I believe there is an obligation to assist with the denaturation of that poison (the “poison” being this system that has evolved of staking Mormon truth claims on their entire independence from cultural touchstones like Masonry)
I have been re-orienting my position over the past several months. Anyone who desires and commits the time and energy will find out both that Joseph Smith was likely very sincere in his proclamations, but also that his beliefs, writings, and translations are inseparably connected to the environment in which he grew up.
When we find out our early assumptions are wrong, what do we do about it? I belong to a church which insists that its claims which evolved out of a nineteenth century environment will somehow measure up to 21st century assumptions and expectations. It makes many of the same mistakes our fellow fundamentalists of other religions make.
That being said, just because fundamentalist ideology is fundamentally wrong, doesn't mean one should part from the faith. Why make it any more fundamental than it already is? It needs the chatty voices of the liberal minority to keep it afloat and help it transform into the 21st century church it had ought to be.
I am stumbling forward into an orientation that I hope is true to myself and true to my church. I don't personally accept a lot of things on the religious level. I don't accept that the earth was intelligently designed, nor that humans are much more than a brilliant accident of natural selection and speciation. I don't accept that he we call Jesus Christ was raised by God or likely considered himself more than a mortal, perhaps chosen by God. I don't believe the Book of Mormon contains, by 21st century standards, "real" history or authentic early American, Jewish, or Egyptian traits. I don't think Joseph Smith's theology, as he seemed to interpret it, had much literal truth to it, by today's scientific standards. The Book of Abraham is not a translation of an ancient work, nor is it independent of ideas floating around in Joseph Smith's environment.
That all being said, again, I don't believe the church should be abandoned. I believe Joseph Smith and others were sincere, and made sense of their experiences by believing things I do not accept. It is how they experienced the divine. I have experienced the divine through them, and my soul has resonated with the documents they left behind.
Likewise, I believe many Mormons sincerely made sense of the Book of Mormon in the 20th century by reading it as an ancient document, and finding tenuous connections with the ancient Near East or Mesoamerica. I don't accept their conclusions. It is how they made sense of the divine as the world slowly came more of age. I have experienced the divine through them, and my soul has resonated with a few of the documents they produced.
I try to live by modern standards of rigour in what I accept as true. My soul resonates with this approach. I experience the divine in discovering mathematical, historical, and even interpersonal truth -- truth upheld by standards of plausibility, probability, naturalistic skepticism and analytic rigour. I accept and my soul often resonates with the vastly divergent experiences of others. I do not often accept their interpretations as truth, but I am open to enriching my own understanding through them, and hope to return the favor.
This is my current, modern Mormonism. I accept modern and historical experiences and worldviews of church members as legitimate and often inspired, whilst not dogmatically asserting their universal applicability.