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Critics Corner



Scott Lloyd - Jim Robertson Correspondence
A Study in Concerned Christians Honesty

Having read the correspondence between Dan Peterson, Jim Robertson, and Mike Burns, regarding the erroneous presentation by Concerned Christians of the 1998-99 "Brigham Young manual," Scott Lloyd concluded that he would give it one last try.  The following correspondence is the result:

Letter One

Scott Lloyd to Jim Robertson
Sent Thursday, February 18, 1999

I just visited the SHIELDS web site ( and read the correspondence exchange between you and your webmaster on the one side and Dr. Daniel Peterson of BYU on the other.  It concerns your false allegation that the manual currently being used for study by the priesthood quorums and Relief Society on the teachings of Brigham Young contains the statements that Brigham Young never had more than one wife and that the Church never practiced polygamy.  I personally study from this manual nearly every week and am familiar with its contents, so I know firsthand of the falsity of your statement.  I am incensed that you would perpetuate the falsehood, stubbornly refuse to correct or retract it and ignore messages that you ought to post an apology.  With a pathetic lack of dignity, your web master tried to cover for you as you refused to face up to your responsibility.  Your behavior sheds a stark light on your lack of character and integrity. Moreover, it bears out what one author characterized as a rule that seems to be followed by most anti-Mormons:  The end (converting Mormons) justifies the means (dishonesty) because, after all, one is doing God a favor.  I call on you at long last to correct this error and injustice that has been carried on far too long already. 

Letter Two:

Jim Robertson to Scott Lloyd
Sent Friday, February 19, 1999


I'm so glad that you have chosen to take up the banner of attacking the messenger and not the message!  If you want a retraction and apology, I suggest that you go directly to the source and get one from Vern Anderson of the Associated Press.  I was just repeating in my own words what was said in the original article.  This article has really stirred up a hornets nest, for which I'm grateful.  We are well aware of the real reason these things are being changed by the church.  With the Olympics coming to Utah, the church wants the issue of polygamy pushed out of the way so it isn't an issue during the games and the missionaries can spread their deception without being hindered by your history.  Well, I can promise you that the Christian community is not going to let that happen.

I have sent my reply to you because I felt I owed that to you as a common courtesy, however, this is the only response I will do.  There are many people out there who want to learn the truth about the LDS church and that is more important to us then getting in a "spitting battle" with people who don't care to see the truth.

In Christ,

Letter Three:

Scott Lloyd to Jim Robertson
Sent Tuesday, February 23, 1999


Thank you for responding to my message.  Let me emphasize however, that my quarrel is not with Vern Anderson or his Associated Press article, it is with you.  I know Vern Anderson; he works in the same building as I do.  He is too professional -- and frankly, too smart -- to make an assertion that is so demonstrably untrue, so easily proven to be false.  If he did he would be obliged to publish a correction, and professional journalists don't like to have to do that, although they will do it when it is clear that they have made a mistake.

I am also acquainted with the AP article you cited, and nowhere in there does it make the claim that "LDS leaders ... are ... saying that Brigham Young only had one wife and that polygamy was never officially sanctioned nor practiced by the LDS Church" as you say it does.  It is clear, Jim, what has happened.  You jumped to a conclusion when reading a newspaper account without carefully considering what the article actually said or without checking out the manual in question to determine what it actually did or did not say.  (You can buy it at any LDS Distribution Center store.  Do you have a Deseret Book store down there?  You can get it there also.)  When called on it, you thus far have been too stubborn and proud to correct yourself, probably rationalizing that the end, (discrediting the Mormon Church) justifies your carelessness and subsequent lack of honesty.

Perhaps you are taking some sort of perverse pleasure in the attention this whole matter has engendered.  If so, you owe it to yourself to check out the material on the SHIELDS web site I mentioned.  You come across looking very bad indeed.  And every moment that this false and uncorrected allegation remains posted on your web page compounds the original error.  You would do yourself and Concerned Christians a favor to publish a correction or retraction.  But if you do not, at least I have a glaring example to which I can refer acquaintances that shows those who take up a vendetta against the Church often lack the integrity to be accurate in their allegations or to admit when they're wrong.


Letter Four:

Jim Robertson to Scott Lloyd
Sent Wednesday, February 24, 1999


Enjoy yourself!!!!!


Letter Five:

Scott Lloyd to Jim Robertson
Sent Thursday, February 25, 1999


Sadly, I must acknowledge that your reaction was much as I predicted it would be.

I wasn't asking for much.  I held out little hope that you would repent and return to the gospel in its fullness and truth which you once covenanted to uphold.  Nor was I expecting that you would give up your anti-Mormon website and newsletter with their half-truths, generalizations and out-of-context citations.  But I did want to give you yet another opportunity to retract what is a clear and obvious public misstatement of fact and acknowledge error in its perpetuation.  Ah well, I still believe in miracles.

Your behavior is very telling, Jim.  If (hypothetically speaking) you were to succeed in your endeavor to destroy my faith, still I could never affiliate with a religious group, sect or denomination whose individual members refuse to measure up even to an objective standard of honesty.

I hold no ill will toward you, Jim.  I pray that somehow, someday, the Holy Spirit again will find place in your heart and you will know the peace that surpasseth all understanding