Recently I listened to the Mormon Stories podcast interview with Grant Palmer. For those who don’t know who Grant Palmer is, he is a faithful member of the LDS church. He wrote a book titled ” An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins.” As a result of writing his book he was disfellowshipped from his congregation (only one member of his disciplinary committee actually read his book). His book at the time was sold in Deseret Books and is still today sold in the BYU bookstore (so I hear). In the podcast Palmer explains that he has no desire to see anyone leave the church nor is it his desire to leave.
One story I thought was of particular interest was that in the 1980s he was disciplined for telling his Seminary students that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon using a seer stone in a hat and not by using the actual golden plates. (Image A as opposed to B) Since that time this story has been confirmed and affirmed a number of times as the truth (even in the Ensign by Apostles Neil A. Maxwell and Russell M. Nelson). Today it would be very unlikely that anyone in an official church position would be disciplined for the same reasons as Palmer was in the 1980s. I think that it is great that there has been a greater interest and acknowledgment of LDS history by those within the church. It makes me wonder if in another 20 years that it will be unlikely to see authors like Palmer disciplined by the church at all.