Joseph Smith Public Apology

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So a grade four teacher apparently told her students that early Mormon leaders had been jailed. When one of the students asked if they were criminals, she reportedly replied that some people thought they were. As a result, at least one good Utah Mormon demanded a public apology.

Ah, fundamentalist Mormonism at its best.

18 thoughts on “Joseph Smith Public Apology

  1. Kim, you could also try to give the “Utah Mormon” the benefit of the doubt. What I mean by that is that you seem to be taking at face value what the fourth-grade teacher claimed she said: “she reportedly replied that some people thought they [JS and pals] were [criminals].” The whole story sounds absurd if that is really what the teacher said. What if, however, the teacher really said “yes, they were criminals” and then, after the hype ensued, self-edited her statement to make the complainers look ridiculous (and to exonerate herself from the appearance of bigotry/violation of the First Amendment in forcing her view [the Church is a fraud and JS was a criminal] on a captive audience of fourth-graders)? It’s only human nature to revise what one really said once it gets one in trouble, isn’t it?

  2. Precisely why I used the words ‘apparently’ and ‘reportedly’.

    I am curious as to why you put Utah Mormon in quotations in your reply.

  3. Because “Utah Mormon” is used in LDS circles as a pejorative term to mean anything that the speaker dislikes about LDS culture, whether that be too goody-goody/fundamentalist (as you used it and most of the Bloggernacle uses it) or the opposite, meaning members who are too lazy and complacent with the world and religion and who don’t take or live their religion seriously, which is how the term was used among the members where I grew up in Dallas.

  4. “Because ‘Utah Mormon’ is used in LDS circles as a pejorative term to mean…fundamentalist (as you used it…”

    I did not use it in this context. I used it to describe a Mormon who lives in Utah. The person who demanded the apology is a Mormon and lives in Utah. I used the term in its strictest sense.

  5. Kim, since the location of this particular Mormon’s domicile has no relevance at all to what you’re saying about him/her, I have to wonder if you’re quite as innocent as you think you are of using the term “Utah Mormon” as a pejorative.

  6. Well…let me chime in…I have never met a group of LDS people quite like the “Utah Mormons”…they are an interesting group unto themselves. It is odd in my opinion how different and holier than thou a lot (not all) “Utah Mormons” are.

    I can see the hate mail a-comin’


  7. Kris, could it be that the reason you expect hate mail is that you’re using bigoted stereotypes?

  8. Itbugaf,

    Yep…but if I hadn’t witnessed it myself (this “Utah Mormon” phenomena) for an extended period of time then I wouldn’t have been able to comment on it. I have been around the world and back and wow, there are some strange ideas in Utah (in comparison to other people of LDS faith around the world!)!


  9. Kris, the fact that you’ve observed certain conduct from certain members of the Church in Utah doesn’t quite justify casting aspersions at them as a group, any more than seeing certain black people would justify casting aspersions at that category.

    But I’m going to cut you some slack, because you did qualify your statement by saying “a lot (not all).”

  10. Believe it or not, I don’t really go fishing for controversy on this site. I’m actually happier to have people agree with me when I’m right than to have them disagree with me when I’m right. ;)

  11. Several people have told me they don’t think living in Utah is a good idea because it makes it harder to raise kids to be righteous examples. I humbly point out that a few people have managed to turn out pretty well after growing up there, including Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Gordon B. Hinckley, and a couple of others.

    (Not sure if I should say Joseph F. Smith “grew up” in Utah, since I’m not sure he was ever a child, and since he spent a good part of his youth in other parts of the world such as Hawai’i. But you get the idea.)

  12. Kind of funny that you use the term “fundamentalist Mormonism.” I’m sure you know that the term “fundamentalist Mormon” is typically applied (incorrectly, in my view as well as in President Hinckley’s) to apostate polygamists. You don’t know something about this teacher that you aren’t sharing, do you? ;)

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