Date: October 25, 2010 10:44AM
The rapid advancement of technology in the last twenty years has brought with it instant and near-total access to information about nearly everything and everybody. These days, when people need information, they go to the internet, a source that giveth to everyone liberally and upbraideth not. So you should be able to get the lowdown on any company, organization, church or club.
You know where this is going. The church has been able to hide information that reveals the imaginary nature of its founding events for decades, but now, all of this information is published widely on the web. All one has to do is look. For example, Joseph Smith originally made the claim that an angel of light named Nephi appeared to him in a dream. This was published in the Palmyra Freeman in August, 1829, and in a letter of testimony of Parley Pratt in Amherst Ohio in November 1830, more than a year later. This story was later revised to say that Nephi appeared to Joseph Smith in his bedroom while Joseph was wide awake. The new version was published in the 1842 Millennial Star (vol. 3, pg. 53), the 1842 Times and Seasons(vol. 3 pg. 753) and the 1851 edition of the Pearl of Great Price (pg. 41), nine years apart. After Joseph Smith’s death, the story underwent another minor revision: the angel’s name was changed to Moroni. Joseph Smith never claimed that the angel Moroni appeared to him. That is a church claim, which is still taught, and accepted as completely historically accurate by believing Mormons. A statue of the ‘Angel Moroni’ tops every temple the church builds.
The church cannot withstand the onslaught of accurate, historical information being published on the internet. Today, most ten year olds can easily surf the web without much help. The church would love to bring in lots of intelligent, savvy young people. The trouble is, they’re well informed, and not as easy to dupe as they were twenty years ago. Church leaders underestimate today’s computer-savvy youngsters. When they push the same old story on them, they’re often met by a tidal wave of indifference.
So to survive intact, the mo-church will have to build walls around its members to insulate them from the real world. This is no small task. It means ever more persistent warnings about satanic influences in movies, books, magazines and especially the internet. It means an increase in fear-based propaganda to scare members into retreating further into the church. It means increased homophobia and more effort to beat back gays. It means building paranoid little morgbots, afraid to do anything not sanctioned by the church for fear of being overcome by ‘the adversary.’ It means forsaking good science when it casts doubt on the bible or the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
Truth is the church’s biggest enemy, its own history its Achilles heel. Their choice is either change with the times or build bigger, stronger walls to keep the world out