Grant Palmer and John Dehlin. 8/9/2017. Photo courtesy George Frey.

In this two-part episode we sit down a final time with Grant Palmer to discuss the release of his final book: Restoring Christ: Leaving Mormon Jesus for Jesus of the Gospels.

  • In part 1 we dig deep into two book chapters: one on Joseph Smith’s possible treason against the United States government, and one on Joseph Smith’s likely use of concubinage in addition to polygamy and polyandry.
  • In part 2 we discuss Grant’s research into “leaving Mormon Jesus for Jesus of the Gospels,” and conduct a final Q&A with Grant.

Part 1:

Part 2:


  1. beth August 15, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Dearest Grant, thank you for a most wonderful valued last interview, you are a lovely person and you have made such a huge impact in my own life and in many others lives too, l appreciate you and send you my love and wish you and your family all the love in the world, you will be sorely missed and l know your family will say the same, god bless and look after you grant and take you into his loving arms, l am thankful for the chance to have read your previous books and to have listened to most of your interviews over the years, l would have loved to have met you personally, my heart goes out to you and your family, l send you my love, thanks john for a wonderful interview with grant.

  2. Lilli August 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply


    You are on to far bigger and better things. Countless near death experiences across the globe and throughout history (the best evidence the world has about the afterlife) tell us that an indescribable heaven awaits us, even our real home, where we will all meet again. Thank you for leaving us with your great insights and knowledge about the real Christ, who definitely is far different than the ‘Mormon Christ’.

    I have a couple questions if you happen to see this and can respond. I’m curious your opinion as to why Joseph Smith would preach and publish so much against polygamy if he secretly believed in it and wanted people to eventually go along with it. For he seemed to intentionally turn the church against accepting him if they ever found he lived any form of polygamy, for he continually taught that members would lose their salvation if they fell for or supported anyone, even a prophet, or even him, if they/he preached or practiced polygamy of any kind.

    I understand that Joseph may have lied to avoid certain outcomes, but it does not make sense why he said as much as he did, for he didn’t need to. Even in his BoM, as well as in his public teachings he condemned all cases of polygamy, etc, even to not even give himself a loophole when he was eventually found out, as he surely knew he would be. Why did he say all those bold teachings against it and turn most people away from him if he really believed in and lived polygamy? Once he died many, if not most members, refused to follow BY because of all that JS had said against polygamy. Had JS been found out he would have probably lost most of the membership because he had taught them to reject him if he ever fell for any type of polygamy, no matter by what name it was called.

    Also, why would we trust the statements about JS and his polygamy by women (or men) who lived and supported BY and polygamy themselves? It seems they had every reason or pressure to say what they did.

    I agree with those 9 attributes you mentioned that bring someone to know and be like Christ. I also believe that Christ’s commandments in the NT, which are few and clear, are the ‘how to’ to gaining those 9 attributes. and that those commandments are just ‘natural law’, and are just science, and history can prove they work. They are like 2+2 to gaining and maintaining peace, prosperity and liberty as a people.

    But I it also seems that false things were added to Christ’s words and teachings in the NT, for even the NT seems to have Christ contradicting himself. For example, why in your opinion would Christ seem to teach or convey that Abraham and other polygamous prophets of the OT were righteous or in heaven? For Christ taught against all forms of polygamy, in multiple teachings throughout the 4 Gospels.

    It seems to me that NT authors altered or added those false words and teachings since polygamy (and Abraham, etc) were so accepted in Christ’s day, and they probably didn’t like Christ’s teachings against all forms of polygamy.

    Thank you!

  3. EET August 16, 2017 at 12:00 am - Reply

    “Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true .” This is what we were all taught, growing up in the church, only to later in life learn, that the “true” portion of the statement is not so true in regards to so much of our history , prohets, scripture/inspired fiction, and so on. We all have to ask ourselves, as has Grant….how important is truth to your faith?

    Thank you for your work Grant. Even if things ultimately “go black” as you mention as one possiblity as the next step, I don’t think life should seem like a waste, as we consider what we pass on. You have a great family, the memoires you have created, the research and books….you have made a great contribution and it will continue one way or another. William James, once said, “the greatest thing we can do in life, is for something that will outlast it”. You have certainly done your best at that, with an honest heart!

  4. Brad August 16, 2017 at 3:47 am - Reply

    After hearing Grant talk about the council of 50 this article of faith becomes cringe worthy.

    “10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”

  5. Linda Easthope August 16, 2017 at 11:55 am - Reply

    The Minutes of the Council of 50 are even more fascinating when viewed against the background of current developments in the alt-Right in the United States and specifically when contrasted with the LDS church’s recent press releases in that arena. Thank you, Grant, for helping us understand a difficult period of history, viewed through a lens of faith in Christ.

  6. Elder Van Halen August 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Grant and John,

    Thanks for your multiple interviews on Mormon Stories. This one is bitter-sweet because of Grant’s late stage cancer, but I love your attitude and hopeful thoughts about the next adventure that is just ahead for you. I love hearing you speak (teach) about the historical facts that put new information into context from the vanilla version of church history that the Church puts out. I have had close friends in positions of Bishops and Stake Presidents tell me “everyone has heard that before,” or “there is nothing new here, we need to have faith in the vanilla church message.” But they are deceived by their hope for things to stay the same, when the factual truths tell us otherwise.

    I have just finished reading “An Insider’s View” and can’t thank you enough for the well documented details related to Joseph Smith and the creation of the Book of Mormon. It is fascinating, and I will continue in my studies of great books like Grant’s (and Quinn, Compton, Brodie, and others).

    If I was able to enjoy lunch with Grant and John, I would love to ask some questions about Truman Madsen and his thoughts about Joseph Smith and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. I had the great opportunity to meet Truman Madsen when he was a guest church historian (and BYU professor) at a great youth conference when I was about 16 years old (in the mid 1970’s). He and I met during the conference and started a very nice friendship, and I was able to speak with him a couple of times before my mission 3-years later. Although he just passed away in 2009, I would love to know his interpretation of all of the historical information that puts Joseph Smith in a much different light. Madsen has tons of videos on YouTube about how great Joseph Smith was, and it makes me wonder how he could stay on course with his beliefs and teachings with all the troubling facts that have been made public by the church and other notable historians.

    Grant, I’m glad you have felt an outpouring of love and appreciation from all of the people who’s lives have been touched by your writings. Thank you again, and God bless as you move forward to the other side!

  7. Glenn August 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Loved you’re interview!
    If you could haunt John a few times after you pass over that would be great!
    you know like move things around on his desk . Just make sure he knows it’s you !
    I will be ready your book this weekend . I’m hoping to find some of that catharsis you talked about . God bless you . You have helped recover that truth what better thing could you have done.

  8. JJ August 16, 2017 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Dearest Grant,
    Thank you for all that you’ve done. I hope this is appropriate to say, but please say hi to my brother and parents when the time comes. God knows I could use them right now.

  9. Gail August 17, 2017 at 6:31 am - Reply

    Grant and John

    You have given us a gift of insight and intelligence. And now I have to read the book.

  10. Emma August 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for your courage to search for truth and then to share it so that we could find the light even though it’s so painful for all of us
    You are truly an amazing man!! Send my love

  11. jpv August 24, 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Crazy that there was no follow up on the GA that “came out” to him.

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