In June 2009 the Mormon Church announced the building of a new church library to house historical records of the church.
“From the earliest moments of the Church’s founding, Latter-day Saints have kept a record of their history. The principle behind this practice stems from a scriptural mandate: “There shall be a record kept among you” (D&C 21:1), intended for the “good of the church” and “the rising generations” (D&C 69:8). Maintaining a perspective on the past, while fixing an eye toward the future, is nothing new in religious history. Accounts of God’s intervention in the affairs of mankind have been promulgated by prophets and sages since the beginning of time. These records have provided a framework of meaning that continues to shape human conceptions of morality, identity and progress. Continued
Consistent with this long tradition of sacred record keeping, the Church has devoted substantial resources to construct a new library. This building, which, in the words of Church Historian Marlin K. Jensen, “will rival the great libraries of the world with its facilities and collections,” is more than a physical repository of information. It is, at its heart, a vast spiritual undertaking aimed at expanding the collective memory of a people. And yet, without the laborious process of preserving tangible records, the spiritual act of remembering is diminished. Memory, both collective and personal, is a fragile thing.”
History is indeed fragile, especially Mormon history which seems to break as soon as it is looked at. Mormons have faithfully kept this history for generations but every time it is cited it is denied, dissembled and dismissed. The 26 volume Journal of Discourses, which is supposed to have been the exemplar of record keeping for Mormons, the diaries carefully recorded and passed down through families, all become opaque and unreliable historical curios because of the embarrassing information that can be garnered from them.
From polygamy through the Mountain Meadows Massacre to Negroes and the priesthood and the disingenuous and disgraceful mission on the African continent the Mormon Church seeks at every turn to distract attention from its history and perhaps one of the most inconvenient “revelations” Joseph Smith ever had was D&C 21.
They end the report, “if a religion cannot explain its history, it cannot explain itself”
(No I don’t find this funny. That was an ironic laugh you heard. As Freddy Frinton said, “not funny, ha, ha. Funny, ugh”)