The Great Jeremy Runnells War

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Hagoth
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The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 19, 2022 5:56 pm

It is astounding what an impact the CES letter has had on the LDS apologetic community. One young man writes a 90-page pamphlet and it creates a storm answered by dozens of apologists and countless thousands of pages of rebuttal and hours of video.

Case in point, the latest FAIR newsletter, which has links to Sarah Allen's 54 lengthy rebuttals, with the promise of many more to come.

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/ans ... +2022+0319

I skimmed about a half dozen of these. Every single one ended with a statement very similar to these:
...all the time so we need to be patient and to study what’s out there. In time, everything will fit together and it’ll all make sense exactly as it’s supposed to. Having questions is normal. We all have them, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Letting those questions lead you to doubts, though, is something we should all be avoiding. Developing patience while we wait for the answers is critical.
We know a lot, but we don’t know everything. Personally, I’m okay with that. The answers will come eventually. For now, this is one of the times were I’m choosing to exercise patience.
I kind of feel bad for Sarah. She is stuck with the perpetual conundrum of living in a religion guided by prophets and still not being able to get answers to the biggest problems. I wonder at what point she will allow herself to consider that maybe the answers are already here, but they're not the ones she's looking for.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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moksha
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by moksha » Sat Mar 19, 2022 7:08 pm

The Quorum put answering the questions B.H. Roberts raised on indefinite hold back one hundred years ago. Sarah will be on hold for quite some time since Aesop's Fables are ahead of her in the cue.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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jfro18
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by jfro18 » Sat Mar 19, 2022 7:12 pm

I think she started these a while back since Jeremy had begun his rebuttals on these at least a few months ago when I was working with him on the Jim Bennett stuff and then he gave up because of both the amount of replies she was doing and the way she was doing it:

https://cesletter.org/debunkings/the-ce ... rah-allen/

But really just look at a single paragraph from the priesthood restoration rebuttal:
So far in this Letter, Jeremy Runnells has already attacked the Book of Abraham, the Book of Mormon, the First Vision, Joseph Smith, the idea of prophets in general, the existence of the Holy Ghost, and has even questioned God Himself. I hope you can all see how insidious this progression has been. He’s systematically going after every single element of a testimony that he can.
This is just trash to poison the well against anything Jeremy does by making it about the impact of the CES Letter instead of the substance of it. i would love to see Sarah have to actually defend these kinds of replies in a public setting where someone could fact check her, because they're really bad even by apologetic standards.

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2bizE
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by 2bizE » Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:03 am

Have the rebuttals had any serious influence on the minds of people who have read the CES letter?
I don’t believe I have ever read a post on the internet where someone was convinced by the apologetics for the CES letter.

The CES letter is so convincing because it is simple and straightforward. Mormon apologetics remind me of this video. Their rebuttals are so complex and convoluted that the leave your mind in confusion..
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VpLDfkLBJ0Q
~2bizE

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jfro18
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by jfro18 » Sun Mar 20, 2022 6:41 am

2bizE wrote:
Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:03 am
Have the rebuttals had any serious influence on the minds of people who have read the CES letter?
I don’t believe I have ever read a post on the internet where someone was convinced by the apologetics for the CES letter.
My wife was convinced by the FAIR response but she was looking for something to attack the CES Letter and actually read the FAIR response before reading the CES Letter.

So I think there's use for them for people who are motivated to stay, but I've seen more people say that FAIR made it easier to leave because they confirmed so many of the problems than those who said it convinced them that the CES Letter was wrong. At that point though I guess for FAIR it's worth the gamble to throw the Hail Mary and hope for a miracle?

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Hagoth
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by Hagoth » Sun Mar 20, 2022 7:47 am

2bizE wrote:
Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:03 am
Have the rebuttals had any serious influence on the minds of people who have read the CES letter?
I don’t believe I have ever read a post on the internet where someone was convinced by the apologetics for the CES letter ...their rebuttals are so complex and convoluted that the leave your mind in confusion.
I think you're right, a bit part of apologetics is to make you question your own reasoning (i.e. doubt your doubts). The best example is the DNA gospel topics essay. Page after page of confusing misuse of molecular biology designed purely to throw you off balance. It could be more accurately replaced with a single sentence: "Sorry folks there is no evidence in support of the Book of Mormon, but keep your fingers crossed."

The massive apologetics dogpile against Runnells is the best evidence for the strength of his argument. All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't unwrite Jeremy's letter again.

We often hear the statement about how the best evidence for the Book of Mormon is how many people have tried and failed to discredit it. Maybe Jeremy's supporters should start calling him an uneducated farm boy.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

dogbite
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by dogbite » Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:33 pm

It doesn't matter what the apologists say. They do not speak for the church. The church has often pointed out that we should ignore unofficial sources. The teachers training used to be more explicit about it, but here's the current version .

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... o?lang=eng
Teach only the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. Pure doctrine—eternal, unchanging truth taught by God and His servants—invites the Spirit and has the power to change lives.
So it is safe, right, and proper to ignore the claims of apologists. Indeed, we are directed by prophetic voice to do so.

One could similarly argue we should avoid the claims of Jeremy Runnells, But he is using (mostly) the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures and the words of the latter-day prophets and other official church sources. Darn it.

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Red Ryder
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by Red Ryder » Sun Mar 20, 2022 4:22 pm

dogbite wrote:
Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:33 pm
One could similarly argue we should avoid the claims of Jeremy Runnells, But he is using (mostly) the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures and the words of the latter-day prophets and other official church sources. Darn it.
+1
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stealthbishop
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Mar 21, 2022 10:56 am

Waiting for "the answers" could be for an eternity. The earliest followers of the historic Jesus, Paul himself, and also the Essene community at Qumron all believed the end times would happen in their lifetime and they were all wrong. Christians ever since that time have carried the torch. This is an over 2000 year old tradition!!!
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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nibbler
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by nibbler » Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:51 pm

Just be sure to continue making those checks out to "nibbler" while you're waiting on your answers. :twisted:
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
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blazerb
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by blazerb » Tue Mar 29, 2022 7:13 am

I have read a few. A quote from part 47 caught my eye as I skimmed:
Another reason he [David Whitmer] may have been told to leave the main body of the Saints was to mute his influence over them. We see the same thing today, certain prominent apostates who claim to be “faithful members with some questions” but who are actively working as wolves in sheep’s clothing, purposely leading Latter-day Saints out of the Church. Once they’re removed from the Church, however, their influence lessens to an extent. We’ve seen it happen over and over again in recent years: John Dehlin, Kate Kelly, Jeremy Runnells, Sam Young, etc.
If Jeremy Runnells has so little influence, why do members keep writing rebuttals to the CES letter? Jeremy lists 8 so far at https://cesletter.org/debunkings/. John Dehlin has more downloads than ever. Sam Young and Kate Kelly continue to prompt changes to church practice even as they have broadened the scope of their activism. The apologists are living in their own little world.

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Hagoth
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 29, 2022 8:01 am

dogbite wrote:
Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:33 pm
Teach only the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets. Pure doctrine—eternal, unchanging truth taught by God and His servants—invites the Spirit and has the power to change lives.
So it is safe, right, and proper to ignore the claims of apologists. Indeed, we are directed by prophetic voice to do so.
And yet they publish weak, authorless apologetics essays in their official website, they funnel money into organizations like FAIR, and they pay people like Gee and Mulhestein to keep piling it on.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by jfro18 » Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:53 am

blazerb wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2022 7:13 am
If Jeremy Runnells has so little influence, why do members keep writing rebuttals to the CES letter? Jeremy lists 8 so far at https://cesletter.org/debunkings/. John Dehlin has more downloads than ever. Sam Young and Kate Kelly continue to prompt changes to church practice even as they have broadened the scope of their activism. The apologists are living in their own little world.
The real irony is that the church excommunicated Jeremy for the CES Letter, but most people have no idea *who* Jeremy is when they come across the CES Letter... so while they might've exed the person behind it, they haven't done a single thing to slow down the impact of the CES Letter.

Excommunicating John Dehlin is more influential to keep members away from Mormon Stories since John is front and center on the episodes, but doing so for the CES Letter is beyond unlikely to slow down anything.

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2bizE
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by 2bizE » Tue Mar 29, 2022 11:55 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Mar 19, 2022 5:56 pm
It is astounding what an impact the CES letter has had on the LDS apologetic community. One young man writes a 90-page pamphlet and it creates a storm answered by dozens of apologists and countless thousands of pages of rebuttal and hours of video.

Case in point, the latest FAIR newsletter, which has links to Sarah Allen's 54 lengthy rebuttals, with the promise of many more to come.

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/ans ... +2022+0319

I skimmed about a half dozen of these. Every single one ended with a statement very similar to these:
...all the time so we need to be patient and to study what’s out there. In time, everything will fit together and it’ll all make sense exactly as it’s supposed to. Having questions is normal. We all have them, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Letting those questions lead you to doubts, though, is something we should all be avoiding. Developing patience while we wait for the answers is critical.
We know a lot, but we don’t know everything. Personally, I’m okay with that. The answers will come eventually. For now, this is one of the times were I’m choosing to exercise patience.
I kind of feel bad for Sarah. She is stuck with the perpetual conundrum of living in a religion guided by prophets and still not being able to get answers to the biggest problems. I wonder at what point she will allow herself to consider that maybe the answers are already here, but they're not the ones she's looking for.
There are all sorts of things wrong with Sarah’s rebuttal to the CES letter. First is credibility. She is a mortgage broker/book editor. She quotes largely from LDS authors like Skousen and the Essays. Much of it is her testimony and fluff.
However, the the part about the DNA she quotes a Science study saying “they studied different genomes in South American skeletons ranging from 8600 years ago to just 500 years ago.”
Now she’s saying that these American skeletons came before Adam and Eve. How can she explain that to the brethren who clearly believe in the actual Adam and Eve/ Garden of Eden in Missouri cluster…?
I’m optimistic she will find her own faith crisis from her research just like Bill Reel and RFM. Maybe they should have her on their show.
~2bizE

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Red Ryder
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Mar 29, 2022 12:46 pm

I remember early on in my faith awakening when I was learning issue after issue and trying to reconcile what I was taught with actual Mormon history.

Eventually it all stacks up and you take a step back and recognize all the patterns used by FAIR, the church, and amateur apologists like Sarah. 54 reasons to dispute should indicate something isn’t right.

Case in point here. She doesn’t recognize why the issue that Joseph himself in his handwritten version omitted two beings. She just quickly asserts that a heavenly visit is like a random visit to your parents house and dismisses it by saying “who cares?”

I cared. My whole life existence and future existence was built around Joseph Smiths first vision. If it wasn’t real and true then why am I following Mormonism? Who cares, says Sarah? I do.
As for only mentioning one being, the Gospel Topics essay suggests that Joseph may well have been referring to both God the Father and Jesus Christ, referring to them each as “the Lord” at different times, while FAIR elaborates on that idea and also offers several other possible theories.

However, even if none of those theories were true and he did only mention the Savior, so what? As Jim Bennett says, “A person who visits his parents and later tells a friend, ‘I saw Mom yesterday’ would not be contradicting themselves if they later told someone else, ‘I saw Dad yesterday.’ Both things are true. Mom’s presence does not preclude Dad’s, and the Son’s presence does not preclude the presence of the Father.”
“I switched baristas” —Lady Gaga

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Hagoth
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:08 pm

However, even if none of those theories were true and he did only mention the Savior, so what? As Jim Bennett says, “A person who visits his parents and later tells a friend, ‘I saw Mom yesterday’ would not be contradicting themselves if they later told someone else, ‘I saw Dad yesterday.’ Both things are true. Mom’s presence does not preclude Dad’s, and the Son’s presence does not preclude the presence of the Father.”
Unless you were raised as an orphan and then one day your parents showed up out of the blue for the first time!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: The Great Jeremy Runnells War

Post by jfro18 » Tue Mar 29, 2022 7:34 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:08 pm
However, even if none of those theories were true and he did only mention the Savior, so what? As Jim Bennett says, “A person who visits his parents and later tells a friend, ‘I saw Mom yesterday’ would not be contradicting themselves if they later told someone else, ‘I saw Dad yesterday.’ Both things are true. Mom’s presence does not preclude Dad’s, and the Son’s presence does not preclude the presence of the Father.”
Unless you were raised as an orphan and then one day your parents showed up out of the blue for the first time!
that is such a Jim Bennett move, which is why in his interviews with both Bill Reel and John Dehlin his CES Letter response crumbles down to "I just have a way of making it work for me that I wanted to share," which is so much different than the sarcastic confidence he exudes in the reply.

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