Lying for the Lord

In his apologetic book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt (The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research), Michael R. Ash hopes to calm those Mormons who are thinking about leaving the Mormon Church when presented with information by “anti-Mormons.” I’m writing a review of the book that should be online at soon, but I thought it would be interesting to include part of the review here:

Official Declaration—1, which was signed by Mormon President Wilford Woodruff in September 1890, is found at the end of the LDS scripture Doctrine and Covenants. The “Manifesto,” as it is known, denied that polygamy was still taking place within the LDS Church. The Manifesto says, in part:

“We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our Temples or in any other place in the Territory. … Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.”

It continued with this lie:

“There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.”

Salt Lake Herald 7 October 1890

The next month, Lorenzo Snow—the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who later became the Mormon prophet—moved to accept Woodruff’s “declaration concerning plural marriage as authoritative and binding.”

The last line in the declaration declares, “The vote to sustain the foregoing motion was unanimous.”

As it has been clearly shown in such books as Mormon Polygamy: A History by Richard Van Wagoner (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1989) and In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith by Todd Compton (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1997), polygamy continued within the LDS Church until 1904 when the Reed Smoot hearings took place in Washington, DC. This fact is acknowledged by Ash on page 218 when he writes,

“Church leaders recognized what they needed to do to appease the government—even if that meant being duplicitous; publicly rescinding polygamy while privately continuing the practice.” (sic)

However, Ash classifies the lies told by the LDS leadership as mere “civil disobedience,” which sounds pretty heroic.  Incredibly, he writes on pages 218-219:

“From the inception of the practice of polygamy the Latter-day Saints were engaged in civil disobedience. While the decision to defy anti-polygamy laws was a painful one…(they) decided to follow their consciences, ready to accept the penalties if convicted. Their highest moral obligation was to follow God’s commandments.”

On page 219, Ash asks the questions,

“What if you lived in World War II Europe and were harboring fugitive Jews? What if you were asked if you had any Jews in your home? Would it be wrong to lie to save their lives?”

He answered the questions this way:

“In this scenario, the morally higher ground would be to lie to save a life, especially if this choice was confirmed by personal revelation. Likewise, in some pre-Utah, and post-Manifesto situations, some Saints felt it necessary to lie, in fact, to save their spiritual lives and to protect their fellow members from physical attacks.”

He added,

“The Saints took the same approach to civil disobedience as advocated by Gandhi—a position of non-violence. With the first Manifesto some Saints chose the lesser of two evils—they would deceive the government by abandoning the public practice of polygamy rather than surrender their religious practice completely. They were backed in a corner and this was the only way they felt they could live the commandments and keep the Church alive.” (p. 219)

Further justifying the lies, Ash writes this:

“The Saints found themselves in a war in which they were the underdogs. They did not feel that they were being fairly represented in the governmental system—heavily influenced by religious enemies—and therefore they didn’t feel obligated to jeopardize their existence by dealing forthrightly with their persecutors.” (p. 22)

What’s your opinion? Does Ash make a good case for the lies told by the LDS leadership?

This entry was posted in D&C and Pearl of Great Price, Mormon History, Polygamy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Lying for the Lord

  1. Sarah says:

    Let's look at the Bible …

    The 8th commandment states: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    Lev 19:12
    12'And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD.

    Prov 14:5
    5 A faithful witness will not lie, But a false witness speaks lies.

    Prov 19:5
    5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.

    And my favorite (because I can see Mormons have broken all of these abominations by their very doctrine):

    Prov 6:16-19
    16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
    17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil,
    19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

  2. Verne Brown says:

    I have to shake my head in disbelief at Ash's apologetic. Mormon AoF #12 states "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." If mormons lied, as Ash infers, they have directly violated this article. Pretty cut and dried.____As far as Gandhi goes – when smith's polygamy was exposed openly by the Nauvoo Expositor the response was hardly Gandhiesque. The same can be told for polygamy in the Utah Territory. And of course the whole civil disobedience angle still flaunts AoF 12 which was in place at that time.____

  3. Verne Brown says:

    Second point regarding the equivalancy to Christians aiding the Jews in WWII. Evil Knievel himself would not attempt such a leap in logic! I don't think that Ash can point to a single instance where the lives of the polygamysts were threatened in such a manner. Ash's apologetic will probably be eaten up by some non-thinking mormons out there as it has the texture of the standard word and value twisting that is common fare for FAIR. Thinking mormons need to pause and really consider the implications of this apologetic – who is the father of lies – and in a truly moral view was such lying the correct thing to do.

  4. f_melo says:

    "While the decision to defy anti-polygamy laws was a painful one…(they) decided to follow their consciences, ready to accept the penalties if convicted. Their highest moral obligation was to follow God’s commandments.”

    Just like they do today? oops, actually the Mormon Fundamentalists are the more faithful ones by that criteria.

    "they would deceive the government by abandoning the public practice of polygamy rather than surrender their religious practice completely."

    Just like they do today? Ooops.. hahahah this is getting ridiculous already. If that´s how he justifies what the Church did, his Bishop had better call him up for an interview… who knows what he´s lying about to "live his religious practices completely".

    I´m not mad at him for saying those things, because his effort at apologetics is going to backfire. What cemented my doubts about the Church´s integrity on my way out was how Mormon apologists "defended" it – it did more damage to my faith than anything else.

  5. Sarah says:

    This brings up an interesting point.

    If polygamy is supposed to be taken as a revelation from god and meant to be practiced so that worthy men can achieve the highest exaltation, then why aren't the Mormons fighting for their right to practice is on the grounds of "freedom of religion?" And if they're not practicing it but still believe it is a commandment from god, then they aren't following his commandments, are they? And if they aren't following the commandments, then nothing else that they do will ever help them achieve exaltation. Not even salvation, according to their doctrine!

  6. falcon says:

    Mormonism was founded on lies so why should it be of any surprise that Mormon leadership should lie and then justify it by trying to make some connection with a situation where lying was necessary to save lives. This is classic Mormonism and I might add, really childish. It's cult behavior, plain and simple. There was a cultic religious group, I believe it was the "Children of God" who use to have the females do something called "flirty fishing". The women would use some sort of sexual inducement to attract male prospects to the cult. Mormons lie all of the time by omitting from their presentations anything that would alert the prospect to what the cult really is. They with hold information because they know that their doctrine is a real turn-off to people.
    Joseph Smith lied continually. It's a characteristic of false prophets who promote their revelations to gullible people who get taken in by their chicanery.

  7. Mel Walker says:

    Ash is conflating to things that have little to do with each other.

    Yes, if I was harboring Jews in Nazi Germany, I would lie about it. Why? Because I would be *resisting* an evil or unjust government. I would be resisting as surely as if I had been in the French Resistance.

    If, on the other hand, I am following Ghandi, I would NOT be resisting like that. It's referred to as "passive resistance" and it involves non-cooperation. Make them carry you to jail—don't walk. Stand in the way and don't move. If they point guns at you, sing songs. Simply refuse to cooperate.

    These are not the same thing, unless someone can show me where Ghandi advocated lying to authorities.

  8. f_melo says:

    "They with hold information because they know that their doctrine is a real turn-off to people"

    I remember being embarrassed about telling people we would become gods when i was on my mission. I would prefer to say that we would become like Heavenly Father. People didn´t have a clue what i was talking about or just thought i was referring to Heaven as they were acquainted with.

    I never quite got it at that time why i would feel so uncomfortable to say that… it was the truth after all and i should be proclaiming it with a voice of a trumpet. Lol! I´m glad i didn´t do that. All makes sense now.

  9. Thayne says:

    Seems like the church, in 1890, was trying to have it's cake and eat it too. They wanted to be a state, but didn't want to be subject to federal law. And somehow, they decided that the way to accomplish that balancing act was to lie about polygamy. It seems a rather curious choice.

  10. clyde says:

    I know that if you are obligated to do something and evil forces prevent from doing it . God will release you from that obligation.

  11. clyde says:

    How does james 4:17 fit into this?

  12. Sarah says:

    What about Satan and false prophets who are leading millions of Mormons astray from the true word and nature of God?

  13. f_melo says:

    That´s interesting.

    While i have to concede that when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed the people of Israel could no longer offer sacrifices as commanded by the law, that´s a different case altogether.

    But let´s say that´s the case. If the American government had prohibited polygamy, and the Mormon Church had then stopped, i guess you could say that the governing power didn´t allow them to worship God according to the commandments. Yet what is being discussed here is the fact that the Church deliberately deceived the Federal Government so that they could continue to practice it, which they did until the Government caught them again. They then lied about lying to the Government. After that mess they finally officially ended the practice.

    Now how can you try to convince anyone that those men were guided by God? If they were truly guided by God they would have held their own against the government and would have come victorious – or they would be what the fundamentalists are today, they would have let the government take their precious $$ and properties and performed their ordinances in more simple temples, and would have remained in small numbers, but living their religion faithfully. Or better yet, they would have moved to the middle east where that practice is normal, then they could have even built temples as big as the one in SLC.

    The reason they didn´t was because the churche´s goal is to establish its political empire, the kingdom of god on earth – they are not really concerned about living their religion, and by they i mean the top-guys, not the regular members that don´t have a clue.

  14. Violet says:

    When we confess our sins at church, . . 'forgive us for what we have done and left undone.' That pretty much covers everything. I know that children in Africa are suffering but it is my job to pick up someone who has fallen in my path. I can know that every human needs help, but how can I help everyone. I am covered with God's grace. Obviously, I understand James 4:17. We help who is in our life's path.

  15. falcon says:

    Cults have no difficulty with coming up with a rationale for lying. They have the truth. This truth is deeply spiritual and only those that are super spiritual can receive this revealed truth. The cult wants to convince others to acknowledge and accept their truth. So they put on a happy face, some would say they bait the trap, and then when the prospect is suitably indoctrinated they can trip the trap. It's also been described as a "bait and switch" con game where by one product is offered for sale and then switched for the real product once the sale has been made.
    Lying is justified because the deeply spiritual truth cannot be received without proper conditioning. It works the same way with a pimp. The girls he gets to turn tricks for him don't start in the business the first day. They have to be broken down and be brought to the idea in increments.
    Of course it's all dishonest but the end justifies the means, especially with cults. Cults need recruits. They need the cash that feeds the cult and is supplied by the new members. The other thing a cult has to do besides lie, is to control the members by fear, shame and intimidation. Lying goes hand and hand with these groups. They can make lying appear virtuous.

  16. falcon says:

    Mormonism, along with other cults, say that they need to with hold pertinent information from recruits because they, in their neophyte state, aren't suitably equipt to understand the deepest spiritual truths of their group. So they justify lying while at the same time reinforcing, for group members, the deep spirituality of the "truths" and also the high spiritual plane that the members occupy.
    Joseph Smith with held the deep spiritual principle of polygamy from the group at large, favoring a few of his closest leaders with this information. This is also a typical cult tactic. There was also a practical reason for this because the number of available females was limited. Smith picked off thirty-three of the women and at his rate of "marriage" he would have eventually married all the women in the church.

  17. setfree says:

    Falsification and modification. 😛

  18. Dale says:

    If polygamy isn't bad enough, the lying is worse! Did Joseph Smith ever once acknowledge his own plural marriages? I haven't seen a record of that at all.

  19. clyde says:

    Violet partially answered your question for me. But you must remember that when a principle-polygamy-is taught and then people are told not to practice it that some people will continue with the practice and still teach it. I see that it was good for the practice to stop.

  20. f_melo wrote

    when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed the people of Israel could no longer offer sacrifices as commanded by the law

    …which (I understand) was understood by the First Christians as God's vindication of their interpretation of scripture over the "Judaizers".

    It's important to understand this in the context of Ev/Mormon discussion, because the First Christians saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the Temple System. In other words, you don't need a Temple any more because every function it served has been "truly" served and fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus is the true Temple (see Rev 21:22).

    The physical Temple is an "old wineskin" (see Matt 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37). The Temple, and it's system of religious works, has served it's purpose (see Gal 3:23-25, note that the Greek for "Guardian" refers to the kind of person who would accompany kids to school, so he's not the "teacher" but one who brings the students to the "teacher"). Now, it's not appropriate to continue to sustain the Temple. In fact it's an act of anti-faith in Christ to try and do so because we're denying Christ's sufficiency to deliver (according to the First Christians).

    Two millennia later, in a common, cultural sense, we've forgotten how the Temple worked (which would tell us exactly how Jesus superseded it), but we can be reminded by reading the Bible.

    Anyhow, this is the basis for my view that the Book of Hebrews was written as a reaction to the destruction of the Temple in AD70 (e.g. the conclusion in Hebrews 12:28 makes most sense in the context of a recently "shaken" Temple system).

  21. wyomingwilly says:

    Something to ponder: Apostle Orson Pratt taught concerning polygamy,

    " God had told us Latter-day Saints that we shall be condemned if we do not enter into that practice…..
    the Lord has said those who reject this principle reject their salvation, they shall be damned, saith the
    Lord; those to whom I reveal this law and they do not receive it shall be damned. .." [J.D.v17p224 ]

    If the Lord revealed a new "law" for LDS to abide by , i.e. that of not living in plural marriages, then since some
    Mormon leaders refused to abide by this new law, [ 1890 ] were'nt these leaders damned ?

  22. Matthew says:

    Lying for the Lord is specifically refuted by a 1993 Oaks talk:

    I don't think Ash's thesis fits well with Oak's ideas.

  23. wyomingwilly says:

    This sounds like, " Theocratic War Strategy " . What's that you ask ? It's the technique sometimes used
    by members of an organization of several million , who feel it's ok to lie to anyone that they feel is not
    entitled to know the truth.These zealous religious people are led by a prophet, a leadership who alone
    God uses as His authority on earth today. These people put in more hours going door to door with their
    "gospel" than Mormon missionaries do every year. They're Jehovah's witnesses. Seeking to distance
    itself from many of the teachings of their first Pres. [ pastor Charles Russel ] one of which was that he
    claimed to be THE servant that God had appointed to reveal restored truths through , the second Pres.
    changed this teaching soon after Russell's death in 1914. In time the leadership denied in it's history
    book that Russell had ever filled that authoritative calling. The organization even denied publishing a
    Biography of Russell, as that would be giving to much emphasis to him they said. Yet in time it so
    happened that a Biography of Russell was found to have been published after all ! When sincere
    JW's found out about this they were troubled, their faith shaken. [ part 1 ]

  24. Sarah says:

    Of course it was good for the practice to stop. God never commanded polygamy – it came from the selfish hearts of men.

    But my point is: Joseph Smith, the founder and apparent prophet of the Mormon church, revealed the God commanded polygamy. If Joseph Smith was wrong about this, if God never commanded it, how can anything Joseph Smith ever revealed or translated or said, be of God?

  25. wyomingwilly says:

    [ part 2 ] Experiencing a shaken faith , Jw's began to think that maybe their leadership's claim to
    be merchants in truth and integrity was'nt exactly true. Now what ? Crank up the excuse machine :
    for years it was simply denied that a Biography of Russell was ever published , end of controversy.
    When a LDS finds out about a doctrine or episode by their leaders, from some " anti——-"
    [ JW's also utilize negative labels to describe anyone who they feel is against them and God etc ] ,
    they can become troubled, their faith shaken. Enter the excuse machine. Mr Ash tries to excuse
    the behavior by former LDS leaders by saying that lying is ok sometimes.The examples he uses
    are that of protecting ones self or friends from those who seek to inflict harm or such then to
    lie is ok. That scenario does'nt seem to fit with what we observe with the behavior of Mormon
    leaders from 1890 to around 1907 , concerning their promise of giving up polygamy. Did these
    spiritual leaders hide the truth only from " outsiders '' ? Did they conceal the truth to many of their
    flock ? Why was the details of this episode in their history not readily available to most LDS for
    so long ? I wonder what other events of their history is being kept from rank and file members today?

  26. f_melo says:

    "But you must remember that when a principle-polygamy-is taught and then people are told not to practice it that some people will continue with the practice and still teach it"

    I thought the only "true" church was restored to end all the religious confusion on earth. That confuses me, because it didn´t end the confusion, it created more… go figure.

  27. f_melo says:

    "Mormon leaders refused to abide by this new law, [ 1890 ] were'nt these leaders damned ?"

    No, because i think those who refused knew it was all **… In those times it wasn´t like today where everything is very well concealed… in those times those guys hung out with JS, BY, etc. and knew how things really worked. That´s why so many leaders apostatized.

  28. f_melo says:

    "Satan is the great deceiver and the father of lies, but he will also tell the truth when it suits his purposes. Satan's most effective lies are half-truths or lies accompanied by truth. A lie is most effective when it can travel incognito in good company or when it can be so intermarried with the truth that we cannot determine its lineage"

    That´s the most accurate description of Mormon teachings, doctrines and marketing techniques(missionary work) i´ve ever read! Except for the part that says "it can be so intermarried with the truth that we cannot determine its lineage", because most of it is obviously made up.

    "There is no more authoritative or clear condemnation of the dishonest and lying person than the Savior's description of the devil as a liar and the father of lies (see John 8:44)"

    Well, if Satan is the father of lies, and the Mormon church lives on lies, that means Satan is their father…

  29. wyomingwilly says:

    f-melo. I see what you are saying, however if we take Apostle Pratt's warning at face value then if
    a man , after having the "law" of polygamy revealed to him, chose not to abide by it, he was damned.
    In like manner, if the new " law" of forbidding polygamy, was seen as being revealed by God,
    then to not abide by it also would bring condemnation to a man. Seems easy to understand in my
    opinion. A Mormon then has to ask themselves a very pertinent question such as: if my leaders
    promised never to lead us astray, how come some of them went astray by their own volition ? ww

  30. Bill McKeever says:

    Melo, I know this is an emotional subject, but can you try posting your thoughts again without the controversial adjectives? Let's try to stay within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15. Thanks!

  31. Sarah says:


    Jesus did EVERYthing for us. Including being the sacrificial lamb (negating the necessity for temple animal sacrifices). And being the temple (which is why the NT says that "where two or three call on my name, there I am; God does not need a building to contain Him). And being the only member of the priesthood needed. And also being the one, true church. The church of Jesus Christ are those who "take up their cross and follow" Him. It's nothing else.

  32. Sarah says:

    And another question is — why is God changing His mind about something that's (according to Mormons) necessary for salvation?

  33. f_melo says:

    Sorry Bill… i won´t do that again, promise!

  34. f_melo says:

    Here´s how Oaks approaches "lying for the Lord"

    "Some have suggested that it is morally permissible to lie to promote a good cause. For example, some Mormons have taught or implied that lying is okay if you are lying for the Lord. There is ancient precedent for this argument, and it will not surprise you to know that Professor Hugh Nibley brings it forward and condemns it in his discussion of the use of “fabrication” in the writing of early Church history. I quote him:

    Just as physicians must sometimes tell fibs to patients to help them along, and as those tending small children or the feeble-minded can handle them and help them more effectively by making up stories as they go, so the Christian priest was to cultivate a useful deception as an essential tool in dealing with the laity, according to John Chrysostom. “When Jacob deceived his father, “ he explains, “that was not deception but oeconomia [economy].”

    Jerome admits to employing “a sometimes useful deception,” and admires others for the same practice: “how cunning, how shrewd, what a dissimulator!” And he cites Origen as teaching that “lying is improper and unnecessary for God, but is to be esteemed sometimes useful for men, provided it is intended that some good should come of it.”

    Nibley condemns this theory and then describes some of its manifestations.

    It was common practice for Christian scholars in the Middle Ages both “without scruple [to] put forward older texts, with slight alteration, as their own compositions,” and to put forth their own compositions without scruple as ancient texts. [Mormonism and Early Christianity, The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, vol. 4 (Salt Lake City, Deseret Book Co., 1987) pp. 220-221]

    As far as concerns our own church and culture, the most common allegations of lying for the Lord swirl around the initiation, practice, and discontinuance of polygamy."

    What´s interesting is that Oaks, instead of admitting that that´s a problem within the Mormon Church, and in his role as a shepherd to god´s people rebuke that practice, he attacks Christian Church Fathers instead(as if they were the ones who started that practice withing the Mormon Church), taking the opportunity to promote the LDS agenda that the Bible isn´t trustworthy, and therefore members are completely in the hands of modern "prophets" and "apostles" if they want to receive instruction from God.

    Oaks downplays the whole matter in that article, and coldly dodges the responsibility of the Church and its leaders during those terrible times for the members. He says:

    "The whole experience with polygamy was a fertile field for deception. It is not difficult for historians to quote LDS leaders and members in statements justifying, denying, or deploring deception in furtherance of this religious practice. My heart breaks when I read of circumstances in which wives and children were presented with the terrible choice of lying about the whereabouts or existence of a husband or father on the one hand or telling the truth and seeing him go to jail on the other. These were not academic dilemmas. A father in jail took food off the table and fuel from the hearth. Those hard choices involved collisions between such fundamental emotions and needs as a commitment to the truth versus the need for loving companionship and relief from cold and hunger.

    My heart also goes out to the Church leaders who were squeezed between their devotion to the truth and their devotion to their wives and children and to one another. To tell the truth could mean to betray a confidence or a cause or to send a brother to prison. There is no academic exercise in that choice!"

    What Oaks forgets to point out is that field of deception was laid by Mormon leadership who gave the example. It also angers me that the church could have helped those families and worked with the community to solve that situation. Why don´t we see the members receiving guidance from God through its "servants" during the times they need it the most? Well, the leaders were running away themselves, hiding, etc. So, they could just have done what they promised the Government they would do by ending polygamy right away and they could have started working on a plan to deal with all the broken up families so that they could be kept and fed, and their fathers/husbands didn´t have to go to jail.

    The irony of it being the fact that god supposedly said it was ok for them to end polygamy to preserve the temple, where their families are tied together for eternity. Yet that very decision broke up countless families, and caused misery. The Church really didn´t care about its members, they cared only for their earthly empire because they could have given up those assets and they could have had their sealings and endownment ordinances in simpler temples, since they were forced to by the Government and God wouldn´t have counted that as their fault.

  35. f_melo says:

    What i would like to ask Mr. Oaks is since when do mormons draw their opinions/ideas for their practices from Church Fathers. It seems extremely convenient to use them as an example when every mormon already knows they were the children of the devil who were responsible for the apostasy that happened in the Church.

    What other ideas/practices have the mormons borrowed from Church Fathers, and why? Any Mormon cares to answer?

  36. f_melo says:

    i have a question for you. That´s my understanding too, that with Christ, Christians became the people of God.
    But i remember Rick talking about replacement theology, how people want to discard the Jews from the picture.
    That´s kind of confusing to me, because i completely agree that Christ eliminated the need for a new temple to be built, yet many Christians can´t stop talking about how the new temple will be built in Jerusalem before Jesus comes back, etc.

    What i want to know is what are the Jew´s role now that Christ fulfilled the law? Does that have anything to do with Luke 21:24 "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

    I´m sure that is a big topic, so if anyone could point me to some literature dealing with it instead i would appreciate.

  37. falcon says:

    Someone with more direct experience with the FLDS could perhaps answer as to whether or not that Mormon sect has these same truth telling issues as their kindred brothers in the Salt Lake City branch do. First of all I don't know if the FLDS sends out missionaries or if they are a home grown outfit. But as wrong as the FLDS is, my guess is that they have some integrity and don't hide their views from those who might want to join the sect. I'm thinking that they're just out there with what they believe and practice and don't camouflage it.
    The SLC denomination of Mormonism has to keep up with appearances in order to accomplish their goal of having mainstream acceptance. I don't think the FLDS really cares if they're accepted by society. They've got more Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in them. The SLC are kind of Mormons, having sanitized their history and painting an idyllic picture for the unsuspecting world. The FLDS are full blown defiant and the government or society as a whole aren't going to force them to change from their primitive Mormonism.
    The CoC are more closely aligned with original Mormonism and their doctrines reflect the early Mormon beliefs which are pretty near orthodox Christianity. So they don't have a lot to hide or provide tortured explanations for. But the SLC sect must lie and hide their brand of Mormonism from prospects and their shady history from their own members.
    Andy Watson just related to me the account of two young Mormon missionaries who came calling at his door within the last couple of days. These youngsters were recent converts themselves and when Andy laid out the truth to them about Mormonism with all the documentation……..well all they could do is stare wide-eyed with mouth agape. I will pray for those two boys as I know this was a divine appointment and God used Andy to bring them the truth regarding Mormonism and to testify to Christ the Savior…….not the Mormon Jesus, but God incarnate who alone can save and bring someone to eternal life through faith in Him and forgiveness via the shed blood of the cross.
    I will now go snowshoe and contemplate God's sovereignty in drawing souls to Him.

  38. f_melo, I dont know of any books to direct you to Since I only read the Bible. The Temple will be rebuilt, But after the Rapture. The Jews will build it after the anti-christ comes on the scene and during the 7 year tribulation period. After the first 3 1/2 years the anti-christ will enter the temple and defile the temple. The only thing I can suggest is going to the website run by my church.

    You can listen to sermons online and our church goes chapter by chapter, verse by verse through the entire bible. The pastor covers the entire issue of the temple and the Jews, You should also be able to listen to the pastor go over the entire book of Hebrews. Let me know if you listen to the sermons on line and if they help.

  39. f_melo says:

    Thank you! I´ll check it out for sure, i have lots of questions about it – for at times i read passages in the Old Testament that talk about a physical rebuilding of the Temple, but when i read Peter talking about how those events(the Holy Ghost being given to all spoken by the prophet Joel, Acts 2:16-18) were fulfillment of prophecies about the last days, i wonder if i should take those prophecies as exclusive symbolisms of Christ.

  40. It will take time to listen to them all, but they should answer your question, If you want you can write the pastor with questions and he will get back to you, and you can write me privately if needed and I will write you back.

  41. RalphNWatts says:

    How's this for a beauty of a quote?

    ""I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter." "

    I love that last sentence – "the civil authority has nothing to do with the matter" if a man wants to marry more than one wife as it is found in the Bible. Maybe that is why it was decided to carry on for a while despite civil authority.

  42. Sarah says:

    It doesn't contradict scripture? Really?

    1. It absolutely does contradict the Bible. What about Thou shalt not commit adultery?

    And Romans 7:1-3:
    1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

    Or Jesus, who says this in Mark 10:10-12:

    10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

    Yes, I realize he's talking about divorce, however, if a man is committing adultery when he divorces his wife and married another, isn't it simply logical that a man who doesn't divorce his wife and marries another is also committing adultery?

    Or, let's go another route: If we want to look at Mormon scripture, why don't we take a look at the Book of Mormon?

    Jacob 2:23-28 <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>(

    23But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

    24Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

    25Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

    26Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

    27Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

    28For I, the Lord God, delight in the achastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

    That looks very much to me like the Book of Mormon itself is condemning polygamy.

  43. RalphNWatts says:


    You missed 2 things when pointing out the scripture in Jacob;

    Jacob 2:30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    Jacob Chapter 2 heading Jacob denounces the love of riches, pride, and unchastity—Men may seek riches to help their fellowmen—Jacob condemns the unauthorized practice of plural marriage—The Lord delights in the chastity of women. About 544–421 B.C.

    Verse 30 states that if God wants to raise up more children then He will command polygamy (ie the practise will come from His command not men doing it because they want to), otherwise it is only one wife for each man. This is explained in the chapter heading as I have bolded (note the word ‘unauthorized’). If God does not command it, no one should do it.

    As far as the quote I gave that you said contradicts the Bible – take it up with Martin Luther, as he wrote it and it can be found anywhere on the internet if you type in ‘martin luther polygamy’. My point was that he specified that since it is Biblical, then if a man wants a second (or more) wife, then despite what the civil law says, he can marry another. Isn’t that what the LDS church was doing?

    Besides, since we are saved by faith alone despite our works, then it doesn’t matter if we practice polygamy or not, does it? 🙂 Wasn't it by faith that Abraham was justified even though he had 2 wives (actually it was his wife and his wife's servant)?

  44. Sarah says:

    Except here's what you just did — you just showed the chapter heading that puts an interpretation on the Jacob scripture. Which, I would guess, was added after Joseph Smith decided to marry more than one wife.

    As for the Martin Luther quote — Martin Luther did great things regarding grace and Christianity, yes. However, he never pretended to be the one, true prophet of a restored church. I don't follow his word as the exact word of God or a revelation, as Mormons say they do with Joseph Smith.

    Oh, definitely missing the point of grace. God's grace does not give us leave to sin. God calls us to repent of our sins. When you accept God's grace, you accept Jesus into your life and that transforms you. We are not perfect people. We all fall short of God's grace. We all sin. But acknowledging that sin and repenting of it — a conscious effort to stop sinning. And polygamy is a sin, adultery is a sin.

    Also, where did you get your understanding of the Hagar/Sarah/Abraham story? From Joseph Smith? He completely missed the mark too.

    God did not command Abraham to take Hagar as a second wife. It was Sarah who told Abraham too because she didn't have the faith that she could bear him a son. God never said, Abraham, take Hagar as your wife. It was Sarah's lack of faith. Thinking anything otherwise is putting words into God's mouth that were never there.

  45. RalphNWatts says:


    I never said that God told/commanded Abraham to take a second wife. I just used the scriptures that most Evs use saying that Abraham was justified by his faith and not his works because he did have more than one woman, whether wife or concubine as it does not state that he married her as far as I know. So according to Evangelical doctrine, from the Bible (at least from the stories of Abraham and Jacob/Israel) we know that despite practicing polygamy we can still be justified as long as we have faith – ie salvation through faith despite our works. Or can you show me that they were not justified and not saved because of their polygamy.

  46. falcon says:

    I have to give it to you Ralph, you keep trying.
    First of all Ralph, you're not saved. You worship a god that doesn't exist and believe that through your own pathetic efforts, you can reach the zenith of deity. So spin away with your futile attempts to justify a practice that Mormons believe will make them gods, that is the practice of polygamy. There wasn't a Jew around who believed that so we're dealing with apples and oranges here and another empty rabbit trail that Ralph likes to chase Christians down.
    Even within the Mormon system you can't reach the highest level within the Celestial Kingdom because you have only one wife. But it's all nonsense anyway but it makes you feel good when you think about it.
    I'll continue to pray for you.

  47. ww

    Thanks for your concern – we're safe and dry where we are.

    The really good news is that Yasi seems to have passed through with no major injuries or loss of life. There has been extensive property damage to some townships, like Mission Beach.

    If you're interested, I blogged about it here…

  48. f_melo and Rick,

    I've got to say that I disagree with Rick's eschatology. Partly, it's because it forces a particular interpretation on what Paul writes in Romans 9 (I get very circumspect when I sense that someone is trying to make the scriptures say something that they don't want to say). Also, the various schemes that I have seen concerning the rapture, and converting-Revelation-to-God's-diary always "cherry-pick" the scriptures to prove their point. I'll argue this from scripture (especially Revelation), but I refuse to be too dogmatic because, like Rick, I can't be sure what the future holds.

    As far as the Jews are concerned, take another look at Romans 9:4-5

    Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

    What I read here is that, of all people, the Jews should be entitled to the Kingdom of God, but they missed out. Why? Because they relied on their status as Abraham's Children, upholders of the law, and keepers of the Temple to justify their claim, instead of acknowledging that they are justified by faith alone.

    I see this same sense of entitlement in Mormonism (and other works-based schemes). If it does nothing else, the Gospel of Grace ought to strip people of this sense of entitlement, and I see a huge amount of energy expended in the NT to combat it. All of us have sinned and fallen short, as Paul states in Romans 3:23. It is because of our sins that we die in the desert before we can reach the Promised Land, and this is the point where we start from in our relationship with God – dead sinners who are unable to help themselves (the opposite of being entitled).

    The irony of the Restoration is that Mormonism has truly restored a religion from First Century Israel. Only, it's the religion that the First Christians contended against, not for.

  49. falcon says:

    Not to discourage you, but Ralph grooves on polygamy. I've been down this road with him before. The dude's a true believer. He can make "marrying" a fourteen year old girl sound virtuous. Addressing a topic like this with a back and forth with someone of Ralph's mindset can become a mind blowing experience. It provides a valuable experience in demonstrating how far someone will go in trying to find rationale for what the average person would find disgusting. That's part of the whole emotional package of a person stuck in one of these aberrant religious sects. The world is flipped upside down and yet they see it as normal.
    They see the world through Joesph Smith's magic glasses.
    Bless you for you efforts.

  50. f_melo says:

    If Ralph loves polygamy so much, why doesn´t he move to the middle east?

    Ralph what are you doing wherever you are? Make a deal with some Muslims and start living your religion!!!! I´m just sorry for the women, but that´s another story.

    Why won´t the prophet let you live an "eternal principle"? And if they allow polygamy in Canada, will you move there? I want to see if you will put your money where your mouth is!

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