Ben called my attention to this discussion. David Bokovoy, who is working on a PhD in Hebrew Bible at Brandeis and is the CES director in Boston, sets out this argument:
If you come up against something (doctrinal, historical, etc.) that you can’t reconcile with some other (doctrinal, historical) aspect of the Church, do not come to the conclusion that the Church isn’t true. Come to the conclusion that you have misinterpreted something. In a later comment, he uses the example of several people who had to stop reading Rough Stone Rolling because it was causing a problem for them. His argument: what they really need to do is to reassess the assumptions they have made about who/what Joseph Smith was and move on from there.
The advantages of this approach should be obvious, so I won’t belabor them. I like the way that it suggests that challenges to the faith can be used to bring us closer to the truth (such as: a better understanding of what it means to be a prophet) instead of farther.
I’m wondering how it would work in real life, however. Anyone care to field test it, right here in the comments box, for me?