I read the article and I applaud the church for being open and transparent about
its (our) history. The church is just what it claims to be: the restored gospel
of Jesus Christ, and therefore we have nothing to hide. Our doctrine and
authority both come from God and are therefore perfect.The bottom
line is that while academically learning our history is "nice", the most
vital knowledge we seek can only come from God through revelation.I
have received this knowledge. I wish you the best as you seek for it, too.Cheers.
1 Corinthians 2:16 " we have the mind of Christ." We rarely hear of
the mind of the Lord, yet clearly in His conversations with those of dark minds,
He could softly win any argument, especially with those who read scriptures and
other books. And He created a beautiful world of science and art and math and
nature and dance. And when someone asked the Lord a bold question, He would
respond, "And what do the scriptures say?" Meaning, I won't give
you any more until you first do your homework. Alma 26:22, for near two
centuries has told us, in the present world, that if we are faithful, we can
reveal things that have never before been revealed. More than one person can
reveal new things, and that happens in church every week. D&C 1 says goal
of restoration is that "all may speak in the name of the Lord."
Exciting gospel. Different speaker each week in church, and probably only
church on the earth that lets that happen. Universities are factories for
law suit culture now. Romans 1:22 "professing themselves to be wise, they
"the elusive blend of faith and reason."There is nothing
"elusive" about faith and reason. We have always been able to confront
issues in our church history — that is, as long as we include FAITHFUL
PERSPECTIVE. As example: stumbling over seer stones? Moses used a
bush that did not consume. What if the Prophet Joseph had used an ignited
tumbleweed? That is faithful perspective. The real danger that
exists is the pandering to secularism. Neal A. Maxwell warned of this. The
slavish leaning to the secular is what has always led some some liberal Mormon
organizations and symposia to showcase and promote known apostates and their
anti-Mormon work. Again, we need never avoid challenging issues, but faithful
perspective is always possible and crucial. It is something the Mormon Liberal
culture has refused to admit over the years. I am deeply saddened and alarmed
not to hear Marlin Jensen clarify the need to avoid a disposition toward
secularism. We can and must have LDS scholars who are unflinching of issues but
who insist on faithful perspective. Our Joseph Smith Papers scholars are an
example. The alleged need to pander to secularism is a sham.
I appreciate the transparency but the accurate version of today is very
different and much more difficult to accept.
Silver Stingray wrote, "[The Church] can no longer simply deny past history
and excommunicate honest researchers as it has in the past."Things
were never that simplistic. "Honest researchers" who were not trying to
create doubt among members, debunk the values of faith and spirituality, vilify
Church leaders, or establish a personal lifestyle agenda were rarely if ever
excommunicated. The truly honest historians clarify history without anger and
without campaigning for support of some personal agenda.
"Some truths need to be learned at the proper time and in the proper
manner"Is this the same concept as "milk before
meat"?Unfortunately, sometimes waiting for the "proper time
and in the proper manner" requires that an untruth be told. Or implied.Let me ask you. Would you want to apply the same concept to our
politicians and allow them to decide what and when we are allowed to see the
Keeping an open mind will always be a challenge for anyone doing
"research". Preconceived ideas and one's own personal values and
choices will always color the researcher's efforts. PLUS, viewing early
church history in the context of THOSE times, and not the norms of today are
also important.I often wonder how "researchers" would view
the Jewish exodus from Egyptian slavery, and the slaughter of the inhabitants of
their "promised land" under today's standards? Would they dismiss
the "divine intervention" that occurred then? Will they deny divine
intervention as it should apply to early Mormon church history? With all that
was marshaled against them, what the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints leaders had to over come, including the self educated youthful Joseph
Smith, is nothing short of miraculous, especially the Book of Mormon, as a
testament and witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ.If these
researchers will do their work prayerfully, then this is a VERY GOOD thing. If
not, life goes on. We all have to do our own "research" to discover
truth, don't we?
@From Ted's head "Transparency of Church History is not the preferred
route as the appeal to the intellectual can come at the cost of the
spiritual."Nevertheless I am an intelligent human being and I
INSIST on being treated accordingly. You?
"The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist
movement ..., and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or
intellectuals. " Boyd k. PackerTransparency of Church History is
not the preferred route as the appeal to the intellectual can come at the cost
of the spiritual. God appeared to the young Joseph Smith and Christ's
church was restored. At its head is a prophet and apostles who guide the church
by the Spirit.For many people that is enough church history to
prepare them to receive the ordinances of salvation. For others, they want the
details, warts and all. Yet those details are not necessary for salvation and to
assume that all will benefit from transparency assumes that all will have the
maturity and perspective to view the foibles and follies of church leaders
without being led away from the rod of iron into unknown paths. Some truths need to be learned at the proper time and in the proper manner,
else why would men ever get married? Knowing exactly how many wives Joseph
Smith had is akin to knowing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Interesting, but not important to one's salvation.
With the accessibility on the internet to the well-researched and documented
scholarly works already available, the church is being forced to come clean .
It can no longer simply deny past history and excommunicate honest researchers
as it has in the past.
It’s crucial to worthy scholarship to work in an atmosphere of academic
freedom. That’s where great strides have been made over the past sixty
years. I hope it continues and is encouraged.
Academics and Religion should not be mutually exclusive. I applaud efforts to be
open about church history. The search for Truth should lead us to the God as He
is, not as we want Him to be.
Mormonism is like histories proverbial onion. It has many layers once you start
peeling, and it may make you tear up, while also adding flavor to your life.