A Celebration of the Life and Work of Grant Palmer

A bit of sad news, and a bit of happy news.  First the sad.

Grant Palmer, author of An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins – certainly one of the most important books in 20th/21st century Mormonism, is dying of cancer.  I confirmed this with Grant yesterday – when he related to me that he likely only has weeks/months to live.  This information moves many of us deeply, since Grant’s courageous scholarship over the years (which has come at a great personal cost to him) has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of Mormons understand their church history more accurately.  I dare say that projects like Mormon Stories Podcast, Mormon Think, Letter to a CES Director, and even the recent LDS Church Gospel Topics Essays would not exist without the courage and scholarship of Grant Palmer.

Now for the happy news.  Mormon Stories Podcast and the Open Stories Foundation, along with a few supporters, will be holding a private event in Grant Palmer’s honor on the evening of February 15, 2017* in Utah – with the plan of live-streaming the event to all who are interested in showing support for Grant.  The event will include:

  • An interview with Grant, wherein he will discuss his most recent book, along with reflections on his life.
  • A chance for some of those who are grateful for Grant’s work to express appreciation for him.

If you are interested in participating in this tribute/celebration, there are a few things you can do to participate:

  1. Record a brief Facebook or Youtube video expressing your gratitude to Grant (and his positive impact on your life), and post the link as a comment here.
  2. Write a text-based tribute to Grant in the comments section below.
  3. Send an email to mormonstories@gmail.com with “Grant Palmer” in the subject line, wherein you express to Grant your gratitude for the positive impact that his work has had on your life.

Feel free to use the hash tag #grantpalmer for any of the tributes you share on social media.  Finally, these emails, blog comments, and videos will be gathered and shared with Grant at the live-steamed, worldwide event in honor of him.

Thanks for taking the time to honor Grant with us, and we very much look forward to the evening of February 15th* wherein we hope to show Grant how much we love and appreciate him!  *Date subject to how Grant is doing/feeling.

Comments

comments

35 comments for “A Celebration of the Life and Work of Grant Palmer

  1. February 3, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Grant, I am a widow, a stranger to you,, and not from America. I can’t adequately convey my gratitude to you for the years of enlightenment I have been gifted by your hard work and solid insights. I know you have suffered for truth and I want you to know what a positive influence you’ve been to me over the past three years while I’ve been clawing my way out of this wilderness that is the LDS church. My heart goes out to you and you family. Your concepts will ensure your steadying presence here while we try to get a better grip on the history of the church. Thank you Grant, I’m so glad we’ve got you on YouTube and Mormon Stories. I embrace you.

  2. February 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Grant your book was one of the first things I read after giving myself permission to study outside the church correlated material. You were brave to write it and I know it resulted in some significant things for you. Thanks for being willing to make those sacrifices. It’s something that had impact on me and helped me recognize there was a lot more I needed to study and learn about the church I had grown up in! I so wish the church would formally issue an apology to the many people, like you, that were pressured, disciplined and ostracized for writing about the messy aspects of the church. It’s shameful that now they are incorporating some of that material to inoculate members…..while refusing to acknowledge the damage they have done to people who bravely tried to write and educate members about church history. Going through the process of studying, examining and learning about all all of the uncorrelated material, as well as experiencing the effects of going outside the “official church approved” sources was the driving force in my desire to create Mormon Spectrum. A place where people can discover, explore researching and find others navigating this material.

    I hope you are surrounded by people expressing and showing you love and support as you navigate this. Your work impacted my life. It made a difference and I know it did for others as well. Hugs.

  3. halfinhalfout
    February 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Grant, another stranger here, you are a pioneer of truth. You have significantly influenced my thinking through your scholarship and, just as importantly your integrity. If the church was full of Grant Palmers I would not question it as being my spiritual home. Thank you.

  4. JP
    February 3, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Grant! We love you and appreciate all you have done to help people understand all the facts and the courage it took to do so.

  5. Hyrum Somers
    February 3, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Grant,

    Thank you for your life of sacrifice and for your well sourced historical writings. I hope that we’ve all been able to convey our gratitude for your life and work. I will always be grateful for the freedom your research has given me and so many others. Thank you for the warmth you’ve shared that has touched many lives and will continue to bless humanity once you’ve left this sphere. God’s speed friend.

  6. Linda Easthope
    February 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Grant, your authenticity and down-to-earth nature shine through in all that you do. Thank you for shining a light at a time when I was looking for direction, and for showing me that I could carry my faith in Christ forward with me through my religious transition. It made all the difference.

  7. Brent and Ruth Smart
    February 3, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Grant,

    Thank you for the example you’ve been, and will continue to be to my husband and me.

    My heart is full of gratefulness for the books you’ve written as well as your personal testimonies.

    I’m selfish at this moment and want to keep you safe here with us, your students.

    This world is a better place because of teachers like you. God bless dear friend.

  8. T Scholes
    February 3, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you Grant your work changed my life!

  9. Charles
    February 3, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Grant, I love you love for Jesus, and how that continued to burn strong in you after you lost faith in Joseph., the BoM, etc. You’ll be seeing him soon. I look forward to meeting you some day. A brother in Christ.

  10. Wagner Ferreira
    February 4, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Grant, thank you so much for helping me rescue my identity and spiritual life through your wonderful and powerful work. My admiration and love for you is even greater at this difficult time in your journey. Your courage and honesty are great examples to all of us. My kids and their future generations will know who you are! They will be free to think without the fear of being manipulated by lies or misrepresentations, because you opened this huge path where they can safely explore questioning their world. Your book “The Incomparable Jesus” taught me to see The Savior through His own eyes, instead of my past religious leaders. I became a better person because of your work! I hope one day, I will be able to personally thank you for the tremendous impact you had in my life. Your brother in Christ.

  11. joy
    February 4, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Grant,

    It is easy for me to say that you have saved lives, not only now but for future generations. You have shined a light on truth even though you had to personally sacrifice. Thank you so much for coming forward and helping so many people that were truly struggling without a place to turn as a lifeline. So many members no longer believe the truth claims of the church yet feel so alone & remain silent. For many, this leads to a sort of black cloud of depression. You have brought the sun back out for thousands and thousands of people. God bless.

  12. Bonnie Davis
    February 4, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Grant – my daughter was pregnant with a little boy & I was reading your “Insider’s View”. She & her hubby were discussing boy names & I suggested GRANT – thought it was a strong, masculine name. Fast forward, my eldest grandson is Grant😍 & thanks to you and a handful of others, will never feel guilt or shame for being a masculine, normal young man – told that masturbating is evil, because his sham religion teaches that😜 You really did help keep a seventh generation of Mormonism from happening to my family! You are a hero with a little namesake in Texas – thank you for your hard work & legacy💕

  13. Online Friend
    February 4, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    John,
    You took a heartbreaking message, and turned it into a positive and healing place.
    I’m glad you created this page…❤

    Grant,
    I personally wanted to thank you. ❤
    Your articles, books, messages and videos helped OPEN my tightly closed eyes, heart and mind.
    You provided me with answers and reliable sources to many of my personal questions. I tackled years and years of unsettling icky gut feelings. Because of your words, I was able to untangled my conditioned thoughts, behaviors and ideas one by one.
    You helped me become free.

    You have a character trait that I highly admire.
    Integrity.
    You look for truth.
    You find and state facts.
    You also protect the identities of vulnerable people who provide you with current data and facts.

    A dear friend of mine has enjoyed meeting you for lunch numerous times over the years. He has related to me bits and pieces of your lunch conversations.
    About a year ago, he asked me if I’d like to go to lunch with you both.
    I said YES!
    Procrastination and a so called busy life deluded us into thinking there was no rush. I’m sad I didn’t meet and talk with you.
    I’m looking forward to attending and honoring you at the event on February 15th. ❤

    Your hard work and research will continue to inspire…

    Love,
    An online friend

  14. Jill Johnson
    February 4, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    John,
    You took a heartbreaking message, and turned it into a positive and healing place.
    I’m glad you created this page…❤

    Grant,
    I personally wanted to thank you. ❤
    Your articles, books, messages and videos helped OPEN my tightly closed eyes, heart and mind.
    You provided me with answers and reliable sources to many of my personal questions. I tackled years and years of unsettling icky gut feelings. Because of your words, I was able to untangled my conditioned thoughts, behaviors and ideas one by one.
    You helped me become free.

    You have a character trait that I highly admire.
    Integrity.
    You look for truth.
    You find and state facts.
    You also protect the identities of vulnerable people who provide you with current data and facts.

    A dear friend of mine has enjoyed meeting you for lunch numerous times over the years. He has related to me bits and pieces of your lunch conversations.
    About a year ago, he asked me if I’d like to go to lunch with you both.
    I said YES!
    Procrastination and a so called busy life deluded us into thinking there was no rush. I’m sad I didn’t meet and talk with you.
    I’m looking forward to attending and honoring you at the event on February 15th. ❤

    Your hard work and research will continue to inspire…

    Love,
    An online friend

  15. Neuquino
    February 5, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Grant,

    I’ve never read your books, but your presentations on youtube and your interview with Mormonstories have completely transformed my knowledge of the early lds church. The Mormonstories interview on your book was one of the first Mormonstories episodes I listened to, and I was hooked. Your knowledge of church history, how you were ready with dates and quotes and every question John Dehlin threw out at you, it was amazing.

    But more than the church history, I was able to connect with you as a person. You’re honest, and willing to do the right thing in the name of truth. “Do what is right and let the consequence follow” comes to mind. Your story is an inspiration to us all, and you’ve touched my life. I wish I could meed you in person and shake your hand. If there’s an afterlife, I will find you and thank you for all you’ve done!

  16. Scott
    February 6, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Grant,

    I’m just another Internet stranger, but wanted to send a sincere thanks for your work. I started questioning three years ago and very soon after ordered Insider’s View from Amazon. After completing Insider’s View, I watched every interview/presentation of yours I could find on YouTube. Your sincerity and integrity shows in your work.

    I’ve also read Incomparable Jesus and enjoyed it. While I’ve ended up settling in as something of a hopeful agnostic who still espouses Christian values that I’ve found useful, there was a distinct time in my transition out of Mormonism where Incomparable Jesus provided a gentle transition in the existential tailspin that follows the recognition of Mormonism’s falseness. Both Insider’s View and Incomparable Jesus continue to have prominent spots on my bookshelf.

    But what really matters here is that myself, my wife, and my child are now so much happier without the burdens and stress that come from living as believing Mormons. My marriage has improved so much that I hardly recognize the marriage I had three years ago. We’re in an incredibly happy spot in life and experience more genuine love and joy with each other than we ever thought was possible—and your work played a critical role in getting us here. Thanks again, and Godspeed wherever your journey takes you next.

    -Scott

  17. Elder Van Halen
    February 7, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Dear Grant Palmer,

    Thanks so much for your great works over your lifetime as an educator, truth seeker, historian and author. I have benefited so much from reading “Insiders View” and from watching the interviews that you have done for Mormon Stories and others about your journey and the historical research you brought to the world. Your writings have shed a bright light on the vanilla story of the beginnings of the church, which are still taught and promoted to this day in the correlated manuals every Sunday.

    I have been on a slow burn faith transition for the last 20+ years, but it has only been in the last 2 years that I found the CES Letter, Mormon Stories, and great books and resources from authors like you, Michael Quinn, Todd Compton, Richard Bushman, etc.

    In my youth as an active Mormon growing up in a multi-generational Mormon family, I had the opportunity to meet Truman Madsen who was a guest speaker who attended a 4-day youth conference that I also attended. We became friends in the late ’70’s and saw each other a few times in the years that followed when I attended BYU. Truman Madsen has always been known as a Joseph Smith expert and I wish I could ask him with my current day knowledge what he would think about Joseph Smith in “today’s” understanding vs. the messages he was promoting during his lifetime. I was so impressed by his ability to bring the spirit into a meeting, fireside, and youth conference, but now I highly question many of his stories because it didn’t include the ….”rest of the story.”

    Thanks for all you have done and for the legacy of great information you have provided to us. God bless you in your final trial of health. I hope and pray that your family and friends will lovingly be with you as you transition to the next adventure as we all will.

    Thanks!

    Elder VH

    • Elsa LaBaw
      February 14, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Elder Van Halen, I am curious to read Mark McConkie’s book on Joseph Smith and his brother Joseph also wrote a book on Joseph Smith., both available on Amazon.com. Grant Palmer knew Bruce R. McConkie well. mark McConkie was my Bishop for a time, which adds to my interest.

    • February 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      P.S. I left the LDS Church in 1993 after 27 years of “magnified” membership. The “cracks” finally broke my faith in the Church, but now I am finding God’s energy more powerful and hopeful than a belief in another person’s vision. I hope you can find that power that is not only everywhere outside you but inside you as well. Best wishes in your inner search.

  18. RoundheadedAnubis
    February 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Dear Grant,

    Even though I don’t know you personally, I regard you as my friend. Your book and interviews where precious resources during my faith transition. You are an exemple to me for your unconditional integrity and intellectual honesty. I just wanted to say you made a difference in my life.

    Thanks for your work. I wish you the best!

  19. Kimo
    February 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Dear Grant,

    Your willingness to ask hard probing questions and share your findings both on line and in your Insider’s View, has had a profound positive affect on me. Thank you very much for your efforts and book.

    -Kimo

  20. John G
    February 8, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Just listened to his 2007 podcast on Mormon Stories. Very interesting! Inspiring that he would speak out about the issues even at great personal cost.

    Also, is “Pamer” a typo?

    “Send an email to mormonstories@gmail.com with “Grant Pamer” in the subject line, wherein you express to Grant your gratitude for the positive impact that his work has had on your life.”

    • Zenda
      February 10, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Yes. Palmer.

  21. Jan Judd
    February 9, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Grant, your work is nothing short of miraculous. Thank you for your integrity and standing in places that at times might have been uncomfortable. You are an inspiration. You have helped bring some much needed clarity to so many. Bless you and your family!!!!

  22. Sincerely
    February 9, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I’m so sorry to read this news. I hope Grant Palmer has a peaceful, pain-free, love-filled release from this life. Reading about him made me search back and listen to his 2006 interview about the Insiders View of Mormonism. I finished listening today and was enthralled. I’ll have to listen to the following interviews to see how his life and beliefs have evloved in these past 10 years. I found Grant’s ideas about the church owning up to its history and even quietly putting information out there rather fascinating, given the release of the essays in the years following that interview. Anyway, wonderful work. Lots and lots to think about and study. Godspeed.

  23. Rob A.
    February 10, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Grant, I’ve read your Insiders View book, have listened to all of the podcasts you’ve done, and was BLOWN AWAY with the information you provided on William Law. I am profoundly grateful for your work; it has opened my eyes.

    I wish you and your family the best. Your work will go on,…it is the little pebble that starts the avalanche–and you certainly are part of that start. Its gaining speed to…

    Thank you.

  24. Amy
    February 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Grant,

    I pray one day you will come to find all of the people God used you to impact…I have no doubt it will be generational impact in many families. I was never a believer of the Mormon faith but I was married to a member of the Mormon Church. After many years of him trying to push it on me and belittle me for my own faith, I stumbled up on a talk you gave and I was glued for hours into the night, listening and looking up everything I could find that you had written or had been interviewed in. You brought so much peace and validation, that I was not nuts as I was being told.

    I can only imagine the amount of courage and faith it took for you to walk and stand against the masses in that church. I am beyond grateful for your work and dedication to shed light on truth and lies. My husband left me and I have to trust that standing strong in my conviction of who Jesus Christ truly is was the best thing for my family. Was not easy but I could never deny who I know He truly was.

    Thank you again!!

  25. beth
    February 13, 2017 at 4:35 am

    This is such sad news, to hear of a wonderful person as Grant is, l feel so sorry and would like to send my love and appreciation for the sincere honest and wonderful work grant has researched for so many years which will of course benefit all people, LDS and all people everywhere, thank you for reaching out to other’s to share the knowledge you have discovered of the truth of the foundation of Mormonism and it’s beginings, l have so enjoyed listening to and watching your videos and am sure it has had a great impact in the lives of so many LDS and people alike, where we can now search deeper in to the truth of early Mormonism and understand the reality of it and what really happened as much as possible, thank you Grant for all your wonderful work and for caring enough to help others know the truth for themselves. l send you and your dear family all my love and caring wishes, may god bless you all and keep you in his loving comforting, arms.

  26. February 13, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Dear Grant, I am holding you in my heart and in my prayers, with gratitude and deep respect for your love of truth and your courage to pursue light and knowledge and share it with so many of us! It has been about 35 years since I was blessed to be guided by your knowledge and wisdom as a young seminary teacher at Brighton High School. You were a Godsend to me, opening my eyes to church historical information and resources, doctrinal considerations, and philosophical questions that broadened my world and deepened my understanding in important ways personally and professionally, including encouraging me to question. One day when we were talking and I asked you something to the effect of what you thought were the most important questions to consider, I remember part of your response was, “What is nature of suffering?” This vital question stuck with me and has actually informed my life greatly. Not long after we taught together, I pursued my Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at BYU, came back and taught seminary for a couple more years at Hillcrest High (reading your important book reminded me of things you were researching and sharing at our summer seminary training in ’86/7). I then went back for my doctorate and became a psychologist. I have worked in various capacities and in private practice for the last 18 years in St. George, trying to better understand and relieve suffering, my own and others’. I share this to give a you a brief sense of how you made a significant and wonderful difference in my life. Thank you, my brother, and God bless you and, whatever your future holds, fill you with His peace and love!

  27. Rex Shupe
    February 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Grant, your “a-ha” moment sure bent the hell out of a lot of shelves. It was pure enlightenment.

  28. February 14, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    AGREE!

  29. Jerry Beck
    February 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Count me as one of the many who have had their lives radically changed for the better in large part because of your work. You were the spark that ignited my search for truth and eventually out of Mormonism into Biblical Christianity, (as well as my wife and 4 kids). For that I will be forever grateful. Thank you for your courage.

    God Bless

  30. Kathy Coburn
    February 16, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Thank you Grant for being truthful about you concerns with mormonism! I was raised in a family where you NEVER question my father or the church. All you have written helped me see truth and helped clear the way for my spiritual and emotional release from Mormonisms strong hold. When you are raised in the church the indoctrination is heavy. I will never forget my
    Ah ah moment when I read Joesph had lied to Emma about his other wives. I heard myself say out loud “Omg if he could lie to his wife I know he could lie to us. He lied. The church is not true!” I have never felt such weight lift and peace fill my soul. I pray for your time left on this earth. In the end please know you freed a suffering soul.
    I regret I never had the privilege of speaking with you in person. God bless.

  31. Kent
    February 16, 2017 at 8:29 am

    John – will you be posting the Celebration of Life for those of us who could not tune in?

  32. karen
    February 18, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Dear Grant, I first crossed paths with your work while watching a video of a presentation you did at one of the conferences. As someone who was just learning about the church’s history, I was so moved at your insight, yet even more moved that you still felt so much love for the Lord. I too have chose to keep the baby while fleeing the bath water and will so sincerely miss hearing your voice amidst the conversation. Thank-you so much for all of your research and decision to be a voice for truth. May God’s love shine down upon you and surround you. And may you know how many lives you have touched and that we will truly miss you! Sending lots of Love and Gratitude your way…….Karen

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