It’s the appearance of falsehood, the appearance of hiding something that shakes people. We accept Moses, Jesus, Noah (well, sort of), Job, Alma – we can handle accepting Joseph and Brigham. Just stop hiding it all. That’s what throws people. Don’t make someone say, “I was never told that. That didn’t happen, did it? It did? Really?” And you can say, I learned A, B & C in seminary, but we all know what issues are new information to most people. Those are the things we should just stop trying to paint a prettier color.]]>
Here’s what I think about it all: We are under obligation to teach ourselves the nitty gritty details. I did it on my own at the age of 10. I wasn’t passive and sat back and waited for people to spoon-feed me inessentials. We have such limited time at Church on Sunday, and people at such different levels of understanding the essentials of the gospel. I’ve met people who have been members for years who don’t understand the nature of God or basic tenets of the Gospel, and who haven’t even read the scriptures. That’s why the Church handbooks for Sunday school and the like don’t teach these things. So many people don’t even have the basics down, teaching them the minutia that won’t lead to salvation is not the job of the Church. We are told to be anxiously engaged in a good cause. We are to educate ourselves and our children. If I, as a mere boy of 10 living in New Jersey, a child of inactive parents, could teach myself church history through my own diligence then so can everyone else.
The job of the Church is to preach repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t demand the Church hand you something you can learn on your own. It’s like when people ask why the YM/YW presidency why their children don’t know the gospel: the answer is their parents aren’t teaching them, and they aren’t teaching themselves. It’s not the responsibility of the Church to teach what you can learn on your own that isn’t essential for salvation.]]>
In the discussion following Eric Snider’s review of the movie September Dawn, a guy named Craig suggests that the “average Mormon” is far removed from his history. This determination was made because Eric commented that the endowment ceremony depicted in the movie has only a passing resemblance to our current endowment ceremony. Therefore…the average Mormon is far removed from his history. Ta Da!
Actually, you misstate my position.
Had I derived my conclusions about the state of knowledge of the average member of the LDS Church about his/her Church’s history in the fashion you describe, I would indeed deserve to be mocked for my lack of reason.
However, I did not reach this conclusion from my observations regarding Eric Snider’s review, rather I based it upon 25 years of membership in the faith and upon interactions with a sufficiently large sample of the membership in diverse geographic locations both in person and online.
The fact that Mr. Snider’s review fit within this pattern was irrelevant to the conclusion I had drawn long before, and you are disingenuous to misrepresent my reasoning.]]>
Even if that were the case, it means that Joseph Smith was a man of extraordinary intelligence, cunning and leadership abilities to create a church – with an extremely complex mythology to boot, a city and a way of life for thousands of people. Or it’s all true. Either way, he is a man worthy of being a leader and worth following. Especially considering his background and the opposition he faced in bringing his ‘grand scheme’ to fruition.
I’m inactive, but I believe Joseph Smith and what he says. I’m not particularly concerned with black spots on our history. With the Mountain Meadows Massacre – based on the information they had and the zeitgeist of that era, I probably would have done the same thing.]]>