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So, I was in the library browsing the LDS book section in the “non-fiction” part of the library.

I found a book that was called An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins or some other such nonsense. It is only “non-fiction” in the sense that people actually said the things quoted in the book although the underlying people quoted were not committed to a non-ficticious rendition of the truth. It is a very one-sided view of LDS Church history as told by people who were against the LDS Church from the very beginning. If all you quote from are enemies of the church, it is not surprising that you may get a skewed and inaccurate view. Just because Grant Palmer has quoted from old sources does not make them accurate or honest. People were fighting against the church before it was ever formally organized.

This book was authored by one Grant Palmer who boasts of having been a three time institute director over his long career with Church Educational Systems. It turns out that he was a “director” of institute in the same way that a self-employed person is the “president” and “CEO” of a company. Technically true, but also misleading if not explained in full context. Grant Palmer was teaching institute in some rural areas of California where he was the only teacher available for the students and therefore the “director” of institute.

Grant Palmer began writing his anti-mormon rantings in the mid-eighties when Mark Hoffman came up with some very skillful forgeries that would seem to undermine the founding events of the church. He was teaching Seminary at Brighton High School and was put on one year’s probation for spreading anti-mormon propaganda among the teachers there. While on probation, he wrote a short anti-mormon book based on the Mark Hoffman forgeries and was then allowed to keep his job as a “volunteer” teaching at a prison. After his retirement, he published the book that is the subject of this post.

To lay in wait for almost 20 years living on the payroll of the LDS Church while polishing his second draft of his anti-mormon screed, then to publish it after taking retirement benefits speaks to the morals of the author. His book does too.

Grant Palmer claims to be seeking understanding and that many church scholars agree with him. Many LDS scholars have stated in no uncertain terms that Grant Palmer is wrong about that assertion. Grant Palmer claims to have a desire to build faith, not to destroy it. With his one-sided and slanted writing, sprinkled with a few token paragraphs here and there to support the church, he really does seek to destroy faith.

I only skimmed the book and it is a complete waste of time. Some would call it “bent” in showing evil as good, and good as evil.

Other than my own observations, the source material for this post comes from BYU scholarship and the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, or FARMS. You can find a listing of FARMS publications regarding Grant Palmer here.

Please avoid this book like the plague. It seems harmless or even helpful to the student of LDS history, but it is not.



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July 2018
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