Twenty years from now, this will be the most important news from 2021. While American and European kids, including teenagers (and young adults), spend most of their time playing videogames, Chinese kids study, exercise, and maintain personal relationships.
Monday, August 23, 2021
Definitely a must-read if you missed it:
Monday, August 16, 2021
Last night I attended a wonderful fireside with outstanding music and talks. Here's the program.
This type of event is the reason why I endorse 90% of what Book of Mormon Central (BOMC) does. I respect, admire, and personally like everyone involved with BOMC .
I was happy to greet and see several of the participants and those who wore the BOMC name tags (that surprisingly looked quite a bit like my own missionary name tag,* except with the BOMC logo instead of the Church's logo).
As readers here know, I don't mind that BOMC teaches M2C and SITH. People can believe whatever they want.
My only problem with BOMC is their refusal to acknowledge, let alone accommodate, other faithful interpretations of the scriptures and Church history. BOMC is an intellectual dead end in these areas, as evidenced by its Mayan logo.
Worse, BOMC employees and supporters aggressively attack other faithful members of the Church who don't accept their interpretations. It's inexplicable to me, except for the narcissism of small differences.
Here's a common description:
The narcissism of small differences is the thesis that communities with adjoining territories and close relationships are especially likely to engage in feuds and mutual ridicule because of hypersensitivity to details of differentiation.
Unlike BOMC, those of us who still believe what Joseph and Oliver taught about setting, historicity and origins of the text continue to recognize and accommodate alternative faithful interpretations, because we're fine with people believing whatever they want. I regularly link to their material. I want people to know what they believe and teach. We adopt the practice of recognizing multiple working hypotheses because the healthiest approach is to have everyone agree on all the facts and then consider a variety of interpretations while we all await new information.
Unity results from mutual respect, not from enforcing only one of multiple working hypotheses.
I continue to hope that BOMC, its employees and supporters, will someday recognize that what unites us--our shared love for the Book of Mormon and our desire to share it with the world--is far more important than our differences of opinion about the setting, historicity, and origins.
We'll know if and when that happens because BOMC will change its logo to replace the Mayan glyph with the actual language of the Book of Mormon--English. And BOMC will recognize and accommodate alternative faithful interpretations.
Will that ever happen?
But meanwhile, we continue to love and appreciate our M2C friends and colleagues and hope we can encourage them to do likewise.
*For those who don't know, my wife and I are currently serving a service mission.
Friday, August 13, 2021
Monday, August 9, 2021
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Long ago, Jonathan Edwards proposed that Christians should unite. Such unity even more important today than it was then.
As 'tis the glory of the church of Christ, that she, in all her members, however dispersed, is thus one, one holy society, one city, one family, one body; so it is very desirable, that this union should be manifested, and become visible; and so, that her distant members should act as one, in those things that concern the common interest of the whole body, and in those duties and exercises wherein they have to do with their common Lord and Head, as seeking of him the common prosperity.
It becomes all the members of a particular family, who are so strictly united, and have in so many respects one common interest, to unite in prayer to God for the things they need: it becomes a nation, in days of prayer, appointed by national authority, at certain seasons, visibly to unite in Prayer for those public mercies that concern the interest of the whole nation: so it becomes the church of Christ, which is one holy nation, a Peculiar people, one heavenly family, more strictly united, in many respects, and having infinitely greater interests that are common to the whole, than any other society; I say, it especially becomes this society, visibly to unite, and expressly to agree together in prayer to God for the common prosperity; and above all, that common prosperity and advancement that is so unspeakably great and glorious, which God hath so abundantly promised to fulfill in the latter days.
It is becoming of Christians, with whose character a narrow selfish spirit, above all others, disagrees, to be much in prayer for that public mercy, wherein consists the welfare and happiness of the whole body of Christ, of which they are members, and the greatest good of mankind. And union or agreement in prayer is especially becoming, when Christians pray for that mercy, which above all other things concerns them unitedly, and tends to the relief, prosperity and glory of the whole body, as well as of each individual member.
Such an union in prayer for the general outpouring of the Spirit of God, would not only be beautiful, but profitable too. It would tend very much to promote union and charity between distant members of the church of Christ, and a public spirit, and love to the church of God, and concern for the interest of Zion; as well as be an amiable exercise and manifestation of such a spirit. Union in religious duties, especially in the duty of prayer, in praying one with and for another, and jointly for their common welfare, above almost all other things, tends to promote mutual affection and endearment.