With all the talk about missionaries around here lately, I have again pondered on something that concerned me both while a missionary and afterwards, teaching in the MTC and more generally as a non-full-time-missionary member of the Church. It is about the sheer inadequacy of our missionaries.
I’ve taken down the post titled “The Real Danger?” because it was pointed out to me that its impetus was unnecessarily divisive. This was certainly not my intent and so I considered deleting my first paragraph. Without a statement of that impetus, however, the post simply became a denunciation of pornography, which someone else pointed out was something everyone agrees with and someone else said was old news. Such a denunciation has been done much more effectively in the LDS context by President Monson in the recent General Conference and by President Hinckley in the Priesthood Session of the April 2004 General Conference. If you want to see a Mormon “standing on a wall” preaching against the insufferable evil of pornography, go to those sources. [UPDATE: I have reposted the original in fairness to the commenters and the record.]
[NOTE: After initially posting this, I soon removed it because I was made aware that it was unnecessarily divisive. This was not my intent. However, I am putting it back up, unaltered, in the interest of debate. Additionally, one commenter pointed out that it was unfair to delete the post after people had commented, something I hadn’t considered when I took the post down. “For the record,” therefore, if for no other reason, I am reposting this.]
Should “providential history” be left to seers? Is it ever possible in a pluralistic world to persuasively ferret out meaning in the chaotic and seemingly arbitrary movement of history?
Do historians also need to be credible witnesses in the evidentiary sense? I think they do.
Not too long ago, I stumbled across the PBS presentation of Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel (2d ed. 1999). It reminded me of dealing with the book at college and enjoying the ideas presented and the sweeping take of world history that it offered. But while watching the presentation and contemplating the message of the book itself, I was reminded about how much Diamond’s whole analysis depends solely on inference from extremely scant historical evidence.
Market Dominant Minorities