[Tom Murphy's sister is on another list I'm a member of, and she forwarded this statement he wrote in response to all the questions he has been getting, which are too numerous for him to reply to individually. I'm forwarding his statement with permission to some of the other lists where his current situation is being discussed, for the information of the members of those lists. I do not know Tom Murphy and AFAIK have never corresponded with him, and I have no further information to add to his statement below.]
I did not desire nor invite the church disciplinary council. As far as I
can determine the actions came in direct response to someone handing a copy
of my article in American Apocrypha to my stake president. I do not desire
excommunication and believe that it would be in the best interest of the
church to halt the council.
I believe that the LDS Church could provide a great service for critically
thinking members of the Church if it would permit open discussion of the
Book of Mormon as fiction, perhaps even inspired fiction. The scientific
and historical evidence is so overwhelmingly arrayed against traditional
hemispheric and limited geographic interpretations that an open and honest
discussion of an allegorical reading of the Book of Mormon is
warranted. My desire is to help create such a space for Mormons.
Ultimately, it is up to my stake high council to decide if that view is
out-of-bounds. I am not going to change my view or sweeten it to please the
stake president or anyone else. The matter of fact is that of the thousands
of Native American individuals and hundreds of tribal groups studied to
date, not a single one of them has any evidence of a genetic tie to
ancient Israel within the time frame required by the Book of Mormon. Not
even Scott Woodward of BYU anticipates that future data will change that
scenario. The high council cannot change the science by excommunicating me
and I refuse
to misrepresent the evidence to please them.
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- Re: [ZION] Tom Murphy's Statement (was Re: LDS Writer Exp... Ronn Blankenship