Exodus 23:1; “Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.”
This is the 175th anniversary of a very notable letter the RS published in their newspaper, ‘Times and Seasons’ declaring they weren’t practicing polygamy.
What’s so remarkable about their public declaration is how they blatantly lied then, and how the Church continues to do so even today.
Originally, a public declaration by the RS was signed by no less than 19 women. They were trying to ward off rumors of the polygamy practices which were obviously detrimental to the Church because it was illegal.
About half of them were actually married to Joe Smith at the time.
In their frenzy to cover up the activities, they also blamed a member of the Church, John C. Bennett, the resident abortionist for Smith’s indiscretions. When they had a falling out, the Church not only accused Bennett of having an affair, but they also accused one other person; Sarah Pratt.
She happened to be the Mormon apostle Orson Pratt’s wife who threatened to go public with Smith’s advances to her. Upon her refusal of Smith’s advances, Smith went on a smear campaign declaring her the one who was having an affair with Bennett. Oh what a tangled web we weave…
As it turned out, they excommunicated Pratt for refusing to sign a document declaring Bennett the problem child, and because Pratt wouldn’t apologize for accusing Smith of trying to bed down with his wife.
It didn’t take long for Pratt to come around. He eventually apologized and was allowed back into the Church, albeit he never did attain the lofty apostleship status he once held.
You can read the Relief Society’s denial letter in the article we wrote Lies of the Relief Society.
You can also read how the Church is still making excuses for their lies on their site. It’s amazing to me once again how there doesn’t seem to be any meter ticking inside their conscience. Emma Smith and Others Statement October 1, 1842. For info on events about Sarah Pratt, see ExploringMormnism.com.