Review of Brant A. Gardner, Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History

 I finally found time over the holidays to read Brant Gardner’s Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History, which he describes as an attempt to read the BoM “in history and as history” (p. 52). Publicized as the state of the art in BoM apologetics, I was curious to see what Gardner had to say about BoM historicity. As a part-time student of the historicity debates myself, I have written a number of articles here at FPR that explore the narrative as a 19th century product of … [Read more...]

Congrats Stephen Smoot

We here at FPR have learned that Mr. Stephen Smoot has been accepted into the MA program at Trinity Western in Biblical Studies. This is a significant first step for Stephen and we are very pleased to offer both our congratulations regarding his acceptance and our best wishes for his future. He has chosen a tough and complicated path but we are confident that he will also find it to be as rewarding as have we.I might also add, personally, that there still seems to be a bit of confusion … [Read more...]

Authority is Our Sacred Cow, and It Must be Domesticated

I believe that there are members of our faith that would engage in acts of terrorism if asked by the leaders of our Church. For instance, in a discussion about two years ago on M*, one of the perma-bloggers said the following with regard to Abraham attempting to sacrifice Isaac: “Smallaxe, with the testimony I have of the living prophets, if President Monson were to call upon me to sacrifice one of my children, I would do so.”If someone is willing to sacrifice his own child at the request of … [Read more...]

To the General Presidents of the Women’s Auxiliaries

Dear Sisters,As a Relief Society president in a small unit outside of Utah I have watched with interest the roll-out of the Church’s policy on gay marriage, cohabitation, and the children of gay parents who live or have lived in stable relationships. I would like to ask one question and make one request. My question is this:Were the three of you consulted about these policies? … [Read more...]

Tips on Being an Independent Scholar: Cheryl L. Bruno

1)Tell us about your background, education, and career goals when you were just starting out? Did they change over time? I graduated from a small liberal arts college with a B.S. in Physical Recreation and Recreation, while working as a swim coach. Upon graduation, I served an LDS mission. When I returned, I enrolled in a Master’s program at BYU in Educational Psychology. I married a few months after beginning the program, and in less than a year delivered the first of my eight children. I was h … [Read more...]

Nahom and Lehi’s Journey through Arabia: A Historical Perspective, Part 3

 Our investigations so far in Part  1 and Part 2 have concluded that the reference to Nahom in 1 Nephi 16:34 does not provide compelling evidence for the antiquity of the BoM and a number of aspects relating to the presentation of the name point to its inauthentic and artificial character. So how do we explain the accuracy with which the BoM places Nahom near the tribal area of Nihm in Yemen, showing knowledge of its general location in southwest Arabia and that it was a pre-existing … [Read more...]

Clarifying “How the CES Letter Works”

One purpose of my previous post was to highlight the way in which the intent we ascribe to others impacts our ability to trust them. If we believe that that someone is out to get us, we ought not trust them. On the other hand, if we believe that someone has our best interest in mind, we can trust him or her provided that other conditions are met (e.g., they are capable of carrying out the task for which they are trusted, etc.).In the case of the “Letter to a CES Director,” Jeremy Runnells att … [Read more...]

How the CES Letter Works

Since its publication in 2013, the “Letter to a CES Director” has gained lots of attention. I know people for whom it has been a contributing factor in their disaffection with the Church. In what follows, I will explore a few of my own thoughts as to how it works, and why it ought to be less successful, in creating disaffection. … [Read more...]