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Critics Corner

Smiley Face Quips & Quotes

Alma Allred on Walter Martin:

When Walter Martin came to Salt Lake to debate Van Hale, he kept saying that he and the rest of Christianity worshipped the same God that Christians and Jews have worshipped for 1900 years.  I asked him, "If you're worshipping the same God that the Jews worshipped, how do you explain the fact that they didn't recognize or accept him when He showed up?"  Martin replied, "You see, they didn't realize that he was the Messiah!" 

John A. Tvedtnes on Ed Decker:

The Martin story reminds me of a good one I heard from a friend who lived most of his life in Ohio.  It seems that Ed Decker was being interviewed on a local radio show, on which he was ragging about the "problem with the Mormons" being that they only believed the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly."  An LDS missionary called in to challenge him on another point, to which Decker promptly responded by saying, "Now, if you knew the Greek, you'd see that the original doesn't read that way."  The missionary shot back, "Ed, are you saying that the Bible ISN'T translated correctly?"

Alma Allred on John L. Smith:

One of my favorites was when Van Hale and Bill Forrest had John L. Smith on their radio program here in Salt Lake (actually it was Bountiful) when John L. said, "You guys have it all backwards.  You believe that man became God while we believe that God became man."  Van replied calmly that the Bible teaches that God is a man.  Smith challenged him to prove it.  Van read,

"Why callest thou me good?
There is no *man* save God."

Smith said, "That's Joseph Smith's *revision* of the Bible."

Van countered, "No, that's *not* an LDS Bible, it's Protestant."

"Which version?"

"King James Version."

John L. "That's not the way *my* Bible reads!"

Van replied, "Of course, yours is changed, mine is the 1611 version before they revised that verse."


Malin Jacobs on Walter Martin:

During the open house period for the Denver Temple (Fall, 1986), "Dr." Martin came to a local Baptist church to speak about the Mormons.  I attended this meeting.  Among the things he mentioned were a number of supposed statistics which were presented to show that socially the Mormons were no better than people in general, and in some cases were worse.  These statistics sounded familiar to me – they were probably from a paper written by anti-Mormon Rick Branch, which has had wide distribution among the antis.  As it happened, a month or so prior to Martin's lecture, I had written a letter to an anti pointing out Mr. Branch's faulty methodology in dealing with LDS social statistics.  Consequently, I was familiar with the material Martin was dispensing, and at home had copies of the necessary U.S. Government Bureau of the Census documents to refute what Martin was saying.  I left the meeting, went home and got the documentation, and returned in about 15 minutes.  I was the second person in line for the question/answer period (the first person in line was a Martin shill, who asked a rhetorical question).  When my turn came, I pointed out that the statistical information presented by Martin earlier was incorrect, and that I had the Bureau of Census documents in my hand and was prepared to so demonstrate.  Instead of allowing me to do so, Martin brushed my comments off with the following, which is a direct quote:  "You know what they say:  There are liars, damned liars, and statisticians."  He then went on to the next person.

Malin Jacobs on Ed Decker:

A number of years ago I appeared on the KBBX (Bountiful, Utah) religious radio talk-show, Mormon Miscellaneous, which was hosted by Bill Forest and Van Hale.  This was before that station was bought by a devout Baptist, who instructed the station manager to can the evil, non-Christian, pro-Mormon show.  The show's air-time was mid-morning, ending just before lunch.  Consequently, Bill and Van had a long-standing practice of taking the guest to lunch after the show.  When they took me to lunch, the conversation turned to Ed Decker, who had also been a past guest on Mormon Miscellaneous.  Bill and Van told me a remarkable story about their conversation with Ed when they took him to lunch.

A major thrust of Ed's anti-Mormon campaign has been to portray the LDS priesthood as a tool of Satan, and to misrepresent the meaning and practice of both the priesthood and the temple.  While they were at lunch, Bill asked Ed why he misrepresented these aspects of the LDS faith.  They pointed out to him that he had been a member, had held the priesthood, and had been through the temple, so he knew for a fact that the things he was saying weren't so.  His response to Bill and Van was "When you are fighting the Devil's church, anything goes."

Malin Jacobs on Walter Martin:

On p. 37 of Walter Martin's book, The Maze of Mormonism (Vision House, 1978) appears a photocopy of Justice Neely's expense log for the cases he handled from before March, 1826, to November of the same year.  Included is his entry for the March 26, 1826 examination of Joseph Smith.  This photocopy is taken from p. 33 of the Tanner's Mormonism, Shadow or Reality, and includes their typed note at the bottom of their page, which provides the contents of Neely's entry for Joseph Smith.  While the reproduction is both so small and poor that the original entry is all but unreadable in Martin's book (it is readable in the much better copy in the Tanners' book), it is obvious to one who reads the typed contents provided by the Tanners that it is simply an expense bill, and says nothing about the charges (other than it was a misdemeanor), testimony, or outcome of the examination.  Yet on the preceding page (p. 36) "Dr." Martin states:

"On the following page we have reproduced a photocopy of the actual 1826 document discovered in upper New York State on July 28, 1971, which shows that Joseph was indeed tried in the courtroom of Justice Albert Neely and fined the sum of $2.68 for "glasslooking."

Martin thus turned Neely's bill of expenses into a charge, guilty verdict, and fine against Joseph Smith.

The second time I was a guest of Bill Forest and Van Hale on Mormon Miscellaneous (KBBX, Bountiful, Utah), I pointed out to the listening audience this gross misrepresentation of evidence by Martin.  I later heard from a friend who regularly listened to Martin's The Bible Answer Man radio show that one of the Mormon Miscellaneous listeners had called Martin's show and informed him of my radio discussion of his misrepresentation of evidence.  According to my friend, Martin's on-air response was that he was going to check it out, and if I had actually, publicly, charged him [Martin] with misrepresentation of evidence, he was going to sue me.  Neither Bill Forest, Van Hale, nor I ever heard from Martin on this issue.

Malin Jacobs on some Southern Baptists in SLC:

My brother-in-law and his family came to visit this last weekend (6/6/98).  His house has an attached apartment which he lets the missionaries assigned to his ward use.  The missionaries told him of an experience which happened to them this last week:

While riding their bikes they were pulled over by a car which had several Southern Baptists who had come to town for the SBC annual conference and missionary activity.  These gentlemen had pulled the missionaries over to ask them how Mary became pregnant.