I just started listening to a new podcast that I wanted to share with you.
The "Church History Matters" podcast provides a deep dive into many of the most challenging topics in LDS church history. Two prominent church educators/historians (Casey Griffiths and Scott Woodward) discuss important (and sometimes controversial) Church History topics.
The podcast only started in March of 2023, but they have already covered:
Accounts of the First Vision
Book of Mormon translation
The Priesthood/Temple ban
So far, I have really enjoyed the podcast. They discuss topics I am interested in and go into a great deal of depth. This week, I listened to the first 5 episodes which comprised almost 5 hours just on the multiple accounts of the First Vision. One of my favourite takeaways from these episodes involved the idea of our personal "hermeneutic."
They used the principle of "hermeneutic" to illustrate how the way we choose to look at the accounts of the First Vision changes our interpretation of it. We can choose to view it through a “hermeneutic of trust,” or a “hermeneutic of suspicion.”
If we have a “hermeneutic of suspicion,” then every area of confusion, every potential contradiction, is seen as purposefully deceptive. But, if we choose a “hermeneutic of trust,” then those same scenarios are viewed with hope and trust. I just love this idea.
When it comes to things of faith, we always need to choose to believe or not. There will never be enough evidence to prove them right or wrong.
“...will remain in the realm of faith. Science will not be able to prove or disprove holy writ. However, enough plausible evidence will come forth to prevent scoffers from having a field day, but not enough to remove the requirement of faith.”
I encourage you to give the "Church History Matters" podcast a listen.