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The ongoing dialogue in the Readers' Forum has revealed a disturbing trend: quote mining. This is the process of digging up (with the help of CD-ROM) obscure quotes to bolster personal views. As any historian knows, it is an unwinnable war.

As an example, I submit this response to Thomas Williams' assertion (Forum, Dec. 4) that B.H. Roberts would be disappointed in the society that today bears his name for examining the causes and aftermath of last year's LDS "purge." As evidence, he uses a Roberts quote where he describes himself "yield(ing) completely to God's authority on Earth . . . "A few years later, Roberts wrote: "(Mormonism) calls for thoughtful disciples who will not be content with merely repeating some of the truths but will develop its truths; and enlarge it by that development. . . . The disciples of Mormonism, growing discontented with the necessarily primitive methods which have hitherto prevailed in sustaining doctrine, will yet take profounder and broader views of the great doctrines committed to the church; and, departing from mere repetition, will cast them in new formulas; cooperating in the works of the Spirit, until they give to the truths received a more forceful expression and carry it beyond the earlier and cruder stages of its development."

No one knows where B.H. would stand today. He may have chided or sided with last year's discontented disciples. Regardless, his words - spoken and written -belong to another era. Let's leave them there instead of engaging in unwinnable quote wars.

Chad Jones

Heber City