Recent decades have seen a decrease in emphases of and public and internal discussions of many of Mormonism’s most distinctive doctrines and practices–especially some that are often thought of as “weird.” Has this trend of downplaying Mormon differences from mainline Christian views, as well as many of Mormonism’s interesting and unique blend of views about human progression, the nature of God and humans, God’s power and goals for the world, the idea of a Heavenly Mother, and so forth, been a net positive or negative for the tradition? Clearly Mormonism is more publicly accepted today (with obvious exceptions), but would this have happened even without this shift toward emphasizing agreements with other faiths rather than because of it? Have the costs associated with being better accepted been too high? Is the current trend of downplaying differences something that can be reversed? Should it be? How do doctrines and practices come in and out of prominence within Mormonism?
In this podcast, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Joanna Brooks, Todd Decker, and Scott Heffernan engage in a far-ranging discussion of these issues and basically have a great time discussing (mostly with great affection) some of these unique Mormon emphases along with their current status within the tradition and whether or not those currently enjoying less of a role will or should stay in the background. In the end, even at nearly two hours in length, there was just too much to be discussed, so this particular episode mostly lands as a good beginning point for listeners to jump in: What are your favorite deemphasized LDS teachings or practices? How do you feel about where the LDS Church is today in terms of what is emphasized publicly or in internal discussions? We look forward to your joining in!