Where did the Mormon doctrine of polygamy come from?
Emma knew.

Image provided by Images of the Restoration

On July 12, 1843 Joseph Smith recorded what Mormons believe was a revelation from God “relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives” (Introduction to D&C 132). In this section of what is now Mormon scripture, Joseph’s wife, Emma, is called out and told to “abide this commandment” (i.e., live The Principle of polygamy), or be destroyed.

Nobody disputes the historical fact that Emma never really warmed up to the idea of sharing her husband with other women. Nevertheless, she remained married to Joseph until he was killed a few months after their 17th wedding anniversary.

Catherine Baldwin Johnston was a young woman who visited Nauvoo with her husband in the early 1840s. She had a noteworthy encounter with Emma Smith related to polygamy, recounted below by her sister, Eudocia Baldwin Marsh.


About two years after the settlement at Nauvoo it was reported that Smith had received a “revelation” in regard to “Spiritual wives” or “celestial marriages” as they were called. This was strenously denied by the better class of Mormons, but the document as put forth and circulated by Smith, among his confederates has since been published and openly advocated by Brigham Young and the Church at Salt Lake, as all the world knows. In this “revelation” great pains had been taken to conciliate Emma, Smiths wife, and to prepare her for the new dispensation. In it she is addressed by name and commanded to “obey” or she will be destroyed. She was apparently obliged to acquiesce in some degree, at least outwardly, but no doubt felt much the same degree of indignation that any other woman would under the same circumstances. That she was not at all reconciled to this state of things I think is proven by the reply she once made to a question on the subject.

Some time after my first visit to Nauvoo one of my sisters accompanied her husband on one of his business trips to that place. They went to Smith’s Hotel and after supper were shown into a large parlor where seated around the room in groups of three or four were ten or twelve well dressed young women. They were laughing and chatting together in a lively manner, some engaged with light needle work, others quite idle. Leaving his wife in the parlor her husband soon after went out into the town to attend to the business which had brought him there. He was detained until rather late, and my sister feeling somewhat fatigued asked to be shown to her room, where she began making preperations to retire for the night.

Her husband whose business to Nauvoo had been with some of the Gentile citizens–and who had been during the evening, regaled with terrible stories of kidnapping and sudden disappearences of visitors to the city–came in shortly afterwards and not finding her in the parlor where he had left her, immediately began storming around inquiring for and calling her loudly by name. As he passed through the long corridors, his wife heard his voice and much surprised opened her door and asked him what was the matter. When he saw her he ran and clasped her in his arms, exclaiming, “my dear wife I feared these wretches had spirited you away and I should never see you again.” She laughed at such an absurd idea, but he said, “If you had been listening to some of the tales I have heard to night, you too would have been alarmed. I shall never again permit you to be out of my sight when in this town.”

When they came down stairs next morning they were ushered into the parlor to await the announcement of breakfast. Most of the young women of the previous evening were again assembled there and presently Mrs. Emma Smith came in, and seated herself near my sister whom she had met before, and with whom she began talking in a friendly way. My sister’s mind however had been a good deal “wrought up” by what she had seen and heard, and she determined to express something of what she felt to some of these people. So she turned to her and said, “Mrs. Smith where do your people get this doctrine of Spiritual Wives?” The woman with a face flushed to a dark red, and with eyes blazing with fury said “Straight from Hell–Madam.” Some of the young women blushed, too. Some giggled, others looked stolid and indifferent, but a call to breakfast relieved the situation and no more was said.

(“Mormons in Hancock County: A Reminiscence,” reprinted in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society [spring 1971], Vol. 64 No. 1, 40-41. Punctuation minimally standardized. Paragraph breaks added for readability. Italics in the original.)

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 Early Mormonism, Nauvoo, Polygamy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

150 Responses to Where did the Mormon doctrine of polygamy come from?
Emma knew.

  1. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    Continuing my last point. I could bring a lot of questionable Luther was involved in, his support for the nobility in the German Peasants war (100k civilians killed) I think puts Brigham’s issues in perspective. Huldrych Zwingli had no problem with using mass starvation as a tool in his religious disputes. Again its tricky when you have religious leaders in political positions because it can become very ambiguous what are the functions of the state, which must employ institutional violence, and which are functions of the church, which should refrain from institutional violence. I think the USA deserves a lot of credit for having helped to end these sorts of problems.

    I’m also wondering which brand of Mormonism you are a fan of??? Is it the original taught by Joseph Smith? Or one of the many versions that have morfed into something that would be unrecognizable to Joseph Smith?

    I’d say the late Joseph Smith, Orson Pratt, Brigham Young variety. A full on modern form of Hermetic Christianity, that’s managed to attract millions. The open canon, the idea eternal progression, the wonderful marriage of myth and symbolism in the temple rites. There is a lot to admire. Early Joseph Smith (RLDS) is just a Charles Finney brand New England Protestantism with new silly historical claims. The Joseph Smith of 1830 could never had written the King Follet Discourse.

    Anyway, I’m not sure what you mean by the modern versions morphing. While I think current Mormonism has lost some of its fire in Joseph’s vision, I think he would be thrilled at the organization he created having become an active church on every continent.

  2. Rick B says:

    As to your issue on Numbers, Their is nothing even close to JS and his magic hat in that chapter. You can say JS used divanation, and so did Balam, but still the two are not even close.

    If you read the Bible, those practices were not endorsed by God, God said they were wrong and not to be used, So God would never bring forth His holy word through those types of means, so that is one evidence showing JS is a fraud. Now you might say, Well Balam used those practises. Yes he did, but see the Bible does not fail to recored or sins and what sinful man did, we dont read the Bible and only find men/women doing everything God commanded in perfect haramony.

    We see Murder, death, mayham, Etc. We also see people doing good deeds also. Also we see God as being in control and not allowing Balam to Curse Gods chosen people, Balam would have if he could have, because he was greedy for the Money, but God would not allow it. So what did Balam do? He instead told the King, entice Gods people to sin by bringing in the women, see we have free will, Balam if he was able to put a curse on someone or a group of people, in reality the curse would come from God, God would not curse His own chosen nation. So instead Balam needed to get the people to choose sin by going after the women.

    Please show me how this is even close to what JS did.

  3. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    No question I don’t have much experience with Mormons on a personal level. That’s how I got to age 41, without having ever made more than a passing glance at the Mormon church. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had Mormon coworkers who I was friendly with, but beyond a sort of surface friendly Mormons don’t get that close.

    My experience is most people in most mass religions don’t know much about their faith. If you are Catholic, unless you go to Catholic school you never work through the CCC. Even fairly well informed protestants, almost uniformly know the bible well and Christian history after about 1600 but know nothing about the 1500 years of Christian literature and doctrine in between.

    For example to pick on that probably applies to you, to use Falcon’s example, of atonement. Let me say upfront that Calvinists tend to be the ones with the deepest understanding of these issues. But even still when you talk to Protestants who believe in the ESV (Calvinists) vs. the NRSV on atonement, i.e. translating hilasterion as propitiation rather than the NRSV’s expiation. Almost none of them can give a good reason, or a refutation of Dodd’s 1935 paper. Its just a team loyalty thing, NRSV was written by “liberals” and liberals have cooties so therefore the ESV is right. They don’t question it.

    (to be continued)

  4. Andy Watson says:

    CD-Host states: “I’m an x-Evangelical, Atheist with Gnostic Christian sympathies” who is here “to learn more about Mormonism” and thinks “it’s a good thing if neutral observers step in when they see bad stuff being done and object.”

    Well, CD-Host, my sentiments exactly on that last statement. I only show up once in a great while for the same reason or when I smell the aroma of “rotten fish” (post content) on the landscape of Mormon Coffee. First, welcome aboard. Second, when you decide what you are actually are can positively identify yourself as such that would be most helpful. It appears that you are a confused individual as to your identification. “Ex-evangelical” means little to nothing to me personally. Are you the Bart Ehrman type? There are no “ex-Christians.” You never was a Christian (1 John 2:19). Gnosticism just like atheism is all the same: rebellion against the true God in which you have knowledge of but deny (Romans 1:18-19). You could properly fit in the Ehrman category of being an apostate if you hung out in a Christian church for a while an unregenerate sinner who proclaimed faith at one time. The church today is filled with those who make professions of faith, get baptized and partake of the sacraments but are spiritually dead and thus covenant breakers.

    I doubt very seriously your claim of intention for learning more about Mormonism. You seem to be fairly knowledgeable with their material. However, your last series of LDS quotes has nothing to do with the LDS doctrine of god once being a man, but rather of the doctrine of exaltation. You are a rebel sinner and spiritually blind. Your attempt at doing biblical exegesis with the book of Numbers is an act of futility.

  5. Andy Watson says:

    CD-Host asks: “Is the book of Numbers wrong in its opinion of divination?”
    The book of Numbers doesn’t give an opinion about divination. However, the Bible, in which the book of Numbers is part of the biblical canon, does offer definitive and forthright declarative statements condemning divination and the practice of magic. See Lev 19:26, 31; 20:6; Deut 18:9-14; Isa 8:16-20; 44:24-28; Jer 14:13-16; 27:8-11; Eze 13:6-9, 23. What you will notice in these texts is that God’s prophets speak for Him. Baalam was not a prophet of God. He was a soothsayer/diviner (Joshua 13:22). This was his trade and passed down to him from his family. “Diviner” or “soothsayer” is never a title given to prophets of God in the Bible. Baalam had knowledge of the one true God, Jehovah. Baalam realized that even his cultic powers of divination and sorcery fell under the sovereignty of God whom Satan and his minions are subjected to. Jehovah God can and does work out His will and plan through those who are not His people to accomplish His purposes. The examples of this throughout the Bible are numerous. See Isaiah 10 in how God used the Assyrians to accomplish His purposes with the Israelites and then God punished the Assyrians. This is what happened with Baalam.

    In Numbers 22:7 the elders of Midian brought “the fees for divination.” Was this their custom and Baalam’s requirement or was it God’s requirement? The answer is obvious from the information above: divination fees/requirements do not originate with God. It’s also worth noting that repeatedly it was God coming to Baalam who was not enticed by such practices of divination (Num 22:9, 20). The angel of the Lord even went after Baalam in Numbers 22:22. God is not a genie bottle summoned by money.

  6. Andy Watson says:

    Baalam realized that there were no powers of divination and sorcery which could go against the command of the Lord (Num 22:18; 23:26; 24:13). How did God speak to and through Baalam? Was it through sorcery or divination? No, God spoke through Baalam (Num 23:5, 16). God makes it very clear in Numbers 23:23 that divination/sorcery is powerless against Israel. Again, God’s sovereign decree will not subjugated by the whims and dictates of fallible man. His purpose for Israel will be “at the proper time.” In regards to Mormonism’s theology of God being an exaled man, God spoke through Baalam and said in Numbers 23:19 that He was not a man. Baalam was at least smart enough to realize that God’s plan for Israel was in place and Baalam realized the utter futility of seeking omens (Numbers 24:1).

    Baalam’s true heart/nature was revealed in the sin of Peor (Num 25:1-9). Baalam’s curse was of no effect on Isreal whom the Lord defended. Baalam’s true treachery in giving Balak what he desired demonstrates the depravity of really both of these people but especially Baalam. Balak’s people enticed the Israelites into idolatry thus bringing them under God’s discipline. This would give Balak the opportunity to subdue the Israelites into bondage. This is noted in Numbers 25:16; 2 Peter 2:15; Revelation 2:14. It is for this reason and many others that Baalam met his final fate (Numbers 25:8). Baalam got somewhat he wanted in Numbers 23:10 even though Baalam was “of the upright.” He was killed by the sword of the upright: the army of Israel.

    Baalam’s counterpart in the New Testament is Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:18-21. Simon was a false convert. Baalam was not God’s prophet, but rather a man with an evil heart who God used for His purposes.

  7. Andy Watson says:

    What does this have to do with Mormonism? Well, there are many things and just a few notes will be made. First, for the Mormonism to try to cite the Old Testament or any text from the Bible in support of the unbiblical rituals of sorcery and practicing of magic is ludicrous. When one studies Joseph Smith’s family life and how the practice of magic were passed down to him from his family, one can see a similarity with Baalam (see my detailed post on this issue in the last thread from quotes from LDS historian Richard Bushman). Second, Joseph Smiths’ hat-in-a-rock trick has no connection to any biblical example. God does not work in this manner. The vast majority of time God speaks directly to His people through various means (through His prophets, burning bush, mouth of a donkey, etc.).

    Third, would we have any need for any type of revelation especially after the coming of the Messiah and His Word having been given to us and fully complete? No. The closest example one could cite and it is the last example of seeking God’s directive is in Acts 1:26. Joseph Smith and his family should have followed the example of the Jewish exorcists and others at Ephesus who practiced magic. They should have burned their tools of magic and repented (Acts 19:18-19).

    Joseph Smith can only be thankful that he did not live during the times of the Old Testament period. If he would have he would have met the same fate that Baalam met in Numbers 31:8 at the hands of God’s people. Death was the fate of false prophets (Deut 13:5; 18:20).

  8. Ok! That makes more sense. I was thoroughly confused… lol.

  9. falcon says:

    If you can’t clearly recognize what the atonement is, you have no basic understanding of Christianity and certainly not the Bible. You seem to be wanting to develop your own religion, which is fine with me, however for all your supposed study, you’ve missed the essentials of the faith.
    The shed blood of Christ is the atonement. That was the point. Jesus was the Passover Lamb. The death angel passed-over the homes that had the blood applied to them-in the OT. Through faith in Christ, we have the Blood applied to ourselves. God says that as the east is from the west, so shall he remove our sins from us. He also says that our sins and our lawless deeds He will remember no more. The incarnation, the vicarious death of Jesus on the cross, and then the resurrection proving that He is God are pivotal in the Christian faith. But it was the Blood sacrifice that was required.
    It goes back to the covenants God made with the Jews. He promised Abraham land, seed and a blessing. The “blessing” is explained in Jeremiah 31:33-34. It’s the new heart that is the blessing. When Nicodemus came to Jesus and Jesus talked to him about being born again, he was holding Nicodemus responsible for what He (Jesus) was telling him. Since Nicodemus didn’t have the NT Jesus was pointing him to the OT promises.
    On the day of Pentecost, as we read in Acts 2:17, Peter was referring to the OT and the prophet Joel in explaining what was happening.
    I think you need to read John 3 and believe it.

  10. falcon says:

    Would you please share your motivation with the rest of the posters here. I’m trying to figure out what the driving force in what seems to me, an attempt on your part, to deconstruct traditional orthodox Christianity and make a case for what? A person can always find writings by someone over the last 2,000 years that contradicts what I would call standard Christianity? In your attempts you seem to be wanting to make a case for Mormonism or any other religious idea that comes floating through the atmosphere.
    I’m all for healthy skepticism, especially when it comes to revelation or the miraculous. But as I pointed out in my last post, Jesus was clear that in order to “see” and “enter” the Kingdom of God, a person must be “born again”. That’s what the Scripture is very clear about; there must be a spiritual rebirth or regeneration; the becoming of a new person in the spirit with implications for our outward behavior.
    Now you seem to want to exercise your intellect which is fine. But in my opinion, in the process your missing the crucial point that Jesus made. Taking off on nefarious journeys of the intellect, while providing some satisfaction; but in the process missing Christ, is a fools journey.

  11. CD-Host says:

    Rick and Andy —

    First off you are both responding to a different argument than the one being made. The argument was whether divination was effectual not whether it was approved. You are both addressing that it wasn’t approved which may or may not be true, but is irrelevant to the example. Balaam proves effectual, obviously he isn’t a positive character.

    If you want positive references, Andy you mentioned Act 1:26. Casting lots actually shows up much more frequently 33 times in fact with 36 instances: Lev16:8, Josh18:6, 8:10; 1Sam14:42, 1Kg3:16; 1chr24:31; 25:8; 26:13; 26:14 Neh. 10:34; 11:1; Psalm 22:18; Pro 29:3 Jer. 5:7 ; Eze. 27:8; 27:27; 27:29 Hos. 4:14; Joel 3:3 Obadiah 1:11; Jonah 1:7 Nahum 3:10 Matt. 21:31 ; 21:3 2; 27:35 Marks 15:24 Lk. 15:30; 23:24 Jn. 19:24; Acts 1:26

    2 Kings 13:14-19 God command an arrow for divination
    Judges 6:36-40 sheep fleece
    1 Samuel 14:9 reading signs (approved)
    Esther 3: 21-28 as well as Exodus 28:30, Leviticus 8:7-9, Numbers 27, Deut 33:8, 1 Sam 28:6, Ezra 2:63 and Nehemiah 7:65 Urim and Thummim which is was Joseph claimed he used approving references.
    Hosea 12:10 symbols
    Isaiah 3:2-3 an approving reference to divination

    So the bible appears pretty mixed, I think a fair assessment is divination which is lawful, i.e. under the control of the priesthood is OK; while divination done outside that isn’t seen negatively. Since in Joseph’s version God & Jesus initiated….

  12. CD-Host says:

    If you can’t clearly recognize what the atonement is, you have no basic understanding of Christianity and certainly not the Bible….It goes back to the covenants God made with the Jews. He promised Abraham land, seed and a blessing. The “blessing” is explained in Jeremiah 31:33-34

    It might be a function of my mental deficiencies, that I don’t understand the bible or Christianity; but those don’t explain all the other very respected saints of the church reading this whole theory in the bible differently for over a thousand years.

    You see there are a lot of problems with your analysis. For one thing its highly dependent on English (actually same problem in Latin but…) In Hebrew there is a wordplay Gen 12:2-3 and Gen 3:16-24 which seems to see national fulfillment as reversing the 3 curses. Uncooperative soil gets reversed, exile gets reversed… In Greek (the LXX) they translate this as all the “tribes” which of course drops the word play and makes Paul’s theory in Gal 3:6-9 plausible. In English Christian bibles they read Galatians back into the text mainly they want to avoid the whole Genesis theme of the Patriarchs, especially Abraham being the new Adam since that gets reserved for Jesus. So I’d say your interpretation is dependent on Christian translation, its not intrinsic to the bible.

    But we’re here to discuss Joseph Smith’s reading of the scriptures. And he has an entirely different theology of the fall 2 Ne 2. With his theory of the fall, the atonement you want doesn’t work.

  13. falcon says:

    Help me out here. You are obviously being influenced by what you are reading and by particular authors. Would you please give some references because I’d like to check them out. You’re making some very broad statements regarding “respected saints” and “the whole theory of the Bible”. General statements like that don’t really impress me. It’s like the game people will play by saying “research has shown”.
    I skimmed quickly through the NT last night and the theme of the writers is pretty straight-forward and uncomplicated. I don’t see what your getting at at all with your translation theory. I’d like to know where you got this because you obviously didn’t come up with it on your own.
    You said:
    “In English Christian bibles they read Galatians back into the text mainly they want to avoid the whole Genesis theme of the Patriarchs, especially Abraham being the new Adam since that gets reserved for Jesus. So I’d say your interpretation is dependent on Christian translation, its not intrinsic to the bible.”
    Let me be honest with you. You seem to be blowing a lot of blue smoke around with this statement. The theme of the Bible isn’t all that complex. You seem to want to make it something that it clearly is not. Now you’re playing the “translation” card. Quite frankly, you’re not coming up with this on your own.
    Your last statement about Joseph Smith; have you ever read his “translation” of the KJV of the Bible? If you’re willing to accept that then I think you better surrender your credentials as an amateur Bible sleuth.

  14. CD-Host says:

    Falcon —

    Let see, first off the whole Christianization of the OT is something I’ve hated for decades. You read my blog or comments on Ancient Hebrew Poetry, Better Bibles, Suzanne’s Bookshelf you’ll see my standard issues with translations pretty regularly. So I knew to look at the Hebrew part, since that’s where the argument would fall apart. Theory about the Hebrew wordplay, came from the Oxford commentary on the NJPSB, as well as the NISB, right out of the study bibles. I have a list of standard bibles I like to use here (as an aside this list is popular with Mormons). I also checked Rashi to confirm the word play. Good enough for me on the Hebrew. From there I knew there was going to be something different in Greek, the Greek of the LXX, standard practice to see when NT writers diverse strongly from the Hebrew its usually the LXX, again a theme I’ve believed for 22 years that Augustine was right, the LXX not the Hebrew should be the base OT for Christian bibles. I did check on my own. I checked the Vulgate to see if the problem is in the Latin.

    As far as the earlier list on atonement Catholic Encyclopedia.

    As for the “theme of the bible not being complex” that’s one of the many reasons I’m no longer a Protestant. Read on its own terms, the bible is not a book its a small library. This get us back on topic. I’m thrilled with how Joseph Smith attacks the Protestant theory of biblical continuity, I don’t always agree with his analysis but his hermeneutic is superior.

  15. CD-Host says:

    Kate —
    (part 2 of yesterday’s response)

    Now I will agree that some faiths are much better about encouraging knowledge. But my experiences with Mormons online, and Mormon blogs is that the internet Mormons do seem to be asking complex theological questions. What they aren’t doing is questioning the core of the religion. And I think in many ways they are similar to say, Orthodox Jews. Orthodox Jews are very strict in their religious practice, but don’t take theology all that seriously. There is a very wide range of theological dispute among the say most interested 10% and the bottom 90% just pretty much go with the flow. Trying to implement the behaviors as best as possible.

    Its not that Orthodox Judaism doesn’t make tremendous resources for education available (though frankly I think Protestants do a better job in leveling their resources in a reasonable way), but that people aren’t interested in study. They follow the practices and merge with the culture. Then if they ever move out of an Orthodox community their practice starts falling off and their children become liberal Jews. 2-3 generations later they have atheists and Christians.


    Falcon —
    I have a response to you stuck in moderation queue.

  16. Andy Watson says:


    I hate to put more water in the mouth of a man who is drowning and this is the case with you. Spiritually, like all rebel sinners who are unregenerate, you are dead (Eph 2:1). You have already drowned; your body is at the bottom of the Mariana Trench; your heart has been eaten by sharks. Your only hope, like all of mankind who are in rebellion against God, is to be brought to life by Him. Reading your posts in which you try to handle the Bible correctly and accurately demonstrates the utter futility of a spiritually dead person. You have as much credibility in trying to bring forth biblical insights to those who are spiritually alive as Tiger Woods’ credibility in making a vow of celibacy. You spent zero time in exegesis of Numbers because you can’t. More examples?

    I only had to read the last line in your response to me in which I referenced Acts 1:26. I stated this is “the LAST example of seeking God’s directive” in this manner (casting lots) and it is! You mentioned other New Testament references. Matthew 21:31-32; Mark 15:24; Luke 15:30 DO NOT reference anything about casting lots. Matthew 37:35 and John 19:24 are the same text – they are both referencing Psalm 22:18. The casting of lots by the Roman soldiers was just one of many, many prophecies centered around the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that all came to pass. Acts 1:26 is the end of the line and there is a reason for this. I’ll let you search out your resources from Richard Dawkins in hopes for an answer.

    You like exploring the Bible? Great! Here’s an assignment: conduct biblical exegesis on John 8:24. This is your starting point with God and He commands you to do it.

  17. Kate says:

    You said: “Anyway, I’m not sure what you mean by the modern versions morphing. While I think current Mormonism has lost some of its fire in Joseph’s vision, I think he would be thrilled at the organization he created having become an active church on every continent.”

    Give me a break! The LDS church is FAR REMOVED from Joseph Smith’s religion. It has morphed and changed MANY times during the last 150 years! Even Brigham Young taught things that Joseph Smith didn’t such as blood atonement and Adam/God. In fact, most of what Brigham Young taught has been thrown under the bus by the LDS church as “just his opinion.” It looks to me like you are more in line with the FLDS. They still believe in ALL the doctrines taught by Joseph and Brigham along with all the others. If one of their prophets taught it, then it came from god.

    As far as Joseph’s church reaching millions on every continent, yes that is partly true of the LDS. The only thing you forgot to mention or maybe you haven’t even thought about is that LDS missionaries don’t teach Joseph’s gospel. They basically teach Orthodox Christianity with the added perk of “families forever.” They lie by omission and baptize these poor souls before they learn the truth of it all. Convert retention in the LDS church is low. Although the LDS claims 14 million members worldwide, they freely admit that only about 5 million are active. Add to that, those of us who have had our names and records removed (who they don’t remove from the numbers) and that speaks volumes! Dishonest wouldn’t you say? If Joseph’s church is so fantastic, why has it been hacked up and changes many times over the years?

  18. Kate says:

    You posted about the “apology” from the LDS church concerning Mountain Meadows. I read the whole article in the Ensign and all I got from that is the LDS church trying to make themselves look good. Yes we did that, BUT…this and this was done to us or this and this was the reason. I’d like to post the apology here :

    “We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time,” Elder Eyring said. (Deseret News Sept. 11, 2007)

    “What was done here long ago by members of our church represents a terrible and inexcusable departure from Christian teaching and conduct,” said Eyring, who choked up while reading a statement delivered on behalf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We cannot change what happened, but we can remember and honor those who were killed here.”

    The words, “we’re sorry,” were not part of the statement, but Richard Turley Jr., the LDS Church’s managing director of family and church history and co-author of the forthcoming book, Massacre at Mountain Meadows, insisted after the ceremony that the statement was meant to be an apology. (Salt Lake Tribune Sept. 12, 2007)

    If one of my kids does something terribly wrong, and they tell me “I express profound regret that I did that” that would tell me that he isn’t sorry at all, but that he’s sorry he got caught! LOL! That was not an apology by the LDS church. It was PR. plain and simple. I noticed that you didn’t answer my question about when the LDS church is going to make monetary restitution to the families.

  19. falcon says:

    DC-H wrote:

    “I’m thrilled with how Joseph Smith attacks the Protestant theory of biblical continuity, I don’t always agree with his analysis but his hermeneutic is superior.”

    “Thrilled” with Joseph Smith’s “attack”? Now why would that be? That speaks volumes about your attitude and motivation. So am I to assume from this that you are an atheist who spends a good deal of time and energy attempting to destroy Christianity? What’s in it for you? If I were an atheist, I wouldn’t spend one ounce of my time messing around with religion. I’d take up a real hobby.
    Now you’re going to have to spend some time enlightening the readers on the superiority of Joseph Smith’s hermeneutics. I take it you dig his “translation” of the KJV of the Bible and I guess you’d really groove on his “translation” of the Egyptian papyri which resulted in the Book of Abraham.
    So I’m asking myself, “Why is DC-H such a big Joseph Smith fan?” Well I guess it’s because Smith declared the Biblical Good News null and void and came up with his personal restored gospel. So you snuggle up to Joseph Smith but want to dismantle Christianity.
    The picture becomes clearer all the time.

  20. falcon says:

    I guess Jesus was really messed-up because He told His disciples to search the Scriptures which was the OT. So Jesus was the first one to Christianize the OT. The apostle Paul was more than a couple bubbles off of plum I guess when he used the OT as his source for preaching salvation through Jesus Christ. At one point he commends the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures (OT) daily to see if what Paul said was true. Steven did a pretty good history read back to the Jews before they stoned him to death. He also was Christianizing the OT. Come to think of it, the entire NT is a Christianizing of the OT.
    When Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 1:32-33) he references the “throne” of David and the “house” of Jacob and also His “kingdom” will have no end. These are all references to the Davidic Covenant from the OT. Can you imagine the nerve of Gabriel Christianizing the OT like that?
    You wrote:
    “Let see, first off the whole Christianization of the OT is something I’ve hated for decades.”
    “Hated”? Man that is incredibly strong language revealing an intense negative emotion towards Christianity.
    DC-H you have a real burr in your saddle where Christianity is concerned but a real affinity for Joseph Smith. Curious I’d say.

  21. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    Give me a break! The LDS church is FAR REMOVED from Joseph Smith’s religion. It has morphed and changed MANY times during the last 150 years! Even Brigham Young taught things that Joseph Smith didn’t such as blood atonement and Adam/God.

    Kate let me give you a link to an official on the record statement by the LDS (part 1 part 2; official press release pointing to these statements

    Joseph Smith most certainly did teach the divinity of Adam. In fact the LDS still teaches is, you remember in the temple ceremony, “Thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.” that’s Moses 6:67 regarding Adam. And this is part of the reenactment of Adam and Seth blessing men into the priesthood order, the first establishment of the priesthood. Or this general statement of faith, “We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost; and Adam is their foremost servant, by whom the peopling of our planet was commenced.”

    Well I think blood atonement there is more of linguistic dispute. The LDS denies teaching that the church should execute murders and denies they ever did it. However they assert:

    But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins. Murder, for instance, is one of these sins; hence we find the Lord commanding capital punishment….

    And I’m a little unclear how an evangelical can be opposed to religious change, given Christian history.

  22. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    I noticed that you didn’t answer my question about when the LDS church is going to make monetary restitution to the families.

    Never, probably. The same way the US isn’t going to pay the families of civilians killed during the Iraq war.

    First off it isn’t the LDS church it was the territory of Utah / Deseret under the governorship of Brigham Young, who also was head of the LDS at the time. This was a secular war act. The territory does not exist anymore, the state of Utah does but is not obligated to make restitution to relatives 6 generations removed. Hey I had a lot relatives killed in World War I, when is the EKD (German church) going to give me money?

    And again as an Evangelical do you really want to go to the war crimes discredits the underlying church theory? You’ve got millions dead from witch burnings, one of the worst wars in European history with no end of civilian massacres, several more follow up wars, horrific violence against native peoples, who were non-Christian or Catholic. The LDS could kill 120 civilians every hour for 100 years and they wouldn’t be up at your numbers, if I only count religious killings. If I count all killings they couldn’t get there in 1000 years at that rate.

    I don’t want to be mean, but this is a silly argument. Your original claim was they lied and are covering it up, that I think that’s been disproven. The LDS doesn’t owe the families anything more than the nice letter they got. War is terribly inhumane.

  23. CD-Host says:

    Falcon —

    Come to think of it, the entire NT is a Christianizing of the OT.

    And I agree with you. I’d use proto-Christianizing, but that’s nit picking. You are absolutely 100% right. In the same way the book of Mormon, Mormonizes the KJV. If Mormons were to produce an OT/NT with translations from the book of Mormon injecting back into the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek BOM while claiming these things were in the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek, and not only that reflected the original intent of the authors; I’d have exactly the same objections. Now the difference is they wouldn’t have personally lied to me about it, so that passion you picked up on, wouldn’t be there but… yes… I agree with your analogy.

    The infancy narrative in Luke and Acts I actually date to 2nd century Christianity. But the original example of Paul, is 1st century.

    As for Joseph Smith and translation, he seems to use the word translation to mean freestanding mystical revelations inspired by a text. So for example he looked at the “Joseph Smith Papyri” and created a text which reflects his inspiration but not the underlying document in the least. On the other hand, the religion he created from his inspiration does reflect the underlying document.

    The papyri in a literal sense deals with the ritual of Imset, a son of Horus (Jesus), who assist, Hapi (the spiritual Nile = part to the celestial kingdom) as they reunite with the Osiris (God the Father) of their spiritual selves… So we have a guy who obviously can’t read the Egyptian, is far too Christian to understand what’s he’s seeing, yet someone manages to capture the underlying message and bring it to millions, prophecy not scholarship.

  24. Rick B says:

    One really has to wonder what your purpose of being here is. You can claim you want to help the other side out so to speak, be a fair and balanced voice as it were. I am good friend with an athiest who when I first meet hated my guts and wanted me dead. After 3 years of sharing Christ with her and being honest with her, she know calls me friend, she is still a God hating athiest and swear she will die an athiest no matter what I say.

    She never and none of her athiest friends defends any religion for any reason. So it makes me wonder why you say your not a mormon, but an atiest, yet you defen Mormonism tooth and nail and show hatred to the God of the Bible by what you say and do. I know you will tell me what you think I and others want to hear and will never be honest, no matter even if you say you will, but I question your motives for being here, in light of you saying your an athiest, yet defend Mormonism with more stones than TBM defend their faith. And you attack the Bible jsut as much. Just my 2 cents on the issue of you and why your here.

  25. Kate says:

    War? LOL! It wasn’t a war at Mountain Meadows. If you ask any Mormon, they will quite viciously tell you that Brigham Young was absolutely NOT involved with it whatsoever! It was the local leaders. You forgot to mention the part about the murder of Parley P. Pratt in Arkansas. At that time the LDS were still swearing vengeance for the murders of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum in the temple ceremony, hence the phrase “Gentlemen do your duty!” that was the signal to start killing the Fancher party. It would seem there is more to it than what you think. The LDS church has never admitted that Brigham had anything to do with it. In fact they blamed the local leaders, and still do to this day. So your comments about it being an act of war by the Utah territory is ridiculous! They did lie and cover it up for many years! The only reason they are doing PR on it now is because they can no longer hide from it.

    On September 11th 1999, Hinckley dedicated a monument at Mountain Meadows, and said:

    “I come as a peacemaker. This is not a time for recrimination or the assigning of blame. No one can explain what happened in these meadows 142 years ago. We may speculate, but we do not know. We do not understand it. We cannot comprehend it. We can only say that the past is long since gone.”

    “That which we have done here must never be construed as an acknowledgment of the part of the church of any complicity in the occurrences of that fateful day.”

  26. Kate says:


    Your link is nothing but more LDS Church spin. Sorry. Yada, yada, yada.

    You quoted Moses 6:67 “Thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.” The LDS would interpret this to mean God not Adam. Verse 68 says that Adam is the son of God.

    Now let’s look at this general statement of faith:
    “We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost; and Adam is their foremost servant, by whom the peopling of our planet was commenced.”

    I don’t see one thing in there that means Adam is God. I see Adam is their servant, by whom the peopling of our planet was commenced, aren’t we all descendants of Adam? Wasn’t he the first man? And guess what? The LDS would agree with me.

    I will say that you have done some reading, but you are absolutely clueless as to the LDS religion and what is actually taught to it’s members. You see, this is one reason I left the LDS church. The church is not honest about it’s past or early church doctrines. It has lied and deceived for many, many years and it is all catching up to them. You should check out John Dehlin’s Youtube video “Why people leave the LDS church.” As you said 90% just go with the flow. Not much researching going on and I would bet the LDS church would like to keep it that way.

  27. falcon says:

    CD-H Wrote:
    “Now the difference is they wouldn’t have personally lied to me about it, so that passion you picked up on, wouldn’t be there but… yes… I agree with your analogy.”

    Man you are dealing with some major resentment and anger issues here. I think the healthy thing to do is let go and move on. This can’t be good for your mental health.
    I would also echo (again) Rick’s sentiments that you self-identify as an atheist but are here to defend Mormonism? What’s that about? The only thing I can figure is that you see Mormonism as an enemy of Christianity so you defend Mormonism?

    You also wrote:
    “So we have a guy who obviously can’t read the Egyptian, is far too Christian to understand what’s he’s seeing, yet someone manages to capture the underlying message and bring it to millions, prophecy not scholarship.”
    I think you better go back to the drawing board on this one. The BoA bears no resemblance to what was on the papyri. Your an atheist and you give Smith credit for “prophecy”. A little confusing I’d say.

    Well I guess the bottom line is that you deny Jesus is the Son of God, the incarnation, the Bible as the inspired Word of God, the resurrection, the ascension and finally the imminent return of Christ.
    So why are you here? Defending Mormonism? I don’t think so. I think you’re carrying around a load in your little truck and you’re looking for a place to dump it.
    Actually I don’t mind. I was an atheist at one time. I was young and a pagan and I enjoyed sinning. When the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head in a miraculous way, that kind of ended my rebellion. All my arguments sort of melted away.

  28. falcon says:

    I really don’t get that annoyed with atheists. In fact I kind of enjoy them. When someone leaves Mormonism, Mormons have a really terrible time reconciling it. They claim, most often, that the reason the person left was because someone offended them or that the person fell into serious sin. The serious sin claim is generally thought to be sexual in nature. It’s also claimed that the leaving Mormon can never really be happy.
    I watched a video one time of a gathering of exMormons who were pretty much atheists. They were a smart bunch of folks who had an almost evangelical fervor about their atheism. I watched the main speaker give his “testimony”. He wasn’t an exMormon but actually was a former Christian. There was this sort of revival feel to the proceedings. It was all affirming and positive towards the fellow atheist who was testifying. There was a general air of confidence and self-assurance among the members of the group. It was quite religious I thought.
    I think Andy Watson alluded to the idea of folks who are in open rebellion against God. I’m curious as to why those in this category don’t just conclude that there is no God and leave it at that. Instead there is this fervor among some to enthusiastically deny and in the process defy God. Why is that?
    I understand rebellion against religion, but against God, this I don’t comprehend.

  29. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    In terms of the war context, Buchanan’s Blunder. Governor Brigham Young got along well with President Fillmore (Whig party) but when the Whigs lost power, President Pierce wanted Young out as territorial governor. Very much like when Bill Clinton or George Bush tries to flip a foreign country today. Even going back, the Mormons had gotten along well with the Whig government in Illinois but the Democrats were less supportive. And the Missouri government, with its Mormon Extermination Order was solid Democrat. I imagine they don’t focus on all the politics because it is going to sound pretty inflammatory, but while Young wasn’t formally a Whig its pretty clear where the Mormons were politically.

    As for Parley Pratt, there are reasons armed conflicts break out. Or it may have been how Young whipped his men up, and just a pretext. I’m not even sure what the argument is, what exactly do you think Brigham Young did that George Bush didn’t do a 100x over? Brigham Young was a political leader of a territory with semi-hostile relations with the United States. As part of his military political strategy he, or subordinates made a command decision to attack civilians. He also at the same time was running a 300 person terrorist organization in Wyoming that was driving up Buchanan’s war costs. I’m sure they did all sorts of nastiness.

    It was his job to defend his people. He achieved his primary military objective with the amnesty proclamation. You can criticize some of the strategies in any war, but I don’t see anything that’s unusual for war.

  30. CD-Host says:

    Falcon —

    I think Andy Watson alluded to the idea of folks who are in open rebellion against God. I’m curious as to why those in this category don’t just conclude that there is no God and leave it at that. Instead there is this fervor among some to enthusiastically deny and in the process defy God. Why is that? I understand rebellion against religion, but against God, this I don’t comprehend.

    This is not easy in 300 words. Atheists don’t believe in God, thus they don’t believe there is a God to defy. Anymore than you believe that in your religious beliefs you are defying your family gods by not maintaining a family shrine. Now on top of that atheism has the 3 main characteristics of a religion: a cultural system, a belief system and a worldview.

    Non-religious people in the US into 5 subgroups: Atheist, Agnostic, No religion, Don’t know, Don’t care.

    Atheists are to the non-religious as regular church going evangelicals are to protestants. There are the ones with the most clearly thought out beliefs, the most enthusiasm and consistency on culture/belief/worldview. And as an aside they are sub group with the highest rates of evangelism (i.e. percentage of new converts) and best inter-generation retention. I agree with Al Mohler that atheism as it exists today meets the criteria for a religion, even though most atheists would strongly disagree with that. I see the atheist disagreement as being very similar to Christians who say stuff like, “Real Christianity isn’t a religion its about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ”.

    As for your stuff about Mormons and leaving, yep it’s more general, I have a list deconversion.

  31. falcon says:

    I become more and more curious and might I say suspicious about you and your motives by the day. For example in your reply to Kate above, you express a knowledge about Mormonism that is beyond cursory for the average atheist. Also you have a desire and willingness to defend Mormonism that is very fervent in nature.
    So again I find myself asking, “What’s this guy’s game?”
    You’ve expressed strong emotions of hatred for what you call the Christianization of the OT. You charge that you were lied to regarding something in your past life as a Christian. This “lied to” claim seems to mirror what the ex-Mormons claim in regards to the with holding of information by the LDS church as well as the blatant white-washing of the false prophet Smith and the history (of the Mormon church).
    The Christianization of the OT you say started with the first century claims of the early Church. This indicates to me that you think that Jesus misrepresented himself when he told the disciples to examine the prophets, the psalms, the Law and the apostles promoted this.
    (Luke 24:27, Luke 24:44-45)
    So buddy, what’s your game?

  32. CD-Host says:

    Falcon + Rick —

    I have a blog with a 4 year history. Other than 2 posts on excommunications in the Mormon church, they don’t come up. So you have to decide how paranoid you want to be. Either I laid a 4 year plan, so that I could trick the people on mrm.org or I’m telling you the truth. It doesn’t appear there are any actual Mormons on this blog or any interest in discussing Mormonism I know your bible already and how you read it, I’m interested in their bible and how they read it.

    As for your question, I thought you were an atheist? Luke 24:27 and Luke 24:45 aren’t in Ur-Lukas (see Mack the Knife and Biblical development)

    27 is just a break in the action. 24:45 drops out.

    44 And he said unto them,
    46 that thus it was neccessary for the Christ to suffer,
    and to rise again from the dead the third day:
    47 And that repentance and remission of sins
    should be preached in his name among all nations.

    But while I don’t buy your specific examples. Of course the LXX (not the MT) speaks to Jesus, he’s a construction from the LXX. See Joel Marcus’ commentary on Mark for a verse by verse.

    Alex —

    You are begging the question in your asserting that there was a final preserved revelation and thus no need for further prophecy, cessationism. The Mormon church denies that there was a final revelation, or still is, and denies it was preserved. That’s the whole point of the Book of Mormon an entire testament got lost.

  33. Kate says:

    This was mentioned in the article you linked to:
    “In southern Utah Territory, heightened emotions led to the tragic Mountain Meadows Massacre of September 11, 1857, in which some Mormon militiamen joined with native Americans to kill the members of a wagon train from Arkansas (see Wild West Magazine, February 2005). ”

    It doesn’t count. The LDS church authorities didn’t write or approve this article as “official.” You many use it however you would like, but it isn’t an official statement made by the LDS church. It’s just the opinion of the author. The quote that I posted by Pres. Hinkley is “official” however. The LDS church have never admitted Brigham Young gave the orders. I believe he did, and there is a cover up, so your argument is probably correct. I’m not arguing that this is what took place, my argument is that the LDS church says you are wrong. It never happened this way. Brigham did not give the orders and local men took it upon themselves to involve the Piutes and to kill all those men, women and children. They even go so far as to say “officially” that those locals received a letter from Brigham Young telling them to let the Fancher party go. It was received a day too late. You should read the confession of John D. Lee. Interesting.

  34. Rick B says:

    CD said

    I have a blog with a 4 year history.

    This means what? I dont care if it was a20 year history.

    CD said

    So you have to decide how paranoid you want to be. Either I laid a 4 year plan, so that I could trick the people on mrm.org or I’m telling you the truth.

    It’s not a matter of being paranoid, and do I think your telling the truth? No I dont.

    Like I said before, I have been talking with athiests on line and in person for more years than I can remember, some in my family are and like Falcon I was once also. In all my years of talking with athiests, you are the absolute first ever that claims you are athiest, dont believe in God, and then defend a religion, in this case Mormonism with more guts and conviction than any mormon I ever meet.

    So you wonder why we question your motives. We do it because you say one thing and appear another way.

  35. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    You and I aren’t in disagreement about covering up war crimes. I’ll agree that the LDS not owning the full context here is bad. Its been my experience that conservatives tend to see owning up things their side did as being anti. So for example during the Bush administration, Americans who were talking about the American torture programs were considered by conservatives anti-American not “brave people demanding their government show integrity”. If you are asking me if I think the LDS should say that LDS leadership, in their secular roles as territorial government, were engaged with the United States like a foreign power, including engaging in low level terrorism to advance their political agenda… Then my answer is, absolutely! I would love American culture to change where are honest about that sort of thing. That we can talk about the US invasion of South Vietnam rather than the US “protection of South Vietnam against the North”, that we can talk about Truman breaking American promises in Iran and then invading Greece leading to a cold war, rather than “Soviet aggression”; that we can talk about US imperialism in the middle east rather than “the war on terror”. Couldn’t agree more. I can’t tell you how much I think the whole idea that an honest presentation of the facts is “liberal bias” annoys me.

    I think they are lying in the way American conservatives typically lie about unpleasant stories. Not in any unusual our of the norm. Way, there is really nothing there. And, of course part of this is it was not the LDS that did it.

  36. falcon says:

    CD Wrote:
    “I think they are lying in the way American conservatives typically lie about unpleasant stories.”

    Another glimpse into your psyche. Liberals never lie, just conservatives, right?. You sound narrow minded and wedded to stereotypical thinking.

    You’ve accumulated a lot of information, stored it, and have shown an ability to retrieve it and present it in catchy little talking points. Now I know you didn’t come up with this point of view on your own. I’m guessing your running down a well worn path. Care to share with us who cleared the trail for you?

  37. falcon says:

    I tripped on over to your blog and figured out why you’re here. You need someone to talk to! Rick gets more hits on his food blog.

  38. Kate says:

    Well I’m not into all of that. This blog is about Mormonism and letting the Mormon people in on the cover ups and the true doctrines and teachings of Mormonism and hopefully getting people trapped by such dishonest men, to come to the saving Grace of Christ. The problem with the LDS church is it is dishonest and they claim to be speaking for God. God does not tell us to lie. I’m not sure why you are here or what’s in it for you, could you answer that please?

  39. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    I’ve answered this a few times. In threads past there were Mormons discussing Mormon beliefs in an environment where they had to defend them. I think that’s a useful way to learn about Mormonism. An example is Aaron’s excellent video regarding Orson Pratt vs. Brigham Young’s theology of exaltation. Terrifically insightful, and because Aaron is hostile he’s willing to strip Mormon theology of the context and point out crucial differences, which helped me learn.

    Another example is having to defend postions. For example in this little debate with you, I had to figure out why Brigham Young was fighting with President Buchanan. I actually learned about the Whig / Mormon connection; which explained what happened in Illinois and also the Utah war. I hadn’t put that together prior to this discussion. Mormons talk about this in terms of “persecution” with the Illinois and American government’s actions being unmotivated. Evangelicals talk about it in terms of “lies”, this idea that Mormonism is nothing more than a big con game. No one talks about it in terms political leaders trying to achieve political objectives, fully consistent with what American politics looked like in the few decades heading into the Civil War.

    That’s it. Nothing beyond that.

    In terms of you personally, you aren’t applying the same standards to evangelical Christianity you are demanding from the LDS. Mormon spin about Brigham Young seems to bother you in a way that Evangelical spin about Calvin or Luther doesn’t. Since you are an X-Mormon I’d love to figure out why that is, 1st generation converts often have a unique perspective.

  40. Rick B says:

    You said to Kate that we (Christians) In general or even Kate herself do not talk about people like Luther or Calvin.

    You said

    In terms of you personally, you aren’t applying the same standards to evangelical Christianity you are demanding from the LDS. Mormon spin about Brigham Young seems to bother you in a way that Evangelical spin about Calvin or Luther doesn’t.

    It’s like this, To me you seem rather dishonest and seem to want to start stuff with us, it seems as if you are trying to start a fight between Christians and Mormons. let me explain why I say that. According to the Bible people who reject Jesus, will go to hell. Atheists reject Jesus by denying He exists. Mormons Reject Jesus because they believe in a false jesus that does not exist.

    The Mormon leader JS made the claim God personally spoke to him and said what we believe is wrong and an abomination in His (God’s) Eyes. So basically JS started it. The BoM claims their are only two Churchs, and since we are not of the true church we are of the church of the devil. Then JS claimed 9 different first vision accounts that span many years. The Mormons cannot seem to figure out which one is correct and which is the real first, first vision.

    Then Mormons Claim the BoM is added scripture, along with the D and C and the Pearl. These books dont offer anything in telling us what God is like or about His nature and even contradict
    each other and the Bible.

  41. Rick B says:

    The LDS claim they have personal revelation from God, yet cannot get any revelation to clear up these mysteries. The Book of Mormon was written from Reformed Egyptin and that language does not exist. God has not given revelation

    Have you read the 14 fundamentals of following the prophet?

    First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

    Second: The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.

    Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

    Sixth: The prophet does not have to say “Thus saith the Lord” to give us scripture.

    Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know

    Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.

    Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency–the living prophet and the First Presidency–follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.

    I’m sure you can figure out where I would go by posting those, If not I will tell you.

    Now whats my point with saying all this? The LDS church is founded on the words and teachings of JS, If he was a fraud then he is leading millions into eternal hell. As far a luther, calvin and many other people you mention, so what, They did not found the Church, we as Christians do not follow them. I never read books or teachings by them, I dont care if you could show me hard core evidence saying they killed millions of people like Hitler did. I dont care if you proved they are wolves in sheeps clothing. I dont follow them, they are men who claimed to believe in God and wrote some books, some people read them others dont. But with JS, he founded the LDS church and He made rather bold claims, as do many of

  42. Rick B says:

    as do many of their prophets.

    This is the difference between Mormons and Luther and Calvin. The LDS people live by the words of the prophets, Christians live by the word of God. Some might look to luther or Calvin for some ideas, or their thoughts, but we dont regard every word by them as scripture. I think you know this but are simply trying to throw stones and start something. Rick

  43. CD-Host says:

    Rick —

    As far a luther, calvin and many other people you mention, so what, They did not found the Church, we as Christians do not follow them. I never read books or teachings by them

    Actually I would strongly disagree with you here. They most certainly did found Protestantism. Nothing like Protestantism exists prior to the early 16th century, and arguably the kind of Protestantism you practice really doesn’t exist until the late 18th century. Now pieces exist all through Christian history. For example I’d trace huge number of your doctrines to the Beguines which were a woman’s lay community of believes that formed in the late 11th or early 12th century. The idea of an of an individualistic faith, where a lay leadership that had not taken vows directed religious activities among a free association of individuals who had voluntarily joined in a community came from them, and runs totally contrary to the entire history of Christianity beyond the first few centuries. The Beguines are Franciscan other crucial parts of Protestantism are Dominican, like a clergy that preaches in the vernacular and lives holy in their daily lives. The actual doctrine of priesthood of the believer, one Luther’s core doctrines comes word for word from the Brüder und Schwestern des Freien Geiste (Brothers and sisters of the Free Spirit). Luther pieced together his religion out of the pieces of religious motifs of tradition available to him. Which is exactly what Joseph Smith did. Joseph just had different motifs available to him.

    Yes you absolutely do study Luther’s ideas and thoughts. You maybe just don’t give credit where credit is due.

  44. Kate says:

    The problem is, you could research all day long on any given subject concerning Mormonism and it doesn’t matter. If it isn’t “official” then Mormons don’t give it a second thought or worse, they consider it “anti” material. I would love for you to sit down with any Mormon that I know and try to teach them what you have learned about the Mountain Meadows and Brigham Young as the Governor, and please, tell them that “no one talks about it in terms political leaders trying to achieve political objectives, fully consistent with what American politics looked like in the few decades heading into the Civil War.” You would be thrown out of the building! You are missing the point. The LDS church has fed lies to it’s members (not only on this issue) and it’s not about to tell the whole truth! Doing so, in my opinion, would lose them many members! So just what are the motives for lying about everything? Rick is right in showing you all of that. The bottom line is that Mormonism would fall if the truth about it was taught in church. Why do you think that we are told in the LDS church to NEVER READ ANYTHING NOT CHURCH APPROVED? Why is that? What would be the purpose of suppressing church history or past doctrine? The church has painted itself into a corner with all the past lies and now that those lies can be found with the click of a mouse, or the flip of a page, they are scrambling as to how they need to deal with it. The sad thing is, most members will absolutely NOT look at anything that isn’t church approved because their prophet said so. Again, you are clueless.

  45. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    You realize I am talking to Mormons too, for example on my blog. Herm2 Herm3.

    They aren’t denying that Brigham taught the divinity of Adam, and we are discussing the paramaters under which Mormons believe doctrines like that now. They are critiquing Quinn (excommunicated Mormon historian) and Brookes (OSU history professor who argued that Smith was making contact with sects associated with the radical reformation of the 1640s). Historicity of the Book of Mormon has come up.

    A Mormon just this morning, himself brought up the topic of Masonic dependence for temple rites. I’d be handling that obliquely so as not to offended with terms like “Lance Owen’s hypothesis”. But let me just point out to you, to understand what that meant you have to be familiar with Lance Owen.

    I’m getting my a** kicked in the argument, about Spiritualist influences from the 1850s to the 1920s and Mormon sub-sects involved in both and converts passing back and forth. The history of secret polygamy and LDS support for the practice during the 1890s… I’m not seeing closed down church mouses who don’t read anything but approved literature.

    Over on ldstalk we just finished an extended discussion (again involving Mormons). They are spending time listening to evangelical theology And let me just quote a Mormon here:

    Mormons say – we believe X because of new revelation.
    Evangelicals say – we believe Y because we have extrapolated this from scripture.
    Evangelicals could respond that Mormon prophets are false.
    Mormons could respond that the extrapolations are incoherent, even if the prophets are false.

    Where are these fearful Mormons? Even the “Mormon mommy bloggers” are thrilled they are getting secular women as fans.

  46. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    I have a post in moderation jail I think because of a few links. This is follow up with other issues I’m seeing discussed by Mormans.

    Brigham Young and Joseph Smith’s support for woman in the Melchizedek Priesthood.
    Discussion of whether the temple tithing policy is having the same negative effects on Mormonism that synagogue fees did on American Judaism.
    Whether the MTC is promoting homosexuality in trying to eliminate masturbation?
    Whether the Mountain Meadows historic landmark is good for the LDS because it will raise awareness, or bad for the LDS because its unfair not to also do Haun’s Mill Massacre.
    Prophetic vs. Apostolic leadership and whether the Community of Christ’s model is better or worse than the LDS’.
    Should the ban on coffee be lifted for men who are at high risk of prostate cancer?
    Coverage of the FLDS polygamy in Canada cases.
    Mormon Materialism (Joseph Smith, Orson Pratt) and the book of Abraham in terms of String Theory (very pro article).
    Discussion of whether the LDS should return to full polygamy per the Joseph Smith era (polyandry and polygyny not just polgyny per the later models).
    What role should dreams play in Mormon doctrine?

    And I don’t know if the other post will show up but these sorts of topics are not the signs of abusive church that doesn’t allow discussion or dissent. I run a blog dedicated to abusive churches. This is not what they look like. Where are these terrified Mormons?

  47. Rick B says:

    This just shows you that you really are a clueless person. I do not follow luther, calvin or anyone else. I dont care what you read or what they taught.

    I am guy who follows Jesus. I believe the Bible and Jesus, I dont read what these other people said, and I bet if we compared notes I would be willing to bet I dont even believe what they teach. If what they teach is the Bible and agrees with God, then I believe it, if what they teach does not agree with the Bible or God, then I dont believe them.

    Example, Many churchs today are starting to ordain homosexuals as pastors, Thats wrong and the Bible says they will not enter the knigdom of heaven. So I dont care how many churchs teach that, I dont believe it.

    I belive in salvation by the shed blood of Jesus, I believe Jesus is the ONLY WAY to heaven. I believe in GRACE ALONE, no works on my part. I go to a non-denomanatial church, we as a church do not hold to any of these guys beliefe. So nope when it comes to me CD, your got me all wrong.

    I only read the Bible, next to that I read cook books since I am a chef, then I read mormon books since I study mormonism. I bet you could name 100 pastors and books and I bet I never read one of them. I let God and His word influnice me and what I believe, not what man says and believes.

    Plus many denominitions exist becuse they disagree on minor non salvation issues. Like can a man have long hair, or do we need to dress in our “Sunday Best”. I like ripped jeans and a musle shirt.

  48. Kate says:

    Where are these terrified Mormons? All around me. You forget that I attended the LDS church for 40 years. You are seeing the 10% that you said research. I see the 90% that you said don’t research. I know what is taught in church and I know what my friends and family say all around me. They don’t look at anything not church approved because they are told that in church (as was I) when I did start researching on my own I was treated as doing something horrible. Best just to follow the prophet and not get involved.

  49. Rick B says:

    When I got married 18 years ago, I wore a leather jacket, combat boots and a Tshirt. I dont dress up, never have never will. Other minor issues, can women be senior pastors, can we go to the movies and watch R rated movies. All these are causing splits and why the many denominitions exist. If we agree Jesus is God, One God in the form of 3 persons, we believe in grace alone, we believe in Jesus Sheeding His blood on the Cross to save us and there is nothing we can do in added works to save us, then we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

    You can say, welll Rick, Calvin taught this….
    Or Luther taught this….
    Or pastor Joe Shmoe Taught this….

    To which I say, Good for them. Does it line up with God? If it does we agree, if it contrdicts Gods word then I dont and will not call them Brother. Remember, the Bible teaches Wolves will come from with in our own ranks to Kill and destroy. The Bible teaches that satan will come in the form of an angel of light, so the devil comes and says, Look I am your brother, I go to Church, I read the Bible, I perform Miracles, Etc.

    Yet Jesus even said, Many people on that last day will say to me, Lord, Lord, Did not we (I) Cast out demons in your name? Did not we (I) perform miracles in your name and feed the poor Etc. What Did Jesus say? I never knew you, depart from me. So CD, Show me all you want these people doing and saying things, But examine them, If they line up with scripture we will talk, otherwise, stop trying to say I believe these people when you have no clue.

  50. CD-Host says:

    Rick —

    Yep me and my bible. OK 5 questions:

    1) Where did you get the list of books to be in your bible from? Why didn’t you pick the Catholic, or the Ethiopian canon, Assyrian canon, the Greek canon? It didn’t come from the bible?

    2) Where did you pick your translation tradition from? You do realize major translation choices are being made?

    3) Where did you pick your interpretive methodology from? Again that doesn’t come from the bible. It has to come before the bible. And yes you need one:

    4) Where is sola scriptura taught in the bible? 2 Thess. 3:6; Jer. 25:3, 7-8 ; 2 Tim. 1:13–14; 2:2; 3:14
    Seems to me if you really were going by the bible, then the bible would tell you to go by the church.

    5) In the end the bible by itself sits on a desk. Saying the bible is your final authority is saying you are your own final authority. I don’t see how that gives you some great advantage over the Mormons.

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