Saturday, February 1, 2014

Truth Will Prevail

A missionary in the British isles

In 1837, when Mormon missionaries went to England to share their message of a restored church and gospel, "they traveled first to Preston, arriving during elections. As they descended the coach, a banner was unfurled from a window above them, proclaiming, 'Truth Will Prevail.' The missionaries immediately adopted this as the motto of their mission to England."

Despite critics' claims otherwise, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been, from the very start, committed to the truth.

As evidence of this commitment, and that it is not afraid to discuss "difficult" aspects of its history and theology, the Church has been improving its Gospel Topics website, drawing from the very best available scholarship, including the acclaimed Joseph Smith Papers project.

There's an article on plural marriage (or polygamy, as some call it, but more accurately, at least as practiced by Mormons, polygyny) and another on race and the priesthood.

The means by which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon is discussed, as is the intersection of the Book of Mormon and DNA studies.

The different accounts of Joseph Smith's foundational First Vision are examined, and links to all the accounts, compliments of the Joseph Smith Papers, are provided.

And there's even an (exasperatingly obligatory, though well done) article confirming yet again that Mormons are indeed Christians.

Every article is well documented and includes a sidebar containing links to articles and videos for further study.

What I've never understood is how some people seem to hyperventilate about these, and other topics, when they should know that historical records are always incomplete, historical data is subject to differing interpretations, and that the Church's resources are finite and its primary purpose isn't to teach history (even its own).

Moreover, at present "we see through a glass, darkly;" Paul reminds us, "but then [i.e., at some future date] face to face." Faith is, after all, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

If, as some think, Mormonism "be of men, it will come to naught," as wise Gamaliel said of the ancient Apostles' faith.

"But if it be of God," he warned, "ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

Either way, truth will prevail.

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