Saturday, November 29, 2014

In the Academy But Not of the Academy

Here's an article about Brigham Young University professor Ralph Hancock's concerns over secularism's sway over Mormon intellectuals.

From its beginning as an anti-Mormon newspaper, the Trib is maybe no longer married to the format, but they have never given up flirting with it. So I read this article more as having a "look how close-minded and reactionary Hancock is" attitude than a Deseret News attitude of "Hancock warns of serious problem" or a neutral attitude of "Hancock says there's a problem."

The reason I link to this story is this paragraph here.

And here is Hancock’s deepest concern: The "dominant orientation" of the so-called bloggernacle — the universe of Mormon blogs — "assumes the moral superiority of intellectuals to church authorities."
I wouldn't say that the "dominant orientation" of the bloggernacle is secularist, but then I perhaps don't read as many different types of Mormon blogs as he does. I read a lot of old-school FARMS blogs, not new-school MI blogs. I don't read Feminist Mormon Housewives at all, and most of the material there that makes it to my attention meets with my disapproval. I don't listen to Mormon Stories, and the "personal attack" of John Dehlin by Gregory L. Smith that precipitated the MI restructuring seemed reasonable, balanced, and--above all--important. So while I might disagree with Hancock's analysis of the breadth of the problem, I completely agree that the problem exists and is a problem.

So here's my part, as a tiny corner of the bloggernacle, to fix this problem. If I have not in the past been explicit in these opinions, that doesn't mean I didn't espouse them.

  • God the Father is a real being, of tangible parts.
  • Jesus Christ is His physical Son, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ was lost through apostasy after the early apostolic period, and is being restored to Earth, starting in 1820.
  • Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, just like Abraham, Moses, or Isaiah.
  • The Family: A Proclamation to the World, perhaps is nothing more than a policy statement, but policy cannot be changed without direction. Although the proclamation has not been introduced in General Conference for acceptance of the church as scripture, it has been quoted again and again by leaders whose formal statements are taken as teachings from God.
  • Too many members of the church today seek to counsel the Lord and refuse to take counsel from his hand (see Jacob 4:10). We believe church leaders may have faults, but finding fault with church leaders is not helpful to anyone, especially the fault-finder.

I would probably write a clearer, more-complete blog post, but I'm home on a Saturday afternoon with four kids who are constantly yelling, and who can't be turned out-of-doors because the air quality is terrible today. So this will have to suffice for now.

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