Hello. New here. But we've been lurking for awhile and thought we'd give this a try.
WE'RE SEEKING INPUT
We have attached a document (this is essentially a rough draft, and we still need to fill-in the definitions for all the common Mormon terms and jargon) that we hope people will look at and talk to us about. If you have input either as to substantive content, or especially what to do with this, and have ideas about how to make it available (much like the inquiry in Dr. Jones' thread about the new energy device), we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
And maybe this additional background will help explain what we're trying to do.
The challenge . . . and what we have tried to do about it
Recently, we’ve been looking for a basic nutshell summary of what Mormons believe – or basic Mormonism in a nutshell. From time to time we have friends and acquaintances who ask us for a simple summary of our beliefs. Then one of our teenage daughters developed some acquaintances that were interested in learning more about the basic nuts and bolts of what Mormons believe. Although it is fairly common to refer such inquiries to the missionaries, based on our experience, that isn’t necessarily the best approach in every single situation. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, it makes sense to simply accommodate such requests, without getting too pushing, while continuing to fellowship and develop solid rapport. We have also learned that in some cases, people prefer to look at something on their own, and at their own pace, and engage in a certain degree of basic self-education before inquiring further. Thinking that our daughter’s new acquaintances fit into this category we started looking, attempting to find a short book that accurately summarizing basic Mormon beliefs in a nutshell, that she might give them. The first place we looked was Deseret Book. Unfortunately, everything we found was much bigger, longer, and “heavier” than what we were looking for in terms of introductory information.
So then, we looked Online. The sad part about doing that is that one can find all sorts of distorted and misguided information propounded by those who have bones to pick with the Mormon Church, its members, and their beliefs. Among other things, however, our search yielded Mormonism for Dummies (which does a pretty darn good job, but likewise takes 350 pages to do it, and is still much more information than we were looking for); we were looking for something considerably shorter still. In a way Wikipedia came closer (especially in terms of brevity), but while its treatment is somewhat balanced, it is also very academic, and lacks both depth and familiarity (among other things, it feels like it was written by someone who doesn’t really “know” the subject matter, or care deeply about it) – hardly something we would refer anyone to as a “good” nutshell version of what Mormons believe.
It also occurred to us that especially this year, 2012, with Mitt Romney as the probable Republican nominee in the U.S. Presidential Race (not to mention BYU’s Jimmer Fredette as the leading scorer in NCAA basketball in 2011) there seems to be an increased interest in Mormonism and what Mormons believe. In the end, however, we found it to be very challenging to find what we were looking for. So we decided to simply bite the bullet ourselves and attempt to write the kind of nutshell summary that we have been seeking, but have not able to find. For that reason, we have attempted to employ the bikini principle (covering the bare essentials, without covering too much) to keep this summary as reasonably short and sweet as possible. Obviously, there’s a lot more to the full scope of Mormon Doctrine, and multiple volumes have been written about that, but in terms of a true nutshell version, our best attempt is the only one we know of.
- (132.05 KiB) Downloaded 72 times
Last edited by Nutshell
on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.