The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards “The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Thursday, December 7, 2023

avoid crowds going in the wrong direction

More advice for everyone interested in the Book of Mormon (and other topics).

Prof. Feynman
It is a lot better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.

Never regret a day in your life; good days give happiness, bad days give experiences, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories.

If you cannot be corrected without being offended, then you’ll never truly grow in life.

• Do what interests you the most. • Spend time with nature. • Ask questions. • Never stop learning. • Don't pay attention to what others think of you. • Read everyday. • Study hard. • Teach others what you know. • Make mistakes and learn. • It's Okay to not know things!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

When ignorance is not bliss

People usually have opinions about things they don't know much about. An article in the Wall St. Journal points out that many students change their minds about Palestine/Israel once they learn the facts.

"When college students who sympathize with Palestinians chant “From the river to the sea,” do they know what they’re talking about? I hired a survey firm to poll 250 students from a variety of backgrounds across the U.S. Most said they supported the chant, some enthusiastically so (32.8%) and others to a lesser extent (53.2%).

But only 47% of the students who embrace the slogan were able to name the river and the sea....  

In all, after learning a handful of basic facts about the Middle East, 67.8% of students went from supporting “from the river to sea” to rejecting the mantra. These students had never seen a map of the Mideast and knew little about the region’s geography, history or demography. Those who hope to encourage extremism depend on the political ignorance of their audiences. It is time for good teachers to join the fray and combat bias with education."

"From Which River to Which Sea? College students don’t know, yet they agree with the slogan," by Ron E. Hassner. 


In the LDS context, many Latter-day Saints don't know what the prophets have taught about the New York Cumorah, but they have strong opinions that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica. 

In most cases, once they learn about the New York Cumorah, how the text describes geography consistent with the New York Cumorah, how M2C originated, and how M2C consists of a combination of bias confirmation and "correspondences," they change their minds.

But even when they stick with M2C after learning all the facts, that's fine. People can believe whatever they want. But at least at that point they are making informed decisions.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Change the understanding

You’re always making the best choice based on your current understanding. Don’t try to change the choice - change the understanding.