45 years ago today - Feb 9, 1976
Thomas Stuart Ferguson, former "Book of Mormon archaeology" organizer and defender of the faith writes to friends that individuals need to believe in something, for "otherwise we face the abyss of death and extinction.... Joseph Smith tried so hard he put himself out on a limb with the Book of Abraham, and also with the Book of Mormon. He can be refuted-but why bother when all religion is based on myth, and when man must have them, and his is one of the very best." He compares the refuting of religious myths to abolishing medical placebos then says: "Why not say the right things and keep your membership in the great fraternity, enjoying the good things you like and discarding the ones you can't swallow (and keeping your mouths shut)? Hypocritical? Maybe. But perhaps a realistic way of dealing with a very difficult problem. There is lots left in the Church to enjoy-and thousands of members have done, and are doing, what I suggest you consider doing"