LDS Essays – Life After Ministries https://lifeafter.org Leading Mormons to the REAL Jesus Mon, 12 Aug 2019 00:02:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.11 LDS Essay Book of Mormon Geography https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-book-of-mormon-geography/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-book-of-mormon-geography/#respond Tue, 05 Feb 2019 00:02:51 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=21921 General Conference, ‘Book of Mormon Geography,’ April 1929, pp. 15-16 “There is a great deal of talk about the geography of the Book of Mormon. Where was Zarahemla? Where was the City of Zarahemla? and other geographic matters. It doesn’t make any difference to us. There has never been anything yet set forth that definitively settles […]

The post LDS Essay Book of Mormon Geography appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>

General Conference, ‘Book of Mormon Geography,’ April 1929, pp. 15-16 “There is a great deal of talk about the geography of the Book of Mormon. Where was Zarahemla? Where was the City of Zarahemla? and other geographic matters. It doesn’t make any difference to us. There has never been anything yet set forth that definitively settles the question. So the Church says we are just waiting until we discover the truth. … We do not offer any definite solution. As  you study the Book of Mormon keep these things in mind and do not make definite statements concerning things that have not been proven in advance to be true.” — Anthony W. Ivins, Apostle

A few days ago Melissa gave me a heads up about the latest installment of the Church’s essays.

She came across a YouTube video discussing how earlier this month the Church quietly placed the latest addition in the Gospel Topics section of their website.

This release was quite short compared to other essays, but the real news isn’t just about the nonexistent BoM geography. The other news is how/why the Church told teachers and members not to discuss the nonexistent geography.

We’ve pulled a few comments from their news to show how they’ve misled these dear people. As an FYI, the quote above comes from one of the references listed in the essay. It speaks to the reality their canon was a fantasy in the mind of Joe Smith. To read the essay in full see Gospel Topics Book of Mormon Geography.

“The Church takes no position on the specific geographic location of Book of Mormon events in the ancient Americas. Church members are asked not to teach theories about Book of Mormon geography in Church settings but to focus instead on the Book of Mormon’s teachings and testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel.”

Every ex-Mormon has a memory of when they began looking for historical information about the BoM. I recall studying my own copy as a teen and asking LDS teachers for info on how I could align its teachings with my Bible. The only response I received was to study it further, and don’t worry about it right now.

Our hearts grieve over the deception, and the dead-ends this church continues to dish out.

“Since the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830, members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have expressed numerous opinions about the specific locations of the events discussed in the book. Some believe that the history depicted in the Book of Mormon occurred in North America, while others believe that it occurred in Central America or South America. Although Church members continue to discuss such theories today, the Church takes no position on the geography of the Book of Mormon except that the events it describes took place in the Americas.”

They could stop the charade and take a position of honesty by confessing there’s no such story of Nephite, Lamanites, or Jardites. This, however, isn’t the road they chose to take because the next thing they did was to quote a letter written by Smith to Emma telling her he was walking over the mounds of former inhabitants in North America.

Our question is why?

Why did Joe Smith do this?

Why does the Church continue to carry on the lies?

Oh, please pray for these dear people to pause, and give this serious consideration!

To see the other essays and our response, see LDS Essays. This latest one will be listed by the end of the day!

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor 1:18

The post LDS Essay Book of Mormon Geography appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-book-of-mormon-geography/feed/ 0
Church Explains Why Gospel Topic Essays aren’t Publicized https://lifeafter.org/church-explains-gospel-topic-essays-arent-publicized/ https://lifeafter.org/church-explains-gospel-topic-essays-arent-publicized/#respond Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:02:59 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=19496 Psalm 101:7; “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” Today we’re looking at a post on the Mormon Stories podcast website hosted by John Dehlin. As many of you probably know, Mr. Dehlin was ex-communicated in early 2015 for speaking out against the Church. […]

The post Church Explains Why Gospel Topic Essays aren’t Publicized appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>

Psalm 101:7; “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”

steven-e-snow-largeToday we’re looking at a post on the Mormon Stories podcast website hosted by John Dehlin. As many of you probably know, Mr. Dehlin was ex-communicated in early 2015 for speaking out against the Church. His podcasts are designed to discuss the more controversial topics in Mormonism, and the Church felt that he had crossed their line of what is, and isn’t acceptable.

You can listen to the podcast via the links on their site, for now we’re looking at the quote they posted from an interview of LDS Church Historian Steven Snow.

Let’s take a look at what he said!

Mormon Stories, July 16, 2016

‘Elder Steven E. Snow candidly explains why the LDS Gospel Topics Essays are not publicized by the LDS Church. (Source here.  Date of recording unknown).

“Woven into the story, the history will be some of the issues that sometimes rise associated with church history and our doctrine. We try to cover those with some essays which are linked to lds.org under Gospel Topics. The Brethren two years ago gave us twelve questions to answer. They included “Race and the Priesthood”, “Polygamy”, “The translation of the Book of Mormon”, on and on. Nine of those have now been answered and three questions remain to be answered and we are still working on those. We should conclude our work by the end of this year. If you haven’t had a chance to look at those essays, we’d encourage you to do so and share them with your friends.’

Question:

The Church is a multi-billion dollar organization, so why aren’t they using the resources from tithing members GIVE to them and tell the truth? Why is getting the info out incumbent upon the members? At what point did people like my mother become the advertising agency for LDS.inc?

‘We are in the process of letting leaders, stake presidents and bishops know about them so they can be a resource in the event that some of their members are having questions or challenges about those issues. “Book of Abraham” essay was just released in July, that’s the most recent of the nine essays that have been published on-line.’

They should keep the words of our Lord in mind who said all things will be revealed –

Luke 8:17; “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.”

‘I think it’d be helpful to know how we chose to roll those out. It was a soft roll out. There wasn’t an announcement saying “You can go to this website to learn everything weird about the Mormon church you ever wanted to learn”. (Laughter from the audience)

But yet we had a lot of people struggling with some of these issues. We were loosing young people particularly. And we felt we owed a safe place for people to go to get these answered. So they were deliberately kind of placed in an existing database, so they wouldn’t ….’

A soft roll out? Why does this make my heart hurt? Shouldn’t news about what Jesus is doing cause people to rejoice? Why is this being done in a clandestine manner?

‘You know, 90% of the church probably couldn’t care less, they don’t worry about such things. But we do have some folks who are on-line and we felt like they needed a safe place to go to get answers if they had questions. So I don’t think you are gonna see a well publicized campaign to tell you to go to these sites. But we just, you know, the people that are interested seem to kind of pass the word amongst themselves. And the only other thing is that leaders now will have access to them. And I think the long- probably the greatest long-term benefit will be: These are answers that have been vetted by the, reviewed by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency and they have signed off on these answers.’

What’s unsafe about resources that give out truthful info?

Why didn’t leaders/teachers have access to the curriculum before now?

‘And now curriculum and seminaries and institute can safely weave these essays into a future curriculum to in a sense “inoculate” is a word I use quite a bit for the rising generation. So, they can learn a little bit about these things without being totally shocked when they hear them for the first time. Does that make sense? (“yeah” from someone in the audience) Yeah, OK.

So, don’t expect a big campaign. I think there’s been a lot of interest within maybe a small percentage of church members but my view is most of the church really is not troubled, members are not troubled by these.”

Inoculate? What disease are they trying to prevent from spreading? Could it be a disease of unbiblical doctrines?

Sadly, Mr. Snow is probably correct in thinking that most won’t care about the essays, but a part of me just can’t imagine anyone would be okay with knowing they’ve been lied to!

Please, pray for these people! Pray that when they get the info they’ll turn to Jesus and not a hatred towards God.

The post Church Explains Why Gospel Topic Essays aren’t Publicized appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/church-explains-gospel-topic-essays-arent-publicized/feed/ 0
LDS Essay Mother in Heaven https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-mother-in-heaven/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-mother-in-heaven/#respond Wed, 02 Mar 2016 00:02:17 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=19054 Since truth is the only meaningful foundation upon which we can make wise decisions, how then can one establish what is really true?” – LDS Apostle Richard G. Scott, 2007 The statement above by Mr. Scott would be admirable if only he’d live up to it. Indeed, how wise it’d be, not to mention believable, […]

The post LDS Essay Mother in Heaven appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>

Since truth is the only meaningful foundation upon which we can make wise decisions, how then can one establish what is really true?” – LDS Apostle Richard G. Scott, 2007

LDSThe statement above by Mr. Scott would be admirable if only he’d live up to it. Indeed, how wise it’d be, not to mention believable, if he and the other well dressed men in Salt Lake would tell the truth. The latest essay put out by the Church is a stunning example of how they don’t practice what they preach.

One of the Church’s new essays, ‘Mother in Heaven’, is only six paragraphs long. As a matter of fact, the footnotes section is pregnant with more information than the actual montage of lies they tried to pass off.

As it stands today (3/2016), the majority of Mormons are unaware that the doctrinal exposition of a mother in heaven is based on hearsay. The occasional mention of her is clouded in mystery, coupled with the reminder of tributes paid directly to her aren’t allowed outside of acknowledging her presence in the Mormon trinity of gods.

There are virtually no records of Joseph Smith preaching about a Mother in Heaven. The earliest records of her is found in the diaries of two women from the Joseph Smith era. Both women mentioned Smith had told each of them privately about her, and both references to her were written after Smith’s death. See Eliza Snow’s poetry in Times & Seasons, and Zina D. Young’s notes on speaking with Joseph Smith.

A good resource to obtain info on this Mormon goddess is found in a survey written by David L. Paulsen, and Martin Pulido, both of BYU. The name of that article is ‘“A Mother There”: A Survey of Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven’. I highly encourage anyone interested in the historical aspects of this subject to read the outcome of their in-depth research. Included in their paper are several LDS references on her, and talks given about this subject from the early days of Mormonism onward.

A quote I found in their article sums up what many in the Church have been taught about this elusive goddess wife –

“Mormon scholar Kathryn H. Shirts recalled a “Primary class, in which someone asked the teacher, ‘If we have a Mother in Heaven, how come we never  hear about her?’ The teacher’s reply was that God was protecting her name  from the kinds of slander that human beings direct toward the names of the Father and the Son.”

At the end of the day what we have left are hymns written about this goddess wife, reverence paid to her without people knowing why, and what many have called a ‘sacred censorship’ which amounts to nothing more than idolatry. Translation: everybody knows about the goddess wife who’s only purpose is to be eternally pregnant.

It’s a topic that’s talked about all the time by the congregation, and at the same time the leadership is trying to ignore. It sounds a lot like they’re making it up as they go along, but this shouldn’t be a big deal because according to their inspired canon in Articles of Faith 1:9, the Mormon god has reserved the right to change things as he goes along –

“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

Aside from the obvious blasphemy of worshiping strange gods, the saddest part of this is the fact that it wasn’t part of Smith’s original teachings. I can’t help but wonder what devoted Mormons like my mother would think of such a thing.

This ‘Heavenly Mother’ sounds a lot like the Ashera, the Babylonian fertility goddess. We wrote  a comparison of the two you can read here.

Another thought provoking insight is an investigation Ed Decker and I worked on together a few years ago – The Making of Mormon Spirit Babies. We’re praying Mormons will stop and think about not only the ramifications of such idolatry, but the common sense of it as well.

You can read the Church’s full article here – LDS Topics Mother in Heaven

The post LDS Essay Mother in Heaven appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-mother-in-heaven/feed/ 0
The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage https://lifeafter.org/manifesto-end-plural-marriage/ https://lifeafter.org/manifesto-end-plural-marriage/#respond Mon, 01 Dec 2014 00:02:45 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=18409 In early November 2014 the LDS Church released another essay and this time around the subject matter focuses on the Church’s 1890 Manifesto. I guess the season to be thankful for God’s blessings includes being thankful for the numerous ways someone can spin a story and garner sympathy from the unsuspecting. When I read this […]

The post The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
lds1In early November 2014 the LDS Church released another essay and this time around the subject matter focuses on the Church’s 1890 Manifesto.

I guess the season to be thankful for God’s blessings includes being thankful for the numerous ways someone can spin a story and garner sympathy from the unsuspecting.

When I read this essay I couldn’t get memories of my great-grandfather out of my head. who shared stories of his childhood with me every time I’d visit. He grew up in a polygamist home and always told me ‘life back then was hard and it ain’t because we didn’t have no money’. Every time I saw him he said the same thing.  Today I wonder if his comments were in reference to raids the US government performed while trying to eradicate polygamy.

Hardships were a result of sharing your mother with 30 or more siblings. Sister-wives were the fabric of his ‘nuclear family’ and in his case there were five moms altogether. Because his mother was not only the youngest, but also the last wife to be added to the harem, his family fell at the bottom of the pecking order when it came to doling out food supplies, money, etc.

I’ve often wondered what he must’ve gone through as a child when the feds performed raids on active polygamist families. Imagine having to hide your father underground if the cops came knocking… This conjures up images of scared little kids who grow up disrespecting government authorities as well as being taught how to lie by those who are supposedly following God. It just boggles my brain…

Scenarios like this are part of what the Church touched upon in their essay this time. The missing element in their essay is the part on being taught how to lie, thus our response today.

While not going into every comment they made we’ll be focusing on major points and comparing  them with what they’ve said in the past and with what our Lord says in His word. Here we go so hang on!

“For much of the 19th century, a significant number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced plural marriage—”

The operative word in that statement is significant. We’re always wondering why they have to lie about the lies they’ve told. Think about that for a moment…they’re lying about the lies they’ve told.  Really?  Not only is it a sin, it’s just unbecoming and not something you’d expect coming from a large corporation, let alone a ‘Christian church’. The comment above is the exact opposite of what they said in a previous essay from December 2013 –

“…for more than half a century, plural marriage was practiced bysome Latter-day Saints.”

They compounded their dishonesty problem by going on to say that polygamy wasn’t a mandate.

“Though not all Church members were expected to enter into plural marriage, those who did so believed they would be blessed for their participation.”

Now if you’ve spent any time at all on this blog or any other website focusing on the Mormon polygamy problem you’ll know straightaway this is a lie. The Church went out of its way to advise members that without polygamy there is no salvation. Consider some of their teachings we’ve listed here –

Denial of Polygamy Brings Damnation – Brigham Young

Polygamy Fulfills God’s Promises – D&C 132:34

Kingdom of God Stops with no Polygamy – John Taylor

Polygamy Most Important Doctrine – Joseph F. Smith

The teachings listed above are just a few of the times LDS leaders have pounded the pulpit with the message that damnation follows if polygamy isn’t practiced. I’m just heartbroken they’d lie in such bold ways and with no sign of remorse.

Without skipping a beat the next part of the essay begins with their long-winded, woe-is-me saga pointing out that polygamy was practiced worldwide; as if offering a decoy of other people’s sin makes their behavior more palatable…

“In many parts of the world, polygamy was socially acceptable and legally permissible.”

We have to ask; what does this have to do with being a Christian and obeying Jesus?

The word of God says not to lie and Jesus told the Pharisees that a man should cleave to his wife, not wives.

Matthew 19:5; “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” 

Psalm 101:7; “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”

Furthermore, just because it was legal in other parts of the world doesn’t mean it was legal here in the US and doesn’t exempt members of the LDS Church from obeying the law. It also shows the contradictions they keep shoveling out to the public. Here’s what it says in their Articles of Faith 1:12;

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

How do the illegal activities of the Church measure up to their own self-proclaimed standard?

“Beginning in 1862, the U.S. government passed a series of laws designed to force Latter-day Saints to relinquish plural marriage.”

Polygamy laws in Illinois 1833While the statement above is ‘technically’ true, they know for a fact that many states had individually outlawed polygamy by 1862.  Illinois, for example, had passed an anti-bigamy law way back in 1833 and yet the Church broke that law every single day they resided there.

What’s so shameful about this statement is how the Church has already published documentation contradicting what they’ve said – 

“Through the Nauvoo period polygamy was a criminal act under the Illinois 1833 antibigamy law, which remained unchanged during statute revision in 1845. Polygamy, thus defined, was punishable by fines of $1000 and two years imprisonment (previously married persons) or $500 and one year imprisonment (previously single persons) (Revised Laws of Illinois 1833 and revised Statutes of the State of Illinois 1845, secs. 121, 122, University of Chicago Law Library).” –  Nauvoo Demographic Report – George Smith

The essay reported the Church admitted to breaking US laws for the sake of obeying what God had told them to do. They even went so far as to admit that Church leaders had either gone into hiding, or came up with aliases to trick the Feds. If those things didn’t work they’d turn themselves in and served time in the state pen. What they didn’t do is show any remorse for lying.

What I found deplorable is the cavalier attitude they adopted when they briefly acknowledged the difficulties the wives and kids went through when husbands chose to abandon them. Those memories of my grandfather came to mind…

“Church leaders encouraged members to obey God rather than man. Many Latter-day Saints embarked on a course of civil disobedience during the 1880s by continuing to live in plural marriage and to enter into new plural marriages.6 The federal government responded by enacting ever more punishing legislation.”

Why have they made it sound as if the fault was caused by outsiders? And why are they incorporating their ‘endure to the end’, feel sorry for me drama? This isn’t what God mandated, it’s what Church leaders did to themselves.

“Despite countless difficulties, many Latter-day Saints were convinced that the antipolygamy campaign was useful in accomplishing God’s purposes. They testified that God was humbling and purifying His covenant people as He had done in ages past.”

You’ll notice the similarities of why God was punishing the Israelites and why the Mormons were in trouble with the US government; they were both living in disobedience and breaking laws. For whatever reasons the disconnect in figuring this out, both then and now, continued on.

“After two decades of seeking either to negotiate a change in the law or avoid its disastrous consequences, Church leaders began to investigate alternative responses.”

Why? Why are they seeking alternatives when clearly there aren’t any? The word ‘no’ is pretty simple and should’ve been self-explanatory, yet the continued their nefarious deeds –

“In 1885 and 1886 they established settlements in Mexico and Canada, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law, where polygamous families could live peaceably. Hoping that a moderation in their position would lead to a reduction in hostilities, Church leaders advised plural husbands to live openly with only one of their wives, and advocated that plural marriage not be taught publicly. In 1889, Church authorities prohibited the performance of new plural marriages in Utah.13

Church leaders prayerfully sought guidance from the Lord and struggled to understand what they should do. Both President John Taylor and President Wilford Woodruff felt the Lord directing them to stay the course and not renounce plural marriage.14 This inspiration came when paths for legal redress were still open.”

Their inspiration obviously didn’t come from the Lord or His word and if this was truly inspired of God why are they directing members to hide their activities?

Furthermore, they were fully aware that laws prohibiting polygamy in Mexico had been passed in 1884 and Canada had adopted the anti-polygamy laws of the US.

As they laboriously continued to fess up on their illegal activities, at one point I began thinking ‘oh good they’re telling the truth!’, but I was disappointed again when they lied and said the number of marriages performed after 1890 were very few and details of who authorized the marriages was unknown.

Now the reason I’m hounding on this is because of my relatives. My family wasn’t ever one of the elite hierarchy in the Church and by no means were they ever mentioned in any remarkable events of Mormondom. They’ve always been just another name on the roster and filled the endless list of average temple worthy members. How could an average church member end up being so honored by the Mormon hierarchy and allowed to engage in polygamous activities?

“Under exceptional circumstances, a smaller number of new plural marriages were performed in the United States between 1890 and 1904, though whether the marriages were authorized to have been performed within the states is unclear.35

“The precise number of new plural marriages performed during these years, inside and outside the United States, is unknown…”

“The exact process by which these marriages were approved remains unclear…”

“After Joseph F. Smith became Church President in 1901, a small number of new plural marriages were also performed during the early years of his administration.42…”

As I said, the red flag in this claim is my family; they just so happened to be one of those supposed few. For years I wondered how they would’ve been part of such an elite group in Mormonism. My suspicions that polygamous marriages were the norm in the Post-Manifesto era proved to be true when I came across a lengthy, but must-read essay, by D. Michael Quinn, ‘LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904’.

‘…The Manifesto is a Deception’, Smoot Case 4:481

In addition to the quote above pulled from the Reed Smoot hearings, Mr. Quinn also pointed out that the Church was fully aware of its unlawful behavior not only in Utah, but Canada, Mexico and throughout the entire U.S. as well. ‘LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904’, p 17.

Quinn summed up the inner workings of the LDS leadership then and now by stating;

‘The illegality, secrecy, and self-protection of the individual and the institution all contributed toward the final complication in the history of polygamy among the Mormons: the meaning and application of “truth.”’

Quoting Joseph Smith and Mormon apostle Abraham H. Cannon [pp 18-19], Quinn also provided statements from both men to back his claim –

“That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill;’ at another time He said ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven…” – Joseph Smith

“It is good to always tell the truth, but not always to tell the whole of what we know.” – Abraham H. Cannon

One of the most elusive things in Mormonism has always been truth and it’s a puzzlement to me that they’re always in desperate need of it. In a series of questions Quinn posed in his essay [pp 12-13], two stood out to me –

“Were new plural marriages actually performed after the 1890 Manifesto?…” 

Answer: yes.

“How many new plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904?”

Answer: over 2,000.

Did you notice how the Church’s info contradicts what Mr. Quinn said? I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

To borrow from Shakespeare, this essay is ‘much ado about nothing’. All they’ve done is rearrange some of their previous lies in the hopes that by throwing everything they have against a wall something will stick. Unfortunately their insanity of lying, false prophecies and wholesale adultery will garner the sympathies of unsuspecting seekers of truth.

Pray for those who read their essay won’t you? Pray that eyes will be opened and His Holy Spirit will guide the Mormon people to the door of a true Christian church and away from the lies of Mormonism.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor 1:18

The post The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/manifesto-end-plural-marriage/feed/ 0
LDS Essay Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-plural-marriage-kirtland-nauvoo/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-plural-marriage-kirtland-nauvoo/#respond Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:02:19 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=18361 Fasten your seatbelts folks, here we go. The Church released another essay on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 just in time for Halloween. This dark and spooky story is about the Church fessin’ up to at least 33 of Smith’s extracurricular activities in life which Smith referred to as ‘The Principle’, better known as Plural Marriage […]

The post LDS Essay Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
lds1Fasten your seatbelts folks, here we go.

The Church released another essay on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 just in time for Halloween. This dark and spooky story is about the Church fessin’ up to at least 33 of Smith’s extracurricular activities in life which Smith referred to as ‘The Principle’, better known as Plural Marriage or Eternal Marriage.

Whatever the Church chooses to call it, God has His own ideas about it. It’s called adultery and it’s wrong.

Once again, the Church is long on excuses and short on shame. You can access the essay in their Gospel Topics section here.

In the meantime I have my own thoughts.  I’m certain you’re not surprised!  Let’s take a look at some of what they had to say shall we?

As a heads up on this, I haven’t commented on everything they said in this essay (lucky you!) because of its length.  I did keep all the hyperlinks they embedded into their article intact so you have access to the LDS references they’ve used. You can find their exhaustive list of those at the end of this article.

“Although the Lord commanded the adoption—and later the cessation—of plural marriage in the latter days, He did not give exact instructions on how to obey the commandment. Significant social and cultural changes often include misunderstandings and difficulties.”

Let’s clear a few things up here and look to Him who directs our paths.  God has always, and I do mean always, been very clear when He gives His commandments and directions. I’ve only been a Christian for 21 years, but I’ve yet to find anything in the Bible where He’s not done this.

As a matter of fact He even gave very specific instructions on marriage so I’m listing just a few of those here for us to review.

Gen. 2:24; “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” [emphasis mine]

Leviticus 18:5-6, 18; “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD. 6 ¶ None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. 18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.”

Deuteronomy 17:17; “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”

If I had to put all the lies in this essay in order of how awful they are this one would probably sit at the top of that very long list –

“Many details about the early practice of plural marriage are unknown. Plural marriage was introduced among the early Saints incrementally, and participants were asked to keep their actions confidential.”

Why? If God Himself commanded this principle to be employed amongst His children why pray tell would He want to keep it secret? Furthermore, there are a lot of details on the early practice of polygamy. A quick glance on the internet will keep one busy for years on end.

“They did not discuss their experiences publicly or in writing until after the Latter-day Saints had moved to Utah and Church leaders had publicly acknowledged the practice. The historical record of early plural marriage is therefore thin: few records of the time provide details, and later reminiscences are not always reliable.”

There are four distinctive lies in the above statement from the Church.

1.This principle was in writing long before the Saints moved to Utah. Proof is found in D&C 132 and before they rewrote Doctrine and Covenants it was also in D&C 101.

2.Historical records are found all over the place. The Church’s family history portal is the largest databank of deceased names in the world. This houses the names and marriages of everyone imaginable.

3.Temple records and the Church’s practice of temple sealings along with their genealogy records provides ample evidence from long before Utah. All of the info I use for Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders is retrieved directly from the Church. The vast majority of names listed in  our series is from the Nauvoo era.

4.If they’re not reliable why is the Church publishing them? The Church is very particular about accepting outside info about themselves. If the info isn’t from the Church itself they reject it.

“When God commands a difficult task, He sometimes sends additional messengers to encourage His people to obey. Consistent with this pattern, Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.9

Wow.

Angels with flaming swords eh? That’s odd because another distinctive time this takes place in the Bible is when God placed an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance to the Garden of Eden after He booted Adam and Eve out.

It shouldn’t go unnoticed here that in the beginning of their essay they said God didn’t give specific instructions about polygamy and now here we are with a grand event of an angel showing up giving directions about it.  Odd…

“Fragmentary evidence suggests that Joseph Smith acted on the angel’s first command by marrying a plural wife, Fanny Alger, in Kirtland, Ohio, in the mid-1830s.”

More specifically it was 1833, which by the way we know about because of the extensive record keeping the Church burdens itself with.

“Several Latter-day Saints who had lived in Kirtland reported decades later that Joseph Smith had married Alger, who lived and worked in the Smith household, after he had obtained her consent and that of her parents.10 Little is known about this marriage, and nothing is known about the conversations between Joseph and Emma regarding Alger. After the marriage with Alger ended in separation, Joseph seems to have set the subject of plural marriage aside until after the Church moved to Nauvoo, Illinois.”

Oh dear.

On the contrary, there’s a boatload of evidence about this marriage. Here are the notes we have that are published in our series Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders. 

Hired help living w/ Smith’s. Kicked out by Emma when pregnancy couldn’t be hidden any longer. Later sep. from Smith & married Solomon Custer, non-LDS. JS excommunicated Oliver Cowdery for accusing Smith of adultery w/ her – HC 3:16, Wednesday, April 11, 1838, Farr West Council (Brodie, pg. 180 -181). Fanny was orphaned, Levi Hancock’s niece  – Mormon Enigma, pg. 319.

In addition to all this info we also have the well documented historical truth from Todd Compton’s book which is what the Church has used in their essay for references. In his book we read;

In Sacred Loneliness, pp 32-33; “William McLellin told his account of Joseph and Fanny Alger to a newspaper reporter in 1875. “[McLellin] . . .informed me of the spot where the first well authenticated case of polygamy took place, in which Joseph Smith was ‘sealed’ to the hired girl. The ‘sealing’ took place in a barn on the hay mow, and was witnessed by Mrs. Smith through a crack in the door!… Long afterwards when he visited Mrs. Emma Smith. . .she then and there declared on her honor that it was a fact—’saw it with her own eyes.’” – Todd Compton

You see, Smith had a habit of taking girls in who were orphaned and presumably for the shadowy reason of hiring them to help Emma. What a guy. Emma was none too pleased when she found that her husband was bedding down with the hired help and making matters worse, the girls were usually underage.

“The sealing of husband and wife for eternity was made possible by the restoration of priesthood keys and ordinances.”

Herein lies the problem. There is no such thing as a restoration if/when you believe in the God of the Bible. He holds all things in His hands and promised us He would never leave, nor desert us.

“On April 3, 1836, the Old Testament prophet Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple and restored the priesthood keys necessary to perform ordinances for the living and the dead, including sealing families together.13 Marriages performed by priesthood authority could link loved ones to each other for eternity, on condition of righteousness; marriages performed without this authority would end at death.”

In biblical terms, this is known as necromancy. Talking to dead people is forbidden according to God’s word.

1 Chronicles 10:13-14; “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; 14 And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.”

In their continuing saga they went on to say this –

“Marriage performed by priesthood authority meant that the procreation of children and perpetuation of families would continue into the eternities. Joseph Smith’s revelation on marriage declared that the “continuation of the seeds forever and ever” helped to fulfill God’s purposes for His children.15 This promise was given to all couples who were married by priesthood authority and were faithful to their covenants.”

The Bible tells us that we’re saved by grace (Eph 2:8-9) and when we confess Him (Romans 10:9). Besides all that, Jesus told us in Mark 12:25 there are no marriages in heaven. It’s nothing short of amazing that this very subject would be addressed directly by no less a person than Jesus Himself!

Mark 12:25; “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

The Church also pointed out something that’s very revealing about Joe and Emma’s relationship. They went against her father’s wishes. This serves as yet another red flag there’s something wrong.

“…By Joseph Smith’s time, many couples insisted on marrying for love, as he and Emma did when they eloped against her parents’ wishes.”

Just as the Church has lied about marriages in the Post-Manifesto era, they didn’t speak truth in this essay either. Here’s what they had to say about the prevalence of polygamy in Nauvoo –

“…The practice spread slowly at first. By June 1844, when Joseph died, approximately 29 men and 50 women had entered into plural marriage, in addition to Joseph and his wives.”

Again, this is another lie. Here’s  what George D. Smith had to say in his report, ‘Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy 1841-1846; A Preliminary Demographic Report’, p 30;

“By the end of the Nauvoo period in 1846, the 153 polygamous husbands had married 587 women and produced 734 children. About 80 percent of Nauvoo plural marriages occurred after Smith’s death.”

So the Church said there were approximately 29 men, but evidence tells another story. We see the number is more than five times greater than what they just claimed.

Unfortunately for the Church, they just kept on digging the hole deeper by trying to justify Smith’s pedophile behavior when they volunteered info on the ages of his brides.

“Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday. Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens.26 Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being “for eternity alone,” suggesting that the relationship did not involve sexual relations.27 After Joseph’s death, Helen remarried and became an articulate defender of him and of plural marriage.28

Here’s what Helen Mar Kimball had to say about the whole thing;

“Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet Joseph, he [her father, Heber] offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet’s own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the alter”

Now if that isn’t heart wrenching, nothing is. And for the record, marrying a 14 yr old girl back in Joseph’s day was also frowned upon, just as it is today. Theaverage marrying age at the time was 24.  To think that Smith didn’t want to have sex with that young girl is to believe that he’s a true prophet of God.

By the way…

Why are they referring to these female children as women? Would they refer to male children as men? I think not! They’re always referred to as boys, because that’s what you are at the age of 14, just as girls are children when they’re 14 years old.

“Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.29 Neither these women nor Joseph explained much about these sealings, though several women said they were for eternity alone.30 Other women left no records, making it unknown whether their sealings were for time and eternity or were for eternity alone.”

A number of women who were already married…

The technical word for that is polyandry and in many of the cases with Smith and these married women, their husbands had no idea of the illicit affair they were having with this so-called man of God.

Furthermore, the women had no choice as to whether or not they could keep records of it. The Church just imposes itself into the lives of people whether they intended for them to do so or not. All people are recorded, sealed, dunked and married regardless of any permission granted.

While explaining the polyandrous relationships he continued to engage himself in, any morsel or hint of remorse or denouncing this behavior by the Church is non-existent.

“In Nauvoo, most if not all of the first husbands seem to have continued living in the same household with their wives during Joseph’s lifetime, and complaints about these sealings with Joseph Smith are virtually absent from the documentary record.32

Like I said, most were unaware that their wives and the prophet were lying to them.

“These sealings may also be explained by Joseph’s reluctance to enter plural marriage because of the sorrow it would bring to his wife Emma.”

Yeah…okay…

“Plural marriage was difficult for all involved. For Joseph Smith’s wife Emma, it was an excruciating ordeal. Records of Emma’s reactions to plural marriage are sparse; she left no firsthand accounts, making it impossible to reconstruct her thoughts.”

Oh have mercy! Again, this is another lie.

There’s a plethora of written info about Emma’s reaction. She adopted her late husband’s nasty habit of lying as well and denied that Joe was a polygamist.

“Joseph and Emma loved and respected each other deeply.”

That’s hard to believe. People who love each other don’t do such things.

“Emma approved, at least for a time, of four of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages in Nauvoo, and she accepted all four of those wives into her household. She may have approved of other marriages as well.39 But Emma likely did not know about all of Joseph’s sealings.40 She vacillated in her view of plural marriage, at some points supporting it and at other times denouncing it.”

Wait a minute here. Didn’t they just say she was all but mum about this?  You can read an excellent account of her views in the book Mormon Enigma. I highlyencourage every Mormon to read this!

Sadly, Emma lived in denial either publicly or privately or both. In a sworn statement that she willingly gave to her son Joseph Smith III, she flat out denied that Smith was a polygamist.

History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, volume 3, pp. 355–56; “No such thing as polygamy, or spiritual wifery, was taught, publicly or privately, before my husband’s death, that I have now, or ever had any knowledge of …. He had no other wife but me; nor did he to my knowledge ever have.”

As we saw in this essay the story is the same and only the subject matter has been changed.

Oh please, let us not forget or put aside our task of praying for those caught in this nightmare! I am indebted beyond words to Jesus for saving me from such lies and darkness!

While I’ve only touched on some of the things this essay presented, I’ve left their references intact so that you can look them up if needed.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor 1:18

Resources

  1. See“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”Jacob 2:27, 30.
  2. Doctrine and Covenants 132:34–39;Jacob 2:30; see also Genesis 16.
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:12; Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe,”Ensign, May 2013.
  4. See Andrew Jenson, “Plural Marriage,”Historical Record 6 (May 1887): 232–33; “Report of Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith,” Millennial Star 40 (Dec. 16, 1878): 788; Danel W. Bachman, “New Light on an Old Hypothesis: The Ohio Origins of the Revelation on Eternal Marriage,” Journal of Mormon History 5 (1978): 19–32.
  5. SeeDoctrine and Covenants 132:1, 34–38.
  6. Doctrine and Covenants 112:30;124:41128:18.
  7. “Polygamy,” inThe Oxford Dictionary of World Religions,  John Bowker (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 757; John Cairncross, After Polygamy Was Made a Sin: The Social History of Christian Polygamy (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974).
  8. Lorenzo Snow, deposition, United States Testimony 1892 (Temple Lot Case), part 3, p. 124, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Orson Pratt, inJournal of Discourses, 13:193; Ezra Booth to Ira Eddy, Dec. 6, 1831, in Ohio Star,  8, 1831.
  9. See Brian C. Hales, “Encouraging Joseph Smith to Practice Plural Marriage: The Accounts of the Angel with a Drawn Sword,”Mormon Historical Studies 11, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 69–70.
  10. See Andrew Jenson, Research Notes, Andrew Jenson Collection, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Benjamin F. Johnson to Gibbs, 1903, Benjamin F. Johnson Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; “Autobiography of Levi Ward Hancock,” Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  11. Parley P. Pratt,The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  Parley P. Pratt Jr. (New York: Russell Brothers, 1874), 329.
  12. Hyrum Smith, sermon, Apr. 8, 1844, Historian’s Office General Church Minutes, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  13. These were the same priesthood keys Elijah had given to Apostles anciently. (SeeMatthew 16:1917:1–9Doctrine and Covenants 2.)
  14. Doctrine and Covenants 132:7;131:2–3.
  15. Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–20, 63; see also “Becoming Like God.”
  16. Stephanie Coontz,Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage (New York: Viking Penguin, 2005), 145–60; Lawrence Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500–1800, abridged ed. (Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books, 1985), 217–53.
  17. Doctrine and Covenants 132:55, 63.
  18. Doctrine and Covenants 132:46;Matthew 16:19.
  19. Joseph Smith’s practice of plural marriage has been discussed by Latter-day Saint authors in official, semi-official, and independent publications. See, for example, Jenson, “Plural Marriage,” 219–34; B. H. Roberts,A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1930), 2:93–110, Danel W. Bachman and Ronald K. Esplin, “Plural Marriage,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 2:1091-95; and Glen M. Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, a People of Promise (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and Brigham Young University, 2002), 343–49.
  20. Brian C. Hales,Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2013),1:3, 2:165.
  21. Joseph Smith, Journal, May 19, 24, and 26, 1842; June 4, 1842, available atorg. Proponents of “spiritual wifery” taught that sexual relations were permissible outside of legalized marital relationships, on condition that the relations remained secret.
  22. In the denials, “polygamy” was understood to mean the marriage of one man to more than one woman but without Church sanction.
  23. See, for example, “On Marriage,”Times and Seasons,  1, 1842, 939–40; and Wilford Woodruff journal, Nov. 25, 1843, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Parley P. Pratt, “This Number Closes the First Volume of the ‘Prophet,’” The Prophet, May 24, 1845, 2. George A. Smith explained, “Any one who will read carefully the denials, as they are termed, of plurality of wives in connection with the circumstances will see clearly that they denounce adultery, fornication, brutal lust and the teaching of plurality of wives by those who were not commanded to do so” (George A. Smith letter to Joseph Smith III, Oct. 9, 1869, in Journal History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oct. 9, 1869, Church History Library, Salt Lake City).
  24. Careful estimates put the number between 30 and 40. See Hales,Joseph Smith’s Polygamy,2:272–73.
  25. See Hales,Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 2:277–302. Despite claims that Joseph Smith fathered children within plural marriage, genetic testing has so far been negative, though it is possible he fathered two or three children with plural wives. (See Ugo A. Perego, “Joseph Smith, the Question of Polygamous Offspring, and DNA Analysis,” in Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster, eds., The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy [Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books, 2010], 233–56.)
  26. Spencer Fluhman, “A Subject that Can Bear Investigation’: Anguish, Faith, and Joseph Smith’s Youngest Plural Wife,” in Robert L. Millet, ed.,No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues (Provo and Salt Lake City: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, 2011), 104–19; Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith, “The Age of Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives in Social and Demographic Context,” in Bringhurst and Foster, eds., The Persistence of Polygamy, 152–83.
  27. Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, Autobiography, [2], Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  28. Helen Mar Kimball Whitney,Plural Marriage as Taught by the Prophet Joseph: A Reply to Joseph Smith, Editor of the Lamoni (Iowa) “Herald” (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1882); Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, Why We Practice Plural Marriage (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1884).
  29. Estimates of the number of these sealings range from 12 to 14. (See Todd Compton,In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997], 4, 6; Hales, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 1:253–76, 303–48.) For an early summary of this practice, see John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations: Did Joseph Smith Introduce Plural Marriage?” Improvement Era 49, no. 11 (Nov. 1946): 766–67.
  30. Hales,Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 1:421–37. Polyandry, the marriage of one woman to more than one man, typically involves shared financial, residential, and sexual resources, and children are often raised communally. There is no evidence that Joseph Smith’s sealings functioned in this way, and much evidence works against that view.
  31. Rex Eugene Cooper,Promises Made to the Fathers: Mormon Covenant Organization (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990), 138–45; Jonathan A. Stapley, “Adoptive Sealing Ritual in Mormonism,” Journal of Mormon History 37, no. 3 (Summer 2011): 53–117.
  32. For a review of the evidence, see Hales,Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 1:390–96.
  33. Richard Lyman Bushman,Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 440.
  34. See Lorenzo Snow, deposition, United States Testimony 1892 (Temple Lot Case), part 3, p. 124.
  35. The revelation on marriage provided powerful incentives for a marriage performed by priesthood authority. (See Doctrine and Covenants 132:17–19, 63.)
  36. Zina Huntington Jacobs, autobiographical sketch, Zina Card Brown Family Collection, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; spelling modernized.
  37. The historical record is striking for the lack of criticism found among those who had once been Joseph Smith’s plural wives, although most of the wives left no written record.
  38. Joseph Smith, Journal, Aug. 16, 1842, in Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith, and Richard Lloyd Anderson, eds.,Journals, Volume 2: December 1841–April 1843, vol. 2 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011), 93–96, available at org; Mary Audentia Smith Anderson, ed., Joseph Smith III and the Restoration (Independence, MO: Herald House, 1952), 85.
  39. Jenson, “Historical Record,” 229–30, 240; Emily Dow Partridge Young, deposition, United States Testimony 1892 (Temple Lot Case), part 3, pp. 365–66, 384; Orson Pratt, inJournal of Discourses, 13:194.
  40. Hales,Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, 2:8, 48–50, 80; Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling,
  41. Doctrine and Covenants 132:54, 64. The warning to Emma Smith also applies to all who receive sacred ordinances by authority of the priesthood but do not abide the covenants associated with those ordinances. See, for example,Psalm 37:38Isaiah 1:28Acts 3:19–25; and Doctrine and Covenants 132:26, 64.
  42. Doctrine and Covenants 132:61. In Utah, the first wife was part of the plural marriage ceremony, standing between her husband and the bride and placing the hand of the bride in the hand of the husband. “Celestial Marriage,”The Seer 1 (Feb. 1853): 31.
  43. Doctrine and Covenants 132:65; see alsoGenesis 16:1–3.
  44. Jacob 2:30.
  45. On the question of children, see note 6 of “Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah.”
  46. Helen Mar Kimball Whitney,Why We Practice Plural Marriage, 23–24.
  47. Heber C. Kimball, Discourse, Sept. 2, 1866, George D. Watt Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, transcribed from Pitman shorthand by LaJean Purcell Carruth.
  48. Brigham Young, inJournal of Discourses, 3:266.
  49. Brigham Young, Discourse, June 18, 1865, George D. Watt Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, transcribed from Pitman shorthand by LaJean Purcell Carruth; see also Brigham Young, inJournal of Discourses, 11:128.
  50. Orson F. Whitney,Life of Heber C. Kimball, an Apostle: The Father and Founder of the British Mission (Salt Lake City: Kimball Family, 1888), 338; see also Kiersten Olson, “‘The Embodiment of Strength and Endurance’: Vilate Murray Kimball (1806–1867),” in Women of Faith in the Latter Days, Volume One, 1775–1820,  Richard E. Turley Jr. and Brittany A. Chapman (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 137.
  51. Lucy Walker Kimball, “Brief Biographical Sketch,” 10–11, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
  52. Sarah Granger Kimball, for example, rejected plural marriage in Nauvoo but came west with the Saints. Many of the individuals who rejected plural marriage, including Emma Smith, later became members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
  53. For example, see “Evidence from Zina D. Huntington-Young,”Saints’ Herald,  11, 1905, 29; Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, “Mary Elizabeth Rollins,” Susa Young Gates Papers, Utah State Historical Society.
  54. Gordon B. Hinckley, “What Are People Asking about Us?Ensign,  1998; “Polygamy,” Newsroom, topics page.
  55. Alma 26:35;Doctrine and Covenants 88:411 Nephi 11:17.

The post LDS Essay Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-plural-marriage-kirtland-nauvoo/feed/ 0
LDS Essay Book of Mormon and DNA Studies https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-book-mormon-dna-studies/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-book-mormon-dna-studies/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 00:02:28 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=18264 In January 2014 the Church published an essay for their Gospel Topics section they dubbed Book of Mormon and DNA Studies.     Today we’re taking a look at their claims in this one and weighing them against factual information we have from none other than the Church itself. We’ve pulled out six of the most […]

The post LDS Essay Book of Mormon and DNA Studies appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
lds1In January 2014 the Church published an essay for their Gospel Topics section they dubbed Book of Mormon and DNA Studies.

 

 

Today we’re taking a look at their claims in this one and weighing them against factual information we have from none other than the Church itself.

We’ve pulled out six of the most damning comments they made proving themselves to be a false church that continues to go out of its way to make excuses and cover their tracks on the reality of what their beloved prophet Joseph Smith claimed in the Book of Mormon.

1.Although the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is more spiritual than historical, some people have wondered whether the migrations it describes are compatible with scientific studies of ancient America.

I’ve read similar statements in the recent past by Church leaders and I’m imploring the Mormon people to stop and think about it this time. Please!

If the BoM isn’t historical doesn’t that discredit the entire thing? The BoM is based on a story that an unknown tribe of Israelites left Jerusalem circa BC 600 and sailed to America to escape the violence taking place during the Babylonian takeover.

This is the most damning thing they could say about their canon. Can you just imagine Christians saying that the Bible has no historical value???  Preposterous!

If this isn’t an historical document then what did Moroni mean when he told Joseph Smith a story of ancient people were written on plates?

Joseph Smith History 1:34; “He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants”.

Shouldn’t this discredit everything Smith ever wrote or said? Why should we believe this story or the story of Moroni or Nephi (or whatever it was) visiting him if the BoM isn’t an historical event?

2.Nothing is known about the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples, and even if their genetic profile were known, there are sound scientific reasons that it might remain undetected. For these same reasons, arguments that some defenders of the Book of Mormon make based on DNA studies are also speculative. In short, DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Well, if there’s no historical purpose in the BoM why would anyone expect to find any DNA evidence?  Let’s take a look at what they said;

“…even if their genetic profile were known, there are sound scientific reasons that it might remain undetected…”

???  How could it be undetected if it were known? Just to be clear about something in this paragraph…there’s no problem with identifying the DNA of Jews today so why would there be a problem with the ancestors in the BoM if they were Jewish?

Their last sentence in the above paragraph is just silly.

“…DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon…”

Of course DNA studies can’t be used!  The BoM is a story.  It’s not factual. It’s unreliable. It contradicts itself and there is no proof!

3.The Book of Mormon provides little direct information about cultural contact between the peoples it describes and others who may have lived nearby. Consequently, most early Latter-day Saints assumed that Near Easterners or West Asians like Jared, Lehi, Mulek, and their companions were the first or the largest or even the only groups to settle the Americas.

First of all, the BoM provides little info on any of the people groups. That includes their main characters the Nephites, Lamanites and Jardites.

4.Joseph Smith appears to have been open to the idea of migrations other than those described in the Book of Mormon, and many Latter-day Saint leaders and scholars over the past century have found the Book of Mormon account to be fully consistent with the presence of other established populations. The 2006 update to the introduction of the Book of Mormon reflects this understanding by stating that Book of Mormon peoples were “among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Again, we have to ask…does this make sense to you? It’s not a matter of Smith being ‘open to migrations’, this is a matter of how many lies Smith wove into the story of the Israelites coming to America.

What do ‘other leaders and scholars’ finding the BoM account to be consistent with other people groups have to do with the issue at hand?

Are they acknowledging the American continents had other people other than those described in the BoM? Okay, so what does that have to do with the DNA issue?

Their 2006 update to the BoM reflects something all right. It reflects they knew the gig was up. Too many thinking people came along and questioned the Book of Mormon, the Church and Joseph Smith.

5.Nothing is known about the extent of intermarriage and genetic mixing between Book of Mormon peoples or their descendants and other inhabitants of the Americas, though some mixing appears evident, even during the period covered by the book’s text.  What seems clear is that the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples likely represented only a fraction of all DNA in ancient America. Finding and clearly identifying their DNA today may be asking more of the science of population genetics than it is capable of providing.

Untrue. There’s nothing to test or research or find. Scientists have made some amazing discoveries in the past 20+ years, however, the catch to this is that they had something to research and in this particular case they have nothing.

6.A brief review of the basic principles of genetics will help explain how scientists use DNA to study ancient populations. It will also highlight the difficulty of drawing conclusions about the Book of Mormon from the study of genetics.

There’s really no difficulty at all drawing conclusions based on fact. We read the evidence, of which there is none in this case, and from there we can determine there’s no DNA, no shred of any archaeological evidences and no such people that are in the Book of Mormon.

This essay went on and on with a lot of technical talk on mitochondrial DNA, how only mothers can pass this on to her children…etc, etc.

Nothing about their essay in the end had anything to do with the subject matter.

Sadly for the Mormon who’s looking to find info to solidify their faith or to further prove the BoM is true, will come up empty handed.

The post LDS Essay Book of Mormon and DNA Studies appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-book-mormon-dna-studies/feed/ 1
LDS Essay Plural Marriage and Families https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-plural-marriage-families/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-plural-marriage-families/#respond Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:02:03 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=18261 In December 2013 the Church published an essay defending their history of polygamy and why they practiced it. In response to their outlandish claims we’ve been addressing their rewrite of history, but this time around we’re doing things a bit differently.  Woo-hoo!  I’m pulling out some of their major lies and will address them here, so here […]

The post LDS Essay Plural Marriage and Families appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
lds1In December 2013 the Church published an essay defending their history of polygamy and why they practiced it.

In response to their outlandish claims we’ve been addressing their rewrite of history, but this time around we’re doing things a bit differently.  Woo-hoo!  I’m pulling out some of their major lies and will address them here, so here we go.

1.”…—was instituted among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early 1840s.”

This is a lie. Smith began practicing polygamy in 1831 and major church leaders have admitted to this. Essentials in Church History 281-282

2.“…plural marriage was practiced by some Latter-day Saints.”

Not true. Many of the Saints were practicing polygamy in the days of Smith and everyone was held to a strict ‘do not tell’ policy.

3.“In 1890, the Lord inspired Church President Wilford Woodruff to issue a statement that led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church.”

Not true. Woodruff did indeed issue ‘Manifesto 1’, however, polygamy was still being practiced, the families didn’t break up and in fact new marriages continued to take place.

4.“On an exceptional basis, some new plural marriages were performed between 1890 and 1904…”

This is a lie. Marriages that took place between 1890 – 1904 were not exceptional. And besides that, didn’t #3 above state they ended polygamy? Furthermore, contrary to what the Church says they weren’t just taking place in Mexico. They happened right there in Utah.  My family stands as just one  example of this.

5.”Plural marriage did result in the birth of large numbers of children within faithful Latter-day Saint homes.”

Not always true. By and large, marrying more women didn’t necessarily produce more kids. George D. Smith wrote ‘excluding the large families of Smith, Young and Kimball…the size of these Nauvoo families averaged 5.7 wives and 17.8 children per household’. See Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, p 16, 35. You could’ve seen these numbers in non-polygamist families so to insinuate polygamy was instituted to create a large population is disingenuous.

In addition to that, many women didn’t produce any kids at all.

6.”… ethnic intermarriages were increased…”

Not always true. If they’re referring to ethnicity like the Brits marrying Scandinavians or any white European then okay, they’ve told the truth. Mormons were strictly forbidden from marrying non-Mormons and non-whites. Today in 2014 they’re still discouraged from marrying non-believers.

Mormons were always told that if they married blacks it meant death on the spot.

However, the exception to this rule was when they were told to go out and marry Indians so they could self-fulfill the prophecies in the BoM that the Lamanites would turn ‘white and delightsome’.  Ezra Booth, Ohio Star, December 8, 1831

7.”… Church leaders taught that participants in plural marriages should seek to develop a generous spirit of unselfishness and the pure love of Christ for everyone involved…”

Not true. Brigham Young delivered a speech to remind husbands not to love their wives too much. Furthermore, Mormons were repeatedly told not to hang out with or do business with outsiders. Journal of Discourses 12:315, Journal of Discourses 3:354

8.”… Not all, however, were expected to live it. Indeed, this system of marriage could not have been universal due to the ratio of men to women. Church leaders viewed plural marriage as a command to the Church generally, while recognizing that individuals who did not enter the practice could still stand approved of God.”

BIG, BIG lie. We have numerous quotes from past leaders who said that if you don’t practice polygamy you’re damned. To date, D&C 132 is still firmly couched in LDS scriptures telling people that polygamy is the new and everlasting covenant and if not obeyed you face damnation.

9.”… Although some leaders had large polygamous families, two-thirds of polygamist men had only two wives at a time…”

As stated earlier, George D. Smith’s report refutes this statement. Think about this statement for a moment…they’re trying to justify their adultery.

10. “Women did marry at fairly young ages in the first decade of Utah settlement (age 16 or 17 or, infrequently, younger), which was typical of women living in frontier areas at the time.”

Not true. The average marrying age in the 19th century was 23 years of age and the frequency of children being married before the age of 16 was common, not something that took place ‘infrequently’.  We’ve reported on this numerous times in our series Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders.

11.“To help their husbands avoid prosecution, plural wives often separated into different households or went into hiding under assumed names, particularly when pregnant or after giving birth.”

This last statement is a classic example of what goes on in Utah. There is no straight-up, ‘here I am and what you see is what you get’ type of attitude. While the mainstream church isn’t hiding their leaders today, the same evasive behavior can still be seen in the way scripture is twisted and how they’ve changed the meanings of many English words to suit their purposes.

While the women were busy hiding their men to avoid prosecution (not persecution), they conveniently forgot their 12th Article of Faith;

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

My question is this;

If they couldn’t tell the truth then what makes people think they’re telling the truth now?

The post LDS Essay Plural Marriage and Families appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-plural-marriage-families/feed/ 0
LDS Essay Translation on Book of Abraham https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-translation-book-abraham/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-translation-book-abraham/#respond Mon, 11 Aug 2014 00:02:31 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?p=18250 Earlier this year (July 2014), the LDS Church published another essay for its Gospel Topics section of their website.  Its title is ‘Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham’.  The essays have touched on a number of controversial subjects and this time around proved no different. This latest essay was yet another stab at covering up […]

The post LDS Essay Translation on Book of Abraham appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
lds1Earlier this year (July 2014), the LDS Church published another essay for its Gospel Topics section of their website.  Its title is ‘Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham’.  The essays have touched on a number of controversial subjects and this time around proved no different. This latest essay was yet another stab at covering up truth and making excuses for a book in their beloved canon.

The Book of Abraham found its way into the LDS scriptures in 1842, but wasn’t canonized for almost another 40 years (1880). The book has been a source of controversy from its inception based on two simple facts: it’s origin and Smith’s interpretation.

Origin of the Book of Abraham

Michael Chandler, a traveling salesman, found his way to Smith’s neck of the woods near Kirtland, OH in 1835 and for $2,400 sold Smith a mummy and some papyri his uncle, Antonio Lebelo, had discovered in a tomb while excavating ancient artifacts in Thebes.

The Church said that somehow the scrolls ended up in the possession Chandler giving readers the impression they knew nothing about the way Chandler ended up with the artifacts without giving any hint at the detailed info they have in their possession. Neither did they report that a high school teacher in Utah was fired for writing a book on the subject.  See Charles M. Larson’s ‘By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus’. 

When Joseph opened the scrolls the Church commented that ‘much to our joy [we] found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham’ . Their excuse for this work gives more exhaustive explanations than necessary (not a surprise there) and unashamedly extols the handiwork of their mighty prophet Joe.

Translation Process

The Church said that Smith claimed he had ‘no expertise in any language’ , but was called by God to speak words ‘sent from heaven’. Not missing the chance to malign God’s word, they said the Bible could only tell a story of the covenant relationship God had with Abraham during Abraham’s life, but thankfully Smith revealed this covenant began before the ‘foundation of the world’.

With that synopsis alone, we can ascertain this book holds no historical value at all yet they took the liberty to explain further;

“None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham’s name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham. Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the book of Abraham, though there is not unanimity, even among non-Mormon scholars, about the proper interpretation of the vignettes on these fragments.”

Not sure which non-Mormon scholars disagreed on the interpretation, suffice it to say there isn’t one single non-Mormon Egyptologist that will agree with the Church. Surprisingly, they admitted the books are funerary texts dating between the 3rd and 1st century, but along with their statement, they also qualified their position of calling it scripture;

“Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies. These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E. and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived…Of course, the fragments do not have to be as old as Abraham for the book of Abraham and its illustrations to be authentic. Ancient records are often transmitted as copies or as copies of copies. The record of Abraham could have been edited or redacted by later writers…”

Those two statements pretty much sum up the book of Abraham.

The vignettes don’t mention his name, they weren’t written during Abraham’s lifetime and non-Mormon experts agree they have nothing to do with Abraham.

I can assure you that my mother isn’t going to read their essay, nor would she be able to follow along in their unending web of lies.

Unfortunately for her and other Mormons, excuses for Joe’s lies mask the real issue here. Telling people that Joe only had access to some of the papyri is misleading and spurious. Why would it be futile to assess his ability?  Everyone should be put under the microscope when claiming such things as Joseph Smith did.

‘It is likely futile to assess Joseph’s ability to translate papyri when we now have only a fraction of the papyri he had in his possession… it is likely that much of the papyri accessible to Joseph when he translated the book of Abraham is not among these fragments…’

What do fragments that came up missing after Joe’s time have to do with the content he did translate and the ‘scripture’ they’ve published?

They make more excuses by stating Smith’s studies ‘may have led to a revelation about key events’ and further went on to say that throughout history people have been sacrificed and killed for not worshiping the same god the majority of a society was at the time.

We have to ask what that has to do with not translating the papyri correctly and uttering false prophecies.  One more thing…

Towards the end of this essay they stated the book ‘cannot be settled by scholarly debate concerning the book’s translation and historicity…’

I’ve got a newsflash for the Church.  Yes it can.

For more info on the book of Abraham, you can read our 3-part series here.

The post LDS Essay Translation on Book of Abraham appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essay-translation-book-abraham/feed/ 0
LDS Essays https://lifeafter.org/lds-essays/ https://lifeafter.org/lds-essays/#respond Wed, 18 Jun 2014 06:35:59 +0000 http://lifeafter.org/?page_id=18165 In 2013 the LDS Church began publishing essays on various doctrinal items to add to the Gospel Topics section of their website. They said they’ve done this to clarify some confusing aspects of Mormonism and clear up any confusion. Unfortunately they’ve only made things worse for themselves by not being forthright in their information. To […]

The post LDS Essays appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
lds1In 2013 the LDS Church began publishing essays on various doctrinal items to add to the Gospel Topics section of their website. They said they’ve done this to clarify some confusing aspects of Mormonism and clear up any confusion.

Unfortunately they’ve only made things worse for themselves by not being forthright in their information. To date we’ve not come across one essay of the eight they’ve published that’s factually honest or correct and we’ve been told there’s more to come.

BYU Devotional Speech by D. Todd Christofferson

The first public announcement of the upcoming release of the Joseph Smith Papers came via a BYU Devotional Speech delivered by D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle of the Church. You can read the major highlights of that here or clicking on the embedded link above.

Are Mormons Christians? 

In January 2014 the Church came out with a rewrite for their Gospel Topics section. This time they posed the question; ‘Are Mormons Christians?’.  As you might imagine we had our own opinion of that!

LDS Essay

Life After Ministries’ Response

Becoming Like God 

In March 2014 the Church did an about face and set the wheels in motion for members to question their ever evolving doctrine once again.

Their essay on Becoming Like God probably made ol’ Joe roll over in his grave in Carthage, IL. Smith built the Church upon the principle that people had been dragged down by Christian dogma by not teaching everyone could become a god of their own planet so he arrived to set the record straight.

Alas, all that would evolve as well with the latest interpretation of Smith’s teachings. If you ask my mother nothing in her mind has changed; she’s still going to be a goddess wife someday. According to the Church’s latest edits to the Gospel Topics section my mother’s hope of her heavenly status doesn’t coincide with theirs.

LDS Essay

Life After Ministries’ Response 

Book of Abraham Translation

Several months after the BoM Translation Essay was put out by the Church another essay made its way to the public on the Translation of the Book of Abraham. This time they acknowledged the text from the BoA doesn’t contain the text from the funerary scrolls, but that didn’t stop them from explaining why they’ve canonized it.

LDS Essay

LAM’s Response

Book of Mormon & DNA 

In January 2014 the Church published an essay for their Gospel Topics section they dubbed Book of Mormon and DNA Studies.

Today we’re taking a look at their claims in this one and weighing them against factual information we have from none other than the Church itself.

LAM’s Response

LDS Essay

Book of Mormon Translation 

In December 2013 the Church quietly released their latest Gospel Topics rewrite and this time around its focus was on the BoM translation. Using a hat and crystal stones to translate the ‘ancient’ plates, Smith and friends published his work at record pace. The Church lauds his fame and genius while critics look at facts.  Here’s what the Church said and what we discovered about the BoM Translation –

Life After Ministries’ Response

LDS Essay

First Vision Accounts

In December 2013 the Church issued an essay trying to clear up problems in the history of Joseph Smith’s first vision. Ironically, we had just published our investigation of Smith’s first vision accounts a few months beforehand.

Here’s what the Church had to say about Smith’s vision that is now included in their Gospel Topics section.

Here’s the link for Life After Ministries article on Smith’s multiple accounts of his vision.

Race and the Mormon Priesthood

We’re wondering…if the Church isn’t racist then why do they feel that they must publish statements defending themselves?  Why don’t they just let their own documentation speak for itself and let it be?  In December 2013 the Church issued yet another essay/statement on their position about race.

LDS Essay

Life After Ministries’ Response

Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

May 2014 saw the Church’s attempt at explaining away their behavior problems in the early days of Mormonism. After reading their latest essay and addition to their Gospel Topics section we felt it necessary to provide the historical truth for those who are unaware of Mormonism’s violent past.

LDS Essay

Life After Ministries’ Response

Plural Marriage & Families

In December 2013 the Church published an essay defending their history of polygamy and why they practiced it.

Missing from their explanation was truth. This essay did nothing to clarify any misconceptions as as they gave excuses why they did this or why they continued to practice it after they were ordered by the feds to stop.

Life After Ministries’ Response

LDS Essay

The Manifesto & the end of Plural Marriage

In November 2014 the Church published an essay trying to cover their tracks  from the events that took place during the tumultuous years of 1890-1904. Not surprisingly, their version of truth doesn’t match up with reality.

LDS Essay

LAM’s Response

The post LDS Essays appeared first on Life After Ministries.

]]>
https://lifeafter.org/lds-essays/feed/ 0