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.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Unity in diversity

One of the themes of General Conference was unity, such as these quotations (see below).

“Unity does not require sameness, but it does require harmony.”

“I am greatly concerned that so many people seem to believe that it is completely acceptable to condemn, malign and vilify anyone who does not agree with them.”

Some Latter-day Saints seem to think differences of opinion about Book of Mormon origins and settings are worth arguing about, but I don't. I've been promoting unity for years with these graphics (click to enlarge).

There is no litmus test on these issues. People can believe whatever they want.

One way to handle differences of opinion is through understanding and full disclosure. That's why I encourage people to consider all the facts and the multiple working hypotheses based on those facts.

But the LDS M2C and SITH citation cartels continue to insist on adherence to their ideology instead.

Maybe the latest General Conference will help dislodge intransigence and lead to more considerate and respectful exchanges as we seek to understand one another?


Elder Christofferson’s talk summary

At the end of the Last Supper, Jesus Christ offered a sacred Intercessory Prayer, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name [mine apostles] whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). He then expanded it to include all believers. 

“Where God prevails in all hearts and minds, the people are described as ‘in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God’” (4 Nephi 1:17).

Paul offers a key to how unity can be achieved in a contentious world: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. … for ye are all one in Christ” (Galatians 3:27–28).

It’s an effort that starts individually. “Becoming one in Christ happens one by one — we each begin with ourselves.”

Putting on Christ includes “making His ‘first and great commandment,’ our first and greatest commitment” to love God. 

“Unity with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ grows as we heed the second commandment … to love others as ourselves.”

Unity is more than agreeing that everyone do their own thing — it’s having a common cause. 

“Unity does not require sameness, but it does require harmony.”


President Nelson’s talk summary

“I am greatly concerned that so many people seem to believe that it is completely acceptable to condemn, malign and vilify anyone who does not agree with them.”

Disciples of Jesus Christ are to be examples of how to interact with others — especially when faced with differences of opinion. “One of the easiest ways to identify a true follower of Jesus Christ is how compassionately that person treats other people.”

The Atonement of Jesus Christ made it possible to overcome evil, including contention. 

“Today, I am asking us to interact with others in a higher, holier way. Please listen carefully. ‘If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy’ that we can say about another person — whether to his face or behind her back — that should be our standard of communication.”

Contention and peacemaking are both a choice. “You have your agency to choose contention or reconciliation.” Choose to be a peacemaker.

Charity, or the pure love of Christ, is the antidote to contention. 

“Examine your discipleship within the context of the way you treat others. I bless you to make any adjustments that may be needed so that your behavior is ennobling, respectful and representative of a true follower of Jesus Christ.”

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