Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Official: I am Arrogant and Conceited. Just Ask Lee Baker.

In 2015 I met Lee Baker at Manti, an ex-Mormon whose main claim to fame is he touts that he was once an LDS bishop.  He has a radio show which introduces him as Bishop Lee Baker.

I will post the video on YouTube of my interaction in Manti with him.  In 2016 I called into his show several times to discuss several topics, and reached the conclusion that Mr. Baker's driving motive is completely polemical and has no interest in truth claims.  I based it the fact that after one call, he edited the call to emphasize certain words I spoke as if they proved his point, something I found to be bad form.  I wrote him a note telling him that, and told him I would cease interacting with him, and we ceased talking and writing to each other.

So you can imagine my surprise that I got a small booklet in the mail a week ago with a page dedicated to me and another LDS scholar, stating:


This book is dedicated to the several Mormon Leaders, Scholars and Teachers listed below, who have arrogantly refused to explain or even provide a single comment specific to the Joseph Smith Jr. translation of the Book of Gensis, Chapter 17.

Their rejection to do so has served as the primary motivation for this uniquely focused study of the personal motives, biblical skills and questionable character of Joseph Smith Jr. and the "translation" Smith wrote between 1830-1833, which was in fact an irrelevant and self-aggrandizing version of The Holy Bible, King James Version.
In Special Acknowledgment of the Arrogance and Conceit of:
Mr. David E. Premont of Olney, Maryland
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church Education System - Baltimore Seminary and Institute Coordinator
Baltimore, Columbia, Seneca Maryland and Wilmington Delaware Stakes

Mr. Robert B. Vukich of South Jordan, UT
Church Historian, Instructor and Scholar
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (
Well, it's all true.  Except like almost none of it is accurate.  I haven't lived in South Jordan for nearly three years, and he knows it since he has mailed materials to my home in Highland; I am not "a" or "the" Church Historian, and I am certainly not an official representative of  I do have a Utah driver's license, if that makes me an official of the state of Utah, however.

I actually responded in detail to Mr. Baker in this very blog nearly a year ago, on Nov. 24, 2015, having previously called into his show on Nov 22, 2015 and tried to engage him on the subject, to which he responded by cutting off my call. Listen between 32 minutes and 36 minutes on the call record.  BTW, interestingly he has removed the episode from his archive, and you now have to go to Blog Talk Radio archive to get the episode.  He mailed me something, which I probably have if I look hard enough, and then he and I had an email exchange, when on April 28, 2016 I again not only gave him the link to the Joseph Smith Paper's original , I gave him the actual copy of the document showing Joseph Smith's Inspired Translation original dictation, and pointed out that I felt his teachings in JST Genesis 17 amounted to the Jewish equivalent of a Midrash, or an extended explanation of the underlying meaning of a text.  Since Joseph notes that the circumcision on the 8th day was symbolic of accountability for sins beginning at 8 years, he definitely was not saying not to circumcise, since it is specifically stated to circumcise in verse 17 at the age of eight days.

A colleague of mine, Robert Boylan at FairMormon, also addressed this very issue in August 26, 2016 in his Blog, Scriptural Mormonism also responds in detail.

I am not a doctor, but I have had a lot of experience dealing with the elderly, and I studied Gerontology when I was in college and got a minor in it from BYU.  My parents ran senior living foster homes, which included folks with early stage dementia.  I don't write this to be insulting, but to be sympathetic, as I believe Mr. Baker exhibits symptoms of some form of early stage dementia.  He was a man who worked in the intelligence field as an analyst professionally, and now he not only seems unable to connect basic concepts together, he makes assertions about issues which are demonstrably false, such as this where I have not only devoted blog space to his topic, but I have corresponded with him and been on his radio show.  His confrontational nature also is consistent with certain types of dementia, and the alienation of his relationships to his close family members, children and grandchildren, because he apparently refuses to refrain from "preaching the truth" to them, even after they have heard it from him many times and have asked him for the sake of their relationships to declare a truce, is sad.  I could be all wrong, and I hope I am.  In any case, I pray for Mr. Baker.  Insofar as his material pertains to me, he is truly either demented, blessed with the world's worst memory or he is a documented liar.  None of those choices speak well of him.  As is typical of anti-Mormons, which Mr. Baker is, he camps on verse 11 and doesn't bother to read all the way to verse 17, which is all part of the same context.  In my opinion, that is not honest.  But then again, he is the guy who swore and promised he would never return to Manti if I could show him from the Bible where God lied or caused someone to lied intentionally, and after doing so, he failed to keep his word.  So really, what can one expect from someone like that?

No comments: