The Stories of the Wives of Joseph Smith

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Consider the fact that Mormons told the women in the visual illustration that they were lying, since “Joseph Smith only had one wife.” The LDS Church lies by 1) not educating the common Mormon people about the nature of Joseph Smith’s polygyny and polyandry, and 2) allowing gigantic “faith-promoting rumors” concerning polygamy to perpetuate, all to the benefit of people maintaining their belief in Smith as a prophet.

Read through JosephSmith.net, notice the lack of any information on Smith’s polygamy, and think about the following:

“Even sharing the truth can have the effect of lying when we tell only half-truths that do not give the full picture. We can also be guilty of bearing false witness and lying if we say nothing, particularly if we allow another to reach a wrong conclusion while we hold back information that would have led to a more accurate perception. In this case it is as though an actual lie were uttered.” (Robert J. Matthews, Ensign, October 1994, p. 54)

The full-length video is available on YouTube, Vimeo, iPod format, MPEG 2 (great for burning to DVD), and Windows Media. Individual videos are also available:

I also have posted one clip of a Mormon’s opinion on the illustration:

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57 Responses to The Stories of the Wives of Joseph Smith

  1. Ralph, you say that the “divorce laws were not as formal/strict”, but that begs the question of whether there is any indication divorce was attempted in the polyandrous situations. I haven’t seen any, have you? Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but none of the sources I have quoted seem to indicate an actual divorce was assumed. If I become an atheist, does that implicitly give my wife the moral freedom to have sex with Thomas Monson? Paul writes,

    “If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.” (1 Corinthians 7:13)

    Even Paul assumes that divorce should be carried out. At the very least, God doesn’t give people the moral freedom to have sex with another person when no attempt at formal divorce has been made.

    I think you err grossly to say that God does not expect more from people in positions of leadership and influence and teaching.

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1)

    “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:48)

    Given the attitudes of my fellow Christians, perhaps I am not being harsh or firm enough with you. It is truly amazing you continue to defend Smith the way you are. If you are not willing to hold your prophets to a higher standard than your mere Mormon neighbors, then what does that say about your god’s inability to make sure that prophets never lead people astray, or that they live a life that at the very least makes them not prone to accusations of being con men?

  2. Ralph says:

    Aaron, I agree, where much is given, much is required. That is taught in my church as well. But it’s Jesus who is our final judge and we have been told not to judge unrighteously or we will be judged accordingly. It is God who has given the authority to the prophets not me, so it is God who needs to make the judgements and have the expectations of how the prophet handles his calling, not me. I should worry about myself and my family as that is my calling. I have a testimony that the prophet is God’s mouthpiece on this earth and that he will not lead me astray, that is all I need to know and expect from him. And gaining this testimony is a requirement of God for all church members. When a new prophet is called one should gain their own testimony of that prophet and not just ‘transfer’ their testimony of the previous prophet to the new one. I should expect myself to be worthy enough to have that same calling if it were ever to be offered to me so I should ‘lift’ my standards up to the same as what a prophet should be and what God expects of them.

    Falcon, I’m sorry, I just had to laugh at what you said, and I can’t help it, I have to respond. Some patients voluntarily put a DNR (do not resusitate) on their medical records – it appears you have done the same. But seriously, I have not come here to convert anyone, just to answer questions or to clarify misguided comments as best I can.

  3. jackg says:

    Ralph,

    You stated that Jesus is our final judge. That would carry weight if only you truly believed that Jesus is our final judge, and Jesus alone. Mormonism teaches that JS will be judging this “dispensation.” Am I in error with this teaching? You also stated that you want to answer questions and to clarify misguided comments as best you can.

    D&C 75:21 states: “And you shall be filled with joy and gladness; and know this, that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them…” The historical context to this passage deals with certain elders who were struggling in their missionary labors. The house (or houses) that did not receive them would be subject to their judgment. This poses a problem for me, and I was wondering if there was any way you could clarify this situation for me. My problem arises because James 4:12 states: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.” James is teaching the people how to live a life that pleases God. They were obviously contentious and judgmental toward each other. He was emphasizing that only Christ has the right to judge. So, I agree with your statement that Jesus will be our final judge. If you believe this, then please explain and clarify how it is congruent with the D&C passage and the held-onto belief that JS will judge this dispensation. Thank you in advance.

  4. Ralph says:

    Jackg,

    We teach that the 12 apostles and prophet of each dispensation will judge the people of their dispensation. This is about how the people received their (ie the prophets’) words. But mainly it will be as a jury role. Jesus is the final judge, but these prophets and apostles are jury. I have performed jury duty and the jury are judges, but the final word and sentence is given by The Judge. As for the elders being judges, again it is as a jury/testimonial. 1 Cor 6:1-3 gives a hint at what I describe, but 1 Nephi 12:9-10, Mormon 3:18, D&C 29:12 are clearer about this belief.

    On the church website under “Guide to the Scriptures” it says this about the final judgement – The final judgment that will occur after the resurrection. God, through Jesus Christ, will judge each person to determine the eternal glory he will receive. This judgment will be based on each person’s obedience to God’s commands, including his acceptance of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
    The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son, John 5: 22. We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, Rom. 14: 10. The dead were judged out of those things which were written, Rev. 20: 12 (D&C 128: 6-7). For all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment, 1 Ne. 10: 20. The Twelve Apostles and the twelve Nephite disciples will judge Israel, 1 Ne. 12: 9 (D&C 29: 12). All must appear before the judgment seat of the Holy One, 2 Ne. 9: 15. Prepare your souls for that glorious day, 2 Ne. 9: 46. Can ye imagine yourselves before the tribunal of God? Alma 5: 17-25. Jesus Christ shall stand to judge the world, 3 Ne. 27: 16. The Lord shall come down with a curse to judgment on the ungodly, D&C 133: 2.

    But to summarise – the apostles, prophets and others will be witnesses and jury against the crimes of this world with Jesus as the final judge and one who gives sentence.

    Last post for the day.

  5. germit says:

    RALPH: I have to say again, that although I REALLY disagree with most of what you say, I appreciate not just your posts, but the effort and quality of those entries, even if I disagree with your conclusions. I’m not just throwing flattery to you, since I can’t imagine typing anything that could even take a millimeter of lustre off your testimony, and I think you’ve helped me discover why that is.
    .FIRST: you establish somehow that Joseph Smith is indeed the chosen instrument that he claimed he was. I’m not sure how (exactly) this is done, perhaps you’d say it is a work of revelation and the Holy Spirit. Once this is fixed in your mind/heart/testimony, it doesn’t seem to matter(in terms of trusting in that prophet/seer/revelator) what he might say or do, he is to be trusted precisely because God raised him up to that calling/position. The prophets actions may be displeasing to God (e.g. David and Bathsheba) but they do not, indeed CANNOT undo what God has done in giving him that calling. Is this roughly on target ?? GERMIT

  6. germit says:

    To ALL: found this rummaging around on SHELFARI which is an excellent on line book club of sorts. It really spoke to me and seemed on topic with most of what we’ve been posting about lately.
    >This is a book synopsis (not mine) of Douglas Wilson’s work: “FIDELITY: What it Means to be a ONE-WOMAN MAN” AARON: I hope this is an OK post.
    We live in a time when marital fidelity is under assault. Driven by the forces of relativism, our society attacks sexual faithfulness in numerous fronts. The push for homosexual marriages, for example, comes at the end of the fall into perversion, not the beginning. Faithless husbands began the fall long ago, and our culture, with all its washed-out self-help books, fails to address the real problem-SIN. Addressed to men, “Fidelity” hits hard using clear language and focusing on specific sins with specific solutions: adultery,divorce, polygamy, celibacy, pornography, and more. But in the end the antidote to all sexual temptation is simple: the godly honoring of the marriage bed. “Marriage is honorable in all; and the bed undefiled; but the whoremongers and adulterers, GOD will judge (Heb 13:4)
    seems preachy to some, but made a lot of sense to me God help us keep our promises/covenants: GERMIT

  7. germit says:

    AARON and RALPH: your conversation reg. Joseph Smith and judgment was VERY thought provoking. Here’s a few thoughts. AARON: I’m thinking that the ‘stricter judgment’ that James 3:1 talks about might not be connected so much to being a teacher, per se, but to some professional liabilities, specifically TALKING (by extension, writing, blogging,etc) A LOT. I head that direction because in the verses following, the NT makes little of the position/role of teaching, and much of how devilish the tongue can be. The force of James argument (God’s argument) seems to be “don’t be in a big fat hurry to be a teacher, because as a teacher you will be judged more strictly, because your tongue is likely to get you (and all of us,really) in a lot of trouble. Connect this with 1stPeter 3:10, and the one that gets me Matt 12:35,36: You vipers brood! How can your words be good when you yourselves are evil? For the words that the mouth utters come from the overflowing of the heart…..I tell you this: there is not a thoughtless word that comes from men’s lips but THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO ACCOUNT FOR IT ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. FOR OUT OF YOUR OWN MOUTH YOU WILL BE ACQUITTED; OUT OF YOUR OWN MOUTH YOU WILL BE CONDEMNED.” [New English Bible] This seems like plenty high enough standard for one and all, and the “stricter judgment” of James might just be connected that teachers run the risk of being careless and presumptuous, NOT ONLY WITH THE CONTENT, BUT MAYBE MORESO, BY SAYING “THUS SAYETH THE LORD” AT THE END OF SUCH. Notice that Jesus rails on the Pharisees, not for a failure to live up to any position, but for very specific behaviors connected to a malignant heart problem. I’m not for holding JS to a higher standard (I actually like RALPHS line of thought on ‘God not being a respecter of persons), I won’t even require mormons to do that, even though there is some logic to it. There is plenty enough rope in Matt 12, and JS can tie a mean knot himself, thank you very much. GERMIT

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