Cwic Clips- LDS Scholarship and Mormon Studies as Zenos' Allegory of the Olive Tree

Jerusalem vs. Alexandria? -  An observation on the state of LDS Scholarship and Mormon Studies

They are like Zenos' Allegory of the Olive Tree. Wild branches are brought into the vineyard to bring life to the olive trees. But they can take over the trees and not bear good fruit. It is a game of balance. We see excellent LDS scholarship right now, but the wild branches are evident and growing stronger. Critical Theory and Post-Modern approaches to the gospel and scripture could overwhelm the natural branches.


 Raw Transcript


and then in verse 11 i think this is
something that's very important
to understand about the state
today of lds scholarship i'm not an
expert at this this is my opinion
i i would not consider myself an lds
i do not have a scholarly training
um but i read a lot and i i
see a lot of presentations and talks and
and uh
and so i've got you know i dip my toe so
to speak in the in the world of academia
especially lds scholarship here's what
verse 11 says
proving to the world that the holy
scriptures this is the book of mormon
and and those that minister and talk
about the book of mormon
proving to the world that the holy
scriptures are true
and that god does inspire men and call
them to his holy work
in this age and generation as well as in
generations of old
thereby showing that he is the same god
yesterday today and forever that's where
oftentimes get the theme of one eternal
round with
those phrases but it's important to
understand that the book of mormon
is what proves the other scriptures true
so often we we get now from scholarship
a this this new influx a very
great new influx right it's kind of like
like the allegory in jacob five right
from zenus
the allegory of the olive trees of the
uh of the vineyard where you have a
grafting in
of the wild branches to offer life
right think of it in these two ways
you've got you've got something that's
orderly let's call it even conservative
very conservative
right and you've got a very conservative
view very status quo
of of of the gospel and of the script of
scripture study
and so in many ways it kind of dies off
a little bit
there's not enough life in it and so
you bring in the wild branches this is
just like you have israel and then you
have the gentiles coming in right
and so you bring in the wild branches
and what do the wild branches offer they
more perspective they offer new energy
life to that olive tree and to the
right it's important to have it and
we've had an influx
of this in lds scholarship especially
since about the 80s and 90s
and so about the last 20 30 years
um there's been a real influx of what of
of students that have gone off to other
around the world around the country and
and get
training in biblical scholarship
great training in biblical scholarship
and then they come back they may go to
or to another university and they write
in a religious way about the gospel of
jesus the restored gospel of jesus
christ these are
usually members of the church but
apart from just bringing in life into
lds scholarship
right they also bring in a little bit of
what's called
you know they're wild branches
and so there's there's some
you you get sometimes the opposite of
what we should be seeing
we we see uh methods of of biblical
being used to try and apply them to the
book of mormon
right and and trying even to try and
prove the book of mormon
that's not a bad thing but it's not what
the book of mormon is
for the book of mormon is the primary
tool to prove the rest of the scriptures
and oftentimes in scholarship you'll
notice this if you study a lot
especially in the last 20 or 30 years we
see the opposite
people trying to use isaiah to prove the
book of mormon
or putting a a more secular
or non-lds filter
which can be good again a new
perspective sometimes
but sometimes it's a a non-lds
and training can also come in
and it actually pulls directly away from
the purpose of the restoration
and the purpose of the book of mormon
and these are great scholars
right they'll write about the book of
mormon using their
biblical scholarship training
and and it's good training but but it's
all it's not all the way the lord tells
to to study the scriptures it's not
using the book of mormon
and saying and then applying it to the
bible for example
right it's it's usually the other way
it's like okay wait a minute here wait a
minute you're taking a nuclear point of
or a a a more broadly christian point of
view or a jewish point of view whatever
it might be
and you're trying to bring that back and
say okay this is how i was trained
this is what i learned and so now i'm
going to try and
put this on to the book of mormon
okay again wild branches grafted in
that's going to give life to scholarship
and there is so much wonderful
and yes i'll say uh in in many different
in many different organizations both
within the church and then going
even broader into mormon studies which
is something that is
building quite a bit it's growing quite
a bit outside of the church
and outside of members of the church and
member scholars
and and it's going to be very
interesting to see what happens with
because the narrative the scholarly
narrative of ld of let's call it mormon
is not going to be controlled
by lds scholars soon that's the way i
see it
it will not be controlled by by lds
scholars it's going to be controlled by
large growing group which we like we
right but it's going to be it's going to
be the narrative is going to be owned
outside of the church
on on scholarly things in the scholarly
right in the academic world it's not
going to be
it'll be you're going to have two
different camps
you're going to have those that are
trying to be scholar decide disciple
uh that were told uh that for example
those of the maxwell institute should be
um by uh president holland
and then you're going to have the other
scholars outside of that that are
focused on mormon studies
that are looking from the outside in
it's a good perspective to see
but it's going to dominate things soon
and it's going to dominate
soon inside of the disciple
scholar world as well i think it's going
to be a hard thing
soon to there's going to be conflict
there's going to be conflict with that
but my point here is in verse 11 we
need to look at the book of mormon as
the primary tool to prove the other
that is what is going to happen as we
gather israel both in the gentiles
christian world and in the jewish world
when that happens
the book of mormon is go what is going
to come back and we need to think more
along the lines of the
old testament especially right with the
jewish world
and and with gathering israel that is
what is going to prove
the old testament where we can see that
maybe things might start to falter there
and it's going to prove the new
testament as well of course and of
course we look at our other
restorative uh scriptures with the book
of moses in the book of abraham
and with the doctrine and covenants here
it's the book of mormon that proves them
to be true
that's the starting point the book of
tells us the truth we're going to see
something very soon here where they're
already seeing it in the christian world
where there's going to be critical
that is going to again my opinion here
but critical theory is going to come in
with a heavy dose of post-modernism and
it is going to
criticize it's going to take a critical
approach to the bible like we've never
seen before
and it's going to be about the oppressor
and the oppressed
and it is going to be about
and it's going to be about man versus
and it's going to be about parents
versus children
and it's going you know everything you
can think of in breaking everything
deconstructing it that is a post-modern
term deconstructing the bible
that's what post-modernism is is
built for and that's what dominates
in academia today and so
we need we need these new
cornerstones of doctrine to keep us on
the right track because
the bible being what has what is very
broadly known out there
right is going to get hammered
it is going to get hammered and we're
going to need to pull
on the book of mormon in order to
to to help keep help us keep grounded on
and to understand that we have an
additional it's kind of like the book of
mormon comes in and is
as the bible will become a little bit
on its ground it will as as this
deconstruction is is
it starts to overpower it the book of
mormon for us
is going to come in and and sit
underneath that bible and hold it up
that's what i see anyway


Cwic Clips
This clip was taken from the Come Follow Me Doctrine and Covenants 20-22 episode found here-


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