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Mormonism LIVE: 058: Mormon Apologist Skullduggery – The Mystery of the Second Watson Letter

Mormonism LIVE: 058: Mormon Apologist Skullduggery – The Mystery of the Second Watson Letter Playing off of last week’s “Two Hills Cumorah” episode we investigate the claim of a “2nd Watson letter”. What we find is not only more apologist obfuscations but perhaps one of the biggest underhanded maneuvers LDS apologists have ever pulled off.


7 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 058: Mormon Apologist Skullduggery – The Mystery of the Second Watson Letter”

  1. Bill Hamblin may have supported the church openly yet some people close to him said they didn’t think he was a believer.
    As to Dan Peterson..
    I find it hard to believe anyone who lies for a religion could believe in its veracity.

  2. Hi RFM,

    I see that FAIR is now arguing on their site the following: “On April 23, 1993, F. Michael Watson ***arranged for*** a clarification letter after a discussion with a FARMS staffer.” (emphasis added)

    It seems to me that Hamblin’s original characterization of second Watson statement was a carefully worded claim by calling the Ogden fax a “correspondence” that was “from F. Michael Watson”.

    For sure, a fax cover sheet is correspondence, though not “a letter”. And no doubt Hamblin would argue that the fax was “from F. Michael Watson” at least in the sense that Watson surely arranged for the fax to be sent.

    However, as with many “carefully worded statements”, Hamblin’s original citation to the Ogden fax appears to be intentionally crafted to deceive: (1) gives the false impression that the Ogden fax was actually a formal letter as authoritative on its face as the first letter and (2) distorts the meaning of the fax by omitting the four words you discuss.

    No doubt, as you and Bill discussed, Watson must have been aware of his first letter’s infamy and wanted no part of furthering the controversy. And church leaders may have even told Watson to avoid formal letters like the first after the first blew up.

    This is another example of a long list of intentionally deceptive (though facially true under certain definitions) statements from proponents on the church, whether apologists or church leaders.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. It’s an instant classic!

  3. Where JS claimed the BoM came from is clearly given in the Wentworth letter. JS claimed an angel visited him THREE TIMES with the same information.

    “ I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of
    this country [America], and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people was made known unto me: I was also told where there was deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things.”

    There are two races of people; Jaradites and Israelites. The Indians are Israelites.

    “We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.”

    Multiple times we are told the BoM is a history of this continents people and not a subset.

    “ that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history…”

    To argue otherwise is to argue with what JS was told by an angel. The limited geography theory doesn’t work.

  4. Hi RFM,
    A few corrections or updates to the podcast. Dr Gregory smith is a family physician not an anesthesiologist. I’m not sure if he’s related to the top 15 but his father was a seventy.

  5. I listened to this twice as it’s a complex one but I’m still curious about something. Byu produced a musical in the early seventies called Brigham”
    One of the catchy songs was about a team of BYU Professors heading off on an expedition to find the lost city of Zarahemla. I do believe this was based on some true history regarding Peru or Ecuador being viewed as an historical BofM site.
    Ive tried to locate a script or the music but have not been able to. If anyone know anything on this topic I would love to hear how it fits into the ever shifting ideas about BOM “sites”.

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