“Martin Harris: Skeptic or Gullible Dupe?”

“Martin Harris: Skeptic or Gullible Dupe?” May 5, 2021


Pearl Harbor/Arizona
The USS Arizona on 7 December 1941. (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)
Significantly more Americans have died from the coronavirus than were killed during the Second World War.  And we’re not yet done.  We can still drive the death toll considerably higher!




The most recent installment of my new twice-a-month column for Meridian Magazine has now appeared:


“Martin Harris: Skeptic or Gullible Dupe?”


For some odd reason, the Book of Mormon witnesses have been on my mind quite a bit lately.




In case you missed them:


“President Russell M. Nelson and the COVID-19 vaccine: What the church leader has said and done: Revered as a prophet by Latter-day Saints, he prayed throughout 2020 for a vaccine to relieve world suffering caused by the pandemic.”


The other day, a member of the Church pronounced people like me and President Nelson “mask weirdos.”  I’m not unhappy to wear either the title or the mask.


“COVID Conspiracists Are as American as Apple Pie: Vaccine ‘skepticism’ and other coronavirus-related kookiness fit seamlessly in a long historical tradition.”


I’m worried about this, too.  I wonder how many Latter-day Saints, having slipped into more or less enforced inactivity in the Church, won’t return if and when COVID-19 has left the scene:


“How to Prevent “Going Inactive” After the Pandemic Ends”


Yes, we can!  We can still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory:


“Experts say the U.S. may never reach herd immunity. Here’s why that matters: The New York Times reports that experts don’t see the country hitting herd immunity in the foreseeable future”


“2 Billion COVID-19 Vaccinations Roll out to At-Risk Populations: Church donation helps support UNICEF’s role in global effort”


“Covid-19 vaccine myths: These reasons for not getting a shot don’t hold up. In fact, they’ll set the US back”


“The CDC is warning states to remove COVID-19 vaccine-card templates as pro-Trump forums spread tips on how to forge the document”


“‘I Have Changed My Mind And Do Not Want A Divorce From This Amazing Handsome Man,’ Says Glossy-Eyed Melinda Gates After Receiving Vaccine”


And there’s this, in Meridian.  It comes from a Latter-day Saint scientist by the name of Emily Bates.  Please don’t miss the short videos that accompany the article:


“Can the Bible teach us about our role in ending the pandemic?”


The stories in this article make me almost physically sick:


“‘It just hurts my heart’ — How COVID dissent pushed some Latter-day Saints away from their church: When the fellowship they yearned for turned to bickering, doubts arose and faith crises ensued.”


I can’t help being reminded, in this light, of Paul’s discussion in 1 Corinthians 8 of whether or not first-century Christians should eat meat that had been offered to idols:


8 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.


Even if you “know” that masks represent a Progressive Marxist plot to enslave you and your descendants even unto the fourth generation by weaponizing a fake-news scamdemic, even if you’ve discerned Bill Gates’s nefarious plot to control the universe via injected nanobot-laden vaccines — or, for that matter, even if you recognize that the overwhelming majority of medical and scientific experts worldwide aren’t evil Satan-worshiping pedophiles — please don’t use your political ideology or your “insights” on the matter of COVID-19 to justify turning your back on God and your covenants, or to drive others into doing so.


They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.  (Doctrine and Covenants 1:16)


And please don’t imagine that that passage from the Doctrine and Covenants can’t ever be justly applied even to active Latter-day Saints.


CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.  (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary)


If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.  (William Law, 1686-1761)




And, finally, I share a few other items that have caught my attention on Meridian.  The first of them comes from our friend Karl Ricks Anderson, whom President Gordon B. Hinckley once dubbed “Mr. Kirtland”:


“Why Kirtland is the “Holy Ground” of Our Dispensation”


“The Strength of Joseph’s Character”


“Gender Identity Ideology – The Political Religion Distorting the Meaning of Sex and Gender”


“”Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight It”


Posted from Ka’anapali, Maui, Hawai’i



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