I’m Thankful for Kind Friends, Even the Ones I Don’t Know


I’ve long since lost count, but I’ve received scores and scores of kind, supportive, and sometimes even affectionate notes from a wide range of people regarding The Recent Unpleasantness.  Many have come from friends, but many more from people whom I hardly know and even from complete strangers.  Some have arrived from surprising sources (e.g., ex-Mormons, Evangelical critics, atheists, etc.) and a few from very surprising places (which I won’t identify).


I’ve fallen badly behind on thanking those who have sent such notes, but I’ll eventually thank each and every sender.  In the meantime, I want to express my deep gratitude for them.  They’ve been enormously helpful during a trying and, as it happens, very isolated time.


I love Shakespeare and, so, perhaps it’s not altogether surprising that a beloved Shakespearean sonnet has come repeatedly to my mind as I’ve read these many expressions of support and concern.  I know that I’m misapplying it somewhat, but it still expresses something of what I feel:


When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.



Maria Alm, Austria




"The Mormon Bonhoeffer"
"Religion poisons everything!" (7)
New Testament 136
New Testament 137
  • http://www.barksdale-photography.com Darryl Barksdale

    I’m very, very sorry that all of this has taken place… it is a travesty of huge proportion, and I highly doubt that the last word on it has been spoken. FWIW, I sent a personal letter of concern to Pres. Samuelson yesterday.

    I hope I get to treat you to lunch the next time I’m in Utah. :)

    Your friend,

    Darryl Barksdale

  • Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury

    I don’t think that sonnet is misapplied at all. Shakespeare is wonderful partly because what he wrote is so applicable in so many ways.

    I have enjoyed all the wonderful things I’ve learned from reading your articles and your blog posts, and I’m very grateful for all you’ve done for scholarship, even though I haven’t had the chance to gain all that there is to be gained from what you’ve accomplished.

    It’s a pity that you’ve had such negative experiences and “feedback” as you’ve done all that you’ve done. Maybe one good thing to come out of this “recent unpleasantness” is all the positive support you’ve received. I don’t presume to count myself as a friend, but I am a fan, and I hope you continue to do what you’ve been doing and sharing as you have been sharing. There are many more out there who benefit from your work than you may be able to imagine, and those that are for you are many more than those who are against you.

    Best wishes to you. And you really don’t need to take time out of all the good you do to acknowledge this. I’m grateful for the opportunity to add my voice to those who wish you well, whom you do know and count as friends.

  • Barbara Roberts

    Daniel Peterson is a man of integrity. So was Hugh Nibley. And so was Mathias Cowley when he took “the fall” in public. So the question becomes “what do you want me to learn from this?” Not “why?” or “why me?” What somebody says or does says everything about them and nothing about what anyone else says or does. We all reveal ourselves. This gospel that Bro Peterson is defending is pretty simple according to Nibley: forgiving and repenting. So lets get on with it!

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    I have always thought of FARMS and its descendant, the Maxwell Institute, as institutional images of Hugh Nibley, especially as he exemplified boldness in asserting scholarly support for the propositions of the Restoration, and defended the heritage of Joseph Smith against his many critics, albeit not without being a gadfly to those in the church who didn’t want to apply intellectual tools to the greater understanding of the gospel. In addition to Nibley’s writings tgat directly rebutted those who attacked Joseph and his works, the unifying theme of Nibley’s writings on the Book of Mormon, the Books of Moses and Abraham, the primitive Christian Church, and the temples of ancient societies, has been to embarrass the alleged learned men who refuse to study all these things with an open mind, and to demonstrate that Mormons don’t need to leave their brains behind when they go to church or preach the gospel.

    I therefore am concerned that the recent events at BYU appear to be a betrayal of the spirit if Hugh Nibley which has saved my own testimonynand so many others.

  • http://www.shilohlogan.com Shiloh Logan

    Sorry to hear of your current trials. I appreciate what you have done, and I echo Raymond’s words and sentiments.

  • Kim Walker

    Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.