“If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.”

This quote is attributed to Isaac Asimov, who would have been 100 this January.   As a kid I was drawn to his ability to create expansive worlds within his books. While growing up, I also appreciated his ability to present non-fiction science in a clear and friendly style.  His works regularly included the theme of searching for better ideas and a better future.  

This idea of searching for better information and ideas started me wondering about the Gospel Topics Essays.  Mary Ann wrote a spectacular post last year about the Gospel Topics Essays, the Gospel Topics, and History Topics.  I thoroughly appreciate the active engagement of the Church and others with history, questions and doubt, and difficult theology. I wonder at what level we as members engage with these topics, however.  While some general authorities have encouraged openness, others show that we still have a difficult relationship with sticky topics and doubt.

  • In the years since these essays, have we progressed beyond local discouragement or discomfort to being comfortable using these essays in talks and in class?
  • Are seminary manuals actively engaging with nuanced and difficult topics regarding the restoration and the complex reality of scripture?
  • How has your local experience been regarding the use of these Church created resources?

  • Note: Isaac Asimov acted despicably in many areas of his life.  This post is not primarily to discuss that. For an excellent discussion, read Emily Nussbaum’s essay “What should we do with the art of terrible men?”  
  • Image: Dr. Isaac Asimov by Phillip Leonian from New York World-Telegram & Sun. United States Library of Congress. Public Domain.