Link to a Sunstone Report

August 17, 2004 | 3 comments
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Over in a galaxy far, far away, rumor has it that a strange woman* has posted a brief report of her activities at the Sunstone symposium, along with sundry thoughts about Sunday School and correlation. Just in case anyone was wondering.

*Not necessarily in the scriptural sense, but more in the sense of (to use her own term) “exceedingly weird.”

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3 Responses to Link to a Sunstone Report

  1. diogenes on August 17, 2004 at 2:02 pm

    I don’t think that the Church is headed for a schism, as such, and I don’t know that I believe the Internet has much to do with the challenges we are going to face. But I think there may be something to the Dr. Shade argument that Kristine addressed.

    I would formulate the problem a bit differently. Several years ago, Jacob Neusner wrote a piece entitled “Why No New Judaisms in the Twentieth Century?” in which he noted that the major movements in Judaism — Conservative, Reformed, Orthodox — all hie from the Nineteenth Century, and he puzzled a bit as to why nothing much has changed since. He concluded that it was due to an unstated assumption among all three movements that the Orthodox movement is somehow “real” or “true” Judaism, and the others are largely reactions against it — despite the fact that Orthodox Judaism has no more claim, historically or theologically, on that position than any of the others.

    It seems to me that we may be facing a version of the same problem — an unstated assumption that a particular politically conservative, Wasatch Front vision of Mormonism is the “real” Mormonism, and any other view is a reaction against it — despite the fact that on closer examination, that particular cultural stance really has nothing to do with the Gospel, and no special claim to being the “true” or “correct” approach to Church membership.

    I suspect that this unstated assumption is going to sit increasingly uncomfortably in an international organization, may well retard our ability to actually understand many aspects of what the Lord would have us do, and if not lead to schism, at least lead to some serious divisions among us.

  2. Janey on August 17, 2004 at 2:27 pm

    I agree with her comment that Sunday School and Relief Society (and I assume Priesthood) lessons are taught to the lowest common denominator, with no chance to confront difficult issues. As an example, I have seen “chapel Mormons” shocked by the discovery that the Mountain Meadows Massacre is more than just a lie invented by the antis, if they’ve heard of it at all. Why is it so difficult to admit and accept that our history has a few warts?

    That said, a discussion of a “difficult issue” could be a disaster if led by the wrong person. A lecture format, with a Q&A afterwards would be better. Not that that will happen either . . .

  3. Juliann on August 17, 2004 at 9:27 pm

    This Shades character uses this blog as an example of those who support his tendentious conclusion. I think one would have to be braindead to not notice that there are differences in Mormon thinking…but to claim that is a “schism” is ridiculous. I see little difference–beyond the obvious hostility of the guy–in this than the Liahona/Iron rodder sort of thing in the ’60s. I’m just surprised that Sunstone would accept something this poorly constructed and warmed over as being anything meaningful.

    At any rate, the editorial from the last Church News should put the bizarre idea of a terrified leadership besieged by rampaging netsurfers to rest:

    “Ours has been called the information age. By virtue of the Internet and other mass media, public discourse about the Church of Jesus Christ,
    both true and false, is more accessible and pervasive today than ever. For this reason, there is perhaps a greater need than ever for articulate voices to declare the truth with knowledge, intelligence, skill and boldness.”
    Church News
    August 14, 2004
    Bridling passions