Piece by Piece… A Peer Review of Solving the Prophet Puzzle- Part 1

Peer Review Feedback

The peer review process is going to be rather archaic. I am simply asking those who are reading my “preliminary manuscript” (via physical book or online) and making comments on it, to email them to my gmail account. onewhoiswatching [at] gmail dot com.

I will then periodically post them on my blog along with a youtube presentation in which I will be responding to many of the observations.

I am making the feedback public for the purpose of involving those who don’t want to read and make comments, but are interested in knowing what the issues are and listening in on the discussion.

I am now up to about 22 people who have expressed an interest in participating in the review. A few others have simply started participating by sending feedback which is fine.

It appears that most of these people purchased a hard copy of the book.

Those still interested in purchasing a copy of the book my do so by clicking on the following link and using the passcode that I am providing.

The link for ordering the book is as follows: https://www.createspace.com/5311188

The pass code necessary for ordering the book is  3watches777

Every member of the peer review with a google email has been sent a Google Docs permission link which allows them to read the book online from my Google docs as a matter of convenience.

It appears that even some peer review members without Gmail addresses are being allowed to have permission, although some email providers cannot provide protection. Those that cannot provide protection are not given permission.

If you are a member of the peer review and have not obtained a permission link for reading online, email me and I will put you on the list so that you can read it online. If you don’t have a gmail email address then there is only about a 50% chance that I will be sending you a link. It depends on who your email provider is.

I am calling this youtube series in which I respond to some of the peer review comments “Piece by Piece: A peer review of the book, ” Solving the Prophet Puzzle”

Below is part 1 of this series

Although most members of the peer review are just getting their books and their online permission links and have not had time to send comments, several have. Hence, here is part one of the youtube series. Below it you will see a laundry list of the comments I have received which I am currently cataloging into the following categories.

General Tone, Theme, Layout, Style, Size of Manuscript, Feelings, Questions

Doctrinal Issues

Historical Issues

Prophecy Issues

Clarification Issues

Graphics and graphs

Grammar, Typos, missing words, footnotes



General Tone, Theme, Layout, Style, Size of Manuscript, Feelings, Questions

Comments by TD

600 pages is an impediment to the average reader, but I am not suggesting you make it shorter.

My one suggestion is that you provide verse references in the footnotes throughout. At one point you referenced Section 107 without a verse to indicate that the Pres of the High Priesthood was to be chosen by the body instead of by revelation as indicated in Section 102. Problem for the reader is that 107 is VERY long to read for anyone who wants to validate or mark it in their scriptures themselves.

That’s all for now. How ironic that a blind man helped you to see. Very poetic. Love it.

Comments by MH

I’ve started the book and so far I love the way you listed Chapter by chapter a summary of what is in them.

Comments by RR

I think there is some inconsistency with the use of personal titles in chapter 1.  It seemed very natural to refer to Pastor Allen, but starting on page 31, you switch from “President Ezra Taft Benson” to “Benson” within the same section (Modern Mormon Leaders Acknowledged the Modern Apostasy).  The change is jarring, but either designation could be critiqued by readers.  At the time the quote was made, Ezra Taft Benson was not the President of the church.  In a culture that tends to place greater weight on the statements of church Presidents than “lesser” authorities, like apostles and seventies, it might be helpful to avoid the same error we find in the Teachings of the Living Prophets manuals to go back in a person’s life and treat every statement as though it came from the mouth of the prophet. On the other hand, simply referring to him as “Benson” sounds like the tone used by anti-Mormons who are critical of everything said by church leaders. On the next page, you reference “Benson”, “Joseph Fielding Smith”, “George Q. Cannon”, “Erastus Snow”, and “John Taylor”.  Depending on your audience, you might want to mention who these people are, at least parenthetically.  Unless you assume all your readers already know who they are.

Comments by RN

What’s the one main hook. The big idea for the book that all other ideas support? There has to be this main theme that runs through the book to give it direction. That leads the readers to the conclusion of something that was previously unthought of.

Comments by DL

I do not know whether to hate you or love you for the information you write.  When I started to praying for my eyes to be opened, my mind to be clear, and my heart to feel “the true word of God” I had no idea it would lead me to the various paths that enabled me to become closer to his word and his truth. Many of these have been outside of the traditional LDS box.  I should have put some stipulation on my prayers…

Although at this time I have come closer to and felt the true spirit of Christ outside of the LDS box “several months” verses in the box for the “past 30 years”.  I came to a realization several years ago that “I” was just like the children of Israel under Moses.  Then as I was reading D&C 1:14 it hit me a prophet was number 3 on the list and that I should be working with the number one God my Lord and Savior.     Now the spiritual realm is really coming forth again, which is good.  Working on the spiritual gifts I was supposed to have done thirty years ago.

I wished you would explain with examples on how you do these word or scripture searches.

Comment by RR

Do you think Joseph has to be guilty of everything he is charged with in order for the atonement statute to kick in? Is it possible that his private life was closer to his public teaching, and that his private teachings on polygamy were more in line with the Ezekiel 14 warning?

Thanks.  I know that the suspension of the Relief Society has been attributed to Emma’s opposition to polygamy, but I thought it was more Brigham’s concern. I have never heard that Joseph had anything to do with it, and in fact, the “Voices of Innocence From Nauvoo” that was the topic of the final RS meetings was previously read by WW Phelps to a congregation of several thousand people at the temple site (amid other speeches).  That meeting was presided over by Joseph and other prominent church leaders (March 7, 1844),so I doubt that was the cause of no further RS meetings.

Questions by GM

Anyway, where I’m going with this is it would seem that although the church may not be all that it claims and even apostate, it still seems to be the Lord’s instrument for warning his people – would you agree with that?  And if so, does it alarm you being outside of the church that you might not get the warning?

I have not heard of this first and second harvest.  Is it scriptural?

Grammar, Typos, missing words, footnotes

Comments by RN

Page 32 you have a quote from oct 1944 attributed to George q cannon. It should be j. Reuben Clark.

Pg 35 doesnt have the BoC reference from 1829 were the Lord told them he would deliver them over to satan.

Comment by RR

On page 35, there is no footnote for the quote “If this generation harden their hearts…”

Just a comment about the footnote 33 on page 20.

There seems to be a word missing in “detailing why he was the rightful of the church,”

Comments by RN

“War among themselves” not “warn”

I had no idea about the story of you and Clare Middlemiss. That’s fascinating.

I did find a rather small editing error. It’s footnote 26. The year is in small font instead of keeping it the same with the month and date.

Comments by MH

I found something in the footnote on Page 20, footnote 33 about Sidney Rigdon. “Ridgon’s speech….why he was the rightful _____ of the church…”

The rightful what?  Leader?  Successor?  President?

Comments by BP

Page 406, footnote Footnote 1008 “itis” also similar problem under footnote 1105

Comments by RR

page 77 Do you have sources that indicate Joseph Smith suspended the Relief Society in 1842? I know from the minutes that the last meeting was in September of that year, that when they started again the following summer Emma was absent throughout the year, although she is mentioned in her absence.  At one point they are even asking the women to pray that her life will be spared, so there may have been some serious health concerns.  At some of the meetings none of the RS presidency were in attendance, so it may just be a really busy time for everyone.  When they finally met again in 1844, it was to read “Voices of Innocence From Nauvoo” in 4 sessions (so everyone could attend).  This document had previously been read in a large public meeting where Joseph presided, and was written by Joseph’s secretary, so it was hardly done behind his back, as many people seem to accuse her of.

You are missing a citation for Joseph’s Ezekiel 14 sermon

Just before the final quoted paragraph on pg 77, need to capitalize “book of commandments” in 1829.


Comments by RR

Also, I think the info about the Taylor shorthand version of Thomas Bullock’s notes needs to be updated.  Google shows that the transcription was published in BYU Studies vol 53:2 called

Sidney Rigdon’s Plea to the Saints: Transcription of Thomas Bullock’s Shorthand Notes from the August 8, 1844, Morning Meeting

The download is $.99, but the site seems to be down right now.

I know nothing about shorthand, but there may be some confusion about how obsolete Taylor Shorthand is.  You can get a book that teaches it, if someone wants to learn it from Google or Amazon.  The problem according to the church translation specialist is that it is too hard to take notes verbatim, so we still have to piece together what was actually said.  The later Pitman Shorthand used by George D. Watt was better at catching every word and this is what is being translated in the church’s Lost Sermons project, which does not include the Bullock notes from Rigdon’s speech.

Comments by MH

the point about Joseph’s and God’s intent on restoring a NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH is kind of weak.  The Scriptures you provide never say “New Testament” church.  Also, “Disciples from days of old” could mean a more ancient church that goes way earlier than the meridian of time.  The other two scriptures just say “church”, again, this could indicate the church from Adam’s day or Noah’s day or Enoch’s day, etc…

If the New Testament Church is the ultimate goal, then why so much focus on Enoch and the fact that he was translated? Why are there no scriptural records of a Quorum of Twelve and a Quorum of Seventy being established in Enoch’s day?

I think a stronger case needs to be made that Joseph was indeed only intending a New Testament Restoration rather than something broader and more ancient.

Graphics and Graphs

Comment by RN

The graph on page 18 lists scriptures that compare D&C 1 and 1 Ne 22.

The last line is incorrect. There is no verse 35 in 1Ne 22. There is a verse in 2 Ne 27:35 that fits.

Suggestion would be to remove that line. I read chapter 22 looking for something close and verses 22-23 were in the ball park if correction means being shown their error and thrust down to hell. 🙂


Prophecy Issues

Comments by JJ

As you may guess, I have to ponder your approach to the definition of the ‘fulness of the gospel,’ as well as the components of 3rd Nephi that you have used to support your narrative. I will need to walk through this a little more carefully. I understand that you say the Lord can change times in successive verses, but I see the continuity in the whole sixteenth chapter from a time perspective. I can get into this in a little more detail after I have through this through more deeply.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: