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Comments about ‘Mormon Media Observer: Papers post robust defense of Latter-day Saints’

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Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 11:51 a.m. MDT

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You
SLC, UT

"Joseph Smith, a young, uneducated man from the rural countryside with no access to a library"

Lane Williams is doing everyone a disservice by perpetuating the myth that Joseph Smith was uneducated. Joseph Smith may not have had a complete formal education, but the historical record proves that he was well read. Contrary to what Lane claims, there were libraries and bookstores near the Smith Family home providing Joseph with easy access to many sophisticated books on theology, magic, and other subjects that interested him. As I recall, Joseph also made regular trips into town to fetch the local newspaper. Both Joseph's father and brother, Hyrum, were part-time school teachers. Lucy, Joseph's mother, wrote about how Joseph would often entertain the family with tales, proving that Joseph had a wealth of creative intelligence.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Book of Mormon will always be problematical for non-Mormons who are open to Mormon beliefs. As a purported translation of an ancient record, it is given scant credence by scholars of pre-Columbian America whom would expect to be pouring over it page by page and word by word if they thought it potentially yielded historical information. It is regarded as a parody of the King James Bible in syntax, substance, and theology. Those scholars who regard it as a hoax Joseph Smith was perpetrating on the public, to their credit generally keep that view low key out of respect for Latter-day Saint sacred belief.

LDS doctrine is indeed rich and cries out for deeper examination. Mormons naturally might wonder what need there is for a theologian when you have a prophet. But Joseph Smith had an intuitive sense that made him more than a mystic or a charlatan. A very complex figure.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I still amazes me that many fellow LDS have such persecution complexes that this would be news to them. There will always be people who dislike any particular religion for what ever reason. But the most part of people out there really don't care - one way or another. The lights and camera really are not on us like some want to beleive, even with Mormonism on the front stage of the political world.

Most of the people I know who are choosing to not vote for Mitt, religion has nothing to do with it. And those I know (outside the church) who are planning to vote for him, again his religion is not really a deciding factor. This - in the bible belt.

So lets move on, and quit thinking everyone is looking at us.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

".....lets move on, and quit thinking everyone is looking at us."

I agree. We agonize over how we're seen far more than does the outside world who pays less heed to us than we like to think they do. They have their own lives and worries to tend to.
Besides, if we're OK with ourselves, why should we care?

Peter Marlow
GRANADA HILLS, CA

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on those articles by Stephens, Chritchley and Goodstein. I enjoyed them, too. I appreciate when the true things of God are given thoughtful consideration by others, especially when it involves the church or unique church teachings.

It is always a delight to hear from those with humble hearts and open minds. I can imagine them soon pleading with God for a greater understanding of His truths, while making a commitment with Him to always love Him and keep His commandments, and subsequently receiving, as I did many years ago when I had first questioned my atheism, an utterly beautiful and perfect assurance from God that He lives, that He knows and loves each of us with an indescribably great love, that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church, restored by Him through the Prophet Joseph Smith and led by Him today through prophets and apostles He has called.

How great will be their joy on that day, and every day thereafter forever if they continue to trust in God and yield to the gentle enticings of the Holy Spirit!

Central Texan
Buda, TX

Despite it's glowing title "Why I Love Mormonism" and Critchley's seeming fascination with Mormons and their expansive doctrine, in the end this turns into a hit piece. As Lane mentioned Critchley got the Mormon/Women thing wrong -- WAY WRONG. And this from someone who fancies himself as understanding the deep doctrines of the Church.

Two other hits: He infers the Mormons secretly are waiting for the necessary money and political clout to re-institute polygamy -- and he makes a wild claim about the 10th Article of Faith's pronouncement of a "New Jerusalem" on the American continent looming over our foreign policy with Israel. "I don't know whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has read this article of faith," Critchley wonders, "but it might have some specific consequences for American foreign policy should [Romney] be elected."

These errors -- about women, plural marriage, and a "new" Jerusalem affecting foreign policy -- are factors directly related to Romney's presidential campaign.

LValfre
CHICAGO, IL

@You

""Joseph Smith, a young, uneducated man from the rural countryside with no access to a library"

Lane Williams is doing everyone a disservice by perpetuating the myth that Joseph Smith was uneducated."

Yep, everything that's dissatisfying to hear is just myths and folklore, right?

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