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Grant Palmer
Home Palmer Interview AP Dec 12 2004 AP Dec 13 2004 SL Trib Dec 13 2004 LA Times Dec 9 2004 KUTV Dec 9 2004 SL Trib Dec 7 2004 AP Dec 7 2004 Des News Dec 8 2004 Signature Press Release


Grant H. Palmer is author of the book, "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins".  Palmer is a retired CES employee.  He was the director of LDS Institutes of Religion at colleges in California, Utah and New Zealand. He formerly instructed the high priest group in his local congregation in Sandy, Utah, and has been active in the Mormon History Association and on the board of directors of the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association.  

On December 12, 2004 at the Willow Creek Stake Center in Sandy, Utah, a church disciplinary council disfellowshipped Palmer. 

Palmer's book has been sold through the Church's publishing arm, Deseret Book, for over two years from its publication in October 2002.  The book was pulled from the Deseret Book shelves and their online website on December 11, 2004.

The book in its basic form is a distillation of what has been known in LDS historical circles for many years.  One of the criticism of the book is precisely that - there is little that is new.  It seems very odd that Grant is being disciplined for something that was published over two years ago that is mainly a rehash of existing facts.  

The actions of the LDS Church continue a string of activity in recent years against intellectual inquiry. In December 2002, Thomas W. Murphy ( PhD in anthropology ) was scheduled to have excommunication proceedings brought against him which were cancelled after a flurry of media activity.  See www.tungate.com ( DNA and the Book of Mormon section ) for a chronology of that episode.  Murphy authored the article "Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics" (part of "American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon", Dan Vogel & Brent Metcalfe, eds.), in which the Church's claim of a Jerusalem origin of Native Americans was brought into question. 

Palmer, despite what happened on December 12th, is a heretic, not an apostate.  Heresy is believing differently than orthodox teachings.  Apostasy is actively opposing and attempting to destroy the church.  Apostasy is punishable, and justifiably so, in a few religions.  Heresy is historically not punishable.  I am reminded of President David O. McKay's defense of Sterling McMurrin, and commissioning of Obert Tanner to write Christ's Ideals for Living, regardless of their well-known lack of belief in the founding events of the church.

In September and October 1993, the Church took action against six prominent LDS authors, commonly referred to as the "September Six": D.Michael Quinn (historian and former BYU professor), Avraham Gileadi (author of works on Isaiah), Paul Toscano (Salt Lake attorney and author), Lavina Fielding Anderson (editor and writer of the Church-published "Ensign" during most of the 1970s), Maxine Hanks (feminist author), and Lynne Kanavel Whitesides (president of the Mormon Women's Forum). All were excommunicated except Whitesides, who was disfellowshipped.  Gileadi has since rejoined the church. 

More recent excommunications over intellectual issues include David Wright (1994, for not believing in a literal Noah and for articles about Biblical events that were viewed as questioning the historicity of the Book of Mormon), Michael Barrett (1994, for writing letters to correct news stories about Mormonism), Brent Metcalfe (1994, for the anthology "New Approaches to the Book of Mormon"), Janice Allred (1997, for submitting theological papers to a Sunstone symposium), Margaret Toscano (2000, for writing on feminist issues - but really for being Paul's wife).

Frankly, until the Murphy and Palmer episodes, the hope was that the church had ended this phase of our history.

The best site for getting accurate information about the situation is found at http://www.geocities.com/defend_grant_palmer 


Contact information:

Gordon B. Hinckley's FAX number is 801-240-2033

The address of the stake center is Willow Creek Stake Center, 2350 E Creek Rd. (8200 S), Sandy, UT 84093

Grant Palmer's Stake President is Keith Adams.  His email address is jkadams@stoel.com <jkadams@stoel.com

More information on Stake President J. Keith Adams:


Radio or TV interviews and articles:

2.  Grant Palmer appeared on RadioActive, December 9, 12:00 MST, KRCL 90.9 FM.  You can hear this interview by clicking here, or by going to http://www.think-link.org/think/grant_palmer.htm , or read the transcript at http://www.tungate.com/palmer_interview.htm 

1.  For a news report from Channel 2 in Salt Lake City Utah:  http://kutv.com/2newsvideo/?cat=5&next=20  Go part way down the page to find:  Retired LDS Seminary Teacher Faces Excommunication Over Book


Press articles:

8.  Mormon Church Disciplines Author for Book.  Associated Press.  December 13, 2004.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4669266,00.html or here.  

7.  LDS Author Disfellowshipped.  Salt Lake Tribune.  December 13, 2004.  http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_2487004 or here.

6.  Mormon Writer Disfellowshipped.   Associated Press  December 12, 2004.  http://tv.ksl.com/index.php?sid=138412&nid=5 or  here   

5.  Mormon Author Says He's Facing Excommunication.  Los Angeles Times.  December 9, 2004.  http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-mormon9dec09,0,1094966.story?coll=la-headlines-nation or here.

4.  Former LDS Teacher Faces Excommunications for Controversial Book.  KUTV News, Utah. December 7, 2004.   http://kutv.com/topstories/local_story_344140648.html or here.  

3.  Author Faces LDS Discipline Hearing.  Salt Lake Tribune.  December 7, 2004.  http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_2483377 or here.

2.  Mormon Leader Faces Excommunication.  Associated Press.  December 7, 2004.  Read it www.tungate.com/ap_dec_7.htm.

1.  Ex-LDS Church Teacher May Face Excommunication.  Deseret News.  December 8, 2004.  http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,595110832,00.html or here.


General information about the book and Grant Palmer:

Palmer's book is published by Signature Book.  It was basically at the end of its publishing life before the December hearing.  Stake President Adams' actions here have re-excited the publishing of the book - probably a thousand copies will be sold in December alone as a result of the PR generated by President Adams' actions.

Signature's website about the book is http://www.signaturebooks.com/Insider's.htm#grant 

Signature's press release about the ( at that time ) pending excommunication hearing is found at www.tungate.com/s

A brief synopsis of Palmer's life, in his words, is found at http://www.signaturebooks.com/excerpts/insider's2.htm 

Amazon link to Grant Palmer's book, "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins":  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1560851570/002-3196380-4231233


Farms has published ad hominem attacks on Palmer, and to a much lesser extent, comments on the contents of the book.  Their reviews can be found at:

1) Statement from the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=510

2) The Charge of a Man with a Broken Lance (But Look What He Doesn't Tell Us) by: Davis Bitton  http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=511

3) Trustworthy History?  by: Steven C. Harper  http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=512

4) A One-sided View of Mormon Origins  by: Mark Ashurst-McGee  http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=513

5) Prying into Palmer  by: Louis Midgley  http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=514

6) Asked and Answered: A Response to Grant H. Palmer  by: James B. Allen  http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=533



Information about the September Six:  http://www.lds-mormon.com/sepsix.shtml

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Last modified: March 19, 2006