A brief exchange with John H. on our popularity-contest-winner of a thread has brought up some questions I have, which might be best examined in a separate post. I said:
"So, John H., if Palmer’s book didn’t merit any sort of action by the Church, and bearing in mind all of the info you presented us about Church changes, etc., what, to you, is there that is Mormonism and not up for Palmer types to discredit? I’m not necessarily saying there has to be something, I’m just curious to know if you think there is (or if anyone else thinks there is)."
And John H. replied:
"I’m not sure there is anything, Bob…I don’t think it’s an issue of trying to discredit so much as it is trying to reinterpret."
Perhaps this is simply a weakness of mine, but I have a hard time letting go of at least something, anything, that would be static in the Church. In other words, if John H. is correct, I feel like that would mean the Church is, at best, just a collection of ever-changing doctrines and/or gospel principles that at any time can be "reinterpreted" (if the reinterpretation is directly contrary to the original interpretation, then I still think of it as synonymous with discredited) by any one of its members.
Is there nothing that is not ours to discredit, ahem, reinterpret? This would set up Mormonism to be an open book waiting to be written by anyone who happens to have a pen. That, clearly, isn’t the case (at least from my experience).
So now that we know what Mormonism isn’t, what might it be?