The church is working hard to inoculate the youth from the disease of church history. They are teaching seminary students in the scripture mastery program that historical details are not important since they can’t provide salvation, so let’s not get distracted by these less significant details. This conditions young members to ignore the troubling issues we find in church history. These issues are causing the church quite a struggle trying to keep members in the pews. Now the Church Educational System is setting up to indoctrinate (or inoculate) the youth by diverting attention from the troubling church history. They remind students that they can’t know all the answers today and that history can’t save them anyways. Let’s not risk our salvation by looking at facts that challenge our beliefs.
What is The Church Teaching Kids these days?
As part of the Mormon seminary program, students are encouraged to study and memorize what is commonly called Scripture Mastery. These are important or key passages from the scriptures that teach important principles in church doctrine. The church seminary classes are for teenage high school-age students (ages 14-18). In Utah, students are able to take seminary during their school day and integrated for the most part into their public education. But for the students who don’t live in Utah, they take these classes in the early morning hours before going to high school, which can be as early as 5 am depending on the area! For each of the 4 years of high school, students will take a seminary class focusing on a different area of the church scriptures: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants and Church History. For each program, there are 25 scripture mastery passages selected by the Church Educational System (CES) to be studied and memorized. These include classics such as John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” and Matthew 5:14-16 “Let your light so shine before men.”
For the year 2023, the church released a study manual to accompany what they’re now calling the Doctrinal Mastery Core. They list all the required scripture mastery passages as well as a guide to acquiring spiritual knowledge with more important lessons for students.
This is published on the official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and provided as a core curriculum to seminary teachers to relay to students. These seminary teachers are either CES employees in Utah or volunteer teachers from local areas giving up their own early morning to inspire the youth. The program emphasizes the importance of acquiring spiritual knowledge and encourages students to seek knowledge only from trusted or approved sources, including the scriptures, prophetic teachings, and personal revelation through prayer and study. It teaches students to not get hung up in historical details, which are less significant and to focus on the things that matter, like the saving power of covenants, ordinances, and doctrine.
Here’s a photo from one such seminary class which has garnered a lot of attention recently:
This photo is no rogue instructor either, it’s directly from the CES program. Here it is in the manual for teachers on the scripture mastery program officially called the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document.
Principle 2: Examine Concepts and Questions with an Eternal Perspective
8. To examine doctrinal concepts, questions, and social issues with an eternal perspective, we consider them in the context of the plan of salvation and the teachings of the Savior. We seek the help of the Holy Ghost in order to see things as the Lord sees them. This allows us to reframe the question (to see the question differently) and view ideas based on the Lord’s standard of truth rather than accepting the world’s premises or assumptions. We can do this by asking questions such as “What do I already know about Heavenly Father, His plan, and how He deals with His children?” and “What gospel teachings relate to or clarify this concept or issue?”
9. Even questions that relate to historical events may need to be examined with an eternal perspective. As we stay anchored to our trust in our Heavenly Father and His plan of salvation, we are able to see issues more clearly. It may also help to examine historical questions in the proper historical context by considering the culture and norms of the time period rather than imposing current perspectives and attitudes.
10. It is important to remember that historical details do not carry the saving power of covenants, ordinances, and doctrine. To be distracted by less significant details at the expense of missing the unfolding miracle of the Restoration is like spending time analyzing a gift box and ignoring the wonder of the gift itself.Doctrinal Mastery Core Document
Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge
Historical Details Are Distracting
There are so many alarming and manipulative things in this curriculum. From keeping an eternal perspective and admitting that “we may not immediately find answers to our questions,” so basically we will need to continue to place hard issues onto our trusty shelf. Also teaches that students should “view ideas based on the Lord’s standard of truth rather than accepting the world’s premises or assumptions.” One of the most gaslighting points is the admonition to not be “distracted by less significant details” or “historical details”, as the church is well aware that its own history is particularly damning evidence against it.
It is important to remember that historical details do not carry the saving power of covenants, ordinances, and doctrine. To be distracted by less significant details at the expense of missing the unfolding miracle of the Restoration is like spending time analyzing a gift box and ignoring the wonder of the gift itself.
Regarding the details of history, this encourages students to seek and understand the context of historical events and to consider them in the light of eternal principles. It emphasizes that historical events are not isolated from God’s plan and should be studied with a faithful perspective that recognizes the divine influence in history. The church also acknowledges that understanding historical events and figures can be challenging, but encourages students to seek truth and understanding with a humble and open heart to faithful sources. In other words, ignore any historical issues you may find and just keep your head down. The church actively works to hide any issues by whitewashing church history so we don’t stumble onto anything that may challenge our faith. They work to marginalize any who do investigate and leave the church. Keep the faith by doubting your doubts and especially if you find troubling information about Joseph Smith, just give him a break. Even if this information is historical details of the changing covenants, ordinances and doctrine. Whatever you do, don’t bail but stay in the boat!
Details Behind the Curtain
It is important to note that the details of history, including the historical context and the method of translation of the Book of Mormon, are critical components of understanding the larger picture of the Restoration. Without examining these details, one cannot fully understand and appreciate the significance of the Restoration. This is basically a rephrasing of The Wizard of Oz.
Without examining the details, one cannot see that behind the curtain, is a plain man merely orchestrating greatness. When Toto pulls back the curtain in “The Wizard of Oz,” the Wizard says, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” This is the Wizard’s attempt to distract Dorothy and her friends from realizing that he is not a real wizard, but rather an ordinary man using smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of power. The church telling us historical issues are mere distractions is their attempt to distract us from the conclusions we must draw when looking at the historical issues.
Analyzing the Gift Box
The manual claims “To be distracted by less significant details at the expense of missing the unfolding miracle of the Restoration is like spending time analyzing a gift box and ignoring the wonder of the gift itself.” The church suggests that focusing on the details of the restoration at the expense of missing the larger picture is akin to ignoring the wonder of a gift while analyzing its packaging. While the sentiment of the statement is understandable, it could be seen as overly dismissive of the importance of examining the details of the Restoration. This is reminiscent of the Renlunds parable of the boy who abandons ship because of insignificant details like chipped paint and stale crackers.
Dismissing historical details as “less significant” than (and as a distraction from) the larger picture of believing and following the church and especially never questioning the leaders is incredulous. They want to say what historical events are less significant, while also telling us that they are distractions from the cherished faith.
Less significant according to whom?Sam Pinson
“It is important to remember that [facts that prove my claims false] do not carry the [special powers that I claim to have]. To be distracted by less significant details [disconfirming facts] at the expense of missing [the awe induced by simply accepting my claims] is like spending time analyzing a gift box and ignoring the wonder of the gift itself.”
Are you impressed by such reasoning?
Historical fact shows that the church hides information from members. Joseph Smith was a practiced con artist. Joseph Smith developed the first vision story over time. Joseph Smith was a sexual predator who sought after all sorts of women, including multiple teenage girls with spiritual coercion. The Book of Mormon is demonstrably non-historical with so many 19th-century influences among other anachronisms and thus, not what the church claims it to be. It’s amazing that the church can now say essentially that history isn’t important to your salvation when historically they made church history a significant part of our educational curriculum and conversion material. But of course that is a historical detail too, it’s distracting and less significant!
Some checks and balances would be nice here because we can see that church leaders have all power here. We can’t question them or criticize them either.
Let’s not forget to recognize the value of examining details that make up a larger picture. The two are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible to appreciate both the gift and the packaging without one being at the expense of the other. Once you notice the packaging is filthy, you at least need to wash your hands. Facts are important, especially historical facts. Facts are more important than any cherished belief.
This is all a perfect example of the church working hard to inoculate the youth, or in other words, gaslight them hard enough that they don’t know what hit them. As Elder Snow stated clearly when he led the soft launch of the Gospel Topic Essays, they are working on ways to weave the new information into the church curriculum for the rising generation.
This is extreme gaslighting and even attempting 1984 doublethink and mind-control. The word in indoctrinate rather than inoculate. They are hoping to have the youth gaslight themselves with this brainwashing. We see the church mention inoculation more and more frequently, like when they instruct CES teachers as well as when they study the personal faith crises of members.