Thursday, October 22, 2009

Knowledge as a Club --2 Ne 28: 4

"And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance." (2 Ne 28: 4)

Our faith, though strongly advocating education, is inherently suspicious of institutionalized intellectualism. Why?

Because knowledge is light--but all too often we treat it as power.

It is our faith's sad experience that people who see themselves as having power often tend toward unrighteous dominion and abuse.


  1. I'm not sure "institutionalized intellectualism" is the issue since we both work for Brigham Young University--an intellectual institution under the guidance of the LDS Church. I think our religion is more suspicious of intellectualism dominating spirituality. If we rely solely on our logic, we lose touch with the Spirit. That inhibits personal revelation and our relationship with God. Of course the threat of unrighteous dominion and power is a valid concern, but I'm not sure the LDS Church is against institutionalized intellectualism. I've seen it in action in 3004 JKB . . . and many seminar rooms in the Joseph F. Smith Building (named after one of our prophets).

  2. I agree. I don't think we're as much suspicious of institutionalized intellectualism as we are of intellectualism that denies the Spirit, and most institutions of higher learning now do exactly that. Spiritual knowledge isn't generally accepted in our schools as knowledge, and scholars who attempt to couple Spirituality with Science often are met with ridicule. But we're commanded to be constantly learning about both secular and spiritucal things.
    So as Paul said in 2 Timothy:

    "5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away...
    7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    And also in 1 Timothy 6:

    "...avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
    21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen"

    I find it interesting that he mentions science specifically, and that because of it SOME men err concerning the faith. Truth is truth. Denying religion using science is denying God's hand in science.

  3. I don't think Paul was referring to anything we would call science. The footnote in the LDS edition of the King James says that the Greek could perhaps more accurately be rendered "disputations of what is falsely called knowledge." Our modern concept of science didn't come about until long after the original Greek and the translation.

    I'm not sure I know exactly what Paul was talking about, but it seems, from the context, that he was warning Timothy against false doctrine and doctrinal disputation. After all, thinking we know things that we don't about the way God works is probably the chief way we 'err concerning the faith.'



Related Posts with Thumbnails