The LDS Church has been posting on it's website carefully worded essays about touchy topics that have caused some members to question their faith after researching and/or hearing about controversial issues. Many of the younger generation are learning for the first time about such topics like polygamy, multiple first vision accounts, and blacks denied the priesthood. This information has caused some to question and/or leave the Church. These essays have been written by scholars aimed at helping these members to better understand these difficult theological and historical issues surrounding our faith. The scholarly postings appear on www.lds.org under the heading "Teachings" and then under "Gospel Topics".
A memo dated Sept. 9 from the church’s "Priesthood Department" to "General Authorities; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents" explains the purpose of for the controversial articles.
"The purpose of the Gospel Topics section is to provide accurate and transparent information on church history and doctrine within the framework of faith," the memo said. "When church members have questions regarding [LDS] history and doctrine, possibly arising when detractors spread misinformation and doubt, you may want to direct their attention to these resources."
Here is list with the links to each of these essays:
Are Mormon’s Christian?
Becoming Like God
First Vision Accounts
Race and the Priesthood
Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Peace and Violence among 19th –Century Latter-day Saints
Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham
Book of Mormon and DNA Studies
Book of Mormon Translation
The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage
Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo
Sidenote: Too much transparency?
This week a new video on the Temple Garment was produced and posted on the Church's website as part of the essays on Temple Garments. I was surprised to see images, photos, and panning footage of our sacred temple clothing and garments. Some have been excommunicated for exposing this information in the past.
I wonder what the reaction would be if a Relief Society teacher displayed as her centerpiece all of the Temple clothing and Temple Garments as part of her lesson on the Temple. I think most would think that was inappropriate... even if she was displaying them in a Church building in front of members of the Church. If a table display as part of a Relief Society lesson would be deemed inappropriate, how is creating a news release with video footage for the entire, uninitiated world to see any different?