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.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Can ordinary members rescue Book of Mormon Central?

We usually come to New Zealand in the winter for a few weeks. The golfing is great...

We visit local wards wherever we go. It's fascinating to meet Heartlanders around the world. This week we met more who had watched YouTube videos during covid and learned, for the first time, about the North American setting of the Book of Mormon, with Cumorah in New York. They told us that this makes much more sense than the "Mexico theory" (as they put it). 

They also watch Taylor and Tyler and wonder why they and Book of Mormon Central continues to push the Mesoamerican theory without even acknowledging alternative settings that corroborate and support the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah.


By analogy, the article below from the WSJ asking whether readers can save the NY Times is relevant. James Freeman points out that readers are more reasonable than the "expert" journalists at that newspaper.

In my experience around the world, everyday Latter-day Saints are more reasonable than the "experts" at Book of Mormon Central, the Interpreter, etc. Not that those experts aren't awesome people. They are. We continue to hope that someday, these experts will promote inclusivity instead of exclusivity, charity instead of arrogance, and understanding instead of condemnation of others' perspectives.

In the meantime, the pursuit of "no more contention" through clarity, charity, and understanding, we start with clarity.

Everyday Latter-day Saints still believe what Joseph and Oliver taught about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon, and they find it more productive to corroborate those teachings instead of repudiating those teachings.

We can all read the original documents from Church history. We can all read the teachings of the prophets in the General Conference reports.

Well, not all of us. Most of these resources are only available in English.

Non-English speakers have to rely upon translated versions of the Saints books, the Gospel Topics Essays, and materials from Book of Mormon Central, all of which promote/accommodate SITH and M2C.

But ultimately truth cannot be suppressed.

Here are excerpts from the article from the WSJ, with my emphasis in bold.


In the context of the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon, the "experts" might consider their audience instead of their academic peers in the M2C/SITH bubble.


Can Readers Save the New York Times?

There’s fresh evidence that the newspaper’s customers are more reasonable than its writers.

James Freeman

Jan. 26, 2024 6:00 pm 


Some consumers looking for traditional standards of journalism have given up on the New York Times, but reform is still possible at the newspaper. That’s because the Gray Lady’s modern habit of catering to a fiercely ideological slice of the reading public seems to be driven more by its employees than by its customers. This week brings another in a series of recent examples in which readers are trying valiantly to pull the Times toward the reasonable center. Why such readers are still subscribing is a question for another day, but as long as they’re paid up they might be able to exert a positive influence.

The latest issue involves violent crime and accountability. “Some readers were very unhappy with me over the weekend,” writes columnist Nicholas Kristof in the paper’s Opinion Today email newsletter. He explains:

wrote a column about an old friend, Bill Beard, who died recently after long struggles with drugs and crime. I said he was “a good man,” and then wrote about how he had brutalized a young woman who worked at a convenience store that he tried to rob. I used the column to explore how pain is transitive — hurt people hurt people. Millions of Americans who have been left behind not only suffer greatly but also sometimes inflict great suffering on others...
Many readers were offended at what they saw as me writing a sympathetic portrait of a man who had committed an atrocious crime... Some thought my focus should have been on Betty Gerhardt, the woman whom Bill attacked (who also died recently).

In the column Mr. Kristof had attempted to put the attack in a larger context:

If the federal minimum wage of 1968 had kept pace with inflation and productivity, it would now be more than $25 an hour. Instead, it’s stuck at $7.25.
The Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton popularized the term “deaths of despair” for the tumbling life expectancy among working-class Americans since 2010, but the tragedy goes far beyond the staggering mortality. For each person who dies from drugs, alcohol and suicide, many others are mired in addiction and heap pain on their families. Gerhardt told me that she had been addicted to heroin for years, underscoring how widespread this malady is: Perpetrator and victim shared a parallel suffering, and both died before the age of 65.

This last phrase could perhaps make it sound like they were in this together, but it was the perpetrator who inflicted enormous suffering on Betty Gerhardt with an attack that left her bloody and unconscious on the shop floor .. .—and then haunted with fear for the rest of her life.

Perhaps ironically, even Mr. Kristof’s old friend the perpetrator had tried to warn him off the idea that society is responsible when individuals commit such crimes. The Timesman quotes his old friend: “Nobody else made me do it. How can you blame anybody else?”

A number of readers have been asking the same question, and it may take some time for them to win over the columnist. In this week’s email after the reader furor, Mr. Kristof writes:

It’s fair to insist on personal responsibility for people like Bill, and to hold him accountable... But I believe we also have to have a difficult conversation about our collective responsibility when so many lives like Bill’s go off the rails — and about how we as a society can do better.

Fortunately there are still some Times readers who don’t believe in collective guilt. Last fall they reacted to a Times column about Boston University’s troubled Center for Antiracist Research, led by Ibram X. Kendi, who specializes in wholesale denunciations of American society. Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote that “it’s important to understand that the center’s apparent implosion is more the result of a failed funding model than a failed ideology. It exemplifies the lamentable tendency among left-leaning donors to chase fads and celebrities rather than build sustainable institutions.”

As your humble correspondent noted at the time, Times readers might have been struggling to recall a time when the newspaper was dismissing Mr. Kendi’s claims of systemic racism as a celebrity-driven fad. Still, one might have expected the paper’s customers to share Ms. Goldberg’s reluctance to blame his ideology. But numerous Times readers were having none of it, and took to the comments section to critique Mr. Kendi’s work. One Times reader commented:

no, Michelle, it’s not simply a failed funding model. It’s a failing set of ideas, and maybe the realization that the religious model (a set of unprovable beliefs, evildoers, victims, martyrs, etc) is not a great foundation for an academic center. Liberals and moderates have had a few years now to take a look at all of this and formulate a reasonable reply, and it is mostly, “NO.”

In a similar vein, another commented:

The problem is that a University should not build research centers around ideologies, failed or otherwise. Centers like this are not trying to understand what is or why in an objective manner. They are trying to promote a social and political agenda. Efforts like this have no place on campus.

Let’s hope that readers continue to initiate the difficult conversations needed to reform the troubled institution called the New York Times. But of course they have neither an individual nor a collective responsibility to subscribe.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Another must-see podcast: Did Joseph Smith cancel Orson Pratt's hemispheric theory

Last week I did an interview with Troy Ables (the Last Dispensation podcast) from New Zealand. This one deals with a long-forgotten (or overlooked) aspect of the Wentworth letter that Joseph wrote and had published in the Times and Seasons in 1842.

As we discuss in the podcast, Joseph adapted the Wentworth letter from an 1840 pamphlet written by Orson Pratt. Unfortunately, most Latter-day Saints today have never seen the entire Wentworth letter because the lesson manual, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, censored a critical part of the Wentworth letter.

For most Latter-day Saints, especially non-English speakers, this is the only version of the Wentworth letter they will ever see.

It's an astonishing story, particularly because Joseph started the letter by writing, As Mr. Bastow has taken the proper steps to obtain correct information all that I shall ask at his hands, is, that he publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation.


As it turns out, Joseph didn’t need to worry about Mr. Bastow. The group that declined to publish the Wentworth letter “entire, ungarnished and without misrepresentation” was the Curriculum Department that published the lesson manual. 

For those interested in a detailed comparison to supplement the podcast, see 


Saturday, January 27, 2024

Must-see Podcast: Richard Bushman's book on the Gold Plates

Mormon Book Reviews posted an awesome, must-see video. Among other things, we discussed the two sets of plates scenario, the influence of Jonathan Edwards, and the way everyone can work together to establish Zion.


(click to enlarge)

Steve Pynakker is doing a phenomenal job bringing people together through dialog and discussion. The common threads are (i) interest in the Restoration and (ii) interest in Jesus Christ. 

Not only is he building bridges among the various Restoration groups (evangelical and Book of Mormon enthusiasts), but also among Latter-day Saints who have different interpretations of Church history and the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon.

Remember, we can all produce "no more contention" by pursuing clarity, charity, and understanding.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Positive development from Scripture Central!

All the way down here in New Zealand I'm inundated with inquiries about a recent video from Scripture Central (fka Book of Mormon Central). Due to the interest in the topic, I'm addressing it here.


Kudos to Kirk Magleby of Book of Mormon Central and Scripture Central for giving a tour of Pinson mounds in Tennessee, which I wrote about years ago when I visited there.

It's awesome to see Scripture Central present a more open-minded approach to the setting of the Book of Mormon, but unfortunately, their obsession with M2C (Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory) has led them to make some easily avoidable blunders, as we see in this video.

Here's a link to Pinson Mounds State Park for more info:

Kirk's video omitted an obvious point: how does Pinson fit within the overall setting of the Book of Mormon? Obviously, it fits well with Cumorah in New York, but that topic apparently remains anathema to Scripture Central.

In the video, Kirk cited Ether instead of Alma regarding heaps of earth, which gave the critics an opening to point out the time discrepancies and other problems with Kirk's presentation. 

This link from the Pinson Mounds website shows the actual dating of the site:


Thirty-nine radiometric determinations are presented and discussed from Pinson Mounds in Madison and Chester Counties, western Tennessee. Calibrations and feature averages (where warranted) are provided. Comparisons to nearby sites in Mississippi with comparable ceramic assemblages - Bynum, Pharr, Ingomar, and Miller - indicate early (first- or second-century B.C.) ceremonial activity at Bynum followed several centuries later by intense Middle Woodland ritual activity in the uplands of western Tennessee and norther Mississippi during the second and third centuries A.D.

The Alma chapters referring to heaps of earth (fortifications) and bodies "moldering in heaps" fit within this time frame. That's why I proposed it as the site of Alma's Helam. The Ether references too much earlier in time to fit the archaeology in Pinson, as the critics point out.

But the critics themselves are either too ignorant or too cynical and ideological to admit that Pinson Mounds does fit right in Book of Mormon time frames and aligns with the setting based on Cumorah in New York as a pin in the map.

This is only one of the factual errors and ideological assumptions RFM and his friends rely upon to criticize Kirk's video:

I'm still waiting for a call from Scripture Central to help them navigate the North American setting and avoid these blunders....


At one point, Kirk reiterates the oft-stated M2C claim that 

33:38 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has not ever once said North America, South America, Central America, this is where the book... The Lord I should say himself has never... no revealed geography for the book of Mormon. 
It has never been revealed to any of the prophets.
It is a little exasperating to see this oft-repeated refrain. It turns on a clever word play.

First, the refrain consolidates two separate topics: (i) the location of Cumorah and (ii) "geography" in a broader sense. When these two topics are separated, we can all see that Church leaders have always taught that (i) Cumorah of Mormon 6:6 is in western New York, and (ii) we don't know the location of other events in the New World. This makes sense because there are dozens or even hundreds of potential sites that align with the setting described in the Book of Mormon, including Pinson mounds, for which the archaeological and anthropological evidence remains spotty and vague, but the details we do have are consistent with the text of the Book of Mormon. I've spent a lot of time at Pinson and there are mounds there that have yet to be excavated. 

Second, the term "revealed" is a word play. Was it a "revelation" when John the Baptist restored the Priesthood? According to Joseph and Oliver, it was a physical experience, not a revelation. 

Likewise, Oliver described physically entering the repository of Nephite records in the hill in New York on multiple occasions. This required no "revelation" but gave him the knowledge he needed to declare it is a "fact" that the hill in New York is the same one described in Mormon 6:6. And the archaeological evidence is consistent with the way he and the text described those battles (not involving millions of people, or even hundreds of thousands, etc.).

Third, we do have accounts that Joseph learned the name and site of Cumorah by revelation, but the M2C scholars simply reject that evidence. Instead of claiming the evidence doesn't exist, they should acknowledge that they reject the evidence. Joseph's mother said Moroni identified the hill as Cumorah the first night he met Joseph Smith. Parley Pratt reported that it was Moroni himself who called the hill Cumorah anciently. Joseph's mother also related that Joseph and his family referred to the hill as Cumorah before Joseph even received the plates. Joseph himself corroborated this in D&C 128:20 when he wrote "Glad tidings from Cumorah! A book to be revealed." He learned the name Cumorah before he ever got the plates.

Kirk and the other M2Cers know all of this but the keep repeating their refrain as a mantra.

We're reminded of this passage from The Crown of a Life by Isa Blagden:

If a lie is only printed often enough, it becomes a quasi-truth, and if such a truth is repeated often enough, it becomes an article of belief, a dogma, and men will die for it.

Kirk continued the video by referring to the Gospel Topics entry on Geography, equating it to scripture, another M2C mantra that is belied by the introduction to those essays as I discussed here:

Here's how Kirk explained it:
33:57And that's why on the church's website today the gospel topics essay has two things that's all it says. these are the two things that we can depend on because this has come right from the prophet and the 12 apostles.
That's a patently false implication that these Church leaders wrote the essays. These anonymous essays were written by committees, including scholars who promote their own theories. They are "approved" by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, but as we saw with the equally "approved" lesson manual for Come Follow Me in 2020, even members of the Twelve were surprised to discover what was in the manual after it was "approved," published, translated and printed in multiple languages. 

Furthermore, in this specific case, the entry on geography was changed just a few weeks after it was released. These essays are subject to change at any time.  

They are far, far from scriptural. But they do serve the purposes of the M2Cers, so they like to cite them as if they were scripture.
Number one the book is historical so those people are out there saying no Nephi was just a figment of somebody's imagination it's just a historical fiction okay uh they've got to deal with the fact that the prophet says no it was a historical happen... it's true these people were real... and then the second thing it says it happened somewhere in the Americas. 
The obvious inconsistency here is that the text itself never mentions the Americas. To conclude that the events happened "somewhere in the Americas" we have to take the word of Joseph and Oliver (and their contemporary Church leaders). But those same sources also taught it was a fact that Cumorah is in New York.

Here, it's important to note that neither Joseph nor Oliver ever taught a hemispheric model. In the Wentworth letter, Joseph expressly repudiated the Central American theory promoted by Orson Pratt, but Latter-day Saints don't realize that because the critical portion of the Wentworth letter was censored when it was published in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith--specifically to accommodate M2C.

Kirk's next point is one I made years ago when addressing an audience of M2Cers.

now that's a beautiful thing. Suppose that you lived right here, we're in the Jackson ward in the Memphis North stake. That's where we're at today. Would this be cool that you could liken the scriptures unto yourselves? 
Say you know what, I've got some stuff in my backyard that seems to have some relevance to the Book of Mormon right now. If I was in the Los Altos loral Stake on the shores of lake tiaka in Bolivia and I've got this awesome site called tanako just down the road do you think the Lord intends me to liken this unto myself? I would hope so. Again this I think is a beautiful thing that so many people can say this is my book I feel comfortable here I belong here with this book.

When I made that argument years ago, it was in the context of recognizing that people can have faith in the Book of Mormon regardless of what they understand about its setting. That seems axiomatic--for some people. But for other people, a connection to reality is important. Joseph recognized that when he described crossing Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and finding ruins of the Nephites to prove the "divine authenticity" of the Book of Mormon.

In a sense, Kirk's argument is the same argument we make for the Bible. We don't have to live in Israel or Egypt or Jordan to have faith that the events took place there.  

But in another sense, that's an entirely different argument from the one Kirk is making because of his explicit conviction that the prophets have been wrong about Cumorah.

Kirk's argument when transferred to the Bible would be, "Look, we don't know where Jerusalem was, but it could have been anywhere on earth, and that doesn't matter. If you have an ancient stone wall in Cambodia, or Peru, or China, that could have been Jerusalem and you can liken it unto yourself."

Such an argument would undermine the credibility of everything in the Bible.

And the M2C argument that the prophets have been wrong also undermines everything in the Book of Mormon because if we can't rely on what Joseph and Oliver said about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon, we can't rationally rely on anything else they said.

If Latter-day Saints all agreed to support and corroborate the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah, we could still "liken the scriptures" to ourselves regardless of where we live, just like we do with the Bible. 

Bottom line, we can all believe whatever we want. If we want to reject the teachings of the prophets about Cumorah, fine. But in the interests of clarity, charity and understanding (leading to no more contention), we expect everyone to be crystal clear about what they're saying.

Let's all hope this latest video is a step toward Scripture Central embracing the perspectives of all faithful Latter-day Saints, including those of us who still accept the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Monday, January 15, 2024

Special Sale: African perspective on the Restoration

To coincide with the 2024 Come Follow Me curriculum, the Kindle edition of the illustrated book Lemurs, Chameleons and Golden Plates is now on sale for only $2.99.

Kindle now makes it possible to send Kindle books as gifts, too!

Plus, the Kindle version is available in both Spanish and French so you can give a copy to your friends who speak French or Spanish.

The book teaches the origins of the Book of Mormon from a unique African perspective, giving readers a multicultural experience.

Africa is the fastest-growing area of the Church. This book engages readers with delightful illustrations. 

Young readers can count the lemurs and chameleons as they flip through the pages on their tablets or phones. 

Older readers can click on the links on the reference pages to learn more about the historical narratives.
The Kindle version provides two modes. One is full-page. The other progresses frame-by-frame.

Below are some sample illustrations from the book.



Thursday, January 11, 2024

Joseph Knew 2.0 podcast

Recently Rod Meldrum and I had a discussion about how things have changed since he released his original set of DVDs many years ago. 

The first part of the conversation is here:


The more we learn about Church history, the teachings of the prophets, and the extrinsic evidence, the more it becomes obvious that Joseph and Oliver were correct, accurate, and reliable all along when they discussed the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon.

2024 is going to be an amazing year.


A useful website looks back at Church history on a daily basis. For example, 

"Joseph Smith, Frederick G. Williams, Newel K. Whitney, Oliver Cowdery, John Johnson, and Orson Hyde pray that the Lord will send his angels to watch over them and their families, protect the lives of the members of the united order [United Firm], let Joseph prevail over Doctor P. Hurlbut in court, bless the bishop with means to discharge every debt of the order, deliver the printing press from the hands of evil men, deliver Zion and gather his scattered people, and "unveil his face, that his saints might behold his glory, and dwell with him. Amen."


Hurlbut was the man who collected the affidavits published in Mormonism Unvailed in October 1834.

Mormonism Unvailed set out the stone-in-the-hat (SITH) theory, distinguishing it from the accounts that Joseph used the Urim and Thummim to translate the plates.

Here we are, 190 years later, and it turns out that certain modern LDS scholars have managed to enable Hurlbut to prevail by promoting SITH.

There are still some Latter-day Saints who prefer what Joseph and Oliver taught over what Hurlbut and other SITH sayers claimed. Most, though, apparently don't even know what Joseph and Oliver taught because their teachings are omitted from the Saints book, the Gospel Topics essays, and the vast majority of the Come Follow Me podcasts streaming on YouTube.

Hopefully 2024 will bring greater clarity as more Latter-day Saints will learn what Joseph and Oliver taught so they can make informed decisions instead of simply accepting the musings of the SITH sayers because they don't know any better. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Refusal to correct errors?

We can all see, from the way they manipulated Church history to accommodate both M2C and SITH, that the authors of Saints did not intend to provide an accurate "historical present" when they wrote volume 1. Nor did the authors of the Gospel Topics Essays intend to provide readers with historically accurate analysis, simply from the fact that they omitted the teachings of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in favor of the claims of their critics.

But now, in 2024, we are all pursuing clarity, charity and understanding instead of academic agendas. There's never a better time than the present to correct errors for future generations.


Traditional analog (paper) publishing made error correction impossible. You couldn't go back and fix typos and other errors in printed material. If you caught an error during the printing process, you could make the correction, but you couldn't go back and erase the error on the copies you had already printed.

This is what Grandin did while printing the 1830 Book of Mormon.

When an error was spotted, the printer stopped the press and corrected the type. Sometimes this occurred after copies had already been printed. They didn't destroy the already printed pages, but just continued with the corrected pages. That is why many of the original 5,000 copies have variations. They would randomly insert the erroneous sheets as they assembled the books.

But at least they made corrections.


I've wondered why obvious errors are not corrected in the Joseph Smith Papers, the Gospel Topics Essays, the Saints books, the lesson manuals, and other publications.

Physical copies that have been printed cannot be changed, but most people use digital copies, which can be easily changed.

One could argue that it is less important to correct errors than to make sure the electronic version remains consistent with the printed version, but it's difficult to believe that is a plausible excuse for not correcting obvious errors.

We would think the correcting errors is far more important than preserving errors. 

And we have an actual, real-world, contemporary example of this. When Elder Gary Stevenson noticed a problem in the Come Follow Me manual, the Church changed it.

On Monday, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at the 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Luncheon in Salt Lake City hosted by the NAACP Salt Lake City branch.

At the beginning of his remarks, Elder Stevenson expressed regret that the “Come, Follow Me” manual for 2020 contains an old statement that dark skin in the Book of Mormon was the sign of a curse. He disavowed that statement.

“We’re asking our members to disregard the paragraph in the printed manual,” he said, according to Deseret News. “Now I’m deeply saddened and hurt by this error and for any pain that it may have caused our members and for others. I would just like to reiterate our position as a Church is clear. We do condemn all racism, past and present, in any form, and we disavow any theory advanced that black or dark skin is a sign of a curse.”

Elder Stevenson said the mistake was included in the printed version which was prepared nearly two years ago. When Church leaders found out about the error in late 2019, they corrected it in the online version which is used by the majority of members and adjusted future printed materials.


Obviously, calling it a "printing error" is a euphemism for a substantive change.

But notice the key point: the manual was prepared two years earlier in 2018, yet "Church leaders found out about the error in late 2019" after the manual had been printed, purportedly with the approval of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. That the error wasn't discovered until over a year after it was supposedly "approved" tells us that this type of anonymous curriculum is written by committees and experts, not Church leaders. 

It's entirely appropriate to correct changes. 

Good practice would require notice and documentation of changes to electronic (and future print) material, although that has not been done for the changes made to the Gospel Topics Essays.


Actually, a few errors in the Saints books have been documented, here:


That page explains, "The following errors appeared in early English print copies of Saints, Volume 1: The Standard of Truth. The errors have been corrected in electronic versions of the English text and, when applicable, in other languages. The print edition has been or will be updated in subsequent printings."

Then why not fix all the other errors, such as those discussed at the link below?



In future posts we'll discuss obvious errors in the Joseph Smith Papers.

Monday, January 8, 2024

2024: shift to heartland podcast

Last week I mentioned a podcast on The Last Dispensation channel in which we discussed the problem of so many Latter-day Saints no longer believing the Book of Mormon is an actual history.


Much of that video involved predictions for 2024, which was kind of lost in that title. The revised title is 

Does a SHIFT TO HEARTLAND accelerate CHURCH GROWTH? | Are we going to see a surge UPWARD?

It seems not only logical but even obvious that returning to the teachings of Joseph and Oliver about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon will affirm faith and prompt more people around the world to consider the Restoration more seriously.


Because our own LDS scholars insist that Joseph and Oliver misled everyone about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon, it's easy to see why people don't take the Restoration seriously. It's also easy to see why some Latter-day Saints have a "faith crisis" and/or succumb to the rhetoric in the CES Letter, on Mormon Stories, etc. 

This is why, as more and more Latter-day Saints re-discover the authentic Church history about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon, we can expect to see a surge in confidence in the Restoration. 

Latter-day Saints cannot find this authentic Church history in the Gospel Topics Essays, the Saints book (vol. 1), or the work of the M2C and SITH scholars and the podcasters that rely on them. Instead, they have to study for themselves the information in the Joseph Smith Papers and the teachings of the prophets, some of which are found here:


Friday, January 5, 2024

Book of Mormon Guru blog

A new blog reviews Come Follow Me content.

The first episode discussions John Hilton III's Master Class.


The Book of Mormon Guru

Why don't young LDS believe the Book of Mormon is actual history?

I did an interview on data in the book The Next Mormons that indicates only 50% of Millennial LDS believe the Book of Mormon is actual history.


Even more surprising, as we discuss in the video, is the data that only 62% of the Boomer/Silent generations are "confident that the Book of Mormon is a literal, historical account."

This data seems to reflect the warning from Joseph Fielding Smith that M2C would cause Latter-day Saints to "become confused and disturbed in their faith." If anything, that was an understatement. 

Now, in 2024, after decades of promoting M2C, the M2C scholars have persuaded many Latter-day Saints--perhaps a majority--that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery misled everyone about both the origin and the setting of the Book of Mormon. They've rejected both the New York Cumorah (by adopting M2C, the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory) and the translation by means of the Urim and Thummim that came with the plates (by adopting SITH, the stone-in-the-hat narrative).

I've heard both praise and criticism of the study methodology used in The Next Mormons. Anecdotally, though, the data seems about right. 

And, naturally, the Grievance Grifters on the Internet, such as Mormon Stories, who seek to undermine the faith of the Latter-day Saints, love using both M2C and SITH.


I discussed the problem and offered a solution on the no more contention blog, here:



Monday, January 1, 2024

2024-new stuff already

2024 will be awesome in many ways.

There will be more focus on the Book of Mormon because of Come Follow Me. 

Obviously, the principal message of the Book of Mormon is to convince people that Jesus is the Christ. In support of that message, we promote the objective of no more contention through clarity, charity, and understanding.

I'll have weekly commentary on a new blog, here:


We supplement the lesson manual with resources and commentary you won't find anywhere else.* This will include original sources so you can share the blog with everyone you know who is interested in Come Follow Me for 2024.


The Joseph Smith Papers have made the Original Manuscript available online, as I discussed here:



There are more things in the works that I'll announce on this blog in upcoming posts. You should subscribe directly here for updates. 


For optimistic perspectives on current events, I make occasional notes here:



*Certainly not from the usual suspects who continue to promote SITH and M2C.