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    Any links To responses to The Tanner's materials that are of scholarly substance would be welcomed. Have been discussing this on a facebook page with LDS critics who claim that no real credable responses have been produced to there works.  Thank you all in advance. The Atonement It Is The Central Doctrine, Washing My Garment/Robe In His Blood, In His Eternal Debt/Grace, He Died To Make Man Holy, It's Not Just 6 Words To A Song, They Have Eternal Meaning.

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https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Specific_works/Jerald_and_Sandra_Tanner

Specific claims are usually addressed on FAIR rather than works these days, so much stuff gets published online. Most of it is repetitive. 

If you do a search on Gerald or Sandra, you will find references to them throughout many topics, especially since other critics use their stuff. 
 

One such:

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/archive/publications/jerald-and-sandra-tanners-distorted-view-of-mormonism-a-response-to-mormonism-shadow-or-reality

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6 hours ago, Anakin7 said:

    Any links To responses to The Tanner's materials that are of scholarly substance would be welcomed. Have been discussing this on a facebook page with LDS critics who claim that no real credable responses have been produced to there works.  Thank you all in advance. The Atonement It Is The Central Doctrine, Washing My Garment/Robe In His Blood, In His Eternal Debt/Grace, He Died To Make Man Holy, It's Not Just 6 Words To A Song, They Have Eternal Meaning.

https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/advice/g3599/best-sunless-tanners/

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Posted (edited)

Both Matt Roper and John Tvedtnes did some detailed responses to various Tanner volumes in the FARMS Review of Books on the Book of Mormon.

Tvedtnes:

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/jerald-and-sandra-tanner-answering-mormon-scholars-response-criticism-book-covering-black

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/was-joseph-smith-guilty-plagiarism

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/jerald-and-sandra-tanner-covering-black-hole-book-mormon-1

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/“joseph-smiths-use-apocrypha”-shadow-or-reality

Roper:

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/black-hole-’s-not-so-black

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/jerald-tanner-and-sandra-tanner-mormonism-shadow-or-reality

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/comments-book-mormon-witnesses-response-jerald-and-sandra-tanner

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/unanswered-mormon-scholars

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/“joseph-smiths-use-apocrypha”-shadow-or-reality

And notice that Tim Barker's important FAIR Presentation on the papyrus dealt with a Tanner article in Dialogue.

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/2020-fairmormon-conference/the-answer-under-our-heads

There is lot of LDS scholarship overall, from many, many individuals that touches on charges that the Tanners made over the years, even when the work does not specifically mention them.  The Joseph Smith Papers Project, for instance.  Many of Nibley's books. Richard L. Anderson on the Witnesses, various collaborative special issues of BYU Studies and Dialogue on the First Vision and such, Mark Ashhurst McGee and Larry Morris, on the issue of Angel versus Treasure Guardian. 

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/moroni-angel-and-treasure-guardian

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/i-should-have-eye-single-glory-god-joseph-smiths-account-angel-and-plates

I've just offered a few things to prime the pump.  The former LDS fellow who gave me my copy of The Changing World of Mormonism had been so overwhelmed by his first reading that just talking to me rekindled his feelings of trauma.  He asked me, "How can you know what you know, and believe what you believe?"  It's a very good question.  I was far better prepared than he was, and had a very different paradigm, so I had a very different experience.  Part of why I wrote Paradigms Crossed in 1994 was to answer that kind of question.  What part of Alma 32 tells you to be scandalized when the seed changes shape, puts out shoots, and roots, and leaves, and eventally, fruit?   What part of Alma 32 tells you that when you know that the seed is a good seed, that some particular question has a good answer, that your knowledge is perfect?

https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/paradigms-crossed

Two key points involve Kuhn's observation that "anomaly emerges against a background of expectation."   Jesus was making a similar point when he talked about new wine and new wine bottles.  And there was a passage in Betty Edwards's Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, which, I think, is one of the key notions for understanding why different people can have such different reactions to the same information, why the same seed can bear different fruit in different soil, given different nurture, time, and care.

"Most of us lend to see parts of a form hierarchically. The parts that are important (that is, provide a lot of information), or the parts that we decide are larger, or the parts we think should be larger, we see as larger than they actually are. Conversely, parts that are unimportant, or that we decide are smaller, or that we think should be smaller, we see as being smaller than they actually are."  Betty Edwards, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, rev. ed. (Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1989), 134.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA 

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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I think the Tanners were ahead of their time in critique of the church.  Their very detailed analysis of the BoM and other church literature was part of their quest for truth.  This was before computers, so their comparison of passages in the BoM with other contemporary works was spot on.  The were lumped into the category of Anti-Mormon, but looking back at their work, it was certainly more pro-truth.  For examples, they called out Mark Hoffman as a fraud while church leaders were still mesmerized by Hoffman.  They brought attention to the 1832 version of the first vision which had been locked up (hidden) in Joseph Fielding Smith’s office safe for 30+ years.  Without their insistence and persistence, the 1832 version of the FV would most likely still be hidden from us.  They have placed pressure on the church to be more honest and transparent.  Remember, the church claims it has not obligation to present both sides of an argument and only wants to present the faith promoting story (talks by Oaks and RMN explain this).  I believe the Tanner’s quest for truth has caused improvements in the church as well as the Joseph Smith Project.  

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Anakin7 said:

    Any links To responses to The Tanner's materials that are of scholarly substance would be welcomed. Have been discussing this on a facebook page with LDS critics who claim that no real credable responses have been produced to there works.  Thank you all in advance. The Atonement It Is The Central Doctrine, Washing My Garment/Robe In His Blood, In His Eternal Debt/Grace, He Died To Make Man Holy, It's Not Just 6 Words To A Song, They Have Eternal Meaning.

 

Edited by 3DOP
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17 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

 

I thought you guys debunked the Tanners in the century before this one. 

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10 hours ago, 2BizE said:

I think the Tanners were ahead of their time in critique of the church.  Their very detailed analysis of the BoM and other church literature was part of their quest for truth.  This was before computers, so their comparison of passages in the BoM with other contemporary works was spot on.  The were lumped into the category of Anti-Mormon, but looking back at their work, it was certainly more pro-truth.  For examples, they called out Mark Hoffman as a fraud while church leaders were still mesmerized by Hoffman.  They brought attention to the 1832 version of the first vision which had been locked up (hidden) in Joseph Fielding Smith’s office safe for 30+ years.  Without their insistence and persistence, the 1832 version of the FV would most likely still be hidden from us.  They have placed pressure on the church to be more honest and transparent.  Remember, the church claims it has not obligation to present both sides of an argument and only wants to present the faith promoting story (talks by Oaks and RMN explain this).  I believe the Tanner’s quest for truth has caused improvements in the church as well as the Joseph Smith Project.  

You are right on this. Interesting how jerald and sandra’s power of discernment worked better in sniffing out Hoffman than the first presidency. They did warn the church so can’t say they are all that bad in guess’s. Weird how that works.

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1 hour ago, secondclasscitizen said:

You are right on this. Interesting how jerald and sandra’s power of discernment worked better in sniffing out Hoffman than the first presidency. They did warn the church so can’t say they are all that bad in guess’s. Weird how that works.

What you call their "power of discernment" was nothing more than the fact that the Tanners had dealt with Hofmann previously, and that the Tanners were in the business of reading and producing anti-Mormon literature, allowing Jerald to recognize similarities between Mormonism Unvailed, and the Salamander letter.   As I said in a different thread (here): 

Quote

[T]he Tanners were in a rather unique position to question the authenticity of the Salamander letter.  They had prior and ongoing dealings with Mark Hofmann, and they were in the business of reprinting and comparing the texts of publications that were contemporary with Joseph Smith and the restoration.  Jerald had a talent for recognizing words and phrases that are similar between different sources (they had published books on Joseph Smith's supposed "plagiarisms", comparing the Book of Mormon to the Bible, the Apocrypha, Westminster Confession, newspaper articles, Freemasonry, the View of the Hebrews, William Shakespeare, you name it).  So one could say that what Jerald did was right in line with his professional practice in recognizing the similarities between the Salamander letter and Mormonism Unvailed.  And this is a perfectly valid way of testing for a fraud based on the linguistic level alone.  And he was definitely on to something, because Hofmann had created the wording for his forgeries in exactly the way that Jerald had discovered.  But I suspect that Hofmann was hoping the the similarities between his letter and anti-Mormon publications would cause people to give more credibility to the anti-Mormon publications instead of the other way around.  And he seemed quite hurt by Jerald's comparison and questioning the authenticity of his forged letter.

But even for those of us who were not in the same profession as Jerald Tanner, it didn't take his kind of experience to suspect the Salamander letter as a fraud.  When I first read it it sounded like some of the language of what I've read in anti-Mormon literature.  It was off, it didn't ring true, and it was peculiar enough to raise suspicions with me at the time.  And I'm sure that was the case for many others.  

And in another post (here), I pointed out that the church made public statements expressing doubts about the authenticity of the Salamander letter prior to the Hofmann bombings:

Quote

It was in April 1985 that the church released it's own statement expressing the possibility that the document was forged.  President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

No one, of course, can be certain that Martin Harris wrote the document. However, at this point we accept the judgment of the examiner that there is no indication that it is a forgery. This does not preclude the possibility that it may have been forged at a time when the Church had many enemies.” (News Release, 28 Apr. 1985.)

I think there were a lot of doubts about the authenticity of the documents going around at the time, but there just wasn't any way to prove it.   And it didn't help that several experienced document examiners were pronouncing the documents as "authentic".

A lot of people were doubting the authenticity of the Salamander document around that time (myself included).  It is weird how that works.

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4 hours ago, InCognitus said:

What you call their "power of discernment" was nothing more than the fact that the Tanners had dealt with Hofmann previously, and that the Tanners were in the business of reading and producing anti-Mormon literature, allowing Jerald to recognize similarities between Mormonism Unvailed, and the Salamander letter.   As I said in a different thread (here😞

And in another post (here), I pointed out that the church made public statements expressing doubts about the authenticity of the Salamander letter prior to the Hofmann bombings:

A lot of people were doubting the authenticity of the Salamander document around that time (myself included).  It is weird how that works.

I knew from the start it was a crock. Immediately after first reading the Salamander Letter I had a most overwhelming impression sweep over my mind that told me the Martin Harris of the Testimony of the Three Witnesses and the supposed “Martin Harris” of the Salamander Letter were two different people. Thereafter I knew intuitively that the real Martin Harris would never have written such a cockamamie load of nonsense.

And can you Imagine what would have happened had the Church leaders forcefully denounced the Salamander Letter as a fraud had Hofmann gotten away with his fraudulent scheme, and not ‘blown his cover’ by literally and figuratively blowing himself up? Well I’ll tell you what would have happened: To this day the Church leaders would be being denounced as pious frauds and mocked as false prophets because virtually every expert in the world, including Church ‘experts’ like Dean Jessee (if he were still with us), would continue to be confidently vouching for the Salamander Letter’s obvious “authenticity.” 

Edited by teddyaware
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1 hour ago, teddyaware said:

 

And can you Imagine what would have happened had the Church leaders forcefully denounced the Salamander Letter as a fraud had Hofmann gotten away with his fraudulent scheme, and not ‘blown his cover’ by literally and figuratively blowing himself up? Well I’ll tell you what would have happened: To this day the Church leaders would be being denounced as pious frauds and mocked as false prophets because virtually every expert in the world, including Church ‘experts’ like Dean Jessee (if he were still with us), would continue to be confidently vouching for the Salamander Letter’s obvious “authenticity.” 

Actually I choose to believe God would have intervened like he did to prevent his church being destroyed by one person. In the meantime the leaders were made to look a fool. Looked even worse when Oakes  was explaining how all the overwhelming righteousness in the room overpowered Hoffman’s evil which diminished their ability to discern. 

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9 hours ago, InCognitus said:

What you call their "power of discernment" was nothing more than the fact that the Tanners had dealt with Hofmann previously, and that the Tanners were in the business of reading and producing anti-Mormon literature, allowing Jerald to recognize similarities between Mormonism Unvailed, and the Salamander letter.   As I said in a different thread (here😞

And in another post (here), I pointed out that the church made public statements expressing doubts about the authenticity of the Salamander letter prior to the Hofmann bombings:

A lot of people were doubting the authenticity of the Salamander document around that time (myself included).  It is weird how that works.

Yep.  And of course, there was "Dr." Dee Jay Nelson, who claimed to be an expert in all things Egyptian, and wasn't.   Along with much else.

I think of Matt Roper's commenting in one of his responses to the Tanners claimed to have used computer media to identify all sorts of anachronistic borrowing from the New Testament.  Roper used the same computer media for searching the scriptures that they did, and noticed that they neglected to mention Old Testament passages that were equal to or close to much of the New Testament material.   Yet, in using that media, they could not have missed seeing it.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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Thanks for the thread folks!  I felt like it was 1998 again.  

Dang - that was almost a quarter of a century ago.  Bummer.  

Thanks for nothing folks!

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“What should I expect of LDS leaders?  That may be rather different that I would would prefer from them. “

Since you ask... welL for starters when someone tells us not only are they a prophet seer and revelator, but they speak to god and are not to be criticized I expect them to at least not get fooled into taking the hook in a major scandal that also gets innocent people killed. If jerald and Sandra had it right, certainly the prophet should have.

As for a beam in my own eye, that doesn’t exactly apply. I don’t hold the position of a prophet nor do o have the power of discernment. 

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1 minute ago, secondclasscitizen said:

“What should I expect of LDS leaders?  That may be rather different that I would would prefer from them. “

Since you ask... welL for starters when someone tells us not only are they a prophet seer and revelator, but they speak to god and are not to be criticized I expect them to at least not get fooled into taking the hook in a major scandal that also gets innocent people killed. If jerald and Sandra had it right, certainly the prophet should have.

As for a beam in my own eye, that doesn’t exactly apply. I don’t hold the position of a prophet nor do o have the power of discernment. 

It's easy to say how we would have done it differently, but how we see things may not be the same way that God sees things (in fact, I'm 100% sure of that).

I'll repeat something else I posted in the other thread (here) :

Quote

I try to look at it from the Lord's point of view and the big picture about how things turned out in the Hofmann story.  

A biblical example that comes to mind is the story in Genesis 37, when the sons of Jacob sold their brother Joseph into Egypt, and then faked his death when they took his coat of many colors and dipped it in goat blood, and then brought the coat to their father, Jacob.  Now Jacob was at the very least a patriarch, and his name is even listed among the prophets in Luke 13:28.  But what was Jacob's response when his other sons presented to him Joseph's coat dipped in blood?  "And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces" (Gen 37:33).  For that moment Jacob was deceived by his own sons.  He may have been distracted by the emotion of the situation, but I think he just didn't get any kind of prompting on it, because the Lord used the envy and deceit of the sons of Jacob as a means to accomplish something else with Joseph (who was sold into Egypt) later on.  

I don't know what might have happened differently in the Hofmann story had any of the general authorities made it known they were prompted that the documents were forgeries.  We do know at least that (then) Elder Gordon B. Hinckley was skeptical about the Salamander document (but who wouldn't be, I certainly was at the time).  But without any forensic proof of a forgery, what could be said against it, and how would that sound to the public mind?  The news media would go wild with that.  Sometimes patience and a "wait and see" approach is the right approach.  Things may look kind of crazy for a short time, but in the end the Lord accomplishes his purposes.  

As noted above, God knows the big picture.  I'm sure he handled it the way that worked out best for the Church and the leaders.

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Compare the Tanners' "3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon" (1982) with Royal Skousen's meticulous work in this area:  https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/changes-in-the-book-of-mormon/ and https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2002/changes-in-the-book-of-mormon.

105,000 places of variation in the computerized collation!

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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

It's easy to say how we would have done it differently, but how we see things may not be the same way that God sees things (in fact, I'm 100% sure of that).

I didn’t say I’d do anything differently. 

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5 hours ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Thanks for the thread folks!  I felt like it was 1998 again.  

Dang - that was almost a quarter of a century ago.  Bummer.  

Thanks for nothing folks!

More depressing than you think ... you're remembrance is 10 years later than the actual events!

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13 hours ago, secondclasscitizen said:

Actually I choose to believe God would have intervened like he did to prevent his church being destroyed by one person. In the meantime the leaders were made to look a fool. Looked even worse when Oakes  was explaining how all the overwhelming righteousness in the room overpowered Hoffman’s evil which diminished their ability to discern. 

In what way was the church made to look foolish? If someone offered you something of great value to you for a price and you said sure but I won't pay for it would you consider yourself a fool if the material turned out to be a forgery? 

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2nd Class appears to be pretty upset, but also fairly confused, and I'm not entirely sure I understand what (s)he is getting at. But if I correctly catch the drift of the criticisms, I think they're without merit for a few reasons.

1. When you demand adherence to a standard set at the level of perfection, then by definition you will always be a total success in denouncing anything and anyone you choose. But by the same token, your condemnations are worthless ("... when someone tells us not only are they a prophet seer and revelator, but they speak to god and are not to be criticized I expect them to at least not get fooled ...").    

2. In a variation on the old joke "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans" I would say "If you want to make me cringe, tell me how, in your view, God should behave." ("... I choose to believe God would have intervened like he did to prevent his church being destroyed by one person").

3. "In the meantime the leaders were made to look a fool. Looked even worse when Oakes  was explaining how all the overwhelming righteousness in the room overpowered Hoffman’s evil which diminished their ability to discern." I have no clue as to the source of this charge or what this sentence even means. I think we should expect at least a 2nd Class CFR. And for one seemingly so very interested in the topic, I suggest that credibility would be enhanced if we could at least get a correct spelling of the names of the current First Presidency Counselor as well as the forger/bomber himself.  

I do know that in a speech  given at BYU August 6, 1987, then Elder Oaks said:

"As everyone now knows, Hofmann succeeded in deceiving many: experienced church historians, sophisticated collectors, businessmen-investors, national experts who administered a lie detector test to Hofmann, and professional document examiners, including the expert credited with breaking the Hitler diary forgery. But why, some still ask, were his deceits not detected by the several church leaders with whom he met?

In order to perform their personal ministries, church leaders cannot be suspicious and questioning of each of the hundreds of people they meet each year. Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love.

In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious."

I can live with that explanation.

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7 minutes ago, Freedom said:

In what way was the church made to look foolish? If someone offered you something of great value to you for a price and you said sure but I won't pay for it would you consider yourself a fool if the material turned out to be a forgery? 

A really smart person would figure out a way to have someone else buy it for him.

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2 hours ago, Freedom said:

In what way was the church made to look foolish? If someone offered you something of great value to you for a price and you said sure but I won't pay for it would you consider yourself a fool if the material turned out to be a forgery? 

This is how the whole situation made the church look foolish:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1987/10/news-of-the-church/fraudulent-documents-from-forger-mark-hofmann-noted
 

 

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