Saturday, 29 September 2012

Are Thinking Mormons Apostate?

“A Mormon blogger — accused of apostasy for writing critical web essays about LDS history, temple worship and contemporary issues — has been given a reprieve, for now,” reports the The Salt Lake Tribune of 27 September 2012.

The offending blog is MormonThink.com and the “apostate” is David Twede of the Hunter’s Creek Stake, Orlando, Florida. So, what is MormonThink.com? According to the blurb on the home page:

“Mormonthink.com is a site produced largely by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are interested in the historical accuracy of our church and how it is being taught to its members and portrayed in the media.

We invite scholarly debate by critics, true-believers and anyone interested in Mormon history.

There is a lot of misinformation on the LDS church that is presented by both critics and defenders of the faith - particularly on the Internet. We present both sides fairly and let the reader decide.”

Sounds positively hazardous, doesn’t it? I mean, approach Mormon Church history with that attitude and who knows where it will lead? Well, Gordon B Hinckley, the late Mormon prophet and patron saint of Alzheimer's sufferers, claimed:

"Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues."
~ Dec. 25, 2005 interview with The Associated Press

So, what’s not to like about writers who simply accept the invitation to read the “open book” and comment on what they find there?

Well now, the problem is you can take these invitations to “investigate” Mormonism a little too literally. I mean, when they say “investigate” they mean for you to look at and approve of, be impressed by those things they want to show you.

It’s rather like inviting someone around to your home and saying, “make yourself at home!” You don’t expect them to take you literally, to find them poking around in your drawers, looking through your private papers. If they do that you might be inclined to call the police.

Who calls the authorities when someone goes poking around in Mormon affairs they have no business looking at? Never fear, there are always fine, upstanding, true believing Mormons ready to do their duty. Scott Gordon, president of FAIR for instance. In the Salt Lake Tribune story he is quoted:

Scott Gordon, president of a group of Mormon defenders called FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research), said he believed Twede was going to his LDS meetings to try and shake the faith of members he met there. Scott said he forwarded his concerns about Twede to "a list of friends, including some who work in the LDS Church Office Building."

I can imagine the e-mail: “Guys, we invited someone into the house and now he’s rummaging around in brother Joseph’s underwear draw.”

On the other hand, some people just take themselves too seriously.

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