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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

If Ye Are Prepared ... (?)

by Shawn Tucker (bio)

There is a New York Times article making the rounds among Mormons that describes, among other things, Hans Mattsson’s crisis of faith. It features four bullet points with issues that seem to disturb those members who seek for greater understanding and do not find it in traditional settings or sources. Those points include how Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, the priesthood ban on those of African descent, the Book of Abraham as a translation and Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy. The article seems fair and useful, genuinely reflecting a crisis many experience.

As a response to this situation, a scripture comes to mind: D&C 38:30.
I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.
This scripture seems pertinent precisely because the above issues are not plainly or clearly addressed in traditional LDS settings or sources. I have never heard any of them addressed directly or thoroughly in a conference talk or in any stake or local setting. Nor are they addressed in the CES curriculum, from what I have seen. And the danger in not addressing them is that those with wicked intent may raise such issues in an overwhelming, faith-destroying manner. Those exploring these and other issues may come to fear that the Church is hiding something or at least whitewashing its history. One may even feel deceived, left to wonder what other secrets lurk in the dark.

So, as this blog addresses modern Mormon men, many of whom are fathers, what do you do or what might you do to prepare your children to deal with these issues? How do you help them "treasure up wisdom" to protect them from the deafening noise of cynics or destroyers of their faith? How do you prepare them so that everyone experiences more faith and less fear?

I have provided one small suggestion on an earlier post and I contribute to a blog that attempts to use humor to diffuse some of the emotional, mental, and spiritual conflict that might surround such issues. What do you do?

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