And They Say I Can’t Let It Go …

I mentioned a while back that a non-LDS blogger, Philip Jenkins, had decided to take on Book of Mormon historicity as an example of how pseudoscience is employed to bolster faith. As I said, I agreed with him entirely that the historicity is far less important to a believer than how one’s faith operates in one’s life. I’ve said many times that I will never question anyone’s personal spiritual experiences.

The problem, of course, is that Mormon apologists who have responded to Jenkins want to argue over the historicity of the book. I think that’s pointless, but then you’d expect that from me, wouldn’t you? Jenkins, however, isn’t willing to let apologetic arguments stand without response. So, he’s still going. The title of his latest article indicates his attitude towards the apologists.

The Nahom Follies

I’ve known a lot of apologists who complain that serious academics have not given the Book of Mormon any attention, but usually when they do, it ends up much like what Philip Jenkins has come up with. It’s a pointless debate for both sides, in my opinion. Best to let it go.

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7 Responses to And They Say I Can’t Let It Go …

  1. CAB says:

    But it makes for a fun read–assuming, of course, that no part of the issue raises your blood pressure and that you have a sense of humor.

  2. Bob says:

    “never question anyone’s personal spiritual experiences”.
    This seems like an mantra I’ve heard for a long while. Why not (beyond it normally causing doubling down)?. Wouldn’t we otherwise call hearing voices in one’s head exactly that?. Why give them the pass?

    • runtu says:

      I guess I see it as something inherently personal and subjective, and I see no point in calling out people for their subjective feelings. But that’s just me.

      • I tell people, “Your experience is valid. However, our experiences don’t always mean what we think they mean.”

        I think it hits a nice balance.

    • CAB says:

      I agree.
      For many years I had some friends whose marriage was deeply affected by the husband’s “revelation” that he be a polygamist. He told me that he “could no more deny that spiritual witness than his testimony of the gospel”–as far as he was concerned they were of equal weight–and that to do so would damn his soul to outer darkness.
      He’d come on to various women and did a hell of a lot of “spiritual wifery” business which often got him into trouble, especially when he was working for the LDS Church. Consequently, he would need to find a new job every so often.
      That went on for over 20 years until she finally got fed up and decided to divorce him. Once he realized that she really was going to divorce him, he suddenly recanted his “revelation.”
      She divorced him anyway, which pissed him mightily–he had “repented” and therefore she was obligated to “forgive” him.

      I am not saying that all “spiritual experiences” are like his, but I do think that when such things deeply affect the lives of others, it is appropriate to question.
      I question “personal spiritual experiences” all the time, including my own.

      • runtu says:

        I think there’s a difference between questioning spiritual feelings and questioning poor decisions and actions. Maybe you did feel the spirit but it’s telling you to do something stupid or evil.

  3. jiminpanama says:

    My son left for Brazil so confident that the girl was going to wait for him because the spirit told him he would marry her and he had no doubt. She was married 2 months after he left. Seem others had the same revelations for her! Be very careful when calling inspiration or feelings revelation. The human mind is ford easily.

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