James 1:26; “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

Friend, ‘Book of Commandments,’ June 2017

“The words Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith are called revelations. Some of these revelations were published in the Book of Commandments. While this book was being printed, people became angry with the Church members who had moved to their town. They threw the printing press into the street. Two sisters named Mary Elizabeth and Caroline Rollins gathered as many pages of the Book of Commandments as they could. They ran into a cornfield to hide from the angry men, and Heavenly Father kept them safe. The revelations in the Book of Commandments later became part of the Doctrine and Covenants.”

Acts 20:28-31“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

Leave it to the Church to randomly throw a ‘woe-is-me’ story in a magazine for young people, and not furnish the whole story. The Church has always been fixated on trying to garner sympathy for their cause while not sharing all the facts. The story in last month’s Liahona is a prime example of how they do this with the story of two little girls having to hide in a cornfield to save their own lives.

We’re wondering…

Why didn’t they explain why the townspeople were so angry with the Mormons?

As Paul Harvey used to say, ‘now for the rest of the story’…here are some highlights of Mary Elizabeth’s life, and events of Kirtland, Ohio at the time. After reading their history, just how believable is their story now?

Historical Fact:

The destruction of the printing press took place in Kirtland, Ohio, on July 20, 1833. History of the Church 1:390.

Historical Fact:

Some of the major events in Kirtland from 1833-1838 included polygamy, banking fraud, and publicly threatening local citizens with annihilation if they didn’t conform to Mormonism. An example of threatening local citizens is found in Mormonism’s own writings they posted in local papers  –

History of the Church 1:315-316; “And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north country.”

Historical Fact:

Mary Elizabeth was 15 yrs old, and her sister Caroline was 12, at the time locals destroyed the printing press in Kirtland.

When Mary Elizabeth was 12-13 yrs. old, Smith told her God instructed him to take her as a wife. He explained that an angel with a flaming swordappeared to him, and said if she didn’t marry him, he’d die.

Historical Fact:

Mary was married to Adam Lightner (non-Mormon) in April 1835 at the age of 17.

Historical Fact:

Married Joseph Smith in 1842 while 8 months pregnant with Lightner’s child. See Nauvoo Polygamy, A Demographic Report, p. 10.

Historical Fact:

In addition to marrying Smith in 1842, and becoming wife #9 at the age of 23-24, Mary was also wife #24 for Brigham Young in 1845. During this time, she stayed with husband Adam through both Smith, and Young marriages until Lightner died in 1885.

She was one of at least fourteen women living a polyandrous lifestyle while married to leaders of the Church.

Historical Fact:

Smith prophesied she and her parents would see disaster if they ever left the Church. Her husband never joined. Mary and Adam had 8-10 kids. Moved to Utah with Patterson Company 1863.

For more info see: Peace and Violence Among 19th Century Latter-day Saints

The link above provides a detailed, chronological list of activities of LDS Church from 1833 – 1840. As noted, the problems they incurred were a result of illegal activities throughout the region. They scared locals with threats, in addition to making them nervous by banding together, and taking part in ‘block voting’, making it impossible for non-Mormons to run, let alone win an election.

Info on Mary Elizabeth:

Polygamy and Mormon Church Leaders, Joseph Smith, Jr.

Earlylds.com – Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner vital stats

Earlylds.com – List of Joe Smith’s marriages

History of the Church 1:390

Times and Seasons