Dunn and other Bad Business Deals (part 2)

I finished the book, Lying for the Lord by Lynn Packer.  (Click here for part 1.) It seems to me that most Mormons are upset by his telling stories that weren’t true.  To be honest, I ‘m not all that fond of piling on Dunn for that, though after reading the book, it wasn’t so much him exaggerating some war and baseball stories, he flat out made them up.  The bigger issue to me is his bad business deals.  I talked about the ponzi scheme in my previous post, and for that he was demoted from the Quorum of Seventy (Lynn Packer thinks Dunn should have been excommunicated) and the church leaders implemented a new policy banning GAs from serving on boards of directors.  However, they essentially left Dunn intact to continue the shady business deals, and he did.

The Osmonds were advised financially by Paul H. Dunn

Dunn was also a prominent financial adviser to the Osmonds and their newly created studio in Orem, Utah.  Not all of their financial troubles were due to Dunn, but he didn’t help matters.   Continue Reading »


Lying for the Lord (Paul Dunn)

I’m about halfway through Lynn Packer’s book, Lying for the Lord.  Packer is nephew for former apostle Boyd K. Packer.  I didn’t know that Paul Dunn and Boyd Packer had a little bit of a CES rivalry going on.  Both came up at the same time in the LDS Seminary program.  Paul got a theology degree from Chapman College in California and was trained in classic biblical criticism.  Boyd was a protege of J. Reuben Clark, who weeded out LDS Seminary teachers who didn’t teach faith promoting stories from the bible (and who taught evolution as real.)  I was a little familiar with this story, as I talked about the Chicago Experiment.  Paul believed that Boyd had sent his brother Lynn to search out his unflattering reports on Paul’s untrue war and baseball stories.  However, Lynn says that is completely untrue. Continue Reading »


Waiting for the Brethren to ….

In the Book of Numbers, we are told that the reason the children of Israel had to wander in the Wilderness was because of a lack of faith in God.  While Moses had led them out of Egypt, many wanted to return to Egypt instead of conquer the promised land of Canaan, the land God promised to Abraham.  God had promised them that they could take the land of Canaan and it was to be their promised land.  Israel sent 12 spies to see if the land was ready, but 10 of these men sent “an evil report” saying there was no hope of driving the men out of the land, despite the Lord’s promises.  In response, God told Israel that they would wander for 40 years, until the older generation had died off.  If God’s people won’t follow him, does he simply wait until the older generation dies off?  Does God work by attrition?

Many people thought Wilford Woodruff was wrong for issuing the Manifesto, which ended the official practice of polygamy.  Many wondered if Woodruff was leading the church astray.  In response Woodruff declared: Continue Reading »


Are we really a church of revelation?

We like to claim that we are a church led by revelation.  In light of the last two posts (part 1 and part 2) by Guy Templeton, asking who among the current crop of apostles might give us a revelation, I thought it might be interesting to show a few graphs.


It’s interesting to compare the number of revelations in Joseph’s lifetime vs after his death.  The high-water mark appears to be 1831, in which we have 37 revelations recorded in the Doctrine & Covenants.  Then I thought it would be interesting to compare the number of revelations by prophet. Continue Reading »

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Bad Memes

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen many of these memes.  I’d like to point out some of the ones that I’m not much of a fan of.  Take this one from Elder Ezra Taft Benson.


On the one hand, it seems to be intended for conservative leaning folks, those who can’t seem to stomach Donald Trump’s overt racism, and those who think Hillary Clinton is a perpetual liar.  So, you seem forced to choose the lesser of two evils, so the quote from Benson makes sense.  Voting for evil is still evil, right?

Here’s the problem with the meme.   Continue Reading »

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Doctrinal History of Vicarious Work

A friend asked me about the doctrinal history of why Mormons, and specifically Joseph Smith, came up with the doctrine of baptism of the dead, and vicarious ordinances.  He noted that in Elder Bednar’s 2011 General Conference talk, Bednar tied vicarious work not only with the visit of Elijah to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple, but also with the earliest foundations of the church.  I hadn’t considered that as a possibility before and thought it would be interesting to look at.

Of course we all know that the First Vision occurred in the spring on 1820.  Bednar notes that Continue Reading »


Was the Revolution a Mistake?

Monday July 4 is Independence Day in America.  I came across an interesting (heretical) point of view:  3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake.  Dylan Matthews argues that

  1. “the British Empire, in all likelihood, would have abolished slavery earlier than the US did, and with less bloodshed.”
  2. “Independence was bad for Native Americans”, and
  3. “America would have a better system of government if we’d stuck with Britain”

I think Matthews has a strong case for the first 2 items.  As he states,

Abolition in most of the British Empire occurred in 1834, following the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act. That left out India, but slavery was banned there, too, in 1843. In England itself, slavery was illegal at least going back to 1772. That’s decades earlier than the United States.

Continue Reading »


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