I’m going to direct your attention to an interesting post at the LDS Patheos site: The Future Faith of Our Seminary Students. The post is a response to the author’s reading of the new Old Testament manual for Seminary. In a nutshell, the post laments the fact that “the way we teach ancient scripture to youth remains so simplistic as to be misleading and even factually incorrect at times.” While we have upgraded the LDS pedagogical treatment of LDS history (see Gospel Topics Essays, the new Saints volume, the Revelations in Context booklet), the LDS treatment of the Bible and the scholarship, or lack thereof, reflected in LDS manuals is an apologetic time bomb. When the youth figure it out, it will be “I was lied to, Part 2.” I will let you read the well-documented post yourself and provide your own response and your own experience as a student or teacher in LDS classes. I’ll just briefly add my own much less informed (compared to The Scribe) experience with the topic.
I have often taught Gospel Doctrine, but after teaching Church History last year we hit the Old Testament this year. The manual is so bad and so dated as to be unusable. Not just unusable, but positively misleading or false in many of its presentations and applications of Old Testament books and verses. I’m not willing to teach misleading or false information to students. So I quit. That’s how bad LDS manuals are.
Likewise with LDS reference materials. I have a couple of shelves filled with bible translations, commentaries, and biblical reference books. Some are LDS, many are from non-LDS scholars. I learn almost nothing from the LDS reference books. I don’t know whether LDS scholars self-censor when addressing biblical topics, or whether they try to put in good information and it gets edited out by Correlation or Curriculum, or whether the scholars or volunteers writing LDS reference books and manuals just don’t know very much about the Bible. But it’s a problem.
I know there are some good LDS scholars who know better. God bless them and protect them from the blockheads among their colleagues and overseers. And may they figure out how to upgrade the LDS curriculum before the next generation of LDS youth grow up to discover they have been fed a bogus set of facts and go elsewhere for truth and enlightenment. LDS apologetics is doing a better job at this point fighting the last apologetic war (LDS history and scripture). Time to get ahead of the curve for the next apologetic war (the Bible and faith versus science).