In this video, a returned Mormon missionary explains how personal revelation helped him on his mission. It seems an investigator was struggling with accepting the LDS Church due to troubling historical information she had learned about Joseph Smith and polygamy.
Watch the video to get the background and the greater context of the story. But here cutting to the chase, based on his personal revelation, the elder confronted the investigator:
“You have problems with Joseph Smith and polygamy. I know this is gonna sound crazy but you have had relationships in the past where there’s been infidelity, where there’s been adultery and stuff like that, and that is why you feel so opposed to just the idea of one man ever, ever associating with more than one woman. Correct?”
Apparently, he was correct. The woman was shocked and asked how he knew. The elder replied, “The Lord has told me this.”
Eventually, continuing to struggle with Joseph Smith’s polygamy, the woman asked the elder, “What can I do to overcome those feelings?” The video explains what happened next:
“She committed to kneel down that night and to ask God for forgiveness for those grudge and that feelings and to herself forgive those wrongs that had been committed against her. And she did… From that point on she was ready.”
And soon she was baptized.
As far as is evident from the elder’s recounting of the story on the video, this woman’s “problem” with Joseph Smith’s polygamy stemmed from past iniquity and adultery “that had been committed against her.” Thus, she had apparently committed no sin of adultery herself, but for concerns about polygamy, she needed to repent. For holding a “grudge” against the idea of one man “associating with more than one woman,” she needed to repent. For having troubled feelings related to the Prophet and polygamy, she needed to repent. Then she could overcome her negativity toward Joseph Smith and his 30-plus wives.
It’s interesting that the investigator needed to repent, but Joseph Smith — a man who flagrantly broke the anti-bigamy laws of Illinois, a man who wed women behind his legal wife’s back, a man who married other men’s wives, a man who publicly denied the very existence of dozens of his plural wives, a man who manipulated young women with promises of spiritual security for themselves or their families if they accepted plural marriage proposals (and vice versa) – Joseph Smith got off scot-free. Not only does the Prophet have nothing to repent of (according to Mormonism), but the poor investigator that had trouble swallowing his bad behavior is found to be in the wrong.
This is Mormonism. I say no more.