101 episodes

Gospel Tangents explores Mormon History, Science, Theology, and is a resource to learn more about real Mormon History by interviewing historians, scientists, experts, and authors. These podcasts will help generate future documentaries.

Gospel Tangents Podcast Gospel Tangents Podcast

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.5 • 101 Ratings

Gospel Tangents explores Mormon History, Science, Theology, and is a resource to learn more about real Mormon History by interviewing historians, scientists, experts, and authors. These podcasts will help generate future documentaries.

    Buying Nephi’s Ship (Mike & Betty LaFontaine)

    Buying Nephi’s Ship (Mike & Betty LaFontaine)

    We’re continuing our discussion about the Phoenicia Ship. Heartlanders think Nephi’s ship was built similarly. Mike & Betty LaFontaine were instrumental in purchasing the ship and shipping it back to Iowa for re-construction. We’ll learn more about how they did that, what they did when the ship sank, and more! Mike & Betty are both Native Americans, and Betty will share her experience in the Indian Placement Program as a young girl. Check out our conversation…



    Copyright © 2022

    Gospel Tangents

    All Rights Reserved

    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    transcript to follow

    Copyright © 2022

    Gospel Tangents

    All Rights Reserved

    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    • 50 min
    Brazilian Filmmakers Sail Lehi’s Voyage (Yuri & Vera Sanada)

    Brazilian Filmmakers Sail Lehi’s Voyage (Yuri & Vera Sanada)

    Yuri & Vera Sanada are experienced sailors. Hailing from Brazil, they contacted Philip Beale to join his journey aboard a 600 BC Phoenician ship to both circumnavigate Africa and sail to America! Yuri is a documentarian, and chronicled the journey via film. Rick Bennett spoke with them about their journey through pirate infested waters of Somalia, big storms near Cape Town, South Africa, and their experience building a better rat trap while on the ocean, so that the rat quit eating their food! Check out our conversation…



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    Gospel Tangents

    All Rights Reserved

    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    Transcript to follow – Topics to cover:

    Brazilian/Portuguese Explorers on Lehi’s Voyage

    Joining Philip Beale’s Crew

    Avoiding Somali Pirates

    Building a Better Rat Trap

    Storm after Capetown

    Almost a Mutiny?

    Vera & Yuri’s Thoughts on Book of Mormon

    Copyright © 2022

    Gospel Tangents

    All Rights Reserved

    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    • 44 min
    Modern Columbus Follows Lehi’s Voyage (Philip Beale)

    Modern Columbus Follows Lehi’s Voyage (Philip Beale)

    Philip Beale is a former sailor in Her Majesty’s Navy. Hailing from the U.K., Philip always had the desire to re-create the voyages of ancient sailorsm but didn’t know he was creating Lehi’s voyage. He has sailed ancient Indonesian ships, and when he discovered the ancient Greek historian Herodotus claimed Phoenicians sailed around the African continent, he was bound to re-create the voyage. After finding ruins of an ancient Phoenician ship dating from 600 BC in France, Philip built a replica of the ship with the intent to sail around Africa. When he decided to leave in 2009, he had to dodge Somali pirates who were active off the western coast of Africa.

    After he passed Cape Town, South Africa, the winds blew him almost to Florida. He had unintentionally followed what Heartlanders believe is Lehi’s journey to America. Lehi repeated the journey through the Mediterranean Sea, to see if he would indeed make it to America. He intentionally was trying to follow Columbus journey, but this time he unintentionally followed Mulek’s possible journey to America. It wasn’t until after the two journeys were over that LDS members informed Philip what he had done matched possible Book of Mormon journeys. Philip is surprisingly open to the idea that ancient Jews could have traveled to America. Check out our conversation…



    Transcript to follow.  We’ll cover these topics.

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    Gospel Tangents

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    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    Philip’s Navy Background

    Interview

    GT  01:07  Welcome to Gospel Tangents. I’m excited to have a modern Christopher Columbus (chuckling) on the show. Could you tell us your name and where you’re from?

     

    Philip  01:21  Hi. My name is Philip Beale. I’m captain of the Phoenician ship or I was the captain of the Phoenician ship. And I’m from the United Kingdom.

     

    GT  01:29  All right, right outside London?

     

    Philip  01:32  Yeah, I live down on the south coast in Dorset, near Lulworth Cove and port.

     

    GT  01:38  Okay. I’ve been there one time. We went to Wimbledon and Guernsey Island, I remember. So that’s really cool. So, you have a background in the Royal Navy. Is that right? Can you tell us more about that?

     

    Philip  01:55  Yeah. Well, as a school kid, I was interested in sailing and the history of the Age of Discovery and sailing ships, and there was a strong appeal of joining the Navy as a seamanship officer. So, I went through the Dartmouth, or Britannia Royal Naval College as a junior officer. And then I served on a couple of ships in, at the time, Her Majesty’s Navy. But then I saw that the expeditions and voyages I wanted to do, which was in the mold of Kon-Tiki, that Thor Heyerdahl did, that I needed to leave the Navy and pursue a career that enabled me to undertake these historic voyages.

     

    GT  02:50  Okay. How long were you in the—do we call it the Royal Navy?

     

    Philip  02:55  Yeah, in the Royal Navy. I was only there for three years.

     

    GT  02:57  Oh, okay. It wasn’t…

     

    Philip  02:58  I’m not a long-serving the officer of the Royal Navy.

     

    GT  03:02  You weren’t, like, a submarine commander or anything like that.

     

    Philip  03:04  I can’t claim that I was a submarine commander. I was on a couple of ships, a destroyer and a fishery protection vessel. But then, as I say, I realized, well, I asked my superiors, “When can I do my own expeditions?”

     

    Philip  03:23  And they said, “Well, if you’re lucky, in 10 years’ time.” But I decided that there was another way to do it. So, we left on friendly terms.

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Starting Heartland Research Group (John Lefgren)

    Starting Heartland Research Group (John Lefgren)

    I discovered that Dr Lefgren is the president of the Heartland Research Group. The group has recently purchased a replica of an ancient Phoenician ship that non-Mormon Captain Philip Beale sailed around Africa, likely the same route that Lehi sailed to come to America. We’ll discuss more about John’s involvement with the Heartland Research group. Check out our conversation…



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    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    Starting Heartland Research Group

    Interview

    GT  02:15  Well, let’s move on to another topic. Now both you and I are wearing dark blue shirts that says Phoenicia on it. And you’re the president of the Heartland Research Foundation, right?

     

    John  02:28  The Heartland Research Group.

     

    GT  02:30  Research Group, okay. So, tell us how you got involved with that and then why you’re not just the same organization as, say, Rod Meldrum.

     

    John  02:41  Well, I was the Sunbeam teacher in primary.[1]

     

    GT  02:46  Okay.

     

    John  02:47  A great calling. I had wonderful students. I enjoyed it. My wife and I taught that class for a year and a half, which meant I did not go to the high priest group meeting. And I was happy with my Sunbeam experience in terms of the faith of the children and their willingness to learn. It was all good. So, one Sunday, the primary had a different program, and I found myself going back to the high priest group. And we were reading the Book of Mormon.

     

    GT  03:29  This is back in Pennsylvania, right?

     

    John  03:30  In Pennsylvania, a typical group.

     

    GT  03:34  Are you far from Susquehanna, I should ask?

     

    John  03:37  Maybe two and a half hours.

     

    GT  03:39  Okay.

     

    John  03:40  Susquehanna is an important place for the youth to go and see. I’ve been I’ve been there many times. It was a funny experience for me, because we were reading the Book of Mormon account of the destruction of the Nephites. This is the account where General Mormon is listing all of his losses. You add them up, it’s 240,000 or something. It’s a big number. And I said, “I think this happened in Palmyra. I think this is a really wonderful thing that we are able to know where this happened.” There were some other members of the quorum, who are university professors and Ph.D. candidates in American history. And they jumped on me and said, “Boy, you got that wrong.”

    John  04:39  I says, “How is that possible? It’s right here. I read it and I know where Palmyra is. I’ve been there.” And that’s where it started for me.

     

    GT  04:48  What year was this, approximately?

     

    John  04:50  That would have been about 10 years ago. I wasn’t any Book of Mormon scholar. I had done a lot of work on calendars. But it seemed really strange to me that we have a lot of confirmation concerning Palmyra, Moroni, and the destruction of the Nephites. And so, in my typical fashion, I sort of started. I said, “I’m going to look at this.” And that’s where it started.

     

    GT  05:25  So, were you familiar with Rod Meldrum’s work?

     

    John  05:28  Not too much. I knew that there was something–I had no particular contact there. I think if I had any origin, it was in the High Priests’ group meeting on a Sunday morning, when I was sort of pushed off to the corner saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about. And I went back to my Sunbeam class.

     

    • 46 min
    John Lefgren on First Vision

    John Lefgren on First Vision

    When did the First Vision take place? Dr John Lefgren and Dr John Pratt worked together to come up with a date: March 26, 1820. Dr Lefgren discusses how he used weather records and understanding of maple syrup making to confirm Dr Pratt’s proposed date. We’ll talk more with John Lefgren to discover how he came up with those weather records. Check out our conversation…



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    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    Who is John Lefgren?

    Interview

    GT  00:40  Welcome to Gospel Tangents. I’m excited to have an amazing mathematician on the show. We don’t get very many of those. Can you go ahead and tell us who you are?

     

    John  00:48  I’m Dr. John Lefgren, and I’m excited to be here with Gospel Tangents.

     

    GT  00:54  Awesome. Okay. So, you’re an economist, I believe.

     

    John  00:57  Yes.

     

    GT  00:58  Can you give us a little bit about your academic background?

     

    John  01:00  I grew up in Ogden, Utah. I went to Weber State.

     

    GT  01:05  Weber College back then.

     

    John  01:07  Well, in those days it was Weber State.

     

    GT  01:09  Oh, it was? Okay.

     

    John  01:10  Yeah, in those days it was. I, then, went on a mission to Finland and I was in Finland for two and a half years. Then, I came home, continued at Weber State and then went to the University of Utah.

     

    GT  01:23  Nice! A Utah man you are.

     

    John  01:25  I’m a Utah man. I was married at the time I was at Utah. My time was occupied with studies and family, not much else on my schedule.

     

    GT  01:35  You know, I grew up in Ogden. What part of Ogden did you grow up in?

     

    John  01:38  I grew up on Fifth Street on the hill. I went to Ben Lomond High School.

     

    GT  01:42  I was going to say, I was an Ogden Tiger, so we were rivals.

     

    John  01:45  We were. We were.

     

    GT  01:47  Ben Lomond High School was a great school. It was a good place for me. I had the best friends. [I have] nothing but good things to say about my growing up years. [I had a] wonderful family, a lot of excitement, a lot of give and take in conversation and it was fun. I had wonderful teenage years. I was very active in the Boy Scouts.

     

    GT  02:11  So, you got your Bachelor’s in…

     

    John  02:14  Economics.

     

    GT  02:14  Economics. Was out from Weber or Utah?

     

    John  02:16  From Weber. Then I went to the University of Utah on a National Science Foundation Fellowship for three years. That was adequate to feed me and my family. And after that, I got a Fulbright stipend to the University of Helsinki.

     

    GT  02:38  Oh, wow.

     

    John  02:39  I was at the University of Helsinki, wrote a dissertation on banking in the early industrialization of Finland.

     

    GT  02:46  Oh, interesting.

     

    John  02:47  It was very interesting, very fun.

     

    GT  02:49  Wow. So, you got a master’s at Utah?

     

    John  02:51  No, I got a doctorate at Utah.

     

    GT  02:56  Oh, okay.

     

    John  02:57  But my dissertation work was at the University of Helsinki.

     

    GT  03:00  Okay.

     

    John  03:01  I went to Helsinki on a Fulbright for one year, took my family. I took the foreign service entrance exam when I was in Helsinki at the American Embassy. And when I came back, I got a position as a as a diplomat, as a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.

     

    GT  03:24  Oh really? Wow.

     

    John  03:26  From there,

    • 58 min
    Brant Gardner Reviews Other Geography Theories (2 of 2)

    Brant Gardner Reviews Other Geography Theories (2 of 2)

    We’ve just reviewed the Mesoamerican model for the Book of Mormon with Brant Gardner. Now I’m going to ask Brant to review other geography theories, including Baja, Malay, Africa, & Heartland. We’ll also discuss faith and science. Check out our conversation…



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    Gospel Tangents

    All Rights Reserved

    Except for book reviews, no content may be reproduced without written permission.

    M2C Citation Cartel

    Interview

    GT  00:30  Let’s shift gears a little bit. I know I was talking to Jonathan Neville lately, or a few months ago, and he was complaining about what he called the M2C citation cartel, that you guys won’t pay any attention to the Heartland and refuse to even acknowledge they exist. What do you have to say about that?

     

    Brant  00:56  Certainly not that we refuse to believe that they exist. That’s awfully harsh.

     

    GT  01:03  I may have exaggerated there.

     

    Brant  01:06  What I would say is Mesoamerican-ists don’t look at the Book of Mormon against Mesoamerica and try to justify it against somebody else’s theory. We’re not trying to say, “This is good, because it’s better than that. They had a problem here. But we don’t have that problem here.” That’s not what we’re concerned with. What we’re concerned with is saying, “Yeah, here’s a geography.  Once we have the geography, what else does that teach us?” And so, we’re very focused on learning that. They have a different purpose in mind. They have different interests. The few times that we have sort of interacted and said, “Well, here are some of the things that we see as issues and problems with the geography you’re putting forth.” They’re not very interested in them and tend to dismiss them. So, if they’re not interested in discussions on that level, they can go build their models, and try to do what we’re doing here. So, it isn’t so much that we don’t acknowledge them. We have tried. We do see some problems with the geography. But the focus isn’t to try to diminish anything else in the Book of Mormon. If somebody else comes up with a good argument, yeah, that’s wonderful. I haven’t seen any that fit the detail and complexity that I see in Mesoamerica. So, I’d much rather spend my time on that than arguing with somebody else over geography. I’m not interested.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Strengths/Weaknesses Heartland

    GT  02:55  Even though you’re not interested, do you see any strengths and or weaknesses that you’d like to share with the Heartland theory?

     

    Brant  03:11  The strengths and weaknesses of the Heartland theory?

     

    GT  03:13  Yes, of the Heartland theory.

     

    Brant  03:15  I think it has two strengths. One is it allows people the culturally historical ties to the New York Hill as the Hill Cumorah. Without question, that was a theme in the early Church. People believed that. And the fact that they make a geography that fits, that allows them to keep that, that’s a strength. It’s a strength that it fits the most common reading of certain prophecies about Promised Land. I probably read those very differently, but they’re very much in line with the way they have been traditionally read. And I think that also is a strength. I think the weakness is everything else. Let me give you an example. The last time I remember looking at the [Heartland] geographic model, you have to find a narrow neck of land.

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
101 Ratings

101 Ratings

Xyon Curtain ,

Legend

Rick Bennett is very knowledgeable on a wide verity of topics that touch Mormonism. He brings together all branches of the restoration including post/ex Mormons. He makes friends with everybody. He is very curious and tries to learn something new from every guest, even if he is more knowledgeable than the guest.

3seeker6 ,

Insightful interviews for those seeking more than the canned answers

Rick Bennett does an amazing job asking insightful questions of people from many different educational and spiritual backgrounds. If you're looking for additional resources on your spiritual path at a university level you will find him asking hard questions with honesty and integrity of scholars of the LDS faith, others who have roots in the LDS faith, some Christian theologians not of our faith, and from time to time some leaders of the church. This podcast has been a Godsend for many in an era where there are voices of confusion everywhere; this podcast helps bring clarity to topics in a forum where axes to grind become apparent through the long form interview discussion format. Highly recommend it!

Hbggsdkgmvckdkx ,

Love Gospel Tangents!

This is the Mormon podcast you’re looking for. Rick’s respectful interviews of historians and leaders of all flavors of Mormonism are simply fantastic! It’s worth the minimal cost to support the podcast and get the bonus episodes.

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