Interpreting History, Part 6

Interpreting History, Part 6

There will always be those who are skeptical about our history. Converting someone to believe (a process I underwent to become LDS), cannot proceed without facing critical examination of the stories. On occasion I think about what would have happened if I were investigating the church’s claims today for the first time. Without question I
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Interpreting History, Part 5

Interpreting History, Part 5

In the search through our history, at some point you must reach conclusions on events. The weight of the evidence accumulates and you reach a conclusion. Your conclusion may be different than mine. Each of us is free to find something persuasive and believe it. But we all must make our minds up about the
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Interpreting History, Part 4

Interpreting History, Part 4

Two great obstacles in Mormon history are institutional lying and inner secrets. Both have been built into our faith. When Joseph Smith was confronted with plural marriage in a society that would be scandalized by such a practice, he hid it from public view. We all know the public statements and even scriptural declarations about
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Interpreting History, Part 3

Interpreting History, Part 3

I believe in Mormonism and want it to succeed. I am cheering for our success. I evaluated it as an investigator while taught by missionaries, and received a spiritual impression sufficient to believe in the religion. So I joined. After joining I studied the faith. A spiritual impression was not enough for me. The impression
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Interpreting History, Part 2

Interpreting History, Part 2

Everyone who contributes to the documentation of history must be evaluated to decide if they are a believable source or a source to be discounted. Even an otherwise unreliable source may be believable on a point. Deciding whether to accept or reject their information is part of your responsibility in interpreting history for yourself. You
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Book of Mormon as Fiction

Book of Mormon as Fiction

I got another email asking:  “If Job is pious fiction, I’ve read about other folks who think the Book of Mormon is too. What do you think of that?” I responded:  Since Moroni came to and was seen by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris we know at least one of the
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Job

Job

I got an email stating: “Job is not pious fiction. D&C 121:10 reads,  ‘Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.’” I responded: I understand your point. But could it also mean “you are not yet like Little Orphan Annie, you still
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Interpreting History

Interpreting History

There is an art to interpreting history. No matter what the schools teach, in the end there are judgment calls that are always made in arriving at a final interpretation. The problems of church history are not evidence that some people are acting in bad faith and others are not. Everyone should be motivated to
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The Lord’s Witnesses

The Lord’s Witnesses

When the Lord returned from the grave, the first witness He showed Himself to was not one of His apostles. It was Mary. (John 20: 11-16.) He appeared to several others throughout the day (which I discuss in detail in Come, Let Us Adore Him) before finally appearing to some of His apostles in the
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Jensen Comments:

Jensen Comments:

The interview of Marlin Jensen by USU Professor Phil Barlow is now on the Internet. The statement below is interesting for several reasons: “The fifteen men [1st Pres. & 12] really do know, and they really care. And they realize that maybe since Kirtland, we never have had a period of, I’ll call it apostasy, like
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