Palmer Radio Interview
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Palmer Letters to Newspaper Editors
the many letters of support here.
On December 12,
2004, Grant Palmer, author of the book, "An
Insider's View of Mormon Origins" was disfellowshipped.
Now a retiree, Palmer
was a three-time director of LDS Institutes of Religion at colleges
in California and Utah. He formerly instructed the high priest group
in his local congregation in Sandy, Utah, and has been active in the
Mormon History Association and on the board of directors of the Salt
Lake Legal Defenders Association.
Even though Palmer's
book has been sold through the Church's publishing arm, Deseret Book,
for two years from its publication in October 2002 until the last week
of November 2004, apparently that's not enough to dissuade Palmer's
local lay leader, stake president, Keith Adams, an attorney with Seattle-based,
Stoel Rives LLP, from convening the disciplinary council for charges
were presaged by an unprecedented number of negative reviews in the
journals of two LDS Church apologetics groups, the Foundation for Ancient
Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) headquartered at the Church-owned
Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and the independent Foundation
for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), based in Mesa, Arizona.
to Palmer's plight were shocked to learn Friday, December 3, in the
midst of their open online discussion of the possibility of setting
up websites savegrantpalmer and supportgrantpalmer, that FAIR's webmaster
and editor, Allen Wyatt, surreptitiously and preemptively registered
the addresses for himself.
The actions of the
LDS Church continue a string of activity in recent years against intellectual
inquiry. In December 2002, author and anthropologist, Thomas W. Murphy
was scheduled to have excommunication proceedings brought against him
which were cancelled after a flurry of media activity. Murphy authored
the article "Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics" (part
of "American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon", Dan
Vogel & Brent Metcalfe, eds.), in which the Church's claim of a
Jewish origin of Native Americans was brought into question. This claim
forms the fundamental basis of the narrative of "The Book of Mormon"
considered scripture by the LDS Church.
Earlier, the Church
took action back in September and October 1993 against six prominent
intellectual authors, commonly referred to subsequently as the "September
Six": D.Michael Quinn (historian and former BYU professor), Avraham
Gileadi (author of works on Isaiah), Paul Toscano (Salt Lake attorney
and author), Lavina Fielding Anderson (editor and writer of the Church-published
"Ensign" during most of the 1970s), Maxine Hanks (feminist
author), and Lynne Kanavel Whitesides (president of the Mormon Women's
Forum). All were excommunicated except Whitesides, who was disfellowshipped.
More recent excommunicants
over intellectual issues include David Wright (1994, for articles questioning
the historicity of the Book of Mormon, Michael Barrett (1994, for writing
letters to correct news stories about Mormonism), Brent Metcalfe (1994,
for the anthology "New Approaches to the Book of Mormon"),
Janice Allred (1997, for submitting theological papers to a Sunstone
symposium), Margaret Toscano (2000, for writing on feminist issues),
Shane LeGrande Whelan (2002, for his book, "More Than One: Plural
Marriage, A Sacred Heritage, A Promise For Tomorrow").
about the September Six:
about Thomas Murphy:
about additional excommunicants from "Dissident LDS intellectuals
say excommunications will continue", Daily Herald/December 11,
2002, by Patty Henetz: