Interpreting History, Part 10 Conclusion

Interpreting History, Part 10 Conclusion

Seriously studying history allows us to recognize unresolved issues or to fix our errors. With a superficial knowledge of our history we risk making presumptions and missing the mark, or risk not even recognizing there are errors to what we believe today. Isn’t the subject of our religion and its beginnings important enough to want
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Interpreting History, Part 9

Interpreting History, Part 9

History and doctrine are linked. To alter history is to alter doctrine. You can see the links throughout scripture. Just one example from the New Testament illustrates the point: Jesus was confronted by the Pharisee lawyers and accused of breaking the law. He and His disciples had taken plucked wheat (labor of harvesting), then rubbed
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Interpreting History, Part 8

Interpreting History, Part 8

When you come to understand something in our history as an actual event then you need to understand the event. What are its details? How important are differing accounts? If there are contradictions among witnesses, how are they harmonized? When you’ve sorted through the material and arrived at the most accurate version, what does the
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Interpreting History, Part 7

Interpreting History, Part 7

The topic of our history becomes even more challenging when it is overlaid with emotion and fear. Since the study of Mormonism is also the study of what will save your soul, we associate grave importance to being “right” about things. Therefore, when we make up our mind about a storyline, we defend that story
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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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