Mormon Fatwa

Mormon author Grant H. Palmer, whose book, An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins, challenges the received dogma of his faith, has been summoned by the Church of Latter-Day Saints for a disciplinary hearing and faces “possible excommunication for apostasy.” Palmer’s “crimes” are thus:

[Palmer’s book] challenges the traditional explanations of the faith’s founding events – Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the visit of the Angel Moroni, Smith’s translation of ancient writings on gold plates and the restoration of the priesthood.

Palmer argues that Smith never translated anything, that the Book of Mormon reflects Smith’s own 19th century milieu, not ancient America, and that Smith, considered by the faithful to be their prophet, revised the story of his visions many times to solve church disputes as they arose.

This is not the first time that the LDS Church has censured authors for their books. In 1993, six Mormon intellectuals were sanctioned for their views on feminism, church policies and history.