Still on the Mormon train: what's this I see about the Book of Abraham being removed from official LDS canon? I suppose you could say that until super official word comes down from the General Authorities, nothing doing--but this interview is still a very interesting read. After fifteen years of Mormonism Florida-style, I'm inclined to think that, despite the church's intense efforts at correlation, members in the mission field apparently practice a bit differently from the hub in Utah. Hearing an LDS "expert"--can I read that as "mouthpiece"?--state that some items of doctrine "depend on which Mormon you talk to" is frankly a goggler for me; what church is he part of? Nothing in LDS doctrine is supposed to depend on who you're talking to! That's the whole point of correlation, the much-loved adage that "the Church is the same everywhere."
Basically my reaction to this piece was a lot of gasping. Manfriend became concerned and thought perhaps naked pictures of Idris Elba had surfaced on Tumblr. Alas, nothing so sexy, but it is very strange to contemplate things that I had never considered fringe aspects of LDS doctrine being talked away or denied significance. May I remind you all that I'm only twenty-five? Less than ten years ago the Book of Abraham was part of my seminary classes, eternal progression was a main tenet of the Plan of Salvation, and the Garden of Eden was most definitely located in Missouri--hell, I joked about the latter in a LiveJournal entry dated to 2004: "Then it was time to pack up our dear camp by scenic Troutless Lake and pull out for Zion! I mean, Salt Lake, since Zion was actually behind us, in Missouri, contrary to what Utahns believe."
Trek-related teenage sniping aside, I do wonder how potlucks, dances, and wedding receptions will change now that drinking Coke is ok (seriously, they picked the caffeinated items that are totally terrible for you to OK?). On the one hand, shoving the Book of Abraham to the quaint-and-outdated or esoteric-and-scholarly closet is a long time coming, since it's basically a crock of easily disproven shit, but there's a lot that stems from that book that is very important to the larger church doctrine. Or is it? Who knows? Apparently the LDS Newsroom is now the center of revelation in our techy era. All I can say from my own experience is that if beliefs about the world to come are indeed misconceptions, they are misconceptions held by a good chunk of members. Part of participating in a religion which accepts modern revelation is experiencing and acknowledging changes to lived doctrine, but I don't think I'm wrong in thinking that most Mormons prefer to get their revelation straight from the Prophet in General Conference, rather than the church website on any given weekday.