I expect to resume with another of my tedious screeds in September. The intention today was to fill this space with a review of Denver Snuffer's new book on Joseph Smith, A Man Without Doubt; but there simply isn't time to write it. So instead I'll just urge everyone to Buy The Book. Or at least read the many five-star reviews the book has engendered so far, all of which are more cogent than anything I might have produced anyway. (There is one smugly negative review by someone who demonstrates complete unfamiliarity with either Denver or his book, but it's still worth reading just to watch how other reviewers piled onto that hapless ignoramus.)
Recently Denver gave a remarkable presentation at the Sunstone Symposium, but I don't know if it's available on line as of yet. If it is, perhaps someone can post a link in the comment section below. The title of that paper is "Was There An Original?" In it, Denver discusses how much Mormonism has changed (and not for the better) since its founding under Joseph Smith. Denver shows how Mormonism "began as a very big religion, but has diminished considerably over the years," and discusses the recent causes for that decline.
Also along those lines is the recent blog post by the Anonymous Bishop, Do We Still Believe Anything Joseph Taught? If you've had the chance to read Rob Smith's Teaching For Doctrines The Commandments of Men, you have probably arrived at your own conclusions. (Rob's remarkable blog is called Upward Thought. Go there if you'd like a free pdf version of his book; you'll see a link on the right-hand side.)
That's all for now. In the immortal words of The Tempos, "see you in September."
That is the audio presentation. You can also find the written paper, which is valuable because the audio version does not contain the extensive footnotes, most of which include commentary that I feel is essential to the topic. Here's an example from the very first page (footnote 9):
“Growth” and “decay” should not be measured by numbers, but by the content of light. Measured by numbers alone, Mormonism has had a triumphant history (although its momentum is now likewise showing signs of decay). Measured by light, it has only dimmed since the passing of Joseph and Hyrum.