The following very interesting memorandum was received on 5th April 2013 from Grant H. Palmer, and is shared here with his permission.
Grant is a renowned LDS historian, and is author of "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins", which is referred to in the following memorandum. Further details of that book may be found here:
Three Meetings with a LDS General Authority, 2012- 2013…
An Open Letter to Europe Area Presidency by Chris Ralph.
In two parts:
Initial Open Letter (below) sent 28th August 2012
Second (Follow-up) Open Letter sent 5th October 2012 ( http://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/a-second-open-letter-to-the-europe-area-presidency/)
Initial Open Letter
Posted on August 28, 2012
(Please Re-Post, Tweet, Share & Re-Blog to help us reach as many General Authorities, Priesthood Leaders & members as possible.)
Last week, a blogger by the name of Josh Weed, posted a personal story that quickly went viral. Why? Because Josh Weed came out as a gay Mormon man who is happily married to a woman. I’ve decided to write a response to Weed’s story, not so much because of what he said, but mainly for what was not said: his omissions and the implications of his story on the wider LDS and LGBT communities.
You can read his story on his blog, The Weed, here: Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary.
The 2011 Brodie Award nominations are in, and I’m in two categories! If you have enjoyed reading my blog, you can vote for me in the following two categories:
Best New Blog: Progressive ExMormon
Most Poignant Personal Story: “Life After Death“
The third annual Brodie Awards are to highlight excellent work from all over the LDS-interest internet (both critical and apologetic views). The awards are named after Fawn M. Brodie, who authored one of the first comprehensive (and critical) biography on Joseph Smith entitled, “No Man Knows My History”.
Unfortunately, I didn’t win the Brodie Award in either category, but would like to congratulate all those who won. You can click here to see the list of the winners.
An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, by Grant H. Palmer, is a solid overview of the documented facts surrounding Joseph Smith Jr., the Book of Mormon, and the beginnings of the Mormon religion. With Palmer being a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a three-time director of the LDS Institutes of Religion, a former LDS seminary teacher, and a member of the Mormon History Association, I was fully expecting his book to be an apologetic view of Mormon origins, which I’m pleased to say was not the case. Palmer lays out a very well researched and referenced exposé of the foundational aspects of Mormonism that would make any ‘anti-Mormon’ proud.
I had just celebrated my thirteenth birthday, by having a typical sleep-over party with a few of my friends. We stayed up all night playing NBA Jam on my Sega Genesis, eating junk food, and talking about our lives as eighth-graders. I had no way of knowing that I was a mere nine days from the most devastating and life-changing event of my life; I was about to face reality in a way I never imagined possible.
Tell It All is the heartbreaking autobiography of Fanny Stenhouse. Her story begins with her as a young woman returning home to England, after spending some time in France, to discover that her family had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While investigating her family’s new-found faith, she became the object of one of the Elders’ affections. They were soon married and subsequently ‘counseled’ to serve a mission for the Church while in impoverished conditions. It was only after years of whispered rumours (and public denials by apostles) of polygamy being practiced among their American counterparts, that Joseph Smith’s polygamic ‘revelation’ was finally disclosed in England. Her adventures only truly began when she and her husband were later ‘counseled’ to emigrate to the ‘promised land’ of Utah, where she learned, first-hand, the detrimental effects of Brigham Young’s institutionalized polygamy.
LYING is Harris’s latest short-book / long-essay, much in the style of his previous “Letter to a Christian Nation”. I found that he was able to cover nearly all the major aspects to the subject matter while maintaining a very short read, which can be done in a single sitting. I read it entirely in one day’s public transit commute, and it came across much as one of Harris’s longer blog posts.
Due to the short length of the ebook, it did leave me wanting more at the end of each chapter. Though, because of Harris’s concise writing style, I can’t imagine what else there is to say without becoming wordy or redundant. LYING is very well written, something I have come to expect from Harris, and I highly recommend it.
It is my hope that Harris will follow up LYING with another ebook that broadens the scope to include collective misrepresentations, opposed to the individual lies that were addressed in this one.