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I don't think the two perspectives are mutually exclusive, but I take your point.

I'm slightly clueless on this issue as I haven't pondered it before. How is correlation destructive? I'm asking a serious question -- not being skeptical here.

Danithew,

I think the general idea is that the filtering process with excessive correlation can become so severe at times that some plain and precious truths can be lost. (Think about 1 Nep 13-14 for an example of correlation gone awry...) I'm not saying that has happened in recent decades, but that appears to be what Pres. McKay worried about in that quote.

Danithew, I think there are two types of complaints about "Correlation." One is the simple gripe that "correlated" materials tend to come out rather dull and formulaic, all sounding the same (kind of like all Taco Bell food tastes the same after awhile). A deeper criticism is that "Correlation" can become the acutal decision maker or doctrinal arbiter, determining what gets in or doesn't get in the official curriculum materials or Church publications.

Who is "Correlation" and who runs the place? It could be that one or two GAs supervise or manage Correlation; they may have disproportionate influence over policies. Or it could be that a non-GA middle manager plays a key role. Or it could also be that a host of anonymous staff members develop their own rules and policies for what gets in or doesn't. IMHO, it would be nice if some account of the operation of Correlation were provided to the general membership.

Lest my prior comment sound too one-sided, there is no doubt Correlation improves the curriculum and publications in at least some ways. It would be frustrating to have different sources give different versions of LDS doctrine or different statements of LDS practice. I will admit there are some benefits to Correlation.

Dave: There are several published accounts of how correlation functions, including a rather extensive discussion in Bruce Hafen's biography of Elder Maxwell. My understanding of current practice is that the correlation department is presided over by a member of the Seventy, in addition to a member of the Twelve who has responsibility for Correlation (in addition to other departments). The day to day functions of the department in terms of reviewing materials are carried out by a series of committees, some of which are ad hoc and some of which are more or less permanent affairs. The members of these committees are in turn drawn from a wide variety of sources, but they tend to be either Church employees -- mainly of CES -- or other Church leaders. They review materials, make changes, etc. before approving it for publication.

If you are interested in some empirical data on the influence of correlation on Church materials, I would suggest that you read Noel Reynolds's article on the use of the Book of Mormon in the 20th century, which was published in BYU Studies about six years ago.

From what I've read about Mormonism, it doesn't come across to me. The Book of Mormom's been changed so many times since 1830 that I just can't believe it to be true.

More than the Bible, Diane? ;)

Er, since 1830, probably. Before that...;)

My niece and her husband converted to Mormonism a few years ago. It came to some in my family as a shock as we are devote Catholics. I was raised to respect people and their beliefs. Spending this week with them has shown me a great sense of community. People helping people with their trials ... lots of prayer. The people that I have meet assumed I was Mormon. They always commented on how nice I was and what a wonderful person I was to them during my visit. To which I grin and say thank you. I wouls say grace with them and carry on conversations, all the while, unbeknown to them, I am not a Mormon. But that's all ok, becasue when it comes down to it, as long as we respect and love thy neighbor, we are seen (categorized) as a good person.

Here is a prayer I like to say before I go to bed nightly. It was taught to me in Mr. Roberts 10th grade Science Class, Damien Memorial H.S., Honolulu Hawaii.

"Dearest Lord teach us to server you the way you deserve to be served:

To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek the rest
To labor and not ask for any rewards,
except that of knowing we are doing your most holy will, Amen"

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