Friday, March 28, 2008

Richard Bushman at Weber State

I just read a speech Richard Bushman gave at Weber State earlier this month (March 5th). In it he shares some good thoughts.
First the reason Mitt Romney failed was because he didn't understand that although Mormons are respected as good people, they are not trusted because their beliefs are too preposterous. Anyone that really believes that Mormon stuff can't really be trusted to have good judgement.
Second, we are trying too hard to be accepted into the fold of traditional Christianity. We are different. And the difference is what we should be proud of. No, we are not Christian in the same way that evangelicals are Christian, but we still believe in Jesus Christ. We are, of course, Christian in ways they will never be, but there is no need to be impolite and point that out. In his book Bushman pointed out that Joseph's revelations never tried to prove themselves. They simply stated what they were with the assumption of authenticity. We should stand on our own merits, and not whine that "they won't let us in their club".
Third, if we want to get to the point where our beliefs are accepted as legitimate (see the first thought), we need to work on how we present ourselves (see the second thought), and of course develop a patina on our faith that only time can produce.
Lastly, we need to understand what we have to offer to the world that non converts can take and use. We look around at the rest of the world and we see things we can borrow all over. Our prophets had said that we accept truth wherever we find it. So what truth can we offer to the outside world that doesn't require conversion in order to accept.
What do you think?

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