Archive for October 2007

An Encounter with Exmormon.org

I discussed my rather extensive exchanges last month with participants on this popular anti-Mormon website. I made every effort to follow their rules which allow anonymity, do not allow defense of Mormonism and require posts to be respectful. I confined all of my comments to historical sources pertaining to the wording and intent of a sentence included in the endowment ceremony from 1845 to 1927.   I was denied anonymity and falsely accused of defending the LDS Church. The sources I provided on this point of history, which has nothing to do with basic Mormon claims, were completely ignored, and after being attacked with a steady barrage of insults and disrespect, my hands were tied (namely, I was refused access), and this mob proceeded with their assassination.My point, which I stated and re-stated many times, is that there is a substantial body of 19th century sources, Mormon and ex-Mormon, which say that the endowment included instruction for the participants to pray for God to avenge the blood of the prophets, and also a prayer to that effect.

Some ex-Mormons had published and testified that the endowment included an oath by participants for themselves, not God, to avenge the blood of Joseph and Hyrum. I insisted that to come to a reasonable conclusion on this matter, all source material should be gathered, sifted and assessed. My claim that such sources even exist resulted in a remarkable response. The degree of their aggressiveness, their hatred, their rage and fury I found startling and somewhat troubling. Many tragedies, in the past and the present, begin with their type of incendiary words and end in horrific mob action or hate crimes.My policy on my talk show dramatically differs. All are welcome to call or email with a point of view. All views are allowed, regardless of whether I agree or disagree. And,  Mormonism may be attacked, defended, or a question may be asked or some point discussed.Callers:

 

 

Should the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution allow Mormons to practice their religion; plagarisms in the Book of Mormon; Book of Mormon historicity.

Death, or blood oaths in the endowment ceremony in 1984?

An exmormon claimed that he made an oath of secrecy in 1980 in the temple in which he agreed for his life to be taken if he divulged any temple secrets. I disagreed. He brought up the question of Brigham Young's involvement in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

This caller questioned me on my position, Do I represent the Church or myself?  

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Personal Statement:

Response to an ExMormon Critic

A long time listener sent me a scathing email which he has published on the internet on exmormon.org, a rabidly anti-Mormon board, where I am refused participation. He claimed that I am a "puppet" and apologist for the LDS Church. I responded to his false charge by reviewing the 27 year policy of my talk show with comments on the involvement of LDS leaders in its content. Also, I listed and commented on some of my personal views, including those where I diverge from the Mormon mainstream. This is my candid effort to explain where I believe I fit in Mormonism, specifically expressing my attitude toward the Church.

I read this email and also my written response. The author of the email called in and we discussed and disagreed on a number of his points. We discussed:

My insistence that I defend my views, not the Church Oath of vengeance Blood oaths Mountain Meadows massacre John D. Lee's denial that Brigham Young ordered the MMM Hoffman's forged letter of Jonathan Dunham

Other callers:

This caller read some of the posts then being added to the exmormon.org about this discussion with the author of the email.

Steve Benson and Ezra Taft Benson.

Resolving religious issues through physical confrontation.

Comment on the claim of religious leader, Warren Jeffs.

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/ Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/ Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog This is the 30 September 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

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John D. Lee Scroll, Another Forgery?

LeadScroll.jpg 

Steve Mayfield joined me to discuss our recent expedition to Page, Arizona with forensic document expert, George Throckmorton to examine a lead scroll  found in January of 2002 in a small 2 room fort built at Lee's Ferry (named after John D. Lee) on the Colorado River in 1874. The scroll purports to be written by John D. Lee, 11 January 1872, in which he states that Brigham Young gave orders for the Mountain Meadows Massacre which were delivered by Apostle George A. Smith.

We spent the day with the National Parks Ranger, Allen Malmquist, who found the scroll. It is now housed in the National Parks vault/archives at Page. We examined the scroll and other items in the archives for about two hours, and Throckmorton collected some small samples from the scroll to be tested at a chemical labratory.   We travelled with him to a number of sites including the Fort and Signature Rock, which has more than 200 signatures of 19th century travellers, including that of John D. Lee, 25 December 1871.

Malmquist discussed with us, in great detail, the history of the area, especially John D. Lee's involvement, the history of the fort, the ferry, Lee's Lonely Dell Ranch and many other topics. 

We traveled with Malmquist to the building at Lee's ferry where the scroll was found. He explained, in precise detail, the circumstances of his finding of the scroll and its history to the present.

On this talk show we discussed further investigation of this lead scroll. There are many reasons, physical, historical, provenance, contextual and handwriting, to suspect the scroll is a forgery.

Comments and Questions from Callers and Email:

Prophets are not infallible.

Wide latitude of Divinely approved acts of the prophets found in the Bible.

How was the scroll found?

Charles W. Penrose was the author of the Wilford Woodruff Manifesto of 1890.

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/ Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/ Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog This is the 23 September 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

 

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Miscellaneous Topics/Open Forum 

Topics

Preliminary comments on a lead scroll, found in 2002 at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado river, which purports to be written by John D. Lee, to be discussed in the next episode. It attributes the ultimate order for the Mountain Meadows Massacre to Brigham Young.

The ultimate authority in the LDS Church rests with the body of the Church.

Deseret News editorial by Charles W. Penrose  30 November 1889.

President Joseph F. Smith's testimony in the Reed Smoot hearings.

B.H. Roberts on two types of disciples.

Callers and Email:

A warning that God's judgement is coming soon.

Comments on LDS views on the PBS two part documentary, "The Mormons."

Politics among Mormons in the 19th century.

Allegation that the LDS Church is all about collecting 10% from the members to make the leaders richer.

A non-Mormon woman responds to this rabid anti-Mormon caller.

Book of Abraham issue. Various views on the differences between Egyptologists interpretive translation and that of Joseph Smith.

Question about the existence, location and authority of an 1886 revelation to John Taylor.

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/ Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/ Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog This is the 16 September 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

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Research Notes

03Oct07

Research Notes

I have a large collection of miscellaneous quotations, sources, references and notes which I have collected on a variety of subjects while involved in specific research projects. From time to time, I bring some of these to my talk show. In this one I presented the following six:

1. An allegation that Mormons murdered Lilburn Boggs, ex-Governor of Missouri, while he was on his way to California.

2. Peter H. Burnett, who was one of Joseph Smith's attorneys and the first governor of California, wrote his impression of Joseph Smith.

3. John Taylor on truth and science. He taught that an appropriate pursuit of truth by Mormons is to set aside preconceived notions and bias and to search for truth from all possible sources, including the sciences.

4. Orson Pratt's 1846 sermon, found in a journal entry of Norton Jacob, comments on the dating of creation.

5. Brigham Young speaks of his and Joseph Smith's views on the resurrection as matters of individual belief. He endorsed individual speculation and belief, but not the assertion that this is the belief of the Church.

6. 21 January 1861 Wilford Woodruff's synopsis of  Brigham Young's sermon in which he speculates on the stature, in the resurrection, of those who died in infancy.

Callers and email:

All Mormons are liars, arrogant and do not believe in the Constitution and should not be protected by the first amendment.

Follow up from my discussion with Blake Ostler. Is there an ultimate head God, or is there an infinite order of Gods one above another?

Email from an evangelical Christian denouncing me and Mormonism.

Through the power of God, did the sun stand still for Joshua to allow him time to complete his attack?

Speculation regarding details of the resurrection.

Manifesto, revelation to John Taylor, revelation extending priesthood to the blacks, one mighty and strong.

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/ Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/ Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog This is the 9 September 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

 

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Mormon Doctrine: Mandatory and Forbidden

For various reasons many insist that there is much mandatory doctrine required of Mormons and much forbidden doctrine. Drawing from many sources and such enlightening examples as the Adam God theory and Polygamy, I demonstrate that, from its beginning, the LDS Church has had very little official doctrine and almost no mandatory or forbidden doctrine. Price: 2:50