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Mormon Discussion: 321: Elder Holland and The Maxwell Institute

Today we dissect Elder Holland’s November 10, 2018 address directly to the Maxwell Institute. It seemed very much like a rebuke an an effort to embarrass those at the Maxwell Institute for moving towards objectivity and forthrightness and emphasizing real scholarship over defensive apologetics. It even includes encouragement from Elder Holland to choose faithful renditions over objective scholarship and a with-holding of the full story when one’s loyalty calls for it…. who would of thunk it!!!


12 thoughts on “Mormon Discussion: 321: Elder Holland and The Maxwell Institute”

  1. So amusing! He could open a gospel waffle house with shit toppings.
    So, Bill, when are you going to do the Elder Holland podcast, “Bullying, Bullshitting, Lying sack of Shit!”?
    Then on to “Shit Brownbagger.”
    “Smorgasbord of ‘Gospel’ Shit.”

    “The Bull shit’s gonna get deeper, take your vitamins.”
    (I didn’t realize this Profit is such a model narcissist.)

    “Surely the Lord will do nothing but reveal waffling bull shit lies out of the mouth of His Servants. It is the same bull shit whether from ‘mine own mouth’ or the mouth of my Servants.”

  2. Damn, I feel like raising my hand in opposition when sustaining the leaders of the church now.

    All that to say, I want you all to be faith promoting and apologists for the dominant narrative of the church rather than being objective to the truth rigorous and through to withstand scholarship scrutiny.

    Just remember folks, this is the same person (Apostle I should add) that said we need to believe in a literal “Adam & Eve” otherwise the atonement makes no sense.

  3. It’s an interesting sign when he reminds them of their “covenants” as informing their scholarly attitude without actually mentioning what those covenants are.

    Veiled references to the supremacy of secret oaths doesn’t help the Church’s claim that it’s not a cult.

  4. Deanna Kessler-Drinkard

    In other words, Elder Holland is saying, point blank, in all of his eloquent, philosophical, grammatical fluff: “Employees of the Maxwell Institute, your job is to hammer a round hole into a square peg. This is what we’re paying you for. Any questions?”

  5. “There are times when you will need to throw your scholarship, integrity, facts and truth under the bus and support the LDS Leadership. If you’re not prepared to do this you probably should look for another job.”

  6. I think Holland did a good job with how he delivered his message. His presentation was rather kind, considering what he was trying to accomplish. However, its not his delivery that is important here: its HIS MESSAGE.

    True scholarship involves peer-review and reproducibility, including critique as well as revision. Its a way to drill through layers of falsehood until you wittle things down to stone cold truth.

    Holland’s message admits, at least indirectly, that the church can’t stand being scrutinized. How STRANGE is that!….especially from an organization that claims to be transparent as well as TRUE?!

    Truth hurts the LDS church. Historical truth and scholarship hurt the LDS church.

    Bill…I agree with your assessment. Holland is saying that people need to sacrifice their professional integrity to defend the Church. Is there a difference between professional integrity and personal honesty?

    If I were a dentist and said: “You can drink high acid water. It won’t hurt your teeth….” am I culpable for causing harm? I would conclude YES. But, this is my professional opinion. How is this different when the LDS scholars tell lies and hurt people?

  7. Let’s see… Elder Holland stated that reviewers thought that they (the institute) May have lost SONE of their founding vision yet the narrator consistently changes that statement by completely dropping the “some” and speaks of it as though Elder Holland said or implied “all”. And while doing that he accused Elder Holland of being a liar?!? It is morally wrong for one to call another a liar especially while they are in the process of intentionally distorting what the other said.

  8. Bill – It is helpful to know that the three person review team, whose work Holland keeps referencing, included Holland’s son, David. Not exactly a disinterested party. Same with Terryl Givens, who makes his money selling books to Mormons, and Reid Nielson, an employee of the Church History department.

    Also, some have not noticed Dan Peterson, who was kicked out of the Maxwell Institute, gloating about this address. He says the Holland’s address mirrored his vision for the Institute, before he was kicked out, but that he’s following that vision with his Interpreter Foundation. Here’s his article:

  9. If I’d been a part of the Maxwell Institute during this speech I would have been planning a job search. I don’t think academic scholarship is compatible, at all, with promoting the Mormon faith. There are too many lies and too much God magic involved.

    I think I’ll go have a look at their website and see what is going on 2+ years later.

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