Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Gospel Topics Review (Intro) Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
April 7, 2021 9:57 pm

Gospel Topics Review (Intro) Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 7, 2021 9:57 pm

This week we introduce a book review that we will do for the next three months, as each of the original 13 essays are covered in a book put out by Signature. For more on the Gospel Topics Essays, we invite you to visit


The teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint. One more minute 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 edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host Bill McKeever Felder director Mormonism research ministry in with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM this week, we began looking at a book that was published in late 2020. It's titled the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. It includes a number of chapters written by various authors who tackle the individual gospel topics essays, 13 of which came out originally.

Beginning in the year 2013 to better understand the gospel topics essays. It's good to also understand why these essays had to be published in the first place.

Eric from what we talked about so far this week. We know that the essays tackle a lot of the controversial issues of LDS doctrine and history.

It seems like for them to come out. Beginning in 2013 is a long ways away from the beginning of the church in 1830. Why does it take the LDS church so long to address some of these issues. I think that's a fair question. A point I brought up earlier this week is this book published by signature and a man who was the cofounder of signature books George D. Smith had a mission goal of publishing books about Mormon history as honestly as possible, even if it did not put LDS leaders or the LDS church itself in a positive light. George Smith had the attitude that history should be accurate and include all of the negative as well as the positive aspects of what goes on in the LDS church. The point I've been trying to make and I think is important. If the LDS church had that goal from the very beginning, getting going clear back to the 1800s. I don't think they would've ever been compelled to come up with the gospel topics, essays, and try to explain its history, which of course came across as quite shocking to even many faithful Latter Day Saints when they started reading the essays and found out what the church was admitting to because they had been led to believe many of them that a lot of the things in the essays that the church is now agreeing to were nothing more than just lies by enemies of the church. But when you have an authoritarian type of government that the church has with his prophet and its apostles at the top leadership as we said yesterday very much a public relations organization, but is no different than many other churches or religions out there. One that comes a mine would be the Jehovah's Witnesses.

How many Jehovah's Witnesses, members of the watchtower Bible and tract Society know it's true history and we are talking to a Jehovah's Witness at the door and mentioned some of the things many of them don't even know that the watchtower Bible and tract Society predicted that Jesus was going to come back several different times, the latest in 1975 for many of them its new information. While this is a problem because when your members start to find out this information through the Internet, they start to ask questions and they're not getting good answers to those questions. They're getting frightened and many of them decide. Why would I want to stay with the religion that doesn't have honesty as a policy and I think what you bring out is probably would a lot of the people were thinking at what we've discussed this week though an event known as the Swedish rescue. You had to Mormon historians go to Stockholm Sweden. This was requested by an area of authority 70.

A man by the name of Hans Matson, who himself was being pelted by questions of those underneath him. Regarding history and doctrinal issues that these members were finding on the Internet.

As I understand Matson story. He tried to get answers for these people and was basically told to just ignore it, you know it's not all that important. That's just the enemy making up lies but that's he started looking into some of these concerns. He realized these were valid concerns. This led to the Swedish rescue in November 2010. The book talks about that, but it also mentions research that was done by a man by the name of John to Lynn John to Lynn had taken a survey trying to find out what is it that's causing a lot of these individuals to have what he calls a faith crisis and as the book brings out and we noted yesterday.

It says that notably his work to Lynn's work challenge the popular perception that Latter Day Saints became disaffected, largely because of sin, pride, spiritual inertia or public conflicts with leadership. The study showed convincingly that Latter Day Saints tended to leave due to a crisis of faith triggered by controversy all aspects of church history and doctrine compounded by official attempts to minimize or obfuscate. I probably would've included the word intimidate as well because we've heard stories of Latter Day Saints when they went to their bishop.

For instance, and being told, you shouldn't be looking at that stuff. That's spiritual pornography to go read things like that about the church. That's intimidation.

And we know that a lot of Latter Day Saints experience that as well. Will John to Lynn comes in contact with a man by the name of Travis Stratford and has the book explained it was Stratford who really encouraged the leadership to publish these gospel topics essay so he plays a pretty major role in this. There were reports there were surveys showing what was going on in the church and then on page 6 it talks about how these stories started to circulate on the Internet and how Stratford met with a dozen or so officials at church headquarters in February 2012 to present data from delusions survey and to discuss the impact of faith crisis on LDS families. The information is starting to get out. The Internet is going to make it impossible for this genie to be put back in the bottle. The church is going to have to do something about it and at this meeting that it talks about in February 2012. No.

Remember, folks, looks look at the timeline, the Swedish Rescue Took Pl. in November late November 2010. We are now February 2012 in the church is basically done nothing about the surveys that John Balint has put together research that Travis Stratford has put together. Basically there sitting on it in the book talks about that when it says that at this meeting in February 2012 were delusions survey was to be discussed. It says that apostles L Tom Perry and Quentin L. Cook were present as well.

But what is it say about this bureaucratic inertia. Arrogance is coupled with the anxieties of certain church leaders stalled progress for a year seeking to push the progress forward Stratford with Jensen support put together a hardbound report of the faith crisis findings which included data from the Lynn survey in the PowerPoint presentations he made in Salt Lake City. We should mention that the Jensen is Marlin K Jensen. He was one of the historians that was present at the Swedish rescue. He and Richard Turley were there to answer questions that members in Stockholm Sweden had regarding LDS history and doctrine that what's interesting is on page 7. What is it say at the top. The LDS faith crisis report presented significant challenges to the church's top leadership to call the church to be more open and honest about his history and doctrine warning that quote unless bold measures are taken to treat those in faith crisis and to mitigate the challenge for future generations significantly more LDS families will become impaired in the future success of the church will be put at risk" going back to what we talked about earlier this week. If the church had been honest from the beginning. This would not even be an issue.

It's because the LDS church decided to go down the road of an airbrushed history that we are seeing this problem. There's no way the church can hide this anymore the Internet has made it impossible for me just give you a quick example of what were talking about. In February 2001 the church had the inside magazine front cover with Joseph Smith.

Looking at the gold plates with his finger going across as if he's reading the plates that's in 2001. Well adjusted a little over a decade later, they admitted that he wasn't just looking at the plates but that he was looking at a stone in a hat and that's how today.

If you see church art they actually portray Joseph Smith looking into a hat or as if he just looked into a hat. Will that blue a lot of people away in the Latter Day Saints church because their thinking. I always thought that he had the place.

Well now they were covered up and that was historical and that was out there people had access to that if they wanted to find it. But now the churches administer that and I know people personally who left because of that, and how many times had we personally talk to Latter Day Saints. When we bring up the translation process of the book of Mormon which is a chapter in this book. They looked at us as if we were lying. Well then you had eventually 17th president Russell and Nelson. He did talk about the rock in the hat it was, like a blip in their history. He's mentions it and then you never really hear about that again for a long time and then you do have Dr. Daniel Peterson Mormon apologists of Prof. BYU. He does mention it. That was in Helen Whitney's series on PBS called the Mormons he mentions that there but again it's not something that's being said over and over so I would assume the masses are not gathering that information and remembering that as time goes on. Many read one more paragraph on page 7 it says Stratford's report laid bare what was at stake is a significant chasm between correlated hagiographic church history and LDS books and manuals and unfiltered lesson at a fine counts on the Internet. Certain leaders responded to the faith crisis report skeptically, declining to admit what seemed obvious to others.

The Internet was causing the church to lose control over its narrative.

In particular, apostle Cook that's quit now Cook warned Latter Day Saints about the dangers of using the Internet to research church history Cook address the issue in an LDS Gen. conference sermon in October 2012, some six months after receiving a copy of Stratford's presentation.

He stated quote. Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and in some cases invent shortcomings of early church leaders" further warning that church members could quote draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony." Cook counsel quote any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed." Why is this significant will, as it says Cook was one of those general authorities that was at this meeting in February 2012. In October 2012. He gives this conference message here is that intimidation that I was talking about. Being that I'm reading these quotations that seem to come from the church, at least from some documents that the church is produced and am struggling with this and what are they being told will.

Here's a general authority, a Mormon apostle in the church in general conference telling those people who have done this kind of research and are troubled by it that they need to repent while they need to repent for reading would probably amounts to nothing more then citations from LDS church history quit no Cook is supposed to be a Mormon apostle and he doesn't seem to have the discernment to see that this is a real issue that needs to be tackled.

Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding this research ministry.

We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime