Ordinarily I don’t like to give publicity to the Meridian Magazine. However, the recent article by Ralph C. Hancock, professor of political science at Brigham Young University, is just plain bizarre. So I will break my own unstated rule.
Hancock’s premise is that “progressivism” (a strong belief in progress) is rotting our brains (and soon our souls). Since I consider myself a techno-progressive and transhumanist, his thesis caught my attention. So my brain is rotting (and I suppose my boss would agree). Hancock has several colorful phrases to describe what is happening in my head including “seductive incoherence,” “spiritual-intellectual rot,” “hollowing out of the cognitive fiber,” and “insidious cognitive decomposition.” And what is to blame: “intellectual-media elite pressure.” (Sounds like something Rush Limbaugh might say.) I haven’t heard anything so silly since then-VEEP Spiro Agnew called intellectuals “an effete corps of impudent snobs.”
While Hancock’s article is largely complaining about those in the LDS Church who advocate for same-sex marriage and greater participation by women in church leadership roles, he sure beats around the bush getting there.
Anyway, what Hancock doesn’t seem to grasp is that the world is changing. And everything in the world in changing, including the LDS Church. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gets it:
Today, I would like to propose a question to all of us who hold God’s priesthood: are you sleeping through the Restoration?
Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us. . . In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”
This is one of the most remarkable periods of the world’s history! Ancient prophets yearned to see our day.
Of course, the LDS Church is changing. Hancock lightly glosses over the change of “extending the priesthood to male members of black-African descent.” That change is still occurring. We are now learning that the priesthood ban had nothing to do with Cain or Ham, or a biblical curse. (It seems we are about to admit that the black policy/doctrine was a product of Brigham Young’s prejudice.) Pre-1978, what about all the members who felt that the Church’s black policy/doctrine was not right? Were their brains rotting?
Some of us feel that the LGBT community has rights and that the biblical justification for non-equality is weak. We also feel that the role of women in society has matured since the time of Christ and Joseph Smith. It’s time for the LDS Church to rethink its organizational structure. Does that mean my brain is rotting? You decide.
Hancock needlessly worries that the Church of our progeny will be “unrecognizable.” I don’t, the Restoration is still going on.