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

Monday, November 30, 2020

changing minds with facts and reason

This has actually happened a few times when I've explained Moroni's America, the two sets of plates, the translation with the Urim and Thummim, and other topics.

(click to enlarge):

Fortunately, I had no problem sleeping.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sports millionaires and homelessness, side-by-side

The consensus values of society in Utah are featured on the cover of the Deseret News, November 22, 2020.

(click to enlarge)

Society today: big homeless problems, foster care in crisis, and a 24-year-old basketball player gets a 5-year deal with $195.6 million with a team owned by a 42-year-old who paid $1.66 billion for the team.


Alternative consensus:

18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

(Moses 7:18)

3 And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

(4 Nephi 1:3)

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Changing, unity, and consensus

Anyone who seeks unity and consensus must first ask, what am I willing to give up for the cause? Have I ever changed my mind about something important when I learned new facts, reconsidered priorities, or gained new wisdom?

Regarding Book of Mormon historicity, for decades I accepted what LDS scholars taught about the Mesoamerican/two Cumorahs theory (M2C). I accepted M2C because my CES and BYU teachers taught it, and I assumed they were the experts who had studied it. 

Only later in life did I realize they had led me to disbelieve the prophets. Then, when I looked into Church history and relevant sciences for myself, I discovered that the prophets were correct all along.

So I changed my mind.

It wasn't easy. It required some work to reorient my worldview on this issue. 

I have plenty of M2C critics who resort to ad hominem and other logical errors to defend M2C. And that's fine; we can all believe whatever we want. 

By now, it's obvious the M2C scholars and their employees and followers are driven by bias confirmation, not any pursuit of truth. 

They made up their minds when they adopted the mark of M2C as their logo, which has been used by FARMS, the Maxwell Institute, and Book of Mormon Central.

There is no possibility of unity and consensus on this issue so long as one side (M2C) repudiates the teachings of the prophets and the other side embraces the teachings of the prophets.


From Naval:

Everybody wants to change others. Nobody wants to be changed.


It’s easier to change yourself than to change the world ... Live the life you want other people to live.

From the comments:

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." ~ Leo Tolstoy

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.


The internal dialog going in our head justifies our own thoughts, behaviours and actions. So we think we are right. When looking at others, we see only their actions. So we often think others are wrong or have done things the way they should not have.

Vik Shukla

Far easier to demand someone to change than to go through that uncomfortable process yourself. One requires work, other requires nothing.