The only "mass exodus" occurring in the Church is of cultural Mormons in
Utah who always took the Gospel for granted and never really had testimonies to
begin with. They were looking for reasons to leave the Church, usually because
of unwillingness to maintain Church standards or repent of various
transgressions, and so Satan was more than happy to provide them with such
reasons by means of anti-Mormon sites on the Internet that distort Church
history to serve a nefarious agenda. I knew about Mountain Meadows,
polygamy, etc. all long before I joined the Church, and yet I still made the
choice to be baptized. Why? Because the Church is true. Because the Book of
Mormon is the word of God, and Joseph Smith was a prophet. And that's all
that matters. Either you can take the time to understand Church history within
the proper context and enjoy the blessings of the Fullness of the Gospel, or you
can go join the Great and Spacious Building and crumble to the ground along with
it when the Savior returns. Either way is fine with me. The fewer hypocrites
that are present in my ward's Sacrament meetings, the better.
You have to admit. With all that the Church claims, you have to do quite a bit
of digging to find a problem with it.
I know both LDS and non-LDS historians are very impressed with the Joseph Smith
Papers website. It is very well done. I think it is a model of using the web to
present primary source materials.
From the beginning of church history before there was time to have a church
history, there has always been controversy. I doubt that will ever change. I
think people overestimate how issues in church history (as opposed to other
reasons) are the reason for the so-called "mass exodus" theory. The
church is still growing and the leadership has always had open arms in welcoming
those back who have gone astray.
"We'd like to be very proactive about being a consistent, faithful
voice in the conversation about church history on the web."Please define "faithful." If this means publishing only content that
avoids anything uncomfortable or imperfect, this website will only add to the
problem the Church is facing with what is apparently a mass exodus of
members.If "faithful" includes the notion of being open and
truthful and balanced in portraying the Church's history, then maybe this
website will help members actually understand their own institutional history,
warts and all, which would prepare them for potential challenges to their faith.
With all due respect, this website is leaving out information on a large number
of topics people have questions about that are not addressed in the article,
such as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, polygamy, temples, and so forth. The LDS Church can SAY they put up information that wasn't there
before, but actually making it RELEVANT to people's concerns seems to be
something it continues to sidestep for now. I ask the Church to
please address these topics and focus on other information later.