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Jeez, I can see why Peterson was so preturbed by the book...it appears (and was) readable.

Yes, in his writing he comes across as a fairly personable fellow, which no doubt helped him dodge a bullet in his recent six-hour visit with his stake leaders.

I'm kind of burned out on the Palmer issue so this is my last post on the topic unless something unusually interesting breaks in the media. Those who need more can go read an ongoing thread of interesting comments at Bcc.

It is difficult to believe that Grant Palmer was disciplined by the Mormon Church for stating his scholarly conclusions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Moreover, when sound historical scholarship is censured purely for the sake of maintaining a religious image, there is something terribly wrong in Mormondom.

I recall a profound statement in the final scenes of the Mormon film "Man's Search for Happiness," which was intended for non-Mormon investigators. It said, "Prove all things, hold fast that which is true. . ." I have read "An Insider's View" and believe that Grant Palmer has gone the extra mile in proving true Mormon history, the same thing that Mormon scholar B.H. Roberts did when he investigated the origins of the Book of Mormon in the early 20th Century. The B.H. Roberts' Papers are available today from non-Mormon sources since the Mormon Church has sought to suppress their publication. I believe that the most influential Mormon scholar of the 20th Century will bear out the conclusions of Grant Palmer.

I have it on fairly good authority that Dan Peterson wasn't preturbed or even perturbed by the fact that Grant Palmer's book was, following its thorough editing, relatively readable. Peterson simply thought that its relative accessibility made it more likely to mislead more readers. The lengthy and substantive reviews of Palmer's book published by FARMS (notably those written by Mark Ashurst-McGee, Steven Harper, and James Allen) will give some sense of what I had in mind.

The only "B. H. Roberts" papers that can, with any remote plausibility, be described as having once been "suppressed" would be Elder Roberts's The Truth, the Way, and the Life, which remained unpublished at Elder Roberts's death in 1933 despite his wish that it appear. (I'm aware of no evidence that he wanted his so-called Studies of the Book of Mormon to appear in print.) It's true that that book has now been published by Signature Books, a dissenting fringe-LDS press. However, it has also been published (in an edition that, for several reasons, I regard as superior) by Brigham Young University.

In all fairness to the Mormon Church, eighty-five years is quite enough time for the Mormon hierarchy to disclose to its ran-and-file membership the doubts which were maintained by B.H. Roberts about the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. Deception by those who, according to Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, lie, with the excuse of deity, for the Lord in order to keep those un-faith-promoting, yet truthful facts, from coming to public light, is the downfall of Mormon historicity. As the old expression goes, "truth will out."

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