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 Post subject: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. Smith
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:23 pm 
Dragon
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Hope this is not a duplicate post.

Well, Brian Hales and Gregory Smith have gone after Grant Palmer on his polygamy article found here: http://mormonthink.com/grant6.htm at the Mormon Interpreter found here: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/a-resp ... ment-14972

I responded to the Interpreter Article, as follows, but it is "awaiting moderation":

grindael on October 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm said:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Quote:
I make no bones about being a critic of Joseph Smith. Having spent more than a decade in the Church, I know a lot about it, as does Grant Palmer. Unfortunately Hales and Smith feel that they must attack Grant Palmer personally (insinuating all kinds of things about him that they can’t prove) instead of sticking to the evidence and rebutting his reasoning.

What really troubles me though, is Hales and Smith claiming that Grant Palmer is some kind of sloppy or shoddy researcher and that he only uses “secondary” sources because he includes a middle initial in Benjamin Winchester’s name, which was gotten from a very credible historian, Richard S. Van Wagoner.

Now, Hales and Smith know that they have done this too, unless they poorly edit their own publications, something they accuse Grant Palmer of. This should not surprise anyone. Hales referenced Benjamin Winchester as “Benjamin F. Winchester” in an article he wrote for the Journal of Mormon History in 2009, and Gregory L. Smith did so at FAIRMORMON wiki in 2014 in big bold letters. FAIRMORMON also does this in other articles. So what does that say about Hales, Smith and FAIRMORMON? I’ll leave that to the readers to decide.

There is a saying about glass houses. I think they had the right of it when they mentioned that this kind of thing is “nitpicky”. That should have been a red flag to them right there not to include this in supposed “scholarly” article. But they had to go ahead-and they shot themselves in the foot. It is absolutely trivial and stupid (especially when they did it themselves) and only done because of an obvious agenda to use ANY excuse (no matter how trivial) to make the man look bad. If his work is that bad, THAT will speak for itself. The brilliant (if you have any) rebuttals should be enough to take care of his credibility, should they not?

So why the need for all the ad hominems? Either you are both extremely insecure, or you don’t think you have a case to make with the evidence. You also offer no link at all to Palmer’s articles. Talk about petty.

My advice is stick to the evidence and stop trying to score petty points. It makes you look like juveniles, especially when it is so easy to catch you doing the same things you claim the “shoddy scholars” are doing.

You are also comparing a three volume set of BOOKS to an article for a historical Journal. Do you even understand what a RED HERRING that is? Should I include every piece of evidence in this reply that is available out there? Of course you would object. It would then be dishonest to say I didn’t use the evidence KNOWING that I really could not in this venue. This also applies to Palmer. How do you respond in a short article to a three volume set of BOOKS?

As for the evidence, I think we may see some responses to this in the near future. In fact, look for it. I’ll include a couple of things, before I go. Hales and Smith claim that “several observations” indicate that Smith never consummated the marriage to Helen Kimball.

Ok. But that is not proof, only speculation. And actually there is something interesting that Helen wrote later in her life. On page 7 of a pamphlet she published in 1884 titled “Why we practice Plural Marriage,” she claims that Smith established polygamy and “ALL who entered into it in righteousness (including herself) had done so for the purpose of “raising up a righteous seed”.

Kimball here admits that she was married to Smith to “raise up righteous seed’. In fact, the entire pamphlet is pretty much all about how polygamy is to raise up “a righteous seed”, and this is because (she says) there are many choice spirits waiting to take mortal bodies and this is how they are provided for them. (By sex via plural marriage). https://archive.org/stream/whywepractic ... 6/mode/2up

If one reads Kimball’s pamphlet above, she claims that “some may have dragged it (polygamy) in the mire; but the principle remains pure and independent and only the wrong-doer has become degraded.”

Helen shows that these women were fixated on being called “degraded” and immoral. They were very careful later in life not to say things that would place them in any kind of a light that would insinuate that they were. But this is all obvious stuff and you use this concern to claim that there was no sex at all in some marriages which is simply a fallacy of irrelevant proof.

It is far more likely that Helen initially thought her marriage was to be for “eternity only” (as Todd Compton suggests) and then when she found out it was also for “time”, this is what upset her in Nauvoo.

And all this speculation about dynastic marriages? What good did that do when Smith died a year later? Of course, Mormons believe that he knew all about this, (lamb to the slaughter and all that) so it makes that aspect even more unlikely, unless Smith had sex with her as often as possible to propagate the dynastic line that he supposedly started with the Kimball family. It just isn’t very convincing (to some) to claim that Smith wanted to start a dynastic line between families, and knowing that his mission was almost over (as many claim he did) not do anything about it. At LDS.org they write,

Most importantly, Joseph Smith, feeling that he might soon die, took great care during the last seven months of his life to carefully prepare the Twelve.

In fact, Heber C. Kimball wrote to Helen in June, 1844 and said,

“You are blessed, but you know it not. You have done that which will be for your everlasting good for THIS WORLD and that which is to come.”

What good was done in “this world” when they did not even ATTEMPT to have any children and Joseph knew he was going to die? The problem with any speculation in this area is that anyone can come along and speculate like I just did and some will agree with it or think it logical or likely.

And it IS good enough to say, “Smith probably had sex with all of his wives” without presenting all of the “new research” or speculations of those that want to promote their own agenda that he probably did not. Using the Helen Kimball quote would sufficiently answer this question that sex was the most important component of polygamy, because that it what it was practiced for. If I am to believe Hales and Smith, or Helen Kimball about that, I’ll side with Kimball on that one. She would know, she was there and got it from Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and other early Mormon leaders.

It doesn’t make Grant Palmer less of a scholar to NOT lay out every speculative apologetical notion that Brian Hales puts forth in his Polygamy books or that Gregory L. Smith writes on FAIRMORMON.

Even in Smith’s Book of Mormon it claims that if polygamy is commanded by God it would be done for the purpose of raising up seed. It says NOTHING else about it, other than it is an ABOMINATION if it is not for this purpose. You can’t raise up righteous seed by not having sex with the woman who you “marry” for that purpose now, can you? Yet according to Hales and Smith, Joseph Smith married all these women for some other reason which they do not provide. To make an angel happy perhaps?

Again, Helen Mar Kimball claims that ALL who enter into polygamy have done so to raise a righteous seed and that all who “righteously” enter into it do so FOR THAT PURPOSE. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

The fact is, there is no direct evidence either way if those two had sex, but there is evidence that Smith could have had sex with Kimball anytime he wanted to. It was not an “eternity only” marriage. It included time. Did Smith have sex with other young girls? Yes he did. Fanny Alger is one. To say that there is evidence that Smith didn’t consummate the marriage with Kimball is just making things up, something done here constantly with late reminiscences. And there is absolutely no proof at all that Smith made it some kind of policy to NOT have sex with girls under the age of 18, even though SOME did it later in Utah. It was also not a POLICY there either.

You reconstruct the most outlandish possible scenarios and then conclude that there was no sex because of something you read into these late reminiscences. You also play the game of not using certain accounts because they don’t agree with your conclusions. A good example of this is what you do with Ann Eliza Webb. It’s ok to use her to support your speculations about Fanny Alger, but not when it comes to others like Zina Huntington. Speaking of speculative theories, you write,

“it seems that they [his plural wives] either bore him children who are unknown today or that sexual relations in the marriages did not occur often.”

That is not the only conclusion that one can come to. But it may be when you try and frame the evidence to make it SEEM so. But you are trying to claim that with some it did not occur AT ALL and that those “marriages” were set up that way. This is speculation that has NEVER been proved.

Smith had thirty plus wives. Who said that he had to visit one wife per day and have sex with her multiple times as I’m sure your other examples probably had time (years and years actually) to do? He could visit 10 wives in a day and have sex 10 times a day. Please tell me how anyone can PROVE that he did not? The more “wives” the more opportunity for sex!

You are also coming to conclusions without using all the data. For example, you use Heber C. Kimball and Lucy Walker as an example. Here are the dates of their children’s births from find a grave,

Willard Heber Kimball (1853 – 1854)*
Lydia Holmes Kimball Loughery (1855 – 1928)*
Anna Spaulding Kimball Knox (1857 – 1932)*
Eliza Kimball Woolley (1859 – 1906)*
Joshua Heber Kimball (1862 – 1863)*
Franklin Heber Kimball (1864 – 1865)*

Notice that some of them are years apart. Why? We only have a one, two or three year window for Smith depending on the wife he married. He was only married to one wife for any real length of time. So how can you compare the two and be accurate? You can not. This is the kind of analysis that fills your work. Do you have the exact dates that Kimball and Walker had sex so that we know how long it took for her to conceive? How do you know that they didn’t try for two years before she had some of those children? YOU DON’T. This could easily have been the case with Smith and some of his wives. There are just too many variables to make blanket statements concerning his sex life.

The fact is, Smith married other women and had sex with them. He lied about it. He broke the law to do it. He lied to the church about it. He did not follow binding scripture. He broke his own word when he claimed that there would only be monogamy in the church in 1843. According to some witnesses he committed adultery more than once, one of which was deemed a “sealing” only years after the fact. If you feel that attacking Grant Palmer because he doesn’t agree with your own speculative conclusions, go ahead. But people who live in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones.

As Todd Compton writes,

(1) No piece of evidence is perfect. As I wrote in In Sacred Loneliness (p. 29), contemporary evidence is very desirable, but is not perfect. Even if someone writes something in a diary (contemporary evidence), it is still biased and limited to his or her viewpoint. That person’s enemy, or even a friend, may write on the same day about the same events and look at them very differently.

Therefore, since no piece of evidence is perfect, if you do not like any piece of evidence, you can always object in some way and throw it out. As a result, it is important that one does not hold a double standard for crucial evidence, that one is consistent. For instance, if one rejects a piece of evidence whose content one does not like on the argument that it is second-hand, one should not accept another piece of evidence (whose content one likes) that is equally second- hand.

Evidence can be used, and should be used, even if it is not perfect. (Otherwise, no evidence could be used at all.) One can use evidence skillfully, but still allow for its limitations. For instance, if one has two pieces of evidence, one can balance them against each other. One limited truism of historical research is that late evidence is inferior to contemporary evidence. In many respects this is true, but not necessarily. I cited Eliza R. Snow’s contemporary diary entry for the day she married Joseph Smith, In Sacred Loneliness, 313. Nowhere is there explicit mention of the marriage in that entry. A researcher with that diary alone would never affirm or try to prove that Eliza married Joseph on that day, or at all. However, in a late piece of evidence, her autobiography, she explicitly affirms the marriage to Joseph (cited at In Sacred Loneliness, 312), and in other late evidence she gave the date. No one piece of evidence was perfect, but all were valuable. Combined, they presented a reliable, full view of the event.

I advise reading the entire article, which is found here. http://toddmcompton.com/rev.html

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Last edited by grindael on Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:29 pm 
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Hales use of Benjamin F Winchester may be found here, http://mormonstories.org/wp-content/upl ... tation.pdf See footnote on page 167.

Gregory L Smith's use of Benjamin "F" Winchester may be found here, http://en.fairmormon.org/Polygamy_book/Early_womanizer

Scroll down to "Benjamin F. Winchester: "Close friend" of Joseph?"

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:35 pm 
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FAIRMORMON use of Benjamin F. Winchester,

http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_ ... Dedication

Scroll down to "other accounts"

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:40 pm 
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I fixed the link to the Interpreter Article. Sorry about that.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:07 pm 
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I don't get Brian Hales on this stuff. He admits Joseph had sex with certain amount. What is it? A dozen? 20? Half dozen? Can't remember but he admits many were sexual. But then he becomes very adamant that it wasn't all of them, like it's better if it was 15 and not 30? I don't get this. He also admits to young girls, what like age 18 or something? But becomes very adamant that none of the younger ones 16 or 14 are proven to be sexual. He creates very odd lines in the sand.

When you're a prophet creating or restoring a new religion, you've jumped the shark once you reveal that God wants you to have sex with several young, hot members of the congregation. It doesn't matter if it was 10 or 30. And it doesn't matter if the youngest was 14 or 18.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:28 pm 
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I don't have anything to add to this conversation, but I want to say thanks for posting it.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:58 pm 
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You're welcome Sammy J.

And robuchan, I think it is all about Hales trying to create (in his mind) a more "restrained" prophet. I don't think he really gets that for most of us, ALL of it is unpleasant and cultish. What I most object to is his style of denigrating those he feels threatened by, like Jeremy Runnells and Grant Palmer before he even gets to their writing. If you look at the Interpreter piece, it is classic ad hominem. There is simply no excuse for this unless you are trying to jade the audience before they read anything.

Introduction:

Here are some of the words and phrases that they use in the Introduction,

critic, poorly, inaccuracies, quoting uncredible sources, ignoring contradictory evidences, superficial research techniques that fail to account for the latest scholarship (Hales’ Books), propensity for inadequate scholarship. Antagonistic to Church, fails to employ “accepted” methodology, errors in analysis

Translation:

Grant Palmer is an asshole. Why? Because I say so. He writes things I don't like. His scholarship is shoddy because he doesn't interpret the evidence like I do. He must use second hand sources because it is easier for me to denigrate him and his conclusions. Never mind that I do this same thing myself, I know how to interpret the evidence because I am not an anti-Mormon who posts at MormonThink like he is. I am a faithful Mormon, who posts on the FAIRMORMON Blog, therefore I obviously have no bias at all and will be fair and aboveboard in my conclusions unlike Grant Palmer.

This is before they even analyze one word of his article. Then we get the

Article which is

Filled with more BS strawman arguments and ad hominem. Then the

Conclusion titled "Unsubstantiated Opinion and Poor Documentation", filled with

More ad hominem and strawman arguments.

This is how FAIRMORMON and Apologists like Brian Hales operate.

Joseph Smith's Polygamy Volume I Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
II Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
III Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

An Insider's View of Mormon Origins Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:04 pm 
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Quote:
Richard S. Van Wagoner


An audiologist is not a credible historian. He's never had to defend a dissertation or challenge dissertations. (Umm -- Hales and Smith suffer from the same defects.) This whole field suffers from a dearth of credentialed historians. Well, there's the Bushmans. There's Compton. There's Quinn. But not Van Wagoner. I've chased some of his sources.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:17 pm 
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Yahoo,

I spoke with Mike Marquardt about this today, and he recalled that he had sent Richard a list of corrections for his book Mormon Polygamy and that Van Wagoner had addressed them all, but Mike couldn't recall anything about Benjamin Winchester. There are always mistakes made by Historians. I still consider Richard V. to be a very credible Historian. His body of work is impressive, well researched and written. That's just me though, opinions are like ... well, you know.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:20 am 
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
An audiologist is not a credible historian. He's never had to defend a dissertation or challenge dissertations. (Umm -- Hales and Greg Smith suffer from the same defects.) This whole field suffers from a dearth of credentialed historians.


Wouldn't you agree that the authoring of hit pieces on history articles requires much less credentialing, since saying "uh uh" is a FAIRly simple task?

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:54 pm 
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moksha wrote:
Yahoo Bot wrote:
An audiologist is not a credible historian. He's never had to defend a dissertation or challenge dissertations. (Umm -- Hales and Greg Smith suffer from the same defects.) This whole field suffers from a dearth of credentialed historians.


Wouldn't you agree that the authoring of hit pieces on history articles requires much less credentialing, since saying "uh uh" is a FAIRly simple task?


I say nothing of the sort. Van Wagoner's book had a number of problems. The one thing I recall after all these decades is that he based some of his more salacious factual statements solely upon uncorroborated claims of anti-Mormon newspapers along the Mississippi during the Nauvoo period. He didn't qualify it or warn the reader.

An unqualified historian tends, in my opinion, to array his note cards developed in research to write his book -- as we all learned in high school -- without any discrimination or qualification as to the credibility or value of the sources. I've commented in writing upon Will Bagley's issues with that.

When a historian has to defend a dissertation, the committee routinely challenges the sources.

I don't believe that Van Wagoner's book was peer-reviewed.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:00 pm 
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
Quote:
Richard S. Van Wagoner


An audiologist is not a credible historian. He's never had to defend a dissertation or challenge dissertations. (Umm -- Hales and Smith suffer from the same defects.) This whole field suffers from a dearth of credentialed historians. Well, there's the Bushmans. There's Compton. There's Quinn. But not Van Wagoner. I've chased some of his sources.



So says the esquire who represents himself as a scholar of Mormon history who can adequately argue such issues as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. This complaint just oozes credibility coming from you.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:03 pm 
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grindael wrote:
What really troubles me though, is Hales and Smith claiming that Grant Palmer is some kind of sloppy or shoddy researcher and that he only uses “secondary” sources because he includes a middle initial in Benjamin Winchester’s name, which was gotten from a very credible historian, Richard S. Van Wagoner.


If only Grant Palmer had had the money to hire Don Bradley to do his research. And, if only he had not had the temerity to criticize the Prophet Joseph.

If only.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:03 pm 
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
I don't believe that Van Wagoner's book was peer-reviewed.


Has the Book of Mormon been peer-reviewed?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
An audiologist is not a credible historian.

Is an attorney a credible historian?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:46 pm 
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Last edited by Hasa Diga Eebowai on Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:54 pm 
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robuchan wrote:
I don't get Brian Hales on this stuff. He admits Joseph had sex with certain amount. What is it? A dozen? 20? Half dozen? Can't remember but he admits many were sexual. But then he becomes very adamant that it wasn't all of them, like it's better if it was 15 and not 30? I don't get this. He also admits to young girls, what like age 18 or something? But becomes very adamant that none of the younger ones 16 or 14 are proven to be sexual. He creates very odd lines in the sand.

When you're a prophet creating or restoring a new religion, you've jumped the shark once you reveal that God wants you to have sex with several young, hot members of the congregation. It doesn't matter if it was 10 or 30. And it doesn't matter if the youngest was 14 or 18.


This is a very good point. Hales helps validate the critics:

Faithful amateur LDS historian Dr. Brian C. Hales was interviewed for a mormonstories podcast (#403, #404 and #405) with John Dehlin called '12 Myths Regarding Joseph Smith's Polygamy'. Although the focus of his critique was to refute arguments by the critics, he acknowledged the following things:
•Joseph consummated 12 of his plural marriages.
•Polygamy was illegal when Joseph practiced it.
•Fanny Alger was not sealed to Joseph.
•There is evidence that Joseph had sexual relations with three of the women that already had husbands - Sylvia Sessions, Mary Heron, and Sarah Ann Whitney.

These four items are some of the most common things about polygamy that faithful church members write to MormonThink arguing against these claims, yet this LDS apologist agrees that these are the facts.

Conclusion

If even the FARMS apologists, FAIR apologists and faithful LDS historians acknowledge that Joseph may have had sex with his polygamous wives (including the ones already married) then why should any LDS members dispute that Joseph likely did have sex with those wives?

Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:18 pm 
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There is the truth and there are the lies. The truth is Smith f**ked around with lots of women. He did so behind the back of his first wife when he said he would not. He wrote that promise into his "revelation" as a must get first wife's consent before adding to the Harem clause. It was not followed by either him nor his followers to any consistent degree which tells you more about those men and the practice of polygamy than anything else ever could. It drove men to do bad things.

Smith was caught "frigging" Mary Heron Snider by her son in law, who then said when he was accused of the same thing, "I'm not bringing up the fact that Jo committed adultery to justify my own, but .... he did it too, and broke in the house by committing the "first frigging" there."

Smith consistently messed around with the servant girls or any girls that happened to be in his home. The Lawrence Sisters. Fanny Alger, Eliza Snow, Marinda Johnson, etc. etc. That is a long list and there is just no way to explain it away.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Yahoo Bot wrote:
An audiologist is not a credible historian.

Is an attorney a credible historian?


Depends, but the chances are greater. Some attorneys have to do a lot of research and editing, as well as be edited, as well as understand the basic rules of evidence and provenance. Many attorneys publish in professional journals. The study of law is the study of history -- history of the law. Rick Turley, the Church's leading professional attorney, is one of the best at what he does.

This article from UC Berkeley's law school talks about the similiarity between lawyers and historians (fact gathering, weighing sources), but argues that true history cannot be depicted in the courtroom. The article, however, does not tackle the question of an attorney publishing like a historian.
http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi ... ntext=bjil

There are many historians with legal training; almost none with training to sell hearing aids.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:54 pm 
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
There are many historians with legal training; almost none with training to sell hearing aids.


Would audiologists tend to give historical data a FAIR hearing, or might they tend to slant the facts in favor of their client? Remember, be judicious!

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:02 pm 
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moksha wrote:
Yahoo Bot wrote:
There are many historians with legal training; almost none with training to sell hearing aids.


Would audiologists tend to give historical data a FAIR hearing, or might they tend to slant the facts in favor of their client? Remember, be judicious!


The only audiologist I know who has written a historical treatise has corrupted the facts. Not just slant.

An audiologist is somebody who works at K-Mart next to the photo booth.


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