Today's Worst comes from the mysterious anti-Mormon with the moniker, "Dr. Shades.""The mysterious anti-Mormon." I like it! Is it time for a new 'net handle? I'm actually not all that mysterious, since I answer all my e-mails and have eaten lunch at various times with about 10 different people with whom I originally became acquainted over the Internet.
I have no idea why he does not use his real name.Why does anyone with a pseudonym use one? Do I have to get Barney and Baby Bop to dance out the word P-R-I-V-A-C-Y for him?
After reading his webpages I am tempted to ask, "what is he trying to hide?"Here he's actually paying me a compliment. By acknowledging that there's nothing on my site anyone could possibly be ashamed of, he's basically admitting that my facts are in order. Thanks, Gary!
So here is "Dr. Shades" entertaining commentary on the Priesthood and Relief Society Manual.Although my site has probably been called lots of things, I never thought "entertaining" would be among them. I had worried whether my writing style was too dry and stuffy, but perhaps not? Thanks again!
Allow me the indulgence of responding to his criticism, point by point.Indulge away!
1. No, the words have not been changed.Oh? Perhaps he should see this page. After he reads it, let's see if he's willing to make the same claim.
In fact, the manual is making exactly the opposite point of that of "Dr. Shades": the text is indeed reliable and accurate.Then why does it say "the original spelling and punctuation has been preserved" but does not make the same claim for the actual text?
To answer the good doctor's rhetorical question, there is nothing to hide.Hmm, perhaps not. Knowing this, would he kindly point out where in the manual we can find Brigham Young's teachings on the Adam-God doctrine, blood atonement, and polygamy?
2. A cursory glance at almost any page will reveal that most of the quotations come from the Journal of Discourses and Discourses of Brigham Young.Yes, but just because they come from there doesn't mean they weren't altered or overtly lifted out of context.
For example, when I turned randomly to page 105, all of the quotations came from Discourses of Brigham Young.This is fine, but remember, the Discourses of Brigham Young is by-and-large a compilation of sermons originally published in the Journal of Discourses. The sermons there were sanitized for publication in the Discourses of Brigham Young, so it is only fitting that the vast majority of quotes in the 1998 manual should be taken from there as opposed to the Journal of Discourses, their original source.
Both of these items are still in print and are easily available from Deseret Book and many other LDS booksellers and both are available on CD ROM. How come "Dr. Shades" does not know this?Of course I know this! A mere cursory reading of my original page shows that the manual itself, not me, claims that "the sources cited will not be readily available to most members."
I happen to own both. However, it should be obvious to even "Dr. Shades", if he had taken the time to read something from the manual, that teaching a priesthood or relief society lesson does not require the full source.First, I read quite a bit from the manual as I was still a true believer when the manual came into general use. Second, teaching a priesthood or relief society lesson does not require any sources whatsoever, strictly speaking. Whether or not a source is required to teach is not the thrust of my criticism. The discouragement of checking sources is the thrust of my criticism.
The quotations from the manual are extensive and seldom contain ellipses.That's the entire problem. No matter how extensive the quotations, it is dishonest to omit ellipses when material has been deleted from the original quote.
Again, to answer the good doctor's rhetorical question, there is nothing to hide.Again, would he kindly point out where in the manual we can find Brigham Young's teachings on the Adam-God doctrine, blood atonement, and polygamy?