Wow. This really is unbelievable.
LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard is openly encouraging faithful LDS Church members to blog and podcast, and is mentioning specific blogs. I’m truly speechless.
There’s even a press release on the subject, and the full transcript.
Man. Hold on to your hats, folks. This is gonna get interesting.
Oh, crud! I just sent you an email on this and saw this five minutes later–you’re just too fast for us! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course…) This talk is going to be a classic.
I took his suggestion – this was my first post.
This morning I read in Deseret News the admonishment from Elder M. Russell Ballard to share what we know with the world because the conversation will go on with or without us.
Many people in the Mormon Church will oblige because of the profound sense of duty and need to follow the commandments of the Lord. Yet here is my dilemma: what truth does he want us to share? I had a friend who recently wrote me and said, “Truth is a funny thing.” I cannot agree more, especially when it comes to faith and otherworldly knowledge. Thus, the conundrum.
An argument is based on certain premises, and I don’t think it could be argued that the conversation around Mormonism currently is not an argument. Each of the various sides believes they are correct based on the ideas that make up their argument. For example: Are Mormons Christians? I don’t think you could find a believing member out there who would not full heartily agree that they are in fact Christians. However, those from other Christian faiths cannot view a Mormon being Christian because their understanding of Christianity is not the same. The argument persists because the premises do not align – fundamental constructs are different so they cannot see eye to eye.
My issue with the argument has little to do with the answers but everything to do with the premises. Simple logic might be this: “Those who believe in Christ are Christians. Mormons believe in Christ. Mormons are Christians.” Those who attack this argument say that Mormons believe in a different Christ than the biblical Christ, so in effect they cannot be Christians because the form of their belief is incorrect. Thus, their simple logic must be this: “Those who believe in Christ they way I do are Christians. I believe in Christ the way I do. So, I am a Christian.” However, if you extend this logic one step further, you may end up with only one Christian in the world. Of course I know there are holes in this argument, but regardless of it being an individual or group of people who agree upon a definition, it does not necessarily hold that they have the correct definition.
I cannot help but feel people are arguing about something that is impossible to know. Christians know. Muslims know. Mormons know. And virtually every religious group knows that the other one is wrong. They each have answers how to know and testimonies and witnesses to validate their claims, which means their knowledge is in opposition with each other (they even have answers to show why the other person could not have possibly received their answer from God). Thus, the conundrum.
Elder Ballard, I know that you believe you know. I understand how you know what you know. I have once felt that I knew, too. And, I truly believe that you know in the same sort of way that I knew, and yet now I don’t know.
It’s nice to see the brethren on the cutting edge of new technology. Elder Ballard is recognizing the power of the internet in 2007. Isn’t he a little late to the party?
I liked the nod to sharing our stories. Thanks to John for doing this so well, even when it is difficult.
On somewhat of a tangent, I notice the Google ads placed alongside online newspaper stories about “Mormons”. In the past they have been links to the “truth” about Mormons and appear, at least on the face of things, to be unfavorable to the Church. I was reading the following story on the AZ Republic site:
and noticed the ads (from Google) at the bottom of the page:
What is Mormonism? // Official information about how Mormons worship // https://newsroom.lds.org
Latter Day Saints Church // All The Information You Need About LDS about Beliefnet.com // http://www.beliefnet.com
Romney’s Mormon Faith // Who are “The Mormons”? Frontline free streaming video now online. // http://www.pbs.org/mormons
Not bad. Somebody must be doing their job.
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