Polygamy skeptics complain that their work isn’t taken seriously. I’m going to issue a challenge to them to get peer reviewed.
GT: Well, I think this all brings us up to the idea that if the polygamy skeptics want to be taken seriously, they’ve got to become peer reviewed, don’t they?
Mark: Yeah, if they want to engage the academic community, then they absolutely do. Because that is how you engage the academic community. Up until the 1970s, it was that common belief that Joseph Smith was the founder of the priesthood ban. It was Lester Bush, and a few other people that challenged that academically and we’ve got to respond to that is now the consensus that he was not.
Mark: So, if you want to engage the academic community, if you want them the academic community to respond to you, that is how you do it. That’s how it happens for any discipline.
GT: You’ve got to start writing in Dialogue or Journal of Mormon History, or John Whitmer, or something.
Mark: Not even that. I mean, just write in any kind of peer review [journal.] Write in, like a history of Illinois journal, just somewhere.
We’ll also talk about the charge that some people complain that saying Joseph Smith was a polygamist impugns his character.
GT: Alright, one more thing I wanted to talk about was, you know, there are some people that get very upset when you talk about Joseph Smith practicing polygamy, and will say, “You’re impugning Joseph Smith’s character. He would never have done something like that, or he couldn’t have been a prophet.” How would you respond to those kinds of accusations?
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