Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture. (Click on graphic to go to MormonInterpreter.com)
I have been through quite a range of emotions the last few weeks. I’ve felt utter despair, grief, and sorrow, as well as bitterness, confusion, and great disappointment. Through it all I’ve been blessed with comfort from our Heavenly Father beyond measure, and by experiences too sacred to share. It’s been a roller coaster of a time with everything that has happened at the Maxwell Institute. I make no bones about it—FARMS had an immense impact on my life, most particularly as it relates to my testimony and faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Recently one of our dear readers asked me what so inspired me about Hugh Nibley, what so captivated me emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually about his scholarship and writings? Here was my response:
This blog will not always have posts about temple studies, I admit, as there are other things that are at work today, about which I feel I must write a little. They keep in the same genre of sustaining and defending the Church and its members.
Over the past few days I’ve never heard so much negative criticism of the Maxwell Institute and FARMS, in the various venues online. You’d think BYU had been harboring a criminal all these years. Even Mormon apologetics in general is now taboo, unfit for the Church, a view which even some members are advocating. The fad of the week is to say that “FARMS-style” apologetics is hurting the Church, is damaging to members, destroying their faith, is a losing affair, and does nobody any good, and that’s why its remaining vestiges were finally eradicated, wholly and completely from BYU. Even the Brethren must be against apologetics and the apologists to allow, nay, to cause, nay, to be the force behind, nay, to have directly requested what happened at the Maxwell Institute last week. Ousting Dan Peterson and stopping the work of “FARMS” must have been the goal of BYU and the Church all along. It’s so clear now in hindsight. The very first moderated comment on my last post? “FARMS was an embarrassment.”
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. They even go so far as to determinedly conclude that it is Mormon apologetics, in fact, that is having a negative influence on the Church, which you’ll notice is completely backwards from its true meaning and purpose. Indeed, they are saying that the defenders are now essentially those doing the damage, which is almost comical in its twistedness. [Read more…]
I’m sure many of you are by now aware of what happened this past week at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. I don’t want to rehash everything again here (you can read about it here, here, here, here, here, and here). Suffice it to say that I am extremely disappointed, deeply saddened, and frankly appalled at the actions of one M. Gerald Bradford, Executive Director of the Maxwell Institute, as well as others at the Institute (some unknown), most specifically for the unimaginably rude and utterly undeserved public firing of Daniel C. Peterson, Editor of the Mormon Studies Review (formerly the FARMS Review), who has served fervently and with untiring dedication for the past twenty-three years since its inaugural issue in 1989, as well as his entire team of associate editors, including Louis C. Midgley, George L. Mitton, Gregory L. Smith and Robert White (some of whom are out of the country and may still not even know yet that they’ve been summarily handed their coats). There aren’t words to describe how unprofessional, uncalled for, and how exquisitely ungrateful these actions are towards these devoted scholars, and the many other FARMS scholars who have been a part of the organization since 1979, and who in many ways have given their lives in sustaining and defending the kingdom of God. For that, this is the curt note they got.
One view that has been mentioned several times by those involved is how these inconceivable few days of events has in reality arrived as the exclamation point on a very long internal struggle at the Institute over the last decade in defining its core mission. That mission has consequently evolved in recent years. [Read more…]
The lecture series concluded on April 8th. I was able to attend some of the presentations, and they were very well done. I’m grateful to be able to get to know better the man, scholar, and saint, Hugh Nibley, and what he taught.
The Neal A. Maxwell Institute has reported that video of the lecture series presentations will be made available soon, likely on the Neal A. Maxwell website.
Transcripts of two of the lectures have already been made available:
An article by Hugh Nibley has also been made available that has not been published in The Collected Works called “Beyond Politics.” The talk was given on October 26, 1973 to the Pi Sigma Alpha honor society in the Political Science Department at BYU. It first appeared in BYU Studies 15/1 (1974): 3–28; and was reprinted in Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless.
I’m still curious if these articles available here are still unpublished elsewhere in The Collected Works. If anyone knows, I’d be interested to find out if they have been published or will be published.
A reader asks, “Do you know if it is possible to buy the complete writings, books, etc., of Bro. Nibley in one volume or perhaps on a CD Disc? (surely there must be a demand for this).”
It’s not possible to include all of Nibley’s writings in one volume, as the binding would be several feet thick – now that would be one big book! I also don’t know of a single CD that includes all his writings. Most of Hugh Nibley’s writings are now contained in The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, which has become a 19 volume series of books compiled and published by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), and the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU. [Read more…]