Sunday, February 09, 2014

On doctrinal shifts and trends

Back in the 70s I encountered the limited geography, Lehi & family as an island in a larger body of people thesis for the Book of Mormon.  Then, around 1979 I met Jack Welch at a fireside on deeper poetic structures in the Book of Mormon.  I ran into proto-FARMS when it was just a reading list, before it was photocopies on a table in Professor Welch's office.

So, for about forty years I've been aware of the limited geography interpretation.  It went hand in hand with my reading the text of the Book of Mormon rather than what people were saying about it and it fits in well with many of the historical notes that creep into the text.

Thus Alma goes to King Benjamin to discuss a religious question and the king meets with his council of priests and then gets back with Alma that Alma can control the issue of his own membership.

Early Book of Mormon geography, while they are still in Saudia, matches up clearly with specific locations, names events and geography.  It is only recently that it has begun to match up with data in the Americas (such as the three volcanoes that erupted about the time of the death of Christ).

So the question is how do I see the institutional Church's trend of accepting the broader analysis and acknowledging the trend in reading that goes back to the Church's founding (and that has been in competition with other threads)?

It is mixed.  I'm glad to see the Church acknowledging the viewpoint that many have held (and that others have argued against since the 1800s).  On the other hand, I meet people who are unhappy with that.


Realized that I don't blog as much, at all.  So much more time on Facebook with short posts, it has changed up my attitude about how to spend time and where.  But I thought I'd put this longer thought here.

And yes, this is the week for February 12 and February 16.  I do not forget.


Fortuitous blog post on similar points: