Mormon Stories recently conducted an interview with Anthropologist Daymon Smith. I highly recommend that you check out at the very least the second part of the interview.
The full interview can be found here.
As an outsider it’s sometimes difficult for me the understand how Mormon doctrine can be so unflinchingly solid to some and so fluid to others. Jack recently stated that there is no such thing as “Mormon doctrine” only “a history of Mormon thought”. I thought that was a great way to put it. But now I’m not so sure that’s true. There didn’t used to be “Mormon doctrine” but now there clearly is and the correlation department has quite intentionally been responsible for developing it.
This interview unlocked that riddle for me. In a way, I think I better can understand orthodox Mormons by classifying them into two groups; 1) Those who feel bound and committed to Mormon correlation 2) and those who don’t. Clearly those are broad categories but it makes better sense of Mormonism in light of the Fundamentalist movement and is more meaningful than traditional/non-traditional.
I see some Mormons leverage the complaint against Historic Christianity that it allowed the Council of Nicea to define Christianity too tightly. That same charge seems like something that can directed at Mormon correlation as well.