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Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

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It's been a little over twenty-five minutes and Rufus has been dog piled on. His story has been discounted at face value. If you take some of the comments at the beginning of this thread by Schryver, Crockett and Storm Rider and then look at the response that Rufus has received thus far, it becomes apparent that there may be some merit to what he has to say. Look in the mirror people...Regards,MG Regards,MG

"dog piled"? A couple of us have just asked questions in order to clarify his account. A few have drawn his attention to how his account has, in their opinion, done the opposite of what he appears to want to convey. One has pointed to a confusing attitude and made a judgment about it. A few may have discounted it depending on how one defines "discount".

He posted a lengthy account with some details and with some heavy criticism of its own. It is not surprising that some have respond with more than just a "well stated".

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My post came from my heart and pained me greatly to relate to you all. I now have been mocked by those of you who have chosen to do so. I do not stand as a judge of anyone but, I am entitled to relate how I feel.

You all have this wonderful knowledge of how arguments are to be phrased and the fallacies of logic memorized and will surely pick apart anything I have to say. I am not here to debate anything with you. I am not inclined to even participate on these types of boards, however I felt compelled to do so in defense of John Dehlin. I have never met the man , but I have listened to his podcasts and read some of the things he has written, and can feel a humility and concern emanating him, a supposed critic. Whereas I read Peterson and other from the Maxwell Institute who are the supposed apologists, and I feel the spirit of contempt and hostility in their chosen voice. Their distain for one struggling is palpable and it led me away from the church. Many of your words and likewise divisive and filled with contempt.

All one has to do to find the source of my pain is read many of the responses to my first post. I'm sure you are all going to your heaven clothed in the glory and righteousness of your God. You have earned it by casting stones at those who disagree with you and through your hate for those who supposedly oppose you.

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Whereas I read Peterson and other from the Maxwell Institute who are the supposed apologists, and I feel the spirit of contempt and hostility in their chosen voice. Their distain for one struggling is palpable and it led me away from the church.

Rufus, if you want things to change, then specifics would be very helpful. As Kevin relates, without specifics, how can one know the complaint is on target? How can one know what bothered the individual so that one can change for the better?

Edited by calmoriah

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Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found unwelcoming un-Christ like behavior, and, not feeling the peace of the Gospel, saw no reason to remain. They become vocally antagonistic to the Church.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found unwelcoming un-Christ like behavior, and, not feeling the peace of the Gospel, saw no reason to remain. They remain civil in their conversation about the Church and their experiences.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found wonderful, Christ-like behavior, and, still, saw no reason to remain.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found wonderful, Christ-like behavior, and, that was what they needed to hold on and to re-nurture their faith.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found unwelcoming un-Christ like behavior, and, still, found some reason to remain as a member.

These are all real, valid experiences. And I think that's important to acknowledge without assuming the one losing faith in either of these scenarios was always a mock-worthy person just looking for a reason to apostatize and Revile The Truth.

Edited by David T

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Ya know, Jesus was very rude and antagonistic towards Pharisees and others. I mean, he called them "hypocrites" and only good for hell. If we had the attitude of some antis, we'd all quit being Christians right now.

That said, there is a solid point we can all learn from this (on both sides of the aisle, and I'm also talking about John Dehlin and his "friends" he quoted to a GA), that is: contention is of the devil. It is Satan's doctrine. Christ's doctrine is of unity (2 Ne 31, 3 Ne 11).

That said, we must also realize that Christ spoke out strongly against those who opposed his teachings, not as individuals, but as groups seeking to destroy the gospel truth.

That Dan Peterson can speak highly of Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling, shows that he isn't a morgbot that cannot see that Josep Smith and the Church have some struggles. That most of us here on this list have that same understanding shows that we understand there are issues to consider regarding the Church. But our religion and faith are not based upon histories, whether the KEP is (fill in the blank), or whether Joseph Smith had 1 or 1,000 wives. It is an issue of whether God exists, whether Jesus is the Christ, whether God has called modern prophets, and whether Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson are two of those called prophets.

That John Dehlin went nuclear with immediately sending an email to a 70 GA, sending additional emails that attacked MI/FAIR, and did not even patiently wait to find out if there actually was an attack piece against him, and then take it publicly as an attack on MI/FAIR, Greg Smith, Dan Peterson and others, without any real evidence or giving time to address it quietly, plainly shows that his desire to do this in an appropriate manner was not sincere. Yes, there are ascerbic people in MI/FAIR. But you know what? They didn't start this fight, John Dehlin did. And he was ascerbic and tossed out ad hominems along the way.

We can clearly see that on the week Pres Obama chose to finally come out of the closet, so did John Dehlin.

Edited by rameumptom

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Rufus, it would be helpful if you would list the things you found so offensive at the MI and FAIR that caused you to apostacize. Generic accusations do not help, imo, save to establish the attitude of the person making the accusation. Specifics are needed if people are going to be able identify those areas that need changing.

Another thread would probably be useful, since you only have one post, I will be happy to cut and paste any response to my request here and start a new thread for you.

With all due respect to Brother Rufus, neither doubt nor faith are conditions which settle upon us without our having much (if any) say in the matter ... like, for example, the common cold. It would be nice if that were the case; it would remove an enormous burden of responsibility from our shoulders. (It would also, however, obviate a good deal of the reason we're here on earth.) The reality of the situation, however, is that both doubt and faith are choices. I can never be assured of being permanently and comfortably ensconced in the harbor of faith without my having to do something to remain there. I believe I was created to act for myself, rather than to be acted upon by either doubt or faith. When a current of potential doubt threatens to carry me out of the harbor, I have to decide what sort of adjustments (what choices), if any, I'm going to make in order to maintain my position. Even if I find my testimony hanging by the most tenuous of threads, I must still decide what to do if someone gives me a pair of scissors ... or offers to do the cutting for me.

Edited by Kenngo1969

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It's been a little over twenty-five minutes and Rufus has been dog piled on. His story has been discounted at face value. If you take some of the comments at the beginning of this thread by Schryver, Crockett and Storm Rider and then look at the response that Rufus has received thus far, it becomes apparent that there may be some merit to what he has to say. Look in the mirror people...Regards,MG Regards,MG

The interesting thing is, is that Rufus is an example right here in front of you of the types of respondents Dehlin refers to in his study/survey. But what happens? Rufus is discounted at face value...along with those that John D. refers to in his second email that has been included in this thread. The vitriolic or at least unkind responsiveness that has manifest itself on this thread to Dehlin and Rufus is somewhat disconcerting to those that would like to come at things with an unbiased or balanced approach.I don't see any real threat, BTW, in Dehlin's emails. I do think he is trying to set up a firewall so that what he considers to be his "good name" is not smeared. Of course time will tell if Greg Smith's article is published whether or not John went overboard or not in attempting to create a firewall of protection. But in the meantime, why the attacks? Why is Rufus being treated with doubt and yes, a wee bit of ridicule for stating his overall "carry away" in regards to his experience with looking for answers and being discouraged in general with LDS apologetics? Granted, maybe Rufus is a dishonest anti-mormon or dishonest NOM just trying to muddy the waters. That seems to be the knee jerk response of some here.But what if he's not? Is he not worth listening to? It's not as though he's going to (as some would like) go into every detail concerning the problems with apologetic responses in specificity...that's not the purpose of this thread. When all is said and done, this thread is an example of why those that are struggling with the church may exit the doors of the LDS meetinghouse. What they have to say is discounted at face value. In a softer sort of way Kevin Christensen(?) looks at these folks and questions why they haven't jumped through all the intricate hoops of reasoning and logic that he has. If they only would, they would stay, etc. Problem is, a lot of these folks are just regular folks without academic training and expertise like many of you. You tend to look at them as all being on a level playing field with you and judge them accordingly. This is where, IMO, things have the potential of becoming un-Christlike. Kind of a holier than thou sort of thing.Regards,MG

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8 ) A few weeks back I wrote Scott Gordon to ask if he intended to publish the article. He declined any knowledge of the article, but did not respond regarding whether or not he intends to publish the article. Still waiting for that response.

For the record:

I wrote the following email to John on April 14.

Scott Gordon

Apr 14

to John

FYI,

FAIR is not writing an article about you at the current time, and I know of no current plans to do so.

John responded:

Date: Apr 14, 2012 12:11 PM

Subject: Re: Quick chat?

To: "Scott Gordon"

I'm very happy to hear that you have no plans to publish this article. Can you please let me know if this ever changes BEFORE you publish the article? I'd like to save you, me, the church, and Mormonism one big headache if I can. I don't think anyone wins via ad hominem arguments....except the enemies of the church. They certainly win.

I'm only posting one paragraph of his email as I am generally uncomfortable posting emails. I think the paragraph gets the point accross. I'm not sure why John is claiming here, and on another message board, that I didn't respond. I did respond and he acknowledged that response. Since FAIR and I are being drawn into this issue anyway, maybe I should reconsider.

Scott

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Problem is, a lot of these folks are just regular folks without academic training and expertise like many of you.

Like myself, without even a bachelor's yet?

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Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found unwelcoming un-Christ like behavior, and, not feeling the peace of the Gospel, saw no reason to remain. They become vocally antagonistic to the Church.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found unwelcoming un-Christ like behavior, and, not feeling the peace of the Gospel, saw no reason to remain. They remain civil in their conversation about the Church and their experiences.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found wonderful, Christ-like behavior, and, still, saw no reason to remain.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found wonderful, Christ-like behavior, and, that was what they needed to hold on and to re-nurture their faith.

Some Good church members have had real experiences that caused faith crises. Some of these members looked for reassurance, and found unwelcoming un-Christ like behavior, and, still, found some reason to remain as a member.

These are all real, valid experiences. And I think that's important to acknowledge without assuming the one losing faith in either of these scenarios was always a mock-worthy person just looking for a reason to apostatize and Revile The Truth.

I've not posted here since September of last year, but had to break my silence to applaude this post.

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My post came from my heart and pained me greatly to relate to you all. I now have been mocked by those of you who have chosen to do so. I do not stand as a judge of anyone but, I am entitled to relate how I feel.

You all have this wonderful knowledge of how arguments are to be phrased and the fallacies of logic memorized and will surely pick apart anything I have to say. I am not here to debate anything with you. I am not inclined to even participate on these types of boards, however I felt compelled to do so in defense of John Dehlin. I have never met the man , but I have listened to his podcasts and read some of the things he has written, and can feel a humility and concern emanating him, a supposed critic. Whereas I read Peterson and other from the Maxwell Institute who are the supposed apologists, and I feel the spirit of contempt and hostility in their chosen voice. Their distain for one struggling is palpable and it led me away from the church. Many of your words and likewise divisive and filled with contempt.

All one has to do to find the source of my pain is read many of the responses to my first post. I'm sure you are all going to your heaven clothed in the glory and righteousness of your God. You have earned it by casting stones at those who disagree with you and through your hate for those who supposedly oppose you.

This is your second post, and the second time you have undone what you did in the first part of your post with snarky sarcasm at the end. You'll fit in well here, just learn to duck. :)

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The interesting thing is, is that Rufus is an example right here in front of you of the types of respondents Dehlin refers to in his study/survey. But what happens? Rufus is discounted at face value...along with those that John D. refers to in his second email that has been included in this thread. The vitriolic or at least unkind responsiveness that has manifest itself on this thread to Dehlin and Rufus is somewhat disconcerting to those that would like to come at things with an unbiased or balanced approach.I don't see any real threat, BTW, in Dehlin's emails. I do think he is trying to set up a firewall so that what he considers to be his "good name" is not smeared. Of course time will tell if Greg Smith's article is published whether or not John went overboard or not in attempting to create a firewall of protection. But in the meantime, why the attacks? Why is Rufus being treated with doubt and yes, a wee bit of ridicule for stating his overall "carry away" in regards to his experience with looking for answers and being discouraged in general with LDS apologetics? Granted, maybe Rufus is a dishonest anti-mormon or dishonest NOM just trying to muddy the waters. That seems to be the knee jerk response of some here.But what if he's not? Is he not worth listening to? It's not as though he's going to (as some would like) go into every detail concerning the problems with apologetic responses in specificity...that's not the purpose of this thread. When all is said and done, this thread is an example of why those that are struggling with the church may exit the doors of the LDS meetinghouse. What they have to say is discounted at face value. In a softer sort of way Kevin Christensen(?) looks at these folks and questions why they haven't jumped through all the intricate hoops of reasoning and logic that he has. If they only would, they would stay, etc. Problem is, a lot of these folks are just regular folks without academic training and expertise like many of you. You tend to look at them as all being on a level playing field with you and judge them accordingly. This is where, IMO, things have the potential of becoming un-Christlike. Kind of a holier than thou sort of thing.Regards,MG

Thank-you for this post. I am very sincere in my posts. I am not a poser looking to muddy the waters. I live in the heart of the Salt Lake valley and i do humbly believe in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice for me. I follow his teachings as best I can and continue to look to God for answers. My testimony is largely in tact, but it seems to fragment on a regular basis, especialy after stupidly chosing to post on this board today.

God bless you all

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The interesting thing is, is that Rufus is an example right here in front of you of the types of respondents Dehlin refers to in his study/survey. But what happens? Rufus is discounted at face value...along with those that John D. refers to in his second email that has been included in this thread.

So are we to accept such things at face value, then, without scrutiny or critical thinking? This is a discussion board, after all. Rufus and Dehlin's anonymous correspondents have made some rather serious charges here; don't they bear some examination?

For my part, I asked for clarification about his statement that he was "in a bishopric" because I find that it happens occasionally in such situations that a person claims past membership in a bishopric when they were really only a clerk or a secretary. I find this to be disingenuous, and it strikes me as reflecting on the credibility of the person making the claim.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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The reality of the situation, however, is that both doubt and faith are choices. I can never be assured of being permanently and comfortably ensconced in the harbor of faith without my having to do something to remain there. I believe I was created to act for myself, rather than to be acted upon by either doubt or faith. When a current of potential doubt threatens to carry me out of the harbor, I have to decide what sort of adjustments (what choices), if any, I'm going to make in order to maintain my position. Even if I find my testimony hanging by the most tenuous of threads, I must still decide what to do if someone gives me a pair of scissors ... or offers to do the cutting for me.

That all seems to be the theory, right? But I sometimes wonder. If you saw my post on the previous page which touched on TULIP, you'll see that there can be a school of thought that faith might just be a gift that some of us didn't really work for, it was just given.

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This is now the second time in a year that we have seen this newly adopted approach of the apostate evangelists when they learn that an important piece of Mormon apologia is about to go to print: pull out all the stops, unloose the dogs of a full-fledged propaganda war, and do everything in their power to CENSOR the voice that they themselves cannot otherwise silence.

Bingo! If you hadn't mentioned it, I was going to. Certain critics seem to abhor being critiqued, and have virtually no tolerance for differences of opinions. This is one of their ways of trying to get their way.

One of the key strategies of that propaganda war, besides judgmental and sanctimonious dog-piling, is attempting to manipulatively pit LDS against LDS. Their efforts are so wrought with irony and hypocrisy as to beggar belief.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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The only thing that matters to me is that someone in a Church Leadership role (GA or an Apostle) made the decision that this article was inappropriate to be published. For me, this is all that really matters. This decision was made by our Leaders and we should not be questioning the wisdom of such a decision.

It would be interesting to see an email or other corresponce from this GA or Apostle and the reasons they felt this article was inappropriate, though.

Also, I don't think the personal attacks by both sides are justified.

I don't necessarily agree with this, but even if I did, the premise is off. We only know that "John Dehlin's pet GA suppressed the story for him" because John Dehlin says so. Which isn't good enough for me.

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Thank-you for this post. I am very sincere in my posts. I am not a poser looking to muddy the waters. I live in the heart of the Salt Lake valley and i do humbly believe in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice for me. I follow his teachings as best I can and continue to look to God for answers. My testimony is largely in tact, but it seems to fragment on a regular basis, especialy after stupidly chosing to post on this board today.

God bless you all

We do not allow testimony bearing, witnessing or why I left the church threads for the reasons we are seeing here. Talk about specific complaints rather than "I don't like everybody" posts or you will be removed from the thread if you continue derailing the thread.

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Rufus, I am genuinely sorry about the faith crisis you experienced and that FAIR was unable to assist you in navigating that. In an effort to improve for the future, I would be interested to learn which of our materials you perceived as being harsh or negative. It is certainly never our intent to frame responses in that fashion, and we genuinely endeavor to improve wherever we might have fallen down. If you would rather write to me directly, my e-mail is klbarney at yahoo dot com.

I will say that FAIR simply seeks to make Mormon scholarship available in a fashion that is more readily digestible by most non-scholars. If you found Richard Bushman a threat to your faith, I can well understand why we couldn't help much, since it is unlikely that we are going to be able to improve much upon Bushman, who represents the state of the art in contemporary Joseph Smith scholarship.

Blessings and peace,

Kevin Barney

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Bingo! If you hadn't mentioned it, I was going to. Certain critics seem to abhor being critiqued, and have virtually no tolerance for differences of opinions. This is one of their ways of trying to get their way.

One of the key strategies of that propaganda war, besides judgmental and sanctimonious dog-piling, is attempting to manipulatively pit LDS against LDS. Their efforts are so wrought with irony and hypocrisy as to beggar belief.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Why would they need to make a concerted effort to do such a thing when we do it to ourselves so well?

Enough with the conspiracy theories; they've reached ridiculous levels on both sides of the argument.

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I personally know one young man who had his faith strengthened when I introduced him to FARMS publications.

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there can be a school of thought that faith might just be a gift that some of us didn't really work for, it was just given.

The scriptures talk about gifts of the spirit. It is possible that faith is one of those. Doesn't it say some are given the gift to believe and others are given to believe based on others' belief....or something like that?

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The scriptures talk about gifts of the spirit. It is possible that faith is one of those. Doesn't it say some are given the gift to believe and others are given to believe based on others' belief....or something like that?

It occurs to me that in the final analysis, faith is always a gift of the Spirit, regardless of how much personal effort one has had to expend to obtain it.

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I personally know one young man who had his faith strengthened when I introduced him to FARMS publications.

I know of several.

If material is out there that is distracting people from seeking out the Lord and instead contributing to them falling away from the faith, I know FAIR members (such as Kevin and myself and every other one that I know well enough to comment on) would like to know what were the specifics that caused problems so that changes can be made where we are able to make them.

It becomes very frustrating personally speaking though when accusations are made but no references to what actually cause the problem are given. Wanting to change for the better and being unable to do so because of lack of sufficient information is not a state I wish on anyone.

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We do not allow testimony bearing, witnessing or why I left the church threads for the reasons we are seeing here. You will be removed from the thread if you continue derailing the thread.

My deepest apologies for violating this rule. I will keep that in mind going forward.

This is your second post, and the second time you have undone what you did in the first part of your post with snarky sarcasm at the end. You'll fit in well here, just learn to duck. :)

I don't profess to be perfect. I am only stating how I have felt as I have navigated the apologist's works. I don't want to fit in: my comments were defensive jabs at a couple of the comments to my first post.

You have been asked to give specific examples about what disturbed you. You need to do it or leave the thread.

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The only thing that matters to me is that someone in a Church Leadership role (GA or an Apostle) made the decision that this article was inappropriate to be published. For me, this is all that really matters. This decision was made by our Leaders and we should not be questioning the wisdom of such a decision.

It would be interesting to see an email or other corresponce from this GA or Apostle and the reasons they felt this article was inappropriate, though.

I suspect the issue is bigger than just the content of the article.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that John Dehlin is perhaps the first person in the history of the Church to even come close to feasibly bridging the gap between the Church and "disenchanted" members. For people like Rufus and the countless others who begin to question their faith based on problems with Joseph Smith, polygamy, the Book of Abraham etc., John Dehlin is the most visible and successful voice trying to help these people find peace with their doubts and still maintain support for (or at least some degree of comfort with) the Church and its members.

In other words, he is like a marriage counselor who sits down with a couple in which one has become hurt by the other. Perhaps the marriage can be saved, and if it can't, then the marriage needs to be ended and the aggrieved spouse needs to move on in the most healthful way possible. Or there may be other options. But the role of the "mediator" is very important. (Obviously, the Church would instinctively assume its leaders should serve this role, but to someone coming to grips with their faith slipping away, that's not how it works). Until John's efforts (and the age of the internet), there was no public voice to help people. People in a faith crisis may have found support from their local Church leaders, friends and families, but there was no broader support group for them.

I don't know how things look to the Q12 and FP, but it's quite possible that to the degree they are aware of "Mormon Stories" and John Dehlin's efforts, they recognize that the end result is fewer people leaving the Church (even if they stay with a different flavor of belief than they had before), and for those that do leave the Church there is less animosity which leads to better family relationships (especially fewer broken marriages), and a greater likelihood of that person coming back someday. If the numbers of people leaving the Church are increasing, that could be viewed as a very positive thing.

There are obviously other ways to look at this. Some might argue that the wheat needs to be clearly and quickly separated from the chaff, and that the Church should remove those who don't have a firm faith in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, not try to keep them around. These people would probably be the most antagonistic towards Dehlin. There are probably others who don't like him for more personal reasons, or that have had their pet doctrine or gospel hobby skewered by a Mormon Stories podcast.

But in the end, it's quite possible that Dehlin is doing more to keep "crisis" LDS going to Church than the apologists are. If the day ever comes where he is doing more harm than good, or the chaff becomes too much of a burden to the wheat, then we'll see a united effort from Church leaders and apologists to marginalize him and eliminate his influence as a "mediator."

But apparently that day is not today.

Edited by cinepro

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