Share this Episode

Comments 11

  1. Starting at about 2:39:54, Lynn Packer explains that Paul Dunn told friends that Thomas Monson also embellished stories, and Lynn goes on to explain one example in which Lynn (when working at KSL) got the conference talks in advance, and in 1975, Monson had a dramatic moment where Monson says he feels prompted to divert from his prepared text to talk directly to someone in the audience. But the prepared remarks included that language about feeling prompted.

    Lynn: Did the prepared remarks also include (1) both the statement that Monson felt prompted to divert from his prepared remarks **and** the diversion including the description of the person(s) in the audience and the message(s) for them OR (2) just the statement that Monson felt prompted to divert from his prepared remarks?

  2. Dunn war stories audios were played in priesthood in a military branch in 2007. The branch was for new recruits, and in 2007 most if not all of us were bound for Iraq or Afghanistan in coming months. I was still a believer with only a dim idea that the stories had been recalled years before. But even then I realized it was bogus to hold real military recruits to a fictional and worse, unrealistic and fantastic “standard” of heroism. I objected to the instructor but he kinda told me off. I even paid for an online subscription to Church News just to reference Dunn’s faint apology 15 years earlier. I don’t know if they kept playing the audio stories, but some number of LDS recruits in 2007, at least, were taught Paul H. Dunn war stories right before combat zone tours.

  3. John & Lynn:

    Lynn suggested in this episode that, at least based on statements towards the end of Dunn’s life, that Dunn was not a believer / Biblical literalist. It was not clear to me whether Lynn thought that Dunn’s disbelief arose after Dunn’s ministry or whether Dunn’s disbelief was there all along.

    It occurs to me that Paul Dunn — given his formal religious training at Chapman University — could have known all along that the Bible was full of mythical stories. Would have Dunn’s education included higher criticism and related concepts (which would have debunked a fundamentalist view of scripture)? Or was Dunn’s education presented from a fundamentalist/literalist view of the Bible?

    In other words, it may be that Dunn knew from the very start of his LDS ministry that the Bible was filled with myth and pseudepigrapha, which Dunn could have used to justify his own myth-making. After all, if Dunn knew that multiple authors in the New Testament wrote in the name of Paul, knew that Adam/Eve were myth, knew that Joseph Smith had created his own pseudepigrapha, etc, Dunn probably could have felt justified in making his own myths.

    The question to me is whether Dunn was a pious fraud (that is, Dunn believed he was doing good for others and wanted to do good for others) or just a fraud (that is, he couldn’t care less about others and was only self-interested). Lynn certainly seemed to think Dunn was just the latter. I just purchased Lynn’s “Lying for the Lord” book for my Kindle and am eager to see whether Dunn comes out looking like a pious fraud or just a fraud.

    RFM recently interviewed Philip McLemore (Episode 204) in which Philip shared some of his experiences with Paul Dunn. I think it would be interesting if you could get another crossover episode with RFM to have Philip and Lynn delve more into their experiences with Paul Dunn, which might shed some light onto Dunn’s state of belief/mind.

    1. Post
  4. I’ve very much enjoyed this series. It’s been fascinating. I applaud his integrity. He looks a little like my dad, and he definitely has my dad’s mannerisms. I lost dad in 2013. Wondering if Lynn would adopt me. 🙂

  5. I served under Presidents Boyd K. Packer and Paul H. Dunn in the New England States Mission from 67 to 69. The experience as a young, believing Mormon was amazing. I want to share a story that I heard Paul Dunn tell in a zone leaders leadership meeting. Paul Dunn always gave the closing remarks before sending us on our way to return to our respective zones.

    He got up and began to tell us about a “Thursday” general authority meeting he had in the Salt Lake Temple. He stated that while one of the “Brethren” was making a presentation, President McKay interrupted him and said, “Brethren, the Prophet Joseph Smith has just joined us in this meeting.” The elder (not identified by Dunn) continued with his presentation. A few minutes later, Dunn stated that President McKay again interrupted and said, “Brethren, all of the prophets since Joseph Smith have now joined us.” The elder again continued with his presentation. A few minutes later, President McKay again interrupted the presentation and said, “Brethren, the Lord has just joined us.”

    The feeling I had at the time was beyond any earthly words could describe. I was in the presence of a man who had been in the same room with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior (Dunn did not say if he actually saw Jesus but, nevertheless, Jesus Christ was actually there in his presence). The experience was so sacred that I only shared the story with my wife; it was when we were in the Celestial Room of the Salt Lake Temple.

    Of course, I now know that that story is false and is just one of thousands of stories that have been told by Church leaders, ad nauseam, to convince the world of the truthfulness of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, at the time, I believed that I had been given a very sacred and special witness of Jesus Christ and of the restoration of the Church.

  6. Also, I noticed that Lynn took the power away from these General Authorities just by NOT using their middle initial. I mean, when you say, “Paul Dunn”, “Boyd Packer”, etc. it makes them sound … normal. Like the rest of us. I never realized what using that middle initial did (for me, at least) to elevate people in authority. MIND BLOWN!

  7. As a daughter of a WWII Veteran and married into a military family, all whom served full careers/ multiple duties/ and two of which were shot down over Vietnam, amazingly able to hunker down and wait for recovery by their brothers in arms, I find Dunn falsifying his service, and his dying friend story incredibly offensive. Our military service men and women deserve better. He and his church should feel shame for his lies.

    1. I respectfully disagree. Dunn’s stories in general brought life to & focus on the war experiences of our soldiers, their bravery & their hardships. They are too often overlooked & underrepresented story wise. Most of us are already more familiar w/ the ‘reel’ stories of war rather than what’s truly real.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.