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August 7, 2020 7:43 pm
.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R. M.
How are Latter Day Saints supposed to look at their history. That's what we've been talking about this week we are looking at a few articles that are found in the July 2020 addition of & magazine yesterday.
We were discussing a small article found on page 15 of that & and it's a question. How do we know if a source about church history is reliable. It was written by Matt grow as a PhD from Notre Dame, but he works with the church history department and he said some things that I think we need to flesh out a little bit more than what we have so far, but he makes this interesting statement Eric and we kind of went over very quickly.
But let's look at it one more time. We all know that the challenge in the information age is not defined. Answers were surrounded by answers.
He says, but to discern between good answers and bad answers. Good information and bad information.
There are so many discussions online about our history and of course in the context he speaking of history of the LDS church and most of these discussions. He says produce a lot more heat than light. What you think he means by these discussions produce a lot more heat than light.
All I think the idea that a lot of people get upset about the things that are being said as far as the church's history or doctrines and maybe even saying those things never took place when the church has admitted on many of those issues that they have taken place.
What I think he's talking about though with good answers and bad answers where you find good answers and he tells you in the next paragraph he says be careful about sources of information that just seek to tear people down. Now he would say the LDS sources are not going to try to tear people down but they're going to help you with your testimony and so the good answers are going to be the way that the church defines the right answer and it should be faith promoting but yet we have had experiences where when we give accurate information. What we would say is a good answer. Latter Day Saints, as you mention sometimes they will get upset at that even though the information is quite accurate that when he says we all know that the challenge in the information age is not defined. Answers were surrounded by answers, but to discern between good answers and bad answers. Good information and bad information. Yet, how many times we talk with Latter Day Saints and we give them facts as they are from LDS sources were citing their own material and will have in a Mormon respond to us by safe, but I have a testimony. I really don't care. I have a testimony is that really discerning in the context of what macro is saying here in this paragraph is that really discerning to just fall back on the subjective feeling that tells you, you think you're right because you have a feeling about this, but are the feelings accurate, and that's a question I often asked Latter Day Saints when they tell me they have a testimony and they'll say something like with the Holy Ghost, has made this known to me how do you know what was the Holy Ghost.
Well, I just know that doesn't work. There are games that are played perhaps by both sides. I would say that we can both slant things the way that we want people to believe, and he says this in the third paragraph.
It is really easy to play gotcha with the past to pull a quotation or an incident out of context and make it look alarming now is true. You can take a quote and out of its context make it say something that was never intended to say but what we try to do on this show. We provide a lot of quotes but we ask our listeners show us if what were saying is out of context, but if it is in context then what were saying is this is problematic and here's why. And I think a lot of the discussions on the Internet probably don't involve a whole lot of the facts, but rather innuendo and personal opinions and it can become quite unwieldy when you're trying to defend your faith without having a lot of information, but what do you do in this particular case were as you just read.
It's easy to play gotcha with the past to pull a quotation or an incident out of context make it look alarming.
What if it's not pulled out of context and its alarming what are you supposed to do with that.
You just ignore it it it's kinda like having a discussion with a Latter Day Saints and you bring up.
Let's say we brought the subject up many times Brigham Young's Adam God doctrine. I've had Latter Day Saints say he never taught that, who cares, it's not official doctrine but then later on they might find out. The Brigham Young actually did teach this and somehow it's okay with them now and I like to remind them when we first discussed this subject, you were offended you were alarmed and you thought I was lying, but now all of a sudden because you found out that what I was saying is true, you've somehow reconciled Brigham Young's error has been okay with you when that's not the way you behave.
When we first discussed this topic. We were talking a few days ago about the illustration we used out on the streets of man tie at the more America pageant in 2007 and then later in 2017. We got two different reactions in 2007. People were angry and trying to say no that's not true history that's that Joseph Smith was not married to multiple women and I would ask the question, does that bother you. Yes it would if he had been, but then in 2017. We did not have Latter Day Saints who were saying they were bothered by they had just accepted it.
At that time. In other words, they had a values change that's really what it was they they were offended by it at first and then when the church came out and set it in order to protect the integrity of the church and also protect the integrity of their believing in the church.
Somehow that became all right with them but he goes on to say as a historian I try to follow the advice of a British novelist.
He said the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there, and he goes on to say we want to try to understand people within their own context and their own culture.
We want to be patient with what we perceive as their faults.
We want to be humble about the limits of our own knowledge, and we want to have a spirit of charity about the past. In many regards.
I would agree with what he saying here and this is why have a problem with our culture and the way it's going with some people and how they want to erase the history or rewrite the history, little realizing why certain things were believed and done at a time when now we look back and we are we are appalled by as we should be in many cases, I think those things need to be there to remind us of the ugliness of history sometimes and it allows us to have a discussion so I know what he saying here. But there are some things that we cannot overlook in more in history because Mormon leaders were crediting God with these things. A case in point, the prohibition of those of African heritage to have the priesthood, Mormon leaders were saying that this was a doctrine and that God was behind the doctrine. Now the church is giving us the impression that they didn't know who was behind the doctrine or even if it wasn't doctrine at all will when I go back into the history and I start to discern between the good answers and the bad answers I would say that what the LDS church is saying now about the prohibition is a bad answer. It's a bad answer. It's a horrible answer because we have enough evidence from their own leaders that show was what was being believed and taught and why it was being believed and taught at that particular time and in this case would be before 1978 when the church did a massive correction and allowed all worthy male members to hold the priesthood regardless of their race. I see if I can summarize what you're saying. Just because the church has come up with an answer doesn't make it a good answer exactly but I think that your your spot on and that evaluation that's exactly what I'm saying and just because a historian may have answered it doesn't mean the matter is settled. I think in many areas we can delve into it a little bit deeper, though, I want to ask you, then what role do other websites outside of official LDS church websites play in the 21st century, and I say that because before 2013.
The information that the gospel topics essays discussed from 2013 of 2015 were not found on the LDS website.
Before that time and it the only way you could've gone that information were from unofficial sources such as our site MRM.org such as Sandra Tanner site UT LM.org will now the church is, quote unquote clean. Is there still a role for websites like ours I would say absolutely because there's still a lot of transparency that needs to be reached when it comes to how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints depicts its history and doctrine. We have admitted on this show that we were pretty pleased with what the gospel topics essays were trying to accomplish. They were certainly much more quote unquote transparent. Then many books put out by the church.
Up until that time that we give them credit.
Could they do much better. Yes I think they could win the book Saints came out and there's now two volumes I would say that. Certainly it was giving a side of history that many Mormons probably were not aware but a part of history that needed to be told they did better at it, but I think they could've even done more than what they did there still a lot of issues that I think are important in order to evaluate the LDS church that would help tell us whether or not it is in fact a true church as it claims, and sometimes there is more than one perspective.
And I think when the were getting all the information from the church were getting S perspective and what they want to say no and as you said yes.
The church has become much clearer in its history will give them that.
But at the same time. They don't tell all. We haven't talked about the second volume of the saints book is called no unhallowed ground 1846 to 1893 I read it will have a chance.
Perhaps later to discuss his book. Some of the things that are said there let me just give you one example Mountain Meadows massacre, they do talk about it. But they're giving one side of that there have been other historians who have given other sides which you don't get the other sides when you're only reading the church history when you're reading through Brigham Young and all of his teachings. You read a lot of things about Brigham Young but there were a lot of things about Brigham Young that were not talked about in this volume 1 would be the Adam God doctrine. I said yesterday, if you type in Adam, God, our Adam got doctrine on the Church of Jesus Christ.org website. Nothing comes up as far as a explanation of what that is, no, no admission that Brigham Young had ever taught such a teaching that even if it was mentioned in an article.
There is so much that needs to be discussed about that particular doctor that you know is not going to be mentioned on that site.
This is where you need another voice that I would say maybe a critical voice to add to this conversation and only by hearing both sides of the issue.
Wouldn't you think you need that in order to practice your free agency as Mormons teach it today.
I would think so.
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