There has been a bit of buzz (mostly amongst ex- and anti-Mormons) recently over some remarks of Elder Marlin K. Jensen, an emeritus member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and former Church Historian and Recorder, who is alleged to have said that, thanks to Google, the omniscient fount of all knowledge, members of the Church are leaving “in droves”. A titanic exodus of members, the likes of which have never before been seen, are leaving the Church, Elder Jensen is reported by many on the Internet to have said. This, the claim on the Internet goes, is because the seedy truth of Mormon history and doctrine, kept secret by a conniving leadership, has been exposed by intrepid researchers on the web.
Some critics of Mormonism usually throw into the scenario the claim that the abject failure of apologetic institutes such as the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research to retain members’ testimonies in the face of this overwhelmingly damning evidence is further proof that the Church is on its last leg. But let us look more carefully at what precisely Elder Jensen said, and the implications his remarks have for Latter-day Saints to be more proactive in sharing accurate information about the Church and being more informed on some of the controversial issues raised by critics.