It's just not worth the effort; I have more productive things to give my
community, work, and family than to sit on my computer unendingly using weasel
words and cutting off context to villify things I don't agree with. The
depth to which wikipedia is filled with anti-Mormon and other anti-Christian
sentiments, anti-Republican, anti-Conservative (and everything tied in any way
to these ideas, such as Israel), anti-marriage protection is simply
incurable.Any and all examples of anythign on any page that involve
any of those topics will villify them. Go to any topic on logical fallacies
using political sources and Republicans are always the ones used as examples.
Communism is almost always noble, and capitalism is almost always evil or
The idea that LDS "attack the source" if they don't like unflattering
information about them is simple generalization, and it does not apply in this
case. There are a number of LDS Wikipedia editors who do an excellent job
employing "unflattering" sources.The real issue with LDS
Wikipedia articles is related to the accuracy in the use of sources, rather than
a desire to remove them. FAIR's reviews of LDS Wikipedia articles do not
advocate removing any sources, whether they happen to be "flattering"
or "unflattering." However, when an editor uses the words
of Richard Bushman as a citation for a statement the clearly does not reflect
Bushman's original intent, that is wrong. The restatement of an author's
qualified opinion as expressed in a source as an unqualified "fact" in
the main text of the Wikipedia article is wrong. The harassment of any editor by
another editor because they do not assume good faith is wrong. That applies both
ways - non-LDS who harass LDS, and LDS who harass non-LDS. All of these items
violate established Wikipedia rules.
There sure seems to be a pattern: Whenever LDS don't like the unflattering
information about them, they attack the source.If Wikipedia was
dominated by LDS so as to portray only positive things about the Church, then
LDS would sing its praises as the most reliable, truthful and accurate source of
information available!Afterall, that is how they regard the
information provided by the Maxwell Institute and FAIR.
The Wikipedia came into existance because places like Britannica wanted to make
millions off families trying to spread knowledge to their children. What would
people here have families do? Go back to paying $50 a volume for sets of
encyclopedias? Maybe we should send our kids to the library...Oh gee, the
nearest library to me with any decent research section is 65 miles away. I guess
my kids (if I had any) should start walking now. Maybe they'll get there and
back by March. The Wikipedia is a noble goal, to spread and share
knowledge for *FREE*, but noble goals are rarely accomplished by sitting on our
hands, whining. In short, if we want it to better, we must *MAKE* it better, not
complain that others aren't doing it for us. The internet and Wikipedia are here
to stay, and we'd better join the fray if we want things to get better.Signed, Quag (Pamela)PS: This word limit is annoying...
Honestly (and no offense to the author, for this was a well-written article in
my opinion), but there is a mentality that is at the heart of the problem, not
merely on the Wikipedia but in the US and abroad. This idea is that, if someone
else wants to fight for their op[inion, it's best to let them have their way and
then complain about it. Do you think the US won it's independence by having
generals who said, "Oh well, the British outnumber us, so let's just give
up and complain a lot." No, of course not. Whining never solved anything.
If we, as the LDS community, want Wikipedia's articles about us and our history
to be accurate or at least fair, then *WE* (not the owner of Wikipedia or anyone
else) need to join the fight and battle as tenatiously as our opponents.
Fundamentalists won't go away if we just sit in a corner and complain (or
"give up"), and worse, they will be like anti-missionaries (or birds
of the field who carry off the sown seeds, if you prefer)...
There is truly a reason why Wikipedia is not accepted by serious academic
institutions as a viable source when citing information. Guess "this be
one of them"!
(1951) Well it must be true. . . it's published!(2011) Well it
must be true. . . it's on the internet!You gotta be really gullible
to think that Wikipedia is reliable AT ALL. That's like thinking an ally brawl
is a hockey game. (Poor analogy, but you get it.)The missionary in
question has more problems than believing in Wikipedia.
I used to participate on an unmoderated newsgroup on mormonism, back when that
was the only venue to discuss mormonism on the internet (prior to the WWW). We
had one antimormon Calvinist who went by the name of Theophilus. He relentlessly
antagonized any proLDS articles, and his method of winning an argument was to
always have the last word. He took every means possible to denigrate the LDS
position, despite many attempts by LDS postings to attempt moderation. He knew
if he could argue long enough, sane people would eventually give up.We only managed to get rid of Theophilus, by catching him in a blatant lie in
which he argued two different contradicting positions in order to prove mormons
wrong. We posted his conflicting viewpoints--pointing out his dishonesty--and he
mysterious disappeared from the group for good. John Foxe's
deception using a sock puppet reminded me of those early year shenanigans that
antimormons engaged in. This man clearly sees his overarching righteousness as
justification for dishonesty.It is precisely the sort of pharisaical
hypocrisy that Christ condemned most vehemently when he was on the earth. Those
who engage in such behaviors arewhited-sepulchres.
Response to Jiggle and others who have made blanket statements about all pro-LDS
editors.My experience in the First Vision article was that John Foxe
(an anti-LDS editor) tried to control the content of the article so as to
emphasize the anti-LDS point of view and minimize the pro-LDS point of view.
As a pro-LDS editor, it was never my goal force the reader to a
particular conclusion. I wanted all points of view presented, in a neutral and
proportional manner.I edited in good faith, trying again and again
to satisfy John Foxe, only to see him revert all edits that didn't serve his
purpose.On the talk page I tried again and again to explain to John
Foxe the principles of Wikipedia, the most important of which is Neutral Point
of View, only to see him continue to ignore the Wikipedia policies and to
"...control the editing of LDS articles by rejecting verifiable,
authoritative sources...", etc.Following Wikipedia policies did
not serve John Foxe's purpose, so he ignored those policies. Trying
to work with with John Foxe got me nothing but increasing anger and frustration.
So I walked away.74s181
Wikipedia is suppose to have a neutral point of view. They say they strive for
articles that advocate no single point of view, represent multiple points of
views, and present each point of view accurately and in context, while not
presenting any point of view as "the truth" or "the best
view". Pro-LDS editors seem to be involved in trying to control the editing
of LDS articles by rejecting verifiable, authoritative sources, so any
inaccuracies or misleading statements can go unchallenged.So much
for honesty! Now will DS News Post this?
Hey Pagan - You asked for 'recent' examples of 'good' Latter-day
Saints?Thomas S. Monson.I know you'll find SOMETHING (or
make something up) to criticize him over.But a good man is a good
man regardless of what fools say about him.Cheers....
I hate to use up my four comments so quickly. I think the
reaction of some "I do not go to wikipedia" is an abandonement of the
duty that we are under to share the truth to the best of our abilities. We need
to remember that accuracy is key to wikipedia and avoid over-zealousness without
it. However as Elder Ballard said, the conversation will go on.
Either we can work to aid the accuracy of wikipedia and seek to infuse it with
sources that reflect the truth, or we can let it be editted by those who use it
to tear down the truth. If we do not work for a solution, than we will suffer
'Any Mormon who has told you that you MUST follow their view doesn't know their
own doctrine.' - Sigfried | 2:09 p.m. Jan. 31, 2011 I agree with
you, and yet again I shall point too: Polygamy, 1890 Black
priesthood, 1978 Amendment 3, 2004 Prop 8, 2008 All are
examples of mormon 'beliefs' that affect those who never claimed to follow that
fiath. Don't get me wrong, I personally know what I consider 'good'
mormons, who take no interest in my life or anyone elses. The know the word, and
follow it as best THEY can. Trying to set the example. As for
'spiritual experience', I leave that to the person. As I would for you and
visa-versa. And I encourage you to not take my 'Mormon with no name'
examples. You are right, they cannot be disproven. And yet, the
legislation examples are up for public review. Just as with all
groups, there are good and bad. I just wish there was more recent,
and better examples of the good. The recent refusal of state
legislature in Utah to pass non-discrimination ordinance, after 11 cities do so,
forces me to focus on the bad.
An independent source is one not controlled by the subject of its report. Thus,
a source written by Richard Lloyd Anderson or Richalrd L. Bushman is
independent. They may be influenced by Joseph Smith's teaching, but they are
not controlled by him. The key is to report on the first vision
using articles and books written with clear reliance on the primary sources.
Richard L. Bushman's "Rough Stone Rolling" is a much better source
than Brody's "No Man Knows My History", and Anderson's
"Ensign" article on the multiple accounts of the first vision is
usable. Also remember that introductions and notes to published first hand
accounts of the first vision are of worth. Beyond this, just
challenge the theory. In using the "no original research" mantra to
exclude the original sources wikipedia is misinterpreting the intent. This
applies much more to issues of notability. If the issue is about historical
fact, first hand testimony trumps second-hand testimony based on psychoanalytic
readings of Joseph Smith. Lastly, wikipedia is not a democracy.
Even if there are more people arguing for incorect readings of the past, if you
can present your accuments more clearly, they have power.
Michael De Groote is right about the anti-BYU bias of some weikipedia editors.
This is unfortunante. Also unfortunante is the way in which the "no
primary research" rule is interpreted. I often shy away from
the heavily covered topics in wikipedia, like Joseph Smith, and spend my energy
creating articles on people like Camillle Fronk Olson or Tutsegabitz or
Sagawitz. The problem with the not as prominant is that I face the struggle to
prove these people merit articles, but that is easier than dealing with biased
editors who start with the goal of proving Joseph Smith false. On
the other hand before you enter the wikipedia fray remember the goal is
neutrality. If you speak too strongly in favor of Joseph Smith you will be
dismissed as violating the neutral point of view policy. If you
study wikipedia policy in depth you do realize that at heart works accurately
based on primary sources are better. Be willing to challenge them on trying to
say a source is biased.
The biggest problem that I had with John Foxe's edits to "The First
Vision" was that he would not understand the most fundamental Wikipedia
principles.Wikipedia articles are supposed to be based on Neutral
Point of View. The short definition, from the NPOV page, "Editors must
write articles from a neutral point of view, representing all significant views
fairly, proportionately, and without bias. John Foxe consistently
resisted having the non-believing POV presented in a neutral fashion. Most
attempts to 'neutralize' his non-believing POV were reverted.John
Foxe also resisted having the believing point of view presented at all. He
insisted that the historical facts 'proved' that the First Vision didn't happen,
and so any attempt to accurately present the believing POV was continually
interrupted with his rebuttals or relegated to footnotes. John Foxe
is a very clever man with plenty of time on his hands. During the edit war
described in this article I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with
his machinations, this frustration became evident in my comments. And so I
walked away. 74s181...
Pagan,Any Mormon who has told you that you MUST follow their view doesn't
know their own doctrine.In fact the church only wants their converts to
have had an actual spiritual experience confirming what they teach. This
isn't really measurable by an intellectual tool. Nor can it be disproved.
Chickenchaser - Please stay on topic. The article is about Wikipedia and the
behind the scenes look into a controversial topic and how the information makes
it ot the front page - in this case Joseph Smith.Couldn't wait for
the next Michael Ash article to post your degrading comments, eh??
"I decided that I didn't want to define our relationship by
contention." - Article That's kind of hard because he was
already in contention with a missionary. It will be interesting to
see who gets more to subscribe to it's belief. Many try to 'white wash'
history. Example? I've had self-proclaimed Mormons tell me that
Brigham Young was 'very conflicted' about denying preist hood to black
males...until 1978. Amendment 3, 2004 Prop 8, 2008 And
yet other continue to claim they 'love the sinner', while ignoring they are even
CALLING someone a sinner, which is itself, an insulting term.
Serious. Go to a bunch of strangers and call them 'sinners' all day, see what
happens. You are entitiled to your view. However, to claim all
others 'must' follow your view is folly. Bottom line, there are,
what? 14 million mormons? And 5 billion & some change,
non-mormons on earth. Localized ideaology is put to the test when
faced with a world-view consensus. Let the debate which is the
'true' way, begin.
"For example, when the subject was the life and teaching of Brigham Young,
mention was only made of his first wife. That is obviously incomplete as he had
dozens of plural wives as well. But it did not say she was BY's only wife - that
would have been inaccurate."Inaccurate vs incomplete, well...
there is that but there's another set of options. Lie of omission and lie of
commission. A lie of commission is outright stating something not true, while a
lie of omission is leaving out a detail that makes things appear to be something
other than they are. Granted I doubt many LDS members think Brigham Young was a
monogamist, I'm just saying that in some situations, incomplete can be
For those who want an alternative to iffy Wiki info re: LDS beliefs, try:1. Encycolpedia of Mormonism2. Expressions of Faith: Testimonies
of Latter-day Saint Scholars, edited by Susan Easton Black (1996)3.
Pretty much anything by Robert J. Millet
Dr. Paul E. Minnis an archeology professor at the University of Oklahoma is one
of thousands in his field of study who claim that the view that Native
Americansdescended from Israelites is completely false. Wikipedia was not
the source for this conclusion.Did someone say there are two sides
to everything? Thats nonsense contrived to evade the truth. Did someone say
scientology too? Joseph told his mother that horses ran around the
continent. What? 7,500 years ago and long after the demise of the so-called
nephites. No battlefields, no iron and other metals as depicted in Ensign and
New Era artistry. The Native American is Asiatic. Period.
Sock puppets.Boy, have I seen them on these DesNews message boards
(and other internet sites) in the last 4 years.....BTW, I've had the
same Wikipedia experience defending the LDS church as Mr. Nicholson has. Kind
of ticked me off.Oh, well, nothing to get permanently down in the
dumps about. Truth will prevail. As Brigham Young used to say about those who
continually oppose the Lord's church, "Every time they try to kick it down
to hell, they only lift it up closer to heaven".So, thanks for
Article quote: "I think I first got on (Wikipedia) because the Bob Jones
site was just crazy. There was just crazy stuff, non-true things," Foxe
said. "And I said 'Oh, I'll fix that.' And it was kind of fun." Foxe
spoke with the Deseret News on the condition that his real name wasn't
used."So let me get this straight:Foxe wants to
have the Bob Jones site display true, factually correct information on it but
he's A-OK allowing lies to be posted about the LDS church?Nice,
It's always fun to have an article about the LDS Church. The comments just go
ballistic. So many have opinions on either sides. I also have opinions from my
experiences with this Religion, and so I will comment.I look at it
this way. A Wiki on Jesus Christ could say he was arrested, spit upon, hated,
defied authority, incited people to rebellion, caused riots in the streets and
major discontent, turned families upside down, escaped brushes with secular and
religious authorities, caused contention in the temple, or many other unsavory
things and each item would be factual. They all happened according to one eye
witness or another, but is this the information that is pertinent to knowing or
to discovering who He was and would you base your decision on following Him on
such an article? Hopefully not.Or would you try to understand what
His followers saw in Him that caused them to change their lives in so many
pertinent ways? I think Wikis can be great and play a valuable role
in modern society, but they should be used for less important things than
decisions related to salvation, in my opinion.
Article quote: "In an earlier exchange, the missionary told Nicholson that
Wikipedia was reliable because the collaborative process ensures its
accuracy."Anyone who believes that misunderstands a simple yet
absolutely crucial reality.It is that 'truth' is NOT defined by
popularity.Never has been. Never will be.I know that is
hard for some of you to understand, but understand it we must.
What's interesting is the fact that the LDS church as not only encouraged is 13
million LDS members to embrace social media, including Wikipedia, to get the
Word out. Including telling the truth and sharing their testimonies with the
world's populations. All 7 Billion. Actually Wikipedia calculates the world's
population today at 6.9 billion. I'm not sure who is really is correct, but
since Wikipedia is updated and edited by the minute by 7 (or?) 6.9 Billion
people, it stands to reason that some sifting leading to the truth is bound to
occur. Let's get over it. Transparency is the new norm. The younger generation
gets it. It's time for the old farts to embrace it too :)
ADVICE ON GETTING STARTED FROM JOHN FOXE:"If I had to give people
advice, I think I'd tell them to start with something they knew very well and
also something that is not controversial," Foxe said. "They should
start at a place where they can make a real contribution." For example, he
said, begin on your hometown -- but don't start on "Joseph Smith,
Jr.""For somebody who is new to Wikipedia to go to 'Joseph
Smith' and think they are going to make a big impact, that's a mistake. There's
just too many people there and it's just not going to work," Foxe said.
"I guess people want to make a big splash and come to the really
argumentative kind of articles."
At my school if we use Wikipedia, some teachers will yell at us. Anyway as in my
last post, what are the Mormons hiding that's so bad, that they have to change a
faulty website? Please answer to my inquiring teenage mind!
Oh my, a tizzy over Wikpedia. I tell my students that if they quote it in their
term papers it is an F for the course. That solves that problem a little bit.
Had to drop an F on a student last semester; though warned, he did it anyway (I
think he was in a hurry).If one ventures forth into the real world and has
a set of beliefs, then those beliefs will be challenged. Period. And that is
good news indeed.Is the information on Wikipedia right, accurate,
truthful, or opinion? People can and do change it accordingly, esp. if it
involves religion and politics.Expect the world to review and cast a hard
eye on your beliefs. If you wish to send out the "correct" version of
one's faith, then get a web site, etc. That is how faiths do it, and
politicians. Wikipedia is not to be trusted. It is a free country, too.
@TheAtheistDon't feel too bad, I tried to comment on a mistake that the DN
had made when reporting of the sex of an accident victim and somehow that
violated the comment rules and it wasn't posted. I guess Wiki isn't the only
place that information has to be taken with a grain of salt.
Nothing sparks controvery like the religious wars. Mormons complain about
anti-Mormonism, Catholics complain about anti-Catholicism, Scientologists
complain about anti-Scientologism. However, Mormons consider their faith
superior to either Catholics or Scientologists (if they even consider
Scientology a religion) and Catholics (like every other religious group) see
their faith as the "one true faith."It is sincerely
doubtful that a person can find any unbiased information on religion written by
a truly religious person. Yes, a trained historian might come close, but like
history, it is written by an individual with a particular view.Probably as bad as getting accurate information on religion is getting
accurate information on political issues. Like religion, politics is rife with
controversy. It's like the Bible, some say it is the direct word of God where
the history shows it was written and re-written over hundreds of years by
various authors and translated into other languages without necessary scrutiny
as to accuracy of translation.To the faithful, these points don't
matter because they have their faith. They believe what they want to believe
and take satisfaction in that belief. Intellectual pursuit always gives way to
belief to avoid conflict.
No surprize here. I've learned that Wikipedia is the LAST place to find accurate
information on history or religion as it is always slanted to the editors view.
I use Wikipedia primarily for entertainment. I also use it as
someone else described - for "quick information". It's a starting
place when trying to track down facts. But I personally question
much of what I read on the site. It's most just interesting and
good for entertainment.
Wikipedia is great when you want to look up info on your favorite movie star but
I am frankly stunned that so many people use it as a serious source of
information. College students, for example, are taught to NEVER cite Wikipedia
as a source for any research they do. Papers that cite Wikipedia are laughed at
and receive failing grades.
Re: JanetSure professors hate it when students use wikipedia but the
smart ones use it as a starting point and use the links to find reliable sources
from peer reviewed journals. It's a good tool as long as you realize what you're
reading isn't absolute truth. Then again I've never read a textbook that is
Look, it's natural for intellectuals, and wannabe intellectuals, to try
justifying their respective sides of the story. Whatever story that is. At the
end of the day, and at the end of our lives, we either believe or we don't
believe. That's it. Good luck, my friends.
If I was understanding Richard L. Bushman correctly, he was saying that the
"Joseph Smith, Jr." Wikipedia article is accurate in the facts it is
citing to -- meaning that those facts do have a basis in the historical
documents.But he basically cautioned that not every account in a
historical document is accurate because people were more biased against Joseph
Smith in his day than they are today. In other words, a
contemporaneous historical document can lie or distort or have bias and citing
to it does not make it true and unbiased.Wikipedia prefers secondary
sources over primary sources. A paragraph by Fawn Brodie about the First Vision,
for example, holds more water under Wikipedia rules than Joseph Smith's own
first person accounts. Weird, but that is the way it is set up.Also,
it is very hard to get non-Mormon editors accept anything published by BYU --
leaving some of the best available scholarship out of the picture.
Roger Nicholson did NOT have two accounts at the same time. The purpose of sock
puppets is to gain artificial advantage in your arguments by having a fake
identity support you. Nicholson withdrew one identity and used another screen
name. The article was accused as being too long. You should have
seen it before my editors had me cut it down to size!The article was
also accused as being redundant. I don't think it was repetitive, redundant, nor
did it go over the same thing multiple times. ;-)
I wrote this story about Wikipedia (in many respects) from the point of view of
Roger Nicholson. That adds a certain bias to it, of course. I could have just as
easily written it from the perspective of the Bob Jones University prof.
"John Foxe." That would have had a different bias, but the result
would have been similar. I found the behind-the-scenes fights
fascinating: The edit wars, the accusations, the using of rules as weapons. Cool
stuff. The next time you are on an article on Wikipedia, just click on the
discussion tab to see what the latest fights are about.Wikipedia is
great for quick knowledge -- and especially for finding the best references and
online links to a topic. Some of its explanations of things are the best you can
find on some topics. But for some controversial topics it falls down. I hope the
article illustrates the process enough so that people can make their own
assessment.I am going to add a few more comments responding to some
issues people have brought up.
For those who criticize the LDS Church's version of it's history in it's
coorelated material, I think we need to acknowedge the differences between
incomplete and inaccurate. I admit that much information presented
in the basic sunday school, priesthood and relief society teaching materials is
incomplete - but not necessarily inaccurate.For example, when the
subject was the life and teaching of Brigham Young, mention was only made of his
first wife. That is obviously incomplete as he had dozens of plural wives as
well. But it did not say she was BY's only wife - that would have been
inaccurate.If a section about the translation of the BofM mentioned
only the breastplate and spectacles process and not the hat in a stone process,
that would be incomplete. If it said JS only used this process or did not use
the hat in a stone process that would be inaccurate. When the church
does not mention JS's other versions of the First Vision it is incomplete. If
they said no other versions exist they would be inaccurate.Do I wish
LDS coorelated material was more complete? ABSOLUTELY. But there is a
I think it makes more sense to assume any web site has a point of view, an
agenda, a philosophical outlook. I don't go to www.lds.org expecting to find
material on anything other than the Church, and I don't expect it to be
presented in a self-critical way. Letting the public be the writers and editors
is an interesting concept, but not one where you'd expect to find the truth of
I am not Anti-Mormon (I have Mormon Friends) but....the censoring of the more
unsavory info on the LDS church seems a bit fishy, like they are hiding stuff.
@Charles. "Asking the LDS church to tell its own history is like asking
the former Soviet Union to do the same. The only accurate and unbiased
information will come from the outside."If you are right then
the crazy stories I heard about America from Russians when I was visitng there
must be more accurate than my experience of living in America for decades! After
all, the information about America these Russians were taught "came from
the outside" and must be unbiased.The most biased and
unreliable sources come from haters outside of the country or religion or
organization who claim objectivity. Wiki has no excuse for using a Mormon Hater
to edit the articles about Mormonism.
I have found Wikipedia to be an incredible resource. I take it with a grain of
salt knowing there could be errors however, in all my math, science and
engineering searches I have found it to be incredibly accurate. Maybe it has to
do with these subjects being less controversial or simply that one can reach a
firm black and white answer. I have long thought that too many
people hear or read something and take full allegiance with whatever it may be.
We were given the ability to think and reason and I often am disappointed how
often this gift is neglected.
Wikipedia sounds much like the story of 3 blind men who described an elephant
after each had felt a different part of the animal's body. One,
who felt the trunk, thought it was like a long, flexible tube, the man who felt
of a leg, thought the elephant was tall and round, with covering like the bark
of a tree, the other man, feeling the tail, thought it was like a rope. Each described the elephant according to his own experience. Evidently, those who post on Wikipedia do the same. So, unless you want to
be one of the blind being led by the blind, stay away from Wikipedia and find
your answers elsewhere (Hint: you might try looking at the source)... unless
you're looking for prejudiced fiction representing truth, or just a good laugh!
Wikipedia was never presented to be a source of accurate
information, the site even states that some of the "articles may contain
misinformatiomn". Most likely, it's just another way for its
developer(s) to create interest and make money using the internet!
This article is long-winded, but short on information, and is a few years
behind. Just because wikipedia isn't 100% positive for the church doesn't mean
it is worthless.Because DesNews wont allow me to link to outside
material I'll post the following and you can look it up for yourself:"Other criticisms center on its susceptibility to vandalism and the
addition of spurious or unverified information, though scholarly work suggests
that vandalism is generally short-lived, and an investigation... found that the
science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of
Encyclopedia Britannica and had a similar rate of "serious errors".I love all the people who mention on here that "most professors
don't allow wikipedia as a source". Most professors wouldn't allow an
encyclopedia of ANY KIND as a source because they are not PRIMARY SOURCES.
Encyclopedias are summaries at best and are only useful as quick reference
tools. The are jumping off points. You get a general sense of whats going on and
then you LOOK AT THE CITATIONS and continue from there.
Thanks for the article! Some of these comments claim that Wikipedia is not
allowed as a source for research papers. This may be true for many institutions
of higher education, but the majority of high schools and middle schools still
allow it as a cited source. As a result, most teenagers (including young LDS
missionaries) feel that Wikipedia contains the most reliable information on the
internet. We need to teach our children that Wikipedia, while containing a lot
of accurate and reliable facts, is not the best source for unbiased information,
especially when it comes to religion and politics. My husband and I will be
having that discussion with our children today.
Charles - I know that Richard Bushman's "Rough Stone Rolling" is not
the "church". But it is written by a believing member who believes JS
was and is a Prophet.I get where you are coming from if you are
referring to the standard LDS coorelated material used for SS, PR and RS. But
material is being presented about JS and LDS history by believing authors and
historians that does NOT whitewash the truth. Cats mentioned the JS Papers.
These are positive steps quite frankly.I know more than one person
who fell away reading RSR and the Papers may have a similar effect on some who
think nothing occurred outside of what they were told in seminary and sunday
school. But there are LDS resources that are presenting the whole story.
Wikipedia does have some usefulness, but history, especially religious history
is not one of them. If I want to study LDS doctrine I go to the scriptures and
prophets only. Apostles are pretty good (except early ones) but Seventies can
be wrong. Wikipedia is useful if I want to look for airplanes, automobiles,
Ships, and old movies.
@CatsThe average member has no idea about some of the unflattering
church history. Your "bring it on" attitude will lead people to
question faith as it did to the missionary in the article. Again, according to
Bushman all of the info in wiki was correct, just unflattering. People will
seek the truth, as you suggest, and that truth will be very difficult to
@qwestIf you want to know for yourself what Mormons believe, ask one
or just walk in the door of one of our meetinghouses on Sunday. While this might be true to an extent....I would find those people biased. I
would also talk to a person who has left the Church after being in it for many
years....perhaps raised in the Church....for they have looked at it with a depth
deeper than those that stay.Every single sincere person ought to ask
themselves what motivates anti-Mormons.Simple disagreement motivates
so-called anti-Mormons most of the time. Yes, there are exceptions and that is
called Anti-Semitism. Simply put...they have a different truth and express it
like any Mormon does. I'm certain Mormons disagree with Atheism so with the
logic most Mormons use....they would be anti-atheists. Mormons always act like
people shouldn't disagree with their religion and if they do they are Anti,
Envious, Bigoted, Prejudiced, Fear ful or are Insecure. That goes both ways you
know. Quit playing the persecution card and realize people are not anti for
simply disagreeing and saying so.
To Cats: I think the fact that DN deleted my comment apparently to which you
refer demonstrates the fear of perusal and scrutiny that you believe does not
happen. My comment was on-topic and not abusive. It merely mentioned an author
that the LDS church is at odds with who described the LDS church as having a
need to make all its history proprietary and to disallow straight-up historical
commentary by non-LDS. BAM! Case closed.
Hutterite: organizedplease use spell check as your post points out a
young inexperienced mindset
...and so the war in heaven wages on, only now its within the pages of
Universities don't accept Wikipedia as a legitimate source for academic work.
Neither should anyone interested in anything more than trivia.The
determined, dogged opposition of anti-Mormons tells you more about them than it
does about their targets. If you want to know for yourself what Mormons
believe, ask one or just walk in the door of one of our meetinghouses on Sunday.
Every single sincere person ought to ask themselves what motivates
anti-Mormons. Envy? Bigotry? Prejudice? Fear of "competition?"
Insecurity? There's no good reason for any of what they do.Such
efforts wouldn't be tolerated if they were directed against Jews or some other
religious minority. Why should such behavior be granted any credence whatsoever
by reasonable people?
Read the article. It never says anything false was posted only negative.
Bushman says it is factual, just shallow.
If I want a simple movie plot outline Wikipedia is sufficent. If I want
information on religion or politics...I might as well consult a Ouiji Board for
Dear Tweedmeister: Oops! You negative bias is showing.The LDS
Church is spending immense amounts of effort to put out the Joseph Smith Papers
which include everything written by, written for or written in connection with
Joseph Smith. They are completely unbiased and fair. They are the original
documents which are open for anyone to see and study. Nothing is hidden or
distorted. The LDS Church does NOT fear scrutiny. Bring it on. In
fact, these papers will help to expose many of the lies that have been told by
anti mormons for almost two centuries.I know a former Methodist
Minister who joined the Church. He examined and researched every anti-mormon
document he could find. He tracked down every footnote. He concluded that the
authors were either completely ignorant or completely dishonest. He was
baptized after this long and intense search for truth.Only if you
are unafraid of truth can you find it. The Church does not fear truth. Only
those who attack it do.
Bushman, speaking of Mormon Wiki articles, says "So it becomes a picky
piece that isn't inaccurate, but it sort of lacks depth. It ends up being
shallow." Notice how he doesn't says that people are spreading lies. Some
editors are focusing on "unsavory" pieces of church history. If someone was claiming to speak for God wouldn't you hold them to a
higher standard? You'd expect that all aspects of history would be quite
savory. I don't undersand how people can reconcile all of the unsavoryness even
when looking at the big picture as Bushman suggests.
anyone who's gone to college or even high school knows that wikipedia is not
credited as a reliable source...
The LDS historian Richard Bushman was prominently mentioned in this article. He
wrote what is probably the most detailed history of Joseph Smith - Rough Stone
Rolling. Critics will complain that his bias is that JS is a Prophet. As a
believing Mormon that is understandable. But there are few facts of JS's life
that were not detailed - both positive and negative. It is an excellent resource
for Mormons who want the "unvarnished" or "uncoorelated"
truth of Joseph Smith but from a believing LDS viewpoint.
Wkipedia should be taken with a grain of salt, but In researching controversial
topics a wider number of sources should be referenced.For example,
"History of Canada" is likely to be less prone to dramatically
different interpretations and biases than "global warming".Politics and religion naturally lack consensus, and among religions Mormonism
attracts attention because it challenges outsiders to question their own
religious beliefs. It's certainly not the only provocative religion, but
compared to, say, Hinduism, it's positioning will attract scrutiny.That said, the topic of Mormonism is probably less controversial in the US
than the Dalai Lama is in China. (For information why, check Wikipedia. :) )
I think Wikipedia is a great place to start to find out what is generally taken
as the common view of things. Just look at the numbers. There are
100,000 editors with millions of articles. With an excyclopedia there might be
100 editors for 65,000 articles.Who's to say they are unbiased.
Ideas and interpretation of facts are constantly debated. There are always two
sides to everything. So Wikipedia is not something to be feared, abused, or put
down but should be viewed as a place to get the lay of the land for a more in
depth look at any topic you want to investigate. I think most people
want to learn about what they already know to justify what they already believe.
I think the greatest benefit to Wikipedia is that it's a place for all ideas to
come together and for people to see that everything has its opposite.
Hutterite,I'll take your comment a step farther, because I think we
need to look beyond our own biases of organized religion. I remember a quote
that states that history is recorded by the victors; something xpat eluded to.
There's not a lot of knowledge that can truly be proven- especially in the realm
of the humanities. Even the majority of scientific thought is theory which
acknowledges a element of doubt. The burden of proof is far greater than a
religious problem. I would say it's a human problem.
This is outrageous; you want this forum to be level headed and kind in debate. I
submit an opinion that is different then that of the LDS church and you do not
allow my comment. Censorship at its best.
So an anti-Mormon professor from a fundamental Christian college in the Bible
belt wants a "neutral" point of view on the LDS Church.Ouch. My sides hurt from laughing.Good reporting, DNews. After
looking at some articles on the LDS Church on Wiki, I knew something was up with
blatant anti-Mormon phrasology, and point of view in the articles.Good job to the folks who make an effort towards academic honesty and
Wikipedia is great for factual information sharing, where science, math and
research knowledge can be shared for the benefit of others. That is where its
strength lies. When it comes to hot-button issues, it is simply a masked
editorial page. Read those for entertainment only, just like the comment thread
full of trolls in any BYU sports article.
@CatsAny comment or post that put the church in a negative light
must be a lie or defamatory? I believe chuch history can speak for itself.
Reasonable people realize that if you want to learn about Democrats, you don't
ask a Republican -- you talk to a Democrat.Similarly, if you want to
learn about Catholics, you don't ask a Baptist.So why does a
non-Mormon think he has the right to tell people about Mormons?It's
Can't anyone use apostrophes correctly? "...found that 42
percent of all American's 18 and older use Wikipedia to look for
Wikipedia is a great tool for understanding, I use it all of the time. But
Wikipedia is not considered a credible resource in academia, meaning that it
can't be cited in a research paper.This article is further evidence
that what Moroni told Joseph: "my name should be had for good and evil
among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and
evil spoken of among all people."These arguments about Joseph
Smith are similar to trying to "prove" the Book of Mormon is true -
via scientific evidence. It's not possible, you have to rely on faith. You can
know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost.
@xpatI am not trying to attack you because I thought most of your
post was right on ...But I found it interesting that you are also guilty
of exactly what you are warning about when you assume that Nicholson was using
both screen names. Maybe he was and maybe he wasn't. We can't know this from the
article. There is certainly reason to suspect but you assert it as a fact and
use it as evidence of a bias in the article.
As a college instructor who teaches students to write research papers, I feel
Nicholson's pain. Human nature often trumps our careful attempts to get students
to search well-documented sources and diverse points of view when pursuing
answers about controversial topics. Time and again, students go to sources that
validate their preconceived notions. Those who can overcome that comfortable
habit learn what serious inquiry means. No one in my department allows
Wikipedia as a source.
Wikipedia reflects a lot of the problems with organised religion. Aside from the
known historical facts, it's pretty much free from burden of proof, and totally
subjective. Everybody gets to say not only that they're right, but as such
everyone else is wrong.
Thank you, Michael DeGroote. Fascinating clear evidence that the eternal battle
for truth continues in the ongoing war between good and evil. And we all get to
choose for ourselves what side we will be on and fight for. We get to decide
how we will use our time and exercise our agency. One day all mankind will know
the Truth in our own language and through our own experience. Real Truth will
be known and recognized that day by all when every knee will bow and every
tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. Till then, my goal is to
learn to be like this chief mortal provider of truth who said I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Come Follow me.
Love one another. And Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Truth is Jesus Christ.
the Son of God; my Elder Brother and the only begotten of our Father in Heaven.
I intend to be on His Side when Truth is known by all of us mortals.
Good story DN. I learned al about Wikis and Wikipedia
The problem is that if you "consider the source" as my mother used to
always tell me, you cannot do that with Wikipedia. Since the "source"
is really not known by a casual reader. If everyone that reads the article knew
that the person who changed the article was a professor at an "anti-Mormon
university, then we could "consider the source". Wikipedia
is looked to due to its ease of getting some info, not due to its facts. Most of
its contents are true but I have found many things to be just plain wrong. I
stopped going there several years ago and will not use it again.
Stephen Colbert said it best with the word "Wikiality" as he praised
Wikipedia's adherence to the principles of "truthiness".
Xpat:Your comment was "too long and redundant."This
article reminds me that the Internet can be used for good and for evil.
I often refer to Wikipedia, but I always take a grain of salt with everything I
read there. And, it's true...there is no such thing as unbiased
history. But, there are those who deliberately choose to tell lies and defame.
That's what anti-mormon posters do. Just be aware.
re: XpatHistory has two sides but moral truth doesn't. I
think we have the responsibility to find moral truth, or in other words, the
truth that is mostly in line with our Creator's morality.Your
example of the American Revolution points this out. The Brits said the
American's were rebels. The American's said they were freedom fighters. Which
is more in line with God's moral truth? I believe the American's because I
believe the Declaration of Independence. The "people" have the right
to establish a government that doesn't violate their "God given"
rights. That's what they did. People are free to believe the
interpretation of events, but there's only one interpretation that is more in
line with our Creator's. If we find that Truth, we create a better world.But then, your interpretation may be different...
We all use Wikipedia instead of the traditional encyclopedia because of its
convenience. Yet, as has been emphatically stated earlier, all internet sources
must be evaluated as to the validity of their information. That is the nature of
the world wide web. I applaud the young missionary's zeal, but there
will always be those who do not agree, as he will surely discover on his misson.
This information will certainly change the way I view Wikipedia information in
From my few times of visiting Wikipedia I can't believe anyone takes this site
serious. I was doing some information searching and found so many errors in
there information I decided it not reliable to use it and I haven't been back to
it since. Wikipedia is not legitimate nor accurate about anything and is the
last place to seek information, especially if using this site for education or
homework studies.It is nothing but misinformation and limited value
for information. If you want to find a lie or false data this is the place you
go to. This web site is so bad I wouldn't even validate the errors is has
because there are too many to bother with.What really concerned me
is when the government got so wired out of their minds when information was
being spread on this site and their reactions only validated the truth in some
of their exposures.Other than that, anyone smart enough would avoid
this website as the fraud and misinformation it is. This self proclaimed cyber
encyclopedia is not worth the waste of time.
Understand that this kind of questionable source information is very wide-spread
and depends upon the intellectual integrity of the editors. Anyone doing
research should realize that Wikipedia cautions readers as to the nature of the
information. Whether written by a pro- or anti- individual, there is bias and
the information must stand the test of time.As an example, consider
the entry for Scientology. It is a certainty that Scientologists are just as
concerned about defamation as any other religious group appearing on the
website. Anyone who accepts controversial information without some level of
skepticism is probably looking for material to support a prejudiced view in the
first place. They just want reinforcemnt of their beliefs and are not
interested in balance.