Today we wit down with John Dehlin, host of Mormon Stories and Pioneer who blazed the trail into historical transparency regarding Mormon History and Social Dysfuntion using the internet as the vehicle. His podcast pioneered a new phase in Mormonism where Scholars talked openly and and the Church could be held accountable for its unhealthiness.
We sit down with author, Spencer Wright, to talk about Logical Fallacies. We will examine a few ways in which certain fallacies are used in Mormonism and help the viewer/listener grasp how irrational certain apologetic arguments are. How Mormon Apologists carefully move the person investigating truth claims and history to making room for anything that it possible even if that thing is highly unlikely and do so in ways that one feels comfortable maintaining belief even though that belief may be irrational.
Spencer Wright is the author of the book, “How To Think: Why Rational and Faith Based Thinking Are In Compatible”
Spencer’s Book “How To Think” https://www.amazon.com/How-Think-Spencer-K-Wright/dp/1986747069
Mormonism has placed each believer into having to choose which Prophets you believe and which Prophets you don’t. Choosing which Prophets are right about the views they hold claiming they got them from God and which prophets were simply wrong claiming something came from God when it must surely be their own false view since the views are contradictory. In the end the disagreement seems so obviously contradictory that one must choose one claim over the other which leaves them dismissing a prophet and having that prophet apparently unable to discern between the voice of God and his own false imagination. And once you admit that prophets and those who place faith in them are no more able to discern truth from error via the Holy Ghost…… Then how does one navigate with certainty about their own spiritual knowings and those of the prophets when one could be misled this easily. And the Cherry on top is the LDS Church’s continued Deception around the issue including misleading members by articulating the issue as if Brigham didn’t teach it through their talks, the Church manuals, and private letters demanding silence.
This week RFM and Bill Reel use the recent Salt Lake Trib article as a starting point to discuss why Heavenly mother is such a big deal. Or rather why so many are insisting we talk about her and why so many others demand we don’t.
Recently a few regional conferences came to our attention where LDS Leaders said things that seem to run counter to the truth. We touch on those today and take your calls on Mormonism LIVE !
Support Mormonism LIVE ! by donating today.
1.) We discuss Video Footage of Elder Holland and Sister Cordon claiming the Cordon’s don’t have any wealth to an audience made up in part by the poor in Africa. Which is a deceptive statement since Derek Cordon was with Omniture when they were bought out by adobe for 1.8 Billion and They live in a Million Dollar Home
2.) We discuss Video Footage of Elder Holland explaining how the Church is always behind and playing catch up with the world.
3.) We discuss footage from Elder Bednar claiming once again that Missionary work is growing and increasing and the producing incredible results.
This Week RFM and Bill Reel takes a deeper look at the an old allegation that has been dragged out once again by critics against John Dehlin. And specifically the facts and documentation surrounding the case. And what do they find…… but that the claims the alleged victim seems to contain two major discrepancies. One is her motivation which seems riddled with blackmail and manipulation and the other seems to strike at the heart of her claims, namely her allegations countered by her very own text messages.
Exhibit A Blackmail Email – https://mormonismlive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Exhibit-A-Blackmail-Email.pdf
Exhibit B New Hampshire Complaint – https://mormonismlive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Exhibit-B-New-Hampshire-Complaint-redacted.pdf
Exhibit C Dehlin Statement – https://mormonismlive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Exhibit-C-Dehlin-OSF-Response.pdf
Exhibit D Anne’s Withdrawal – https://mormonismlive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Exhibit-D-Annes-Withdrawal.pdf
Exhibit E OSF Response – https://mormonismlive.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Exhibit-E-OSF-Response.pdf
First aired 6:20 PM Mountain Time April 28th 2021
A lot happened this past Sunday in Mormonism. Natasha Helfer had a disciplinary court and later in the week was excommunicated. And Kwaku coming off of our interview attempted to drive people to video drudging up old allegations against John Dehlin but encasing it in a bait and switch put over on people as “My apology to John Dehlin”. We tackle both of those as well as some looking back at last weeks conversation with Kwaku and some of the things he said and if they hold up to critical thinking.
Live Show on Wednesdays 6:20 PM Mountain Time on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5n_8_6j00PSeju0hu2CFXQ
Kwaku El in Studio for a Live Conversation about FAIR and Saints Unscripted Kwaku has graciously accepted our invitation to sit down on Mormonism LIVE ! with Radio Free Mormon and Bill Reel to discuss primarily his separating from Saints Unscripted and having projects he worked on that contributed to content on FAIR having been removed. We also touch on his feelings and thoughts regarding people who leave and the emotional turmoil such journeys encapsulate and We talk about whether he recognizes if the critics are reasonable in their approach and conclusion and if he is for that matter.
YOUTUBE VIDEO RECORDING of this episode – https://youtu.be/Kd7EdebQ194
Mormonism LIVE ! – April 2021 General Conference Edition RFM and Bill Reel will sit down and review some of big happenings and talks in April 2021 General Conference. And if absolutely zilch happens, then we will address the recent handbook changes and discuss what they say about where they came from and where the Church moves forward because of those changes.
Recent Handbook Changes allowing single members more opportunities to serve – https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/general-handbook-update-march-2021
2020 Membership Report – https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/april-2021-general-conference-statistical-report
President Nelson’s Lazy Learner Talk – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VGCEQLzITk
IS THERE ANOTHER FIRST VISION ACCOUNT?
Assumption: It is an unstated premise which cannot be logically derived from any existing information.
Assumptions are generally given to present some new information. These can also be part of some beliefs.
Inference: It is that piece of information which can be logically deducted from the one or more statements.
The Facts and the Inferences based on data and context of the historical record.
Fact 1.) The Church has a demonstrable tendency to be deceptive and hide damaging historical documents and historical context when such is damaging to the dominant narrative. We can argue their motives and we can debate which specific people within the Church have committed the acts but the fact remains. Multiple examples of historical artifacts with damaging information on them stored away indefinitely or only released once public awareness of them began and public uproar became significant.Examples: 1832 first vision account, Ronald Poelman Conference talk, Leadership income, the brown egg shaped Seer Stone, Council of Fifty Minutes, Brigham Young blaming the Native Americans even after knowing it was his people who committed the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Denied Access to researchers, Termination of Leonard Arrington as Church Historian due to his motive to be open and transparent, suppression of B.H. Roberts faith crisis and the Secret Mormon Meetings of 1922, Suppression of John Taylor’s 1886 Vision, Denial of Polygamy by Joseph Smith, Denial of Adam God while also admitting privately the teaching existed by Bruce R. McConkie. There are literally a hundreds more of such instances. These speak deeply to the credibility of the institution’s integrity in handling documents or events with honesty and forthrightness and transparency when those documents or events are damaging to the narrative they wish to promote and to the faith of the members of their Church.
Fact 2.) Joseph Knight Sr.’s recollection document is missing at least a page and perhaps multiple pages at its beginning. The document as we have it starts mid thought and historians and scholars on both sides agree that a page or pages are missing.
Fact 3.) Joseph Knight Sr.’s recollection is demonstrably a history of Joseph Smith and not a self history. The writing is intentionally telling Joseph Smith’s story and wants the reader to be informed of the events and occurrences in the Life of Joseph Smith Jr.
Fact 4.) The Joseph Knight Sr.’s recollection is written clearly in chronological order. He shares events and occurrences in chronological order starting with the earliest and working forward in time.
Fact 5.) He begins sharing events that had happened before he had ever met Joseph Smith Jr. We know this because the document as we have it begins mid thought in 1823 where Moroni is informing Joseph Smith of where the plates are located in the hill and it continues to lay out events in chronological order going forward from there. Combine that with our knowing that Joseph Knight Sr doesn’t meet Joseph Smith until at least 1825 and likely 1826.
Fact 6.) Joseph Knight Sr. ends his historical narrative in 1833. Any major historical events in Mormonism between 1833 and his death in 1847 are absent from his writing indicating a high likelihood that his history was written and at least completed just after the final 1833 event he concludes with.
Inference 1.) The most similar event if in fact another first vision account is the 1832 First Vision account being cut out of Joseph Smith Jr’s personal journal by someone inside the Church and stored away from the public awareness for decades until rumor got out and public outcry had someone inside the Church taping it back into the personal journal and allowing it to enter public awareness and public discourse within the Church. Those are all facts. The educated Inference is that the person on both ends of removing and reattaching the document was Joseph Fielding Smith who became Church historian in 1921. The data deeply implicates him as the person. https://cesletter.org/pdf/first-vision.pdf
Inference 2.) Historians inside and outside the Church seem to agree that The missing pages were removed by the LDS Church because something in them was damaging to faith and the dominant narrative.D Michael Quinn, once a historian under Leonard Arrington and former staff inside the Church history department, has stated,
“Rather than being destroyed, it is more likely that Knight’s first page(s) ended up in the private safe of Joseph Fielding Smith. During his service as official LDS Church Historian from 1920 to 1970, Apostle Smith put in this safe any historical documents he regarded as extremely sensitive. When he became LDS president in January 1970, Joseph Fielding Smith had this safe removed to the vault of the First Presidency, where its contents remain today.”
Quinn, who was deeply familiar with the the archives of the Church recognizes the most likely explanation is that like the 1832 First Vision, Joseph Fielding Smith was deeply uncomfortable with what was within those early page(s) of Knight’s recollection and likely removed them to his private vault.
Where Quinn differs from our view laid out here is that he wondered if the damaging info was connected to Joseph Smith’s money digging and use of peep stones for scrying.
Quinn pointing to this thought process said,
“Joseph Knight’s personal history tells of his acquaintance with Smith. Housed in LDS church archives, this manuscript is “missing at least one beginning page. This missing portion would cover the period when treasure-digging was allegedly the primary association of Knight with teenage Joseph, as previously stated by Collington and also by other sources. LDS historian Richard L. Bushman observes: “Although a believer from the start, Knight’s ‘Recollection’ has bothered some Mormon readers because of its rough-cut style and its unembarrassed reports of familiar relations with neighborhood money diggers.” That discomfort explains the missing pages in Knight’s history of his first association with young Joseph Smith.”
While D. Michael Quinn and others have guessed that the damaging info leading to its removal had to do with money digging, The document seems to articulate Joseph Smith’s relationship with Josiah Stowel in ways that seem to initiate the reader with said relationship and seems to want to steer clear of treasure digging. On pg 4 it reads
“But before September Came his oldest Brother Died. Then he was Disapinted and did not [k]now what to do. But when the 22nt Day of September Came he went to the place and the personage appeard and told him he Could not have it now. But the 22nt Day of September nex he mite have the Book if he Brot with him the right person. Joseph says, “who is the right Person?” The answer was you will know. Then he looked in his glass and found it was Emma Hale, Daughter of old Mr Hail of Pensylvany, a girl that he had seen Before, for he had Bin Down there Before with me.Joseph then went to Mr Stowels [Stowell] whare he had lived sometime Before. But Mr Stowel Could not pay him money for his work very well and he came to me perhaps in November and worked for me until about the time that he was Married, which I think was in February”
This language both is written in a way that you feel you are being introduced to Josiah Stowel for the first time and it feels as though Joseph Knight wants to avoid or isn’t aware of any treasure digging information to pass along to the reader. Josiah Stowel’s relationship with Joseph seems to be glossed over with Knight not wanting or not knowing to add more context and information regarding how Smith and Stowel knew each other or the activities they had been involved in. When the document as we have it begins in 1823, Smith and Stowel had assuredly not met yet and likely would not for another 2 years. This leads to us highly doubting the assumptions by others that the problematic material was related to treasure digging.
Inference 3.) Joseph Smith writes his earliest known First Vision account in 1832 in his personal journal. We also know that Joseph Smith and Joseph Knight Sr’s were extremely good friends. Combine that with Knight’s account being assuredly written in 1833 and we can make the inference that Knight at the time of his writing was aware of and had heard directly from Joseph Smith’s own mouth, his First Vision experience narrative.
Inference 4.) This Knight recollection missing pages can be safely assumed to have contained a First Vision account.
Inference 5.) It can be safely assumed based on How Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon articulated Mormonism’s early theology that Knight’s recollection of Joseph Smith’s first Vision in his 1833 writing likely was much more similar to Joseph Smith’s 1832 account than the official 1838 account and such would be problematic for Mormonism’s dominant narrative.
In lieu of the facts and the educated Inferences made based on data and context, and in light of how the Church of Jesus Christ has treated problematic history and documents in the past, it is highly probable and seems to us that the most reasonable, logical, probable explanation is that there is still a missing First Vision account contradictory to Mormonism’s dominant narrative that was intentionally removed and hidden away from public awareness and likely done by Joseph Fielding Smith while he served as Church Historian from 1921 to 1970.
We believe the LDS Church had and may very well still have a completely unknown First Vision account in the handwriting of Joseph Knight Sr in their possession. And that said account likely is contradictory in significant places juxtaposed against the official 1838 account and the narrative the LDS Church wishes to impose as its founding story.
The argument back from critics of this view is that we have to make several Inferences, that even if educated and probable due to data and context, they cumulatively add up to hurt the likelihood of our conclusion. Our response is as follows.
The LDS Church has in so many instances withheld information and documents and have caused hurt to others who have raised a voice advocating honesty and transparency that the burden falls on the LDS Church to come forward and to explain the documents provenance, what it knows about the removal of the missing page(s), and what was on those page(s) and if the document still exists, to release it so that it and its context can be examined. It is no longer responsible of us to give the benefit of the doubt to the LDS Church and that we are on solid ground not doing so.
Radio Free Mormon
As RFM prepared for last weeks episode on Miner’s Hill he came across some things in regards to Joseph Smith’s treasure Digging that you won’t want to miss.
Mormonism LIVE ! Tonight has multiple bombshells with one of them being YUGE! Like blew my mind HUUUUGE. These are all things almost everyone doesn’t know with the major bombshell absolutely being unknown to everyone and a game changer.1.) Who with and where did Joseph Smith dig specifically for the Gold plates before Cumorah? and before 1823? 2.) Proof the Church is still not being transparent with damaging documents even on its Joseph Smith Papers Project Website. They are still trying to avoid believers confronting the facts and keeping data from a believer accessing such..3.) We take the Apologist’s strongest evidence of the Book of Mormon and show a much more reasonable contemporary example in Joseph Smith’s milieu.4.) AND THE BIGGEST BOMBSHELL OF THEM ALL WHICH WE WILL UNVEIL ON THE SHOW TONIGHT………. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS.
Faculty of Abrac – https://twitter.com/shuffard/status/1294357248546951169/photo/1
W W Phelps letter to Eber D Howe – http://www.solomonspalding.com/NEWSP/HOWE/Ex04a.htm
Transcript of Joseph Knight Sr’s Recollection – https://byustudies.byu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/17.1JesseeJoseph.pdf
Brian Hales website showing the section of Oliver Cowdery’s letter to his brother Warren displaying the SCRAPE/AFFAIR – https://josephsmithspolygamy.org/oliver-cowdery-letter-to-warren-a-cowdery-olivers-brother-january-21-1838/
Joseph Smith Papers Project not being transparent about the letter – https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/letter-from-oliver-cowdery-21-january-1838/1
The full letter book including the Oliver/Warren Cowdery Letter about the Alger Scrape/Affair – https://mormonpolygamydocuments.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/JSP_Book_91.pdf
Nahum VS Nahom VS NHM – https://historyofmormonism.com/2012/11/14/newel-knight/
Nahum’s dissapearance – https://byustudies.byu.edu/article/they-are-my-friends-a-history-of-the-joseph-knight-family-18251850/
LDS Church’s Changing Narrative around the Translation Process – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VZkKUmC-cjB_DnqWp9HHyW7v677e4IlUQORHn6ydOyA/edit?fbclid=IwAR3bbWLgmhXrMOq2vQxzDkN-bW3kbpJVE1-FcHLWm-tVYNmwPn3gtNx1hbc
How prevalent was Joseph Smith’s treasure digging? Where all did Joseph Smith dig for treasures. What do we know about these treasure seeking sites? What do the historical sources tell us about these treasure digs? Black Sheep, Gold Furniture, Sacred scripture translated inside these man dug caves.
KC Kern & Greg Pavone Miner’s Hill Project Website 1 – https://archival.link/mormoncave/story?fbclid=IwAR0GLubkK_y8lfDciIgs2vYPHtnX9fkigPX0O5IA5QekS1aULryUM_q9xHA
KC Kern & Greg Pavone Miner’s Hill Project Website 2 – https://imgur.com/gallery/pRGJl?fbclid=IwAR1oN3pmDljsTA1w5TBndASDxTf648P6nCuVVnj3iRqVVpfRg8IERY2YftY
Dan Vogel’s The Locations of Joseph Smith’s Early Treasure Quests https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/03/VogelTreasuredigs.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1fHa7pfUtaf7CTlEhS-hvHSKCWIFXlig0t_AARJ_OxtELfWBS59LvpqMI
Historical Sources Related to Miner’s Hill Cave https://archival.link/mormoncave/sources?fbclid=IwAR2WXX-gYTmXB_Qn6cnonpqQ-lfDHlMri4g-2veT1SIgMhufxtDGjHSQIoI
Cumorah’s Cave PDF https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1360&context=jbms&fbclid=IwAR3HMObEXTYBVCOxZI5Jqx796yaOWu5hbFWlbKkvwAzdGpTNiWX5QSHcgiM
On tonight’s episode RFM and Bill Reel dive further into the Mark Hofmann story exposing Elder Oaks and at the time Elder Gordon B. Hinckley as potentially deceiving and lying about what transpired in their meeting with Hofmann and their efforts to obtain what they believed were authentic and also damaging documents to the Church’s narrative and the faith of its members. Bill concludes with revealing multiple never before seen documents including the Hofmann’s outline for the forged 116 pages of the book of Lehi, Hofmann’s Psychological evaluation, his education report cards, and a master list of all the signatures/authored documents he forged of famous people.
Elder Oaks 1985 talk that includes much around the Hofmann affair including suggesting a Salamander could be interpreted as the angel Moroni – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hAL-qLOISs
Elder Oaks suggesting if we keep the commandments we won’t be deceived while the listener recognizes Elder Oaks, then Elder Gordon B Hinckley, and other leaders were in fact deceived by Hofmann – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hAL-qLOISs
Elder Oaks saying way too much about the Hofmann ordeal that in the end compromises the events as he tells them https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1987/10/recent-events-involving-church-history-and-forged-documents?lang=eng