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Greg Smith'S Review Of Dehlin'S "Mormon Stories" Is Now Available


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#1 Bill Hamblin

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 10:34 PM


For those of you who are interested in such things, see:

http://www.mormonint...mormon-stories/

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#2 canard78

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:55 PM

I'm sure the 1-hour silence in response to this everyone furiously reading (as in 'at pace' - not the other furious).

For clarity, is the full and original article that kicked off the whole 'John Dehlin says there's a hit piece, GA intervenes...'

This may sound stupid, but if Greg Smith wrote it, why did Dan Peterson take the heat? Am I missing something?

Maybe I should just read the two articles. Like Scott said on leaving his tent in the Arctic... "I may be some time..."
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#3 Louis Midgley

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:07 AM

I'm sure the 1-hour silence in response to this everyone furiously reading (as in 'at pace' - not the other furious).

For clarity, is the full and original article that kicked off the whole 'John Dehlin says there's a hit piece, GA intervenes...'

This may sound stupid, but if Greg Smith wrote it, why did Dan Peterson take the heat? Am I missing something?

Maybe I should just read the two articles. Like Scott said on leaving his tent in the Arctic... "I may be some time..."


You seem to me not to have followed what led up to Professor Peterson being fired as editor of the Review. Dehlin may still think that the Brethren wanted to prevent the publication of Greg Smith's essay. This seems strange to me, since at the same time he was meeting with his Stake President, he thought that he could manipulate the Brethren. Amazing.
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#4 Louis Midgley

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:13 AM

Those addicted to that other dreadful message board are congratulating themselves on their role in the Dehlin Debacle. I notice that they are speculating about this and that. And perhaps they should. The Maxwell Institute employee who used a friend to inform Dehlin of Greg Smith essay, which started Dehlin's frantic efforts to prevent its publication insisted that he had not used the expression "hit piece" but that label was invented by Dehlin Even after Professor Peterson had provided him with a preliminary draft of Greg's essay, and he had read it, he refused to label it "hit piece." His objection was to any and every effort to respond to attacks on the faith of the Saints by nominal Latter-day Saints or essentially anyone else. I lectured me that, instead of responding to critics--that is, sustaining and defending the Kingdom--what we should have been doing is showing what he called the "beauties of the Book of Mormon." I found his stance rather odd, since in a number of essays I have done just that, while I am not aware of his or two of his associates of having done any of that.. .

Edited by Louis Midgley, 24 February 2013 - 12:28 AM.

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#5 Daniel Peterson

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:19 AM

This may sound stupid, but if Greg Smith wrote it, why did Dan Peterson take the heat? Am I missing something?


It remains a bit of a mystery.

To me, too.
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#6 cinepro

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:23 AM

Wow. That's quite an article.

I read it in the way I thought John Dehlin would want me to read it; trying to be as unbiased and neutral as possible, with an open mind and without pre-judgement. From the attempted perspective, I have to give it high marks. I thought it did a great job giving an overview of the history of MormonStories, and while I was familiar with much of what John had said in the past from listening to many of the podcasts, there were many quotes I had missed from having not followed him on Facebook or in other forums. But nothing was shocking or particularly scandalous. Perhaps for people who know even less and have only been exposed to the pro or con-LDS side of Mormonstories, there is quite a bit in that essay that might be a surprise.

I ultimately felt a feeling of irony...in that when it comes to its history, stated purpose, biases, and transparency, Mormonstories had become the very thing it hated most about the LDS Church. Perhaps the most recent developments with Dehlin will bring the story to a close, but I think the essay will serve an important part of chronicling the history of what happened.

Edited by cinepro, 24 February 2013 - 12:25 AM.

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#7 canard78

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 12:50 AM

You seem to me not to have followed what led up to Professor Peterson being fired as editor of the Review. Dehlin may still think that the Brethren wanted to prevent the publication of Greg Smith's essay. This seems strange to me, since at the same time he was meeting with his Stake President, he thought that he could manipulate the Brethren. Amazing.


I'm not a Dehlin follower and have only listened to a couple of his podcasts (the Givens interview for the God who Weeps and the recent Dehlin 'returns to the fold' one as I was interested to know what the fuss was about. So no, I'm not entirely aware of the intellectual Utah saber rattling that's been going on.

I'll read the two articles to get clued up on it.
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#8 morgan.deane

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:12 AM

For those of you who are interested in such things, see:
http://www.mormonint...mormon-stories/


I thought the second article was pretty eye opening. It made me realize I don't have the stomach for much of the political infighting that occurs, and being relatively invisible can have its benefits.
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#9 Nevo

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:20 AM

I am glad to see Greg Smith's article finally published. It's a thoughtful and fair critique of Dehlin's Mormon Stories project in my view (at least as things stood when the paper was written). I also appreciated his follow-up essay with its brilliant analysis of the furor surrounding his (unread) paper in terms of moral panics, folk devils, and atrocity stories. Again, I think he's right on the money. I look forward to reading more of his work.

By the way, does anyone know if there are any plans to republish Greg's FARMS Review articles that were recently deleted from the MI website? I thought his review of George D. Smith's Nauvoo Polygamy was particularly valuable and I'm sorry to see it's currently unavailable.
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#10 calmoriah

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:26 AM

Nevo, looks like it is still there: http://maxwellinstit...20&num=2&id=721

They have listed 4 articles at http://maxwellinstit...s/?authorID=672

Edited by calmoriah, 24 February 2013 - 01:27 AM.

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#11 Nevo

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:28 AM

Nevo, looks like it is still there: http://maxwellinstit...20&num=2&id=721

They have listed 4 articles at http://maxwellinstit...s/?authorID=672


Thanks Cal. Looks like you're right. I'm glad it's back up.
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#12 calmoriah

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:36 AM

The Maxwell Institute employee who used a friend to inform Dehlin of Greg Smith essay, which started Dehlin's frantic efforts to prevent its publication insisted that he had not used the expression "hit piece" but that label was invented by Dehlin

According to the email that was posted here from the friend who forwarded the information to Bro. Dehlin, it was the friend who created the label, IIRC "I imagine it will be something of a hit piece" but Dehlin then took it for granted this friend's imaginings were correct, even after he himself had been informed otherwise by those who had read it.

I'll find the link to the posted email just to be sure.
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#13 calmoriah

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 01:39 AM

Here: http://www.mormondia...entry1209121303

Part of Dehlin's email:

I just received the following email from a friend and wanted to let you all know about it:

Quote [friend's email]

Hi, John. I don't want to get in the middle of any drama, and especially don't want to get any started up, but I did think you deserve a heads up, in case you are not already aware: I spoke with a friend (who also happens to be one of your Facebook Friends) who works at the Maxwell Institute today, and he mentioned that some of the other guys there are working on publishing something about you that I imagine will be something of a hit piece. You may already be aware of it, and maybe aren't too concerned what a paranoid ultra-conservative apologetic group was to say anyway. My friend did say that he will be attempting to dissuade them over the next few days from putting out the piece. Hopefully he will be successful and the drama will be avoided completely.


Edited by calmoriah, 24 February 2013 - 01:42 AM.

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#14 Rivers

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:01 AM

John Dehlin mentioned in his recent podcast interview that the article accused him of being responible for somebody's death. I've started reading the article and haven't read that part yet.

Edited by Rivers, 24 February 2013 - 02:01 AM.

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#15 canard78

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:12 AM

John Dehlin mentioned in his recent podcast interview that the article accused him of being responible for somebody's death. I've started reading the article and haven't read that part yet.


I'm not sure that's exactly wheat Dehlin said. I think it was something more about a meeting he had with Prof. Midgley that gave him concerns a missionaries death could be linked to him in the article. Not that it already had.

Prof. Midgley is of course already on this thread so might be able to shed light on this.
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#16 Louis Midgley

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:11 AM

According to the email that was posted here from the friend who forwarded the information to Bro. Dehlin, it was the friend who created the label, IIRC "I imagine it will be something of a hit piece" but Dehlin then took it for granted this friend's imaginings were correct, even after he himself had been informed otherwise by those who had read it.

I'll find the link to the posted email just to be sure.



This is exactly right. The label "hit piece" was Dehlin's invention. And neither he, or his friend, or Morgan Davis had read the essay. Dan Peterson insisted that Morgan read it and then Dan and I discussed it for two hours in the morning of 39 March 2012. Morgan still did not call it a hit piece. Later, in the two hour conversation with me, he insisted that we simply should never ever respond to critics. He went further: he insisted that, with one exception, everything I have written in an effort to sustain and defend the Kingdom, with one exception, has merely had the appearance of scholarship but not the substance. He quoted language from my response to the rubbish Cleon Skousen was pushing about a conspiracy of London and Wall Street bankers that presumably controlled the world and were behind communism and so forth. To have a look at my response to Skousen's simply absurd conspiracy theory, see my essay entitled "The Cult of Conspiracy," Dialogue 6 (Winter 1971): 100-108; which was followed by my "Rejoinder," 114-116, to Skousen's "Reply," 110-114. The current editor of Dialogue has recently described my rebuttal of Skousen bizarre conspiracy theory as "Dialogue's finest hour." So it was proper for me to respond to Cleon Skousen's rubbish, but not to Grant Palmer? Or Dan Vogel? Or Tony Hutchinson? Or Rodney Meldrum?

The distinction, according to Morgan, was that, unlike these others, Skousen's activities and political books were divisive. This is absurd. Skousen was not attacking the very foundations of the faith of the Saints, like Palmer et all, but merely practicing priestcraft by making a living selling mock wisdom for real money. And, presumably, that description does not fit Dehlin? And Dehlin has not been even a tiny bit divisive?
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#17 Teancum

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:16 AM


For those of you who are interested in such things, see:

http://www.mormonint...mormon-stories/


This is a sad turn of events. I wonder why you felt a need to publish this now of all times? Dehlin is returning to full activity. Returning prodigal. I do not recall in the parable of the prodigal son the father turning to hus somewhat disgruntled son when he said "all that I have is yours" adding "now go out and write something to smear and garnsih your younger brother."

And then you al felt the need to publish something else on the whole debacle? Really?

Maybe these are strong words since I have not read the paper. I don't know if I have the stomach for it. But yea I will read it but I still wonder why it was necessary.
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#18 volgadon

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:20 AM

This is a sad turn of events. I wonder why you felt a need to publish this now of all times? Dehlin is returning to full activity. Returning prodigal. I do not recall in the parable of the prodigal son the father turning to hus somewhat disgruntled son when he said "all that I have is yours" adding "now go out and write something to smear and garnsih your younger brother."

And then you al felt the need to publish something else on the whole debacle? Really?

Maybe these are strong words since I have not read the paper. I don't know if I have the stomach for it. But yea I will read it but I still wonder why it was necessary.


John Dehlin demanded it be published.
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#19 Louis Midgley

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:42 AM

I'm not sure that's exactly wheat Dehlin said. I think it was something more about a meeting he had with Prof. Midgley that gave him concerns a missionaries death could be linked to him in the article. Not that it already had.

Prof. Midgley is of course already on this thread so might be able to shed light on this.


This has already been dealt with earlier in a thread on this message board. No one has ever accused Dehlin of being involved in the death of a missionary in Guatemala. That claim by Dehlin is simply a bald faced lie. The descriptions of the mission in which Dehlin served all indicate that some status seeking, aggressive, immature missionaries were doing battle with each other in an effort to become Zone leaders or Assistants to the President. Some of my colleagues in the Political Science Department who knew Dehlin had heard his tale about what he called "baseball baptisms." They did not believe him. But LaMond Tullis thought that, if his description was at all true, then the Brethren ought to know about it. So he had Dehlin write down his tale of woe, and LaMond sent it to Elder Oaks, who then phoned Dehlin about the matter. Subsequently Dehlin was furious because, after a full investigation, his Mission President was not disciplined. But in my conversation with Dehlin on 29 March 2012, he had changed his tune, which he is very much inclined to do. Then it was not his Mission President but someone who had managed to become an Assistant to the President who was responsible for the mess in that mission. This fits exactly what LaMond Tullis believed was the case, since he knew Dehlin's Mission President.
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#20 Louis Midgley

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:54 AM

This is a sad turn of events. I wonder why you felt a need to publish this now of all times? Dehlin is returning to full activity. Returning prodigal. I do not recall in the parable of the prodigal son the father turning to hus somewhat disgruntled son when he said "all that I have is yours" adding "now go out and write something to smear and garnsih your younger brother."

And then you al felt the need to publish something else on the whole debacle? Really?

Maybe these are strong words since I have not read the paper. I don't know if I have the stomach for it. But yea I will read it but I still wonder why it was necessary.


How does one know what Dehlin's relationship is with the community of Saints. What does full activity mean? Has anything really changed? Has he taken down or repudiated his remarks to the Larsens? Has he taken down any of his various efforts to pull the Church from its foundations? Has he ceased attacking people who genuinely strive to defend the faith and the Saints? Is it not the case that the truth about the Dehlin Affair should be available for all to read? Has he now found good reasons for believing that there is a God and that there was an historical Jesus? If so, where has he addressed that issue? If he now genuinely regrets his long slide into the dark that he has described, would he not insist on having Greg's essay available for all to see? Should not those who have been confused and misled by his various initiatives be made aware of how and why this happened?
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