According to some Internet discussion groups I understand I’m here as the comic relief. I’ve rewritten this talk several times never quite settling on a subject and some of you may find evidence of that in the program. So when they asked me what I was going to talk on I said, “Book of Abraham, I presume.”
There have been three important findings in the critical text project of the Book of Mormon...Ultimately, these findings have led me to the conclusion that any serious study of the Book of Mormon requires the most accurate text possible.
There is a labyrinth surrounding homosexuality that is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. More and more it seems the two sides are talking past each other. I chose the title because I think understanding the difference between having same-sex attractions and having homosexual desires is key to understanding how to navigate this labyrinth.
Sadly, Latter-day Saints are uninformed about the rich Black Mormon heritage...People have not known the history of Blacks in the LDS Church. It’s not been widely known that there were members, or that some of those gentlemen in the early years were ordained to the priesthood, or who the women were.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell exhorted Latter-day Saint academics in much the same spirit: “The LDS scholar has his citizenship in the Kingdom,” he said, “but carries his passport into the professional world—not the other way around.”
Let me begin with a quote from LDS Church Historian Marlin Jensen given May 26, 2012: “Loss of members in the last five or 10 years has been greater than perhaps any period since Mormonism was founded in 1830…one reason is the Church’s failure to openly address questions about church history…”
Using the various types of evidence for the Book of Lehi’s contents, and piecing together the various fragments like puzzle pieces, a larger picture of the book’s contents begins to emerge. I’m currently piecing some of this together as my Master’s thesis at Utah State.
Beginning as early as 1955 I undertook to synthesize what I was learning about ancient Mesoamerica (that is, southern Mexico and northern Central America) into a form intended to answer the question, how did the Book of Mormon account relate to the civilization that once occupied that area?