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And I note there was a post and lengthy discussion at T&S and also a detailed post at Juv-I. I was offline all weekend -- if I'd seen these posts earlier I would likely not have posted myself. But at least no one else had a link to the BYU editorial.

Re "other coverage": NDBF Gary takes issue with said FPR post.

Sorensen the DesNews article:

It "eliminates a certain minor embarrassment in the use of language, that's all," said John L. Sorensen, professor emeritus of anthropology at Brigham Young University, adding it has no impact on the substance of the book itself.


"I don't think it means very much for anyone," he said. "The assumptions may have been and may be in the minds of some that the previous phrasing had substance to it. As a matter of fact, it was a sheer accident of someone — probably (Elder) Bruce McConkie — regarding 'principal ancestors.' No one checked it or questioned it, so it was put in the introduction."

I find it amazing that he minimizes everything. The original inclusion, the change itself, and the meaning of the change.

I met Sorensen once and had dinner with him. It was a pleasant conversation but he showed this same tendency to minimize everything. He claimed that Book of Mormon geography wasn't important at all, and expressed shock that people get all worked up about something so minimal. This from the guy that wrote the book on the subject. I have no idea if this is just an exaggerated expression of humility or if he is making a point that I just don't get.

In any case I'm amused to see that this strangeness wasn't limited to my dinner with him.

ugh! That first line should read:

Sorensen in the DesNews article:

It seems we are to believe the introduction to the most visible of LDS scripture was written on a napkin in the cafeteria. We should not be so alarmed that it now must be changed to reflect scientific realities.

I don't have a problem with fallible men and churches. However, when you claim to be the one true church, directed by God himself, I think people have a right to hold you to a higher standard of correctness.

It seems like the change might spur some approved discussion of the difference between canonized scripture; correlated and approved commentary (manuals, LDS.org releases); Conference talks (which after all express the views of just one GA); and various "unofficial" statements of LDS leaders (at stake conferences, in books, etc.).

I'm quite happy to see the change -- it indicates a continued willingness to modify LDS statements and even doctrines in the light of new information. It's hard to see why anyone thinks the opposite approach -- stubbornly affirming outdated or incorrect views despite new and better information -- is preferable.

HI dave!

I was hoping to find some insight on your blog about this change. I did not know about it and did not post about it on my blog, but I'm being bombarded with anti, on every post I have written, and none of these posts have anything to do with this subject! I'm totally confused. I'm planning on posting something, but I am not informed enough to do so, I don't want to post any incorrect info. I'm so frustrated! Sorry to go off on your blog! :)

Steffielynn, you might remind them it's just an introduction -- nothing wrong with updating it or correcting mistakes. How many editions did Wesley's Institutes go through? Seven or eight? But they give you a hard time because of a change of a few words in the BoM Introduction? Remember, most Evangelicals are hypocrites, they just don't know it yet.

Good luck with the blog. Don't let anyone make your comment section into their soapbox.

It's not even necessarily a "mistake", Dave, just poor wording. The change makes more sense and represents a more sensible approach to the topic. It doesn't rescue the Church from those who for some reason believe that DNA arguments are conclusive against Israelite origin of some Native Americans or their ancestors. But it makes it much easier to accommodate views that many others were also present in the New World together with the descendants of Lehi and Mulek (a view that already was not incompatible with the old wording).


I've read some of your stuff. Sorry you're being made into a punching bag.

Ban them. Period. This isn't a public forum, and you have no responsibility to bow to free speech. Nor do they have the right to say whatever they want. You've been more than patient with them. They mock and ridicule, they seem incapable of staying on topic, and I have a sneaky suspicion that one of them is outright lying and making his anecdotes up out on the spot.

Don't think you can win a debate with these people. They aren't in it for discussion. It's like the girl in junior high school my buddies and I used to tease all the time because she'd always get so mad. It was fun to watch the fireworks and gave us some cheap laughs. That's all these clowns are doing with you. They've been very poor house guests and it's time to show them the door.

That said, I admire the fact that you relate to them from your own conversion history and want to reach out. It's your blog of course.

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