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Posted by: exmointhepnw ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 05:57PM

Hello, all. I've been lurking on these forums for quite a while now, but have decided to finally register.

A little background on me: I'm a 24 year old woman who was born and raised in good ole' Utah but am currently living in the Pacific Northwest. I've been a non-believer since my teens and have not been to church in over six years (I'm married to a nevermo, and while many people think that he's the reason I've left, I stopped believing long before I met him). I'd love to have my name taken off the records, but I know it would kill my parents so I have not done it. I've been mostly passive about church until recently, but lately I've been doing my own research to help solidify my lack of belief (what with all the controversies as of late). I've read Secret Ceremonies by Deborah Laake, most of the CES letter, different blogs/articles, this forum...etc.

Anywho, I have heard people mention An Insider's View of Mormon Origins and decided to pick up a copy at the library. I have only read a few pages, but have a question I was hoping someone could answer. From what I understand, Palmer was still active when he wrote the book and was later disfellowshipped, and eventually resigned years later. He says in the book that it is not intended for children or investigators, and that it is not meant to weaken anyone's testimonies but to strengthen them. I'm confused by this. How is a book with the premise that Joey S. made it all up supposed to STRENGTHEN a testimony? I'd imagine that he was disfellowshipped BECAUSE the contents of his book might make people lose faith (duh).

If he was an active member of the church, why would he write a book that could possibly cause people to lose their belief? How could he not realize that this might happen? I'm just curious what was going on in his mind at the time, and I'm curious if he has made any statements about this after the book was published/he left the church, and if so, if I could be directed to them.

Sorry this is so wordy, and sorry if the answer is very obvious or easily found. I guess I should actually read the book, but I was hoping for someone else's input on the subject.

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Posted by: ConcernedCitizen ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 06:12PM

...this is a pretty good place to start understanding what he's all about.

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Posted by: Battle-Ax ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 06:52PM

I know Grant. He is a wonderful man and a very honest man. First you have to remember the book is almost 10 years old so people change and motives change. He was hauled before a court of love and was disfellowshipped. A few years later he took his name off the records of the church and didn't tell many people for about a year. At first he had lost his belief in the truthfulness of the church but still thought it did good. He was hoping to move the church to a more Christ centered church and leave Joseph smith behind. Much like the RLDS Church did. In fact he wrote a very good little book on Jesus. I think it is called the impeccable Jesus. I think over the years he lost hope that could be done. He is on this board so he can correct my mistakes. His last few years in CES he asked to be transfers to the prison and minister to inmates. He felt that was more honest until he retired. Over all one of the great men I know. I have never known him to make anything up and when he does make a mistake or finds something turned out to be wrong or different he corrects it. Much more then the church does. He has just done some really good work on the first vision.

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Posted by: Anon Today ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 07:05PM

Grant's second book is titled: The Incomparable Jesus.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 06:07PM

Battle-Ax Wrote:
> First you have to remember the book is
> almost 10 years old

My copy says "copyright 2002." So it's actually 15 years old.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 06:16PM

But then the original post is 3 1/2 years old ;-)

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Posted by: Adult of god nli ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 07:45PM

I don't think Palmer set out to write a book that would cause people to lose their belief. He just went where the history led him. I am impressed with Grant Palmer as an historian.

If people accept historical truth and they change their minds about what they used to believe, that's called learning!

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Posted by: exmointhepnw ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 09:56PM

Thanks for the answers, everyone. One of the interviews he did cleared up a lot. I guess I understand that he was just trying to write it from a historical point. I just have a hard time understanding why someone who didn't believe in the fundamentals of the church would want to be a member anymore/why it took so long for him to resign. I guess besides how it would affect family or stigma or something (and I guess I'm not one to talk, really).. but this is coming from someone who is completely skeptical of all religion and no longer even believes in much of anything religiously.

I guess what I really meant to say is that I realize he didn't MEAN to get people doubting, but how could that reaction from people surprise anyone? Of course people might start doubting after reading what he wrote. And I don't mean to bash him at all. I appreciate him for spreading the knowledge.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2014 10:01PM by exmointhepnw.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 04:31PM

I was in a similar situation to you about the time Grant Palmer's disciplinary council was underway, so I followed that closely and listened so some interviews Grant Palmer did at the time.

1. He had a deep emotional connection to Mormonism, and I think hoped (perhaps somewhat naively) that Mormonism could adapt itself to a less literal approach to its history and doctrine. I think the discipline process demonstrated that such an approach was not ripe for the moment.

Sometimes our emotional disconnection from the LDS Church lags our intellectual separation from it. We can try to salvage it before we're willing to decide it isn't going to work and jettison Mormonism entirely. I know that in my own experience, I was pretty sure the LDS Church was not true (at least in the sense I understood what that was supposed to mean) in the first few weeks of investigation. But my emotional and practical separation from the organization took about 2 years.

2. When he wrote the book, he was still a member and understood he knew he'd be flirting with crossing lines that could lead to a disciplinary council. In addition, if he came a cross as a hair on fire "anti-Mormon" it would turn off some LDS readers before they even got to the core elements of the book.

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Posted by: jiminycricket ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 10:53PM

One must realize that Grant Palmer was part of the Church Educational System (CES) while he taught. If you read the story of Ken Clark on MormonThink, Ken explains that a CES employee can be fired at any time without explanation. You can read his story here:

CES employees dedicate a giant part of their professional life working under the thumbs of TSCC. If they endure until retirement age they will receive their pension.

Palmer was smart not to rock his boat with TSCC during the last years he taught. He asked for a different venue to teach at the state prison, rather than the full hardcore Mormon doctrine he was probably uncomfortable with after learning so much that he eventually published. Grant obviously stayed under the radar so he could collect his pension. After retiring he was clear to publish what ever he wanted without fear of being fired and losing his pension.

Please take this into account when evaluating why it took him so long to resign. I doubt he would have bothered to resign if TSCC wasn't coming at him to excommunicate him. He made a comment about that ultimatum here in his discussion with a General Authority (GA) who had private meetings with Palmer and knew TSCC was not true: Palmer states, "The GA stated that my disciplinary action (which would have occurred on the final Sunday of October 2010 had I not resigned), was mandated/ordered/approved by the First Presidency of the Church. I said that if the apostles know the church is not true and yet order a disciplinary hearing for my writing a book that is almost certainly true regarding the foundational claims of the church, then they are corrupt even evil. He replied, “That’s right!”

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Posted by: rodolfo NLI ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 11:13PM

I once asked him what he thought now about his original idea and thesis given how his book was received and what happened to him and he said simply "I was naive".

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Posted by: iplayedjoe ( )
Date: July 24, 2014 11:39PM

Once when I was pointing out the apostasy of modern day leaders to my parents they said "the Lord told us there would be false prophets....BUT THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!"

I think some come to a point where they have to reconcile their entire lives by believing there is something "true" about the faith IN SPITE OF Joseph Smith and the money changers that run the empire today.

Eventually, IMHO, the only way the beast can survive is for it to ALL to become allegory at some point including Joseph Smith and all of his magical thinking successors. If I were repackaging the product, that's the direction I would go.


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Posted by: Norton R. Nowlin, M.A. ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 02:35PM

Greetings, exmointhepnw:

I am an ex-Mormon elder of 30 years who knows a little bit about Mormon apologetics. Grant Palmer discovered through his own scholarship and research in the writing of his book "An Insiders. . ." that the Mormon Church is fraudulent. When I say fraudulent, I am referring to the Brethren actually knowing that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. As a person learns more and more about the falseness of Mormon theology. doctrine, and history, she, or he, either accepts the truth, or ignores it. The educated people in the LDS Church hierarchy, PhD's, M.A's, lawyers, physicians, etc., aren't incapable of seeing and recognizing the truth. The Brethren see it, and ignore it. Why do they do this? Mormonism is a big corporate business worth a lot of money, and wealthy Mormons like to stay wealthy. Grant Palmer started out, perhaps, a believer, but through his own pursuits proved to himself that the LDS Church is fraud. When he wrote his book, perhaps he was in the process of coming to that conclusion.

I personally know another Mormon apologist, Michael Griffith, who is much less educated than Grant Palmer, and has written a couple of silly apologetic books that are the epitome of sophistry and double-talk. Oh, he has probably sold a few copies of those books. I even bought one to get first-hand knowledge of his "scholarly" abilities. I have written numerous essays and articles about the true nature Mormonism on, < > You might find these articles interesting. Michael Griffith is, as Jesus told the humbled Saul on his road to Damascus, kicking against the pricks, but he doesn't seem to care. Grant Palmer, I believe learned his lesson about the heresy of Mormonism, and that is why he resigned his membership.

I think that some Mormon apologists are subsidized by the Mormon Church to spread their propaganda, especially about the Book of Abraham, on which rests the entire Mormon temple rite. Griffith likes to defend the BOA, and I think he receives money from Salt Lake City to do his thing. If suddenly the Mormon Church quietly de-canonized the BOA, like they did the Lectures on Faith in 1925 (after it being the entire body of Mormon doctrine from 1835 to 1925), it would destroy the entire foundation of Mormon polytheism, or what they now call "deification." This theology was what prompted Gordon B. Hinckley, as a counselor to Spencer Kimball, to place "Lesson 21-Man May Become like God" into the 1984 LDS Melchizedek Priesthood Personal study Guide, "Search These Commandments." The ultimate destiny of all worth Mormon elders is to "become as great as the Mormon heavenly father-god by becoming heavenly father-gods, with a capital G.

Belonging to the Mormon Church today is an experience in ignorance for, probably, 85 percent of the rank-and-file Mormons don't realize what they worship. If these people allow themselves to be under the influence of the ward bishop and stake president, they will never read Grant Palmer's book, or realize that Joseph Smith had 40 wives, some as young as 14, and some the wives of other Mormon elders, or that Mormons venerate a mother in heaven who is the Mormon heavenly- father's mother-goddess wife, with whom he shares all of his procreative powers, or that every Mormon elder who becomes a father-god will procreate with his celestial mother-goddess wife a savior just like the Jesus of the Holy Bible. This is the purpose of Mormon apologists, to keep the Mormon people in ignorance!! I hope that you don't remain that way!

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Posted by: kenc ( )
Date: December 05, 2017 03:55PM

Hi you Norton R N!
Had to chime in on a post about one of my favorite colleagues.

Grant and I had a few long talks when I left the church in 2002. He was determined to try to change the church to a more Christ centered organization. I told him that I admired his determination but that he would be treated like garbage eventually, and eventually excommunicated or leave. My experience in CES (listed in a link above by J Cricket (hi JC) taught me that.

The church portrays the leaders as beneficent and kind hearted men (always white men), but they fight dirtier and nastier than an 800 pound gorilla if you don't shut up and tow the line. That's why I sacrificed a considerable amount of pension for leaving CES in 2002 at age 52. I just thought anything would be better than lying for those bastards any longer.

Grant was lucky that he was transferred to the prison system where he could teach "jesus" and not Mormon stories. Otherwise he would have experienced something like I experienced in CES. And as stated before, he believed he could change the church if he just presented it the right way.

I miss you Grant. Bless your big heart.

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Posted by: Granted ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 05:59AM

Someone above posted that Grant was a member of this board. But Grant passed away earlier this year.

Good man he was.

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