Joseph Smith, The Cambridge Years

Anti-Mormons, liberal Mormons, and secular historians have posited many different models and sources to explain the Restoration.  Magic, esotericism, Freemasonry, American interpretations of the origins of Indians, nineteenth century biblical studies, American political theory, and revivalist or primitivist Protestantism, opposition to Enlightenment philosophy etc. have all been proposed as models.  Each of these proposed models or theories have received detailed response and criticism by LDS sc … [Read more...]

On Clarity and Misrepresentation

Without clarity there can be no understanding.  Human language is inherently ambiguous.  We've all experienced being misunderstood as well as misunderstanding.  Generally misunderstanding is sincere.  Sometimes, however, it is intentional.   Throughout the internet I have been repeatedly vilified for supposedly intentionally misrepresenting Ben Park's position.  That is not true.  I may have misunderstood him, but it was a sincere misunderstanding.I accept Ben Park at his word that he believe … [Read more...]

Ben Park’s Response

Ben Park has posted a response to the controversy.  It can be found here.It includes a statement from David Holland, the author of one of the books Park reviewed. Also "Smallaxe" posted his critique of my reading of Park's essay.I generally don't post anonymous statements on my blog, nor do I argue with anonymous people on the web.  If "Smallaxe" would like to reveal his real name, I might respond to him.  In describing  how he thinks I have misrepresented Park, he is, in fac … [Read more...]

Grant Hardy on Park’s Essay

Grant Hardy and I have been corresponding concerning my interpretation of Ben Park's essay.  I offered to explain his concerns and explanation on my blog.  Ben Park also has an open invitation to correct my misunderstandings if he's like.  Here is Grant's response.=======================I appreciate Bill allowing me to respond to his concerns about a book review by Ben Park in the most recent Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. Unlike many who have commented here and at Dan Peterson’s blog … [Read more...]

Please Don’t Ask Me to Bear My Testimony!

My critics are much exercised because they believe I am trying to force someone to publicly bear their testimony.  This is a mere obfuscation.  I am criticizing his published position on an intellectual issue of interest to the Latter-day Saints.  If he want’s to further explain his position, he’s welcome to post on my blog, or elsewhere. I am not asking him to bear his testimony.  I am asking him to clarify and explain the cogency and coherence of his ideas as expressed in a published essay.  I … [Read more...]

Review of “Exodus: Gods and Kings”

 Went to see "Exodus" today. review:--Worst movie biblical theophany EVER! God as petulant 10-year old simply doesn't work ... at any level.--Christian Bale mumbling = best depiction of Moses being "slow of speech and of tongue" (Ex 4:10) EVER! (That was intentional, wasn't it?) --Christian Bale beard = worst Moses beard EVER! --John Turturro as pharaoh Seti = worst casting decision EVER! --Great special effects and production values. Chariots … [Read more...]

Clarification on Park’s View?

Some of my critics have claimed that I have taken Ben Park’s statements out of context, and misrepresent his real position.  Rather than isolated ambiguous statements taken out of context, there are seven clear statements in Park’s essay of as many pages, which I believe only make sense with the assumption that the Book of Mormon is a nineteenth century document.  There is no statement in his paper that even remotely alludes to even the possibility of an ancient Book of Mormon.   1- “scholars of … [Read more...]

I Am the Very Model of a Biblical Philologist

Not many people will get this; but if they do, they'll love it!I Am the Very Model of a Biblical PhilologistHat tip to Robert Boylan. … [Read more...]

“You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

“You're a plague and we are the cure.”  Agent Smith, The Matrix Benjamin Park, Ph.D. Cambridge, “teaches history at the University of Missouri,” and is “associate editor for [the new] Mormon Studies Review” (175), a publication of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University (  Since the administrators of the Maxwell Institute have selected Park to serve as associate editor for their new flagship publication, his views on M … [Read more...]

Expand Blog

People should pay attention to the new Expand Blog.  Unfortunately, those who really need to pay attention probably won't. … [Read more...]