Some False Teachers to be Judged

Millennial Star, vol. 27, No. 42, p. 659, October 21, 1865; “We do not wish incorrect and unsound doctrines to be handed down to posterity under the sanction of great names, to be received and valued by future generations as authentic and reliable, … Errors in history and doctrine, if left uncorrected by us who are conversant with the events, and who are in a position to judge of the truth or falsity of the doctrines, would go to our children as though we had sanctioned and endorsed them.” – Brigham Young

Proverbs 14:25; “A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.”

This was in reference to Orson Pratt’s printing of the book “Joseph Smith, the Prophet, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet and his progenitors for many generations, by Lucy Smith, mother of the Prophet; published for Orson Pratt”.  The author was William Smith, brother of Joseph Smith.  (How’s that for the title of a book?)

The Church immediately published a long statement in the Millennial Star (see excerpt above) demanding the saints turn in their copies to their bishops or other church authorities so it could be destroyed. They obviously didn’t agree with the statements made in the book and promised their members they weren’t about to take part in false doctrines being passed around about their beloved and late prophet Joseph Smith. 

After the expose of Joseph’s brother, the article in that week’s periodical went on to talk about Orson Pratt’s false teachings on how the world was created and where God came from.

Interestingly enough, they went on to say:

“…we must do brother Orson Pratt the justice, however, to say that he has never claimed to know these things by revelation; still he has published them to the world as facts, and as doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…he confessed that he had erred and done wrong in publishing them. He said, that “So far as revelation from the heavens is concerned, I have had none in relation to those points of doctrine”… 

From this we can surmise that it’s okay to cut Brother Orson some slack for publishing false teachings, but there’s no mercy for Joseph’s blood brother for sharing family secrets.