Who Are the Signaturi
by John W. Redelfs
Who are the Signaturi? Here is the Redelfs definition:
The Signaturi are a clique of dissidents within the modern Church
(Mormon) who profess to be faithful members of the Church and possess
some or most of the following characteristics:
1) They prefer reading and discussing books published by Signature
Books to those published by the mainstream LDS publishers, Deseret
Book and Bookcraft. This is where they get the name, Signaturi, a term
coined on the Internet by William J. Hamblin, listowner of the former
Morm-Ant email discussion list hosted at Brigham Young University.
2) They prefer reading and discussing the publications, SUNSTONE and
DIALOGUE, to reading and discussing THE ENSIGN or BRIGHAM YOUNG
3) They either attend Sunstone symposia or admire and are friends with
those who do, especially the leaders. Of course, the faithful have
been known to attend these symposia also, so as to keep their disgust
4) They strongly prefer "The New Mormon History" to the traditional,
Church sponsored history taught by the Church Education System which
they consider dishonestly whitewashed. They call such history "faith
promoting history." They fail to see the so-called "New Mormon
History" for what it is: Digging for Dirt History.
5) Almost to man they consider themselves to be "intellectuals" and by
definition disallow this term as applied to anyone who disagrees with
them about "The New Mormon History." In their own eyes they are the
only intellectuals and scholars in the Church. This usage becomes
apparent in press coverage of the supposed Church war on its scholars
where it is never mentioned that this war only includes a tiny
minority of its scholars.
6) As a group they are highly supportive of the right of free speech
and something called academic freedom, but they totally ignore the
right of the individual to associate or disassociate with whomever he
chooses. Which means they have a right to hang out on whatever email
discussion list they please whether they are welcome or not. They also
deny the Church this right to freedom of association when it defines
doctrinal qualifications for membership, considering any effort to
exclude on the basis of doctrine a violation of free speech.
7) Generally they tend to admire, indeed idolize, such "intellectual"
Mormons and former Mormons as Sterling McMurrin, Steve Benson, D.
Michael Quinn, Edwin Firmage, Jr., and Brent Metcalfe. However they
detest and generally consider Neanderthals men such as W. Cleon
Skousen, Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, Ezra Taft Benson,
Reed Benson, Lou Midgley, and their anathema, Boyd K. Packer, most of
whom they disdainfully characterize as orthodox, neo-orthodox or Iron
8) Generally, they are strong supporters of the organized feminist and
gay-lesbian movements within the Church, considering all institutional
opposition to these world movements examples of the bigotry and sexism
of the apostles and prophets.
9) Generally, they think the ban on blacks holding the Priesthood,
which the Lord lifted in 1978, was the result not of God's law and
revelation but culturally induced racial prejudice and bigotry on the
part of the prophets and apostles.
10) Generally, they consider anyone who agrees with the talk "Fourteen
Fundamentals of Following the Prophets," which President Benson gave
at BYU a number of years ago, to be "blind followers." Basically,
President Benson said that when the living Prophet of the Church
speaks, his word is more binding upon us as the law of God than the
scriptures which can be misunderstood and which are incomplete.
11) An element among these people profess to believe that the Book of
Mormon is an inspired parable or allegory rather than a history of
something that actually happened to real people who lived anciently.
In other words, according to this view, the Book of Mormon is "true"
and is inspired scripture because it was inspired by God and contains
many precious truths; but there were no actual gold plates nor was
there actually a man named Lehi. They deny the historicity of the Book
of Mormon. While many Signaturi don't actually hold this view
publicly, they consider it a legitimate minority position within the
Church and see nothing heretical about it. Since the advent of the
Internet, this view has grown enormously within the Church, largely
because of their efforts.
12) Finally, these Latter-day Saints practice a variant of Mormonism
heavily influenced by the New Age Movement in extolling "tolerance"
and "diversity" above all other virtues and consider a person guilty
of the ultimate sin of being "harsh and judgmental" if he cries
repentance unto the people for any of the traditional sins such as
fornication, adultery, homosexual sodomy, lasciviousness, etc. Indeed,
religion among these people seems to be something they get from
Hallmark Card Shops and Jonathan Livingston Seagull posters rather
than from the Book of Mormon.
Now, possessing one or several of these characteristics does not by
itself mean that a person is necessarily one of the Signaturi, that
distinction belongs only to those who are members of this clique which
may in fact be a secret combination within the Church. Nor must one
possess all of these characteristics to be a Signaturus. Indeed, some
of the best disguised Signaturi are so adept at masquerading as
faithful saints, they possess none of these qualities. Therefore this
list should be thought of more as a profile than a definition.
And a final disclaimer: Just because a person is admired or idolized
by the Signaturi does not mean that he himself is a member of the
clique. People often have no control over whom gushes over them. Nor
is there any guarantee that there are no Signaturi among those whom
they publicly detest. It has always been the practice of the devil to
sponsor both sides in an argument in order to influence the outcome of
the contest and insure control of the winning faction. He is the
master deceiver, and among his mortal followers are those who are very
good at it themselves.
Copyright (c) 2005 by John W. Redelfs - Permission is hereby granted
to freely distribute this piece provided it is reproduced in it's
entirety and includes this copyright notice.