With dueling “breaking news” events on September 21 within Mormondom, John tackles both topics with guests John Hamer and Wesley Monahan.

At a hefty price tag of $35M, the LDS Church purchased the original printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon from the Community of Christ who held it in possession for over 100 years.  To understand the implications of the purchase, we interview one of Mormon Stories’ favorites—John Hamer—pastor of the Community of Christ in Toronto.  We discuss what the manuscript is and its history, as well as the possible CoC motivations for the sell.

In another surprising twist, Brigham Young University announced that it would begin to sell caffeinated beverages on its campus, ending a ban on the sale of traditional colas that dated back to the 1950’s.  We discuss the original reasons for the ban, and how those explanations for the ban evolved over time to become solely an economic decision.  Wesley Monahan of Caffeine Corner, a current BYU student who is the proprietor of a service that delivers caffeinated beverages to students on campus, gives his take on the revelation and how it may (or may not) affect his business.

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  1. Brad Dhumate September 25, 2017 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    John H. I think you were about to answer why Joseph Fielding was not interested in buying the manuscript but got off track. Any idea why?

  2. Wikipedian September 25, 2017 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    >>>>>In the late 19th century what remained of the printer’s manuscript remained with the family of David Whitmer, who had been a principal founder of the Latter Day Saints who in the 1870s began to oversee the Church of Christ (Whitmerite). During the 1870s, according to the Chicago Tribune, the LDS Church unsuccessfully had attempted to buy it from Whitmer for what would have been a record price. LDS president Joseph F. Smith refuted this assertion in a 1901 letter, believing such a manuscript “possesses no value whatever.”[135] In 1895, George Schweich gained possession such Whitmer family artifacts as this manuscript. George Schweich having mortgaged the Book of Mormon manuscript for $1,800 and having thereafter to raise at least that sum, offered a collection including this 72-percent of the Book of the original the printer’s manuscript (John Whitmer’s manuscript history, parts of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible, manuscript copies of several revelations, and a piece of paper containing copied Book of Mormon characters) for sale; these were then bought by the RLDS church (now the Community of Christ) from Schweich in 1903 for $2,450 total ($2,300 alone was for the Book of Mormon manuscript). At this time, the LDS Church declined to bid on the documents. In 2015 this remaining portion was published by the Church Historian’s Press within its Joseph Smith Papers collection within Volume Three of the Papers’s “Revelations and Translations” series. In 2017 in a private sale, the Utah-based LDS Church bought this substantial remnant of the Book of Mormon’s printer’s manuscript for US$35,000,000.[136][137]<<<<<


  3. Joy September 26, 2017 at 7:53 am - Reply

    This is evidence of the folly of very specific prohibitions against substances deemed harmful to the human body. Coffee is not nearly as damaging to the human body as are caffeinated sodas. As an active Latter-day Saint drinking caffeinated sodas because it is not specifically prohibited by the Word of Wisdom is straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. It shows an immature relationship to truth.

  4. Keith Thompson September 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    ….a card-carrying beard “wearer”….BYrUles…….scribes and pharisees……..how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?……cynicism/agnostics in the making….

  5. Maddy September 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I have only listened to the part 2 about introducing Coke, I am so tired of all these white male mormons continually saying that aspects of church history ‘don’t matter’ when in fact they do matter because they have shaped our culture and continually reinforce the patriarchy and the institutional suppression of women and people of color. No longer can the picking and choosing what needs to be dealt with is acceptable.

    Furthermore, I appreciated Bill Reel’s Mormon Discussions Podcast about the Word of Wisdom how no new revelation has been added to the Word of Wisdom but rather past prophets have decided how this passage should be interpreted. Even more, from Radio Free Mormon Podcast discussed how our church has gone beyond the liberty of interpretation and turned to just conditioned obedience. The Word of Wisdom and the perception that coke was not okay, but now is because BYU said so is just more proof of this conditioned obedience.

  6. Lizbet September 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Wesley seemed like a decent guy, living a faithful life. I don’t have criticism of him, just observations.

    When John started asking Wesley questions about faith, it got very interesting. His answers were very reflective of what your average TBM would say – it doesn’t bother me, I haven’t really thought about it, there are scholars who know more about that than I do – and so my observations are more about a standard TBM and not Wesley specifically.

    I was especially interested in his answers to polyandry/Book of Abraham interesting (basically, yep, I already know about that). There’s a certain degree of inoculation that the church can do. When I was in Institute in the 90s, I learned about polyandry. Or at least I thought I did. I was taught that in a few rare cases, Joseph married other men’s wives, but they were just spiritual marriages (i.e., nonsexual) for women who were married to nonmembers and needed a sealing to get to heaven. Okay, sure. As a 19-year-old I just went with it and it made logical sense in terms of sealings and the celestial kingdom. Then if I ever heard someone talk about Polyandry! I just shrugged it off because I thought I understood the issue. Except I didn’t. I was superficially exposed to it, but it was enough for me to be able to say, oh yeah, I know all about that, and not listen further. Once I stopped and acknowledged maybe there were things I didn’t know about it, I learned about Joseph sending Mormon husbands off on missions and then marrying their wives, which was so much different and disturbing than the inoculation version.

    The essays are the new inoculation. Book of Abraham – yeah, there’s an essay on that, so a TBM would say the church has an explanation about unimportant discrepancies that bug some people and get totally blown out of proportion by enemies of the church. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if most members who find the essays don’t even really read them, but get comfort in “knowing” the church has an answer to a difficult question and leave it at that.

  7. Mohammed Wong September 28, 2017 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    The devout Mormons who lived next to us in Denver in 1967-1970 would schlep multiple cases of Pepsi (24 ea., 16 oz. bottles), as many as a dozen, back from the King Soopers grocery every Saturday (they had five school-age kids). The next Saturday they would load all of the empties up in the Wagon Queen Family Truster and schlep them back (in those days, cases were wooden and bottles were glass and you got a refund for returning them unbroken).

    We were Jack Mormons from Salt Lake and their dad was the Bishop (at least for a while), but my brother and I ran with their two oldest boys and the ONLY thing that was EVER discussed concerning Mormonism was their addiction to Pepsi, which all of us thought was pretty hilarious—including them.

  8. V Peterson October 1, 2017 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Do you know who donated the 35 million to buy the manuscript? Paper said church sai it was donated.

  9. Shawn November 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    John Hamer, Thanks, you were very educational and interesting as usual. 35 mil is insanity, I guess my search for the one true church will continue. I can’t imagine the lord condoning such spending while there are still any financial concerns here on the pale blue dot. Perhaps holy the ghost was too busy to inspire the bros on the purchase of the manuscript, due to the pressing caffeine on campus inspiration that was so needed. Imagine the mosquito nets, shelter, education, etc that could be purchased for 35 mil, such a waste. Hopefully The Community of Christ will put the money to a more worthy cause.

    John Dehlin, You conducted the interview with John Hamer, and Wesley (the Heisenberg of BYU) in a professional manner as usual, well done.

  10. Thomas Lewis March 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    The major hazard of sodas is high fructose corn syrup. Mountain Dew contains a flame retardant, which is more harmful.

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