A news story in the Miami Herald reports the new mission call of Noel B. Reynolds in south Florida. According to the story,
Before coming to South Florida, Reynolds also headed a more controversial group within the church, the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS). The Foundation studies Mormon scripture and publishes the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.Although Reynolds is considered a moderate, other Mormon scripture scholars associated with FARMS have gone ”to extremes to defend the church,” says Ron Priddis, managing director of the Utah-based Signature Press, which publishes books on Mormonism.
In harsh articles, they have attacked some of his writers, he says. Seven authors published by Signature have been ex-communicated. But Reynolds says Signature focuses on publishing books that dispute LDS core beliefs. Within the church, he adds, there is a ”tiny minority on a mission” to persuade other Mormons not to literally believe The Book of Mormon.
Personally, I am glad there is a “tiny minority on a mission” at FARMS who are going “to extremes to defend the church.” When wolves wearing sheep’s clothing enter the flock, someone has to sound the alarm. Signature Books and the Utah Lighthouse Ministry of Jerald and Sandra Tanner have the same mission: To destroy the Savior’s church by tearing down the testimonies of the saints, and undermining their confidence in the Savior’s chosen prophets. And of the two, the Signaturi are more effective in this evil work because they use a facade of intellectualism and false objectivity. They are subtle and crafty.
Fortunately, the excellent scholars and intellectuals at FARMS have a big advantage over the Signaturi. Because they are true and faithful to the Lord and his prophets, they have the discernment that comes only with the companionship of the Holy Ghost. As a result, they are able to wage ideological war with the enemies of Christ using not only their intellects, but also their good hearts and the understanding of evil that comes only to those who know and believe the Book of Mormon. All true Christians admire and love these valiant men and women as they carry out their sacred work in defending the Kingdom of God on earth. We are grateful for what they do.