Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Elder Quentin L. Cook is a member of the citation cartel

For years now, Jonathan Neville has been openly critical of Saints, the Joseph Smith Papers, and other Church publications because they don’t align with his heterodox views on Book of Mormon translation, the location of the hill Cumorah of the Book of Mormon, and other matters. He’s made statements such as:
I don’t know why anyone would give credence to lesson manuals, books such as Saints, and other such materials regarding topics in which these things contradict the teachings of the scriptures, General Conference addresses, and original documents from Church history.
The censorship of [the term] Cumorah is a serious problem because it undermines the accuracy of Church history as conveyed in Saints. It creates a false historical narrative.
Neville even maintains a blog called “Saints Review” whose sole purpose is to criticize what he believes are the errors and inaccuracies of the Saints historical volumes.

Not surprisingly, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles disagrees with Neville’s views: Note that Elder Cook didn’t just read the Saints volumes—he “review[ed] and read all the remarkable Joseph Smith Papers and documents and the research that led to the publication of ‘Saints.’” He’s intimately familiar with the sources of Saints and the JSP, and in his Facebook post he testified that they support “Joseph’s translation of the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God.”

Perhaps Neville, like other Heartlanders, believes that Elder Cook is wrong and hopes his views will change. If he does believe that, it would be yet more evidence that he rejects the teachings of living prophets and apostles.

—Peter Pan

1 comment:

  1. Elder Cook spoke at my stake conference a few months ago, and mentioned his role in the JSP/Saints projects. I am fully satisfied that he understands the complexity involved in writing actual, accurate history (the kind that Arrington wanted to write in the 80s, but was prevented from due to tradition and feelings), the editorial decisions that must be made, what makes the cut and what doesn't and why, the ambiguity inherent in merging dozens of disparate primary sources, some of them antagonistic, etc. If he, an experienced attorney with unfettered access to the source documents and evidence, has been duped by 'the cabal', I don't see where another attorney who doesn't understand those things can help matters.


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