The LDS Church and the growing Mormon Studies field

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  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    Dec. 27, 2016 10:08 a.m.

    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.


  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2016 5:24 p.m.

    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 became fools."

  • Glen Danielsen Anaheim Hills, CA
    Dec. 12, 2016 7:49 a.m.

    "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.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Dec. 10, 2016 3:08 p.m.

    I appreciate the transparency but the accurate version of today is very different and much more difficult to accept.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 10, 2016 1:05 p.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 10, 2016 6:48 a.m.

    "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 truth?

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Dec. 9, 2016 8:58 p.m.

    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?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2016 3:28 p.m.

    @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?

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Dec. 9, 2016 2:51 p.m.

    "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. Packer

    Transparency 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.

  • Silver Stingray St George, UT
    Dec. 9, 2016 2:02 p.m.

    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.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Dec. 9, 2016 11:42 a.m.

    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.

  • boyd Ricks sandy/salt lake, UT
    Dec. 9, 2016 10:46 a.m.

    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.

  • MoreMan San Diego, CA
    Dec. 9, 2016 10:28 a.m.

    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.