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Rick on Hot Seat (Part 5 of 5)

There are many good and bad things in Mormon history.  Some people leave the Church over these issues.  John Larsen of the Sunstone Podcast puts Rick on the hot seat and asks why he stays in the LDS Church.

John:  So why are you still Mormon?

Rick:  (Chuckling) So you know, at Sunstone they have that, Why I Stay series.

John:  It’s the most popular session.

Rick:  In my case, I would say, and I think Claudia Bushman said this, so I can’t claim credit for it. But why would I leave? I mean, there’s a lot about the LDS Church that I love. I love a lot of the theology. I’m not a fan of polygamy.  I love the Book of Mormon. I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. My Dan Vogel [interview], we got into the first vision narratives.  Are there some problems? Absolutely. There are some problems. Are there problems with polygamy? Absolutely. Are there problems with Mountain Meadows massacre? Absolutely. But everybody has problems. There’s no perfect church. There never was, never has been. I know John Hamer has said, “If you were to start the perfect church today, tomorrow, you’d make a mistake, and it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.”  So, I think that’s kind of how I feel. My Church isn’t perfect. I know that. The imperfect parts are the stuff that interests me. (Chuckling)

John:  Right.

Rick:  But it’s a good church. There’s good values. I believe in the restoration. So why would I leave?

We talk about other issues, like how Rick handles Mountain Meadows Massacre, polygamy, and other issues.  Check out our conversation….

Rick describes why he stays in the LDS Church.

Don’t miss our previous conversations!

416:  Mark Hofmann’s Role in Mormon History

415:  Learning from Mormon Cousins

414:  LDS Leaders and Historical Issues

413:  Intro to Gospel Tangents

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Mark Hofmann’s Role in Mormon History (Part 4 of 5)

John Larsen of the Sunstone and I discussed some critics of Mormonism. The most notorious is probably Mark Hofmann, who is a murderer and forger of Mormon documents.  We discussed some of Rick’s past interviews and knowledge Rick has learned in talking to people who knew or prosecuted Mark Hofmann.

John:  I mean, Hofmann is a murderer, and a criminal. But geez, that man was brilliant.

Rick:  He was brilliant.  He’s got horrible handwriting, too.

John:  We still don’t know because, you can push back, because the church wanted it to go away. So the church got involved. There’s a lot of people who’ve accused this. I’m not the one making this up. The church got involved. They wanted to cut a deal. They cut a deal with Hofmann, that if he pled guilty, he wouldn’t get the death penalty. He got a blanket pass that he wouldn’t have to talk to anybody else. So he didn’t have to answer…

Rick:  Well, that’s not exactly true. There was a deal cut and if you want to get into all the details, watch my George Throckmorton interview, because we talked about that. Also, Sandra was very angry that a deal was made because she’s like, “I think we could have got the death penalty on him.” I don’t know if people know this, but he tried to put out a hit on the Director of the Board of Pardons.

John:  Oh, I didn’t know that.

Rick:  Yeah, while he was in jail, because he should be out of jail by now. He will never leave jail.

Rick:  But yeah, so Mark was supposed to spill the beans and he never did, due to–anyway. George talks about it. There were some mistakes done in the prosecution, and they should have had him tell the stuff before they’d cut the deal and they didn’t. So then he had no incentive to talk after that. A lot of the stuff that he was supposed to tell he never told.

John:  I would invite everybody go out there and read one of the true crime books. The one I liked was one by Sillitoe.

Rick:  Yeah, that’s the best–that’s one of the best ones.

John:  I think it’s called Salamander.

We will talk about other details of the Hofmann saga, and discuss other Mormon critics.  Check out our conversation….

Mark Hofmann killed 2 people and is serving a life sentence.

Don’t miss our previous conversations!

415:  Learning from Mormon Cousins

414:  LDS Leaders and Historical Issues

413:  Intro to Gospel Tangents

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Intro to Gospel Tangents (Part 1 of 5)

John Larsen of the Sunstone podcast sat down in August 2019 to learn more about Rick Bennett of the Gospel Tangents podcast.

John:  Gospel Tangents started a couple years ago, so what is this podcast?

Rick:  So, I don’t know if I should admit this, but honestly I enjoyed your podcast Mormon Expression. I’ve enjoyed Mormon Stories. I just thought, you know what? I want to dip my toe in here and I kind of want to talk to people from all different perspectives, whether they’re believers, non-believers, former Mormons, and I get a wide range of people. I just like to expose people to a lot of different ideas. I don’t always agree with my guests. They don’t always agree with me, and that’s fine. But, in the month of June, [2019] just to give kind of a variety of people, I talked with Dan Vogel, who was very….

John:  [An] amazing mind.

Rick:  Amazing mind, he’s an ex-Mormon.

John:  He’s an expert on Joseph Smith.

Rick:  Then, in the middle of the month I talked to Jana Riess and Benjamin Knoll ,who are more on the progressive side.

John:  They’re progressive and, of course, Jana Riess writes for, well several outlets but she does a lot of current research into Mormonism and exposes that on national basis.

Rick:  And then I ended the month with Elder Snow of the Quorum of the Seventy. I guess he doesn’t get officially released till October [2019.] So I ended up with a General Authority and an ex-Mormon and a progressive Mormon, which is kind of a good in one month. I mean, I pretty much covered the gamut there.  I’ll talk to polygamists. I will talk to, Brian Hales, Ugo Perego, Simon Southerton. I’m trying to cover all the bases. I don’t care if you’re just LDS Mormon, I want to cover, I want to talk about Community of Christ. I’ve talked with John Hamer and he’s a Seventy in the Community of Christ now, and Lachlin MacKay who’s an apostle. I’ve just recently, although I haven’t released it yet, talked to another Apostle and Seventy from a polygamous group, Christ’s Church, the Righteous Branch, they call themselves. I really tried to cover all my bases. I’ve got an upcoming–a couple of interviews with a couple of never-Mormons. Larry Foster and Quincy Newell are both professors.  One’s at Georgia Tech and the other one’s at Hamilton College in New York. So, really trying to just cover Mormon history from every possible angle you can.

John:  Well, and again, I have to congratulate you because you’re pulling off what’s really difficult to do. The Mormon Studies world tends to get polarized very quickly and gets into camps. Those camps tend not to talk to each other. They oftentimes will behind the scenes a lot more than they will, but there’s public reticence on both sides, for, let’s say critics and ex-Mormons to engage in anything they think might be in the least bit faith promoting.  And on the other side, to avoid the taint of sounding like you’re talking to apostates or associating with those who are enemies to the kingdom or whatever.

Do you like the variety of guests on my podcasts?  Would you like to give me any feedback?  Here is a reminder. If you want to hear the entire interview uncut, become a patron for at least $5/month at https://Patreon.com/GospelTangents