Recently, there was a post on By Common Consent which explored the potential mental illnesses George Albert Smith. My thesis chair penned a response to the post, drawing on some of his experience in psychology. He has consented to having his response posted here. Be aware: this is not a polished essay. Dr. Gantt is, so to speak, “shooting from the hip,” and as such, his arguments have not been revised, poured over, etc. Truthfully, this reads much more like a transcript of one of his classroom lectures (where he simply speaks his mind) than any of his published works. Without further ado, I turn the time over to Ed Gantt:
Recently, a dear friend of mine posted a link here on facebook to a blog post by Jonathan Stapley at By Common Consent, a popular Mormon blog. The brief post was on Mental Illness and the life and struggles of President George Albert Smith. Before reading further, it would be a good idea for you to check out the post. It’s pretty short and so won’t take much of your time.
Well, perhaps needless to say, at least to those who know me, I was much less than impressed by Shapley’s post, finding it misleading (though perhaps not intentionally so) in a number of ways. I was originally just going to let the whole thing pass. As a professor of psychology, I encounter things like this constantly and so long ago learned that I can’t respond to everything that is misleading and annoys me, I just don’t have the time or energy. I also wasn’t terribly keen on taking a controversial stand on a topic of deep significance and which hits close to home for a dear friend for fear of maybe giving some offense. However, when some other friends asked me what I thought about the post, and when I noted the overall adulatory response to the post in the comments section of the blog, I decided I had to put some thoughts down and at least be on record as quite strenuously objecting to the claims Stapley makes. Continue reading