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Stating Obvious - The Greg/John Debacle

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It needs to be made very clear I seek to offend no one with this writing. I sincerely pray that these two sides can come together. That they may work towards the common good of helping those struggling with faith and make strong members stronger. Similarly to Nephi, I wet my pillow(I pray) at night thinking about this. As somebody who has struggled with faith and sinned grievously I hope to come at this from another angle. It is my hope that we can all read this, feeling and listening to the Holy Ghost.

Let the Holy Ghost be the speaker of truth, mender of hurt and creator of peace within all of us.

This rebutt to Gregory Smiths criticism of John Dehlin are my views only. They are admittedly very limited views based off Gregs paper. There have also been times when I have visited Mormon Stories and FAIR/FARMS. I rely on my own personal experience from struggling with faith. I then rely on what Greg deems as facts based on his paper.

There are very little doubts in my mind if I dig into more of what John Dehlin has said I will discover more positive things he has said. In addition, most things Greg wrote about John Dehlin seem positive to me, altough I do not think Greg intended that. As it is, from my opinion, Gregory Smith has given little to no intentonal credence to the good John Dehlin has said and done.

On the other side of the coin is John Dehlins faction. It is obvious from word of mouth and browsing forums neither side has clean hands in this debacle. Both sides have made mistakes, both sides will admit that. Since both sides are human that is too be expected. I want to make it clear I am a neutral party in this debacle. The following writing is calling it as I see it and noting else. Nothing I type is known with any sort of complete knowledge, only what each side says is truth so I do not want to be held liable for any misinformation I have received.


Just because the paper starts talking about stuff that does not mention Dehlin does not mean the paper is not about Dehlin. The paper quickly shifts to John Dehlin under the guise of being about Mormon Stories. The whole Mormon Stories section is attacking John Dehlin. Greg says, "John Dehlin invokes many of the standard anti-mormon themes and criticisms." How is that? Greg is not attempting to debate his idea of apologetics(if you will) rather attack him. The man clearly said he cares and you have no proof to say he does not.

Part 1

- The Power of Podcasts-

Greg does not understand the point of Mormon Stories. He even shows how far he is out of touch by trying to discredit podcasts. Which have, coincidentally been used as an effective tool by the Church of Jesus Christ. This just proves he is further attacking John Dehlin vicariously by attacking the media he chooses to use. Which I will say again, podcasts are one of the most effective medians to get peoples attention. It is true and it appears hard for Greg to hear that his form of apologetics is out of date and very ineffective.

Greg Smith says on page 11, "Podcasts are particularly ill suited to doing what Dehlin initially set as a goal provide athorough airing of difficult issues that help people come to some type of resolution consistent with faith." Podcasts are notill suited to what Dehlins goal is, podcasts simply put, reach the most amount of people.

The podcasts I have listened to on Mormon Stories do not try to explain what sometimes is the unexplainable. One example would be horses in the Book of Mormon.To justify that is pure deception and false rationalization. That is something once discovered then seen in multiple 'apologetic papers' a sure faith shaker or killer.(If anybody knows a paper about them being brought over please message me it)

I see Mormon Stories as showing empathy which ancient apologetics simply lack. The exit counselor or I prefer retention counselor is the new age form of apologetics. Most ancient apologetics can be debunked with a simple google search. That means for are own intengrity and for saving souls sake we must rely on empathy. More retention counselors like John Dehlin would save many people. It would be even more effecetive if the church figured out a way to have a 'retention counselor.'

Maybe even a podcast on mormonchannel.org. It could be something like those struggling with faith and have answers. Also top down effect from the prophet to the lower leade being taught to shown more empathy(not that they do not now.)

Then later in this section Greg Smith critizies John Dehlin again, "Dehlin admits that he does not go in with much preparation and he at times claims that this is actually a strength." The fact that Greg Smith says "he at times" crushes his complete argument. Coming fromm a scholar, Greg Smith, I think he would recognize the benefit even genuis of going into an interview with open mind. As an example, think about interviewing a Muslim, all the preconceived notions about Islam would hurt knowledge you gain from the interview(that is a general example from most of America).

'I'm not a reader by nature'

Greg starts off with an attack, "he is often inadequately informed." Then Greg procedes to attack John Dehlin on issues of faith he has struggled with. John Dehlin is being attacked for something that most people go through, a struggle of faith. This attack by Greg is what drives so many people struggling with faith away. Greg Smith then applies his questions are absurd, "Dehlin promotes an absurdity that hasn’t been taken seriously by informed readers for decades."

Greg contines to attack John based on statements that can be inferred any way the reader chooses. Greg seems to think te Journal of Discourses does not have somethings that would make you question your faith. The first time I looked at the Journal of Discourses I was scared out of my mind. John is right when he says, "All you have to do is go to the Journal of Discourses or early church newspapers or the Book of Mormon itself to find things that are going to be troubling if your mind is open."

'Just the fact ma'am'

In this section Greg critizices John for the very thing he does. People critizice John as not helping the saints and he gets offended. What does that show me? That shows me that John genuinely cares about the Saints and the work he is doing. Similarly to how most ancient apologists get offended. It shows they truly care about the faith.

Greg then proceeds to say the Journal of Discourses does not have questionable things and John is misconstruing the facts. That is very far from the truth. Again that is exacty what is wrong with ancient apologetics it fails to recognize the obvious. Ancient apologetics even admits false information or omits information not relevant to the arguments. At the end of the day you can not in good faith accuse people of doing the very same thing you do.

'Telling both sides and posining the well'

This whole section is critizing John Dehlin for rightfully critizing FAIR/FARMS. Obviously FAIR/FARMS will be the msot biased websites for history. That is common sense and nohing more. If I own a bakery my bakery website will definetly say how good my donuts are.

-MOrmon Think-

See 2

-Dehlins Objectivity-

Greg critizices him for being an honest man. It is very commendable that he stepped back because he feared driving people away from church. How many people would do that? That should be someting we applaud not attack him about.

-Benefits and drawbacks of podcasts-

The goal of John Dehlin is to help people struggling with faith. If a member struggling faith does not come across Mormon Stories they would just fall off the map. Even if Mormon Stories only saves 25%(example) it is still better then losing 100% which it would if Mormon Stories was not in place.You falsely assume that if Mormon Stories was not around all th questioners would stay in the faith. Where are the facts to back that up? That is actually the exact opposite, in my opinion.

It does not matter if people are struggling with their faith. One of the apostles last general conference said, "stay with us." The hopes is that they will continue to grow in Christ. Look no further then thew new site about understanding gays, that site is clearly saying stay with us despite struggles.

-Case Study-

Greg again personally attacks John Dehlin for not knowing every detail of the Book of Mormon. It is ok to forget there are no metals shields in the Book of Mormon. Most of the book is about wars I think any rational human being would think war consists of metal shields. At the end of the day mistakes happen. There are even mistakens in the Book of Mormon. What about those horses?

-Five Techniques-


To dispute claims that The Book of Mormon does not make. From all the accusations you excused John Dehlin of they seem like honest mistakes. The other option is they are not mistakes you can just not accept them. Do you really expect every soul who talks about FAIR/Farms to read every article? You can not accuse him of not reading every article when he never claims to.


It sounds like Coe was not an expert in all the stuff that matters. The easy thing is to be an expert in all the things that prove your beliefs. I am an expert in Jesus Christ being a real person because I know he was. However, I am not an expert in horses in the Book of Mormon because I am not sure.


All you do by showing he uses this technique is show how ineffective ancient apologetics is. Give it ten years and the stuff you are writing about now may prove to be untrue. Yet, another reason why struggling members for the most part find ancient apologetics useless.


They are just going over any arguments they have heard. It seems clear they want to talk about all things that members may be struggling with. You can not know everything a member is struggling with. Even if John never heard somebody struggling about it why not discuss it just in case.


You stalk his Facebook to find comments he makes off the record(so to speak). I wonder if anyboy from the ancient apolgetic camp has made funny remarks about this paper or John Dehlin returning to the fold.

-Dehlin Describes his methods-

John Dehlin is trying to build bridges to anyone he can. It is much better to make friends with as many people as you can. Just look at what church leaders are doing by reaching out to other religious leaders. He even goes as far as to say he is fair and balanced. Then he poves how he is...

Conclusion of Part I

The bottom line is you can twist anybodys words to get the desired result. Just watch any election cycles and you will find that very thing. You need to show his statements in context and in comparision to other statements he has made. Just because he changes his mind, which is part of the human condition, does not mean he is unintelligent or inadequately informed like

you apply. Change is even moreso frequent during a faith crisis. Just remember everybody follows a different path to Christ. Think of Paul the Apostle

To be continued...

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