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Louis Midgley

The Dehlin Affair–The Current Uncivil War

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In retrospect, I don't suppose any of that should matter, if we have a real testimony of the gospel, Cinepro.

But, I can kind of understand, if the first place someone looks for an answer, is an article that only seems to denigrate the author of a book written about it, and spends little time on the actual issue. I don't know for certain that has happened, but I think that's an example of what John Dehlin is probably talking about.

If someone is deeply troubled by say Grant Palmer's An Insider's View, should they not be delighted to have available to them the five reviews of that dreadful book? None of those essays, including mine, merely denigrates Grant Palmer. But the readers of that book are certainly entitled to know the truth about Grant Palmer, are they not? If I discover I have cancer, So which of the items posted on the FAIR wiki or essays in the FARMS Review "only seems to denigrate the author of a book"? Put another way, exactly what literature is Dehlin demeaning and why is he doing it? And keep in mind that the qualification of authors is sometimes one of the actual issues. Why? If I have cancer, I very much want to be treated by surgeons and oncologists with proper credentials, solid knowledge, and experience and not by some quack. And someone in a panic over some question that is eating away at their faith in God, ought to want to know whether the one offering therapy is a quack. .

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I can understand local issues and personalities and not wanting to associate with them. I just don't understand how someone can read something that someone wrote about someone else (and they don't know or even really care about either person), and based on that decide to leave the Church.

I don't either but I have seen it happen anyways,

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Sorry about the "he." I will try to remember.

Just look at the pretty pink flower gravatar of hers. :D

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If someone is deeply troubled by say Grant Palmer's An Insider's View, should they not be delighted to have available to them the five reviews of that dreadful book? None of those essays, including mine, merely denigrates Grant Palmer. But the readers of that book are certainly entitled to know the truth about Grant Palmer, are they not? If I discover I have cancer, So which of the items posted on the FAIR wiki or essays in the FARMS Review "only seems to denigrate the author of a book"? Put another way, exactly what literature is Dehlin demeaning and why is he doing it? And keep in mind that the qualification of authors is sometimes one of the actual issues. Why? If I have cancer, I very much want to be treated by surgeons and oncologists with proper credentials, solid knowledge, and experience and not by some quack. And someone in a panic over some question that is eating away at their faith in God, ought to want to know whether the one offering therapy is a quack. .

Yes, but why can't doctors and homeopaths just get along and stop denigrating each other? Surgeons and crystal healers both want the same thing after all.

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But...but the apologist was mean and confusing. It is illogical but it still happens. These are the same people who leave the church because Sister Doe said something offensive in the hallways last week and somehow that means the church is obviously not of God and the gospel is false.

But someone defending the faith while presumably being both mean and confusing may or may not be true, but even if some of those who try to defend the their faith in God are actually mean and confusing, that still has to be an excuse for someone using their own agency to turn away from God. What is the common objection is that someone is troubled by the tone of what someone writes or that they don't quite see sufficient empathy for those who have gone missing or who are violently hostile to the faith of the Saints.

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I don't either but I have seen it happen anyways,

The old irrational blame game. This is sometimes described as self-justification or rationalization, or even what the French call "bad faith," which is what we call in English self-deception.

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Yes, but why can't doctors and homeopaths just get along and stop denigrating each other? Surgeons and crystal healers both want the same thing after all.

Yes, why can't we all just get along in this fallen and disconsolate world where ambition, avarice, and other often less attractive attributes tend to dominate and control both our words and deeds? And, as Dehlin often asserts, the point is to find happiness. So what makes one happy is the best for them, even if they [fill in the blank]. Somewhere in our scriptures Jesus is reported to have said something like "in this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." As I understand the word Saint, one who aspires to being a Holy One must be willing to do their duty even if it is not immediately fun to do it, or face Lions, or sometimes rabid critics, as some of the Saints faced angry mobs armed and ready to kill. One does not have to be killed to by a martyr. But one must be willing to testify of one's faith in both word and deed. In doing this myself I hope to find favor in his sight. One places one's gifts on the altar, to use Elder Maxwell's language, in the hope of receiving a much, much greater gift--diving mercy.

Edited by Louis Midgley

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I don't think most people think in such black and white terms. Either you are "for us" or "against us". A lot of John's group (including me) are somewhere in the middle. That's why they want to build bridges. For me, this whole debacle has been a source of confusion and frustration. Wouldn't the brethren want to build a bridge that could, potentially, bring members back?

And, yes, I used to believe that my testimony was absolutely unshakable and I made fun of people who left over personal quibbles. But, there is quit a bit more to it, when you add in some real concerns over church history and Joseph Smith, himself. That's a whole new ballpark. And, when you see those issues dealt with, primarily, with ad hom, that doesn't exactly instill confidence in the author of such an article.

I donno. It's all rather discouraging. Especially, when people in the church don't seem very interested in building bridges.

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When someone is in panic mode over church history or whatever problem they are perceiving, they likely want some quick and understandable answers.

And while the Maxwell Institute is not known for quick answers, FAIR is, with citations to long, drawn out answers. Furthermore, despite how desparate members may be for some answers, they do need to learn to be patient and tempered and have the faith that answers will come. At times that is in the form of long, drawn out responses. These responses also add to the quick responses and help solidify the quick responses as well as, as it has for me, their testimonies of the Church.

I actually got the most out of some videos that Dr. Peterson did on the Book of Mormon.

Yes, videos are a good media for good quick answers.

I'm a "listener" and prefer that mode to reading, especially if it's going to be long.

I can definitely relate.

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Dehlin plays to those who are troubled who do not care to read long, as you say, dry academic stuff. They want snappy answers right now. FAIR provides that with its remarkably good wiki, and with its very productive AtA endeavor.

Yes to all that.

Dehlin has prospered by savaging remarkably good LDS scholarship. He plays to those whose problems flow from--I hope this is not offensive--not interested at all in academic stuff.

Dehlin himself has not only failed ot express an interest in getting academically informed on LDS issues but outright prides hmself for avoiding it.

It starts with the idea that one is supposed to get one's testimony and then never really probe, examine, ponder, question, pry out of the scripures more than "it is true."

I find that a very accurate way to pin it down.

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Often, when a member is confronted with information they have never heard before, the first response is "it must be a lie". That's what I thought, when I first heard some of the things I learned about Joseph's polygamy. We are taught that anti-Mormons just blatantly lie about the church, which is why we shouldn't indulge them. What happens next is that we find out a lot of what they present is actually true. Then, shock and a sense of disorientation begins. Believe me, when you are in that mode, the last thing you want to do is read through some dry article that seems to convolute and talk all around the issue. You just want (and "need") answers, and you want them now. When you feel like you're not getting them, you sometimes go back to the people you "thought" were telling you lies, but now seem to be giving you the real truth. It can become a very confusing labyrinth of thought and reaction. It's depressing and scary...and very confusing. It can take a long time to sort through all of this...emotionally and intellectually.

Thank you for sharing that, Libs. I do think that's wha some go through and thus a need for the quic answers and responses. However, people do need to realize tha the full answer they seek comes in time and that patience and temporace is crucial to receiving a fuller, more complete, answer.

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And while the Maxwell Institute is not known for quick answers, FAIR is, with citations to long, drawn out answers. Furthermore, despite how desparate members may be for some answers, they do need to learn to be patient and tempered and have the faith that answers will come. At times that is in the form of long, drawn out responses. These responses also add to the quick responses and help solidify the quick responses as well as, as it has for me, their testimonies of the Church.

Yes, I understand that. And, I think, many struggling do, ultimately, get to that place, where they can calm down and listen to a longer explanation. But, you have to know that, usually, by that point, most of us are in skeptic mode, defensive and what not. So, at that point, if it's not very convincing, it's easier to remain the skeptic.

In retrospect, I can see that my faith and testimony were not even close to where I thought they were, and I do see some of the fault or problem was there, rather than with the new information I found myself struggling with. I still think it would have helped to have, at least, been exposed to some of these problems, in church, though.

Edited by Libs

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And, when you see those issues dealt with, primarily, with ad hom, that doesn't exactly instill confidence in the author of such an article.

I donno. It's all rather discouraging. Especially, when people in the church don't seem very interested in building bridges.

You are one of the most reasonable and fair posters I have seen. I measure damage by what those like you say. And that you believe the "ad hom" accusations is evidence that Dehlin has been effective in demonizing. And yes...that is demonizing. It would have to be true to be called a criticism.

You are right about building bridges. We haven't been very good at it. I think we all have to work on that in our own wards when the demonizing of "apostates" begins. And I do think the pride, sin, etc. stuff we shovel is demonizing at that level because we are probably unknowingly talking to people having doubts sitting next to us. We do not even use the word "apostate" properly, it is not something that should be attached to those who quietly fall away. And I have never felt a need to leave the church to do my sinning so I don't even know where that comes from.

What I am seeing is those calling for bridge building throwing stones at which point it becomes nothing more than a "you first!" taunt. So when we gratefully accept Mr. Dehlin's offer to assist FAIR in making needed changes in our materials and are met with stony silence...followed by yet another attack in some other venue...it is next to impossible to even visualize a bridge.

I accept Mr. Dehlin's offer again. That is all we can do. Someone who wants to build something must show up.

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I still think it would have helped to have, at least, been exposed to some of these problems, in church, though.

When I see statements like this I wonder why it would be any different if you had heard them in church. What difference does the venue make? If the information is troubling to you how does where it comes from make a difference? I am trying to understand the reasoning.

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I can see how apologists would get offended over somebody downplaying their work as not helping anybody. It seems like all of the apologists I have came across on the internet generally care about helping members. hat can be a tough thing to hear that your lives work is not helping anyone as John is accused of saying. This could be one of those cases of an imagined offense going way over board. Even if he meant that, he is way off base and should have been more tactful. In all honesty, no offense should be taken, I do not think scholarly apologetics(if you will) help most people struggling with faith. I think it further solidifies people who have strong faith already and it does help some struggling. When I read fair articles they helped me out a bit. This sounds like a case of people who genuinely care about the Church of Jesus Christ and its members but think the other does not.

The end result would will hopefully be two factions coming together to strengthen those struggling. I could only imagine what two very intelligent people like Dan Peterson and John Dehlin could do together. Especially knowing John Dehlin is in the process of fully returning to the flock.

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Thanks, Juliann. I think you just built a bridge. :)

What I am seeing is those calling for bridge building throwing stones at which point it becomes nothing more than a "you first!" taunt.

Yes, I understand. I've seen that, as well, and it has been frustrating. There are people on this side who really do not want to build any bridges, that is obvious. But, not all...and I think John does want that...but, hasn't been very good about the "building" part, either. He admits his ego has gotten in the way, at times. I think that's probably true all around.

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When I see statements like this I wonder why it would be any different if you had heard them in church. What difference does the venue make? If the information is troubling to you how does where it comes from make a difference? I am trying to understand the reasoning.

Well, maybe, it's an excuse, but I know myself, pretty well, and I think, coming from the church, it wouldn't have been put in such a negative light, as I first experienced it....and, I really do believe I would have accepted it, early on, in a more thoughtful manner, than I did, when I heard it from antis (who, of course, put all things in the most negative light possible).

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Well, maybe, it's an excuse, but I know myself, pretty well, and I think, coming from the church, it wouldn't have been put in such a negative light, as I first experienced it....and, I really do believe I would have accepted it, early on, in a more thoughtful manner, than I did, when I heard it from antis (who, of course, put all things in the most negative light possible).

I wasn't trying to insinuate that it was an excuse. I am really trying to understand why it would make a difference. It is the same information.

I really think that were the church curriculum changed to address the anti bombardments there would be no time left in meetings to teach the gospel.

Edited by ERayR

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5 Some time in the second year after our removal from Arizona, there was in the place where we looked up videos of cats and bought ebooks an unusual excitement on the subject of mormonstories. It commenced with the Maxwell institute, but soon became general among all the apologetic sites and mormon forums in that region of Internet. Indeed, the whole forum seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!” Some were contending for the apologetic faith, some for the doubting, and some for nothing at all.

6 For, notwithstanding the great love which the followers to these different faiths expressed at the time of their following, and the great zeal manifested by the respective leaders, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of intellectual feeling, in order to have everybody follow, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet when the followers began to file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the leaders and the followers were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—apologist contending against mormon stories leader, and follower against follower; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions.

8 During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often poignant, still I kept myself aloof from all these parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

9 My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant. The apologists were most decided against the Mormon stories, and used all the powers of both reason and sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, mormon stories in their turn was equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others.

10 In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?

All said in jest

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Most are a metaphorical voice in the wilderness, with one being a literal voice in the wilderness (well, was a literal voice in the wilderness. Thanks for ruining my joke Kerry.

personal information deleted probably more of a wilderness that Kerry lives in...if Kerry is still where he was 12 years or so ago...can't believe it's been that long, wow. You can substitute Greg easily though he doesn't play the part quite so well.

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5 Some time in the second year after our removal from Arizona, there was in the place where we looked up videos of cats and bought ebooks an unusual excitement on the subject of mormonstories. It commenced with the Maxwell institute,

All said in jest

That is the first place where you may have the chicken/egg scenario incorrect. We do not know what would have happened if John had not gone to such strenuous lengths to censor an article that he had never read. That, in my opinion, was where the real ruckus began. He did more in an effort to censor to promote the article than any of the "apologists" could have done together.

Glenn

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When I see statements like this I wonder why it would be any different if you had heard them in church. What difference does the venue make? If the information is troubling to you how does where it comes from make a difference? I am trying to understand the reasoning.

Perhaps it would be the sense of safety they would feel in hearing such things while still being within the walls of the church, like having your family around you when hearing bad news from the doctor....perhaps this provides a sense that it's alright or not being alone in the struggle.

Me, it would be the opposite, I think I prefer to deal with crisis on my own so I don't have to worry about what others are thinking or worrying about, but I can imagine that some may feel safety in numbers so to speak.

But, not all...and I think John does want that...but, hasn't been very good about the "building" part, either. He admits his ego has gotten in the way, at times. I think that's probably true all around.

I started questioning his sincerity when he laid out the facts of the censored article on this message board but managed to leave out a few of those facts that placed him in a less than beneficial light (such as immediately emailing the seventy with a cc to Dan rather than just attempting dealing with Dan at first at least once even though he claimed he had emailed Dan while ccing a few friends and would be contacting his GA friends if the story were true). It was left to others to provide his own emails even after he had been asked to provide them. He also misrepresented what Scott Gordon had said to him.

He keeps saying stuff like this:

I did it because I believe in my heart that the old school, disingenuous, ad hominem-style apologetics a la Daniel Peterson and Louis Midgley are very, very damaging: to the church, to its members, to its former members, and mostly to its targets.

And yet the only thing he actually has done was to attempt to get the article censored, he has not attempted that I've seen though asked and asked again in any other way to correct the old school save to keep repeating this mantra.

http://www.mormondia...ohn-dehlin-lou/

I will start believing he really cares about the damage when he actually does something about it that doesn't just benefit himself.

Edited by calmoriah

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That is the first place where you may have the chicken/egg scenario incorrect. We do not know what would have happened if John had not gone to such strenuous lengths to censor an article that he had never read. That, in my opinion, was where the real ruckus began. He did more in an effort to censor to promote the article than any of the "apologists" could have done together.

Glenn

Meh...I'm not that invested in my little story. If that's the truth then so mote it be.

A big point of the Joseph Smith story isn't "well he started it!" it's that all the parties got wrapped up in it.

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I wasn't trying to insinuate that it was an excuse. I am really trying to understand why it would make a difference. It is the same information.

I really think that were the church curriculum changed to address the anti bombardments there would be no time left in meetings to teach the gospel.

Thanks, Ray. I don't mean that it would have to be to the extent that the apologists deal with those things, but at least mentioned?

Look at the manual on Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Polygamy is not even mentioned. Isn't that kind of odd, considering how important an issue, it was, at the time?

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Isn't that kind of odd, considering how important an issue, it was, at the time?
I would have preferred them to be mentioned, but the fact is the manuals were made for the here and now, to teach the principles to current members, not to teach the early members what they were to know and live.

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