Monday, October 09, 2006

In Memorium, Jerald Tanner

Jerald Tanner

How could this man be such a threat to the church? He was a quiet man. Gentle. He wasn’t rich or powerful. In fact he was a bit goofy. What was it that made him such a threat to the LDS church? His relentless search for truth, and his integrity.

Like so many other exmormons, he had heard a slightly disturbing fact about the early days of the church and he went on a quest to find the truth. In his case, the quest was a literal trip to Missouri. He came back with documents and questions. Ultimately he discovered what we know now. That the church has hidden it’s warts from us. Asked us to ignore that philandering, money grubbing man behind the curtain and just pay, prey and obey.

I attended Jerald’s memorial service on Saturday. I have to tell you, I was impressed again by what a gracious woman is Sandra. Dignified, and genuine. She greeted friends and family warmly, in the isle of the church. When we got underway, the pastor sang a lovely song about Christ’s love. Then spoke about his loving relationship with Jerald. Next there was a heartwarming photo montage, and then Bill McKeever spoke at length about Jeralds mission. Jerald and Sandra’s son Dennis spoke about the simple man who raised three kids, and built a business in the heart of Salt Lake City. Finally the wonderful Chris Tomlin song ‘How great is our God’. That’s when I finally broke into tears. I don’t know if a mormon hymn has ever done that to me.

I never met Jerald. I had only met Sandra once. And yet, their conservative approach to systematically documenting the problems with Mormonism, and the modern church that it has become were responsible for me seeing the truth. (With a little push from Mark Hofmann).

Thank you, Jerald. Enjoy your eternal reward.


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