Saturday, December 27, 2008

In (dis)praise of simplistic arguments

I’ve heard it lots of times in church meetings, you’ve heard it lots of times:

Joseph Smith was a true prophet—and if Joseph Smith was a prophet, then The Church is true.

You know, that’s absolutely right! If Joseph Smith was a prophet, then the Community of Christ is…Wait, no, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—you know, the Strangite group—is…Well, um, then maybe the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message? The Church of Christ (Temple Lot)? The Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times? The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Zion’s Order? The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days? The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ?

Wait a minute—what was the question?


Seth R. said...

Religious conviction is a lot of work. But people are always looking for a shortcut. Some silver bullet that makes the rest a cakewalk.

It doesn't work that way. Joseph Smith was always adamant that every member has to gain a personal witness of EVERY aspect of the Restored Gospel.

Butter said...

I've actually never heard that simple of an argument. It's always been JS is a true prophet and the BoM is true and... and... and... so the church must be true. Or maybe I just don't pay attention much because I don't simplify like that.

David B said...

@Butter: Yeah, you’re right, that’s the most common formulation (though the simpler one in the original post rears its half-baked head now and again). Of course, (contra some Mormon urban legends) all of the churches i listed accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, so…