I can handle my mistakes being pointed out ...
Yes, that was so
apparent in the thread where I pointed one out.
Yes, in that thread it was apparent that I can gracefully handle my mistakes being discussed. It was equally apparent that you couldn’t.
I don't choose my enemies, they choose me. They need enemies to define themselves, I don't.
Spoken by one whose entire raison d'etre
is to discredit the legitimacy of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and to erode the foundations of the church he founded.
Self-awareness is obviously not one of your strong suits.
Well, if you knew me as well as your statement above implies, you would know that I have consistently stated, both on the MAD board and in print, that scholarship cannot “discredit the legitimacy of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.” That is a matter of faith. What my work might do is bring the definition of “prophet” more in line with historical data. Ironically, some true believers regard the efforts of FARMS and other apologists who try to bring Book of Mormon historicity in line with archaeological data by suggesting limited geography , etc. as an attempt to “to erode the foundations of the church.” Challenging traditional views is what scholars do. Whether this leads to a crisis of faith, a modification, or a complete denial is not a concern for scholars.
True, a lot of what I do pertains to controversial subjects, but not everything. I’m no different than some of the leading apologists (such as Dan Peterson, Jack Welch, Bill Hamblin, etc.) who also write on less controversial topics, such as glossolalia (or in tongues tongues) in the early LDS Church or James Colin Brewster. Indeed, I have spent the last decade working on a critical edition of the History of the Church, which I assure you will benefit all scholars working on Mormon studies regardless of personal conclusions. Anyone familiar with my five-volume Early Mormon Documents
knows that I debunk many favorite anti-Mormon claims. I can’t stop you from defining me through your narrow apologetic prism, but I remain confident that those who do not choose me as their enemy will have a more balanced view.
Will, I have not chosen you as an enemy—that is not my intention. I do not seek the demise of the LDS Church. I only seek to impart information and to raise the level of discussion. Why in your world view are those who have a different interpretation of Mormon origins automatically enemies? Is it wise or healthy to make enemies of everyone who questions Book of Mormon historicity or some of Joseph Smith’s historical claims?