I attended a few Mormon History Conferences last weekend. I gave a more detailed account on my blog, but wanted to see how Mormon Matters readers react to a few comments made at these conferences.
- Elder Marlin K Jensen told of a study done by the church, which stated that members who knew more about church history were more active in the church, and members who knew less about Mormon history were less active. This seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Many people on the bloggernacle seem to think that learning about Mormon history leads to inactivity and apostasy. What do you make of this?
- Jensen encouraged “a lifelong commitment to church history.” Do you think this is wise counsel? Are you afraid some will lose their testimony by following this advice?
- Ronald K Esplin stated that the 1970’s were viewed at a period of “Camelot” for the church’s openness to church history. He stated that he believes that “there is no better time to study church history than today.” Do you agree/disagree?
- Terryl Givens talked about paradoxes of Mormonism. He talked about how intellectuals struggle with submission to authority vs free agency. He said intellectuals must walk the tightrope between blind faith, and posturing apostasy. He said that it is easy for people to fall off this tightrope, but that to be intellectually rich, one always has to balance “seeking, searching faith.” So should a person who falls off this tightrope be considered “intellectually weak”?