Question: What influences led to the development of Grant Palmer's "Golden Pot" theory of Book of Mormon origin?

Table of Contents

Question: What influences led to the development of Grant Palmer's "Golden Pot" theory of Book of Mormon origin?

The evidence indicates that Palmer turned from his faith based on a Mark Hofmann forgery and E.T.A. Hoffman's fairy tale, and then wrote this book to justify his new found disbelief

Despite his lack of faith in the Church's foundational events, Palmer continued to portray himself as a believer, in order to maintain his employment with the Church. However, Palmer did wish to publish his book; he simply waited until he retired with Church pension intact.

Palmer's supporters have argued that there is nothing wrong with Palmer deceiving Church leaders and members about his convictions and beliefs, while being paid with Church funds to teach Church doctrine to its youth in the CES. Palmer's supporters on this point should consider that non-LDS thinkers clearly understand the ethical and moral problem here, even if Palmer doesn't. As C.S. Lewis observed:

It [the clergy's] duty to to fix the lines (of doctrine) clearly in your minds: and if you wish to go beyond them you must change your profession. This is your duty not specially as Christians or as priests but as honest men. There is a danger here of the clergy developing a special professional conscience which obscures the very plain moral issue. Men who have passed beyond these boundary lines in either direction are apt to protest that they have come by their unorthodox opinions honestly. In defense of those opinions they are prepared to suffer obloquy and to forfeit professional advancement. They thus come to feel like martyrs. But this simply misses the point which so gravely scandalizes the layman. We never doubted that the unorthodox opinions were honestly held: what we complain of is your continuing in your ministry after you have come to hold them. We always knew that a man who makes his living as a paid agent of the Conservative Party may honestly change his views and honestly become a Communist. What we deny is that he can honestly continue to be a Conservative agent and to receive money from one party while he supports the policy of the other.[1]

Notes

  1. C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics," Easter 1945; reprinted in God in the Dock, edited by Walter Hooper, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970 [1945]), 89–90.