What of the
Defending the Truth
Editor's Note: This is a quote from Daniel Peterson who is now one of the leaders of Mormon Interpreter, a website I enjoy very much. The URL is www.mormoninterpreter.com. I have downloaded several articles to my kindle.
“President Boyd K. Packer told a story, years ago, of being invited to lunch with a group of academics at a very prestigious institution on the east coast. They were hoping, given the fact that he was both a General Authority (an Assistant to the Twelve, at the time) and the holder of a doctorate, that he would contribute to a new publication they were launching:
I listened to them very attentively but indicated at the close of the conversation that I would not join them. I asked to be excused from responding to their request. When they asked why, I told them this: “When your associates announced the project, they described how useful it would be to the Church—a niche that needed to be filled. And then the spokesman said, ‘We are all active and faithful members of the Church; however, …’” I told my two hosts that if the announcement had read, “We are active and faithful members of the Church; therefore, …” I would have joined their organization. I had serious questions about a “however” organization.25
The difference is crucial. “The LDS scholar has his citizenship in the Kingdom,” Elder Maxwell used to say, “but carries his passport into the… world—not the other way around.”26 He was also fond of a statement from the eighteenth-century English clergyman William Law: “If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first,” said Law, “it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.”27
Those who established and lead The Interpreter Foundation understand this. The Foundation’s goal is to foster honest and accessible scholarship in service to the Church and Kingdom of God, scholarship that will be of use and benefit to our fellow Latter-day Saints. Nothing less. We cannot do all things, but this we can and will do. Reflections on the Mission of The Interpreter Foundation Daniel C. Peterson Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 9 April (2014): vii-xx
Editor’s note: I am quite sure the “however” organization referred by Elder Packer within this quote is the one I was invited to join by my home teaching companion who was one of its founders when I was studying Japanese in California in the summer of 1965. In the fall of 1966 when I was studying Japanese in New York City, another founder of this organization was in our ward. I didn’t associate much with him or others who liked deeper doctrinal discussions because I was called to be the Priest adviser and Explorer leader and could not attend Elders Quorum meetings. Our bishop at that time was Earl Tingey. I haven’t regretted not being associated with this organization although I have respect for many who were and are. And many people I respect have published in its periodical.
I do not consider the What of the Mormons website a "however" enterprise.