The Red Brick Store

Not long ago a new LDS web site was launched: The Red Brick Store. The web site describes itself like this:

“A collaboration amongst editors of Mormon-related journals and magazines to nurture and share good writing and good thinking in Mormonism.”

One of The Red Brick Store contributors, Stephen Carter told Mormon Times,

“We wanted the blog’s name to draw its resonance from Mormon history…. The Red Brick Store was Joseph Smith’s store in Nauvoo. It was where the Relief Society was organized, where the first endowments were performed and where Joseph Smith finished translating the Book of Abraham. It was also an important gathering place for the Nauvoo Saints.”

This is not all Joseph’s Red Brick Store was known for. Reading the article in Mormon Times reminded me of another Red Brick Store story found in Fawn Brodie’s No Man Knows My History reprinted below.

“[A] self-possessed eighteen-year-old English girl, Martha Brotherton, chose to speak her mind. Brigham Young, who had not been lax in following his prophet’s lead [in taking plural wives], had set his heart on the high-spirited English lass. He took her to the famous rendezvous over Joseph’s store, locked the door, and proceeded with the curious, bobtailed, hortatory courtship that was becoming so common in the city:

“‘Brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives… If you will accept of me I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom, and if you will have me in this world, I will have you in that which is to come, and brother Joseph will marry us here today, and you can go home this evening, and your parents will not know anything about it.’

“When the girl demurred and begged for time, Brigham called in Joseph, who also urged her to make an immediate decision. ‘Just go ahead and do as Brigham wants you to,’ he said, and added with a laugh: ‘He is the best man in the world, except me.’ Then he went on more seriously: ‘If you will accept of Brigham, you shall be blessed – God shall bless you, and my blessing shall rest upon you…and if you do not like it in a month or two, come to me, and I will make you free again; and if he turns you off, I will take you on.’

“‘Sir, it will be too late to think in a month or two after,’ Martha answered wryly. ‘I want time to think first.’

“To this the prophet replied: ‘But the old proverb is, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”‘

“Finally and reluctantly they let her go home, where she promised to pray in secret for guidance. The moment she arrived, however, she wrote down the whole episode while it was still fresh in her memory, and showed it to her parents. The Brothertons in high dudgeon took a steamboat to St. Louis, but not before they had given Martha’s recital enough circulation so that everyone in Nauvoo knew it within a week. Eventually Martha published her account in a St. Louis paper.” (306-307)

Though Martha’s character was badly maligned by Mormons in Nauvoo and her story condemned as a base falsehood, after her death Brigham Young was sealed to her by proxy in the Salt Lake Endowment House on August 1st, 1870 (see Mormon Polygamy: A History, page 26, footnote 7).

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Marriage and Singlehood, Mormon History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to The Red Brick Store

  1. Related to the blackening of those who rejected polygamy,

    “Fabricated stories designed to protect the individuals are seen elsewhere. Sidney Rigdon in the 18 June 1845 ‘Messenger and Advocate’ reported that Parley P. Pratt, in speaking of the means by which church leaders should sustain Smith, advised that ‘we must lie to protect brother Joseph, it is our duty to do so.’ Not only were church leaders willing to violate the law to promote polygamy, they did not hesitate to blacken the character of individuals who threatened to expose the secret practice of plural marriage. Sarah Pratt was not the only woman to suffer from this policy. The 27 August 1842 ‘Wasp,’ for example, branded Martha H. Brotherton a ‘mean harlot,’ and Nancy Rigdon suffered the same treatment after she opposed Smith’s polygamous proposals…..Jane Law, wife of Smith’s counselor William Law, was also blacklisted for rejecting Smith’s polyandrous proposal.” – Richard van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History, pp. 38-39

  2. RICK B says:

    What I want to know is this.
    where in the Bible does it teach that in order to be saved or enter heaven, it is ok to take on or it is commanded to take plural wives?

    yes we see it in the Bible, but no we do not see God commanding it of us. rick b

  3. SteveH says:


    It should be noted that Fawn Brodie is a writer of historical fiction (see some of her other novels such as her fictionalized account of Aaron Burr) and is not in fact a historian. Fawn Brodie takes considerable artistic license in composing the thoughts and words of her protagonists.

    This glaring omission of historical accuracy on the part of Fawn Brodie however, does not sop Mormon “critics” from citing her as some sort of authority on the subject. All of which highlights the fact that much of the criticism of Joseph Smith’s character is entirely derived from unsubstantiated salacious gossip of his enemies. It seems the more prurient the better.

    It has always struck me that Mormon “critics” are not at all interested in seeking to know the historical truth of Mormonism but merely want bury Joseph Smith and Brigham Young under an avalanche of calumny and character defamation.

  4. GB says:

    “Oh, I had always wanted to write fiction.” Fawn M. Brodie, “Fawn McKay Brodie: An Oral History Interview,” Dialogue 14/2 (1981): 104.

    “In any case, I started out not to write a biography of Joseph Smith but to write a short article on the sources of the Book of Mormon.” Fawn M. Brodie, Ibid.

    “I am quietly tearing my hair over the Book of Mormon again. Those chapters are the ones I have worked over the most and [they] are still the least satisfactory.” Fawn M. Brodie to Dale L. Morgan, 26 April 1944, Dale L. Morgan Papers microfilm of the Bancroft holdings, manuscript roll 10, frame 62, Manuscript Division, University of Utah Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

    “I was convinced before I ever began writing the book that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet.” F. M. Brodie “An Oral History Interview,” 106.

    “The historical magazines have not been too kind to me.” F. M. Brodie (Brodie to Morgan, 12 May 1946, Morgan Papers, roll 10, frame 117.)

  5. Arthur Sido says:


    Is it untrue that BY and JS were polygamists? I and I am sure others would welcome a listing of the historical errors that are found in Ms. Brodie’s book. That would be more useful than a blanket character assassination of her.

  6. Ralph says:


    Didn’t you make a comment that you would lie to customs officials in China to smuggle some Bibles into the country, or something like that? I do remember you said that you thought it was OK to lie under certain circumstances to promote your religion.

    So if the LDS church is the true religion and polygamy was a commandment from God, what was wrong with Sidney Rigdon and Parley P Pratt lying to protect the prophet? They are doing and promoting what they believed was the right thing from God.

  7. Ralph, if polygamy was somehow commanded by God, I can see a person conceivably lying to protect the lives of women in an ethical way (much like the midwives in Egypt lied to protect the Hebrew children). This would assume of course that their lives are in actual danger.

    But I cannot see it ethical to lie to blacken the character of women who had turned down an offer to engage in polygamy, to smear and slander their names in order to protect the reputation of the prophet.

  8. GB, your comment was carded because your link didn’t also include a summary in your own words. It will expire March 2nd.

  9. SteveH says:

    Arthur Sido,

    That JS and BY practiced polygamy is not the issue. The issue is that of using Fawn Brodie’s fictionalized account as ammunition to slander the LDS Church and its leaders. For an excellent point-by-point refutation of Fawn Brodie’s novel “No Man Knows My History” I refer you to Hugh Nibley’s book “No Ma’am, That’s Not History”.

    My point is simply that Fawn Brodie is NOT a historian – she is a novelist and as such fabricates much of her content. Citing Fawn Brodie as a historical reference debases one’s argument. As another example of her fictionalized approach to historical characters I refer you to her novel “Aaron Burr” who was a prominent American politician in the early 1800’s.

  10. RICK B says:

    Ralph, I never once denied that we see people of God in the Bible commiting Polygamy, But where in the Bible does God Command anyone to do it? I see in the Bible, One Man and one woman. Rick b

  11. SteveH, do you think Brodie was making stuff up when she wrote the section that Sharon quoted? If so, can you provide specifics? So far it just sounds like you’re trying to inject FUD.

  12. SteveH says:


    Please, be serious! Brodie is a NOVELIST. She is not a historian. Yes, Brodie did make up, fabricated, conjured, and imagined much of her novel “No Man Knows My History”. As I pointed out an excellent point-by-point refutation is Hugh Nibley’s “No Ma’am. That’s Not History”. Citing a novelist as a historical reference simply debases the validity of your argument.

    I must admit that you are a master of “trying to inject FUD”.

  13. Ralph says:


    We have been through this question many times in the past. There is no command to have more than one wife in the Bible – but on the other hand there is no command to have only one wife in the Bible except for Pastors/Bishops whatever the word is translated into in your NT.

    If we look at the Bible especially the OT we see that God allows polygamy and in some cases (eg David) encourages it. In 2 Samuel 12 God admits giving to David Saul’s wives as his own wives. Whether or not David serviced them is irrelevant – they were given to him by God to be his wives. That is encouragement. Also in those times and society polygamy was widely accepted and not frowned down on as it is these days.

    Now lets look at the command given to JS in context (something we had a recent blog about). In JS times, although it was not against the law, it was very rare and against the norm of society to have more than one spouse. In fact most people found it reprehensible and still many in our society find it the same. In order to get JS et al. to accept the revelation to have more than one wife God had to give it a ‘little’ push by commanding it. God has His reasons for establishing polygamy, what it is I do not fully understand but I will one day.

  14. mrgermit says:

    SteveH: I’ve never read “No Man Knows My History” and I haven’t read Nibleys rebuttal; If you’ve read either of these, or both, why not just tell us what part(s) of Martha Brotherton’s account , as told by Brodie, are wrong and why. That’s not an unreasonable request, is it ?? There is always the slim possibility that a novelist could get some historical facts right.

    Thanks,, GERMIT

    Ralph: I am not in the mood to pursue a long polygamy thread, but don’t you find 1)the secrecy around the request and 2)keeping the parents out of it…………at least a little troubling ?? Is this the way God would operate if all were above board ??

  15. SteveH, I’m not sure upon what you base your assertion that Fawn Brodie was a fiction novelist and not an historian. She was a biographer and a university history professor who wrote biographies about the lives of Joseph Smith, Thaddeus Stevens, Richard F. Burton, Thomas Jefferson and Richard Nixon. She was awarded the Alfred A. Knopf Fellowship in Biography in 1943. Her books were not without controversy, but she was widely recognized as a distinguished historian and biographer. I have been unable to find any mention of Fawn Brodie writing fiction novels–about Aaron Burr or anything else, but I would be pleased to be further educated on the topic. Could you provide me a biographical source that mentions these novels? Thanks.

  16. Pingback: Was Martin Luther a Mormon? Part 4 of… « GUNDECK

  17. Has anyone else noticed the similarities between the development of JS’s attitude to monogamy and monotheism?

    In his youth JS is a monotheist (BoM) and monogomist (Emma Hale). By discovery or intent he ‘expands’ his horizons to polygamy (Book of Abraham, King Follet discourse) and polygamy (Fanny Alger and the others). My theory is that, having rejected all existing social and religious authority as ‘apostate’ and having insulated himself with his cronies, there was no-one who could be heard to tell him to check his doctrines and behaviour.

    The behaviour described by Fawn Brodie is entirely consistent with the mind-set I see in JS – a man who was intoxicated with the cult of his own righeousness.

  18. Megan says:

    What a pity that the parents of Sarah Ann Whitney did not do the same thing. I am still trying to get through “In Sacred Loneliness”, by Todd Compton. I am having a hard time finishing it, not because it is boring by any means (it’s quite the page-turner, in fact), but because it upsets me so much.

  19. mrgermit says:

    Megan, we share the same “dysfunction” if you can call it that…..I could only read about 2 or three chapters of “Sacred Loneliness”, and that just did me in……at some point I’ll buy or check out the book and try again……it’s a very tough (for me) read.

    praise GOD that HE is putting broken people, like me, back together again….a shame JS didn’t see his own stuff…..


    PS: a similar shame that more husbands didn’t man up and say: I don’t care if you are GOD of my solar system… still don’t get my wife…..ever.

  20. Megan, I share your experience. Mormon apologists often like to talk about mitigating the repugnance of the polygamy by reading the stories of the women. But reading their stories only has the opposite effect for me. As I wrote elsewhere recently, “Learning their stories only magnifies the repugnance of Smith’s abuse of power, and makes me angry that real women—women who were daddy’s little girls and who sometimes were in love with another man—were convinced by Smith of their sacred duty to marry him.”

    If feeling positive epiphanies or euphorias was a indicator of spiritual truth, that book would be of the devil. It makes one’s stomach churn. I honestly have to check myself in the spiritual mirror when I read that book, I get so furious over it.

    It helps me to take a quiet walk outside and be reminded of how patient and affectionate God is with people. And drive to the side of the mountains and overlook the Salt Lake Valley. “Oh Jerusalem, oh Jerusalem…”

  21. I see two very good reasons why Paul writes “A [church leader] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…” (1 Tim 3:2, and again in 1 Tim 3:12).

    The first is that is a man is faithful to his wife, he is more likely to be faithful to the church over which he has a duty of care. Faithfulness in marriage also speaks about a person’s ability to maintain healthy, functioning relationships with other human beings, which should be a pre-requisite for any sort of church leadership role.

    More importantly, though, a person’s faithfulness or fecklessness tells us about how the person uses his relationships. A man who is faithful to his wife is likely to habitually consider her well-being; a man who is faithless is likely to view his relationships as something that serves his own pleasures and purposes. A person who is faithful in marriage is more likely to serve the church, rather than seeing the church as something that serves him (or her).

    You can see where this is going. If JS and his immediate disciples demonstrated such appalling behaviour to their women, you can be sure that their attitude to the church was just as abusive and adulterous.

  22. Berean says:

    I will always remember the experience of going to Deseret Books and asking if they had “In Sacred Loneliness”. The sales clerk was horrified at the title and became agitated replying, “We don’t carry that!”. I replied, “Sure you do. Here is the SKU number” and then proceeded to give it to her. There was a long pause and then she said, “Well, it would take a very long time to get that in.” I said, “Nevermind…I”ll just order it from Amazon.”

    Like Compton said in his book: “In fact, one occasionally meets Mormons who have no idea that Joseph Smith had plural wives at all; twentieth-century Mormons are undoubtedly uncomfortable with the details of nineteenth-century polygamy” (Introduction, page xi)

    They are not only ignorant of the Prophet’s history but when confronted with it they go into denial. Yes, it’s hard to read this book and not be angry. It made me angry what Joseph Smith did to manipulate these women by playing on their being naive and spiritually vulnerable. Dangling a girl’s salvation and the salvation of her whole family over her head just so Joseph Smith can fulfill his sexual fantasies warrants a special place in the pit of hell for all eternity. I would imagine Smith, Hitler, Stalin, Jim Jones, Charles Russell and other madmen and false prophets would be neighbors where the worm never dies and the fires stay hot. I can only hope that the women Smith manipulated and deceived to get these women’s clothes off came to their spiritual senses before they drew their last breath. It’s a double blow to not only be duped by the false prophet in this life, but also have to be with him for all eternity in outer darkness and eventually the lake of fire.

    “In Sacred Loneliness” took me a while to get through. It took two long distance airplane flights where I read constantly and then back home with several sessions divided by intense powerlifting sessions in the gym to vent my disgust in a positive way. What amazes me the most is that Compton and Bushman knew all this and still remained LDS. (Bushman acknowledges Compton in his book “Rough Stone Rolling”). That’s a real spirit of delusion.

    I’m currently doing some inner evangelism at this Mormon stake down the street from me by going to their Sunday school classes and asking questions. This issue about Smith’s past is guaranteed to never be brought up in the Gospel Essentials class for investigators and new converts. It’s obvious on why that is.

  23. faithoffathers says:


    Don’t mean to pick a fight, but reading your post sure sounds like you are seeking to make people look bad. What did you expect to encounter at the LDS bookstore? Why else would you make such a request if not to make a point and make others look stupid.

    And going to the Stake Center to start a ruckus?

    Is this really an attempt to understand others and learn truth? Is this a “ministry?”

    And your banishment of Joseph Smith to hell with Hitler? How can you possibly stand in the place of God and judge the heart of somebody else, condemning them to hell? A little humility goes a long way in avoiding the pitfalls of pride and arrogance in all of us.

    You can go to great lengths to make somebody else look bad, including Joseph Smith. I am grateful I know for myself that the Book of Mormon is true. I do not pretend to know everything, but I do know that- independent of any other person on earth. Bushman shares the same knowledge. You will surely mock such testimony. It is not a “copout.” But we don’t have to explain everything that may not fit perfectly into our idea of how God should do things. Knowing the Book of Mormon is true, I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. You are missing out on some beautiful experiences and truths.



  24. Berean says:


    It’s okay…you can start a fight. I don’t take it that way, but I know that is the way our LDS friends look at any probing questioning of their faith in the Joseph Smith gospel. What did I expect at the LDS bookstore? First, I expected honesty (Articles of Faith #13). Second, I didn’t expect lying (commandments?). I was honestly curious to see if they carried the book and had intended to buy it through them if they had in attempts to possibly ask the cashier a question about it just like I did about the Emma Smith movie (in which she answered honestly). If Mormons feel stupid when someone asks them a question and they are caught lying, then they should feel convicted of sin instead of stupidity.

    Starting a “ruckus”? Nothing could be further than the truth. You aren’t there. The Gospel Essentials class format is set up as an open forum for investigators and new converts to ask questions in which I do. These questions are asked to make people think, to look at their Bibles, to expose contradictions and to find out if the teachers are going to be honest with me about what is taught from the institute manuals and the scriptures. So far, most of the time they haven’t. I’ve been thanked for the tough questions, had my hand shaked constantly and have been invited back week after week. The bishop sat next to me last Sunday. He asked me if all my questions has been answered. I told him, “No”. He invited me back again this Sunday.

    Yes, going there is an attempt to understand Mormonism. I told them that I am tired of Mormons telling me “We don’t believe that” when I am reading it in the books so I am there for them to teach me exactly what Mormons believe. Yes, it’s a ministry. The reasons I could cite are many.

    I didn’t send Joseph Smith to hell. He did that all on his own (Matthew 12:37) with the King Follet Discourse and by promising salvation to little girls and their families when he doesn’t have that authority (Acts 4:12).

    You have a testimony. So do I. I’ve read the BoM more times than I have read the Bible and that includes the 1830 version as well. You should read that one too, but I don’t want you to feel “stupid” when you see the contradictions and changes. I have a testimony that it is false. May I bear you my testimony?

    I love Jesus Christ and the Word of God – the Bible. There is only one God. Jesus is God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a true church. The Book of Mormon is not the word of God, is false and religous fiction. Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. Thomas Monson isn’t a prophet of God either. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.

  25. mrgermit says:

    FoF: don’t get thrown by Berean’s style or Falcon’s for that matter, the issue is not them, the issue is your religion in general and your founding prophet in particular. Your group makes a VERY big truth claim, can you guys take the heat ?? Joseph Smith has brought our intense scrutiny to himself…..if he is THE GUY, next to Jesus, then he can take it, but history just doesn’t seem to be his friend, and when his recorded actions, words, and I will go so far as to say MOTIVES (because the MOUTH speaks out of that which fills the HEART), gather round and testify against him……he has no one to blame but himself.

    here’s the deal: the account by Martha is hardly an isolated situation, there have been other women……I’m hesitant to put a number on it, but I’d say more than 5, who have remarkably similar stories to hers. This isn’t about sex. IT’s about authority and power, and position, and the misuse of these. That’s why Ralph’s post’s on what was or wasn’t socially the norm back then sex and marriage wise misses the bigger point: here was a man who used his religious and social influence to his own (and his closest friends’) sexual advantage. Not at all unique to Mormonism: see David and Bathsheba……. but repulsive nonetheless.

    these have to be tough issues for an LDS to deal with, but if you are honest, and I think you fall squarely in that camp……then deal with them you must. And maybe in your own way, you have, but for the observers out there, please: this isn’t just Berean and friends being cranky……..sexual exploitation is offensive to men and to GOD.

    PS: PLEASE: I’m hoping I don’t have to hear the “it was only spiritual” about Joseph and his many women….don’t know where he hid his kids, but BY , his obedient disciple had over 50… I’m thinking the BY learned it was OK to consumate these relationships….unless he far surpassed his mentor, which I kind of doubt.

  26. Megan says:

    While I do think Smith’s “marriages” was a way to satisfy his own lust, I agree with Germit that they primarily served to solidify power and control over his flock. Only LDS of the most inner circle were allowed to partake of plural marriage or know of this secret practice. It is breathtaking to read how Smith often tied families’ salvation to taking part in plural marriage, or of how he would sometimes send male family members (and occasionally husbands) of his female targets on missions to get them out of the way. I am mystified myself at how Compton can still be an active, faithful Mormon, but he is.
    A year and a half ago, a close LDS friend of mine and her husband got Compton’s book from another LDS couple, and starting reading it. The information contained in the book completely destroyed the faith of all four people. These were faithful, temple-going Mormons who could not reconcile their church’s claims with the actions of Joseph Smith. They had grown up knowing in theory that Smith had multiple wives, but, as my friend told me, these wives were never mentioned. Only Emma was focused on. I have another LDS friend who I got into a conversation with a couple years ago, and she told me that the multiple wives of Smith were primarily widows. Well, the facts don’t bear that out. I didn’t start reading “In Sacred Loneliness” until last year, so was unable to pull out my book and say, “here, what about all these women?”
    The close friend who read Compton’s book and ended up rejecting her Mormon faith, recently moved back to the Mormon heartland, and was visited by “her” bishop soon after moving into her home. The bishop said twice to she and her husband that he has found that those who leave Mormonism usually are engaged in adultery. Um, no, my friend and her husband are not engaged in adultery. They don’t smoke crack either, or engage in other nefarious activities. They just haven’t found the history of Jospeh Smith to square with the claims of the church they grew up in. As my friend said to me, “I am so angry that I was lied to.”

  27. faithoffathers says:


    So let’s summarize: God is limited in what He can do by our modern, feminist social mores and perceptions of what is right and by our interpretation of writings of ancient prophets. His servants must fit perfectly what we expect. He cannot give additional scripture. Although we live in what has to be the most self-centered era in man’s history, we most certainly can judge previous generations from where we stand.

    No matter what we think, we are heavily influenced by the over-sexualized society we live in- and that affects in a huge way the lense through which we view history. It is easy to be naive here. It is easy to project such a sexually-based motive onto others while not recognizing the difficulties- enormous difficulties- that would attend plural marriage.

    Bottom line- either Joseph Smith was a prophet and was commanded to take many wives, or he was not. Our first concern should be ‘was it a commandment from God,’ not ‘why would God command that.’ Follow? Man is notorious for focusing only on the ‘why’ and thereby falling away from God. We simply do not have the ability to understand all that God can. If we require a complete understanding of something before accepting it, there is no room for true faith and we have no place expecting God to accept us. I submit that the more appropriate focus should be on ‘did this come from God.’ And how is that determined? You got it- is the Book of Mormon true? This is a very linear construct and means of determining the truth which God has mercifully given us.

    The Holy Ghost provides the most sure foundation. That is why people like Bushman and others can “know what they know” and still “believe.” I myself don’t think I’m naive about these issues. But they really, honestly do not threaten where I stand. NOT ALL TRUTH IS OF THE SAME VALUE.

    Keep the faith.


  28. Aaron says:

    Last time I checked, FoF, feminists weren’t favorable toward polygamy.

    And it is most absolutely clear that polyandry is against the commanded will of God. Joseph Smith was therefore lying.

  29. mrgermit says:

    FoF: I appreciate that your responses have been a defense of your faith and your prophet, and not just some kind of personal attack on Martha Brotherton or others, past and present.

    Friend: you are making this WAY TOO COMPLICATED and too ethereal/super-spiritual. the SAME discernment tools that we use for stuff TODAY, can be put to use in figuring out this JS thing.

    Your daughter is at a summer camp, and instead of coming home with Sue, as arranged, she is on the run to , you don’t know where with camp couselor Bob. not to worry, they prayed about it, both of them , and God said it was OK, really NECESSARY for HIS greater purposes, to skip the parental consent thing and go…..well…..whereever they are. I guess you COULD just ask yourself if this is POSSIBLE in God’s scheme of things…….I’m kinda doubting that’s where your thots take you…….GERMIT would be doing everything to find “Mr. Spiritual”…….and if daughter was a teen, cancelling all her appointments for the next 4 or 5 months (other than school). Dude, you are asking the wrong questions , OR asking the right question

    I submit that the more appropriate focus should be on ‘did this come from God.’ And how is that determined?

    and then getting goofy with how we get the answer… DON”T need the BofM to know about Mr.CampPredator……..or even prayer…… need to act on the wisdom that GOD has already given you and what you ALREADY know to be true: such as, it’s wrong to keep this kind of thing secret from mom and DAD, it’s wrong to make such a major decision without their counsel…….you get the point……….

    All these kinds of things COULD have played a role in JS life and marriage/sex decisions IF he had let them………but he preferred to play by a different set of rules, HIS OWN……I know you see that very differently…..but if GERMIT is correct , it explains the SECRECY, the HIDING, the “don’t tell your parents……”, “we’ll tell your husband later, when he gets back from the missions trip”, “don’t wait…..”……….and on and on.

    IT’s just not necessary to put a “spiriual package” on this stuff.
    At least not for me…..and not for Megan’s friends………..eventually.

    If you’ve read this far, thanks for putting up with something of a “ramble”

    blessings on you and yours, whom I’m convinced you love faithfully…….


    don’t mean to rub this in, but again, the SECRECY that Megans’ temple-worthy Mormon friends said had surrounded JS history is telling……to me. It seems as if the CULTURE of secrecy has followed on……into the present from whence it started many years ago in the red brick house……..

  30. RICK B says:

    You asked the question, Did/would God command men to take more than one wife.
    I would say NO!!! JS and BY did, not because God Commanded them to, but because they wanted to, Here is why I say that, If You hold to the beliefe that the Bible covers 6,000 years From Adam to Revelation, then in that 6,000 year Period we never see God saying I command Prophet So and So or King So And So, or even just avrage Joe to take many wives.

    Read these verses,

    Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set [him] king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: [one] from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which [is] not thy brother.
    Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
    Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
    Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of [that which is] before the priests the Levites:
    Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
    Deu 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, [to] the right hand, or [to] the left: to the end that he may prolong [his] days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

    Notice Verse 17, It says the king is not to multiply wives to himself, David and others Did that, so they went againt God and nothing good came of it, As a result David had a man killed for his wife, and God said a sword will not depart from your house, he had great family problems. Solomen turned away from God to false Idol’s because of the many wives, and You can argue that two wives is 1 to many and 2 wives fits that verse.

    Since we are not given a spefic number, LDS might say, two is fine, but in the case of David and Solomen they have wives and Concubines numbering over 1,000 women total. Now Since I gave you Chapter, verse and exact quote Showing God saying, Kings should not multiply wives to themselves, I want you or any other LDS to give me Chapter and verse Showing where God goes against what He said, and says, I COMMANDED YOU to take many wives.

    And That is different that God Allowing these People to take wives and live in Sin. It is like Aaron saying I Commaned you posters to verbaly Attack each others, Verses Him simply letting us and not deleting it. God allows us to make Choices even if they are Wrong or hurtful, Look, David had a man killed for his Wife, God punished David for it, But yet God did not step in and stop it from Happening. So read your Bible and get me those Verses. Rick b

  31. falcon says:

    I was raised Catholic and unfortunately I was never molested by a priest. I say unfortunately because I have come to learn, through revelation, that this was not sinful behavior as some say, but is actual a sacred rite. Boys chosen for this become, in essence, the spouse of the priest, since the priests are not allowed to marry (another sacred calling). Some priest had sexual contact with numerous boys and these boys are, therefore, the priest’s plural spouses. Most of this cannot be found in the Bible because it was deliberately left out. I know it takes faith to believe this and some will find it difficult and it will challenge their faith. However I bear you my testimony that this man-boy love connection is indeed sacred and practiced only by those who have enough faith. I might also add, that any boy who refused this wonderful joining, has lost his salvation.

    Anyone who feels like puking when reading what I just wrote understands what we Christians feel about Joseph Smith and his leacherous, abominable, exploitative behavior. Joseph Smith was a sexual pervert of the lowest kind.

  32. mrgermit says:


    of the “enormous difficulties” that you mentioned I’d offer two:

    1)make very sure that Emma , and those closest to his next victim don’t find out (till later, if at all)

    2)make sure that his conscience doesn’t waver, but remain solidly wooden, when true friends like William Law appeal to him to rethink his (Joseph’s ) adulterous and scandolous ways; default to the “God has spoken ” position…..and don’t let OTHER COUNSEL in……..

    these two jobs had to have been very taxing…….

    PS: as I said in the first post, I for one, do not think that SEX was the big deal to JS as much as flaunting power, position, and authority…..and consolidating that power thru a ‘web’ of relationships……happens a lot, not at all unique to LDS…….also the lure of “just to see if I can…..” I know that sounds shallow, but I think he was easily bored…..

  33. Ralph says:


    Did you read my last post which partially answers the questions you have posed? There is no commandment FOR OR AGAINST polygamy in the Bible except for the case of Bishops/Pastors (or what ever your Bible has translated those verses out to be).

    As far as David let’s look at it –

    2 Samuel 12:1-9 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

    Let’s cross reference this with 1 Kings 15:5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite..

    So all those wives David had were not a problem with God – except that David killed another man to hide the fact he slept with the other man’s wife.

    Then there is the part of the Mosaic Law where if a married man died without having children, his wife was to be given AS WIFE to one of his brothers. This did not capitulate whether or not the brother was married and according to some websites that discuss this – allows for polygamy. This is under the Mosaic Law that was given by God to the Israelites and is Biblical.

    So God has encouraged polygamy and endorsed it in some form, but in the Biblical times there was no need for command as it was a ‘normal’ part of life. Unlike today when it is looked at as disgusting, etc.

    The Deut 17 verse you highlighted has nothing to do with having no more than one wife. Look at it in context to the surrounding verses. Verse 16 says that the king should not multiply horses unto himself – does this mean that he can have only one horse? Verse 17 is only saying that the king should not take more wives by his own choice – but that still leaves the provision that if God tells him to take another one, he can because it is God multiplying the wives not the king.

  34. falcon says:

    There’s a legal term “accessory after the fact”. It is basically applied to someone who aids and abets someone who has committed a crime. I believe that term could be applied to modern day Mormons who agree with what Joseph Smith did in his seduction, for his own sexual gratification, of at least 33 women and children. They are as guilty as he is after the fact by the promotion of this hedionistic liar, fraud and sexual pervert. If ever there was a case of totally dysfunctional group of people, this would be it. Next we’ll hear that it was really all the fault of the women and girls who were exploited. What a sick puppy this guy was.

  35. mrgermit says:

    Ralph: I said I didn’t want a long polygamy thread, and I really do NOT, but I will, with your help, ask just one question. If this was indeed an “eternal principle”, why did Emma fight it tooth and nail……to my knowledge, she was NEVER comfortable with Joseph having other wives, so much so, that she even denied that he in fact did…..which I find funny and sad at the same time… 33plus other women just didn’t register…..but anyway , my point is not Emma’s denial of reality, it’s her denial of the command itself… do you account for that ?? One would think that Joseph, surely, could get his wife on board with something that GOD , allegedly, commanded to have done. I don’t think she fought him over anything else, did she ???

  36. Ralph says:


    I don’t know if she fought with him over anything else because I have not researched much into his life.

    Your other question about why did she fight against a command from God? Well why do you? Why do I? Why does anybody? We are human and have our free agency to accept or reject that which comes from God. Our reaction does not make it true or false.

    Just remember, she did leave the church and started the Re-organised with her son as prophet. All I can say is that she will be held accountable for what she has said and done at the day of judgement, not for what someone else has. I also know that I will be in the same position, so will you. We are held accountable by God, not by man, about spiritual/religious matters.

  37. Germit (or should I say MR Germit, LOL)

    You’re on the money with Emma’s position regarding her husband’s exploits.

    One of the “funniest” things I read was Brigham Young denouncing Emma as a liar and a fraud. The reason was that Joseph had accused her of trying to poison him on two occassions by slipping something into his coffee. To quote from BY’s address to the October 1866 General Conference;

    “To my certain knowledge Emma Smith is one of the damdest (sic) liars I know of on this earth; yet there is no good thing I would refuse to do for her, if she would only be a righteous woman; but she will continue in her wickedness. Not six months before the death of Joseph, he called his wife Emma into a secret council, and there he told her the truth, and called upon her to deny it if she could. He told her that the judgments of God would come upon her forthwith if she did not repent. He told her of the time she undertook to poison him, and he told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked then she. He told her where she got the poison, and how she put it in a cup of coffee; said he, ‘You got that poison so and so, and I drank it, but you could not kill me.’ When it entered his stomach he went to the door and threw it off. He spoke to her in that council in a very severe manner, and she never said one word in reply. I have witnesses of this scene all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice she undertook to kill him” (Brigham Young, The Essential Brigham Young, pp.188-189).”

    Ok, so Jo didn’t keep the “Word of Wisdom”, or BY was spreading false testimony against Emma, or Jo was exaggerating in his accusations against his wife, or BY was exaggerating Jo’s death-threats against Emma. Any way you read it, it upsets the apple-cart for the LDS propagandists.

    I suspect that Jo was right in his suspicions and BY was actually being truthful. If it were true, then why would Emma try to kill her husband? The motive is the probably the commonest and oldest for such extreme action; she was disgusted at her husband’s adultery.

  38. mrgermit says:

    RalpH: this is rude, but I’ll give a quick answer to my question….I did wait till I got yours first, so I should get SOME kind of star, though gold is a bit much….

    her reason?: same reason that polygamy (generally) disgusts most LDS today, most especially women, she was 100% sure it was wrong……wrong today, wrong tomorrow, wrong next year…. her “guts’ told her…..and in this case (because our “guts” can deceive us) her guts were dead on.

    I liked what you said about why we all disobey,,,,,,James talks about “carried away (taken captive) by our own lusts ……” I think that’s true for all us, prophet, poet, and pot cleaner.


    PS: the historical thing with Emma is interesting….she is the 1st woman of the faith and a key player…..she has to “put in her place” so to speak, because of her strong stand against polygamy, and not going with the LDS…..yet “revered” at the same time……what a weird balancing act that must be !!

  39. falcon says:

    Duplicity means “doubleness of thouught, speech, or action; deception by pretending to feel and act one way while acting another”. This was Joseph Smith. Acting the role of great prophet, seer and revelator on the one hand but on the other being a lecherous predator that played on the fears of vulnerable women to satisfy his own sexual desires. Modern day Mormonism is acting in a duplicit matter when it comes to their presentation of this fraud. What he did was ugly, filthy and the stench hangs over Mormonism like a putrid landfill. People who support and excuse Smith’s behavior and promote him with a cleaned-up image, are as guilty as he is. They don’t have enough sense or decency to feel shame.

  40. mrgermit says:

    Falcon: actually, I think it’s a little more nuanced than what you wrote:

    they are willing to feel shame if someone were to do those things TODAY (think Warren Jeffs, maybe…..) but JS and friends get the free pass of “GOD had a different command for that time and age……” so of course , no shame there…….

    at least , that’s how they try to play it, while keeping Compton’s book, among others, at arm’s reach…..or further…….. the conscience is a tricky, fickle thing……like a smoldering fire.

  41. faithoffathers says:

    Maybe not enough LDS know the details of Joseph Smith’s multiple wives. Maybe some people avoid that whole topic. But there is a flip side to that coin.

    LDS critics love to focus on this stuff, but they will go to great lengths themselves to avoid doing what the whole program proscribes to know of its truth. They will not read the Book of Mormon in humility without prejudice. Sure, they may skim and search the book for details and things they can criticize or use in their clever arguments. But they will NOT submit themselves to true supplication in studying it and going to God for truth.

    It is easy to lump all LDS into the stereotypical ignorant people who know nothing of their history. This is convenient for the critics cause. But it is not a true assessment. Countless LDS know very well the history you folks speak of, many of them know the history better than you- believe it or not. And guess what- they still believe and even state that they know the church, the BOM, Joseph Smith, all of it are true. Falcon will conveniently say that this is the result of a “frenzied mind” or something clever like that.

    You will never know (yet always have just a little bit of doubt about your own stance, I believe) until you humbly read the Book of Mormon.



  42. mrgermit says:

    FoF: some observations…….and thanks for the post to an admittedly unsettling thread

    Maybe not enough LDS know the details of Joseph Smith’s multiple wives.
    Yes, and your church can really help out here, IF they want to….and it seems some years they do, and some years they really don’t (too busy with the “real work of the gospel… wouldn’t help those who are TRULY seeking, blah,blah) Your big guys need to get humble and let the WHOLE story be told…..I’m not saying use Sandra Tanner, or Fawn Brodie……use RICHARD BUSHMAN or a true believing LDS , for heaven’s sake…..but don’t mumble, don’t equivocate…… up and just do it

    They will not read the Book of Mormon in humility without prejudice. Sure, they may skim and search the book for details and things they can criticize or use in their clever arguments. But they will NOT submit themselves to true supplication in studying it and going to God for truth.
    And how could someone KNOW if they are doing just this ???? it LOOKS like the proof would be a humble acceptance of the book as true and the man (JS) as GOD”S true instrument and servant…… isn’t that the only outcome that will satisfy you ?? Is there ANY chance that someone who comes to a different conclusion is HUMBLE, SINCERE, and lacking in prejudice ??? You seem very sensitive to stereotypes to your side…….doesn’t this also walk like a duck, quack like a duck ?????

    It is easy to lump all LDS into the stereotypical ignorant people who know nothing of their history. This is convenient for the critics cause. But it is not a true assessment
    You are stretching our point to a caricature……the point often made is NOT that ALL LDS do not know their history….it’s that it is remarkable how MANY do not know their own history…..this is all the more remarkable in a group that prides itself in knowing its own history…….pagaent goers , with little or no clue about the histories of those 33plus women……hmmmmmm , and I don’t think this is purely anecdotal stuff that is not the case many times over.

    more in a few minutes……………….GERMIT

  43. mrgermit says:

    FoF: part deux

    in knowing your own history, you friend , are the decided minority; or so it seems to me; granted, some are by intellect and calling and aptitudes more inclined to this sort of thing….you have some company, Seth R., Defender, the gang at FAIR……really, it’s not even so much how many are so clueless, the thot is that they had institutional help in being so clueless…. the common refrain seems to be “I was not told…” I know Ralph and others say this isn’t so, so maybe this is an ‘agree to disagree ” scenario, but in fairness to our side, I wish I had a quarter for every time I’d heard that…..

    and of course, some of the LDS who DO have a good grip on history, you and Ralph come to mind, continue on in the faith…..absolutely right, and I for one am very sure this doesn’t show some kind of shoddy scholarship or lack of effort on your part.
    but again, the FoF’s and Ralphs seem to be a weird kind of subspecies in the LDS tree….

    I can say that with charity, because maybe it takes one to know one……

    Weirder than you thru practice and luck……GERMIT

  44. Berean says:

    Another book that is a biography of Emma Smith is entitled “Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith”. The authors are LDS and are very honest in their research especially the issue of exactly how Emma viewed all of Joseph Smith’s plural wives. I couldn’t help but to read this and have pity on the dear woman for what she went through with Joseph’s sexual indiscretions. He really put her through the “ringer”. I imagine if Joseph lived today with a modern American woman he may not have faired very well. His life would have been either snuffed out by his estranged wife for his playing around or he would have awakened in the middle of the night with Emma doing midnight surgery to remove his private parts that he couldn’t control.

    Ralph said: “Just remember, she did leave the church and started the Re-organised with her son as prophet. All I can say is that she will be held accountable for what she has said and done at the day of judgement”.

    According to Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th prophet of the church, the RLDS which Emma started and was a part of is referred to as a “cult” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, page 284). I would like to know why the LDS Church isn’t honest (Articles of Faith #13 ?) in its portrayal of Emma Smith in their articles and movies about her today? She is an apostate – a cultist – according to Salt Lake City Mormons. Why does the Mormon Church come out with movies about Emma Smith without telling its members or the general public what the real story was with Emma Smith? The LDS Church wants to claim Emma as one of their own, but Emma wanted nothing to do with the Utah Mormons and never did all the way to her death.

    Why do they want to embrace an apostate? Why does the LDS Church put out these dishonest and historically inaccurate portrayals that are nothing but propaganda in its magazine that picture Joseph and Emma madly in love and Joseph being completely monogamous (Ensign, September 2008, pages 10-15)? There isn’t one word mentioned of his many plural wives. Why is that? This is just another reason why the LDS Church has a credibility issue with the general public. The GA’s must be under delusionment to think that this information is not out there and that some of the Church members have seen this. I know if I’m wondering about, then I’m sure Church members are wanting to know why the GA’s are once again sanitizing and rewriting LDS history to shove down the throats of the spiritually naive.

  45. rick b says:

    Ralph said

    2 Samuel 12:1-9 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

    Let’s cross reference this with 1 Kings 15:5 For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite..

    So all those wives David had were not a problem with God – except that David killed another man to hide the fact he slept with the other man’s wife.

    It is still more of a problem than you think, here is why.
    God did give David Sauls Kingdom, whats God supposed to do, Kill off every Women so David only has one women? No, Was the many women part of God Plan? No. God created one man “Adam” one women “Eve”

    Then with the issues of the Many Hoses, you say just like Many horses David had many wives, Did God want David to have many Horses? I would argue no, Here is why.

    David Decided to number his army and people, That showed Pride and showed David was not trusting in God, You know how I know that? The Bible tells me so. What was the result of David counting “Numbering” as the Bible says, was God gave David 3 choices, Angel of Death for 3 days, 3 Months of being chased by his Enemies, or 3 years of Famine.

    Then if you read your Bible, Nothing good comes from Many Wives, Jacob Loved one wife but not the other, they fought much and one went unloved.

    Abraham and Sara, Sara told Abraham to take her maid, Not God, that resulted in all the Problem we have today in the Middle east, and anger from Sara towards Abraham.

    Kind David had no peace and many problems as a result, Solomon walked away from the Lord. Ralph, Were all these problem from Many Wives part of God plan?

    Then many LDS tell me, That God allowed JS and BY to have many wives to repopulate due to heavy persecution. So God could not take care of His people any other way? The Bible tells me, God always has a remnant set aside. Then, their was no guarantee that all the kids from these many wives would grow up and follow the LDS way of life. Rick b

  46. Ralph says:


    Once the king is dead (ie Saul) his wives are not part of the royal court anymore. So God did not have to kill all of the women to remove them from David’s path to the throne – neither did God have to give them to David – but in this case he did give them to David for wives. no matter how you want to look at it – God GAVE the women to David to be his wives. This is encouragement and endorsement of polygamy.

    You misquoted me about the many horses. I said that if we look at Deuteronomy 17:17 in context with the verse before it – verse 16 says that the king should not multiply horses unto himself. So does this mean that the king should only have one horse? I think it means that he should only have what he needs. So the next verse, 17 says that the king should not multiply wives unto himself. It does not say that he should only have one – especially in context to verse 16.

    but also it says that he should not do it himself – it says nothing about God telling him he can have another one. Solomon’s mistake was just that — he married women that Godd did not want him to marry and these women were from other cultures and brought their gods and worship into Solomon’s house which caused him to follow these over God.

    Jacob’s problem was caused by his father-in-law. Jacob loved Rachael and bargained for her hand in marriage. As was the custom, the groom would not see the bride’s face until the next morning after the ceremony and consummation were performed. Rachael”s father put his older daughter Leah in as the bride. So next morning Jacob wakes up and finds out he was married to another woman – one that he does not love. So he gets angry and confronts his father-in-law who says Jacob can have Rachael if he makes another bargain. So Jacob hated Leah and favoured Rachael because of this, not because of having more than one wife.

  47. rick b says:

    David was given the kingdom before Saul Died, But that aside, If you read the NT, You will see that Leaders in the Church were not to have more than one Wife. I know you will say, the Verses say, Decons and Elders and JS was neither. But the Role of all leaders was one Wife, and JS was a leader.

    Then Why is it as I said, in the entire History of the World God never said to any man, I command you to take on more than one wife, until….JS came along.

    JS was the First man that God commanded to take Many Wives, and if God can speak to us, why could God not or why did he not Speak to Emma and tell her He “God” Commanded JS to do this? Why Did JS need to convince Emma it was from God, and why did JS need to say, you cannot be saved if you do not due this?

    Why Did BY go on to say, Only those who pratice polygamy can be sons of God? we never see that taught any where in the Bible, and then if it was a law of God in order to be saved, why did it only last less than 100 years, seems rather fishy that it lasts only long enough for JS and BY to take many wives, then God changes his mind. Rick b

  48. Ralph says:


    You are right in that David received the kingdom before Saul died – but unless you are willing to say that God not only endorses polygyny (more than one wife) but polyandry (more than one husband) as well, I believe that David did not gain Saul’s wives until after Saul died.

    And I did answer your question about why God commanded JS. In the OT days it was common practice to have more than one wife. In JS days it was considered outside of the norm and unscrupulous/etc (add in all the words others have used on this blog to describe it). Now this is what God had to ‘contend’ against with JS and his followers. JS even had a difficult time accepting the revelation when he was first told to get a second wife – I learned that in the Provo MTC. So God had to make it a command, otherwise it would not have been practiced.

  49. rick b says:

    I find it funny that ONLY JS Was commanded, and then BY said IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, You MUST practice this, then pretty much after these to false prophets died, God gave an “New” command to stop this practice.

    I cannot believe how Blind LDS are to the fact that this was Both a Command and A law and you cannot BE SAVED unless you do this, but this so called EVER LASTING LAW lasted less than a hundred years.

    And in the history of the earth, we have a law that only applies to two people almost 6,000
    years after creation but yet again lasts less than 100 years and seems to apply to Two people.

    Then I seem to recall, JS said to Emma, you must practice this or God will kill you, and in fact JS was killed less than a year or about a year later, Dont quote me on that, I seem to recall hearing that on this blog a while back. Rick b

  50. mrgermit says:

    Rick b: the following was copy-and-past-worthy

    I cannot believe how Blind LDS are to the fact that this was Both a Command and A law and you cannot BE SAVED unless you do this, but this so called EVER LASTING LAW lasted less than a hundred years.

    I guess “eternal law” is in the eye of the beholders……how time flies when the federal government is grabbing your stuff, saying you dont get it back till you change your mind…

    good work Mr.Hammer


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