Patrick Mason holds the Leonard Arrington Chair in Mormon Studies at Utah State University. He’s written a couple of books on Mormon violence & peace. We’ll touch on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, whether the Book of Mormon promotes peace, violence, or both, and we’ll touch on the recent kerfuffle between him and John Dehlin over a fireside Patrick gave last year. Does Patrick accept the label of apologist or neo-apologist? Check out our conversation…
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Patrick Mason Talks Mormon/Catholic Studies
I’m excited to have Dr. Patrick Mason on the show. He’s the head of Mormon Studies at Utah State University and is a graduate of Notre Dame University. So, we’ll start out talking about Catholic and Mormon studies, how those are similar or different. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Then, we’re going to get into a couple of his books: Proclaim Peace and Mormonism and Violence. This might make right. It seems like a lot of times, might wins. But Patrick says that peace is actually more effective. So, we’ll talk about that. We’ll talk about Martin Luther King, and we’ll even compare Brigham Young to Malcolm X. It’s going to be a fun conversation. You won’t want to miss it. Check it out.
GT 00:52 Welcome to Gospel Tangents. I’m excited to have, now it’s funny because I called you the dean of Mormon Studies, and you told me that’s not correct.
Patrick 01:00 It is not true.
GT 01:02 Okay. Go ahead and give us your name and your title and where we are.
Patrick 01:06 I’m Patrick Mason, and I hold the Leonard Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University.
GT 01:12 Okay.
Patrick 01:12 So, I’m not a dean. I used to be a dean at Claremont Graduate University, the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, but not anymore.
GT 01:18 So, you don’t like being a dean?
Patrick 01:21 It came with lots of great opportunities, and way too many emails and stress. At this point in my life, I’m very happy just being a professor.
GT 01:31 Okay. So, a chair, isn’t that more than just a professor, though?
Patrick 01:35 Well, yeah, I mean, this is the problem with the academy. I mean, there are all these terms. There are department chairs, oftentimes, which are in charge of a whole department. That’s not this kind of chair. This is an endowed chair. Basically, it’s an endowed professorship where funds have been raised in order to have a professorship dedicated to a particular topic, in perpetuity. So, you’ve got all kinds of chairs around different universities that are oftentimes named after people or benefactors or something like this. This is the Leonard Arrington Chair, obviously named after the great church historian, where lots of people donated to make this possible.
GT 02:14 Okay.
Patrick 02:14 So, I’m not in charge of anybody. I just do my thing.
GT 02:20 Now, do you have a staff of Religious Studies professors? Because you told me you’re both in the history department and Religious Studies.
Patrick 02:26 Right. So, here at Utah State, I am the director of the Religious Studies program. But that exists within the history department. So, the history department here includes history, religious studies, and classics. So, I’ve got a small handful of colleagues in religious studies. The full-time ones are in religious studies [include] myself that does Mormonism and history of Christianity. Then, we have one of my colleagues, who’s a scholar of Hinduism, another one who’s a scholar of Buddhism, another one, a scholar of Judaism and early Christianity.
GT 03:01 So there’s like a handful of your basic [religions.]
Patrick 03:03 Yeah, exactly, and then we have a number of people who also teach classes for us, to fill in the gaps, because we just have the four full-time professors.
GT 03:11 Okay. How many adjuncts do you have?
Patrick 03:13 Well, a lot of them are full-time professors, who just teach a course for religious studies. They’re not a full Religious Studies professor, but a lot of them are in the history department, or anthropology or sociology or something like that. A lot of our courses on Islam, for instance, are taught by other people. Or we have people doing stuff on yoga and all kinds of stuff.
GT 03:38 Interesting. Interesting. So, sometimes I get very narrowly focused in Mormon Studies, because that’s what I like.
Patrick 03:45 Yeah, sure.
GT 03:45 It’s good to see the other stuff you have here as well.
Patrick 03:48 Well, and it’s great. It’s one of the reasons I like being here, because I actually think that religions are best studied in comparison with one another. You can always just go deep into one. I mean, that’s perfectly fine. But I think there’s a lot of insights that come–and I like teaching in a department where we’re doing lots of different things. So, I even teach a course called Religion, Violence and Peace, where we survey all of the major world religious traditions, so I don’t just teach Mormonism.
GT 04:16 So, it’s not just Mountain Meadows [Massacre] that you talk about?
Patrick 04:18 We don’t spend a whole semester Mountain Meadows.
GT 04:20 You do crusades as well?
Patrick 04:22 We do crusades.
GT 04:23 Jihad and Holy War?
Patrick 04:24 We do everything. Yep. Buddhism, Hinduism. Yeah, we do all the major religious traditions, but not only the violent side, the peaceful side, too.
GT 04:32 Right, right.
Patrick 04:33 So that’s a fun course. That’s a general education class for freshmen. So that’s a lot of fun.
GT 04:38 Well, very cool. Very cool. Tell us a little bit about your educational background. Where did you get your bachelor’s and I know where you got your doctorate, but people will be interested, just in case [people don’t know.]
Patrick 04:49 Yeah, so I grew up in Utah and I went to BYU for my undergraduate. I didn’t really think I was going to, but I did. That was a great experience. I had a great experience at BYU. I really enjoyed it there and had great professors. I was a history major there. I had excellent training from people like David Whittaker and Brian Cannon and Susan Rugh and Gary Daynes, and just lots of amazing professors there. Then, I went to graduate school. I knew I wanted to do the American Religious History. I knew that that was going to be the focus of my career. So, I went to the University of Notre Dame, which both then and now had one of the leading programs in American Religious History.
GT 05:32 Oh, great. So, you’re a Mormon Catholic?
Patrick 05:35 In more ways than one, actually. I mean, I actually have very deep sensibilities, but, also, I’ve learned a lot from Catholicism, both from my Catholic friends and from Catholic theology in general. So, yes, Notre Dame gave me the professional training I needed, but it also informed my spiritual life in lots of ways.
GT 06:03 So Notre Dame plays BYU this fall? Who are you rooting for?
Patrick 06:06 Notre Dame all the way.
GT 06:07 All right.
Patrick 06:07 Yeah. So, we are an Irish family. I met my wife there. She’s from South Texas. She was there as a student. We met. She actually came as a Catholic and joined the LDS Church. I had nothing to do with it. I met her at church.
GT 06:22 Oh, really?
Patrick 06:23 Yeah, while she was there.
GT 06:25 Now wait a minute. Was she a Catholic at Notre Dame and converted to Mormonism?
Patrick 06:28 Yes.
GT 06:29 No way.
Patrick 06:30 Yeah.
GT 06:30 She didn’t get kicked out of school?
Patrick 06:32 She did not kicked out.
GT 06:32 That happens with BYU, you know?
Patrick 06:35 Not at Notre Dame. We actually had dinner several years later, we were sitting next to a priest. It was a guy who I knew really well, just a great guy. We told him this story about how she had become Mormon while she was an undergraduate student at Notre Dame, and he just started laughing. He said, “We’ve got a billion. We can afford to lose a few.” I mean, he wasn’t that cavalier about it, but he wasn’t offended, either.
GT 07:03 (Chuckling) Okay. Do you ever see that happening at BYU?
Patrick 07:07 I’d love to see that in the future. I mean, Mormonism isn’t going to work for everybody, right? People are going to follow their different spiritual and religious paths. I mean, what happened for my wife is that actually Notre Dame awakened in her some spiritual and religious feelings that she didn’t have. It actually made her a seeker. She didn’t find the answers that she wanted in Catholicism, while a lot of her friends were finding those answers. So, she found Mormonism. And if the converse happened at BYU, I mean, I certainly couldn’t complain. I mean, it would be the universe balancing out, as far as I’m concerned. But I think if BYU makes people religious seekers, and if that search takes them [elsewhere, like] if they ended up landing in Roman Catholicism, I for one, I’m not sure I’d be in any position to complain about that.
GT 08:12 Well, interesting. So, I know a lot of your background and studies you’ve really been interested in a peace and violence. That’s why we’re here. We’ve got a couple of books. Why don’t you show them the short one there?
Patrick 08:25 So here’s the little one. So, this is Mormonism and Violence. This was published with Cambridge University Press, I think in 2019.
GT 08:33 Okay.
Patrick 08:33 Then, the longer one–normally, violence gets more play. But actually, I was interested in giving peace a lot more play. So, the longer one is Proclaim Peace: the Restoration’s Answer to an Age of Conflict. I co-wrote this with David Pulsipher, who is an amazing scholar at BYU-Idaho. This came out in 2021 with Deseret Book and the Maxwell Institute.
GT 08:54 Okay. Yeah, I was wondering. I mean, is there a rivalry between Utah State and BYU as far as Mormon Studies? They don’t have a Mormon Studies program.
Patrick 09:04 No, they don’t, for lots of complex reasons. Obviously, they have a ton of amazing scholars down there. But they don’t have a Mormon Studies program per se. They don’t have a Mormon History chair or position per se.
GT 09:17 Why not?
Patrick 09:19 That’s for them to answer. I mean, my sense is that BYU is a religious school with a religious mission. Mormon Studies is a secular field. So, we approach the study of Mormonism from a secular perspective, from a religious studies perspective, where we’re not trying to promote or denigrate the truth claims of the religion. We’re simply trying to understand it. BYU isn’t just in the business of simply understanding the restored gospel. It’s in the business of promoting it. So, in some ways, actually, it is true that Mormon Studies, as a secular field, within the study of religion, it’s not a great fit at BYU. Now, lots of scholars there can employ those methodologies, have been trained in those methodologies. They participate in the American Academy of Religion and other professional places; the Mormon History Association where we do take a more secular approach. But, as an institution, that’s not what BYU is there for. It’s not there to take a neutral approach towards the gospel and towards the church. It’s there to promote it. There may be other factors as well. But I think that’s got to be part of it.
GT 10:36 I, personally, love the neutral point of view. That’s what I really try hard to do. It is funny to me. I will get a lot of people that are like, “Well, are you an active Mormon?”
And I’m like, “It’s none of your business.” At first, I thought, “Well, these are active Mormons wanting to know if I’m okay,” or whatever.
Patrick 11:03 Are you safe?
GT 11:04 Am I safe? But I’ve actually found that I get the question, I think, just as much from ex-Mormons, because they want to know if I’m safe for them.
Patrick 11:16 Right.
GT 11:17 So, it’s kind of funny. But my goal, I just love the neutral point of view, because it just seems more fair to me. I’m not trying to promote it. I’m not trying to denigrate it. I just want to be fair.
Patrick 11:31 I’m the same way. I mean, that’s why I pursued a life and career of scholarship. I’m just interested in knowing the facts. Now, the believer side of me, and I’m a very active member of the church, the believer side of me says, “Hey, if Mormonism is committed to the truth, then I shouldn’t be scared of anything…”
GT 11:51 Exactly!
Patrick 11:52 “…that I discover in a neutral, objective way, or even people who are critical of the church.” I don’t particularly care, when I’m reading something, or listening to something, what somebody’s own biases or agendas are, if their facts are right.
GT 12:08 Right.
Patrick 12:09 I can always filter out all that other stuff, and I can make my own decisions. I can make my own decisions, whether I agree or disagree, whether I think they’ve skewed the facts one way or the other, whether they’ve left things out. I mean, that’s what I’ve spent a lot of years training to be able to do, is to exercise those kinds of judgments. So, I feel the same way. I’m not threatened at all, by the neutral approach, the fact-based, evidentiary approach, because as a believer, I think my faith should be capacious enough and resilient enough to take into account whatever facts come along.
GT 12:50 Yeah, I totally agree. I do wonder if Notre Dame has a neutral Catholic Studies program. I’d be curious [to know.]
Patrick 13:00 No, so it’s interesting. Notre Dame does not have religious studies.
GT 13:04 At all.
Patrick 13:04 It has a theology department, actually a terrific theology department. It is kind of like BYU’s Religious Education Department. So, BYU doesn’t do Religious Studies. It does religious education. It’s there to promote and to teach people the doctrines of the gospel. It’s the same thing at Notre Dame. All undergraduate students, I was there as a graduate student, but undergraduates are required to take a certain number of theology and philosophy courses. So, they are there to teach Catholicism
GT 13:29 Is it one a semester like it is at BYU?
Patrick 13:31 It’s not as rigorous a requirement as BYU. I forget the exact numbers. It might have changed since I was there. But they have to take a handful of theology courses. Now, a lot of students at Notre Dame aren’t Catholic, so they can find other courses. But it has to be in theology, and, at least, somewhere along the line they’re going to be exposed to teachings of Christianity and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
GT 13:54 Do they study Protestantism?
Patrick 13:55 Absolutely.
GT 13:56 Lutherans and Baptists and that sort of thing?
Patrick 13:58 Yes, within their theology department. Again, it’s been a long time since I was there. So, I haven’t looked at the faculty list for a while. But while I was there, they had very prominent Protestant and Jewish faculty members on the theology faculty. So [teachers were] not just in Biology or Accounting, or whatever, but on the Theology faculty. I mean, it was just a couple of them. The vast majority were, of course, Roman Catholic, but they recognize them. And part of this, I think, is the maturity of Roman Catholicism. It’s been around for 2000 years, right?
GT 14:26 So in two [thousand] years, [we could become mature.] Give us time.
Patrick 14:28 Actually, I very much believe that. I mean, Mormonism is just a kid. It’s the new kid on the block in terms of religions, and so, with that newness, we just haven’t had time to wrestle with everything or come into our own. I think there’s a kind of insecurity that, sometimes, is part of our culture, partly because we are new, and we feel some of those insecurities. I think the legacy of those 19th century persecutions hangs pretty heavy over us. But, Roman Catholicism, I mean, again, they’ve been around for 2000 years. They had a really pivotal moment. I won’t bore your viewers with the history of Catholicism, but they had a really pivotal moment in the early 1960s, a big church-wide meeting of all the bishops called Vatican II.
GT 15:16 Right.
Patrick 15:16 One of the things that they did at Vatican II was decide that they were going to be more open to the world. They started a lot of initiatives of interfaith dialogue, specifically with Jews and with Protestants, and they’ve since added things with Muslims and with others, as well. But they said, again, “We don’t have to be afraid. We’re confident in our own theology. We’re confident in the claims that we make and, in our beliefs, but we have things that we can learn. And sometimes we’ve been on the wrong end of things.” Especially, Catholicism doesn’t always have a great history, especially with Jews and with Protestants. So, they said, “We have repentance to do, but we also have learning to do in conversation with others.” I, actually, think it’s a great model.
GT 15:58 Yeah. Do you ever see Vatican II for Mormons? Do we have to wait another 1800 years?
Patrick 16:04 Right. It wouldn’t look exactly the same, just because the structures of the church are different. In the Roman Catholic Church, all the authority is vested in bishops. So that’s why these church-wide conferences like Vatican II, it was a gathering of all the bishops. Here, all the authority resides in one person, or with 15 people holding keys.
Patrick 16:27 Does the pope have the [keys?] I mean, the Pope and the Prophet, aren’t they analogous?
Patrick 16:30 They’re not the same. No, the Pope is simply the chief among the bishops. Now, if there are any Catholics listening, if I get something wrong, you can email Rick and complain to him. But the authority resides within the bishops, and the Pope is the Bishop of Rome. So, the Pope is the Chief Bishop, the leading Bishop. But it’s the bishops of the church [that hold authority.] So, there’s hundreds of them all around the world that have that authority. Whereas for us, the keys are with 15 apostles, one exercising all of the keys. So, the structures are a little bit different. We wouldn’t gather all the bishops or even the stake presidents or something like that in the church, just because, actually all of their keys devolved from the apostles. Whereas in Catholicism, actually, the authority of the Pope comes up from the bishops. So, it’s a little different structure.
GT 17:03 That’s interesting. Because there’s always the saying, everybody says the Pope’s infallible, but none of the Catholics believe it. And the Mormons, everybody says, the prophet is fallible, but nobody believes it.
Patrick 17:47 Right. Yeah, exactly. And there are particular teachings about–the teachings of the Pope’s and when they are infallible, which is actually really, really rare. But, anyway, that’s probably going beyond.
GT 17:50 Yeah, I’ll have to get a good Catholic expert on.
Patrick 18:03 Yeah.
Troubling Book of Mormon Stories – Laban & Jesus
GT 18:04 All right. Well, let’s dive into the small book, On Mormonism and Violence. Give us an overview of what that’s about and why you decided to write it.
Patrick 18:14 Yeah. So, as you said, I’ve been interested in issues of religion and violence, religion and peace for a long time, actually, all the way back to my time at BYU as an undergraduate student. I don’t know exactly why. I mean, I’ve lived a very sheltered, safe, peaceful, privileged life. I haven’t seen firsthand the trauma of war or anything like that. So, it’s a little bit inexplicable to me why I’m interested in these kinds of themes other than, simply both curiosity but also, I hope, a deep sympathy for the human condition. I’ve been thinking and reading and researching about these kinds of topics for a long time. So, actually, this book is part of a series at Cambridge University Press on religion and violence. They were inviting scholars from a variety of different religions, or who are experts on different religions, to write, and so the editors of this series reached out to me and said, “Hey, would you be willing to do this book on Mormonism and Violence?” And I said, “Sure.”
GT 19:19 Okay, and so, obviously, we’re going to talk about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
Patrick 19:24 Yeah, we’re going to talk about that, but a lot more too. So, for me, the first chapter of the book is all about violence in Mormon scripture.
GT 19:35 Right.
Patrick 19:35 Because I think we have to start there. Then, I moved to history. Again, it’s a relatively short history. It’s only 200 years. Most of the violence occurs in the first few decades of the Church’s history, especially the 1850s. So, the 1850s get a fair bit of attention in the book. I mean, it’s a skinny little book. So, there’s more to say about everything in here. This was the page count they gave me. They want these to be skinny little books for classroom use. So, I focus, especially, on the 1850s, because there’s just no doubt that was most violent decade in Mormon history, and with a lot of really troubling incidents and troubling implications for the faith.
GT 20:26 Well, and probably the most troubling scripture in all of Mormonism is the story of Nephi killing Laban. A lot of times we justify that, but, of course, the Lafferty brothers justified that.
Patrick 20:43 They specifically cited it as part of their rationale. Yeah.
GT 20:47 And is that something that we should not rationalize away so easily? Should Mormons be more troubled about the story of Nephi killing Laban?
Patrick 20:58 Yeah, absolutely. It’s a really troubling story on every level. It’s troubling that the spirit would tell Nephi to kill this man. It’s troubling that Nephi does it. And it’s a little unclear how troubled Nephi is by that. Different people interpret some of the passages like in Nephi’s psalm differently, to know whether this haunted him for the rest of his life or whether he did it, felt good about it, felt like God told him to do it, and he moved on. But we should be troubled by it precisely because of the implications. If you hear a voice in your head, telling you to do this, are you supposed to just say yes? And that’s where I think there are problems with Jon Krakauer’s book, Under the Banner of Heaven, which of course, is a TV show now, too. But he’s right to raise that question, and he raises that question directly. For him, Mormonism is a cautionary tale about the dangers of revealed religion, when you don’t have any guardrails, when the voice of God can just come in and say, “Do this,” and then you have to obey. So, I think we should all be [cautious,] regardless of where you land on this. I think there are different places to land. People that I respect come to different conclusions about the Nephi story. But it’s not just a nice primary story. We shouldn’t glide over it. Partly is, we’re desensitized to it, because it comes right at the beginning of the book. We’ve read it 100 times, 1000 times. So, any story that you tell too many times, you forget even what the story is about. And so, this story, it’s been told so many times, that I think we’ve forgotten what it’s supposed to do to us. We shouldn’t glide right on through. We should stop. It should force us to stop and say, “Whoa. What’s going on here?”
GT 23:10 Well, even, I hate to do this. Because I always like to pull everything back to Abraham, because it really, really bothers me that he tried to kill Isaac.
Patrick 23:20 Yeah.
GT 23:20 It really, really bothers me that he sent Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert to die, and I’ve said that to church members, especially, and they’re like, “Well, God sent an angel to save [them.]”
Patrick 23:34 Right.
GT 23:35 In both cases, [God sent an angel to] both Hagar and Ishmael and Isaac. But should we rely on angels to save our victims?
Patrick 23:44 Yeah, there was no angel that saved Laban.
GT 23:46 Right.
Patrick 23:48 Yeah. So, there are a lot of parallels. In some ways, it sets it up. It’s kind of like the Abraham story, but it’s not. I mean, it’s not in a lot of different ways. Laban is not the innocent victim. Laban clearly has blood on his hands, too. And this is part of what’s dangerous, or at least troubling about the Nephi story, is the rationale that the Spirit gives. There’s a kind of utilitarian rationale. “It’s better for one person to perish than the whole nation to dwindle in unbelief.”
Patrick 24:20 Now, sometimes life is tough. Right? Sometimes we have to make difficult ethical decisions. There’s the classic sort of train/car thing. Would you, redirect the train car to kill one person or several people? This is something that philosophers have wrestled with for a long time. But one of the things I would say about the Book of Mormon is the Book of Mormon takes the most challenging theological issues from the Bible, and it distills them to their purest essence, both, I think, the best doctrines of the Bible… So, I think the Book of Mormon teaches the atonement more clearly than the Bible. I think that the Book of Mormon distills that doctrine in really beautiful ways. It also distills some of these theological problems. In particular, I think that the problem of divine violence, both in the Nephi story, and then, I actually think, even more troubling than the Nephi story, is 3rd Nephi 9, when you have whole civilizations/cities, tons of cities wiped out. And the voice of Jesus says, “I did it.” So, the Book of Mormon takes these problems that are introduced in the Bible, but it just squeezes them. And so, we should grapple with these.
GT 25:44 I mean, if we look at the Bible, the flood, right? God sent the flood to kill everybody. There’s the story of marching around the walls of Jericho. Kill everybody, even the cattle and everything. Like what did the cattle do?
Patrick 25:57 Exactly. But, what the Book of Mormon does, there’s actually way more violence in the Old Testament. What the Book of Mormon does, especially in 3rd Nephi 9, is it attributes it to Jesus.
GT 26:09 Right.
Patrick 26:11 Christians, for a long time have had a complicated relationship with the Old Testament. They do lots of fancy footwork to say, “Oh, that’s really bad. But we’ve got Jesus.” I actually think there’s a lot to that, and we can talk more about that, the centrality of Jesus to any ethic of peace and non-violence. But the Book of Mormon doesn’t let us squirm out of that. It doesn’t let us do that. There are also lots of kinds of interpretive things that we can do, or historical and archaeological things that we can do, to sidestep some of the problems in the Old Testament.
GT 26:44 Like, was it a global flood?
Patrick 26:46 Exactly. Was it a global flood? Did any of the genocides in Joshua even occur? The archaeological evidence says no.
GT 26:53 Right.
Patrick 26:54 So, there’s lots of ways that we can wriggle out of the Old Testament. The Book of Mormon doesn’t give us that luxury. It forces us to grapple with it.
GT 27:03 There’s no archaeological evidence.
Patrick 27:05 Exactly, but there’s no archaeological evidence to disprove it. So, all we have is the text. All we have is the text, and the text is really straightforward. Some people recently, I think, have done some interesting readings of 3rd Nephi 9, that I think are really helpful. But it lays bare these problems.
GT 27:25 That God is the author of violence.
Patrick 27:27 Exactly, and not just God, but Jesus: the nice one, the loving one, the nonviolent one, the turn-the-other cheek one. It’s that same guy, who, has just been crucified, and then who’s going to appear at the temple In Bountiful and say, “Come to me. Put your hands in my side and feel the wounds on my hands and my feet.” It’s that same guy.
GT 27:55 So, do we like that guy?
Patrick 27:59 I do. I worship that guy. Yeah. We can dive into that right now. That’s what the Book of Mormon does. It should not let us off the hook. We shouldn’t just glide past these passages. I think we’re meant to wrestle with them.
“Righteous” War Theory in Book of Mormon
GT 28:19 Because there’s so many wars in there.
Patrick 28:21 Yeah.
GT 28:24 I read both of the books, and I might be getting them mixed up. Because I know you talked about “Just War” and George Bush. I can’t remember if that was in that new book or the old one. The new book. Proclaim Peace is the one I’ve just finished.
Patrick 28:37 It’s the new one.
GT 28:37 So, I remember that one better. But can you talk about “Just War” Theory in the Book of Mormon? Is that a godly principle?
Patrick 28:48 Yeah. So of course, Just War theory, it’s not original to Mormonism. This comes out of Roman Catholicism, actually, the long history, stretching all the way back to St. Augustine in the fourth century, trying to wrestle with what it means to be a Christian in this fallen world that we live in. For him, he was wrestling with the ethical question of what is the Christians responsibility when you see somebody attacked? There’s evil in the world. There are violent people who will attack others. If the Christian is commanded to love and to protect others, what are we supposed to do in the face of violence? The earliest Christians were pacifists for about three centuries. But that changed, and Augustine, in particular, created the origins of what we call the Just War theory, which is a set of principles that Christians developed over time. It was meant to constrain war, to restrain the supposedly Christian rulers, princes and kings, who were always going to war with each other. They said, “No, if you’re a real Christian, these are the set of principles by which it’s just for you to go to war. You just can’t do it anytime you want. You can’t do whatever you want.”
Patrick 30:06 So, they came up with a series of principles called jus ad bellum, meaning “the principles.” What made it just before you went to war? What principles would make it just to go to war? And then jus in bello, what are the principles in which the conduct of war would be just. So, it’s this very long and robust tradition. The main criticism of it is that no Christian ruler ever paid any attention to it. They said, “Okay, that’s a nice set of principles. I’m still going to do whatever I want.”
Patrick 30:35 But I think the Book of Mormon does offer, not in any kind of systematic way, but it does offer a set of principles that seems sort of like a Just War principle. We get most of this from the Book of Alma, that 20 chapter stretch of the war chapters. So, this is principles like, Captain Moroni doesn’t delight in bloodshed. For the most part, he’s fighting defensive wars. For the most part, he tries to end the war as soon as he can. So, there’s this set of principles that in a lot of ways correspond to Just War Theory, but I think even go beyond it and are more rigorous. One of the arguments that David and I make in Proclaim Peace, and here we really lean on Section 98 of the Doctrine & Covenants, which is specifically a revelation given to Joseph Smith to address the question of what do you do when you’re the victim of violence? This is when the saints are being driven out of Jackson County. In 1833, Joseph is saying what should we do? And so, God sends this revelation. Part of the language of that revelation is he talks about how when it’s justified, for the saints to use violence, to respond with force, and he uses that language consistently. “This is when it’s justified. This is when I justify you.” I think that language, it seems intentional. It’s consistent. And to me, it keys us into a kind of Pauline theology of justification, that if something needs to be justified, it wasn’t right in the first place. So, we need to be justified as sinners. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need to be justified in God’s eyes. It’s only because we’re sinners, because we’re not right, we’re not just, that Christ needs to justify us before the Father. So, similarly, all of these acts of violence, they can be justified under very strict circumstances in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants 98 both talk about this. But it still means they’re not inherently holy. They’re not sanctifying. They’re not right or righteous in God’s eyes. They need to be justified through Christ’s grace.
GT 33:00 Well, I’m trying to decide where to go here. I kind of want to talk a little bit about Mountain Meadows. Were they justified in what they did?
Patrick 33:10 No. Not at all. Not even close. No, under no set of criteria. None.
GT 33:21 Because I know that some defenders of Mormonism will say, “Well, look what happened to Hawn’s Mill. A lot of people point to things that the Arkansas immigrants probably said…
Patrick 33:34 Yeah.
GT 33:34 …supposedly, and nobody knows whether they said these things: “I shot Joseph Smith,” or whatever, those kinds of terrible things. A lot of people will use those as justification. And especially Hawn’s Mill was used after the fact to say, “Well, they got what was coming to them.” But you’re saying that’s not justified? Even if it was true, which I think most historians say it’s not true.
Patrick 34:03 That’s right.
Patrick 34:04 That’s right. No, it’s not. Under no set of either Christian or legal principles is Mountain Meadows remotely justified. Look. What happened at Hawn’s Mill is horrific. It is truly a stain on the history of Missouri and this country. Mountain Meadows is worse. Five or six times more people were killed: innocent men, women and children who had nothing to do with happened at Hawn’s Mill. I mean, I would say even if you could find the perpetrators at Hawn’s Mill, even if they were the ones in that wagon train, still, what they did, wouldn’t have been justified. We don’t live under a law of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Jesus’s law is different than that. It’s higher and holier than that.
GT 34:57 I love what Gandhi said. “All that does is leave the whole world blind.”
Patrick 35:00 Leaves the whole world blind.
GT 35:01 Yeah.
Patrick 35:01 That’s exactly right. And so, there is absolutely nothing that excuses or justifies what happened to those 120 men, women and children. It’s horrific. It’s the worst day in Mormon history.
GT 35:15 Definitely. One question I have, because a lot of times–I’m trying to say this without being too inflammatory, but we’re concerned about white people. The Bear River Massacre was twice as bad as Mountain Meadows. And nobody knows. Nobody even talks about it.
Patrick 35:41 Yeah.
GT 35:42 And the Mormons were partially responsible for that. Would you agree?
Patrick 35:45 Yeah, they weren’t perpetrators. But they obviously through settling this region here at Cache Valley, they created the conditions for that to happen. And then they were huge supporters of it. They thanked the army for it. They were grateful for it. They said horrible things in the aftermath celebrating that horrible massacre. So yeah, Mormons didn’t pull the trigger. It was it was a detachment of U.S. Army soldiers.
GT 36:13 And there’s been plenty more of the indigenous massacres.
Patrick 36:17 Absolutely.
GT 36:19 Because I remember when I did an interview. It was with either with Barbara Jones Brown or Richard Turley. I said it was the worst massacre in U.S. history [until 9/11.] And not even close.
Patrick 36:30 Not even close.
GT 36:30 The Indian massacres just dwarf those numbers.
Patrick 36:34 Yeah. And it was helpful to me. One of the classes I took at BYU, actually, as an undergraduate was History of American Indians. And so, we covered Sand Creek and Washakie and Bear River Massacre, and you just so many, that completely eclipse what happened. Now, I don’t think it’s the Olympics of suffering. Right? Certainly, African Americans and Native Americans have suffered far more than anybody else on this continent. So, it’s all horrible. But I think you’re right that we shouldn’t say the Mountain Meadows was the worst. Just factually, that’s not true. What it means is that Indian lives, we don’t count them the same.
GT 37:21 Red lives don’t matter.
Patrick 37:22 Exactly. That’s what we’re saying when we make those kinds of claims.
GT 37:25 Yeah. It’s terrible.
Jesus & John Wayne
GT 37:27 I have to tell you, another book that I read, was Jesus and John Wayne. Are you familiar with that book? Have you read it?
Patrick 37:38 I haven’t read it yet. It’s on my shelf.
GT 37:39 It is incredible.
Patrick 37:41 I went to graduate school with Kristin. So, she was a year ahead of me at Notre Dame.
GT 37:45 Oh, I’m trying to get in contact with her to see if I can interview her because I think that book is fantastic. And it was interesting, because I read that right before I read, Proclaim Peace. And Kristin’s thesis, basically, because the question is, how did evangelicals (because she ignores Mormons completely.) It applies to Mormons as well. But how did evangelicals vote for Donald Trump when he stands against everything they supposedly stand for? And in her book, she goes back to John Wayne and says, Look. Evangelicals love John Wayne. Donald Trump is the new John Wayne. And this Christian warrior has been [around for a long time.] And she did some incredible research.
GT 38:37 Because once again, as a Mormon, I put blinders on. I don’t pay attention evangelicals. I don’t pay attention to Catholics or Muslims or Jews or anybody. I’m just focused on this. And so, it was enlightening to me to see a lot of parallels between evangelicals and Mormons, because a lot of Mormons have been voting for Donald Trump. And he stands against everything that Mormons and evangelicals would hold dear. But she made this “Onward Christian Soldiers” [idea,] and detailed since at least probably 1960 onward that this is this is what evangelicals like. They like the Christian warrior bully.
Patrick 39:22 Yeah.
GT 39:23 The John Wayne who’s not a saint by any stretch….
Patrick 39:28 But he’s a fighter,
GT 39:29 …but he’s a fighter and they like this Christian [warrior.] She even talked about how the Evangelicals really got into the military and how that played out on January 6th with the extremist groups and everything. So, to me, it was fascinating. And the one thing that I came away from after reading her book was, well, how do we combat this? Do we put peaceniks into the military? Do we attack the unchristian evangelicals, if I could use those terms? But to me, it seems like if we attack them, then that just feeds the narrative that Christians are being attacked, even if it’s by other Christians.
Patrick 40:20 Yeah.
GT 40:21 And so then I read Proclaim Peace and I thought, “Oh, this is the way you attack it.” But the problem is with me, because you look at the who are the big peace leaders? And you mentioned Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Jesus. But what happens to all three of those guys? They end up dead. Right?
Patrick 40:46 That’s right.
GT 40:47 In fact, my brother-in-law said “Oh, so you just end up dead.” If you’re a peace lover, you just end up dead. And I don’t know. We don’t have a Martin Luther King today, do we?
Patrick 40:58 No, but we have a lot of people doing his work. But we don’t have a singular figure in the same way that he was.
GT 41:06 And so how do we build this? Because in reading your book, you made the claim that proclaiming peace is more courageous. And I believe that. Because nobody wants to end up dead like Martin Luther King. And that’s why we don’t have a big peace leader like him. Because look what happened to him.
Patrick 41:34 Yeah, not only that but yeah, war is sexier. It’s more exciting. Violence is.
GT 41:39 If the bullies [on your side,] if Goliath is on your side, you like Goliath.
Patrick 41:42 Absolutely. You love Goliath. Or if you’re on David’s side, you love that David killed Goliath.
GT 41:46 Right.
Patrick 41:46 And cut off his head.
GT 41:47 Right.
Patrick 41:48 Either way. So, violence seems to work for both the small guys and the big guys.
GT 41:52 Right.
Patrick 41:53 But you’re exactly right. I mean, here’s the secret. We all die. Captain Moroni is dead too. Teancum is dead. Hitler’s dead. Putin is going to die. All right. They’re all going to die. I mean, so, that’s a bit of a strange argument.
GT 42:12 But do you want to die young or die old? Most people would rather die old.
Patrick 42:15 Well, how many soldiers have died young? Go to Arlington Cemetery.
GT 42:19 It’s true.
Patrick 42:20 Because the nation sent its sons and now daughters to war, look at Ukraine right now. A lot of people are dying young. And we celebrate that. We call them heroes. But then, somebody dies young in the service of peace and that shows that the whole peace thing is bunk. Somebody dies in the service of violence and we call them a hero. I mean, we just have a complete double standard on all of this. We know. There’s really good social scientific research by political scientists that show the nonviolent movements are twice as effective as violent movements in achieving their aims with lower casualty rates. Peace works. It’s not just this kind of airy fairy ideal.
GT 43:05 What about like Tiananmen Square?
Patrick 43:07 Of course, violence works. Violence is real. Ask anybody who’s been killed or been shot. I mean, violence has real effects. And, autocrats and many democrats, small d democrats have used violence in order to achieve their aims. Because it’s very effective in the short term. It can be. But it also oftentimes backfires. It’s not always effective in the short term, but it sometimes is. There’s a couple of key insights for us. One is from section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants. I think this is one of Joseph Smith great insights, I believe, revealed from heaven, where he says, “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood except by love, gentleness, longsuffering, persuasion,” etc. We always read that. You know, I’ve heard that scripture 1000 times in church, and it’s always focused on the “you ought to be nice.” Right? You ought to use your priesthood in loving ways. And it does say that.
Patrick 44:27 but the key is also that it says “No power influence can be maintained in these ways.” And this absolutely goes along with political theory, with democratic theory, and everything else. It is that yes, you can use violence. You can use coercion, you can use compulsion to control people, either an individual or large groups of people for a period of time, sometimes a long period of time, sometimes decades, even centuries. But you cannot maintain that control forever through compulsion. The only way to maintain control is through persuasion. It is for people to give their assent to your leadership. That’s what God does. That’s what democracy is supposed to do. That’s what good governance is supposed to do. So, we recognize this in a secular sphere. This is why we have democracy, as opposed to autocracy. Because we believe in the principles of persuasion. We believe that people should choose these kinds of things. Section 121 just gets that at a theological level. And I deeply believe that. Yes, it’s true. Violence can have control. And it can kill people. It can detain people. We can manipulate people’s minds and bodies in lots of different ways. You cannot maintain their control, or you can’t maintain their loyalty over the long-term using coercive methods.
GT 45:54 Well, so what are some of the successful peace movements? You did mention something that I was completely unaware of in the book was Costa Rica.
Patrick 46:02 Yeah.
GT 46:02 Tell it tell us about Costa Rica.
Patrick 46:03 Yeah, Costa Rica. I think a lot of people know it as a kind of place for ecotourism and stuff like this. Costa Rica doesn’t have an army. They gave up their army decades ago. And I think there were a lot of factors that went into that. But they said, “Look. We’re a tiny little country, and we’re never going to win in a war anyway. Right? What do we need a military for? And we could repurpose it. Think about all of the resources that we dedicate to national defense. Right? What if we, as a developing country, dedicated those resources instead to development, to literacy, and to reducing poverty and to feeding people and so forth?”
Patrick 46:40 So, Costa Rica got rid of their national army decades ago. They still have a police force. They do that. But they did. They reinvested. Costa Rica is one of the success stories in that region, a region that’s been wracked with drugs and politics, and corruption, and wars, and all kinds of things for those decades. Costa Rica hasn’t been invaded.
GT 47:06 Why?
Patrick 47:09 I mean, they made peaceful relationships with their neighbors. They work through diplomacy.
GT 47:14 They don’t have oil.
Patrick 47:16 Well, you could say that, but they do have resources. I mean, they have things that people would want, if you just [want a] power grab. But they have achieved power regionally. Now, are they a global superpower? No. Right. But they’ve maintained freedom, and independence and democracy without an army. And nobody’s invaded, and they live in a tough neighborhood. It’s not like their neighbor is Canada. Right? So, I mean, they live in a region where there have been decades of wars, especially civil wars. And Costa Rica has remained largely immune from all that.
GT 47:53 Let’s talk about some other [success stories.] Well, then, is it a success story? We have the Arab Spring, which was a peaceful movement. It brought down to Mubarak [in Egypt] but then the Muslim Brotherhood [seemed worse.]
Patrick 48:04 It was crushed.
GT 48:05 Yeah, it was crushed. And now they’re in a military government.
Patrick 48:09 Yeah, they’re basically, right back where they started. I lived in Egypt for a couple years. So, we follow the news in Egypt really closely. And yeah, the El-Sisi regime is essentially Mubarak 2.0.
GT 48:10 Right.
He maybe worse, in some ways, actually.
GT 48:23 So, I think that would give some people pause. I mean, it did bring down Mubarak.
Patrick 48:28 That’s right.
GT 48:29 But for what?
Patrick 48:31 Well, I mean, it’s a complicated story, because of the rise of the Islamic Brotherhood. I mean, here’s the thing. Nonviolence doesn’t guarantee success. We can all point to examples where nonviolent movements failed, or where they were short lived. We can do that easily. That’s not hard to do. Do we hold violent movements to the same account? Right? Do we point at violent rebellions that didn’t work and say, “See. Violence doesn’t work either.” So, it goes back to this double standard.
GT 49:04 Because you said that peaceful movements were twice as effective as violent movements.
Yes. Right. So when you look at the history of the 20th century, this is Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth, their research. They looked at over the course of the 20th century, the nonviolent social movements, and that they looked across the globe. Most of these movements we’ve never heard of, because they’re in countries that we haven’t paid attention to. So, these are labor movements. These are democracy movements. These are all kinds of things, fighting for peace and justice and freedom all around the world. When these movements use nonviolent aims, so the ones we think about are the civil rights movement, or Gandhi’s movement in India. But there are literally dozens, hundreds of these around the world. It’s not 100% success rate, but they are twice as likely to achieve their aims. This is in a century when tons of violent group have taken up arms to achieve the same kinds of things. All these civil wars all around the world are because of people taking up arms to supposedly seek after peace and justice and freedom. And so at least what Chenoweth and Stephan’s research shows is that history tells us that in the 20th century, if you use nonviolence, and if you’re committed to it, you’re actually more likely to get what you want. You’re not guaranteed, but more likely, and overall casualties will be lower. This is the thing. People always point to “look at the civil rights workers who were killed.” Or look at these marchers who were killed. Well, again, have you ever paid attention to the casualty rates in a war? Or in a civil war? They’re always worse because you’ve got two sides fighting. So, I mean, it makes a lot of sense. You got two people with guns shooting each other, your casualty rates are going to be higher than if only one side is shooting.
Comparing Brigham Young to Malcom X and Batman
GT 50:57 Well, and I guess the thing that I look at, we look at the January 6 insurrection. So, I mean, that was a violent attempted overthrow of the government. I just feel like if we’re going to counteract something like that, with a peace movement, we need a Martin Luther King. Don’t we?
Patrick 51:16 Well, peace scholars and activists debate the merits of this. So, one of the principles generally of peacebuilding is decentralized leadership. I’m a huge fan of Martin Luther King. If you come into my office, I’ve got a huge poster of him on my wall next to my poster of Malcolm X.
GT 51:36 And that brings up a point because I was going to bring this up. Do we need a good cop, bad cop like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King? Because it seems like Malcolm X was just as important as King, in getting the aims of the civil rights movement.
Patrick 51:50 In a lot of ways. And this is the dirty little secret about Malcolm X. He didn’t actually use violence. He left open the possibility of using violence. He [said] famously, “by any means necessary.” Right. But point to a time when Malcolm X used violence to achieve his agenda. He didn’t. He used persuasion also. He did the same thing that Martin Luther King did. He gave speeches. He gave talks. He organized people. But again, he said….
GT 51:55 He was much more inflammatory in his speeches though.
Patrick 52:08 He was more inflammatory in his speeches. He was more willing to poke you in your eye. And he did say, if somebody punches you in the face, you have every right to punch him back. But if you look at his example, he recognized that African Americans as a minority, they were not going to get anywhere doing that. So, he actually use those same lessons of persuasion, a kind of harsher persuasion, a more sarcastic [persuasion.] I actually love Malcolm X rhetoric, because I mean, he’s just a master rhetorician. Even if you don’t like his message. He’s incredible to listen to his speeches.
GT 52:55 Isn’t that what Brigham Young was? Was Brigham Young Malcolm X? Except for people died, though. Right?
Patrick 53:00 Yeah, right. There’s something to that. Brigham Young, he was not polished. He was willing to provoke. I think if we’re going to compare the two, actually, Malcolm X was very strategic. He was also much shorter in terms of his public life. I mean, you know, the longer you live, and if you’re the governor of a territory and leader of a church, I mean, it’s just more space to make mistakes. But yeah, I’d never thought about that comparison before. There’s something to it. But there are, I think, important differences between the two men as well.
GT 53:39 Is that the main difference: longevity?
Patrick 53:42 And power. Malcolm never operated from a position of power. And I think Brigham Young, I’m really persuaded by John Turner’s analysis of Brigham Young when it comes to these things that actually Brigham Young in the 1830s when he led the mission in England, he was beloved. And he was gentle. He was known as a consensus builder. He was beloved by his fellow apostles, and by the people in England. Why did they follow him in 1844? Because they loved him. I mean, he was beloved by the church. He had led them out of Missouri. He had led the people, the converts from England. And he really was a builder. What John argues in Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet is that after the death of Joseph Smith that really changed Brigham’s personality. He was so loyal to Joseph Smith, but he said Joseph’s one flaw was that he was too nice to his critics and to dissenters. Brigham and said, “I have the church in my trust. I’m not going to make the same mistakes that Joseph did.” And so, John argues that actually Brigham’s personality changed and he becomes much more autocratic at that point. I think that’s right. And so, we see that play out in pioneer Utah.
GT 55:10 Well, this brings up the priesthood ban because there’s that meeting in 1843 (I think) where Warner McCary comes to Brigham Young and says, “Why am I cursed?”
GT 55:30 And Brigham says to him, “You’re not cursed. There’s a fine elder in Lowell, [Massachusetts. He] is referring to Walker Lewis.
Patrick 55:40 It was 47-48.
GT 55:44 Okay.
Patrick 55:44 It was after Joseph was killed.
GT 55:46 Yeah. So anyway, so Brigham Young is predisposed to allowing black members to continue to be ordained to the priesthood and points to Walker Lewis.
Patrick 55:56 [Brigham] knows fully about it. Right?
GT 55:58 Yeah.
Patrick 55:59 He’s not critical at all.
GT 56:00 And then Warner McCary does the interracial polygamy. And there’s that case with? Oh, my chronology is off. But there was an interracial couple in Massachusetts. And then Brigham says they ought to be killed. And my theory and Paul [Reeve] will disagree with me, but I still like my theory. There was a de facto ban from that point on. And that’s why I think, not only did Brigham not allow blacks to be priesthood members. But yeah, I’m glad you said that. Because yeah, I think it was 1846 was that first meeting with Warner McCary.
Patrick 56:45 Yeah.
GT 56:45 And it was 1847 when Warner starts doing their interracial polygamy.
Patrick 56:50 And in 49, exactly
GT 56:50 Then Brigham changes on a dime, and he’s like, they should be killed. And so, he prevents them from going into the temple and priesthood as well.
Patrick 56:59 Yeah, that’s right.
GT 57:00 And so that’s an interesting thought, because I think most people view the 1849 Brigham Young or the 1852 in the legislature, “Blacks will not rule over me,” as the [stern] Brigham. And they don’t get the gentle side of Brigham.
Patrick 57:21 Yeah, I mean, there was a reason why people followed him into the wilderness. And it wasn’t because he [was an autocrat.] He was in no position to threaten them to do so. They followed him in 1844, because they believed in him, and they loved him. They believed he had the keys, and he had proven himself as a leader.
GT 57:39 And so, then he became the bully?
Patrick 57:41 Yeah, I mean, in some ways he takes on the burden of leadership. I mean, I can be hard on Brigham Young. But I also want to be sympathetic because I haven’t walked in his shoes to lead this movement. I think that all of the Mormons were trying traumatized. I’m not a psychologist, and we can’t psychologize from almost two centuries later. But how could they not have been just deeply traumatized as a people and as individuals? They’d been driven from their homes multiple times. I mean, they had seen loved ones killed, the horrors of Hawn’s Mill and Missouri and then Carthage. Now, did Mormons have their part in it? Absolutely. They weren’t just innocent victims, but they were victims. And so, I think they walk across the continent in trauma. Brigham’s trying to keep it together.
GT 58:41 This almost feels like Batman, where you become the evil that you tried to destroy, right?
Patrick 58:47 Yeah, exactly. And for me, this is one of the tragedies of Mountain Meadows and all of the other violence in the 1850s. It’s one of the tragedies. We talk about Mountain Meadows so much, we don’t talk about all the violence that the Latter Day Saints do against Native Americans.
GT 59:03 Right.
Patrick 59:04 So you know, they’re not directly responsible for Bear River, but they are for a lot of other things in Utah.
GT 59:09 Because you had mentioned Circleville, and I don’t think people know about that.
Patrick 59:12 Yes, the Circleville Massacre. This part of the Black Hawk War in the 1860s. And this is frontier fighting in central-southern Utah between Mormon settlers and Native Americans. And at certain point, a number of Native Americans had been rounded up. They’d surrendered. They were just slaughtered. They were just executed. And there were other examples like that as early as 1849-1850, in the settlement of Provo in Utah Valley that begins with an Indian massacre. [It was a] massacre of Native Americans by Mormons. You would hope and you would think that a people who had been so deeply traumatized and victimized by violence in Missouri and Illinois, that they would come out here. And they would say, “Oh, we’ve learned that lesson.” Right? We know what it’s like to be a minority. We know what it’s like to be persecuted, to be on the other side of this. And so, we’re never going to do that. But that’s not the way humanity works. Power does things to people.
GT 1:00:19 The abused become the abusers.
Patrick 1:00:21 Too often, too often. And that’s one of the problems with violence and with violent movements is that yeah, you’re on bottom. And so, the purpose is to be on top. And you don’t change the dynamics, because now you have power. And unfortunately, too often, that’s what Latter-day Saints did. And there are some examples of generosity and beneficence and other things. But too often, Latter-day Saints acted no different than other white settlers in the West.
How Do We Proclaim Peace? (Nobody wants to be MLK)
GT 1:00:49 So how do we proclaim peace? I mean, it just feels like, nobody wants to be Martin Luther King. Or Gandhi, right?
Patrick 1:00:59 Right.
GT 1:00:59 Or am I going to go on a fast for 40 days or something?
Patrick 1:01:02 Well, you don’t have to do that. But I mean, here’s the message of the book. And look. I haven’t tested this in my own life. Right? If I were put in a situation where I really had to put these principles into action, could I do it? But here’s what I believe, at least. If we claim to be Christians, then our North Star, our guiding light is Jesus. And like it or not, Jesus went to the cross. He didn’t fight back.
GT 1:01:38 People were going to point to the temple.
Patrick 1:01:40 Of course, they’re going to point to the temple.
GT 1:01:41 Cleansing the temple, Jesus lost his temper. It’s okay to lose your temper if you’re in righteous anger. Right?
Patrick 1:01:45 Who did Jesus hurt in that incident? Nobody. He did not use violence against another human being. He drove out the animals. So, if you’re really big into animal ethics, okay, there might be a problem there. There’s also a problem with him putting the evil spirits in the herd of swine and so okay, so if you’re an animal ethicist, okay, you can take that up with Jesus. But let’s just focus on humans. Jesus does not use violence against humans. He does not. Here’s the thing. He cleansed the temple. This is in public view. This is the center of power of the Jewish priests, but also Romans were always watching the temple because they were always worried about insurrections. That’s where it would start. If a Jewish messianic movement were to start.
GT 1:02:32 That’s where Jesus started it.
Patrick 1:02:33 It is where he started it. But he started a different kind of revolution, a nonviolent revolution. The Romans would have arrested him so fast had he done anything that was seditious or insurrectionary or violent. They would have arrested him and thrown him in jail probably crucified him a year or two earlier than he was. But they didn’t. Because he didn’t do anything illegal. He didn’t do anything violent. He moved some animals. He threw some tables over. Okay, if you really care about tables, okay, then take it up. But this is not Jesus using violence against other people. And you just can’t argue that. So, it’s a lousy counterexample. Actually, people raise it all the time, but there’s nothing to it.
GT 1:03:16 Well, and then the other thing is when Peter chopped off the soldier’s ear.
Patrick 1:03:21 What does Jesus say?
GT 1:03:22 Yeah.
Patrick 1:03:23 He says, “Put down your sword.” Right? Those who take the sword are going to die by the sword. The early church father Tertullian said when Jesus disarmed Peter, he disarmed every Christian. For him, he was saying that Peter’s impulse is the natural impulse. Right? Not just to defend ourselves, but to defend the people we love, and to defend Jesus! Right? If there was ever somebody worth defending, it’s Jesus. And Jesus says, “No. I don’t need your sword. I don’t want your sword. I could call down legions of angels.” And when he says Legion, that specifically a violent reference. We were talking about Roman legions. So, he’s specifically saying I could call down. I’m the Lord of Hosts. I could call down legions of angels. So that’s not this kingdom.”
Patrick 1:04:13 So this is thing. If we want to call ourselves Christians, when people were making a big deal about the name of the church. We’re the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re not Mormons.”
Patrick 1:04:21 I’d say “Exactly.” We don’t follow Mormon, the prophet-general Mormon who spent his whole life [in war.] I think Mormon is really interesting. I think he’s conflicted. I think he’s ambivalent about the violence that he’s using. But he’s spent his whole life using violence. I’m not a follower of Mormon. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is a perfectly and radically nonviolent Messiah. If you don’t like that message, take it up with Jesus. Don’t argue with me. Right? It’s not Patrick Mason. Whatever, right? What about Captain Moroni? What about Joshua? Well, it’s not the Church of Captain Moroni of Latter-day Saints. It’s not the church of Teancum of Latter-day Saints, or The Church of Brigham Young of Latter-day Saints. It’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His life, teachings, ministry, atonement, resurrection are perfectly nonviolent.
GT 1:05:15 Okay, so then I just want to bring it back to 3rd Nephi 9.
Patrick 1:05:18 Yeah. Okay, that was the perfect follow up. Well done.
GT 1:05:22 So how do we explain that?
Patrick 1:05:25 So, in the book, here’s the argument we make. Now other people don’t like what we do in the book and have provided some other arguments. So, I’ll say what we do. And then I’ll say what some other people have argued. So, what David and I argue in the book is that when Jesus is here in 3rd Nephi 27, the famous scripture, he says, “What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am.” So, he’s saying, “All you humans out there, what kind of person are you supposed to be? You’re supposed to emulate me.”
Patrick 1:05:57 What we argue in the book is that there is a distinction between what we call the condescended God and the Ascended God. Jesus, of course, is the condescension of God in the flesh. This is what Nephi talks about. This is God who comes down into the world. And what we argue is that as fallen humans, one of the roles that Jesus plays is to be the perfect exemplar. And so, Jesus is the perfect man. Jesus is the perfect human. Jesus is the very embodiment of what it looks like for God to walk on Earth. And part of that is perfect nonviolence. And so Jesus says, “You want to be a perfect human? You want to know what you should do? Follow me.” And that includes nonviolence.
Patrick 1:06:42 So, what we argue in the book is that Jesus’s ethic, what Jesus commands us to do: come follow me, is to follow Jesus. He is the exemplar for a Christian life, and that includes nonviolence. But if we take the scriptural record on its face, it’s really hard to argue that God is never violent. We’ll do creative ways to do this. I’m sympathetic to some of those arguments. But it’s really hard to get around that. And I think 3rd Nephi nine is one of the most sort of On Point cases. And so, we concede in the book, that God–I normally don’t like to do this kind of punts like this, where God says, “My ways are not your ways,” and things like that. But there’s something to that. God is different than us. If not, then why would he be worth worshiping? Right?
Patrick 1:07:40 So God is on a higher plane than us, a higher plane of consciousness, a higher plane of being, a higher plane of certainly a perspective and knowledge and all those kinds of things. And so just like we use the analogy of earthly families and earthly parents, that I’m the same species as my children. They’re destined to become like me. I want them to become like me. But there are certain things that I can do as an adult that they can’t, because they don’t have the knowledge, the perspective, the judgment, the power to do it. It would be disastrous to let a three-year-old drive a car, or something like that. And so, there are things that are acceptable for adults to do that’s not acceptable for children to do. And so, what we concede, is that it seems to us that the Ascended God, God in heaven, because of his greater glory, perfection, righteousness, attributes, etc. is able to wield violence righteously, in a way that we as humans cannot, and are forbidden to do. So, we make that distinction. And that’s how we make sense of 3rd Nephi 9. So, this is the Ascended God doing that, not the condescended God, and we as humans are commanded to follow the condescended God.
Patrick 1:08:57 Now other people have come along and said that, in fact, 3rd Nephi 9, there may be there are some interesting textual things going on, where they suggest that maybe it’s not a fully reliable account of what’s going on. For instance, one of the interesting things is notice in 3rd Nephi 11, before Jesus comes, there’s this voice from heaven. And nobody can tell what it is. And they’re confused and they have to hear it multiple times.
Patrick 1:09:34 Whereas in 3rd Nephi 9, it says, there’s this voice from heaven, that everybody gets immediately and they recognize his voice. Well, if they could all understand the voice in 3rd Nephi 9, why can’t they understand it in 3rd Nephi 11? And so, some people have suggested that somehow 3rd Nephi 9, it may be more complicated than actually what the account provides. But at least what David and I were trying to do is to take the text at face value. We weren’t trying to get around it. We weren’t trying to undermine it. We’re trying to say 3rd Nephi 9 is just as legitimate as 3rd Nephi 11 and the Sermon on the Mount chapters. Our way of doing it is to think about the difference between the ascended and condescended God.
GT 1:10:10 And so, God is the parent, and we are the children.
Patrick 1:10:12 That’s right.
GT 1:10:12 God can do stuff we can do.
Patrick 1:10:14 That’s exactly right. And now, somebody has countered and said, “Oh. So, my job is just to be a good little boy until I can grow up and then I get to use violence. Right?” I mean, I get that. I understand that. I think that is part of the critique of our position. And that’s fine. If people want to critique our position, it was the best we could do. I think that also misses the point, actually, still. What is clear in restoration scripture, it seemed that God does occasionally use violence if you take the Scripture at his face, but he does not enjoy it. He weeps. It’s the devil who laughs and 3rd Nephi 9. God Weeps. He weeps when he sees our violence. He weeps when he uses violence. This is Moses 7. And so, he takes no delight in it. And the other thing, the main difference between us and God, especially between the ascended God is that again, we’re all going to die. So every one of us will die, whether you die at two months, or 20 years, or you know, 95 years, everybody’s going to die. God seems to be less troubled by the length of our lives than we are. Because he has an eternal perspective, we believe. And he also crucially has the power to resurrect us. So, there’s nothing that God is doing. Even if God does use violence, even if he does end people’s lives prematurely. There’s nothing that he does that he doesn’t fix. Whereas I can’t fix it. I mean, this is the reason why violence, why murder is so high on the list of prohibitions, because we can’t fix it. We can’t take it back. I steal something, I can return it. I kill you. I can’t fix that. God can. So again, there’s a categorical difference between us and God.
GT 1:12:15 Interesting. There was one other thing that I wanted to just mention really quickly. You had mentioned, it’s in the Doctrine and Covenants somewhere where Joseph Smith had set up Zion’s Camp. You made the point that God allowed things to happen, but that wasn’t the way things were supposed to go.
Patrick 1:12:40 Yeah, if you read the Zion’s Camp revelations really closely. So, we’ve always said, “Oh, this is God telling them to go form an army and go take back Missouri.”
GT 1:12:47 Why didn’t they get the Missouri [lands] back if God told them to take it?
Patrick 1:12:50 Exactly right. So, we’ve always had all these kinds of questions around it. That’s not what God says. This is amazing that we’ve been reading the scriptures for almost 200 years. And it just shows that we read scriptures with our filters, with a filter that prefers John Wayne over Jesus.
GT 1:13:08 Right.
Patrick 1:13:09 And so, we’ve had our John Wayne filters on the whole time when we’ve read the Zion’s Camp [revelations,] including the people in Zions Camp. So, I’m not just blaming us. I mean, even at the time, they were ready to go. Most of the members of that camp they couldn’t wait to get there and kill some Missourians. There were some members of the camp who didn’t want to.
GT 1:13:27 David Marsh.
Patrick 1:13:29 Right. But if you read the Zion’s Camp revelations closely at no point does God command violence. At no point does God authorize violence. He recognizes. He does talk about violence, and that blood will be shed. Whose blood will be shed? The saints. He never authorizes the saints to shed the blood of others. Never. Not once in those revelations. Read them carefully. I’ve gotten a whole article about it. I also talked about it in these books. But just go and read those things. And he talks about victory will be yours. But how? He says through prayer, through diligence, through faith. We have dishonored God by presuming that he was sending a ragtag band of Mormons to go take on Missourians, to use some of his children to kill others of his children over a piece of land. We dishonor God when we say that. That’s not what God said.
GT 1:14:41 Yeah, and so that was that was really interesting part of your book, I remember was that He allowed it but he didn’t justify the saints.
Patrick 1:14:52 Yeah, and this is the whole plan. God allows all kinds of things. God allowed the Holocaust. He allowed slavery. He allowed the genocide of native peoples of this continent. I mean, that’s how seriously he takes agency and the tragic costs of agency. I mean, it’s a tragic wager that God made in the premortal councils. He knew, I believe, just how bad it would be. And he made the wager that the goodness would outweigh the evil. I think he’s right. And that is the message of Jesus. That’s the message of the Bible. That’s the message of the Gospel is that Jesus redeems all things. And the love wins, that righteousness wins, that justice wins. One of the things that Martin Luther King always said is the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. I mean, he knew the injustice that his people had encountered. He knew his life would end violently. He prophesied that. But he believed because he was a Christian, he believed that the arc of the of the universe bends towards justice. That’s the wager that God made. But he allows all kinds of horrible things to happen in the meantime.
Making Peace with John Dehlin
GT 1:16:14 Well, let’s switch gears a little bit. And let’s talk about apologetics and Neo-apologetics.
Patrick 1:16:20 Yeah, sure.
GT 1:16:21 Can we apply these [principles?]
Patrick 1:16:22 We’ll go from something where the stakes really matter, to a place where the stakes [don’t.]
GT 1:16:28 So you’ve been accused by John Dehlin and others of being a neo-apologist. I had to get clarification on what’s the difference between an apologist and a neo-apologist? You’re a nice apologist. Do you like being a neo-apologist?
Patrick 1:16:44 I’m fine. I mean, people can call me whatever they want. I’ve been called worse. I’ll say that. I actually think there’s something to that term neo-apologists, especially in the way that John I think means it. The funny thing is, when I went to graduate school, I never had in mind doing some of the kinds of things that I do. I mean, so, you know, this is an academic book at Cambridge University Press. I mean, this is what I had in mind when I went to graduate school.
Patrick 1:17:16 Writing books, like Planted and Restoration. I mean, it just was not on the radar. It wasn’t like how do I do this academic thing so that then I can become an apologist? No, it’s like, how do I do this academic thing? Period. The other stuff just found me accidentally, over the past decade. But those two books in particular Planted and Restoration, those are works of apologetics. And I think John is absolutely right that it’s a different flavor of apologetics than we saw in the mid to late 20th century, not by everybody, but by the dominant practitioners of apologetics within the church. I think my tone is different. I think my approach is different. The kinds of things I’m interested in are different. But it’s still apologetics in the sense that I’m making an answer for, or making a defense of, making an argument for a faith that I believe in and hold precious. And so, maybe neo-apologetics is not such a bad term.
GT 1:18:19 You don’t mind it?
Patrick 1:18:20 No, I mean, from the very beginning, when Planted was published, I said this is a work of pastoral apologetics. I mean, that’s what it is. I mean, that is literally the category for it. There’s no other category for it. And then Restoration is similar.
GT 1:18:37 Because I know some critics, they’ll write off people like you, or Terryl Givens or others as apologists, which, sometimes, to me can feel like a slur. It’s like, “Oh, you don’t have to listen to them. They are just apologists.” Because it really feels like a way to write off somebody.
Patrick 1:18:56 Sure.
GT 1:18:56 But you don’t mind that term?
Patrick 1:18:59 No. Look. I don’t like anybody being written off just by names that we call them. And so, I think a lot of the work that John does, and other people who are critics of the church gets written off simply because we put them in a bucket and we say, then…
GT 1:19:17 He’s excommunicated, so don’t listen.
Patrick 1:19:18 Exactly. So, nothing he ever says or thinks is worth engaging with. And then other people on the other side, “Oh, these people are committed to the church. They write in favor of the church. They do work with and for the church, therefore nothing they ever say is worthwhile.” I just don’t live in that world. I’m kind of an old school liberal. And I mean this not in the kind of political sense, but in the sense of like, I believe in the marketplace of ideas. And I think all kinds of people can have good ideas. I think all kinds of people can have bad ideas. And so, what I’m interested in is the quality of ideas. I love for people to come and tussle and contend. I mean, for me, that’s what the university is meant to be. That’s what higher education and it’s meant to be ideally. That’s what we could do in our community of faith as well. We’re not very good at that in our community of faith. Sometimes we’re not always good at that in the university setting either, but that’s what I believe in. And so, I don’t care what people call me. I don’t care what people call John. I care about the quality of ideas. Look. If people write me off, fine. I mean, I don’t care.
Patrick 1:20:26 But, if they write me off simply because of a label, and they’re not interested in talking with me, or hearing my ideas, then I think we’re just selling ourselves short whenever we do that. Again, there is no obligation to read anything by Patrick Mason, right? I mean, I’m just a guy putting ideas out into the world, some of them to the academy, some of them to the church. And those two things happen to both live inside me and in my brain and in my heart. Other people, actually, a lot of church members, I’ve had members of my ward sometimes attend my class of the university. And they say, “Wait a minute. What happened to Brother Mason?” Right?
Patrick 1:21:12 And people say, “Oh, you’re doing these two things.” And for me, it’s all integrated in here. I’ve done all that work over the past few decades. Other people who haven’t been down the same road that I have, see these as two very different things. So, look. I understand people like their tribes, and we live in a tribal age. People dismiss people who aren’t in their tribe. I think that impoverishes all of us.
GT 1:21:40 Well, so what do you make of the charge? Because this has been thrown around especially by John. People won’t come. Patrick Mason won’t come on his show. Terryl Givens won’t come on his show anymore probably because some rich donor [will complain.] You’re the chair. Who’s your chair? What’s the name of your chair?
Patrick 1:21:59 It’s Leonard Arrington. He’s dead. So, he didn’t give the money.
GT 1:22:01 Well, I know like Paul Reeve is the Simmons Chair. And so, the idea is like a Paul Reeve or you, you’re being supported by these rich Mormons. And the rich Mormons don’t like you going on John Dehlin’s show. Is that a valid critique or statement?
Patrick 1:22:18 Well, I’ll say for myself, it’s not. I’m an employee of the State of Utah. And I have tenure, which is a very powerful thing. So, all the rich Mormons in the world couldn’t get me fired. I’m just going to tell you that.
GT 1:22:32 Well, you’re going to get your Deseret Book deal taken away.
Patrick 1:22:35 Okay. Sure. And I can show you the royalty checks. Let’s just say they’re not paying a lot of mortgage payments. Some. Not a lot. No, I think John has to admit that at least now his show of is of a certain kind of character. And he’s trying to accomplish certain things on his show that I’m not always sure that’s the best place for me to sell my books, my apologetics books. Now, I’ve told John, this. I mean, I’ll talk with John anytime, anywhere, as friends. But we have different accounts of why I didn’t go on Mormon Stories the last time he invited me. And I may in the future. And I told him that. At that moment, when he invited me, it didn’t feel like the right time. To me, it didn’t feel like the right framing for the project that I was doing at the time. So, it just didn’t feel right to me at that time. But I’ve maintained open lines of communication with John. And I may well come on his show in the future. So, I told him, it was a “not now,” not a “never.”
GT 1:24:04 Not a no.
Patrick 1:24:06 Yeah.
GT 1:24:06 Okay. Because there was some project you were working on with him. Can you tell us about that?
Patrick 1:24:10 That was a few years ago. So, I think that was the fall of 2016. So actually, Patheos, which was a big [blog.] This is before podcasts had taken over blogs, as the main medium and so blogs were still huge. I know, they’re still around now. So, they approached us with I forget some of the details. But basically, the idea that John and I would be in conversation with one another. I had just published Planted, so I was an apologist for the church with the kind of academic position, John, of course, with the status and the audience that he had with Mormon Stories and still does. And the idea is, you know, let’s put these two people in conversation with one another, and we agreed to do it. And the idea is that we would, as John and I talked about this, and we didn’t know each other very well then. We don’t know each other very well now. We’ve only been in the same room a handful of times. And so actually, our personal interactions have been relatively few. But as we talked about this over the phone, we said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we did this in real time?” So not just like Patrick writes a column. John critiques it. John writes a column. Patrick critiques it. What if we tried to actually make it a conversation between two people who are trying to have a respectful dialogue? Because we both agree that’s not what we see between the Mormon and the ex-Mormon communities. It’s a bunch of people lobbing artillery shells at each other, rather than actually talking with each other. And so, we said, what would it be like to actually have a conversation with one another?
Patrick 1:24:24 And so, we said, let’s do it in writing. And so, when Patheos have asked us to do this, they said, “Hey, do something. It’ll take like an hour or two a week.”
Patrick 1:25:58 And so, we said, “Okay, we’ll do this.” And we’ll write this joint column together. So, we would literally be on a Google Doc. I think we use Google Docs, where you could see the other person writing. And so literally, we were writing in real time. John would write something. I would write something back. And we were doing in real time.
GT 1:26:14 Like a chat, kind of?
Patrick 1:26:15 Like a chat! Exactly. But longer, kind of essay form, and with less emojis. And, and we did that. I think we produced five or six of them, I’d have to go back and look, and I’m proud of them. I think John is too. I’m really proud of what we did. We had really hard, honest conversations with one another. But then we stopped. And, and here’s why. This is where John and I have different accounts of it.
Patrick 1:26:49 It was enormously time consuming. Again, the idea was, hey, this will take an hour or two of your week. It was taking like 10, 12, 15 hours a week. It takes so much time on the writing because we said let’s write it and then we’ll just put it out there and no editing or whatever. Well, that never happened, right? Because we were dealing with tough issues and we both had our respective communities that we cared about and signaling to our various communities and so forth. So, we cared about what we were putting on the page. We didn’t want to be cavalier or irresponsible about it. So, there was so much work, and there were phone calls back and forth. And so, what was supposed to be a very simple project ended up becoming very complex. And I was just at a time in my life, we were just coming off a family medical crisis. I had a newborn who had had been born as a preemie and had all kinds of medical issues and special needs. And then on top of that, I had just been made Dean at Claremont and enormously [time-consuming.] So, I had these four little kids, one with special needs. And I had to let something go. And it all happened in the same [year], I think it was the fall of 2016. And so, I just said, “John, I’ve got to pull the plug on this. It’s just taking way too much time.” Because I could see, at no point were we going to get to the point where it was only one or two hours a week. It was always going to be enormously emotionally, but also just consuming in terms of our time. And so, I just I pulled the plug and said I can’t do it anymore.
Patrick 1:28:24 And he’s told me this, and I think he said publicly that he thought I was getting pressure from various people or other things like that.
GT 1:28:33 Rich donors.
Patrick 1:28:34 Yeah. Or even church leaders who didn’t like that I was talking with John. It’s just not true. I mean, it was one of the busiest and hardest times in my life and something had to go. I’m really proud of what we did. I think we did model what a conversation across these lines can look like. We dealt with hard issues and showed how two people who respect each other can come at it from very different points of view and come out on the other end with a relationship. But that was that.
GT 1:29:09 Are those conversations still available?
Patrick 1:29:11 Yeah, I haven’t looked at it. It’s on the internet. So I assume it’s still there.
GT 1:29:16 What’s it called?
Patrick 1:29:17 It was on Patheos, and it was called…what did we call it? Like Inside and Outside Mormonism or something like that. I really should know this, but I don’t. But we should be able to track it down pretty easily. Google Patrick Mason John Dehlin Patheos. Yeah.
GT 1:29:35 Okay, so you’re not ruling out that you could one day be on Mormon Stories?
Patrick 1:29:38 No, because again, in general, I talk to all kinds of groups. And the thing to keep in mind like I have my day job. I do have a day job as a professor. That’s where I spend the lion’s share of my time. So, all of this other stuff I do, the apologetics, all the church work, the firesides everything else, that’s all extra. That stuff I just do in my free time. And so, I have to balance a lot of those types of things. But in general, I believe in conversations. I believe in talking with people. I’ve been criticized. For some people, I’ve posted articles on websites or forums that are more conservative, and so forth. I’ve been criticized by liberals for doing that. I mean, I just don’t like…
GT 1:30:29 Like Interpreter or something like that?
Patrick 1:30:30 Like Public Square. And, I just don’t like this tribalism. I’d like us to engage ideas. And so, I think there are times where the structures of a particular setting, are actually not amenable to that kind of conversation. So I think sometimes you need to agree on a set of principles or safeguards of what a conversation is going to be. Everybody these days, anybody who’s out there in the public square, you have a brand. Right? Anybody who’s even remotely in the public has some kind of brand. And so it’s foolish not to be conscious of that at all, not to care about that at all, to be cavalier about that. So yeah. John has brand. I guess, I have a brand, I guess.
GT 1:31:31 You’re just an apologist. Don’t listen to Patrick.
Patrick 1:31:33 So sometimes it’s just a matter of when is the right time? What is the right setting for a conversation to happen? For me, like, in private between two people just talking about stuff, that’s anytime, anywhere. For a more public thing? I think we all make some calculations about those kinds of things.
GT 1:31:54 You know, he also did a critique of your fireside.
Patrick 1:31:57 I’m well aware. That was our last significant interaction.
GT 1:32:04 What do you have to say about that? Did you watch the caffeinated or the caffeinated version?
Patrick 1:32:09 I watched the caffeinated. I don’t think I called him. I think we were emailing/chatting, or whatever.
GT 1:32:21 He’s not the easiest person to talk to sometimes.
Patrick 1:32:27 Well, none of us are. Right? I’m not either. And, he has an audience. He has a job to do. I thought the caffeinated version was unfair. Yes [it was unfair] to me, but also he was just taking all kinds of potshots, and actually, I think he was mischaracterizing and misrepresenting some of the things that I was even saying, or even just using what I was saying to then just launch off on all kinds of things.
GT 1:33:01 Well, it was like he’d give you give you a sentence and then he’d go off. And then he’d give you another sentence. It wasn’t really in context.
Patrick 1:33:07 Yeah, again, fine. Right? I mean, whatever. It’s his show. He can do whatever he wants. But in the course of our spirited behind the scenes conversation that night, one of the things I really appreciate is that John went to the trouble–and it was. It was a big investment of time to re-record it, and do the decaffeinated version, and do his best to be fair to me to some of the points that’s made. Of course, he and I just fundamentally disagree on all kinds of things when it comes to the church. I hope we don’t fundamentally disagree about the facts, because again, I think the facts should be neutral. Sometimes we don’t have all the facts, or sometimes our knowledge of the history is imperfect. But I hope we can at least agree on those basic set of things, but then we’re just going to interpret them very differently. And so, I don’t expect John and I to agree about all that kind of stuff. I do want us to be respectful and civil and even loving towards one another. He apologized. Again, I gave him credit that he did a redo. A lot of people wouldn’t. And so I hope that I would do the same. We all have feelings, and we all have audiences and constituencies. And I hope that if I ever got out ahead of myself that then I would have the courage to publicly reel that back in. So, I give him credit for doing it. We still disagree. There are still things in the decaffeinated version that I that I don’t agree with. But I appreciate that he did it.
GT 1:34:51 Very good. Well, is there anything else that we need to talk about?
Patrick 1:34:58 It’s up to you, your show.
GT 1:35:01 All right. Well, we’ve been here a while and I really appreciate you being here on Gospel Tangents.
Patrick 1:35:05 Thanks, Rick, I really appreciate it.
 Shortly after this interview, Patrick appeared on Mormon Stories. See https://mormonstories.org/podcast/patrick-mason/
 It was called Mormonism: Inside and Out and can be found at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/mormoninout/
 Both are found at https://mormonstories.org/podcast/mormon-faith-crisis-stake-fireside-patrick-mason-in-logan-cache-valley-utah-2021/
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