"Scaffolding" is another good term -- thanks. We are given a wide variety of
toolsets with which to learn. To confuse the toolsets with the structures they
build is a mistake, imo. John Widstoe wrote a lot about this issue, and had some
very thought-provoking suggestions as to how to approach apparent discrepancies.
But what they all boil down to is that the history in a secular sense isn't as
important as the spiritual message that's carried -- n.B. my example of Isaiah
and how to read the confusing references to winepresses and the like. It's not
winepresses that are important (although it's interesting to note that
"Gethsemane" comes from a word meaning "winepress" but I digress), but the
atonement of our Saviour. The language doesn't automatically lead us to this
conclusion anymore because we're not familiar with the language. But when read
with the Spirit, the message will come through even without "secular" scholarly
tools. I've personally found that those scholarly tools make the Spirit's job
easier. It's as if you're called on to fire arrows. The more arrows you have in
your quiver, the better an archer you are, as you have more that the Spirit can
choose from, and say, "Select this one."

Gary Smith wrote:

> I look at such ideas as a way to expand possibilities and learning in my
> own life. Joseph F Smith said it should all be considered scaffolding
> used to help build the actual building of true knowledge. Since we don't
> have exact information on how long the creation took for example, we
> really don't know what the exact process is that God used. So, we can
> often get the same uncertainty in the scriptures as we find in science.
> I don't turn away from science. I use it as scaffolding to help me learn
> to understand the things in this world. I understand that it is based
> upon theory, so it doesn't phase me when it blatantly contradicts the
> scriptures. I know there will be unanswered questions. Rather than run
> away from it, I do as JFS suggested, and use it all as possible
> scaffolding. God doesn't condemn us for keeping an open mind on
> non-doctrinal things. Now, we could argue on what denotes "doctrine",
> however as individuals we each must make that determination for
> ourselves.
> I think there are too many members who run away from learning, because it
> would force them to consider new ideas that may help them accept the
> gospel on a higher level. I don't consider you one of those people, John,
> otherwise you wouldn't be on these lists discussing such things.
> An example: are the proper names for Jesus and God really Jehovah and
> Elohim?  They have been standardized as such in the church for about 80
> years (since 1919). However, in Joseph Smith's day, the name Jehovah was
> a title that was used interchangeably for Father and Son (see how Joseph
> used Jehovah in the Kirtland dedicatory prayer, DC 109). Most members
> never learn that God truly is nameless, as no name can contain all He is.
> The most we can do is use name-titles to describe him.
> I love science, as someday I will have to use it (along with math,
> language, art, etc) to form my own worlds. Developing and testing
> theories helps me to develop my critical thinking skills. These I believe
> are necessary to recognize truth from error, but also to help me in
> problem solving (which God obviously does much of). So, even though
> science may be far fromthe truth in some areas, accepting some ideas as
> theoretical scaffolding allows me to use those theories until a greater
> truth is found.
> K'aya K'ama,
> Gerald/gary  Smith    gszion1 @juno.com    http://www
> .geocities.com/rameumptom/index.html
> "No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free."  -
> Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
> JWR:
> >
> > Part of the reason I turned away from science to religion is because I
> > despaired of learning anything with any certainty when the foremost
> > authorities in almost every field disagree with fellow scientists about
> > really basic things.  I have a real need for at least some questions to
> > have conclusive answers.  Otherwise, life is just a constantly changing
> > dream bound by no laws and consequently all over the map.  I know very
> > little "for sure," but what little I do know I have learned from the
> > scriptures, the modern prophets, and the testimony of the Holy Ghost.
> >
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not
technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we don’t want
a world of engineers.” – Sir Winston Churchill (1950)

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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