“Bad men on paper”

“Bad men on paper” July 16, 2020


Edwin Kelly with spring water
“David Whitmer” (left, played by Paul Karkorian) and “Edwin Kelly” (second left, played by Ted Charette) enjoy a short break between takes on the set of the “Witnesses” theatrical film. Presumably, the plastic bottle of water in Ted Charette’s hands will not make it into the final cut. (Still photograph taken by James Jordan.)


New on the website of the Interpreter Foundation, from Hales Swift:


“Prayer and Worship in Alma 32-34”

A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 28 “Plant This Word in Your Hearts” (Alma 32-35)




Back quickly to a passage that I marked while re-reading Richard Lloyd Anderson’s classic Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981):


Anyone following this discussion can soon see that authentic statements from the Book of Mormon witnesses are voluminous and always repeat the reality of their experience.  Yet the first anti-Mormon book was written in 1834 within a dozen miles of their residences and set the precedent of not contacting them but devoting most space to show them to be either superstitious or dishonest.  This became a formula: ignore the testimony and attack the witness, the same pattern as the detailed current treatments.  That method is sure to caricature its victims: lead off with the worst names anyone ever called them, take all charges as presented without investigating, solidify mistakes as lifelong characteristics, and ignore all positive accomplishments or favorable judgments on their lives.  Such bad methods will inevitably produce bad men on paper.  The only problem with this treatment is that it cheats the consumer — it appears to investigate personality without really doing so.  (166)


I would have to say that the playbook that Brother Anderson outlines above has not changed significantly over the nearly two hundred years since the experience of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon.  And, as I can testify from personal experience, it isn’t deployed only against those witnesses.




This may actually be related, in a way:


“California [Catholic] bishops say protesters ‘failed the test’ of history in toppling Junipero Serra statues”


“When Churches Burn: The tragedy of San Gabriel Mission and other attacks on Catholics have flown under the radar.”


It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to me, incidentally, if Latter-day Saint churches and even temples were soon to come under attack.




Finally, a pair of links that you might find helpful, one of them positive and the other . . . well, negative, critical but hygenically necessary:


“Resources from Egyptologists for Studying the Book of Abraham: Authenticity, Translation, Facsimiles, and More”


“Neville’s peculiar definition of “censorship””


Posted from Park City, Utah



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