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161: D Michael Quinn: Special Witness


Today I sit down with Mormon Historian, D. Michael Quinn.  We talk about his excommunication, his still powerful belief in the Mormonism and the Restoration.  He explains his literal belief in Gold Plates, an angel Moroni, and in Joseph Smith as a actual prophet.  We also hit on Revelatory Walking Sticks, Magic in the Mormon World, his blessing from Spencer W. Kimball that he would someday be an Apostle, and various other interesting stops along the way.  This is a can’t Miss episode.


7 thoughts on “161: D Michael Quinn: Special Witness”

  1. I enjoyed the episode. I wish you’d dwelt more on the Salamander Letter and how it effects the book “Mormonism and the Magical World View”. Bro. Quinn started to talk about how he wasn’t the only one that was duped by the letter, but he is the only one who wrote a book about it (that I know of). I’ve always wondered why he hasn’t rewritten the book since it is now well know that the letter was a fraud. That doesn’t discount any of his other findings in the book, but would certainly make the book much shorter.

    In my readings “magic” is a hard concept to define. For example many people refer to Mormons magic underwear, which I find distasteful, but by some definitions of magic it would certainly be a true statement. Bro. Quinn talks about Joseph and other early Mormons using white magic as opposed to black magic and it is one of the reasons that “magic” gives people problems. One article I read said that the term magic is so subjective and ill defined that it comes down to saying “white magic” are things you agree with and “black magic” are things that you disagree with, not anything inherent.

    I had an interesting experience with dowsing rods in my life. When I was a teenager we needed to find water lines in our yard. My Dad was an engineer and pretty hard headed. He said he was going to use a dowsing rod to find the pipes. I couldn’t believe it. My Dad wasn’t very active in the Church and he seemed to discount spiritual things and here he was saying we should use this magical device. He said that he and my Grandfather had done this when he was young. I asked him how it worked and he said he didn’t know why or how it worked just that it did. I was fascinated by this, and true enough it did seem to work. That’s always colored my belief in “folk” magic, to use Bro. Quinn’s saying.

  2. Wow I so enjoyed this broadcast and listening to D. Micheal Quinn, what a lovely person he is and he was so spot on expressing how I have come to feel about the Church after 34 years of on again and off again membership. Although I love the Church I have found it necessary to find my own path within it and not become bogged down in dogma which is from man and not God. I do not believe in excommunication because to me that is not showing the love of Christ to my Brothers and Sisters and if we don’t have that then what the heck do we have? Bro.Quinn I believe that you have served the LDS Church in a way that will aid it’s growth towards a more caring and loving future. Opening the eyes of it’s members to truth and reality will result in a membership that can face the future with integrity and honesty and that to me is so much more valuable than living in a fictional world filled with fantasy and mirage. Thank you for a wonderful listening experience this morning and I can hardly wait for the new book, I hope Bill will let us know when it is available and perhaps have you back on to discuss it!

  3. I’m a big fan of D. Michael Quinn. I always enjoy listening to him. Was excited to see him as your guest in this episode.

    My only “complaint” is when discussing the Church essays, brother Quinn said that he was happy that the Church had put them out because many were upset believing that they had been lied to, even by their seminary and institute teachers. Brother Quinn said that those seminary and institute teachers were, many times, probably just teaching what they, themselves, had learned when they were younger.

    I agree with Brother Quinn on that point, but I believe the point isn’t that seminary and institute teachers had been deceptive, but rather that the Church has been deceptive by not being up front on these issues. So it has been perfectly okay that the Church was so deceptive on these issues? We are all good now? That isn’t easy to look past, for me.

  4. To D Michael Quinn

    Could you send me your e-mail address and phone number, I would like to see you again

    Bob Burgener

  5. I almost bought your last book but see you are still a mormon believer and actually believe in the Gold plates and joseph smith . Well , that is a problem supporting something, that is plain nuts . I have a special hate for mormons because of their clanish ways, corrupt, stick together, dump on anyone who isnt and lie their heads off . Ill just bought another AN AMERICAN FRAUD , (the gold plates on front cover like yea they had that set up back then so many lies lies lies

  6. I believe Dr. Quinn is a historian trying to tell the truth. I would love to talk with him. Can you give him my e-mail and ask him to contact me?
    joel fritsche

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