About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

Reluctant Polygamist Limited Edition

RP_CoverReluctant Polygamist, the book that grew out of the Faithful Joseph series posted here in 2014, will be available via Amazon.com later this week. The Amazon price will be $14.95 + S/H.

To kick this off, I am offering a limited edition of autographed, numbered copies for $10 each, to cover costs and handling. The offer is only valid through Monday, April 11, at 11:59 pm MDT, or until 500 books have been requested, whichever occurs earlier.

Each limited edition comes with a personalized pdf excerpt (sent via mail), the signed book, and certificate.

The first twenty-five copies will be raffled off among those signing up by Saturday, April 9, at 11:59 pm MDT. The winners of the raffle will not be invoiced for their copies.

To sign up for the autographed limited edition, click on the SurveyMonkey logo or paste this URL into your browser: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BJ9TG8X

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Denial

Rachel WeiszIn 2000, a British judge found Deborah Lipstadt innocent of libel with respect to her book, Denying the Holocaust. The movie Denial, now in post-production, documents the real-life court battle between Holocaust-denier David Irving (played by Timothy Spall) and Professor Lipstadt (played by Rachel Weisz, pictured). Directed by Oscar-nominee Mick Jackson and based on the book Deborah Lipstadt wrote about the trial, the movie may be expected to emphasize the difference between conscientious or objective historical research and “histories” that knowingly and “deliberately mis-represent or manipulate historical evidence.”

David Irving waited to sue Lipstadt in the British courts because English libel law puts the burden of proof on the defendant rather than the plaintiff. Lipstadt and Penguin won the case by demonstrating in court that Lipstadt’s accusations against Irving were substantially true and therefore not libelous. Mr Justice Gray produced a written judgment 334 pages long detailing Irving’s systematic distortion of the historical record.

The trial was the first time a legal standard was established for historical objectivity. For those of us who don’t have time to master all 334 pages, Wendie E. Schneider distilled the ruling into seven concise principles:

1) Treat all sources with appropriate reservations. This is a principle too often ignored in treatments of Mormon history. One can often predict the leanings of a historian by which sources they will include without critical review and which sources they will pretend don’t even exist. Continue reading

#LDSconf General Conference – Mar 26, ’16, Women’s Session

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Rosemary M. Wixom

President Wixom [General Primary President] will be conducting this meeting. President Thomas S. Monson presides.

President Wixom: Welcome! The First Presidency, several other apostle’s, and the presidencies and boards for the Relief Society, Young Women’s Organization, and Primary are present on the stand.

Choir of Primary girls, Young Women, and Relief Society sisters from over 50 cultures. Instead of the traditional pastels, the choir members are all wearing white shirts.

Choir and Congregation: #223 – Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?

Opening Prayer: Young Woman Continue reading

Eliza and Missouri

Eliza R. Snow, circa 1850BYU-I professor Andrea Radke-Moss has come forward with an account that Eliza R. Snow was gang-raped by eight Missouri men.

The original account was recorded in the 1930s by Alice Merrill [Horne] (b. 1868), grand-daughter of Bathsheba Wilson Bigler [Smith] (b. 1822) apparently based on discussions of former times shared in the 1880s, when Alice was a teen or pre-teen.

Alice’s account is given significant credence because Bathsheba was particularly close to Eliza R. Snow. Though Bathsheba didn’t ascend to the presidency of the Relief Society until the death of Eliza Snow, she had been the youngest member of the Relief Society at the first meeting, where Eliza R. Snow was installed as secretary.

The Reported Event

According to the story in the Salt Lake Tribune, Eliza was raped in Missouri circa 1838 by 8 men. Andrea Radke-Moss asserted that due to the rape, Eliza was subsequently infertile.

Why I Hesitate to Wholly Accept this Account as Reported Continue reading

An End to the ARC

RP_CoverThis week the Advanced Review Copy of Reluctant Polygamist will disappear from Amazon.com.

Publication of the official release of Reluctant Polygamist will occur April 6, 2016. It may be possible to accommodate significant changes if you contact me by March 26. Cover quotes received by that date can be included in the book.

My name is listed as author, and I accept full responsibility for the contents. But you have had an enormous influence on how the story emerged as well as the topics I eventually decided to cover beyond my original proposed agenda.

If you would like me to come talk in your neck of the woods, email me. I’ll see what I can arrange, as I would love to interact directly with people on this topic.

Thesis

Reluctant Polygamist discusses the evidence supporting a new view of Joseph Smith’s final years and the subsequent interactions regarding polygamy amongst the various religious traditions that emerged from Joseph Smith’s religious legacy. Reluctant Polygamist builds on the Faithful Joseph series I posted here at M* from December 2013 to August 2014.

Bottom Line Up Front: Joseph Smith was a great-hearted man attempting his best to teach and live Celestial Marriage, which he believed was a command from God. Simultaneously he was fighting a frightening and pervasive heresy based on illicit and promiscuous sex, attempting to save as many as possible.

Elder Ballard on Church Education

A friend briefed me on Elder Ballard’s address at the annual “An Evening with a General Authority” this past Sunday. The address was particularly aimed at Seminary and Institute teachers in the Church Educational System (CES).

I enjoyed the quotes that were reported in the Deseret News article reporting the address:

“As Church education moves forward in the 21st century, each of you needs to consider any changes you should make in the way you prepare to teach, how you teach and what you teach if you are to build unwavering faith in the lives of our precious youth,” Elder Ballard said. “Gone are the days when a student asked an honest question and a teacher responded, ‘Don’t worry about it!’ Gone are the days when a student raised a sincere concern and a teacher bore his or her testimony as a response intended to avoid the issue. Gone are the days when students were protected from people who attacked the Church.” Continue reading