Refuting the errors of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland hoax

Thursday, December 23, 2021

“It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

(The title of this post is drawn from Matthew 18:7.)

According to Jonathan Neville, the problem isn’t that he not-so-subtly compared Daniel Peterson to Satan; the problem is Daniel Peterson for taking offense at Neville not-so-subtly comparing him to Satan:
Apparently Dan got offended because a previous post on this blog discussed one of his articles and the origins of the Interpreter.

Dan’s awesome. He’s a long-time faithful Latter-day Saint, a wonderful person, a talented scholar, etc. with a devoted following. Most of what he writes is great. He could be even more productive if he was open to faithful interpretations of Church history and the Book of Mormon other than M2C and SITH.

His reputation for taking offense is legendary, however, and it detracts from his overall message.
Chloe side eye First of all, take a look at Daniel Peterson’s mention of Neville’s slur. Does his mild, bemused post sound anything like he “got offended”? And by what measure does Neville judge Peterson for supposedly having a “legendary” “reputation for taking offense”? I’ve been reading Peterson’s work—in print and online—for nearly thirty years; I’ve never seen the kind of behavior that Neville ascribes to him.

More to the point, a kind and generous human being would apologize for using temple language to equate a fellow Latter-day Saint to Satan. Jonathan Neville, instead, chose to blame the target of his slander.

—Peter Pan


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