The Deception and Fall of Apostle Albert Carrington

In a Note I recently wrote for my Facebook Page Mormon & LDS Facts, I detail what I’ve called “The deception and fall of Mormon Apostle Albert Carrington.” The Note can be found in its entirety here. (Update: This Note was removed by the author and this link is no longer active.)

The following is a brief summary of the Note:

On January 7, 1867 Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal that his fellow  “Apostle” Albert Carrington, and Carrington’s wife, had received the ordinance of the Second Anointing, which made their “calling and election sure.” By definition, this special priesthood ordinance (also called the “fulness of the priesthood”) ensures that the recipients are literally ordained to godhood. Those so ordained are ‘sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise’ and thereby granted the assurance that they are “equal in power, and in might, and in dominion” with God Himself. This is supposedly accomplished by the ‘spirit of revelation’ so candidates (“whose faith and integrity are unquestioned”) are guaranteed their godhood. The Covenant sealed on the foreheads of Parents who have received their Second Anointing also secures for their children the promise that they will not fall, and that they “shall all sit upon thrones as one with the Godhead, as joint Heirs of God with Jesus Christ.”

We are told that this “spirit of revelation” is what guides the Mormon Church, and so these men, these “apostles and prophets,” that give these second anointings are given “the power of discernment” to distinguish good from evil (Moro. 7:12-18), the righteous from the wicked (D&C 101:95), and false spirits from divine (D&C 46:23), and that its more sensitive operation can also make known even the thoughts and intents of the heart of other persons (D&C 33:1). This “gift of discernment,” essential to every member of the Church, also embodies the power to discriminate between right and wrong.

What better person to ordain to godhood than Albert Carrington? Having joined the Church in 1841, he knew the prophet Joseph Smith, embraced polygamy, and was a Counselor to Brigham Young in addition to his ordination to the highest office in the Church, the Holy Apostleship. Unlike “Christendom” as Albert Carrington testified in 1880,“with its almost numberless free schools and its millions of bibles and legions of priests” who “spurned God’s word through the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Carrington knew Mormonism was true, and stated emphatically in that speech:

“I know that I am telling you the truth, as God lives I know it for myself.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 17, page 168)

Three years later while serving on a mission to England, it would be reported that a maid Carrington had hired to clean the Mission Offices was seen “lying on his body.” During a meeting to address that, and other charges of impropriety, Carrington told the assembled hierarchy of the Church that there was “no criminality on his part,” and never in his life, had he “any connection with any female other than his wives, either at home or abroad” because “the Lord had preserved him free from anything of that kind.” As recorded in the official Minutes, church officials were satisfied with Carrington’s testimony.

But in the fall of 1883, Mormon “Apostle” John W. Taylor received a letter from the irate husband of the same maid, claiming that Carrington had indeed committed adultery with her. Called before his brethren a second time, Carrington admitted that he had lied, and that this maid was not the only one with whom he had broken his covenants. Carrington was cut off from the Church a few days later, “for the crimes of Lewd and Lascivious conduct and adultery.”

In the conclusion of the full Note, I write that Carrington, in his first meeting on charges of impropriety,

“was affirmed in his calling without question, by a vote. There is no mention in the Minutes of any of them petitioning the Lord for guidance, or that they felt it necessary to do so. One would think that this would have been the first thing that they did.”

I also ask the following questions:

 “Are we to trust the words of Albert Carrington, that he is telling the truth when he declares that Joseph Smith was a prophet? How can we believe him when he says that ‘I am telling you the truth, as God lives I know it for myself’? And how can we trust those ‘apostles and prophets’–who were so easily deceived by Carrington–with our eternal salvation?”

If Carrington lied to his fellow “prophets, seers and revelators,” and they were powerless to “detect the thoughts and intents of his heart,” are we to believe that these men are what they claim–the very “oracles of God”? If these men who judged Carrington were so easy to deceive, then what does that say about the current “apostles” and “prophets” of the Mormon Church who also claim this same “gift of discernment,” and that they speak for God, and more importantly, as God?

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92 Responses to The Deception and Fall of Apostle Albert Carrington

  1. Mike R says:

    Whether sustaining their General authorities as being faithful in their duties , or whether
    sustaining a pronouncement by their prophet concerning a newly revealed doctrine ,
    both of these issues are accepted by faithful LDS by relying on their spiritual witness.
    This same spiritual witness they ask non-LDS to trust as a means to know that
    Mormonism is the true christian faith , with the true gospel . No thank you.
    This episode in Mormon history with Apostle Carrington is but one such example why
    we can not trust in a Mormon testimony . May God give the Mormon people the strength
    to step out and truly put their apostles to the test : Rev.2:2 ; 2Jn.1:9 ; 2Cor.11:4

  2. spartacus says:

    Part 1
    Hello All,

    I don’t know how all this works, so I’ll just jump in and ask you to forgive any faux pas.

    I’ve been looking for a way to talk about some of my observations of and opinions on LDS church, people, etc. This may not be the best place for this topic but I’ll take what Falcon gave me.

    I’ve noticed what appears to be dishonesty about the LDS concept of Heaven and Hell. LDS doctrine states that “all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power – they are they who are the sons of perdition…These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels- and the ONLY ONES on whom the second death shall have any power; yea, veryily, the ONLY ONES who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. For ALL THE REST be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb…” (D&C 76:31,32…36-39)

    Or, in other words, everyone gets to go to heavn except apostates. Given the superexclusivist claims of the LDS church, this means all LDS apostates only.

    Now, for perspective, the traditional Christian teaching is that Heaven is being with God in God’s Kingdom, while Hell is being without God, outside of God’s Kingdom. People have tried to go into more detail than Jesus did, and it really all boils down to this, whether you are with God or not – in the glory and goodness and blessings of God or outside and away from it.

  3. spartacus says:

    Gospel Principles and every other statement on this point says that the Celestial Kingdom (the highest level of “Heaven”) is the only place where Heavenly Father resides and even interacts. So, while they say that everybody but apostates go to heaven, it’s really only those who go to the Celestial Kingdom that actually get back with Heavenly Father. Even then the greatest blessings (the greatest interaction or intimacy with Heavenly Father) only occur in the highest part of the Celestial Kingdom – those who go on to become Gods and restart the cycle of spirit children and planets and judgment of their own.
    I’ve read in a number of places, but don’t have the citations with me, where the people who don’t make it to Godhood are actually referred to as being damned because their progression and increase are eternally stunted. So, by traditional Christian definition, everyone that is not in the Celestial Kingdom is actually in Hell; and even by LDS hopes and understanding of the ultimate goal of existence, at least everyone in the non-Celestial Kingdoms is in a sort of comfortable hell, and even those in the Celestial kingdom who are not “Gods, etc.” are damned but in Christian Heaven (that is, with the Father).
    So in a sense everyone below the Celestial Kingdom is in a level of Hell. This would be the opposite of what is traditionally described by LDS. It’s not that nearly everyone goes to heaven, but that nearly everyone goes to hell (or if you understand everything needed to gain the CelestialKingdom and forever families, then it is “everyone goes to hell”).
    Ask a devout LDS how s/he would REALLY feel about getting “stuck” in the Terrestrial Kingdom.

  4. Kate says:

    Mike,
    I know that when we would sustain a new bishopric or primary teacher or relief society president etc. in church, we would do so by the raising of our right hand. Now imagine sitting in church, being asked to sustain brother or sister so and so, you really don’t like this person and you know some not so nice things about them, but they have been called to a position and everyone else in the congregation is sustaining them by raising their right hand, are you really going to raise your right hand when asked if anyone opposes? I wanted to oppose a few times believe me! My point is, people are sustained into positions all the time without a spiritual witness. I wonder how many church leaders, from the prophet on down, have been sustained by some who didn’t have a spiritual witness? How many do it because it’s what is expected not what “feels” right?

  5. Mick L Garrone says:

    Grindael
    I was hoping to have written my reply up by now, but I haven’t had quite as much spare time as I was expecting. I expect to finish and post my reply to you within 24 hours
    Hey Spartacus.
    I think you’ve done a rather good job describing the LDS view on the afterlife. I’m not really sure why you would describe the two bottom layers of LDS heaven as being analogous to normative Christian Hell. The bottom two layers of LDS heaven do share two important properties with normal Hell in that those who go to both not in direct contact with God and are both damned in some sense or another. But the Primary property that one uses to determine if some hypothetical afterlife should be called a heaven or hell is kind of a place you are in and what you do. Quite simply, if it is described as unimaginably blissful it’s a heaven, whereas if it’s painful it’s a hell. LDS are saying there is three layers of heaven and one of hell rather than the other way around and that’s no accident.
    Interestingly enough, most LDS tend to think of the second layer of heaven (where they think most kinds of Christians are *cough* damned *cough* to in very similar terms to what most Christians think of their afterlife.

    Mike R.
    Hey there. I’m a relatively new convert to Mormonism, although I have been familiar (as in knowledgeable about) Mormonism as a religion for much longer. I haven’t been through the Temple yet, although I do have my recommend, and I already know pretty much what goes on in there (thank you Google)
    Would I say that Mormonism are the true Christians? Firstly, I use Christian in the same sense as all censuses do, so you and I and (cont)

  6. Mick L Garrone says:

    many other wild and wacky denominations are all Christians. Would I say that I have true Christinaity? Almost. I don’t think Mormonism ass it stands today has all the theological information God has to provide- so the religion still has room to grow. I would prefer to say that Mormonism today is the least false kind of Christianity.
    Falcon
    “The idea of hell makes Mormons uncomfortable? Well simply say there isn’t a hell.”
    This is rather inaccurate of Mormon theology. There is still a hell. We have reduced who goes there so that no one who was just in the wrong place and time to hear the Gospel should suffer and reduced the timeframe to a finite one so God gets to reconcile all things to himself John 12:32 Colossians 1:19-20 Romans 5:18
    ‘I seriously doubt if Mormons even bother to read the Bible.”
    Umm… you are kidding right…just turn up to a one Sunday and you will quickly see.
    “What was the point of God becoming a man and dying to redeem men from their sins?”
    So that those who believe on him get eternal everlasting life like you said. And so that all people get a resurrection 1 Corinthians 15:22
    “I don’t know what your motivation for being a Mormon is but I will say it has nothing to do with the evidence regarding Mormonism.” If you knew me at all you would know how utterly wrong this is. The reason why said evidence isn’t convincing me is because it is simply not convincing evidence.
    Kate
    “. Mick, your reasoning is so complicated. Truth is simple. “
    Don’t be silly. All you have to do is go through Wikipedia’s page on general relativity to know that truth is not simple, and is often exceedingly complicated. But perhaps you were only talking about theological truths? I have a

  7. Mick L Garrone says:

    book on my shelf simply called “Christian Theology” left over from before my conversion. It tries to go over just all the important theological subject from an Evangelical perspective. There are many other books just like it at my local Christian bookstore, and they are all just as thick and complicated. Protestant Theology is not simple either.

    The more mental gymnastics you have to do to defend something, should be the first clue that something is wrong.”
    That’s a very true statement. Before my conversion I would sometimes have to try and convince atheists that the Bible didn’t have contradiction in it. The amount of mental gymnastics I had to do to insist the Bible didn’t have contradictions was far more than all the gymnastics I’ve had to do since my conversion put together.

  8. Kate says:

    Well Mick, here’s where you and I disagree. Truth is either truth or it isn’t. Did Joseph Smith sit down with the golden plates right next to him and by the power of God did he “translate” them with his magical spectacles….or did he put a “magic” rock he found in a neighbors well into his hat, shove his face into it and claim to read writing on the rock with the golden plates nowhere around? Was Joseph Smith a secret poygamist for years, being the one to start polygamy or was it actually Brigham Young and the move West because darn it, all those poor widows? Are the papyri the words of Abraham that Joseph “translated” into the Book of Abraham or are the papyri really just ordinary funeral scrolls? Speaking of the Book of Abraham, this is where the whole Jesus being our spirit brother and the spirit brother of Satan comes from. So is Jesus God incarnate such as the Bible and the original Book of Mormon says, or is Jesus just your spirit brother? Truth is simple. God’s truth is simple. Men complicate it when they try turning it into something it’s not. I’m afraid all you have done with your conversion is jump into the fire.

  9. Mike R says:

    Mick, thanks for the reply. I’m well aware that Mormon leadership is taking the position
    that literally everyone who believes in Jesus is therefore a christian . That really was’nt
    what I asked you, rather if the Mormon Church is the only true church and it’s members
    are said to be THE true christians , by Mormon leaders, then I take that to be that any
    other “christian” is not a true one belonging to a church that is not the true one .
    There are after all only two churches on earth today , right ? I could be wrong but I don’t
    think Mormon leadership claims to be the , ” almost true Church/Christianity ” .
    I think today especially that Mormon leaders have been very hesitant to use the word “false”
    when referring to other churches ( and other “christians” ) as false , but this is what is being
    communicated .

  10. spartacus says:

    Part 1
    Mick,

    I appreciate the response, but we didn’t communicate correctly. In a nutshell I was saying that: Since Christians think of Heaven (the pinnacle of salvation) as being with God, then only the Celestial Kingdom is synonymous with the Christian Heaven. And since LDS believe that becoming gods and having spirit children, planets, etc. of their own as the pinnacle of salvation, then only the Celestial Kingdom (and more specifically the highest part of it) is Heaven without any “damnation.” Then in reality, instead of the regular LDS claim that nearly everyone goes to (a level) of heaven, in fact, by both LDS and by historical Christian standards, nearly everyone goes to a level of hell. Terrestrial being the most comfortable level of damnation and Telestial being less s0 and Outer Darkness being the most uncomfortable level of damnation.

    While originially thinking about this issue I came to a realization, in conjunction with some thoughts on the nature of the LDS god and how it affects LDS believer’s thoughts and feelings toward him (a speculative but great topic for the future-let me know if its been done already). I hypothesized that, while historical Christians think of Heaven primarily in terms of the direct presence of and interaction with God (Christ’s work on the cross bringing us back into right relationship with God the Father), LDS would probably think of heaven primarily in terms of their own state of being and what they do (being gods and propagating progeny infinitely). Mick, you have appeared to confirm this hypothesis when you said “But the Primary property that one uses to determine if some hypothetical afterlife should be called a heaven or hell is kind of a place you are in and what you do”

  11. spartacus says:

    Part 2

    But, Mick, I’d understand if you were just speaking in a general cultural, not specifically any particular religious, kind of way. I suspect that many people, especially in “western cultures” would initially think of heaven/hell in this way – even those who claim to be Christian. It was just interesting that your words were in line with this hypothesis.

  12. Mike R says:

    Spartacus, welcome . Care to share a little about yourself ? Thanks.

  13. grindael says:

    Spartacus, Read D&C 132 for the answer to your question about being “damned.” It actually says that all who do not “do the works of Abraham” including practicing polygamy, will be SERVANTS to those that do. Since there are 3 degrees within the CK, the bottom two are reserved for those who are “single” and cannot “progress” and become gods themselves. They are also to be the gofers for the ones in the higher degree. I know that when I was Mormon, I was taught that Christ would visit those in the Terrestrial Kingdom, but would not venture into the Telestial Kingdom, for they were not “worthy’ to be in his presence. I’ll have to look up the quotes and post them.

    Apostates, will be sons of perdition according to Brigham Young. I have the quotes, NUMEROUS ones. Perdition is based on knowledge. It is only for those who embrace the Mormon gospel and reject it. There are qualifications for apostates who qualify for SOP status, and Young made Temple Covenants one of them. For those that just join the Church for awhile, and are not very knowledgeable about it, and leave, there may be hope for the Telestial Kingdom for them. But that is spending eternity with the dregs, the murderers, etc., with no chance to be with God. If that ain’t hell, I don’t know what is, as with all other levels of the Mormon heaven except the highest of the CK. This whitewashing of Mormon Doctrine by it’s leaders in the last 50 years is incredible. They have tried to redefine the meaning of what a prophet, seer & revelator is, among other things. I’ve got a new article coming out addressing this. I Promise it will deal with this issue very well. _johnny

  14. grindael says:

    Mormons are not Christians, for they teach a different Christ. Here is a very concise summary from a Catholic website:

    “According to Mormon teaching, at one point in the eternities past, this man-become-God, or ‘Heavenly Father,’ begat the spirit body of his first son. Together with his heavenly wife, the Father raised his son in the council of the gods. Before the creation of this world, Jesus Christ presented to his father a plan of salvation which would enable the billions of future human beings the opportunity of passing through mortality and returning to heaven, there to become gods of their own worlds. At the same time, another son of the Heavenly Father and brother of Christ offered a competing plan. When Christ was chosen, the rejected Lucifer led a rebellion of one-third of the population of the heavens and was cast out.

    “….Moreover, Mormons teach that Christ is a secondary, inferior god. He does not exist from all eternity. (Nor, for that matter, does his Father.) He was first made by a union of his heavenly parents. After having been reared and taught in the heavens, he achieved a certain divine stature. Through carnal relations with her Heavenly Father, the Virgin became pregnant with this lesser god. Mormons now believe that Christ’s divinity is virtually equal to that of his Father’s. As we have seen, this is a compromised godhood: Jesus Christ merely joins the end of a long line of gods who have preceded him, an infinite ‘regression’ of divine beings whose origin Mormons cannot explain.” http://www.catholic.com/library/Gods_of_the_Mormon_Church.asp

    This is not ever what was taught by Christ, or his Apostles. That there were problems within the Church with these kinds of false teachings about Christ, is evident from Paul and his letters to the Corinthian Church. Calling these false teachers “super

  15. grindael says:

    apostles”, Paul denounces them, and chides the Corinthians in his 2nd letter:

    1 I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Corinthians 11)

    Self indentifying as a Christian does not make one so. You must teach the correct doctrine about Him, and who he is as defined by God Himself in his Word. Paul concludes with this:

    12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

    Even though these “super apostles” claimed to follow Jesus, Paul said they did not, for they taught something that was in opposition to what had been revealed. He expressed the need to “cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be

  16. grindael says:

    considered equal with us (the orthodox believers) in the things they boast about. What Paul says next is important, for he says it’s “not surprising” that false apostles “masquerade as servants of righteousness”. This is exactly the contention that Christians have with Mormons. Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson wrote a book called Mormonism 101, that discusses this. The folks at F.A.I.R. didn’t like the book, and started a project called Mormonism 201, to try and refute it. MRM answered their rebuttals, found here: http://www.mrm.org/topics/rebuttals-rejoinders/mormonism-201/god-father-danderson

    If you are interested in answers to common Mormon objections to criticism, I recommend highly picking up the book, and reading the rejoinders that Bill & Eric have posted. In one, we read about Mormons themselves who say they worship a different Christ:

    “It would have been nice if Mr. Danderson [Mormon Apologist] would have at least explained the quotes we cite from LDS leaders who seem to disagree with his conclusions. [Which were: "Simply put, just because one group has differing opinions about the traits of a Person than another group, it does not follow that these groups are describing different people.] For instance, at the beginning of our chapter on God, we quote 12th LDS President Spencer Kimball who said the God we worship was “created” out of “mortal minds.” Is Mr. Danderson conceding that his God also came about in such a method? In our chapter on Jesus we quote Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie who accused Christians of worshiping a “mythical Christ.” Does Mr. Danderson also worship a mythical Christ? In a conference message in April 2002, Gordon B. Hinckley said, “As a church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say.” Is Danderson admitting that

  17. grindael says:

    he worships a non-traditional Christ? If not, his insistence that our view of God the Father and God the Son are the same is without merit.

    Can it be reasonably argued that these three leaders felt confident that the God they worshipped was different than those outside of the LDS Church? LDS leaders have more than once insisted that there is a grave difference between the God of Mormonism and the God of biblical Christianity. It is what we call an apples and oranges analogy. Suppose we described Ronald Reagan as a former president of the United States and later call him a former actor as well. It’s true that we could be referring to the same person, albeit at different stages of the man’s life. However, if we say that Ronald Reagan fixed our plumbing problem in 1983, it is obvious that we are talking about a completely different Ronald Reagan than the man who was serving his first term as president during that same year. In the same way, the Latter-day Saint view of God or Jesus (i.e. brother of Lucifer, not 100 percent God in the flesh, not eternally God, etc.) cannot be viewed the same way as the descriptions given in the Bible. http://www.mrm.org/topics/rebuttals-rejoinders/mormonism-201/god-father-danderson

    In another rejoinder answered by Keith Walker, he states:

    McKeever and Johnson then state, “If two people hope to consider themselves of the same faith, they need to agree on their definition of the

  18. grindael says:

    Almighty God.” Hopkins [Mormon Apologist] takes exception to this by claiming, “Mormons and Evangelicals are not ‘of the same faith,’ any more than Lutherans are ‘of the same faith’ as Catholics.”

    Hopkins seems to misunderstand McKeever and Johnson’s point. The sentence “if two people hope to consider themselves of the same faith, they need to agree on their definition of the Almighty God” is not referring to simple denominational differences. Evangelicals, Lutherans, and Catholics agree on their definition of the Almighty God. Mormonism is the “odd man out.” Just as Islam is not Christianity, Mormonism is an entirely different faith with a completely different god. http://www.mrm.org/topics/rebuttals-rejoinders/mormonism-201/god-father-hopkins

    This is an important point when one looks at the different denominations of Christianity. Most agree on the same definition of God. Those that don’t, are not Christians. Mormons, are not Christians. _johnny

  19. spartacus says:

    Grindael,

    I appreciate the reference to DnC 132 – I only skimmed but did see the “if you don’t do this” (which happens to be the qualifications for the highest part of Celestial) “then you are ‘damned’.” I’m pretty sure I’ve seen damnation terminology explicitly related to not having further opportunity to progress and to not having “eternal increase”.

    As for your comment about the Telestial being full of undesirables, I would think that an LDS would respond that the punishment experienced during the millenium (GospelPrinciples p.298,’97) will somehow purify/rectify these persons such that: 1) the Holy Ghost will be able to visit them and 2) LDS are able to feel good about the idea of the Telestial -at least for other people than themselves- as any LDS who is interested in this topic would immediately have issues with a “level of heaven” being populated by actively sinful persons.

    Mick alluded to #2 when he said, “We have reduced who goes there so that no one who was just in the wrong place and time to hear the Gospel should suffer and reduced the timeframe to a finite one so God gets to reconcile all things to himself.” I’ll pass on the interesting wording of this and skip straight to the thought that the BoM has a person who derides those who say there is no hell.But I can’t remember the verse. What would he think about the temporary hell espoused by LDS? I believe the context of this was that it was directed to all people, not just to those that had sufficient witness and belief to qualify for eternal outer darkness. So we can’t say he was just refering to outer darkness.

    Mike, sharing will have to wait, it’s late.

  20. Mick L Garrone says:

    Sorry I’ve been a bit slow to reply, just been so busy.
    Grindael
    I’m trying to read you as charitably as I can, but I still can’t see how what you say could be directly addressing my point. I know the adultery was 12 years long, I know Mormons consider it really really bad, and I am not surprised that Some of the Apostles in the hearing wrote down they were all surprised. Perhaps some of the Apostles were aware and chose not to show it having approached him privately beforehand. Perhaps they were all aware prior but just didn’t want to embarrass themselves by having to disfellowship him until it became public. Perhaps God decided to give him more chances to confess. Perhaps God didn’t tell them to teach them some kind of lesson. Only one of these needs to be even possibly true and your argument fails.
    “Does this make the Mormon “Elohim” the God of “abnormal” Christianity?”
    I never understood what metric one is meant to use to decide if two different ideas about God are really the same God perceived differently, or two different Gods. Some people say that Mormonism and normative Christianity have the same God, some don’t. Some say Islam and Christianity have the same, some don’t. etc There is no consensus on any of this, so I won’t try to answer this.
    Kate: My answers to your questions go as follows 1) Josephs smith started his translation with the Urim and Thummim, and the went back the stone he had (tried to) use for much of his life, putting it in his hat. The Book itself was almost never present. 2) Joseph smith was a secret polygamist at first, then later public polygamist he had at absolute minimum 27 wives, although it was probably more than

  21. Mick L Garrone says:

    40.3) The section of the Papyri we have now are not the words of Abraham, that was a different scroll, but Joseph got his facsimiles from the one we have now. Perhaps the original was damaged? Remember that the ancients never had a problem reusing a single picture to represent multiple scenes. 4) When the New Testament uses the term God, that is a wide term that includes God the father and anything that is ‘one’ with him and can represent him, IE Christ and the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus was one with the Father, he is part of the Godhead and wields all of the fathers power and authority. Mormons hope to one day be one with the father in the exact same way John 17:22-23. He is also our Spirit Brother, Firstborn of all creation Colossians 1:15, the not as great as the father John 14:28 and under the Father in the same way we are John 20:17.

    Mike:
    “I think today especially that Mormon leaders have been very hesitant to use the word “false”
    when referring to other churches ( and other “Christians” ) as false , but this is what is being
    communicated .”
    You’re quite right. All western world churches have been becoming more ecumenical in the past 100 years or so, and its spread to the Mormons to. But even when we choose to focus on the Positives of the Christianity you have, ‘what other Christian groups have is good, we have more good’, we still think you have false premises in your theology, are operating an baptisms without authority and are damned. Pretty much what you think about us, except damned isn’t anywhere near as bad in Mormonism as it is when you say it.

    Spartacus
    If you choose our societies normal definition of heaven, then premise Mormonism nearly everyone

  22. Mick L Garrone says:

    goes to Heaven. If you choose to use the normative Christian direct presence of God as your criterion, then nearly everyone goes to hell. The LDS don’t have a strict criterion to distinguish between Heaven and Hell because they have multiple states one can go to, but we are calling it three layers of heaven rather than three layers of hell for a reason.

    I noticed you called your criterion for heaven/hell “historical Christianity” Your probably right about that criterion being the original one, as far as the early church literature goes, their view of the divisions of Heaven is similar to Mormonism. While I’m not suggesting their view was that it was the exact same, the three layers motif is definitely there.
    St. Irenaeus “Against Heresies” V Chapter 36:2
    [They say, moreover], that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens , the second will dwell in paradise , the last will inhabit the city ; and that was on this account the Lord declared, In My Father’s house are many mansions. John 14:2 For all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling-place.
    For more examples see Origen “On first Principles” II chapter 10:2, Fragment of Papias V preserved via Eusebius, John Chrysostom Homilies on 1 Corinthians 41:4, NPNF Series 1, 12:251. So they seemed to think of heaven as being in three layers, although this probably corresponds closer with the LDS celestial heaven being in three parts than Celestial/Telestial/Terrestrial as they don’t believe in damned people getting to heaven in any way.

  23. spartacus says:

    Mick, I’m not quite catching what that “reason” is. I could understand a Public Relations or Private Relations (making oneself feel better) reason. Or you may have meant your next paragraph to elaborate this reason. Clarify, please?

    In general, the Bible does indicate differing blessings from the judgement. This is a tough subject and lengthy to truly do justice.

    I agree with your last statement, as it was what I said about “being with the Father”. My main point however was simply that what most LDS converts (aka those claiming Christianity) should be thinking of Heaven (that it’s being back with the Father) is only represented by 1/3 of the LDS heaven and that won’t be populated by many people if at all if you take the BoM and LDS teaching seriously. And even if this were not the case, still, I think most devout LDS dread the possibility of even the lower parts of the Celestial, let alone the other Kingdoms. So for said LDS to talk highly of the LDS concept of Heaven and most getting to “heaven” to potential converts seems a bit deceptive.

  24. grindael says:

    Um, what is your point Mick? That they just “let it go”? That isn’t what is in the minutes. Let’s stick to the facts. Mormons claim that they have the gift of discernment, and these men didn’t discern anything. All we have from you is speculation as to why they didn’t. If they are surprised, THEY DIDN’T KNOW. If they didn’t know, your scenario falls apart. They always sat in judgment as a quorum. How many Minute Books have you read? How many journals and diaries? You just speculate, while I have the actual evidence of what went on. These men were totally clueless, and let the man go and sin for at least 2 years after they sat in council on him, and cleared him of the very things that he was doing. Did you even read the minutes?

    John Taylor said:

    So far as Brother Carrington is concerned I had received a letter from Brother John Henry Smith pertaining to some matters which I considered more a matter of inprudence and indiscretion rather than criminal. Yet I felt it proper to have the matter referred to you brethren of his Quorum for such consideration as you might think proper, and handed to Bro. F.D. Richards that you might see what the charges were.

    This tells you right there, that there was no discussion before hand. Taylor got a letter, read it, and determined that there was no criminality. He THEN referred it to the Quorum. It’s all laid out right there. You are just ignoring the facts of what happened. Your scenario is just all speculation, while I have shown what the exact facts of the matter are. Here is Jos. F. Smith:

    President Joseph F. Smith stated that some time ago Bro. F.M. Lyman had been informed by one of

  25. grindael says:

    the brethren returning from his mission from England that there was some misconduct between Brother Carrington and a certain sister while they were at Liverpool, which was very derrogatory to the character and position of an Apostle in charge of such an important mission. And he thought in justice to Brother Carrington that full investigation should be held, especially as he claims there was no criminality on his part.

    THIS WAS THE INVESTIGATION. Then,

    “After hearing the statements of Brother Carrington, the President asked the brethren present if they were still willing to accept and approve Bro. Carrington, to which they assented.”

    This was the first time they heard Carrington’s defense. Brigham Young Jr.:

    At a meeting of the Twelve, which Young calls “one of the solemn days of my life,” charges of Lasiv. Cohab., fornication and adultery are heard against Albert Carrington. Carrington confessed, and tried to argue that because he did not “mix the seeds” he was only foolish but not criminal. This had been going on for about 12 years commencing when Carrington was President of the British mission.

    This is what HAPPENED in the SECOND MEETING. There was no prior meetings, there was no behind the scenes “acceptance” of him as an adulterer, with the admonition to “not do it again”. You are just making up an argument out of thin air. The fact is, they had no “confession” from the first meeting and just didn’t know. And their “gift of discernment” failed them miserably in the first investigation.

  26. grindael says:

    Mick: Some say Islam and Christianity have the same, some don’t. etc There is no consensus on any of this, so I won’t try to answer this.

    It’s easy. Each “god” is defined by their respective faiths. The definition of the Mormon “gods” is not the definition of the God of the Bible. Therefore, they are not the same God. _johnny

  27. Mike R says:

    Grindael, you make some valid points in reguard to the men who LDS submit to for their
    spiritual guidance. This scenario with apostle Carrington ( and other Mormon leaders ) goes
    right to heart of the danger the Mormon people are in today. If these spiritual guides were
    manipulated by their spiritual witness in being wrong as to their evaluation of their fellow
    apostle, then it’s only a very small step over to their possibly being wrong on some very
    vital doctrines they have issued to the Mormon people which also was based on their same
    inner conviction . This troubling picture is not lost on rank and file Mormons because they
    submit to the doctrines of these men largely based on their own spiritual witness. In fact , to
    entertain the thought that these men are not hearing from God on important issues they teach
    is to cultivate the seeds of apostasy ! The precious Mormon people are in bondage to a false
    prophet led organization , may they summon the strength to trust God and walk away from
    this prophet . No more detours : Heb 7:25

  28. Mick L Garrone says:

    Grindael
    “You just speculate, while I have the actual evidence of what went on.”
    Both you and I have the the same set of historical facts as to what went on. The question now is what account we are going to use to explain those facts. You have offered your account, and I haven’t actually criticized it. Unless I am prepared to argue for Mormonism (another time perhaps) I haven’t got a reason to give you as to why your account is implausible, and I think you are perfectly reasonable to believe it.

    But you aren’t just claiming that your account is reasonable and fits the facts, you are claiming that your account is the only one that does so, and since your account includes Mormonism’s being false you have an argument against Mormonism.

    If I want to disprove this claim all I have to do is offer another account that is reasonable and fits the facts that doesn’t take it as a premise that Mormonism is false. It doesn’t even have to be particularly likely. If this claim sounds strained, I would simply point out that I learned it not from a Mormon but from top protestant Philosopher Alvin Plantinga in his highly praised material defending Christianity from the Problem of Evil.

    In spite of your mere assertions I am wrong, I think I have offered several plausible accounts of the facts, and so I rest my case.

    “It’s easy. Each “god” is defined by their respective faiths.”
    And the definition of the Calvinist God isn’t the same as the Arminian one, and the oneness Pentecostals/Modalists have a different definition than trinitarians. So do they all have different Gods too?

  29. Mike R says:

    Mick, concerning your reply to Grindael, I think you took the long way around in
    answering the question of whether we can trust Mormon leaders to be consistent in
    their leadership and spiritual counsel to their followers , and your position amounted
    to that it was practically a hit and miss venture by these men . I hope that the Mormon
    people can apply your ” several plausible accounts ” reasoning to their apostles and prophets
    every time these men preach in General Conference. As a Mormon I know you feel that you
    need a man , a prophet , to guide you into accurate spiritual truth today, but I respectfully
    would ask you to dismiss this man from your life as the “mouthpiece of God ” . True, Mormon
    leaders strive to live moral lifestyles and preach on this theme every chance they get ,
    but in relaying consistent accurate spiritual counsel from God as His exclusive channel of
    communication, they are not worthy of your vote. There is a safer way for followers of Jesus.
    vote.

  30. grindael says:

    Mick,

    You labor under a faulty assumption. You are saying that something else went on besides the historical evidence, without a shred of proof. I’m not “interpreting” the facts, the facts speak for themselves. But I have seen, time after time, that some Mormons will try to spin the facts into something that they are not, to try and disprove or throw doubt on anything that a critic says. This is your game.

    THE account I gave is not only plausible, it is the correct assessment of the facts at hand. They did not “discern” that Carrington had lied to them, and in fact sustained him in his office when he had committed excommunicatible offenses. If you want to believe something else, that is your prerogative, but you would be wrong. None of your accounts are “plausible”, because the evidence shows that all of your scenarios just didn’t happen. You can WISH them to be true, and speculate that they MIGHT be true, but they WOULDN”T be true, because the FACTS state otherwise. As for your red herring about the “philosopher” Plantinga, it’s simply a tactic to divert away from the facts, that I’m thoroughly familiar with when dealing with some Mormons. _johnny

  31. RikkiJ says:

    Grindael, are there any articles about this written by Mormons who would like open dialogue?

  32. RikkiJ says:

    @ Mike L Garrone

    “So they seemed to think of heaven as being in three layers, although this probably corresponds closer with the LDS celestial heaven being in three parts than Celestial/Telestial/Terrestrial as they don’t believe in damned people getting to heaven in any way.”

    First, I would like to say that Christians differ from the LDS(what the Prophets state is scripture). Scripture can only be interpreted by itself, this excludes erroneous statements made by various “fathers”. To follow the Bible understand it under the model “Sola Scriptura”, only God’s word has sufficient authority to change, correct, etc(1 Tim. 3:16, Matt. 24:35). This also means that no one can add to it, nor use Biblical tradition (Catholic or Protestant) to define it. LDS Authorities believe: “The inspired words of Prophets, when written down, become scripture, and whenever God has His representative on the earth, there is always new revelation and new scripture.” Ezra T. Benson (Oct. 7, 1972)

    Second, that passage that describes the “celestial/terrestial” kingdoms in the Bible (1 Cor. 15:40,41) has been misinterpreted by the LDS church. You can observe that there are only 2 “bodies” stated and no limit placed on the types of glory. If you look at it in Greek, it is heavenly (translated “celestial” in KJV only for that passage) and earthly (translated terrestial in KJV). In these passages: (John 3:12, Heb. 9:23) ἐπουράνια — the KJV translates the word “heavenly” though it is the exact word in Greek. The following verses in 1 Cor. 15:42,43 also make it clear Paul is simply explaining that the resurrected body will have a different “glory” or beauty than the present one.

    Third, the Bible speaks of only 2 destinations (heaven or hell, death or life): John 5:29, Dan. 12:2, Matt. 25:46, Acts. 24:15, Rev. 20:15. Not 3.

  33. grindael says:

    RikkiJ,

    Not that I know of. This is not something that many Mormons know about, and not something I think many would write about in depth.

    Here is a blog article I found about this. http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2012/03/19/adultery-from-apostle-rocked-mormon-church/

  34. RikkiJ says:

    Grindael,

    The issue with facebook, is that those who don’t use it can’t access your original post. I’ve been able to find Wilford Woodruff’s journal online and source the post about Apostle Carrington.

    Thanks for the post, it’s an eye opener.

    Rikki

  35. grindael says:

    Rikki,

    The original post was taken down by me. Starting in December of 2011 there were concerted attacks on me personally that resulted in my being banned off of Facebook for a total of almost three months in 2012. What they would do, is continually flag anything I posted as hate speech, inappropriate, or any other thing they could. It resulted in my profile constantly getting banned, (by the automated system), and since FB has about half a billion users and only about 3000 personnel, it would take weeks to get the bans reversed. I have saved all my Notes, and will be reposting them in the coming months to my blog, Mormonite Musings, found here: http://mormonitemusings.wordpress.com/

    I will try and get the Carrington article up in the next few days, so you can read it in its entirety. I’ll also update the link to the article here, since I’m one of the Mods. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  36. grindael says:

    And yes, my article is MUCH more in depth than anything you will find anywhere on the web. It’ll be worth it when you finally get to read it. I’ll make it a priority. Again, thank you.

  37. RikkiJ says:

    Grindael,

    Many thanks again for your effort to keep me updated. Much appreciated. If you like you can always send the article to my email address, which should be visible only to you (as admin).

    One of the issues in bringing truth to some who feel they have the truth, is that they attack truth venomously. Regrettably, the LDS Church should realize that the revealer of all truth is the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and/or Jesus Christ. Truth is neither negative nor positive but is interpreted as negative or positive in its ramifications by humans. And so, it seems that “negative” truth is viewed as some as an attack or hate speech, even though it has been shown to be historical fact. Unfortunately, some who represent truth (as LDS claims) do not realize that the truth about their history is being revealed by the ultimate revealer, God himself (Holy Ghost).

    Negative information that has no basis in historical fact is obviously an attack or could be construed as hate speech.

    It seems that your research leans heavily toward information based on fact(s). I would be interested to read the article on Carrington. Thank you again for your efforts.

  38. grindael says:

    Sure thing Rikki. I’m working on the article now; as with any writer I now see places where it can be improved and more information presented. So I am now updating it, (I got more photos too) and will be posting it in a few days. My approach has always been spread of information, and full disclosure, and that has generated lots of complaints about my writing (that my presentations are way too long), but then, if you try to shorten things, you get the old, “you are taking out of context”, or “snipping”, or any other thing they can think of. So I’ll stick with long detailed articles, and those that really want the information can either read them, or ignore them. Right now, I’m in the middle of some very long detailed articles on Adam-god, the first vision, the tarring of Jo Smith, The Mormon vision of America, and one on Willard Romney, among others. I am also writing a book titled Yahovah Michael, on Adam-god. Aaron S. (one of the integral members of MRM) has just acquired adamgod.com, and I hope to contribute some there, but I’ve taken the summer off from any serious writing, so it probably won’t be until the fall. But Aaron has amassed a lot of information on Adam-god, and it’s worth checking out.

  39. RikkiJ says:

    Grindael,

    I would certainly be interested in finding out more about the Adam-God doctrine. I brought this up with some missionaries, and they dismissed it as theory and accusation. Therefore, any factual examination would be very much in my interest.

    In the meantime, I am looking for help with the written book(s) of the Mormon fathers. E.g. “Miracle of Forgiveness”, “Doctrines of Salvation”, “The Way to Perfection” etc. In speaking with a senior mormon leader recently, he claimed that these books were not representative of the church and were compiled (and published) outside the church. My understanding is that according to Ezra Taft Benson, that the written words of the prophets are scripture. Are there any other proofs that the LDS church accepts these works today?

    If this a topic for a different blog, please advise me and I will post there. Or if you prefer, please let me know (if this can be discussed privately), and feel free to send me an email.

    In the meantime, I can sympathize with the enormous workload in putting together research regarding Carrington and “Second sealing”. So I patiently wait!

    Thanks again.

  40. RikkiJ says:

    Just to clarify, in my research on teachings on previous prophets, I’ve found enough to convince me that Prophet Brigham Young taught the Adam-God doctrine. It is just that I wasn’t able to provide sufficient proof for my friends who felt that it was simply a theory. I’m looking forward to your research, which will help me in this area.

  41. grindael says:

    RikkiJ,

    I am currently finishing an article for my blog Mormonite Musings (see blogroll above right for link) titled Foolin’ the “Prophets“, which will appear in January. This article will deal with the Mormon claims of the “power of discernment”, the School of the Prophets (all three incarnations under Joseph Smith, Jr. , Brigham Young, and John Taylor) the Endowment of the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples and 2nd Endowment of the Nauvoo and later periods of the church, along with case studies of Albert Carrington, Amasa Lyman, the Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith, along with Philastus Hurlbut (of the Kirtland Era) and a few other cases.

    I meant to have this finished months ago, but due to surgery my writing got sidetracked. This will be the first of many long articles I have in progress and will be publishing in the coming year, including articles on Adam-god, Mitt Romney, the 1832 Assault on Joseph Smith & Sidney Rigdon, The First Vision, and the Kinderhook Plates. My goal is to publish one a month, and since they will all be more than 100 pages in length, this is an ambitious goal but one that I think is achievable, since many of these articles are nearly complete.

    I will also be publishing my original art with the articles and as stand alone pieces. I also have three short articles for Mormon Coffee, and hopefully with Sharon’s blessing, you will see them here in the coming months.

    Having been the target of non-stop Facebook attacks, I am no longer involved in Mormon & LDS Facts, and will redirect the link in the above article to Mormonite Musings when Foolin’ the “Prophets” is finished. Thanks for your continued interest.

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