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About bdouglas

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    Knight Of the Woeful Countenance

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  1. An interesting podcast from Hanna Seariac, detailing her conversion from Catholicism to Mormonism. I found her testimony very moving. https://www.fairmormon.org/blog/2020/09/13/fair-voice-podcast-16-sunday-special-on-catholicism-and-hannas-conversion#comment-99177
  2. Did God have to cast out a third of the Host of Heaven? Why didn’t He seek to accommodate this unhappy third in some way, short of throwing them out of heaven? In The Great Divorce by C S Lewis, some of the ghosts Lewis encounters on his journey wonder why more is not done by those in Heaven to improve the lot of the those in the “grey town” (hell). They wonder, in effect, why a bridge can’t be built connecting Heaven and Hell. Hence the title The Great Divorce. Lewis is saying there can be no marriage of Heaven and Hell. It is simply not within the realm of possibility. Mormonism is
  3. Yes, Bushman and Givens are often misunderstood. But that's my point. RFM would never do a podcast titled "The Subversive Hugh Nibley", because one always knows where Nibley stands——from the writings themselves. Oh, well. Don't think I don't like Bushman and Givens. I like them both very much. Bushman especially is front and center on my bookshelf, next to Nibley and B H Roberts.
  4. The main pet peeve I have with the scholars is that too often their work is not accessible to ordinary yokels like me. They are specialists writing for other specialists——this and the fact that very often you can't pin them down. Are they believers? Cultural Mormons? What are they?
  5. Could one say, "If Christianity is true, it doesn't need C S Lewis"? I guess so. But I for one value my C S Lewis books. (And I value my Nibley books.)
  6. Examples of what I mean–– Grant Palmer (who, after a CES career, reverted to mainline Protestantism) a year before he died said Bushman’s RSR was the best bio of Joseph Smith to date. RFM did a podcast titled The Subversive Teryl Givens. In the case of RSR, Palmer said it was the best bio of JS because he could read it and see in it Joseph Smith as fraud: in other words the book can go anyway you want it to, depending on what you already think. (I say this, while at the same I like RSR, in fact I have read it twice. It is on my Kindle and the hardback is on my bookshelf.) I
  7. Unless you expand the definition of "enemy". An enemy is one who actively opposes. But an enemy might also be one who does nothing——like the Harvard prof at Harvard that Bushman talks about, who learned it a little about Mormonism and pronounced it "garbage". He is casting his vote, even if he never gives JS or the BOM another thought. This is not to say this yay or nay vote must necessarily happen overnight. It took Brigham Young two years to make up his mind after having encountered the BOM. Maybe some people might need a whole lifetime, and then some additional missionary work on the o
  8. In my opinion, speaking as a non-scholar, the neutral scholarship model doesn’t work very well. I’ve talked to ex-Mormons who still, even now, think Richard Bushman is a closet unbeliever. Why? Because in his writings he tries so hard to be neutral, impartial. Now Bushman really isn’t a closet unbeliever. He is very much a believer. But it is interesting to me that a while back he had to issue a statement saying that his beliefs today are the same as they were when he was a missionary. He believes the gold plates existed, etc. He was setting the record straight. Why did he have to do this
  9. “Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” - Ambrose Bierce I think this applies to some ex-Mormons who are disappointed idealists, literalists.
  10. Joseph Fielding Smith was right (as was Elder Holland, who said the same thing). JS is what he said he was, or he is a fraud; there is no middle ground (none at least to stand on). So portraying JS as a fraud becomes a sort of existential imperative among ex-Mormons i.e. the very safety of their souls is at stake. The stakes are very high, and maybe this does account partly for the way some ex-Mormons spend hours and hours (for some it has become almost a career) engaging with Mormonism long after leaving.
  11. Having said this (post above), it is very painful to see loved ones become enemies. There are some who leave and adopt a position of indifference, but usually they never knew much about it all to begin with. I have found that most who leave, and who knew something about it before they left——I have found these do not just forget it. They cannot. It’s like Richard III, who says, “And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover/ To entertain these fair well-spoken days,/ I am determined to prove a villain/ And hate the idle pleasures of these days.” Or: “And therefore, since I cannot prove
  12. Alter Idem on Robert Ritner thread said: This is a curious thing. What is that prevents the ex-Mormon from simply leaving and finding another church or belief system that suits him better than Mormonism, and then leaving it at that? For example, my wife is a convert from the Catholic church. She went to Catholic schools as a child and teenager, and met the missionaries when she was 20 and never looked back. She has literally never spent even a minute of her life since bashing Catholicism. Rather, she says, “I love the Catholic church, but I don’t believe it. Not since coming into
  13. The reading out of the hat is not more strange to me than reading out of the Urim and Thummin. As for who was the translator, I have no idea. champatch in other thread says he thinks there were "multiple inputs". It could've been a committee on the other side doing a "creative and cultural translation" circa 1600, the goal of which was to "testify of Christ." Moroni 10? I like Moroni 10 very much. I read BOM for the first time when I was 17 and received a spiritual witness. Everything since then has been an outgrowth of that witness.
  14. This makes a lot of sense to me: a "creative and cultural translation" (Skousen’s words) circa 1600 by more than one person ("multiple inputs"). The goal was not necessarily strict fidelity to what was on the plates, rather the goal was to "testify of Christ." Some might say this just creates more problems, but to me it makes understandable the retrospective Christology and the 16th and 17th century cultural bits.
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