The Danger of Historical Apathy

The Danger of Historical Apathy

By Eric Johnson

The following was originally printed in the February 2011 edition of MRM’s update, a special edition mailed to financial supporters who also receive the publication Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription of Mormonism Researched, please visit here

Should LDS Church art coincide with the facts?

For many years the LDS Church has used staff artists to provide illustrations for its church manuals and magazines. Book of Mormon and Bible stories are commonly depicted, as well as historical church events.  One favorite scene for LDS articles is Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon. For example, the front cover of the Feb. 2001 Ensign magazine shows Smith looking at the gold plates and translating them by running his finger over them. Is this really how the Book of Mormon was translated? 

Ezra Taft Benson’s “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet”

“The Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” was a devotional talk that was given by Mormon Apostle Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) on Tuesday, February 26, 1980 at Brigham Young University. Benson became Mormonism’s 13th President on November 10, 1985 after the death of Spencer W. Kimball. When Benson gave this speech LDS Church was membership was less than 4.5 million. What that means is that the great majority of modern members were probably unaware of this speech until October, 2010 when two LDS General Authorities, Seventy Claudio R.M. Costa, and Kevin R. Duncan, highlighted Benson’s speech point-by-point in their general conference addresses. Since all conference messages are vetted, this demonstrated that Benson’s “14 Fundamentals” in following the Mormon prophet are approved by the current First Presidency.