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An internal matter

Published December 9, 2004 12:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The publicity regarding pending church disciplinary proceedings for Grant Palmer, author of An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, is misdirected. This is an internal matter of the LDS Church, directed in accordance with established bylaws, and need not be the subject of public scrutiny and debate.

The LDS Church has every right to control the speech of its adherents. Parallels to the Roman Catholic Church's discipline of Galileo or Henry VIII's treatment of Sir Thomas More are completely unwarranted, since Brother Palmer is not threatened with jail or beheading. Further, Galileo and Sir Thomas More are generally believed to have exercised their speech in good conscience, stating opinions based on reasoned scholarship rather than a desire to attack their church.

Grant Palmer only claims to have acted in good conscience by presenting publicly available historical documents. This cannot be determined by reading his book, but only by discerning his motives through established disciplinary procedures. As an active LDS member, I hope the media will resist the temptation to treat this case as common censorship or restriction of intellectual freedom.

After all, wouldn't it be better if we all just thought alike instead of stirring up trouble? No good will come of it.

Jeffrey Anderson

Salt Lake City