Matt wrote:Because long time members are often unaware of some of the goofier statements made by past leaders, while many non members are aware of ONLY such statements.Why should I (a long time member) know when he (never a member) is sure?!
But in this case, I think you are right.
I never thought of it this way, but Matt's right on. I don't know a whole lot about Scientology, for instance, but the stuff I do know is all the stuff that most of its members are unaware of--like the story of Xenu and a general history of L. Ron Hubbard's rise to prominence that I'm quite confident is more accurate than what Scientologists are taught.
So who knows more about Scientology? Me, or a "lifelong" member? You could argue either way.
I might argue that I know more, because in a couple of hours on the Internet I can get the gist of their PR line, plus find out details that most Scientologists have yet to encounter about their own religion despite years of auditing and indoctrination.
On the other hand, I'll never know what it's like to actually be a Scientologist, to see the world through their eyes, and I won't really understand how they live their beliefs unless I get to know them personally. I imagine they would argue that the things I've discovered aren't relevant to what they believe--how could they be, if they've never heard of them?
Seems to me that it works the same way in Mormonism.