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, December 13, 2023

Mesomania 2 coming


In 2016 I wrote a short book titled Mesomania. The description on Amazon explains:

The term Mesomania describes the obsession of many Mormon (LDS) scholars, educators and others with putting the Book of Mormon in a Mesoamerican setting. The book describes the history and development of this phenomenon and explores the psychology that enables it to persist. A must-read for anyone interested in Book of Mormon geography and historicity.

The book was a quick overview of the Cumorah issue, including the psychological aspects of bias confirmation.

Back in 2016, the acronym "M2C" was still in the future. 

In the ensuing 7 years, plenty of things have happened. My critics have written numerous articles and blog posts. Book of Mormon Central has more than doubled down on M2C; they established a Spanish-language website that formally enshrined M2C as their official position. Apparently they are going to formalize M2C even on their English websites in connection with Come Follow Me 2024.

Some time ago I mentioned I was compiling a book about LDS apologists and critics. The tactics and rhetoric of these critics is itself a fascinating study, and they have provided abundant material in the last few years.

The M2C mentality that Joseph and Oliver were wrong about Cumorah has been extended to the translation; i.e., many LDS scholars now teach that Joseph and Oliver misled everyone about the translation when they said Joseph used the Urim and Thummim. Instead, according to these scholars, Joseph used the stone-in-the-hat (SITH). 

Thus, we're expected to believe that Joseph and Oliver were wrong about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon, because our modern scholars know better.

These considerations and more have led me to write a follow-up to Mesomania, to be titled something such as Mesomania 2: M2C, SITH, and Other Adventures with LDS Apologetics

The book is written in a tone that promotes clarity, charity and understanding. We're happy for people to believe whatever they want. By "we" I mean me and others who, like me, share these values.

We seek clarity so everyone's perspectives are fairly represented and clear. We seek to dissolve misunderstandings so different ideas shine brightly, pursuant to the FAITH model, which makes comparisons easy and straightforward.

We seek charity because we assume everyone acts in good faith, and everyone is awesome. Unlike some critics, we're happy to meet with, have lunch with, and exchange views respectfully with everyone in a spirit of harmony and friendship, despite difference of opinion. 

And we seek understanding instead of conformity, coercion, or compliance because we enjoy learning about alternative ways of viewing and understanding the world. We recognize multiple working hypotheses and encourage "unity through diversity."


We don't have a publication date yet, but probably in the first quarter of 2024. 

No comments:

Post a Comment