Dinosaur hunter -- The stories the Savior told, which we call parables, were not
for the most part true stories of actual events. Yet they still invite the
Spirit, uplift and teach principles. This story did all of that. What
isn't "true" is these events didn't unfold for this particular
individual and family -- but every facet of what occurs in the story actually
happens... God knows each individual, things are put in place for individuals
who do repent/change/return, prayers of parents over wayward children are
answered, vicious dogs are definitely put cowering at bay by priesthood power,
missionaries are protected, missionaries are led to people, missionaries are
assigned to areas under divine, fortuitous inspiration... getting in tune with
the Holy Ghost, listening to His promptings and following those promptings is
essential to missionary work as well as all of our lives. Still a good story to
tell albeit now with a caveat that some details are embellished.
"Elder Cunningham, please stick to the approved script." One of the
best lines from the BoM musical.
"Rogers Lambert - Radford, VAAug. 2, 2017 1:37 p.m.A lesson that
should be taken from this episode is that a person giving a Church talk should
seek and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit."Are you
suggesting Holland didn't seek and follow the guidance of the Holy
Spirit?And what do we conclude from this episode if he did?
As a member of the lds church I find it funny that you are all jumping to elder
holland's defense. From what I have read no one is attacking elder holland,
everyone makes mistakes. The issue is thousands of people "felt" the
spirit with a fictional story and are to disconnected to desern the truth for
themselves. The gospel is true the church can be corrupted and the fact remains
that it's up to you and the lord to decide what is right and wrong. No man
alive today can or should replace reason from the spirit.
Nice to see intelligent comments so far. As has been said, of course there are
stories that are inadvertently given over the pulpit, in class or in the home.
Many of us have retold a story that sounded great, then found out later it was
only partially true...or not true at all. I've already told umpteen people
this story, just because it is faith promoting. The correct version of this
story is also a miracle, especially when considering all the young man did to
eventually return to the Church.
Elder Holland is a good man with a heart full of enthusiasm. When he hears a
good story of faith, I'd bet he'd want to share it. I wouldn't
fault anyone for that. If anything it's rather endearing as it highlights
his love for good. Even if we could count it as a mistake (note: we
shouldn't be counting) I would imagine it's a very innocent one.Sometimes you look at the child and see a very innocent 'oops'
and just have to smile at them, like when children discover how to open a can of
paint. We're here to learn. I'm sure many have learned from this
example. That's something we can be grateful for. If only we would learn
the lesson of always looking at life's mistakes that way. If only I would
Funny that- It's all become big gossip.
A lesson that should be taken from this episode is that a person giving a
Church talk should seek and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The bottom line is that we expect our leaders to have good common sense when
establishing or administering our affairs. We hope they won't believe all
the chicken little stories so many like to tell.
Re: Viva la Migra - Denver, COI believe this incident answers your
question. General Authorities receive countless letters, visits and personal
requests for blessings and advice. The vast majority of these they refer back
to local leaders. The remainder constitute the stories you hear in General
Conference. Church teachers should not be sharing parables or amalgamated
stories without expressly describing them as such. General Authorities are very
scrupulous about that, especially in General Conference and the rest of us
should follow suit. This episode illustrates Elder Holland's
scrupulousness. Church authorities already use competent historians
to vet oft-told stories from church history before including them in General
The embellishment was not Elder Holland's. The integrity to issue a
When has any of us not embellished a story, whether it was our own or someone
else's? I imagine there are lots of stories passed down through the ages
that have gained a life of their own. Elder Holland did the right thing and set
an example for us to follow. Sometimes it is not possible to check the facts at
the source because the source is no longer alive or available. Everyone likes a
good story but it is wise to be diligent in how we pass on the story. This
could have happened to anyone.
There are a number of other "stories" which Elder Holland has delivered
that appear to not withstand fact checking scrutiny. Will Elder Holland be fact
checking his back catalogue and clarifying which other ones need retracting?Will all of the Q12/FP now go through a process of fact checking stories
before delivering them? Because it's unfair/unreasonable to think that
Elder Holland is the only one (well, since Paul H. Dunn) to deliver stories that
don't quite stand up to fact checking scrutiny.I think these
are fair questions for the members to have answered - they have felt the spirit
during some of these now falsified stories and they deserve to know which ones
I no longer maintain a testimony due to learning that so much of the version I
learned growing up in the Church simply is not true. However, I applaud this
retraction by Elder Holland and efforts such as the essays that make efforts
toward accuracy and transparency. What the average member learns in Sunday
School is still not completely accurate but the church continues to get closer
to an accurate version. Children born into the church today will learn a very
different story than I did. The accurate version still requires absolute faith
to believe. But at least that faith will be based on an accurate portrayal of
Some have compared this to the stories told by Paul H Dunn, albeit drawing
attention to the way each dealt with stories not factually true. Understandable
comparison. But I'm grateful for and only feel respect, even love, for
Elder Dunn for inspiring, lifting and strengthening me as a youth. For those
who would get the reference, grateful, too, for the many inspiring, good things
that Bishop Shawn Merriman did. Less than perfect both; perpetrators of
deception. But, debate about balance aside between the good and the bad, the
good remains and stands on its own for what it is. Leaves me with both of these
things -- imperfect leaders who inspire and people/leaders sent by God (inspired
by the Holy Ghost) into my life at the needed moment. And when this
story broke a few weeks ago, fallacy it may have been; but, it came at a
critical time in my life and lifted me when it needed to. A tender mercy -- of
God. Happy that Elder Holland clarified, retracted and set the record straight
about details. The message of his talk remains the same; appreciated just the
What I heard (read) was a parable-like story, names withheld. The power of
inspiration that a tuned individual can receive from the Holy Ghost is inspired
-- which by the way was the stated purpose of the message. That Heavenly Father
and His Son know each of us, they will send aid through others, that
missionaries are sent with power, that great things come of small things over
long periods of time... all true. Do I believe everything is this story is
possible? Certainly. I have first person (me) knowledge that vicious dogs can
be instantly tamed, even stopped with power not of this earth. Again, the names
were withheld... so the people, who they actually are or what happened to
actual people, is far less important than the message of the story. A message
that certainly the mission presidents got as well as the discerning hearts
reading of his words to them.
I believe a new era of "checking before sharing," will now be the past
due standard for relating stories from the pulpit by General and Area leaders.
The story didn't ring true to me when I heard it, but I considered the
source and tried to believe. A great "thank you" goes out to Elder
Holland for correcting the untruth he inadvertently passed on. Way to go Elder
Holland. Let's all listen up and check before sharing, otherwise it is
I think it's time to get back to just preaching the gospel straight up
without all the stories. Think Bruce R. McConkie and Neal A. Maxwell style.
Might be time to get back to giving sermons that are straight up
gospel/scripture and less "story" based. Think Elder McConkie and Elder
For a culture that is mostly build on superstition, fable and hero worship one
more misguided legend is unlikely to sink the church's ship.
So close, and yet so far away.I was hopeful when Deseret News ran
this story, only to be disappointed when your moderator rejected a valid
A listener's responsibility.I guess this is why I, as a
listener, need to be in tuned with the Spirit. In that way, whenever I listen
to these kinds of stories, especially in Sacrament meeting, I will have to go
through a process of personal proofing. Chances are that I will find some
aspects and details dubious, if not completely false. Or absorb just the
moral, not necessarily the details.
oh Irony...it sure is.- $2500 reduction in premiums- if you
like your doctor, you can keep your doctor- if you like your insurance,
you can keep your insurance- shovel ready jobs- Benghazi was caused
by a video on the internet- Russia isn't our biggest threat. Do you
still live in the 80's?The list is endless for your
hero's. Shall I go on?
If only our nation's current leader had the integrity to correct himself
when he tells fake stories. I guess that's too much to ask . . .
When I first heard the story as told by Elder Holland something told me that it
was just too good to be true. Nevertheless, I have to admit I felt uplifted by
it. What are ya gonna do? We all love a great story. It's a good move by
Elder Holland to point out the mistake and retract the story and, if anything,
given all of my own weaknesses -- including loving to tell a good story!! -- I
feel glad to know that Elder Holland, like me, is just a man. Called of God?
Yes, I believe so! Perfect? Nope. There was only one of those and that's
who we worship. Not His apostles.
I wonder how much of these types of stories are parables to help members
understand gospel principles? For example the church has a pretty immovable
policy of letting local Ward and Stake leaders handle member concerns and
questions. Correspondence and inquiries that arrive in Salt Lake are forwarded
to the local units for handling.So when I hear in General Conference
talks about General Authorities meeting with members in their offices or
receiving letters, it makes me wonder how that even happens? Is it mainly close
friends and family that are granted this sort of access, or is some of it just a
conglomeration representative to illustrate common concerns that are reported by
local local leaders through the chain of authority?
As an employer I don't mind employees who make mistakes. It really bothers
me to have employees who cover up mistakes to protect themselves. In this case
Elder Holland shows more credibility by correcting the facts. The story he told
wasn't accurate and when that knowledge came to light he did his best to
address the facts. Unfortunately social media loves a good story and this one
spread like wildfire. Just like good ole Abe Lincoln said 'Don't
believe everything you see on the Internet'!Some will try to
nitpick that he was fooled, or can't be called of god because he made a
minor mistake of not doing sufficient fact checking. Like all of of the Leaders
of the church are not perfect and make mistakes. I would guess that my mistakes
register larger on the Richter scale than theirs do though.
Rather than ask it not be retold, he should have sent it to CNN where they could
have made it even more interesting.
Good thing this was corrected early on. There are numerous instances in LDS past
where embellished tales became calcified into LDS Church History only to be
found inaccurate if not downright false years later. I get the appeal of telling
a bigger, more fanciful stories but in realm where big T truth is paramount
facts really do matter.
consider the "stories" you are telling about your own history. Most of
them are embellished to a degree or one sided at best.We are all in
it together. We really don't need to judge each other so harshly. We have
all told a good story that we didn't fact check completely.
Well, Boyd Packer tried his best to stop the story about "generals in
heaven" and the Gordon B. Hinckley story that was supposed to have come from
him, but .....did NOT. But I still hear it in Relief Society lessons. And
sadly...elsewhere. And embellished story goes many miles.
While I certainly appreciate him coming forward and clarifying the error,
I'm not sure why he is getting such incredible praise for his integrity. Or
getting heat for it.I mean, he unknowingly told an inaccurate story
and was corrected by the family. Then he simply reported this information.This feels like good journalism rather than some amazingly integritous
moment. Had he NOT done what he did, people would have piked on like crazy and
attacked his character, rightfully so.What he did is simply an
expectation for someone in his position. Maybe I'm missing something but
why are we setting the bar so low for one of the Lord's annointed?This is only a story if he DOESN'T make the correction.I
don't get it.
This article shows the integrity and humility of Elder Holland, and strengthens
my testimony of the Lord's chosen.
Cambridge Dictionary - story definition, meaning, what is story: a description,
either true or imagined, of a connected series of events: ... Some
thoughts:Stories (true or imagined) can be perceived beneficial or
not by the receiver...Authenticity of stories matters...Fact
checking is a two way street...do your due diligence..."If a
man's self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be
blurred, like the moon seen through a dirty telescope". C.S. Lewis
When I first heard this story, I was awestruck. To find out that it was not 100%
accurate somewhat lessened the awe. But when I heard of Elder Holland's act
of withdrawing the story, I was probably even more awestruck than when I first
heard the story.
What a funny time we live in. Someone shares an experience with an Apostle who
then shares that story with others - assuming that the story is in fact
accurate. As the Apostle finds the story to be inaccurate, he retracts the
story and naysayers pounce on the Apostle as if he were a charlatan or
something.There are people who will actually use this story as
"proof" that the church isn't true. Give me a break. Elder Jeffrey Holland is one of the greatest men I know of. His testimony of
the Savior is powerful and precious. The Gospel is the most perfect and
powerful thing on the face of the earth. If apostates need a story like this to
promote their philosophies, then so be it, and I pity them.
To bring Elder Paul Dunn into this is very unfair with all of the good he did.
He influenced so many of the youth, professional athletes, and professional
Mormon stars. The irony is that the one who began the tirade against him did
not tell the truth or perhaps had his facts wrong in many regards. He even came
to Elder Dunn's funeral taking pictures for his book and then left before
the service began. His book died with Elder Dunn's death and he has never
been heard from since. I am glad that the facts on Elder
Holland's talk came out so quickly and he was the one who made these things
known. Even in the day before the Internet, false stories spread. It is just
quicker now and Elder Holland's quick response will help stop the
dissemination. Well, bless Elder Holland for immediately correcting the
I'm guessing the statement of correction won't blaze through social
media the way the initial story did.@ NoNamesAccepted - 'I wonder if critics of the LDS Church will ever have half the integrity
and honor that Elder Holland has shown.'Many of us
'critics' have painfully taken that step to embrace truth as we have
come to see it as new information comes to light. It is terribly difficult to
disappoint parents by telling them that you can no longer embrace the faith of
your youth as you once did. Or to demonstrate to your spouse your commitment to
them without reference to the eternal sealing that is still such a bulwark of
faith and hope to them.
I think it took a lot of courage for Elder Holland to retract this story. I
remember reading it in awe. It only makes me respect him more after he did some
research and found some discrepancies. Lessons learned, I am sure. GA: check all
your sources in depth before repeating a story. We should be able to retell
anything a GA says. And, many will not ever read the retraction, repeat the
story, and life will go on! Thanks, Elder Holland for your devotion and
Good for Elder Holland.
Elder Holland has even more of my respect .Honesty in this just
reflects his character and desires to be up front--- with what had to have been
a cringeworthy circumstance for him.
This is a common difficulty encountered in family history work as well. There
are family stories that becomes embellished legends, especially when handed down
verbally. At some point, someone felt that the story was not 'enough'
on its own merits. Eventually the embellishments evolve into new facts. Heaven
bless Elder Holland - and the family involved - for having the humility to
acknowledge that this was an embellished legend.
ThinksIThink,I mean you no ill will, but I do full heartedly agree
with NoNamesAccepted. I believe his answer is the more intelligent, fair, and
kind approach. It's certainly more genuine in those regards. So to call
into question the integrity the leaders of an organization that continually
takes great care into clarifying any man-made errors that are found (we are
after all, imperfect), is very disingenuous. I would even suspect it must be
self serving in some way, but I cannot speak to your nature. I can only say that
there is something peculiar about trying to cast a shadow of doubt on a people
for a simple imperfection one finds in them.Where I especially agree
with NoNamesAccepted is in the broader implication of such a practice. Should we
accept your doctrine instead, we'd all be judging each other with
skepticism and misery, would we not? This certainly begs the question of whether
or not we are happier and look to build up the best in each other in either
approach. I believe it's very clear which approach can bring such joy into
our lives.This is literally why us imperfect followers, follow Jesus
Christ- to improve.
Nothing but respect love and support for this living Apostle of the Lord.We love and support you Elder Holland and get the point of your message, the
Lord knows His children and will help them.
The story has been around in various forms for a few years.Here is
an excerpt from the recent Church News version:" 'The Holy
Ghost influenced that younger son to serve a mission and be willing to accept a
call to Southern California.
The Holy Ghost inspired one of my brethren
in the Twelve, who was on the assignment desk that Friday, to trust his
impression and assign that young man for service not a great distance from his
native-born state. The Holy Ghost inspired that mission president to assign that
young missionary to that district and that member unit. The Holy Ghost led those
missionaries to that street, that day, that hour, with big brother sitting on
the porch waiting, and, with Doberman Pinschers notwithstanding, the Holy Ghost
prompted those to elders to stop, talk and in spite of their fear, to go back
and present their message.
'"Elder Holland said the
young elder, without realizing it, gave the missionary speech of all time, when
he said to his brother, 'God has sent me here to invite you to come
A returned missionary repeated the story this Sunday from the pulpit. Oops!
This is extremely disturbing. I have heard this story repeated many times.
The first time I heard it, I said, "this story is fabricated". It
seemed obvious to me. Why did not Elder Holland have any discernment? Why did
he not vet this story? Why did he repeat this without first hand knowledge.
Wreckless! No excuse for this.
@TAS-Tehachapi, CABig difference between Paul Dunn's
circumstances and Elder Holland's. Dunn's stories were presented as
his own, real-life experiences. Dunn didn't admit to the completely
falsified or substantially embellished stories until others called him out on
them. Elder Holland retold the story a family member shared with
him. His mistake is that he should have contacted either the parents of the son
who had been estranged from the family, or the son himself, to check the
accuracy of the story's details. Additionally, he probably should have
obtained permission from the parents and the son before it was shared at the
Mission President's training session, or published.To Elder
Holland's credit, he came forward about the inaccuracies as soon as he
became aware of them. Dunn did not do that. He only came forward when he was
presented with proof of his years of embellishment and misrepresentation.I imagine LDS Church leadership will do another re-examination of its
vetting process for sharing stories of 3rd parties to preclude something like
this from happening again.
I wondered about this. Dunnism?
@ThinksIThink:I wonder if critics of the LDS Church will ever have
half the integrity and honor that Elder Holland has shown.Elder
Holland has taken timely responsibility for the error and worked to correct that
error. That is the honorable, responsible thing to do.He is not
responsible for any inaccuracies that others may have conveyed.And
of course, what perpetual critics claim are inaccuracies regarding church
history, doctrines, or practices, are most often just personal disagreements and
confirmation bias run amok.I have no beef with any person who
doesn't believe LDS Church doctrines or who otherwise doesn't care to
live as active LDS covenant and try to conduct themselves. I'd be right
there with them save for a divinely granted testimony. But, I have very little
use for those who leave the church but just can't leave it alone. Find a productive cause in which to engage. Building up something good
is better than tearing down something, even if that something were as bad as
some seem to think the LDS Church is.
I'm reminded of the "faith promoting rumors" that we sometimes hear
in church. Stories have a way of growing in the telling. Thanks Elder Holland
for clarifying the story.
I wonder if Elder Holland is going to withdraw any other factually inaccurate
stories that Church leaders may have inadvertently shared. Where would you
General Authorities have to be very careful when they tell second hand stories.
They do not want to get in the same situation that Paul Dunn got himself into.
Elder Holland was wise to say all the facts of the story he heard were not
Good for Elder Holland.In my ward's sacrament meeting, the
story included a vicious dog in the older brother's yard that refused to
let anyone enter the property. After the missionaries walked away, they
apparently were inspired by the Spirit to return to the home, at which point the
vicious dog, influenced by the Spirit, turned totally calm and let them knock on
the door. I'm guessing, however, that this brother actually
owns a dog. Whether it is receptive to the Spirit is, of course, another
matter.A lot of stories told over the pulpit are embellished.