The venom of asps*

On June 25th (2009) Mormon Times published an article titled “Healing the rift between Brigham and Emma.” The article discusses current efforts toward removing tensions and prejudices that exist between the families descended from Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. One step in this effort was a 2007 written “Healing Document” delivered to the Joseph Smith Jr. Family Organization by the Brigham Young Family Association. The document was written in response to a request from Michael Kennedy, president of the Joseph Smith Jr. Family Organization.

According to Mormon Times, Mr. Kennedy said,

“Brigham Young never would have said any of the things he did had he had the correct information. And so I figured that maybe, if he were alive, he would come before Emma and apologize.”

The article doesn’t provide any specific things Brigham Young said about Emma Smith, so to fill in the gap, here are a few notable occasions when Brigham spoke about Emma:

“According to [Edmund C.] Briggs, Young blamed Emma for the establishment of the Reorganized Church and said so in graphic terms. ‘Emma Bidamon is a wicked, wicked, wicked woman and always was and she is at the bottom of this whole matter…Joseph [III] is led by his mother and is now acting under the direction of Emma'” (Avery, From Mission to Madness, 73, quoting Journal of Edmund C. Briggs, August 11, 1863).

“Brigham Young describes a ‘secret council,’…at which he said Joseph accused Emma of [poisoning Joseph] and ‘called upon her to deny it if she could…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 than she. …I [Brigham Young] have witnesses all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice she undertook to kill him'” (Newell and Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 164, quoting Brigham Young address, October 7, 1866, in General Conference).

“[Joseph Smith’s son] Alexander and Brigham Young’s conversation grew more heated. Brigham accused Emma of stealing the family portraits and Joseph’s ring–all items that Emma undoubtedly had a widow’s right to possess. Then in front of her sons Brigham called her ‘a liar, the damndest liar that ever lived'” (Avery, From Mission to Madness, 99, quoting Inez Smith, “Biography of Alexander Hale Smith–Part 6”).

“I never saw a day in the world that I would not almost worship that woman, Emma Smith, if she would be a saint instead of being a devil. …Emma is naturally a very smart woman; she is subtle and ingenious… She has made her children inherit lies. To my certain knowledge Emma Smith is one of the damnedest 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” (Newell and Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 284, quoting Brigham Young address, October 1, 1866).

Emma, of course, heard of the way Brigham spoke about her. Several years later she wrote to her son Joseph regarding the mission trip to Utah that had been undertaken by her other sons, Alexander and David,

“I tried before they left here to give them an idea of what they might expect of Brigham and all of his ites, but I suppose the impression was hardly sufficient to guard their feelings from such unexpected falsehoods and impious profanity as Brigham is capable of. …I do not like to have my children’s feelings abused, but I do like that Brigham shows to all, both Saint and sinner, that there is not the least particle of friendship existing between him and myself” (Newell and Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 285, letter from Emma written August, 1869).

According to the Mormon Times article, Mary Ellen Elggren, the person responsible for drafting the 2007 Healing Document, believes all is now well between Brigham and Emma. Ms. Elggren said,

“The last words out of Emma’s mouth when she died were ‘Joseph.’ And the last words out of Brigham’s mouth, and he died before Emma, were ‘Joseph.’ Joseph came and got each of them. They have settled their differences.”

*Romans 3:10-13

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 Brigham Young, Mormon History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to The venom of asps*

  1. falcon says:

    It’s a curious thing that the Mormon sect headed by Brigham Young and that headed by Emma’s son, Joseph III bear little resemblece to one another. In fact the “Reorganized” church, now known as the Community of Christ, more closely resembles the evangelical Christianity of that era. On-the-other-hand the Utah base Brighamites continues down a doctrinal path that is so far from Christianity that it couldn’t even be considered an aberrent sect but a separate religion all together. You can see how Brigham wasn’t going to put up with anyone standing up to him, so he went after Emma’s character. One tough babe, Emma. She had to battle her husband’s adultery and than Brigham Young’s attacks. She had the guts to stand up for herself.

  2. setfree says:

    It’s also curious that the “mainstream” Mormons don’t understand that they are apostate to JS’s “restored” religion!

  3. Megan says:

    What a soap opera.

  4. falcon says:

    If you head on out to the Community of Christ website and check out their beliefs, you get a totally different type of Mormonism than is promoted by the Utah based LDS church. The fact that Joseph Smith’s first wife Emma and his son Joe the III were members of COS and that his son headed the organization ought to say something to the Utahians. This is especially since the doctrines don’t match-up…not even close.
    You can’t find polygamy or polytheism. In fact what you find regarding salvation sounds pretty much like evangelical Christianity of that era. The COS members are left to themselves to decide if the BoM is the real deal or simply a “spiritual” book. I listened to an address of their president at their April conference and he talked about coming to grips with the early history of Mormonism. They’ve even listed a set of principles by which to examine “history”. Looked pretty reasonable to me.
    Actually it’s kind of interesting listening to and reading the COS stuff. They sound amazingly refreshing. You don’t get all of the foo foo you get with the Utah LDS bunch. I keep thinking as I cruise their website, “So Emma and Joe III were part of this group.” No wonder Brigham Young couldn’t handle it. That along with the fact that Emma could spot what was going on and wouldn’t just crumble and go along. Strong gal that Emma. Guys like BY can’t handle women like that.

  5. I sometimes wonder what put such animosity between Brigham Young and Emma Hale/Smith/Bidamon.

    I understand that Emma blamed Brigham Young for introducing polygamy into the new religion, though it was actually her husband’s initiative.

    Maybe the rot started when her role in producing the Book of Mormon got increasingly ignored by the leadership (Smith included) as the new religion progressed.

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

  6. setfree says:

    Does anyone know, off the top of their head, where to find it documented that JS gave the “prophet” position to his son, rather than to Brigham?

  7. Olsen Jim says:

    I expect that the good people at MRM will uncover every argument and conflict that has ever arisen within the LDS people. What a great and noble work.

  8. Ralph says:

    I am just wondering why point out something like this. Yes, we LDS teach that the spirit of contention is of the devil, but we also teach that we are just human and are not perfect. If having the church ‘hierarchy’ arguing and being very contentious towards each other or another person, then Christianity is doomed from Acts 15:36-41. I wonder if there are more examples in the Bible like this one?

    But as the saying goes in the LDS church – we teach that the gospel doctrine is perfect, not the people. So imperfection does not make church false, neither does supposed perfection make a church correct.

  9. Ralph wrote “I am just wondering why point out something like this.”

    …mainly because of the claims that the LDS movement makes about being such a great “pro-family” movement, and its habit of condemning “sectarian” churches for their perceived “confusion” and “divisions”. To which we answer, “Mr Kettle, meet Mr Pot (he’s black too).”

    The Big Claims of the LDS movement really need to backed up by Big Actions, but, right at the start, they’re not.

    If you’re going to “restore” the Lord’s church, you don’t start with a mess and try to clean it up. You’d expect it to function from the start.

  10. The full account of one of the references quoted above is this;

    On October 7, 1866, Brigham Young related a story that actually accused Emma of trying to murder her husband; not once, but twice. Young declared, “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.(The Essential Brigham Young, p.188).

    Its not a pretty story, but if its true, we can see several things going on which ought not happen in the LDS program…

    1 Joseph Smith drank coffee, contrary to the “Word of Wisdom” (note he affirms that he drank it)

    2 Joseph accused his wife of the being “the most wicked woman on this earth” and threatened her with Divine punishment. This isn’t exactly the kind of language a “pro-family” movement should use

    3 Emma tried to kill her husband by poisoning him, twice. No prizes for guessing the motive – her husband’s adulteries stand front and centre.


    4 Brigham Young made the whole thing up in order to discredit Emma, though he seemed a bit careless about revealing Joseph’s drinking habits. And one has to wonder why BY should vent such spleen at Joseph’s first wife, considering her contribution to the BoM.

  11. falcon says:

    I really laughed when I read the “why bring this up?” line. Mormons like to run away from information like this because it gets to the matter of who and what we’re dealing with in Mormonism. Mormons have created a fairy tale world when it comes to their history and they don’t want to be disturbed by any information that sheds clear light on the character or true life story of guys like Smith and Young.
    Knowing about the real life story of Joseph Smith is something Mormons try to avoid like the plague. It’s because when these things get revealed, it becomes obvious what Smith was all about. When it’s learned what he’s all about then the veracity of his claims (which can be dismissed easliy anyway) really fall a part.
    So then the Mormons can either deny who Smith really was or use another favorite ploy; go and find an example of someone from the Bible or history of the Church who had a less than steller reputation. This, of course, in the Mormon mind, affirms that Smith was really a prophet and not a religious con man. Mormon logic on parade!
    For some Mormons it doesn’t take much to keep the testimony going. In fact Mormons gain status in the organization by denying reality. The Mormon line goes something like this: “Oh, I’ve known all that stuff for years and it doesn’t bother me abit. My testimony is still strong.” To what I ask, “Are you on drugs?”
    I keep marveling at the contrast between the Mormons and the exMormons. Why the exMos were able to figure it out, see Mormonism for what it is and have the courage to stand-up and reject it is quite interesting. I don’t know maybe the answer is found in Romans 9:16-23. That ought to fire-up the troops this morning!

  12. shematwater says:

    Okay. So, let us talk about the failings of all the prophets the “Christians” follow.

    Moses directly disobeyed God in smiting the rock to get water, for which he was punished to not be allowed to enter the Holy Land.
    Aaran challenged Moses and was stripped of his authority for three day. (of course we won’t mention Meriam’s failings with him.)
    Peter, as people love to point out, denied being an associate of Christ.
    Paul persecuted the saints for years. After his conversion he got into contensions with Peter which he actual bosts about.

    Of course, this doesn’t really matter. These men can have their weaknesses. That is okay. Moses could have started with a mess and worked to clean it up (I mean, just read all the rebellions and chastisements he had to dish out on ancient Isreal).

    You see, all that really matters is that anyone who is not a “Christian” must start with a perfectly working organization and be absolutely perfect in their actions or they must be from Satan. You can’t have personal failing and be a prophet in this day. That was only allowed those of a time before. It is okay for “Christians” not to be perfect. After all, what you do really doesn’t matter. But if you are not a “Christian” you must be perfect, as all who are not are of the devil.

    Now that we “Mormons” understand this maybe we can ignore the hypocritical threads such as this one.

  13. falcon says:

    Yup, Yup, Yup, right on time ladies and gentlemen you can set your watch by it. A Mormon going after the heros of the Bible in an attempt to justify the behavior and character of Smith and Young. These emotional rants are getting real tiring and real boring. And kind of snotty really. I hate this cry baby stuff.

    Now I’m seasoned enough with our Mormon friends to know that you don’t take the bait when they start this. The basic ploy and tactic is the argument from equivalency which is one of our long time Mormon poster’s favorite debate tactics.

    See, there’s no record of Joseph Smith ever repenting of his deeds. In fact he just got bolder with his sinful ways because no one would hold him to account. When one of his followers did, Smith had the gentlemen’s printing press wrecked. I suppose Moses or David or somebody must have done the same thing so there.

    Mormonism reminds me of a disfunctional family whereby members justify all kinds of bad behavior on the part of the patriarch. Excusing the behavior and blaming the victim are pretty standard actions.
    So Emma Smith gets slammed by B. Young because she wouldn’t go along with her hubbies sexploitation of various women in the community. But you see this is all excused by Mormons because someone in the Bible did XYZ so it’s all the same and therefore the Mormon church is true and on and on.

    Joseph Smith was a creep and B. Young was an adult version of a school yard bully. Just deal with it!

  14. mobaby says:


    I think your list is not correct – there is a lot more to include. Remember, Moses was a murderer. That should be included. Also Paul, if not directly involved in the murder of Christians, most probably approved and knew it was happening. Also, Abraham, being unfaithful to God and lacking faith that God would fulfill His promise participated in polygamy and fathered Ismael. David was an adulterer, murderer, and a polygamist. The Bible is full of the sins and failings of men – and it points them out. On the other hand, Joseph Smith called evil good – and gave religious justifications for his sin, trying to make his philandering sexual appetite seem righteous. When men of God in holy scripture are confronted with their sin, they repent and ask for forgiveness. They are cleansed by the grace and mercy of God. Joseph Smith made his sin a holy obligation and Brigham Young continued that tradition. Big difference.

    When Brigham Young called Emma a wicked wicked woman, that would be like Samuel rebuking Saul. As a prophet BY supposedly speaks forth the truth. So was he correct in his pronouncements against Emma like Samuel was in his prophetic rebuking of Saul? Was Emma really victimizing and plotting the murder of her womanizing husband, or was she the real victim of both Joseph Smith’s adulteries and Brigham Young’s slander? That’s the question.

  15. setfree says:

    @ mobaby
    terrific, well-written, amen!

  16. Megan says:

    @Falcon–I know, I was going to write a comment saying something like, “The people in the Bible did sinful things, but they repented, while there is little evidence that Smith/Young did so for many of their actions”. But I thought, why write it, I can just wait for one of our LDS members to bring up the issue. Mormons are always saying “you will know us by our fruit”; why is it that they expect so little from their prophets with Christ-like behavior?

  17. falcon says:

    There’s just too much to protect for our Mormon friends. Everything is wrapped-up in Mormonism for them. It’s calleed “rescuing your equity” and it’s a psychological trap. That’s why B. Young went after Emma Smith. It’s all about suppressing any sort of dissent and slandering critics.
    For those who are interested, I’d say go and spend 56 minutes listening to this presentation by a Mormon:

    I’ve listened to it a couple of times over the last several months. It generated all sorts of questions for me and gave me some valuable insights into what we Christians here are dealing with in terms of the Mormon mind-set. Once this Mormon deal starts unraveling for our Mormon friends, there’s no knitting it back together.

  18. setfree says:

    I went out and listened to that presentation you suggested. I’m not sure… I wonder if he’s not being just a little sneaky. I think it’s great.

  19. setfree says:

    wait, no, you’re right. i wrote that last one before i listened to the last five minutes. hmmm.. i think that if every Mormon had to listen to that, a lot of them would leave on the spot

  20. falcon says:

    I could write a whole paper on that presentation. I’ll wait until a few other people watch it and comment. I do double and triple takes when I listen/watch it. Remember, this guy is an active Mormon. There’s another one of him interviewing Grant Palmer, author of “An Isiders View of Mormon Origins”, that is also really interesting. Grant Palmer would be a great guy to meet and talk to. Very interesting guy. He talks about how when he lived in California and was teaching Institute level classes, he’d invite Watler Martin to come and present. Both these guys are a different breed of Mormon. Not your run-of-the-mill Kool Aid drinkers.

  21. Ralph says:


    JS drinking coffe was not contra-WoW in those days. Have you read the first few verses of the WoW? They say D&C 89:2 “To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days”

    “Not by command or constraint”. It was not until the LDS lived in Utah for a few years that it became a requirement for temple and priesthood worthiness. And this was by common consent of the church, not by enforcement by the leaders.

    Now most here would say its a cop-out and you can if you wish, but to me this shows how merciful God is. He knows that these things are addictive (ie tobacco, alcohol and coffee) and thus to start with the WoW was a “principle with a promise” (v3). The promise was for all those who lived by the WoW they received the promises found at the end in vv 18-21. For those who did not live by the WoW, they were not blessed with the promises. After a few years in Utah away from the outside influence and most sources of these vices, it was easier for the saints to adopt to that life style because the older generation that was addicted to them either overcame their addictions or were dead, and the younger generation would have grown up without those addictions. Thus God in His wisdom and mercy did not institute it at the start as a command so those who needed time to get over addictions were able to.

    So I have no problems with JS, BY or other church leaders at that time smoking or drinking alcohol, coffee or tea, because they were under different circumstances at that time. Its like saying that Joseph, Jesus’ step father, was guilty of child molesting if Mary was 13-15 yrs old as many believe. Different times, different circumstances.

    If it was a church leader AFTER the point in time the church decided to make it a lifestyle, then I would have a problem.

  22. Ward says:

    The video is very interesting. He has a very compelling and calming way. He has a good ability to present these problems in a way that allows people to go on to the next step. A Mormon could decide that his points represent “truth”, and stay, and yet another one could see these facts without a lot of emotion, and see the need to leave.

    One area of concern, is his last point. You can be a Mormon on your own terms. Taking this at face value, it doesn’t matter what anyone teaches, just so long as you are true to yourself. Pick and choose what you will focus on. In one way I see this as a logical outcome of contention fatigue — in effect he decides that it is too difficult to figure it all out, so he will follow along, and not get too excited about anything, and count on it to all work out in the end. Noing Jesus vs knowing Jesus. He seems well-assured. May God help him on his journey!

    There is a lot about my faith (EV) I cannot explain well. However, I am compelled to study it and dialogue with others. Sure, some who claim the same name as me are different, but if they are seeking to know Jesus and follow him fully (with all that Trinity stuff!) then I will focus on centers not edges with them, and we can leave the rest for later.

    Thanks, Falcon, for putting this link in the thread.

  23. shematwater says:


    I did not include Abraham, because as far as I’m concerned his living polygamy was not a sin. If you want to include it in the list, go right ahead, but show me where he repented, because I do not recall this occuring.
    As to Moses being a Murderer, again, I do not believe it, so I did not list it. Yes, he killed a man, but that does not make him a murderer. To claim so is to make Samuel and Elijah murderers, and I don’t recall them repenting.
    As to David, I was only including prophets, leaders of the Church, not kings. Personally, I think David failed and has not been forgiven, for he was a murderer.

    As to Joseph Smith repenting, have you ever actually read his history, as told by those who knew him. Have you heard about the 116 pages for which Joseph was stripped of his gift to translate for a time. There are other stories of him being called to repentance by God, and him repenting. The real problem is that you condemn him for that which is not a sin. Of course he didn’t “repent of Polygamy” because he had commited no sin.

    As to the mention of the destruction of the press in Nauvoo, why not get all your facts strait before you throw around accusations. It was the town councel that ordered the News Paper shut down, not Joseph Smith. As Mayor, Joseph put the task of shutting it down in the hands of Sherif. It was the Sherif who (or town constable, or whatever his title was) that made the decission to destroy the press.
    Anyway, while it was an unwise and over the top thing to do, I am willing to give the guys a little leniancy concidering the history violent persecutions they had endured, at many at the hands of apostates (like those printing the paper).

  24. jackg says:


    Regarding your comment on addictions, just about everything can become an addiction. The question is why only the few mentioned in D&C. The problem with the temple requirement is that it leads to the concluding concept that drinking coffee and smoking, etc. will keep a person from entering God’s presence, the Kingdom of Heaven. I don’t want to get into the debate of the telestial, terrestrial, and celestial kingdoms; we are talking about entering the presence of God for eternity as saved souls. If a person admits to drinking coffee or smoking, they are not given a temple recommend. Now, we cannot downplay the importance of the temple recommend, because without going to the temple, according to Mormon doctrine, a person cannot gain entrance in the CK, which, according to Mormon doctrine, is to be in the presence of God. So, we have a little dilemma: current members are held to a higher standard than JS, who Mormons claim to be a true prophet. Also, if a current Mormon (I am not including the sects that have been excommunicated such as FLDS) is found to be living in polygamy, he will be excommunicated. Again, we have a situation where current members are held to a higher standard than JS. I don’t know about you, but this is a HUGE red flag regarding the veracity of JS self claims to be a prophet of God. I would suggest you read Colossians to hear the Word of the LORD regarding such human constraints.


    I am beginning to think that post-modern thinking has greatly influenced current Mormon thinking. I believe it’s rooted in the result of the 8th AOF, which renders the Bible unauthoritative for Mormons.

    Mobaby and Falcon,

    Great posts!!!

    Peace and Grace!

  25. Olsen Jim says:


    Actually, a person does not have to go to the temple to enter the Celestial Kingdom.

    To enter the Celestial Kingdom, one must have faith in Jesus Christ, repent of his/her sins, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end.

    The temple ordinances are required for exaltation, which is the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. This is very basic doctrine.

  26. jackg says:

    Here we go again…Now we’re down playing the importance of the temple recommend so it’s more palatable. How tiresome it is for the Mormons basically to misinform the world regarding their teachings and core beliefs. We are talking about entering God’s presence, here, and a TR is required for that. But, hey, it’s okay if they want to try and pull the wool over our eyes, we know that to them exaltation is becoming gods and creating worlds because praising God for eternity is just too boring a notion. Wow, what a man-centered faith. Well, Olsen, like I said to Shem, you’re just too smart for me. Thanks for correcting my faulty perception of the TR and CK and all that. Gosh, I guess I’m just as uninformed and stupid as you want to paint me to be. Forgive me…

  27. Olsen Jim says:


    You claim that since you are a former mormon you have special insight and perspective on our doctrine. This is truly a basic doctrine.

    No wool be pulled here. This is a foundational truth of our beliefs. As you should know, there are differing degrees of glory even within the Celestial Kingdom. Exaltation, which is the greatest degree of glory (within which I suspect there are as many degrees as there are people), is one of several planes or levels in the Celestial Kingdom.

    To be exalted means to exist forever in the family unit and have eternal increase in the presence of Heavenly Father. This will not be the case with everybody in the CK. It is possible, in our belief, to live in the CK, but not be exalted.

    The blessing and ordinances of the temple are super duper important to us, because it is through those covenants that the greatest blessings of the atonement are attained. But again, they are not required to live in the CK. You may not believe it, but that is our doctrine.

    P.S. What is worse, being ignorant or proud and going to hell?

  28. falcon says:

    Olsen, Jim
    I referenced this previously but since you went on about the subject I’ll repeat briefly what I’ve pointed out.
    In D. Michael Quinn’s book “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View”, the author exposes where Joseph Smith got his “heavenly vision”. Smith picked it up from the ideas expressed by Emanuel Swedenborg in his book titled “Heaven and Hell and Its Wonders” written in 1784. Joseph Smith even made reference to Swedenborg when he told a convert by the name of Edward Hunter, “Emanuel Swedenborg had a view of the world to come, but for daily food he perished.” In other words, Smith liked what Swedenborg said but criticized him for not profiting from it. Smith just lifted Swedenborg ideas and counted as his own revelation. Smith claimed it as a personal vision and included it in D&C 76.
    In his book, Swedenborg describes the three Momon degrees of glory to the tee, along with many other concepts including “the veil”, “the spirit prison”, “celestial marriage” and more.
    Joseph Smith was a great borrower (I would say rip-off artist). His whole idea about the Hebrew-American Indian connection was a common idea at the time and the basic outline for the BoM can be found in “A View of the Hebrews”. The sacred temple rituals came from Free Masonry which he was a member. This goes on and on and the pathetic attempts of Mormons to justify and explain these things away is really pathetic.

  29. jackg says:


    Regardless of what you want us to believe about Mormonism, you just can’t discount the role of the TR, which is what you are doing. And, regardless of how scholarly you attempt to sound, and despite your insults regarding my intelligence and what you think I claim, you believe in a false, NON biblical doctrine. So, how smart is that? The great blessings of the atonement are attained through FAITH in Jesus Christ alone. Mormonism teaches a MAN-centered theology, and that is they type of theology that craftily leads unsuspecting people to an eternity absent from the presence of God, which will definitely be hell.

    I guess what you’re telling me, then, is that the LDS Church has changed its position on the celestial kingdom, and that everything I was taught while a member is no longer valid. Because, believe me, I was taught that the entrance into the CK is the SAME as exaltation, because it was based on the premise that in the CK we will PROGRESS for eternity, and if one is in the CK progressing for eternity, at some point they will become gods, which is what exalted means to the Mormon mindset. So, I stand by what I said earlier, you are pulling the wool over our eyes, because I just expounded on basic Mormon theology regarding the CK and exaltation. Sorry, Olsen, but I’m not some naive investigator that you can yank my chain. God has led me out of Mormonism because it’s a false religion, and I guess He has given me some insight regarding the fallacies espoused by the Mormon Church. Your attempts to paint me as arrogant don’t really matter, because I know that I am bringing the message of Truth regarding the heresies of Mormonism. The entire rhetoric of Mormonism is to be sealed to your family, which happens in the temple, and is played out in the CK. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for not fully disclosing LDS doctrine–or maybe you don’t really know as much as you think you do. That’s for you to figure out.


  30. shematwater says:


    You are right. The Temple is necessary to be in the Celestial Kingdom. This is found in D&C 76: 50-70. However, even those in the Terrestial will enjoy the Presence of the Christ.

    As to the different standard, weren’t the ancient Isrealites held to a lower standard, called the Law of Moses? This would have applied to Samuel, to Isaiah, to Elijah, and all the great Old Testament (other than those in Genesis). I guess these men weren’t real prophets either.

    Yes, Joseph Smith was held to a different standard, because the times called for a different standard. The Lord give the same standard to all men who live in the same time. Thus, because the vast majority of men could not live to the higher standard of the Word of Wisdom, no man was required to.
    However, they were called to live to a higher standard in their community affairs, as well as in their married lives. The Law of Concecration is higher than that of Tithing, but we live tithing today. Polygamy is a higher law than monogomy, but we are monogomous today.
    The standard of the early church was not lower than the standard of today, it was simply different, adapted for a different time and spiritual capacity, just as the Law of Moses.

  31. shematwater says:


    Okay, show me the evidence that Joseph Smith read this book before he taught the doctrine. And, even if you could, does that really matter. The things that make the two similar can be taken from the Bible as well, so the influence on both is just as likely explained through the scriptures. (By the way, the book was published in 1758, not 1784, as Swedenborg died in 1772).
    I find it rather amusing that if someone even suggested an idea at some point before the church was organized than Joseph Smith had to have stolen the idea.
    Of course the same nonsense is frequently disputed among inventors. Even the Telephone has been shown to have been invented by others before Alexander Graham Bell. Did he steal the idea. That is very doubtful. It is more likely that he and the others had the same idea but independant of each other.
    So, why is it not possible that a man in the Mid 1700’s could look at the text of the Bible and come to believe in the degrees of heaven, and for another man some 70 years later to reach the same conclusion without being influenced by the first?

    The reason is simple. This is just more assumed proof against Joseph Smith and the church, and so it must be accepted by those cannot believe. Even though there are other very reasonable explanations, this one must be true because it confirms your belief.

  32. falcon says:

    You are a funny, funny guy. I could produce Joseph Smith’s library card that shows he checked out the book “Heaven and Hell and Its Wonders” by Emanuel Swedenborg and you’d say, “Yea, well that doesn’t prove Joseph Smith read it!” It’s really difficult to have a serious discussion with you naive Mormons. You’re rationalizations are priceless. BTW, Swedenborg got his ideas from “visions”.
    Come on now get serious, Joseph Smith ripped the guy off. Is the Kool Aid down at the Ward so tasty that you’d swallow anything? BTW, weren’t you the guy yesterday that said the Romans had destroyed everything so we don’t know anything about the beliefs and practices of the first century church? I provided evedince and could have gone on with documentation for ten posts and you’d still have some lame Mormon rationalization.
    I realize that you prayed to the Mormon god and you got a feeling that indicated to you that the mg spoke to you and confirmed all the Mormon truths to you. Now you are super spiritual and superior to those ridiculous Christians who God doesn’t speak to and who actually take the time to study and exercise their God given intellects in pursuit of the truth.
    Bottom line, you’re in denial, but life inside the bubble is blissful, it’s like dope.

  33. shematwater says:


    I find it interesting that you cannot speak of the LDS church, or any of its members, without a deep resentment and hatred coming out in your words. Do you really hate us all that much? Is it really necessary for you to try and destroy the character of every member who challenges you?

    As to what I said about the Romans, my actual words were “The Romans, for nearly two centuries, did their best to destroy everything Christian, including writings, which is why we really have very few writing from these first two centuries.”
    I never said there was nothing left, I said there was very little, thus making it very difficult to prove what historical Christianity was at this time. We have far more records of what it was after this period, or what people who lived after said it was.
    From what I have found in researching we have only three or four men who lived in the first two centuries that left records, and I don’t think we have their original manuscripts.

    As to Joseph Smith and your claims about Swedenborg, I am perfectly serious. I am always serious about Joseph Smith in any discussion. As I said, you want this to be true, but you can’t prove it. So, as you usually do, to talk as though to believe anything else is stupid and ignorant. A very low tactic frequently used those who fight against God’s truth.

    You may be able to show me Joseph Smith’s Lybrary card, but that would still not prove he excepted it as truth until it was confirmed by God.
    On the other hand, God himself could appear to you and declare the truth of the LDS church, and you would dismiss the vision as something from the devil. So, who has things more twisted.

  34. jackg says:


    Falcon doesn’t have to worry about God appearing to him to declare the truth of the LDS Church. God is redeeming Mormons and they are proclaiming to the world that the biblical God is the ONLY TRUE GOD–THERE ARE NONE BESIDE HIM AND THAT HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOD. He didn’t have a beginning, and he didn’t live on an earth as we. We are created beings, WHILE GOD IS THE CREATOR!!! God spoke to me, Shem, and His Words were CLEAR. He spoke through His Word and revealed to me Isaiah 43:10 when I confessed to Him that I did not know if the LDS Church was true; when I confessed to him that my testimony that I had regurgitated for all those years was not so certain; when I finally CONFESSED to Him that I DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING. At that crisis moment, Shem, God opened His Word for me, and the first passage my eyes fell upon was this specific verse. That is my experience with God, and I can test that experience against the Bible and KNOW that it was a true spiritual experience. What God taught me totally destroyed for me the LDS doctrine that God lived on an earth as this one and that I will one day become a god as He is God. The Bible supports this Truth, Shem, while it does not support the teachings of JS. So, who has things more twisted? JS and the church he fathered. You are merely a victim of Satan’s work, and I pray for you and all Mormons every single day.

    Blessings to all who seek the Truth!

  35. Olsen Jim says:

    Jack and Shem,

    Do we not believe there are multiple (three) levels in the Celestial Kingdom? What distinguishes between these levels? Do we not speak of ministering angels and others who are not exalted?

    It is absolutely not true that we believe a person has to have the blessings of the temple to go to the lower levels of the celestial Kingdom. But in order to inhabit the HIGHEST degree of the Celestial Kingdom, to have eternal increase within families, and to become like God requires all the blessings of the temple.

    This has always been my take from the revelations and prophets. And it was recently confirmed in a training from a GA who had just received the training from the twelve.

  36. Michael P says:

    This is really kind of funny and sad.

  37. HankSaint says:

    Further reading if one is interested in the what, how and why of the issues dealing with Emma and Brigham Young.

    “Memoirs of Joseph Smith III (1832–1914),” ed. Mary Audentia Smith Anderson, The Saints Herald (2 April 1935): 431–434.
    Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 498. ISBN 1400042704
    See discussion in Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 2nd edition, (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 199–209. ISBN 0252062914. ISBN 978-0252062919. The laws against churches holding property is discussed on page 258.
    Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 6:660. BYU Studies link
    Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 2nd edition, (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 230. ISBN 0252062914. ISBN 978-0252062919.

  38. setfree says:

    I haven’t been here all that long, so I’ve not seen you before. Just wanted to say Thanks! Nice to meet you! and
    Do you know where it’s documented that JS gave the prophet authority to his son? (you seem well versed)

  39. HankSaint says:

    I have posted here before, but Aaron gets a little too sensationalized for my liking.

    I don’t think that can be documented at all. If so it would be upsetting to members of the Church and the doctrine that we hold tight too. Callings of Apostleship come from revelation, not by personal appointments.


  40. shematwater says:


    I can say the exact same thing about the LDS church that you do about your faith. Isn’t funny that the general Christian community gets all anoid at the LDS for baring their testimony (which has been stated directly by more than one person, including falcon) but resort to theirs when nothing else seems to work.

    Do you think I always felt as strong as I do now about my faith. Do you think I have not struggled with it. I am still struggling with some parts. I do not know everything, and God knows it. But I know enough to know that the Bible is in perfect harmony with the teaching of the LDS church and those things I do not know will be made clean when I am ready to know them.

    I do not doubt you have a spiritual experience, I only doubt the source from whence it came. I have had my own experiances, and you doubt them. We are even.


    I do disagree with this, and would ask if you could actually give a quote to what you say. It is possible, but I just don’t see it in the scriptures.
    Yes, marriage is required for the highest level, but I think the endowment is required for the lowest.

  41. setfree says:


    Found it.

    Wight, Lyman: letter to “The Northern Islander.”, July, 1855; reprinted in Saints Advocate, Vol. 7 (September 1884), p. 478. also quoted in The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints vol. 2, p. 789

    Some interesting reading in there…

  42. jackg says:


    I have also had evil spirit experiences, and when tested against the Bible, I was able to discern that they were evil. The spiritual experience of which I spoke was measured against God’s Word, and was in harmony with the biblical text. You can’t say this about your spiritual experiences regarding your testimony about JS and the false teachings that came out of his mouth. You have to relegate the Bible to an uninspired and unpreserved book for your spiritual experiences to work. So, I would hardly say as flippantly as you that we are even. Yes, one of us is following a false spirit, Shem; at least you got that right? I can say that my spiritual experiences pass the biblical test. Can you? I mean, can you really?


  43. HankSaint says:

    Found it.

    Wight, Lyman: letter to “The Northern Islander.”, July, 1855; reprinted in Saints Advocate, Vol. 7 (September 1884), p. 478. also quoted in The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints vol. 2, p. 789

    Some interesting reading in there…

    Very good, and I do appreciate your points. I also have had a Patriarchal Blessing, and many things have been promised me if I stay faithful to the Commandments and Doctrine of the Church.

    Need I say more.

    I am not Joseph Smith III, and have no right to judge him of his worthiness, but He was never the Prophet of the LDS Church, but was of his own splinter group. By the way, he was only 11 years old when his Dad was Murdered, and In know way mature enough to become the next great leader of the Church.

    Of course this is my opinion and the opinion of most LDS members.


  44. shematwater says:


    I can say with complete confidence that my experiences pass the Test of God. I do not need the Bible to tell me when I have felt the spirit. After all, did Paul test his vision by the Scriptures he had and believed in. No. He tested it against the power of God, not the scriptures.
    I have had my experience with evil spirits as well, and I know the difference. My knowledge concerning the truth of the LDS church and the devine calling of Joseph Smith are in harmony with the Bible.
    You are making ssumptions about me that you have to real proof to support. All you have is the simple assumption that you are right and so I must be wrong, but this doesn’t prove anything.
    We are even for neither of us can prove the other wrong. I am willing to admit this. Are you?

  45. Ethan says:

    Well, as far as I can see this blog post does little more than further establish the original claim of the Mormon Times article: That Brigham and Emma had a falling out and that those prejudices continued for generations. Yawn.

    Is this the MRM current events equivelant of announcing the Titanic sank? For real, nobpdy is disputing that there was misunderstanding and animocity on both sides. The POINT is that much of the hostility can be chalked up to false reports to both sides of what the other had said and thought. If people are feeding you distortions about someone's character (read: MRM's daily agenda) then of course there will be misunderstanding and grief!

    The fact remains that parties from both sides are now coming together to bridge the rift in profound and exciting ways. Joseph had no posterity in the LDS Church 50 years ago. Of the 1200 plus descendants alive today several hundred have been baptized Mormon. Also, the BY and Smith family associations are increasingly planning joint activites and events. It is worth mentioning that Emma had an unused train ticket to Salt Lake City in her jacket before she died. This has been confirmed. She was heading West to see Brigham.

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