This is a serialization of “A Faithful Reply to the CES Letter from a Former CES Employee.” You can download the whole PDF here, and you can also participate in the Latter-day Saint Survey Project by joining or creating one of the Canonizer camps in the links at the bottom of this post.
This is a line-by-line response to Jeremy Runnells’s October 2017 iteration of the CES Letter. Jeremy’s original text appears in green, the color of life. My response text appears in black, the color of darkness.
Boyd Kirkland made the following observation :
“The Book of Mormon and early revelations of Joseph Smith do indeed vividly portray a picture of the Father and Son as the same God…why is it that the Book of Mormon not only doesn’t clear up questions about the Godhead which have raged in Christianity for centuries, but on the contrary just adds to the confusion? This seems particularly ironic, since a major avowed purpose of the book was to restore lost truths and end doctrinal controversies caused by the “great and abominable Church’s” corruption of the Bible…In later years he [Joseph] reversed his earlier efforts to completely ‘monotheise’ the godhead and instead ‘tritheised’ it.”
Are we supposed to know who Boyd Kirkland is? In your last edition of the CES Letter, you referred to him as “LDS Scholar Boyd Kirkland,” so I googled him, and all I came up with was a Wikipedia article about “an American television director of animated cartoons. He was best known for his work on X-Men Evolution.” So I googled him again, adding the word “Mormon” to the search, and the same article popped up.
Sure enough, under his biographical information, it points out that he was a Mormon who wrote articles about controversial issues. To reference him as an “LDS Scholar,” however, implies some kind of unique authority or academic status that he didn’t have – his educational background is a B.S. in business administration from Weber State, and he was an animator by profession. He’s no more an “LDS scholar” than I am – he was an unofficial critic to counter us unofficial apologists. So I’m glad you corrected your own error.
In any case, it’s sad to read that he passed away at age 60. Far too young.
Again, he’s welcome to his opinion, as are you, but I don’t see any need to agree with either, and I don’t think his argument necessarily carries any more weight than anyone else’s.
Although I’m thrilled that he was, in fact, the “producer for Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Animated Series,” which may well be the greatest thing I’ve ever heard
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!
They’ll beat you, bash you,
Squish you, smash you
Serve you up for brunch
And finish you off…
For dinner or lunch!
UPDATE: Additional information and analysis can be found at cesletter.org/trinitarian
UPDATE FROM JIM: No, it can’t, because that link doesn’t work, either. But additional information about killer tomatoes can be found at “10 Saucy Facts about Killer Tomatoes.”
Assuming that the official 1838 first vision account is truthful and accurate, why would Joseph Smith hold a Trinitarian view of the Godhead if he personally saw God the Father and Jesus Christ as separate and embodied beings a few years earlier in the Sacred Grove?
Good question. The answer is that he wouldn’t and didn’t. Certainly you have provided no evidence that he did, although you have provided sufficient evidence that you, yourself, don’t understand Trinitarianism. Alas, it’s just one more argument you unquestioningly pass along without bothering to actually understand what you’re saying.
Boyd Kirkland would have never done that.
That’s it for trinitarianism. Next time we get into rocks in hats. Jeremy is really upset about rocks in hats. In the meantime, take a look at the Canonizer camps below. If you think I’m completely wrong, you can join a camp that says so – or create one of your own!