Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. - Irenaeus

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Happened to Mormon Doctrine?

A book which was once considered a standard work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now out of print and being quietly swept under the rug. Written by Bruce R. McConkie, a member of the First Council of the Seventy of the Mormon Church, the book has come to be known as simply “Mormon Doctrine”. It was first published in 1958 but the forceful and blunt language and style presented a bit of an embarrassment for the church for a number of reasons. It is simply too clear in its portrayal of Mormon beliefs. It has been a valuable reference tool for critics of the church who could easily look up some of the unorthodox doctrines of Mormonism and quote from what was once considered an official statement in bold print.

Like the 26 volume set of the Journal of Discourses first published in 1853 Mormons today will often claim that it is not a good source for church beliefs. In fact if one quotes from Journal of Discourses which includes sermons from Joseph Smith and other early church leaders you will often be accused of citing anti-Mormon literature because some of it is so bizarre and unbelievable.

Pressure from church president David O McKay eventually lead to a revised version to be published in 1966. This version however still included many troubling pages. Mr. McConkie died in 1985 and as copies of his Mormon Doctrine began to disappear from the shelves of Mormon bookstores it became clear by 2010 that the church was not too eager to republish it and began sweeping it under the dirty rug of Mormon history. While claiming that McConkie's book is not “official doctrine” of the church they have yet to publish anything that can be referred to as official systematic theology of Mormonism. Mormons in the political arena are most embarrassed by things that are a detriment to their public image, Mormon Doctrine being one of them.

Click here for video and some strange quotes from Mormon Doctrine