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Scott Lloyd

A course correction for the Maxwell Institute?

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6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I just bought a book from Deseret Book that was put together by the Interpreter Foundation and am very impressed with it.  It's the first offering in the Science and Mormonism series (the title is something about Cosmos and Man but I can't remember it exactly).

Yes. The Interpreter sponsors an annual seminar on this topic. I attended the first one a few years ago. 

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4 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I learned a bit more about that new building from Dan’s blog post. It would seem this point has been overstated. The Maxwell Institute from the time of its founding has been moved from building to building over the years and in this latest move will merely be a tenant, not the sole occupant, of the facility under construction. I dare say that might have happened even if Dan and his team had remained there, but who knows? 

That is more like I figured what had happened . Where I had the problem is statements like;  If the brethren were not behind us, why did we get approval for this great and spacious building. Look how we have grown since the mighty ming was shown the door, etc..

Of course I dramatized, paraphrased a wee bit. But the parrot is still dead despite its beautiful plumage.

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26 minutes ago, Anijen said:

All I know is the Maxwell Institute has gone steeply down hill since Brother Peterson was rudely, removed. Life on a Plate has did nothing, IMO, to improve MI from its former years. In fact, MI costs more, has less scholarly papers to offer, cherry picks those papers while refusing others, and costs for every interesting paper, but allows free papers for information down on my interest list. New building this, new building that, whoopee, Life on a Plate had nothing to do with that, but implies it as one of his success stories. 

Life on a plate wasn’t running MI. He was the PR guy early on, IIR. He puts on one of the most professional podcasts in Mormondom so I don’t know why you are targeting him. 

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1 minute ago, juliann said:

Life on a plate wasn’t running MI. He was the PR guy early on, IIR. He puts on one of the most professional podcasts in Mormondom so I don’t know why you are targeting him. 

I intentionally used his avatar; Life on a Plate, so old timers would know who I am referring too. I have always enjoyed most his podcasts and postings. I hold great respect for him, where I differ is as he is the voice of MI, therefore, he is a principal agent of MI. What he says legally carries the backing and authority of MI.  When he implies the brethren backed the removal of Dr. Peterson, or the brethren finally loves MI so much now that they get a new building etc. I do not believe I have seen a post from BH that has even been slightly critical of the timing and manner in which Dr. Peterson was removed. Moreover, as a member of MI, and have paid a lot of money to download papers from them, I am disappointed in the direction since DP has been removed. This has been my personal experience and as yet, I have not been persuaded to change my opinion.

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Does anyone think that if the Brethren were totally upset with MI they wouldn’t have smashed it like a bug?

I think the ouster was appalling and beyond mean. And stupid. But the perps are gone... and that will be their legacy. Meanwhile, I have seen bad behavior from both sides. Interpreter put up an appalling article attacking other scholars. Ralph what’s his name took advantage of FM and bashed them by name... with some in the audience. And he changed a quote to do it. There has never been an apology either. 

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8 minutes ago, Anijen said:

I do not believe I have seen a post from BH that has even been slightly critical of the timing and manner in which Dr. Peterson was removed.

He is an employee of MI.  I think you have unrealistic expectations for Blair.  When was the last time a church spokesperson criticized the Church?  That is not a spokesperson's role.

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25 minutes ago, Calm said:

He is an employee of MI.  I think you have unrealistic expectations for Blair.  When was the last time a church spokesperson criticized the Church?  That is not a spokesperson's role.

He is not a church spokesman. He is the MI voice. Just as Sherry Dew is not a church spokesman but the voice for DB... Besides I am not asking  for criticism of the church, not even in the least. I am merely posting my opinion from what I know, and from my experiences with MI after DP was removed. BH has implied the Brethren knew and perhaps orchestrated DP's removal. I find that not very credible. BH has implied that the brethren condone all of MI actions or otherwise why was the new building approved. I have also stated my personal experiences with MI since. If you are going to criticize my posting for having unrealistic expectations, then please try not to put those unrealistic expectations in my mouth. I have never said anything like such...

 

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3 minutes ago, Anijen said:

He is not a church spokesman. He is the MI voice. Just as Sherry Dew is not a church spokesman but the voice for DB... Besides I am not asking  for criticism of the church, not even in the least. 

 

I don't think you understood my point.  He is the MI spokesperson.  Just as a Church spokesperson is not expected to speak critically of the Church, other organizations' spokespeople rarely criticize who they work for.  Therefore it is unrealistic to expect Blair to speak critically of MI in his postings, especially since many/most are likely done as part of his job.

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23 minutes ago, Calm said:

I don't think you understood my point.  He is the MI spokesperson.  Just as a Church spokesperson is not expected to speak critically of the Church, other organizations' spokespeople rarely criticize who they work for.  Therefore it is unrealistic to expect Blair to speak critically of MI in his postings, especially since many/most are likely done as part of his job.

Your point is well taken. 

My beef with Blair is that his zeal takes him to excess in the opposite direction, which is to leave the impression that high-level Church leaders orchestrated the ouster of Dan Peterson and his team when, as I suspect, Blair has no way of knowing such a thing. He could honestly and conscientiously fulfill his role as the institute PR guy without doing that. 

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Your point is well taken. 

My beef with Blair is that his zeal takes him to excess in the opposite direction, which is to leave the impression that high-level Church leaders orchestrated the ouster of Dan Peterson and his team when, as I suspect, Blair has no way of knowing such a thing. He could honestly and conscientiously fulfill his role as the institute PR guy without doing that. 

Which he specifically DID NOT say, but you're gonna keep beating that drum because it serves your petty purpose with creating this thread.

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Just now, ttribe said:

Which he specifically DID NOT say, but you're gonna keep beating that drum because it serves your petty purpose with creating this thread.

As I’ve already noted, one can leave a false impression without explicitly stating it. That is the nature of insinuation or implication. 

And you’ve already voiced your displeasure with me more than once. Your continued expression of it at this point is redundant. 

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Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

As I’ve already noted, one can leave a false impression without explicitly stating it. That is the nature of insinuation or implication. 

And you’ve already voiced your displeasure with me more than once. Your continued expression of it at this point is redundant. 

No more redundant than your continued insistence on publicly criticizing Blair's job performance and character.

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, ttribe said:

No more redundant than your continued insistence on publicly criticizing Blair's job performance and character.

If you continue this I will ignore you, but I’m not going to let you  shout me down. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

As I’ve already noted, one can leave a false impression without explicitly stating it. That is the nature of insinuation or implication. 

And you’ve already voiced your displeasure with me more than once. Your continued expression of it at this point is redundant. 

Well, you are repeating your view about Blair's comments, so it makes sense that tribe repeats his.  :)

Add-on:  I see tribe got the same vibe.  

I flashed back to me telling hope that as long as he stopped insulting Dan, I was happy to drop it...implying that I would continue if he did...which I would have.  It just makes sense that one would continue to defend if what one sees as an attack continues.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Calm said:

Well, you are repeating your view about Blair's comments, so it makes sense that tribe repeats his.  :)

In this instance, though, my reiteration of that view, was by way of making the separate point, in response to your post, that one’s duties as an organization spokesman in theory do not or should not entail leaving a false impression, be it explicitly stated or merely implied. 

That ttribe and I disagree on whether Blair has done that has already been established. There is no need to argue about it anew. That is what I meant by “redundant.”

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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16 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

In this instance, though, my reiteration of that view, was by way of making the separate point, in response to your post, that one’s duties as an organization spokesman in theory do not or should not entail leaving a false impression, be it explicitly stated or merely implied.

"My beef with Blair...." and what follows doesn't sound much like a generalized point to me.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Calm said:

"My beef with Blair...." and what follows doesn't sound much like a generalized point to me.

Well it was. 

Generalized points typically flow from or have as antecedents specific cases. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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5 hours ago, juliann said:

Does anyone think that if the Brethren were totally upset with MI they wouldn’t have smashed it like a bug?

No, I don’t think they are “totally upset.” I don’t think anyone here has said that. 

I do get the impression the Brethren have seen a need to more fully “help them understand who they are and why they exist,” in the quoted words from President Nelson. 

And Elder Holland’s comments and reservations about “Mormon studies” I think are quite telling, especially since that phrase, with its secular connotations, seems to have been the banner and shield of the institute from the days following the purging of Peterson et al. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I had thought that Daniel Peterson might weigh in here on this thread regarding what has been posted  here (as far as I know, he is still registered as a contributor here). It appears, for now, that he has chosen his own blog, Sic et Non, as the platform for his response to comments that have been made here and elsewhere.

It remains to be seen whether he will yet make an appearance here to augment what he has already written on his blog or to respond to specific posts here or whatever. He might deem his blog comments as sufficient to the moment, which would be justifiable, in my view.

In case that is his choice, I am taking the liberty of excerpting his blog post here, copying and pasting a portion that strikes me as the most relevant to the dialogue that has transpired here over the past couple of days. Those who desire to read the entire blog post may click on the hyperlink I have provided above.

 

Happy New Year, all! 

Scott, I'm not insinuating that Dr. Peterson was removed from his editorship of the FARMS Review / Mormon Studies Review by order of apostles. The furthest I've gone is personally observing that if BYU's board of trustees, which includes apostles, wanted Dr. Peterson at the Institute he'd be there. That's an opinion based on five years of familiarity with the operations of BYU. Church leadership doesn't micromanage everything, but they are the ultimate authority at BYU. At the same time, Dr. Peterson has no obligation to explain why, if his removal was mistaken, he was not returned to his position, or to inform anyone if he ever sought reinstatement. I raise those points as a way of suggesting that the university, like Dr. Peterson, is not obligated to provide such information. The university has declined and continues to decline to provide the public with internal details of personnel decisions they made six or so years ago. Before my time, as has been said. I believe only a small number of people are even aware of or concerned about these things. The only place I encounter conversations about it is on a few small websites like this and Dr. Peterson's blog. The caravan, as they say, moves on. And it contains multiple wagons, all trying to do things right. 

Edited by BHodges
Repaired a redundant sentence.
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9 hours ago, Anijen said:

All I know is the Maxwell Institute has gone steeply down hill since Brother Peterson was rudely, removed. Life on a Plate has did nothing, IMO, to improve MI from its former years. In fact, MI costs more, has less scholarly papers to offer, cherry picks those papers while refusing others, and costs for every interesting paper, but allows free papers for information down on my interest list. New building this, new building that, whoopee, Life on a Plate had nothing to do with that, but implies it as one of his success stories. 

The brethren were probably duped if they had a part in Dan's removal. I do not believe they did. The Brethren are slowly, wisely, taking steps to bring back the MI without raising contention.

Just my two cents.

Fortunately I can't take either credit or blame for whether the Institute has improved or gone downhill in the five years I've been here. I'm not the director, I'm merely the communications specialist and podcast host. In the past I edited the Living Faith book series, which I feel very gratified about. The Institute has decreased its operating costs as far as I've seen over the past five years. Who said it costs more? Or do you mean subscriptions cost more? For the journals, yes. Part of getting on more solid financial footing. Still, after twelve months the content of our journal is free of charge. That's significant and generous and unusual. I'm certainly not taking credit for the Institute being given updated quarters. But I'm very excited about it and understand what it means for BYU and the church to make such a significant decision for the Institute. 

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8 hours ago, Anijen said:

BH has implied the Brethren knew and perhaps orchestrated DP's removal. I find that not very credible...

BH has implied that the brethren condone all of MI actions or otherwise why was the new building approved.

 

To the first point, let me reiterate that I'm not insinuating that "the Brethren knew and perhaps orchestrated DP's removal." If anything I said suggests otherwise I apologize because that's not intended. 

Second, I don't claim anyone, church leadership or anywhere else, condones "all of MI actions." But the new building is, despite Dr. Peterson's lack of enthusiasm, very significant and not simply a rearranging of office furniture. It's a fully customized space specifically for the unique needs and purposes of the Institute's newly minted mission statement. I feel humbled and challenged and excited by the prospects. But I'm just one person. I think of the recent events including Elder Holland's lecture like the old challenge for missionaries to raise the bar. Such a call wasn't a condemnation of past missionary work. It was a call to strive more, to continue in the same cause in better and better ways. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

https://mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=15604&index=1&fbclid=IwAR3GkK4AKxzHpMCDKJijk0wRNs7IV31CT0JEiqNrWzRaJH0lBHVtNL6shIw

Has this been mentioned? I just saw it on an old neighbor's FB post. Wow, what a turnaround. 

Yes, it has been mentioned a couple of times.  Why do you see it as a turnaround? (Just curious)

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I love what Dan writes.  I regularly look at The Interpreter website and give money to them Early FARMS and MI Review of Books were always top notch and appreciated.  It did hit me as polemical many times and even though I enjoyed it, I did wish for more topics and views.  I get that now and some really great podcasts from Blair.  I subscribe to the MI publications.  Also. BYU Studies.  In addition to those, Dialogue and Suntone.  Sunstone just sent me a letter requesting donations to save the ship so to speak.  The gist I got from the letter is that it won`t stay open without a further substantial influx of funds.  A letter from Dialogue was not written to that extreme, but it does seem like they may be in a pinch for funds.  I subscribe to the Interpreter, BYU Studies, MI and in the past Sunstone and Dialogue.  I am really struggling with continuing my subscription and support to Sunstone and Dialogue.  Especially Sunstone.  I just don’t find Sunstone faith promoting much of the time.  So I have beefs with others than MI and Dan.  I want them both.  What I really want is to stop losing youth in the Church.  A Living Faith Faith Book series have been great books for my younger kids.  I read Sam Browns First Principles and Ordinances with my youngest son before he left on his mission.  My youngest daughter has already read all of the series.  I am so impressed with this work by MI.  I have had some personal conversations with Blair and Dan before.  Short conversations, they don’t really know me, but they both have helped built my faith.  Saving the youth and doubters.  As a member of a bishopric and with two inactive children, that is what I am looking for.  There is a place for all.  A brand new addition to the resources I have is Elder Hafen`s, Faith is Not Blind.  

PS.  My oldest son is reaching out to the Church in small ways to try and save his marriage.  He is actually coming back to Christ after being brain washed by secularism.  Secularism and agnosticism seems to be the big battle we have with our youth and those having a faith crisis.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

No, I don’t think they are “totally upset.” I don’t think anyone here has said that. 

I do get the impression the Brethren have seen a need to more fully “help them understand who they are and why they exist,” in the quoted words from President Nelson. 

And Elder Holland’s comments and reservations about “Mormon studies” I think are quite telling, especially since that phrase, with its secular connotations, seems to have been the banner and shield of the institute from the days following the purging of Peterson et al. 

 

 

 

IIRC President Nelson's remarks as related by Elder Holland specifically pertained to "Mormon Studies," not the Institute as a whole. The Mormon Studies Review journal, the closest thing to "secular" scholarship at the Institute, was already passed off to the University of Illinois Press. It wasn't the only thing the Institute has been doing for the past six years, either. As with his concerns for the Church as a whole, President Nelson has been concerned with avoiding the name "Mormon" altogether, and wants increased focus on the name of Christ, at the Institute and at every other church entity. I'm not surprised at all that President Nelson is looking at the Institute in this way. He told everyone to take their vitamins. He's been reevaluating all sorts of church entities and configurations, perhaps more than any church president in my lifetime! 

The only people who think "secular Mormon Studies" have been the "banner and shield" of the Institute are those who have a stake in painting the Institute in a negative light. The Institute has never claimed that to be its "banner and shield," and had produced a great deal of edifying disciple-scholarship. Even more, it has invested in gathering and nurturing disciple-scholars who can go on to do great work not merely at the Institute but beyond, too. And we've been asked to do even more. (See the new mission statement.) 

Edited by BHodges
Added clarifying language.

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