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General Handbook Update: Getting information from reliable sources


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Among the additions to the handbook highlighted in yesterday’s announcement was this:

 

“Seeking Information from Reliable Sources

“In today’s world, information is easy to access and share. This can be a great blessing for those seeking to be educated and informed. However, many sources of information are unreliable and do not edify. Some sources seek to promote anger, contention, fear, or baseless conspiracy theories (see 3 Nephi 11:30; Mosiah 2:32). Therefore, it is important that Church members be wise as they seek truth.
Members of the Church should seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information. They should avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor. The guidance of the Holy Ghost, along with careful study, can help members discern between truth and error (see Doctrine and Covenants 11:12; 45:57). In matters of doctrine and Church policy, the authoritative sources are the scriptures, the teachings of the living prophets, and the General Handbook.“

Recognizing that probably the most we can do at this juncture is offer thoughtful conjecture about the possible application of this new content, be it broad or narrow, I wonder if any here can offer plausible suggestions about what this might be alluding to. 
 

A few possibilities that occur to me off hand are these: 

— Prepperism, tent cities, and similar esoterica and extremism. 
 

— Unauthoritative doctrine and scriptural interpretation leading to apostasy a la Snuffer, Waterman, etc.  Also, evil speaking of divinely called prophets and apostles acting in the authority of their calling. 
 

— Theoretical dogmatism or extremist fanaticism on matters on which the Church and its senior leaders have taken no formal position, such as the age of the earth, specific Book of Mormon geography, purported revelations to those not authorized to promulgate them to the body of the Church, etc. 

— Inaccurate or hasty interpretation, wishful thinking or conclusion jumping pertaining to announcements of changes to Church doctrine or policy, such as this past year’s kerfuffle regarding the honor code at BYU.
 

Your thoughts?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Among the additions to the handbook highlighted in yesterday’s announcement was this:
<snip>

Your thoughts?

Given the recent number of threads about apologetic sources, I would like to see some kind of "Association of Good-Faith Apologists" dedicated to promoting standards of legitimacy for "credible, reliable, and factual sources of information" as well as ethical practices, quality standards, etc.

1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

That sounds like most American political commentary from both sides of the spectrum. (Am I allowed to mention that here?)

And even if they do not seek to promote anger, contention, fear, or baseless conspiracy theories, many certainly "step in it" and so I think some kind of "Association of Good-Faith Apologists" would be helpful.

Edited by CV75
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I would also guess this is referring to a lot of the information that circulates on social media. There's so much bad information out there about the Church and every other topic that many people just take at face value.

No one is fact checking any of what gets posted there in any meaningful way.

Edited by rchorse
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3 hours ago, gopher said:

What's a Grneral Handbook?  Or does someone need to hire an editor?

Dang you beat me to it!

SCOTT LLOYD made a mistake!!!

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1 hour ago, rchorse said:

I would also guess this is referring to a lot of the information that circulates on social media. There's so much bad information out there about the Church and every other topic that many people just take at face value.

No one is fact checking any of what gets posted there in any meaningful way.

No need to fact check a 144 character limited posting. Nor to fact check photoshopped posts with some emotionally driven caption.

Each of those are $$$ for the hosting business, and that means you don't need to fact check, because we all know facts before $$$. 

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The problem is most people who believe this conspiracy stuff won't be convinced otherwise. I think too that it's one thing to think that the mafia killed JFK than it is to think that the Canadian Government knows how to control winter, you know as well but if you tell anyone, "government agents" will kill you.

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4 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

It's in part precipitated by the idiotic conspiracy theories about the election that have unfortunately gripped so many Latter-day Saints in our country.

This (and the predictable reactions to it) bring to mind two books I highly recommend for people of all political persuasions:

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 

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5 hours ago, gopher said:

What's a Grneral Handbook?  Or does someone need to hire an editor?

 

2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Dang you beat me to it!

SCOTT LLOYD made a mistake!!!

Both Bluebell and I used the phrase “general handbook” in our thread titles. If I’m wrong, then so is she. And her thread came before mine by several hours. So I’m wondering why you chose to snipe at me and not her. 

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4 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

It's in part precipitated by the idiotic conspiracy theories about the election that have unfortunately gripped so many Latter-day Saints in our country.

 

29 minutes ago, CV75 said:

This (and the predictable reactions to it) bring to mind two books I highly recommend for people of all political persuasions:

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 

In view of the very explicit and stern directive by the moderation team to steer clear of politics in our discussions, I would ask that folks here avoid getting my thread shut down by way of protracted discussion of politics in this thread. 

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34 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

Both Bluebell and I used the phrase “general handbook” in our thread titles. If I’m wrong, then so is she. And her thread came before mine by several hours. So I’m wondering why you chose to snipe at me and not her. 

My dear brother Scott- we were both just ribbing you because in the title of the thread you misspelled "general".

You are truly a man of letters and you can demolish an argument with e's.

Just not this time.

Love ya dude!

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39 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

Both Bluebell and I used the phrase “general handbook” in our thread titles. If I’m wrong, then so is she. And her thread came before mine by several hours. So I’m wondering why you chose to snipe at me and not her. 

He's talking about where you accidentally typed Grneral instead of General in the title of the thread. 

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55 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In view of the very explicit and stern directive by the moderation team to steer clear of politics in our discussions, I would ask that folks here avoid getting my thread shut down by way of protracted discussion of politics in this thread. 

I would only like to highlight that I consider these to be two non-partisan books.

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4 hours ago, provoman said:

No need to fact check a 144 character limited posting. Nor to fact check photoshopped posts with some emotionally driven caption.

Each of those are $$$ for the hosting business, and that means you don't need to fact check, because we all know facts before $$$. 

I quite disagree. A false understanding can be impressed upon a receiver’s  mind at least as easily by a brief tweet or an ostensibly clever meme as it can by a treatise of hundreds of words. In fact I would argue it can be done more easily, as the tweet or the meme are often more accessible (and more pervasive) than the treatise. The Church leaders are quite right to admonish us to scrutinize our information sources, and nowhere is this counsel more applicable than in social media. 

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3 hours ago, CV75 said:

This (and the predictable reactions to it) bring to mind two books I highly recommend for people of all political persuasions:

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

 

The Snyder book is on my To Read stack.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I quite disagree. A false understanding can be impressed upon a receiver’s  mind at least as easily by a brief tweet or an ostensibly clever meme as it can by a treatise of hundreds of words. In fact I would argue it can be done more easily, as the tweet or the meme are often more accessible (and more pervasive) than the treatise. The Church leaders are quite right to admonish us to scrutinize our information sources, and nowhere is this counsel more applicable than in social media. 

I would say, even easier as it appeals to something in the subconscious bias which runs the whole show anyway; our rational minds simply justify these natural inclinations with “convincing” arguments. Another thread talks about doctrine as the basis for belief and faith and these as the basis of action, with Alma Chapter 32’s knowledge-faith dynamic necessary for expanding both.

From this October 2020 Ensign: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2020/10/stand-on-the-rock-of-revelation?lang=eng

“People say, “You should be true to your beliefs.” While that is true, you cannot be better than what you know. Most of us act based on our beliefs, especially what we believe to be in our self-interest [and I will include altruism in that]. The problem is, we are sometimes wrong…

“When we act badly, we may think we are bad, when in truth we are just wrong. The challenge is not so much closing the gap between our actions and our beliefs; rather, the challenge is closing the gap between our beliefs and the truth.”

How much truth is garnered from a meme, and how much is simply a confirmation of what one already believes without bothering to obtain guidance from the Holy Ghost or study?

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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

If by this you are alluding to legal challenges to election results based on apparently real irregularities and anomalies that so far are explicable only in terms of voter fraud and illegalities in vote counting, then you would have to explain why the First Presidency took the unusual measure of waiting until the electoral college had acted before they congratulated the Biden team. Why didn’t they jump on the bandwagon after the AP had “called the election”?

I would suggest their action is very much in line with a few of the 20 principles in the Snyder book I mentioned. By appealing to the observance of due process, I believe they defended our constitutionally-defined electoral institution; remembered and supported the professional ethics of all involved; believed in truth and investigated accordingly (all along); and were calm when the unthinkable arrived (or was alleged to have arrived).

Don't worry folks, I'm on to a new book already! :)

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3 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

Both Bluebell and I used the phrase “general handbook” in our thread titles. If I’m wrong, then so is she. And her thread came before mine by several hours. So I’m wondering why you chose to snipe at me and not her. 

It was totally in jest of the misspelled word in the title.  I'm aware of your former profession so I was just having fun.  I'm envious of all of you that are so talented at writing - you make it look so easy for those of us that can't write good.  It's poking fun the same way as in the classic Gary Larson cartoon:

17fe3120743cb2c29d44558df9510c0f.jpg.ed7800c236b2177a928d6edbce7dd1df.jpg

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8 minutes ago, gopher said:

It was totally in jest of the misspelled word in the title.  I'm aware of your former profession so I was just having fun.  I'm envious of all of you that are so talented at writing - you make it look so easy for those of us that can't write good.  It's poking fun the same way as in the classic Gary Larson cartoon:

17fe3120743cb2c29d44558df9510c0f.jpg.ed7800c236b2177a928d6edbce7dd1df.jpg

Sorry I flew off the handle without trying harder to understand. 

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10 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

It's in part precipitated by the idiotic conspiracy theories about the election that have unfortunately gripped so many Latter-day Saints in our country.

Ladies and gentleman, an Oxford-educated elite (well, maybe not elite since he couldn't get a professorship) looking down on those not blessed to be as enlightened and smart as he is.

I'll take conspiratorial simpletons over arrogant and condescending elitists like you any day.

 

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Just now, Ipod Touch said:

Ladies and gentleman, an Oxford-educated elite (well, maybe not elite since he couldn't get a professorship) looking down on those not blessed to be as enlightened and smart as he is.

I'll take conspiratorial simpletons over arrogant and condescending elitists like you any day.

Yeah, none of this surprises me. 

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