zelph! + The Heartland Model(s)."*


The performers on this show are entertaining but poorly informed on many of the topics they discuss, and this is no different. Here is simple example.

7:31 i want to shoot that down and just say so then what was the narrow neck of land that shows up in like 20 different books 

Of course, the only place in the Book of Mormon where the "narrow neck of land" shows up is Ether 10:20, but people who follow the M2C scholars don't know that.


One approach would be to let it go. The Midnight Mormons don't seem interested in accuracy or in correcting errors, any more than FAIRLDS does,** so long as they can promote their agendas.

I don't suppose many people turn to these shows for information anyway. They are mere entertainment.

But they do reinforce the dogma of the citation cartels, so ignoring them leaves audiences without "good information" upon which to make informed decisions.

That also leaves people vulnerable to the arguments of the critics who take advantage of SITH and M2C to lead people into faith crisis.

Stay tuned...



*I discussed this episode previously:


** For an example of a FAIRLDS video that is full of errors that they refuse to correct, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vpu_nVL0Jg

the end 

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