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, November 2, 2023

What mind virus?

People are asking what I meant by the M2C mind virus in yesterday's post.

M2C stands for the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory, which is the belief among many LDS scholars that the identification by the prophets of Cumorah in New York was a mistake because the "real Cumorah" must be somewhere in southern Mexico to make the Mesoamerican setting work. 

This is the official position of Book of Mormon Central, as we can see on their Spanish website.


The term "mind virus" has many uses. It's often used as a metaphor for a concept or worldview that comes to dominate the minds of infected people.

The "M2C mind virus" is a metaphor for the worldview that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were unreliable, uninformed speculators who misled the Church (and the entire world) about the location of Cumorah/Ramah. 

The M2C mind virus also produces the belief that modern scholars know more about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon than did Joseph and Oliver. 

We all recognize that people can believe whatever they want. We could say that people who still believe what Joseph and Oliver taught are infected with a "Joseph/Oliver mind virus." 

The point of the post was to show how the M2C mind virus can thrive only in the absence of comparison.

Hence, the excerpt from the Musk/Rogan interview.

Musk: "In order for the mind virus to propogate it must suppress oppossing viewpionts." Rogan: "Because it doesn't stand up against scrutiny?" Musk: "Correct."


The M2C mind virus leads people to interpret the text so it fits the Mesoamerican setting. But since BYU asked the faculty not to promote Mesoamerica specifically, the faculty developed a fantasy map that teaches the M2C interpretation without reference to the real world.

Some people think it's a mistake to teach the Book of Mormon in the context of a fantasy map akin to Lord of the Rings, but apparently the faculty think it's a great idea.

To be clear, I'm fine with anyone teaching whatever they want. I think it's a dereliction of duty and a breach of fiduciary responsibility for BYU faculty to teach that Joseph and Oliver were wrong about Cumorah (and about the translation), but they've been doing it for decades so apparently it's okay.

I just think they ought to inform students about the actual Church history on the topic and educate students about alternative interpretations that support, instead of repudiate, the teachings of the prophets.

But they won't. 

And their refusal seems to be caused by the M2C mind virus.

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