Archive for August 2008
Massacre at Mountain Meadows
One hundred twenty emigrants passing through southern Utah on their way to California in 1857, at a time when the U.S. Army was on its way to Salt Lake City, unannounced and unexplained by President Buchanan, were massacred by Mormons and Indians, the Mormons taking the lead. Much written on the topic has been marred by bias, agendas and selective use of inadequate sources. Three LDS professional historians, with the input and review of many, LDS and non-LDS, representing a wide range of perspectives, have written what promises to be a masterpiece of historical research and writing.
Ron Walker and Glen Leonard, co-authors of this long awaited book Massacre at Mountain Meadows, were my guests. We discussed their rendition of this event, including new sources and perspectives, resulting from their extensive research on this controversial topic. The third co-author, Rick Turley, Assistant LDS Church Historian, was in Mexico.
Further, the authors spoke of their determination to examine the known sources which pertain to the topic and to seek out previously unknown sources. They explained the position of Church leadership to give them free access to all historical holdings of the Church and that their writing and conclusions would not be supervised nor reviewed by Church authorities. The book is published by Oxford University Press which has a reputation for publishing works which meet a high professional standard. The first printing of 10,000 was sold out before the official release, the second printing will not supply the current demand and a third printing is already planned.
A Visit with a Mormon Apologist
Mike Ash will be my guest to discuss his new book: Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. His approach is the presentation of source material and logic to answer, from a faith promoting perspective, many issues which lead some to doubt their LDS faith. He deals with such topics as: Revelation, prophets, scripture and historical issues. Some of the specifics include, changes in scripture, response to the insistence that prophets must be infallible and omniscient, challenges to Book of Mormon histority and similar challenges to the Book of Abraham, the first vision issues and many others.
Major Issues which trouble LDS who study points raised by critics.
Polygamy Godhead Book of Mormon historicity Book of Abraham historicity Differences in First Vision accounts Differences between scientists and some events in our scripture
LDS attitudes which lead to doubts
Belief that the Church and its leaders are infallible LDS in their testimonies declare that they know, rather than that they believe
Positions which dispell many arguments of critics
Prophets are not infallible Prophets are not omniscientThe Church is not perfect Scriptures are not perfect There is much to learn about God, salvation, mysteries which will not be learned in this life LDS prophets have differed in their beliefs on various doctrinal points God gives revelations which are unexpected Belief that parts of scripture are not to be taken literally There is very little mandatory doctrine Recognition of the shotgun approach of many critics
The Church does not believe in civil rights A caller claimed that my guest and I are cultural Mormons who believe that the Church and its leaders are infallible. He claimed I am a liberal. I declared that he was correct; that I am a disciple of Joseph Smith, and by virtue of my belief in his teachings, I am a liberal. Literal interpretation of Noah's Flood
Discussion of a panel at the Sunstone Symposium which reviewed Mike Ash's book
Discussion of the recent FAIR Conference and the FAIR organization
This is the 17 August 2008 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 29th year.
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