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Scott Lloyd

A course correction for the Maxwell Institute?

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25 minutes ago, readstoomuch said:

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.  

All those subscriptions?¬†You do read too much! ūüėú

Thank you for the kind words. It makes me feel so good to hear about how work I've played a small role in has been helpful. I recognize not everything we do will appeal to or reach everyone. That's one reason we try to diversify our offerings with things like the Living Faith series. I agree with you that many venues, including Interpreter, Dialogue, and I would add FAIR Mormon and Book of Mormon Central, RSC, the Church History Library, and other places, are doing important work in their respective corners of the vineyard. We should all be in this together. 

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Of course you are correct about other entities.  For me, FAIRMormon and Joseph Smith Papers are high on the list.  

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This is not the venue that I started talking about having a slow form of cancer called Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.  It has caused me fatigue if I started looking back at things.  So far things are stable and I am not on treatment.  My participating in this subject is also about me having to figure out where I am going to spend my time and energy.  I try to spend as much of it as I can with my children.  I can`t tell them because it just isn’t the right time.  Their lives are just changing so much.  They need stability.  I just can`t read or work as much as I used to.  How much to work?   That`s a big one.  I don’t think it would go well (bored to death-that’s kind of funny) if I stopped working altogether.  So, I am looking for the best places to read about the gospel that are intellectually stimulating and faith promoting.  I am looking for opportunities to help my children become cemented to Christ and his gospel.  

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

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

Because I always looked at the Givens a lot differently than the previous scholars at the Maxwell Institute. More like they would understand better a person in my situation.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Calm said:

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

I think that apologetics have received short shift of late. (Maybe Blair will disagree on that point) While I don't agree with all the stances of the Givens, it's hard not to read their writings without noticing a certain apologetic stance through them. Likewise Peck is a fantastic addition. One flaw of FARMS, Dan's period of MI, and the Interpreter is not fully embracing a lot of science. There have been some embarrassing "intelligence design" papers in there over the years for instance. While I worry about MI not focusing enough on historicity, a problem with the old reign was some wonky questionable science at times. I hope Peck can do some solid apologetics particularly on biology and why people shouldn't see a conflict.

I'd most definitely agree with Blair that it's silly to say secularism is dominating MI. Again the Mormon Theology Seminar series have been fantastic, although certainly one can always find things to disagree with. I think that what some worry about or even object to is the embrace of an anti-historicity by some figures.  I was kind of surprised at the roaring praise of Taves' recent book on Joseph Smith for instance. Not that it isn't a good book. It is. But I'd expect at least a little engagement with the thesis that many Mormons would see as problematic. It's that lack of criticism of positions many see as secular that I think is the cause of some consternation. One can be much friendly to secular colleagues and critics than was common in the FARMS era while still engaging critically with views opposed to Mormon truth claims.

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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20 hours ago, juliann said:

Smith is telling the truth. I would have known if that were the case. Lou exaggerates and creates his own version of events so always take his gossip with a grain of salt. 

But wasn't Dr. Midgley personally there for the events of 2012? It doesn't appear to be gossip that he is repeating, from some unknown source, but from his own personal knowledge. 

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Posted (edited)

While I love any faith that embraces true scholarship and critical reasoning intertwined with the freedom of allowing room for faith, I personally believe that apologetics is a problematic field to begin with, and should be left alone by the LDS faith as well as others.

The basis starts from a position that clearly invites confirmation bias: "Let's find evidence and paradigms to show that what we believe is true."

It seems to me that apologists are soldiers masquerading scouts: https://ideas.ted.com/why-you-think-youre-right-even-when-youre-wrong/

Edited by SouthernMo

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11 hours ago, Calm said:

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

I'll give my POV.  Because of the quality of these scholars, they have been published widely by respectable university presses.  I also think they are extremely thoughtful in their tone and approach to Mormon Studies.  

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Posted (edited)

I would think if Holland wanted a major course correction he wouldn't go and give a speech about it, he'd sit with the board or people in charge and tell them directly that they need to change.  This sounds more like his effort to tell them to pray more and stuff.   I mean it sounds like an unappealing and uneventful speech if you think of it that way.  

Edited by stemelbow

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Midgley does seem to be going overboard in his responses to say the least.  A bit dramatic?  or more than that?  I can't tell.  He seems to have flubbed badly in trying to tell the story of the Dehlin hit piece thing, as corrected by Greg Smith himself.  But this got me wondering if he's just saying stuff:

Quote

The fact is that Professor Peterson was invited by Elder Quentin Cook, an Apostle yet, to join him and five crucial Seventies, and Scott Gordon and Laura and Brian Hales to prepare a proposal that was eventually presented to the Area Committee, which consist of the Twelve Apostles, and by the Seventy who are currently assigned in Salt Lake, on how best to replace the Maxwell Institute as an agency to defend the Church of Jesus Christ from its critics, including those critics who might still be nominal members of the Church. This group met three times to carefully prepare a proposal for the consideration of the Twelve Apostles. And Professor Peterson delivered their recommendations to a meeting of the Area Committee. Those proposals were well received and many of them have already been implemented.

One of the proposals was that the Brethren ought to officially endorse the Interpreter Foundation, Book of Mormon Central and FAIR reliable sources of information. That has been done. Then, instead of using tithing money to finance the defense of the faith and the Saints, it was proposed, and accepted, that the Brethren establish an agency to seek donations to help finance Interpreter, Book of Mormon Central and FAIR. This agency is now operating; it is called Mormon Voices. One can also anticipate, given the current President of the Church of Jesus Christ, that there will be additional efforts made to see that the Saints defend their faith in accurate and responsible ways. I have been told that Elder Cook told that committee not to even mention the Maxwell Institute. The reason he gave is the Brethren had given up on it. That bit of news troubled me. Thankfully, what Elder Holland said so carefully and eloquently on November 10th seems to me to indicate that the Brethren still hope to turn the Maxwell Institute away from it dreadful course change fashioned after the firing of Dan Peterson.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2018/12/the-interpreter-foundation-and-an-apostolic-charge.html

Is the Church or its leaders upset with the MI?  Or do they see it as an enterprise separate from what it once was meant to be (an apologetic enterprise housed out of BYU) but useful in its own right?  

Or did those like Packer and Maxwell envision something so unreasonable that it simply can't be sustained within the confines of BYU in today's academic and political world?  

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, BHodges said:

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.

 

12 hours ago, BHodges said:

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. 

 

Thank you for this clarification. I really do appreciate it.

I only wish that it had not been such a long time in coming. Several pages ago, when I asked specifically whether apostles had been involved in the ouster of Dan and company, your response was to invoke BYU personnel policy as though you were under some gag order preventing you from spilling the beans about what you really know..

Suppose that instead your response had been something along this line: "I can't address that question, because I was not employed by the institute in 2012 when it happened and I have not undertaken any formal after-the-fact investigation into it. What I can say from personal knowledge is that the Brethren were very much involved in the subsequent search for and appointment of a new director and the formulation of a revised mission statement" etc. I would have accepted that. And it might have precluded the anonymous individual misquoting you in comments on Dan's blog, to wit: "According to the Maxwell Institute's Blair Hodges, it was BYU and apostles who gave Dan the 'boot.'"

Furthermore, I'm guessing it would go a long way toward assuaging injured feelings if someone like Morgan Davis, who had a front-row seat to witness the events of 2012, were to admit upfront that high-level Church leaders did not order or orchestrate or approve in advance or even have any prior knowledge of the ouster of the Peterson team from the editorship of the FARMS Review/Mormon Studies Review. It wouldn't really cost him anything to do so, and it might help bring about the sort of civility and comity he and you are calling for among those, as  you put it, who are "engaged in the same cause."

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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

 

Thank you for this clarification. I really do appreciate it.

I only wish that it had not been such a long time in coming. Several pages ago, when I asked specifically whether apostles had been involved in the ouster of Dan and company, your response was to invoke BYU personnel policy as though you were under some gag order preventing you from spilling the beans about what you really know..

Suppose that instead your response had been something along this line: "I can't address that question, because I was not employed by the institute in 2012 when it happened and I have not undertaken any formal after-the-fact investigation into it. What I can say from personal knowledge is that the Brethren were very much involved in the subsequent search for and appointment of a new director and the formulation of a revised mission statement" etc. I would have accepted that. And it might have precluded the anonymous individual misquoting you in comments on Dan's blog, to wit: "According to the Maxwell Institute's Blair Hodges, it was BYU and apostles who gave Dan the 'boot.'"

Furthermore, I'm guessing it would go a long way toward assuaging injured feelings if someone like Morgan Davis, who acknowledges having a "front-row seat" to the events of 2012 were to admit upfront that high-level Church leaders did not order or orchestrate or approve in advance or even have any prior knowledge of the ouster of the Peterson team from the editorship of the FARMS Review/Mormon Studies Review. It wouldn't really cost him anything to do so, and it might help bring about the sort of civility and comity he and you are calling for among those, as  you put it, who are "engaged in the same cause."

 

Can you please accept the clarification with a measure of graciousness?

You were one of the few people who read Blair's comments in such a negative way. He participated in the thread and then even announced when he was signing off. Then you kept going with it and you expect him to continue responding to you.

This has the markers of someone who wants to be offended, wants to pick a fight, or is wrong but can't admit that he was wrong. It's ok to be wrong sometimes. Time to move on.

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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45 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Midgley does seem to be going overboard in his responses to say the least.  A bit dramatic?  or more than that?  I can't tell.  He seems to have flubbed badly in trying to tell the story of the Dehlin hit piece thing, as corrected by Greg Smith himself.  But this got me wondering if he's just saying stuff:

I wonder what we should take away from the Midgley gaffe.   Did he just let the cat out of the bag, confirming what many suspect already about how church leaders operate, high level leaders orchestrating and ordering hit pieces on dissidents?   Or was his entire construction of events, including details about people involved, just an imagined fantasy by Midgley?  What is the real truth?  

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

I would think if Holland wanted a major course correction he wouldn't go and give a speech about it, he'd sit with the board or people in charge and tell them directly that they need to change.  This sounds more like his effort to tell them to pray more and stuff.   I mean it sounds like an unappealing and uneventful speech if you think of it that way.  

You mean like firing unsuspecting people who are out of the country by emails and phone calls?

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It would really be nice to put this behind us, especially after this long.  I don't think Dan was treated well from what I can tell, but how long does the feud go on.  Whoever is still having the feud. With Midgley, I met him at FAIR conferences and I usually read his articles.  They could be longer than some and they were definitely more accusatory and confrontational than many.  I have met Greg Smith and talked to him.  He is very capable and I would believe what he said.  If Midgley is blowing this out of proportion a lot of old articles would have to be reread in that context.  

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Can you please accept the clarification with a measure of graciousness?

You were one of the few people who read Blair's comments in such a negative way. He participated in the thread and then even announced when he was signing off. Then you kept going with it and you expect him to continue responding to you.

This has the markers of someone who wants to be offended, wants to pick a fight, or is wrong but can't admit that he was wrong. It's ok to be wrong sometimes. Time to move on.

Suffice it to say I reject each and every one of your accusations.

But I wonder if you personally are ready to accept at this late date that the apostles did not order the Peterson ouster.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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27 minutes ago, Anijen said:

This link doesn't go anywhere. 

What are you getting at with it?

 

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Any posters who want this thread to stay open until Dr. Peterson can respond might want to contemplate how to keep the thread bicker/contention free until that happens. ¬†I can't imagine it's going to last out the day as it is.... ¬†ūüė¨

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41 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Suffice it to say I reject each and every one of your accusations.

But I wonder if you personally are ready to accept at this late date that the apostles did not order the Peterson ouster.

 

:)

I've never taken a position on it either way...because I don't know.

I know what people have said, but I don't know how accurate or honest they are, and honestly, it doesn't make a difference to me if the brethren were behind it or not.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Can you please accept the clarification with a measure of graciousness?

You were one of the few people who read Blair's comments in such a negative way. He participated in the thread and then even announced when he was signing off. Then you kept going with it and you expect him to continue responding to you.

This has the markers of someone who wants to be offended, wants to pick a fight, or is wrong but can't admit that he was wrong. It's ok to be wrong sometimes. Time to move on.

You ask WAY too much. 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

:)

I've never taken a position on it either way...because I don't know.

I know what people have said, but I don't know how accurate or honest they are, and honestly, it doesn't make a difference to me if the brethren were behind it or not.

It would make a difference to one whose reputation stands to be harmed by inaccurate or ignorant assertion or speculation, no?

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I wonder what we should take away from the Midgley gaffe.   Did he just let the cat out of the bag, confirming what many suspect already about how church leaders operate, high level leaders orchestrating and ordering hit pieces on dissidents?   Or was his entire construction of events, including details about people involved, just an imagined fantasy by Midgley?  What is the real truth?  

I hope not and choose not to go there for now.  But it's certainly a thought.  

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1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

You mean like firing unsuspecting people who are out of the country by emails and phone calls?

I"m not sure what you mean by your question.  I know you are referring to the time when Dr Peterson was told about the change at MI, but I dont' know how it applies.  

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