In Joseph Smith’s Revelations on Preexistence and Spirits, aquinas lays out an important foundation about the doctrine of spirits which I would argue the modern Church membership has largely forgotten, or in some cases unwittingly rejected. (More on how and why will be forthcoming in a series of posts--so stay tuned to the Pierian Spring.)
SmallAxe, in Imposed Openness, shares great insight into "how the LDS Church can have a theological approach that welcomes 'a variety of viewpoints', yet have manuals and a membership that is inclined to suppress diversity and openness in most discussions of most topics." (Well said, Dave. And great post SmallAxe!)
I also cannot agree any more than I already do with SmallAxe's later comment (#50), quoted below. I give it a word for word "ditto":
[For what it's worth], I agree that [Sunday School] is not the forum to deride the manual; nor is it the personal soapbox of the instructor. I do think, however, that one can tactfully present alternative views in [Sunday School], even those that disagree with the manual. The text for SS is the scriptures and if a passage of scripture could be or has been understood three different ways, I see no harm in presenting each of them as well as the arguments for and against each reading. In personally teaching SS this way, a number of students have expressed how “nourished” they felt because they realized that it is okay to believe in either of these readings and still be faithful members of the church.
I would argue that any approach that latches on to one reading, dismissing other legitimate readings, actually does more harm than good, even if it follows the reading provided in the manual. Creating the appearance that LDSs must believe a certain way in issues that do not require such uniformity of belief does damage equal to not nourishing our students with the good word of God. To follow the Packer analogy above, it would be like forcing people to have a diet constituted of bread and bread only; and man cannot, of course, live by bread alone.