Elder Christofferson at BYU-Idaho


Brigham Young University – Idaho
(click to enlarge)


Last week, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Council of the Twelve delivered a devotional address at BYU-Idaho.




His remarks are interesting from many angles, but I’ll pick up on just one of them — a small but, to me, significant one — here.


In his speech, he cited my friend and former Maxwell Institute colleague Matt Roper by name, referring to Matt’s work on the question of “steel” and the Book of Mormon.


It’s a tribute to Matt’s remarkable competence and diligence that a member of the Twelve saw fit to cite him so prominently.


But the citation should also give at least momentary pause to those who have claimed that the political events of the past year and a half at the Maxwell Institute (very publicly including me, but going far beyond the personal) reflect a repudiation, by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of the apologetic efforts of what has been called “classic FARMS.”  The claim is not true.  And I’m not simply speculating on the matter.  I have specific and unimpeachable reasons for declaring the claim untrue.  But I cannot share them.  So I’m happy to see Elder Christofferson’s talk, and I trust that reasonable observers will see how it subverts certain narratives.



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  • Stephen Smoot

    Speaking of steel in the Book of Mormon, I came across this the other day in my reading.

    “Wrought iron heated in contact with charcoal (carbon) at high temperature produces carbonized iron or steel, which is more malleable than cast iron. Steel can be hardened by quenching (practiced as early as the tenth century B.C.E.), that is, cooling off the red-hot steel by sudden immersion into a vat of cold liquid. . . . At Har Adir in Upper Galilee, a remarkably well-preserved “steel pick” with an oak handle within the socket was found in an eleventh-century B.C.E. fortress. It was made of carburized iron (steel) that had been quenched and then tempered. This extraodinary artifact, one of the earliest known examples of steel tools, is a tribute to the skill (or luck) of the artisans of ancient Palestine.”

    Philip J. King and Lawerence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 169.

  • Ryan

    “His remarks are interesting from many angels”

    Freudian slip? I tease.

    I’m glad to see you guys getting appreciation from the top. You do good work.