link to an article I wrote some time ago for the Deseret News.
The publication date was pushed back and my byline was published with information that is now antiquated. I am no longer a "Capital Campaign Manager for a nonprofit organization in Utah," but am most likely returning to my consulting - specifically with foci on strategic planning and sustainability for nonprofits and small businesses.
I'm surprised by the number of page hits for the article. I'm also surprised this particular review inspired some comments online that were less than warm and fuzzy - or informed.
To clarify, I love criticism - especially of my writing. It increases the pace at which I can improve in the way I present information to others. In this case, I had the opportunity to present 3 CD's worth of material in less than 300 words. For these particular pieces, the articles are not meant to serve as academic critiques like you will find in other places.
What makes me a little sad in this instance is that a very short introductory article to a religious-oriented set of CD's inspired online comments that are filled more with contention that a desire to understand others.
The portion of my byline that remains accurate as of the date of the publication is that I "have a deep and abiding love for the scriptures."
The Book of Abraham has a fascinating history. Too many people, at least from my perspective, have tried to create answers when certain answers have yet to be found. I don't believe it's wise to try and force a square peg into a round hole. As I teach my daughter, if we don't know the answer to something, it's best to say, "I don't know," than to present as fact our own opinions.
Apologetics has a place. But when it is misguided, nobody wins. Everybody loses.
These are all tragic outcomes that result from both misguided apologetics as well as ignorance.
The Book of Abraham is a book I view as scripture. I read it. I ponder it. I use it to help me make sense of life, to place science and mysteries and even theological questions in context. I love it.
My personal opinions about how the book came to be translated is not found anywhere in this article in the Deseret News. Suffice it to say I am not ignorant of the divided opinions nor many of the questions surrounding the texts and the translation process.
I didn't write this article to share my opinions, but to provide a succinct introduction to a set of CD's I used as one of many sources in my own personal library of Book of Abraham resources. I think the CD's are of benefit for anyone interested in learning about the Book of Abraham, whether they believe the book to be scripture or otherwise.
In the end, I would hope that any conversations in any venue about any topic could take place in a manner that is appropriate and conducive to learning.
I desire to be a better writer - to write about sensitive topics in a way that encourages more people to be tolerant and seek to see things from different perspectives. I believe I do a decent job, but I know I can do even better.
For Mormons, I hope they listen to the CD's with critical ears. For non-Mormons, or those with strong negative feelings about the Book of Abraham, I hope they listen with an open mind. Truth is truth, no matter the source. As Brigham Young taught, "If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it."
For anyone to knowingly present "truths" that aren't true is wrong.
For anyone to knowingly set aside truth to strengthen preconceived notions is to build upon a foundation lacking in integrity.
Searching for truth everywhere enables anyone to gather up kernels of truth - regardless the topic.
And my own perspective is that the more truth one can obtain, the more one can use that knowledge to influence others for good.
Yet not all articles are designed to encourage tolerance and learning. Sometimes an article is merely an article, a brief introduction to a book or a CD.