“The Direction of the Maxwell Institute”



Religious Studies



Here’s a thoughtful reflection from an “outsider,” posted almost exactly a year after its announcement, on the “new course” adopted by the Maxwell Institute:





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  • manaen

    I hadn’t noticed before that as MI drops apologetics, BYU-tv drops LDS-centered programming for the broadcast equivalent of toothless ain’t-we-like-you fluff. Gone are the devotionals, scripture discussions, general-conference talks, family-history lessons, and the rest that my recent-convert wife and I had used to introduce people to the unique benefits found in the LDS world. Now, they offer an amorphous mash-up of Hulu and National Geographic featuring forgetable movies starring forgotten actors (Dean Jones? Really?), sophomoric dorm humor (Studio C), cooking shows, and reruns of cancelled-for-obvious-reasons serial TV shows.

    The purge extended beyond programming: HUNDREDS of half-hour scripture discussions that had been available for download from BYU-tv’s site are no more to be found.

    This probably was an illegal bait-and-switch. They held a big fund-raising campaign for their shiny new broadcast building “to better share BYU-tv’s unique message” and then dropped that message shortly after scoring all those donations and dedicating the new building. How did they reconcile that with the donors who supposed they were funding extended reach of the message broadcast when they donated? Probably the same way MI reconciles it’s direction with Elder Maxwell’s vision. Just don’t bother with it.

    • DanielPeterson

      I’ve noticed precisely the same very troubling things. And others of similar nature.

  • RaymondSwenson

    Like many of us, I spent two hours Sunday night listening to the Brethren appeal to us to gather more people in to be taught by the expanding missionary force. While the program didn’t get into it, the fact is that many people who are potential investigators are being discouraged by distorted accounts of Mormon beliefs, that they hear in their old church or from their friends when it is discovered they are talking to the Mormon missionaries. We are responsible for giving those people an opportunity to hear the gospel, and failing to use the tools at our disposal to answer their questions and correct the facts so they are willing to listen and feel the Holy Ghost, wold be a failure to fulfill the calling God has given all of us in the Church, the one that the Brethren spoke about last night.

    If BYU does not actively promote scholarship that can be used to help members and investigators counter the falsehoods they will inevitably hear, then BYU is not on board with the mission of the Church.

    • DanielPeterson

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • DanielPeterson

    Sadly true. And this comes from somebody who knows — from a lot of experience in and around these entities — whereof she speaks.