Friday, October 30, 2015

Used with permission

The LDS Church has released more essays on troubling historical issues or contemporary concerns. Link here.

I think the LDS church is having a truth crisis. There are facts and figures being exposed which show, in many instances, the church has lied about it's history and told a story that makes them look good, rather than just telling what happened. And sometimes the historical documents themselves have been altered in the Church's history. This is causing what they call "a faith crisis".  Seemingly turning the object of the crisis onto the members. But what's also occurring is a truth crisis on their part . If you have paid attention much to the news and recent events what we can all probably agree on is the institution is having to come to terms with the truth which, until the internet, was much less accessible.

At the end of the recently released articles the church put out they say this:

The Church acknowledges the contribution of scholars to the historical content presented in this article; their work is used with permission

I don't know who "The Church" is.  Is this the President?  The Official Newsroom?  The PR Department?  The History Department?  Is it me?  Anyway "The Church" is citing and acknowledging the scholars for their contributions to the Church's essays.  The news article made it very clear the first presidency had approved these essays.  They "approved" them, but it was clear they did not author or write them.

Seems a little ironic that those sustained as prophets seers and revelators are "using" and asking for "permission" to use the work of scholars.  Not just citing historical documents, but acknowledge the work of paid scholars to provide entire essays for members to answer troubling questions.  It just struck me as interesting and somewhat ironic.  You'd think it would be the other way around.  Scholars looking to prophets and revelators and asking them for permission to use their stuff, but no....  it's the Prophets Seers and Revelators who are dependent on the Scholars to answer the questions. 

The scholarly voice is outweighing the prophetic voice in modern LDS Mormonism.  I think people no longer even know what the prophetic voice sounds like.  It would sound so foreign that it would probably be rejected. When historians and scholars are hired to present arguments, "important context" and essays yet those we sustain as living oracles defer to the historians then that is a curious situation.

Joseph Smith did not depend on scholars for his understanding of truth and the Gospel, and history.  Scholars are great.  Don't get me wrong.  I mean no disrespect towards the scholars.  They have made great contributions.  However Joseph stated you would learn more by gazing into heaven for 5 minutes than reading everything that had ever been written on the subject.  To me that is why God sends messengers who have been in his presence.  They rely on Him, vs relying on the tools developed by man to study Him.  


  1. From Elder Ballard recently: "When I have a question that I cannot answer, I turn to those who can help me. The Church is blessed with trained scholars and those who have devoted a lifetime of study, who have come to know our history and the scriptures. These thoughtful men and women provide context and background so we can better understand our sacred past and our current practices."

    1. Great comment. That's pretty revealing. He turns to scholars who know the scriptures and history apparently better than he does. Had he stated he turns to heaven, and revelation, and the Holy Ghost when he has a question he can't answer I would have accepted that too. As it stands I do accept what he said as accurate. I think he is telling the truth. That is who he turns to. Fascinating. The Arm of the Flesh is indeed a tempting tool to rely on.