Following the complaint of a student’s mother, the Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, has been reviewed and removed from a Virginia school district’s sixth-grade reading list as age-inappropriate. It isn’t because the archaic writing style may prove difficult for sixth-graders. It isn’t because of the stalking and graphic murders of the two main victims in the story. It isn’t even because the overarching theme of the book is revenge. The reason the school board agreed to remove the book from the reading list is because it presents early Mormonism in a negative light. The concerned mother explained, “This is our young students’ first inaccurate introduction to an American religion.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the story in 1886. It’s about a young girl crossing the American plains, rescued by Mormons in 1847, taken to Utah Territory, and later forced to become a polygamous wife in a loveless marriage (you can find a more detailed description of the story on Wikipedia). Sir Arthur’s story alludes to Mormon polygamy, Danites, blood atonement, the absolute rule of the Mormon prophet, and the hopeless condition for anyone in Utah Territory who opposed him. Indeed, this is not a pretty picture of nineteenth-century Mormonism – but then, nineteenth-century Mormonism really wasn’t very pretty.
There is no question that polygamy was a main feature of Mormonism in Utah Territory, and ample evidence that many women lived The Principle under duress. Wilford Woodruff’s first wife, Phebe, can serve as an example. After publicly stating that she was proud of being a plural wife, a friend asked her in private, “How is it Sister Woodruff that you have changed your views so suddenly about polygamy? I thought you hated and loathed the institution.” Phebe replied,
“I have not changed, I loathe the unclean thing with all the strength of my nature, but Sister, I have suffered all that a woman can endure. I am old and helpless, and would rather stand up anywhere, and say anything commanded of me, than to be turned out of my home in my old age which I should be most assuredly if I refused to obey counsel.” (Quoted in Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, 101)
The Danites, a group of Mormon men organized and active under Joseph Smith (before the Mormons moved to Utah Territory), functioned as a sort of secret police:
“Men handpicked for their skill with guns and their courage, the Danites were sworn to secrecy and invested with cabalistic handshakes and signals. They would prove, across nearly half a century, well into Brigham Young’s reign in Utah, a devastatingly effective cadre of assassins, targeting apostates, enemies, rich Gentiles, and even Indians–in effect, the KGB of the Mormon church.” (David Roberts, Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, 50)
The Danites, as a named organization, was discontinued after 1838. But as the Mormon vigilante philosophy continued to function under Brigham Young, it was closely tied to the Mormon doctrine of individual blood atonement. According to this doctrine,
“There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins, and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:53)
“Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is taken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin he knows will deprive him of the exaltation he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but would say, `shed my blood that I might be saved and exalted with the Gods?’ All mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual and he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers or sisters likewise, when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood? (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:219)
Modern Mormonism no longer preaches or practices the doctrine of individual blood atonement and sometimes denies it altogether. However, there is ample evidence that this doctrine was not only taught in Utah Territory, but also executed (see Tanners, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality, 398-404-A, 428-450, 493-515 for documented examples).
Brigham Young was the highest authority in Utah Territory. Complete obedience to him — in matters both ecclesiastical and temporal – was expected. John Taylor (who later became the third LDS Prophet) said,
“What is a man’s duty here? It is obedience to the oracles of God that are in our midst; …Now Brother Brigham has said all is right, and he is the representative of the Almighty upon the earth, and it is for us to stand by him and obey him; and he says ‘Rejoice, and live your religion, and all shall be well.’ Is not that the voice of God? It is.” (Journal of Discourses 5:191-192)
Those who did not obey Brigham Young risked their very lives. David H. Burr, non-Mormon Surveyor General of Utah Territory, wrote in fear to President James Buchanan,
“We find our position a critical one. We are by no means sure that we would be permitted to leave, for it is boldly asserted we would not get away alive. The same threats have been made against disaffected Mormons. We were inclined to think them idle menaces, until a few days since, when three men were killed at Springville, sixty miles from this place, for making the attempt. They were shot, their throats cut, and their bowels ripped open. Another party was fired upon, and three of them wounded, one of them seriously. These outrages are perpetuated by Mormons, and we have every reason to believe by the orders of Brigham Young[.] No efforts are made by the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.” (Bigler and Bagley, The Mormon Rebellion: America’s First Civil War 1857-1858, 112)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was once asked about his portrayal of Mormonism in A Study in Scarlet. He explained, “All I said about the Danite Band and the murders is historical so I cannot withdraw that tho it is likely that in a work of fiction it is stated more luridly than in a work of history.” Perhaps Sir Arthur’s unvarnished depiction of Mormonism in Utah Territory is a bit much for Virginia’s sixth-graders to process, but the real-life historical accounts are no less lurid. Hopefully, older readers of A Study in Scarlet will be intrigued enough by the story to research the underlying historical facts and therein find the truth about this religion that always has, and still claims to be, the only church on the face of the whole earth with which God is well pleased (D&C 1:30).
So much for the Protestant Faith, Martin Luther/ Landgrave Philip of Hesse. Do we see a contradiction or just Religion gone awry.
Phebe She once publicly observed that she
‘thought it [plural marriage] the most heinous thing I ever heard of’ until she became convinced of its divinity
Helen, since you didn’t provide a source for your quote I went looking for it. I found it in a paper by Todd Compton, “The Wives of Wilford Woodruff.” Here’s the entire paragraph for context:
“As Wilford and Phebe grew more independent, Wilford’s interest in providing for his younger wives and their children and in developing business operations with his older sons led him to engage less than previously in ventures involving Phebe . . . Phebe may have become more distant from her husband because of her swelling dislike of polygamy, and she may have harbored some resentment over Wilford’s increasing attention to his younger wives and their minor children. . . . She once publicly observed that she ‘thought it [plural marriage] the most heinous thing I ever heard of’ until she became convinced of its divinity . . . In private she may have found the institution an ‘unclean thing,’ yet she realized that in her position she could not oppose her husband and other church leaders on the issue.”
Sharon, it’s always interesting to read of another testimony from someone who saw
and heard what went on in the Mormon kingdom in Utah , this time by David Burr.
I remember in the 1980’s when the big fight between Church leaders and those in the
historical dept. Church leaders wanted what was ” faith promoting history” to be
taught etc. One can only wonder what is kept hidden in the First Presidency’s vault.
Perhaps when a member of the F.P. chooses to follow the True God and is kicked out
of the kingdom then he’ll tell the story of what has been kept from faithful LDS.
There’s a been good changes in the last 30 years , mostly by Mormon authors, which
have pressured Church leadership to allow more historical info out. The troubling
thing about all this “divine direction” from Mormon leaders in their sermons is that
it supposedly comes from officers in the Church Jesus commenced — the New Testament.
Men claiming to be prophets and apostles , but who have veered of Jesus’ instructions, are
nothing new [ Rev.2:2]. Jesus said to , Beware ! [ Matt.24:11,24 ] .
Helen, you are right , religion ” has gone awry “. Men and women have to often simply
given preachers, church officers , religious leaders to much authority over them. Instead
of following God’s Word , it’s to easy to trust a certain leader and give them way to much
license , as a result there have been terrible things done in the name of Christ. The Bereans
were wiser than most–Acts 17:11, and I personally think they provided an example for all
those who profess the name of Christ, i.e. we individually have the responsibility to seek
Jesus’instructions rather than allow some Church official interpret it for us as if they were
the mouthpiece of God etc. — Rom.3:4. When I evaluate Mormon leaders it’s what they have
declared as required to receive eternal life , and who they have declared God to be . This is
the main fruit of prophets, hence Jesus warned of false prophets who would come on the
scene to influence people to embrace inaccurate teachings on these issues. Those that
learned from Him passed this information on — Gal.1:8; 2Cor 11:4 ; 2Jn.1:9 .
Religious leaders who slip into a immoral lifestyle are much easier to detect as rebellious
from God , but the ones who quietly ” introduce” serious false teachings are not as easy
to detect by their followers because they are not as the Bereans.
Terrific article Sharon. 🙂
Quite an article, Sharon.
“Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?”
The mask came off with that one, didn’t it? Is that power? Control? Most certainly.
When the sermons of Brigham Young and other early leaders are shown to the LDS people, their reactions vary: shock, anger, denial. Not difficult to understand. Reactions which translate roughly into “I had no idea what they really believed.”
His teachings implicitly show us his disposition to the Cross (1 Corinthians 1:18). Ceremony, apparel, diets? An organization, one’s own promises, pocketbooks, family tree research? Ritualized human sacrifice? I can’t but think these all say, in essence: “Take your Cross from my sight. My hope is in me.”
Sorry about the none reference. What we have here is someone who first hates polygamy then states she received revelation that it was right, and then keeps on putting it down.
Seems the lady needs to get straight with God. Pretty unreliable witness of a Polygamous wife.
No Helen, what we have here is a woman who was trapped in polygamy, who hated it, who was trapped out West with nowhere to go and no way to get out, who said what she had to in public to survive. You have absolutely no idea what this woman went through and aren’t willing to look at it. You are willing however to judge her. I have read journals of women who were converted in England and after coming to Utah and married into the lifestyle, wanted to go back home to England. They were told that they would have to pay the church back what it cost them to bring them over. How was a woman back then supposed to earn money to pay back the church? What about blood atonement for the “defectors?” If you really are a Helen (woman) you should have compassion for these women who have had to live the polygamist lifestyle, after all, the only thing that separates you from them is one revelation.
Helen said, ” seems like lady needs to get straight with God. ”
Her problems all began because she felt getting straight with God meant entering
polygamy in the first place . Following false prophets does not pay good dividends ,
especially spiritually . Poor woman.
Getting straight with God? It seems that the Mormon god really doesn’t know what he wants.
Here’s what the BoM, which incidentally I must point out I have never read but have had it revealed to me that it’s false, says about polygamy:
“But 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. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord …. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it one wife; and concubines shall he have none; for I the Lord God delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me, thus saith the Lord of hosts” (Jacob 2:23, 24, 27, 28).
What did the D&C say in it’s original form?
“Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproach with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again” (Doctrines and Covenants, Section 101:4, 1835 edition.).
This is one confused god these Mormons have. What I think probably happens is that the Mormon god consults with his up-line god, and he with his and so forth and then things get changed because of what’s happening on the other planets the other gods have dominion over.
So is there a contradiction between the Book of Mormon and the 1876 Doctrines and Covenants? “Behold, David and Solomon truly had wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me ” (Jacob 2:24). Compare that with, “David also received many wives and concubines … and also Solomon … and in nothing did they sin ” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:28-29). So please explain to me how the LDS leadership can delete Section 101 from the original Doctrines and Covenants, since the Doctrines and Covenants are supposed to be inspired? How can they reconcile what the Book of Mormon says on polygamy and what the revised Doctrines and Covenants say?
Oh I’m sorry I forgot. It’s all about progressive revelation. That is such a handy thing in Mormonism and Mormons really regard it as one of the positive features of the religion. Like the Mormon gods, Mormonism is continually evolving and changing. That way modern Mormons don’t have to explain the changes from past revelation and practice.
Why do you think we have seventy different brands of Mormonism? Everybody is getting a different revelation from the Mormon god and they all think they have the real true blue religion.
There is no systematic theology in Mormonism because it’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants religion. That leaves the door open to endless speculation for Mormons, which the love, but abhor when we nonMormons start to point out the discrepancies.
If it were something that was minor it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But these Mormons make wholesale changes in the BoM itself and toss things out like trash when it becomes apparent the revelation is not acceptable to general society or is embarrassing.
Some one true religion!
“They were shot, their throats cut, and their bowels ripped open.”
This is all temple stuff. Pre -1990 that is. Why is none of this ever discussed when teaching Mormon history to Mormons? All the “fluffy” stuff is ridiculous! Mormons murdered. I never knew this until a few years ago. What about atoning for our own sins with our own blood? Where is this in God’s Word? To suggest or flat out say that the Saving Blood of Christ isn’t enough to cover some sins is blasphemy! The first time I ever heard the word “blood atonement” was on the news when Warren Jeffs was on the run! I was shocked to say the least. Of course the LDS distance themselves from that teaching. Just as they distance themselves from most of Brigham Young’s teachings. I wonder what the LDS membership would do if Thomas Monson brought back polygamy, blood atonement and the Danites. Would they obey their prophet?
Phebe Woodruff stated, “… if I refused to obey counsel .” That sure says it all.
For Mormons who summon the strength to trade the counsel of God’s Word over
that of their leaders this can be the start of a special spiritual journey. Realizing
that they don’t need to follow a man who claims to be God’s sole mouthpiece for
everyone, the Mormon people can thus begin to look into God’s Word and see
the truth of who He is and what He actually does require for receiving eternal life.
This won’t be easy since they’ve been taught that to do this is to play into Satan’s
hand. However by focusing on the great promise of God’s Word they can be free.
Consider: Heb. 7:25
All these questions posed by Kate and Mike to the LDS, just prove my question by all this that shows, their is no love or care for us by the LDS. I never see Helen, Ralph or any other TBM coming on and saying, OK guys, you fell their is a contrdiction, well let me clear it up for you and explain whats wrong. That never happens.
When ever LDS claim here is a contdiction in the Bible, some christain, Be it me, Andy, Sharon, Falcon, or anyother christian will come here and answer the question, of how it really is not a problem. We care about you guys, so we answer the question. You dont care about us, so you dont answer the questions.
The revealed purpose of polygamy was so that the Mormon man could achieve the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom and reign as a god along with his goddess wives. Together they would procreate spirit children that would inhabit the planets that the Mormon man-to-god would rule.
The purpose of blood atonement was to keep order through intimidation. The prophet, and would be god, could require the shed blood of someone who had violated the code.
I’m trying to remember, I’ll look it up; one of the Mormon leaders wanted this women who was engaged to another man. The man wouldn’t relent. He was castrated as punishment. I guess that would send a message.
Kate, it’s kind of chilling to think that religious leaders claiming to represent Jesus
and in fact claiming that He is actively directing their ministry, could make such a
statement that Jesus’ shed blood could not cleanse all sin . It appears that Jesus forgot
to inform His original Apostles of this “gospel truth”. This “restored” gospel of Mormon
prophets and apostles is truely another gospel. It seems these men and their claimed
authority have created laws and commands out of whole cloth , and yet declare them to
be requirements for LDS to keep in order for them to eventually gain eternal life. All this
with the claim that what they offer to people is the true gospel as was taught by Jesus 2000
yrs ago. I think that Mormon Missionaries should share their whole gospel with investigators.
For those Mormons who desire to be true to God, it will be spiritually rewarding for them
to begin the necessary dismissal from their lives of their spiritual guides , and trade them
for a reliable group — those who Jesus directed in the New Testament and to who He
entrusted with His gospel .
Falcon quotes, Jacob 2:23, 24, 27, 28
Lets see, 23, 24, blank, blank, 27, 28 and then the verse that explains everything, verse 30, must be missing from your handy dandy never read Book of Mormon.
So we see that God did give you a gift to discern, at least the Book of Mormon you quote from.
Now the Book of Mormon that the LDS use has verse 25, 26 which means your Holy Discernment must have been out to lunch.
Let me help you out with your Mormon research on Polygamy and what Jacob actually said. 🙂
What is in 25, 26, and lastly verse 30.
25 Wherefore, 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.
26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
Now 28 and 29 explain “do like unto them of old”
David and Solomon did wrong in the sight of God, they did not abide in The new and everlasting Doctrine of Marriage.
30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up aseed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
Whoops, what was that, “for if I will raise up seed”? I will command my people”
Command them to do what? Not polygamy, no not that. Yikes how can God command us to do exactly what He now says David and Solomon did.
Is there more? 🙂
Yes there is more for further Discernment! 🙂
Falcon discerns some more, “Compare that with, “David also received many wives and concubines … and also Solomon … and in nothing did they sin ” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:28-29)
“Marriage for eternity is a new and everlasting covenant.
Falcon you do well with quoting correctily but since you never read the Book of Mormon, I don’t suppose you bothered reading the D&C either. 🙂
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubinesD&C
37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.
If you had gone a little further in you quick quote agenda to misrepresent you would have tripped over this most likely.
D&C 132:3838 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
Almost there Falcon, just a little more for you to peruse.
39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
So Falcon, your Holy Discernment just was not kicking in. There is no contradiction with the Book of Mormon at all. Notice that verse 27 says “…because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded…” When God commands, there is no sin.
You fail to address the changes in D&C to support Joseph Smith’s el al changing view of polygamy. OPPS, back to the drawing board.
Nice try though.
Looks like you were scouring the FAIR/FARMS website again.
It’s pretty tough to miss the meaning set forth in these verses from the BoM but being clouded in your understanding, you’ve managed to do it. I can see your hobby horse is the BoM since you avoid answering any and all questions posed to you, especially by my buddy Rick.
I hope the cloud lifts from mind and spirit I might add.
Yea, I guess the BoM really supports and condones polygamy.
Back to the FAIR/FARMS website Helen or maybe the boys in SLC will let you borrow the magic rock.
Jacob 2:27 (from the BOM) reads, “Wherefore, 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.”
And Jacob 2:24 says, “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”
Yep, and I understand your obvious agenda of not fully quoting verse 30 or even wanting to debate it.
Your not hear to fully compare apples and donuts Falcon, you’re hear for one reason, Falcon.
30. 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.
So sorry this verse just seems to get in the way, so much so that every critic of Polygamy is afraid too admits its there. Oh well, back to “Holy Discernment” at least that allows for a much simpler answer, “evil spirits” oh my god.
It appears that it’s important to you that a person needs to meet the requirement of having actually read the Book of Mormon to quote from it. I will be happy to give you mine in this one area for what it is worth in what I will be stating in my answers to you in regards to this issue of polygamy which is a very large topic of discussion in Mormonism. I have read the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover more times than I have read the Bible in the same fashion. If you are thinking that is only once in regards to my Bible reading, then you would be wrong. I didn’t become a Christian last year. Instead, it was many years ago (1986). This just wasn’t the Book of Mormon; it was all of the Standard Works. These weren’t some speed reading exercises either. They were very slow readings where a great deal of study was put into it. By doing that I was able to create my own resources and references. My last read-through/study of the BoM was the 1830 BoM edition. If you have not read the 1830 edition then please do so. If you compare the 1830 to the 1981 edition, I think you would become very disturbed with the changes that have taken place.
Let’s get on to the important things. Some time ago I wrote to you about the discipline of biblical interpretation that Christians are trained in at various places so that they can properly interpret and handle the Word of God (Bible) correctly (2 Tim 2:15). Mormons do not receive this training and it shows sometimes in gross displays. Bible students trained in biblical interpretation understand that all of Scripture is authored/”breathed out” by God (2 Tim 3:16).
Canonical context or canon criticism must be used in interpreting Bible texts. Simply put, this means that Scripture must interpret Scripture. The ENTIRE canon of Scripture must be taken into consideration in understanding what the author of the text is saying to us that is inspired by God. The God of the Bible is not a confused Person. He does not contradict Himself. He doesn’t tell His people one thing in one chapter and then state the exact opposite on the next page. There is consistency throughout. What does this have to do with polygamy and the Book of Mormon? I’m glad you asked.
God created mankind and gave Adam one wife. This was the model for all of mankind to follow from this point forward. However, due to man’s depravity and violation of God’s model and law, man entered into polygamy. God is sovereign over all things and that includes the way that He works through the sinful actions of man in bringing about His will in what Christians call providence. God is sovereign and human beings are responsible for their actions.
God stated clearly in Deut 17:17 – “Neither shall he multiply wives to himself”. Polygamy was permitted in the Old Testament Scriptures because it was an expression of humanity’s hardness of heart (Matt 19:8) rather than reflections of God’s ideal (Gen 1:26-28; 2:24), which Christ’s redemption seeks to restore (Gal 3:28).
In the New Testament, the examples of the disciples having only one wife are given along with the Scriptures asserting what is to be the directive for God’s people in regards to marriage (1 Cor 9:5; 1 Tim 3:2; 1 Tim 3:12; “husband of ONE WIFE”). 1 Cor 7:2 states: “…let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband.”
Christians do not recognize the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants as the Word of God. The reasons for this are quite numerous, but using our topic of polygamy as an example, the reasons for rejecting these revelations written by the hand of Joseph Smith and a few others become easily evident. Mormons can cite their Standard Works to Christians, but for the Christian, these works are not relevant and cannot be taken seriously. The Bible, which is the Word of God, is a closed canon. God has already spoken to His people and revealed all that is required of salvation/redemption. We have future revelation as to what is to take place that is mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. The gospel has been fully preached (Rom 15:19). Joseph Smith has nothing to offer the Christian people.
Why do I say this in regards to polygamy? Let’s examine the record. The Book of Mormon states in the introduction (as stated by Smith):
“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was THE MOST CORRECT BOOK on earth, and the KEYSTONE OF OUR RELIGION, and a man would get NEARER TO GOD by abiding by its precepts, THAN BY ANY OTHER BOOK.”
Thank you, Mr. Smith, for that statement. With that said, the Doctrine and Covenants and all other LDS works go underneath the Book of Mormon. Helen demands “holy discernment” from Falcon and other Christian posters. However, there is discernment and consideration demanded of her but there is nothing holy that can be gathered from the conflicting, confusing, and puzzling texts put forth in the Book of Mormon. Helen has given her flawed exegesis of Jacob 2. She gave nothing from the Bible because there is no support for her there to be found.
Let’s now consider good, biblical interpretation skills that were stated earlier and see if those can be used with the Book of Mormon or even the D&C to see if there is even the slightest hint of harmony among these texts when considering the analogy of Scripture (all of the canon taken in for interpreting). Helen didn’t mention the other texts in the Book of Mormon that do not fare her well. Let’s look at those now.
Mosiah 11:2 – For behold, he [King Noah] DID NOT KEEP THE COMMANDENTS OF GOD, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And HE HAD MANY WIVES AND CONCUBINES. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord.”
Mosiah 11:4 – And all this did he [King Noah] take to support himself, and his WIVES AND CONCUBINE: and also his priests, and their WIVES AND THEIR CONCUBINES; thus he had changed the affairs of the kingdom.
Ether 10:5 – And it came to pass that Riplakish DID NOT DO THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, FOR HE DID HAVE MANY WIVES AND CONCUBINES, and did lay that upon men’s shoulders which was grievous to be borne”.
Let’s jump to the D&C and see further confusion:
D&C 42:22 – Thou shalt “love thy wife [note the singularity! It does not say “wives”] with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and NONE ELSE.
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. Mormons want to drive the Christians to their heretical scriptures to convince of their supposed authority. How is this possible in light of this blatant confusion and conflicting directives by God. I mean, which is it by the Mormon god – polygamy or monogamy?
It is impossible to reconcile the LDS scriptures on any consistent continuity or harmony among these texts. Christians that have been trained in biblical interpretation come away with an Excedrin headache when trying to apply any form of hermeneutical discipline with the LDS texts. It is an exercise in absolute futility and borders on the comical with that of purported “reformed Egyptian” and other nonsense by Joseph Smith in the Book of Abraham.
It’s already been demonstrated by the words of Smith that the BoM is, or should be, predominant if one wants to get closer to God. It’s the most correct book. Nevertheless, one chapter the Mormon god says one thing. Another chapter he is saying something quite different. This goes for the D&C as well. D&C 42:22 is clear. But, D&C 132 says something quite differently. The Mormons would have us believe that the God of creation can’t make up His mind on what He wants for His people. He can’t seem to give them some definitive mandate on what He demands for the institution of marriage. The Sovereign God of the Bible made it very clear regarding this matter. There is consistency and harmony. Man entered into polygamy in the Old Testament due to his sin. I challenge any Mormon to give me any Scripture from the New Testament that would coincide with the LDS’ teachings from D&C 132. If D&C 132 was to be obeyed like Smith and Young practiced, every Mormon would be a fundamentalist Mormon practicing polygamy. No, it’s the Salt Lake City Mormons who are the apostates rightly condemned by fundamentalists.
Anyone who has studied LDS history and the life of Joseph Smith know why he hatched these doctrines: to satisfy his own lustful and sinful heart in sexual immorality.
Compare apples to donuts? I think it’s “apples to oranges” just to help you out a little there Helen.
You’ve got yourself a major problem here Helen. According to your interpretation of the BoM, polygamy is sanctioned. According to the D&C is polygamy sanctioned? Did Joseph Smith teach that in order to reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom and become a god, a Mormon male must practice polygamy? Does your husband practice polygamy Helen? Do you have sister wives who you will share with your husband the god to be and procreate spirit children to populate your planets?
I would guess that your husband is not practicing polygamy as you say your interpretation of the BoM promotes along with the D&C and Joseph Smith’s own revelation. So I would suggest Helen that you quit paying your tithe and spend your money on something other than a ticket to the temple where you perform rituals that you suppose, wrongly, will allow you to become a goddess. Fold-up your temple garments and put them in a storage box because you aren’t going to make it to the highest rung on the Mormon ladder.
In conclusion, I have some questions for you to either answer or think about:
1. Are you a fundamentalist Mormon? By that, do you support the practice of polygamy that was practiced by Smith, Young, Tayor, and Woodruff (the first four presidents of the church)?
2. If you’re not practicing polygamy, why not?
3. Are you encouraging your husband to seek additional wives? If not, why not?
4. Do you have a problem with polyandry (women currently married that have other husbands)? Joseph Smith engaged in this. Are you seeking additional husbands? If not, why not? If it was good enough for Smith and those women, then why isn’t it good enough for you and LDS women today?
5. Have you read “In Sacred Loneliness” by Todd Compton? He’s LDS. I would encourage you to read that. Deseret Books will tell you they don’t carry it anymore. That isn’t true. When they are cornered with the SKU number they will whisper to you on the phone that they can get it, but it will take a few weeks. You can easily get it from Amazon or another vendor. Read this book. It’s a biography of all the wives of Smith. By the end of this book you will either weep or vomit or both at the same time.
6. Have you read the book “Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith” by Nowell and Avery? These are two Mormon authors as well. Again, just like Compton’s book, you will come to the reality of what the life of Emma was like: misery, anger, and heartbreak having to put up with Smith’s infidelity and reckless behavior. There’s a reason she stayed in Illinois and wanted nothing to do with Brigahm. Read pages 95-96, 101, 108, 113-115, 134, 140, 146-147.
I just want to thank you for these comments to Helen. I know she/he will dismiss it all and not answer one question that you have asked. You have however helped me. I have been out of Mormonism for exactly 8 months now and I’m amazed at how “deprogrammed” I am becoming. So even though you may or may not be helping Helen you are certainly helping me! In fact this site and all posters, including Helen have helped me see the truth about God and how Mormonism goes against all that is Holy. I’m betting there are Mormon lurkers here as well. You never know who you are going to help out of the Mormon lie. Thanks!
I’m not afraid to take you on, on this issue. I suspect you spend lots of time swearing at your computer when I reply, maybe even beeting your head on your computer. You can say what you want, but you seem to avoid questions by me like death. You avoid them becasue you know I am right and you cannot handle the truth. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.
I’m one of those few good men.
I think you will love this Helen, In the Times and Seasons Volume 5 Thursday, February 1st 1844 Notice:
Ouch, thats tough, The President Joseph Smith and his brother said polygamy is a False Doctrine.
So JS cannot have it both ways, It’s Commanded by God and told Him it is true, but then Goes onto say It’s a False Doctrine. Add to that, WE NEVER SEE, NEVER, in the Bible God commanding Polygamy for any reason. Funny how In the Bible it is never condoned by God, But in the JS VERSION of Scripture, the BoM, it finds a way to be Justifed. So Helen, Please tell me how JS and His Brother called Polgamy a FALSE Doctrine?
Helen, are you making moral judgements on people who disagree with you on the
Book of Mormon and polygamy ? I for one have known about Jacob 2:30 for a long
time and yet , never was “afraid to admit it ” . How would you know my opinion on
this ? Is this your spiritual witness ? Falcon asked a question concerning reconciling
Book of Mormon verses on poylgamy with what the D&C states about polygamy. Good
question. But what did Jesus teach His followers , since we are in the New Covenant /
Testament. In looking at Jacob 2:30 it simply states that IF God chooses He could
command men to “raise up seed” unto Him by way of polygamy, but did He command
it in the BM ? God is so powerful that He could command stones to speak or turn into food,
[Matt3:9] But either the Book of Mormon TEACHES polygamy as a command
from God for us or it does’nt. It’s important at this point to realize that it goes without
saying that any vital doctrine that is required for us to gain favor with God and/or gain
eternal life should be taught in a plain , clear way [ Alma 13:23; Jacob 4:13 ] , the BM does
this with who Jesus Christ is, i.e. it reveals the vital truth that He is the Eternal God
come in the flesh etc. Mormons viewed polygamy as a ” gospel truth” , an “ordinance ” akin
to Baptism ( saving ordinance ), that the gospel OF JESUS was not full without it .Ezra T Benson
claimed that there’s a better understanding of the doctrines of salvation in the BM than the Bible
Book of Mormon and polygamy [ cont].
Joseph Smith uttered a very pertinent statement when he said, ” Let us teach the things
of Jesus Christ . ” [ History of the Church, v6 p411]. About this same time an offical
publication of the Church counseled LDS that the rumors of polygamy being practiced
were only “foolish tales”, because , ” The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and
also all our periodicals are very strict on that subject, indeed far more so than the Bible.”
[ Millennial Star, v3 p.74 ] . So the spiritual witness , the personal revelation , of Church
leaders was that the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Book of Mormon did not
sanction polygamy . The truth on marriage was clear from the New Testament.
The Bible is clear on another important subject–false prophets. Jesus warned us of those
men who in the latter-days , would come on the scene declaring to be recommended by Jesus
with a special authority to reveal truth from Him. Along with agreeing with Jesus’ original
apostles on moral issues, these latter-day prophets would introduce inaccurate teachings
about what is required to gain God’s favor and also to gain eternal life. All this with the claim
that these teachings are a “restoration” of Jesus’ teachings to His original apostles . Because
of this alleged connection to the New Testament apostles teachings , these latter-day false
prophets would reap a sizeable following. May the Mormon people pause to take the time to
test their leaders’ teachings with the New Testament . There is abundant spiritual blessing
awaiting those who will be true to God . We don’t need another prophet, we need a Savior.
Heb.1:1-2 ; 7:25
Fantastic quote! As of February 1, 1844, Joseph Smith had 34 documented wives already! 34 wives from 1827-1844. He had been a practicing polygamist for 10 years already! What a hypocrite to bring charges against a fellow Mormon! Is this the kind of prophet God calls? Does the Christian God of the Bible truly command his prophets to lie and deceive like this. All Mormons need to thoroughly research Mormon history!
Kate, After Helen is done swearing at her computer, and beating her head on a wall, she will go search farms and give us/me some lame reply as to why we/me are wrong. You simply cannot look at the evidence and find some way to simply dismiss it. But I also suspect that by the lack of replys by Helen, She not only avoids things because she cannot handle the trutrh and does not want the truth. But I also suspect she does not read the majorty of the posts given by some of us.
I also notice, that as I said many times, Their is no love from the Mormons. I dont see Helen or Ralph, or Moss face telling us in detail how we are wrong and trying to set us straight. I also dont see them being honest and saying, Look, I cannot answer your questions, I admit it is a tough one, so I went to my church and talked with the local presdient, and he came to this site to answer you, or here is what they said. This kind of stuff never happens because they have no love and care about us.
Like I said, we reply to the LDS and their claims of contrdictions in the Bible, we care about them. They dont reply to us because they dont care about us or our eternal destiny.
I hope you are enjoying the apples, oranges and donuts that the Christian posters have been feeding you here. It’s very clear that you are totally clueless about what the BoM teaches about polygamy. I would say you are very creative when it comes to your “Holy Revelation” of the BoM and that the spirit that is whispering audibly in your ear is indeed the spirit of confusion that inhabits Mormonism.
So according to “Helen” and her “Holy Revelation” of the BoM there’s suppose to be some “seed” raised up by these Mormon dudes in practicing polygamy. Quite inventive “Helen”.
What seed did Joseph Smith raise up as a result of his polygamy? Was there a shortage of “seed” among early Mormon males? Some of these guys must have been shooting blanks if Joseph Smith had to take their wives from them for what purpose? Oh yes, to raise up “seed”.
This dog just won’t hunt “Helen”. Let’s face it. You don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the BoM. I guess you need a little more “Holy Revelation” from that spirit being that’s whispering in your ear.
Have some Mormon donuts while you ponder these things.
So the BoM according to Helen
states that God will command polygamy to raise up seed…….that’s according to Helen and her/his creative interpretation. Forget, like Andy has pointed out, that the BoM consistently condemns and forbids polygamy. It would seem that the “seed” verse interpretation for the justification for polygamy is more a product of the brain trust at FAIR/FARMS. Another creative interpretation has it that there were all these unmarried women who needed to be taken care of so these old Mormon dudes “married” them. This is contrary to demographic studies that deny the over abundance of destitute women on the western frontier. Besides the rationale of the destitute single women doesn’t meet the “seed” test that the creative geniuses at FAIR/FARMS would have us believe.
I don’t know maybe someone can help me out here but didn’t Joesph Smith say that the reason for polygamy was so men could become gods? Quite an incentive for a Mormon male who would believe it. Now Smith’s practice of polygamy to become a god makes more sense than Helen’s creative interpretation that has “seed” as the goal. This makes further sense because Smith was taking married women for his multiple wifery project.
30. 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.
Where are all the children from Smith’s ‘polygamous’ marriages. Oh, that’s right, according to Mormons, he didn’t have any cause he never had sex with them. So why did Smith practice polygamy again? If (as Mormons postulate) Smith didn’t have sex, he was in violation of D&C 132. If he did, he where are the children? Either way, Smith was in violation of the law. Lets take the case of young Sarah Ann Whitney. Here is Smith’s love letter (addressed to the parents of course):
Dear, and Beloved, Brother
and Sister, Whitney, and &c.–
I take this oppertunity to communi[c]ate, some of my feelings, privetely at this time, which I want you three Eternaly to keep in your own bosams; for my feelings are so strong for you since what has pased lately between us, that the time of my abscence from you seems so long, and dreary, that it seems, as if I could not live long in this way: and if you three would come and see me in this my lonely retreat, it would afford me great relief, of mind, if those with whom I am alied, do love me, now is the time to afford me succour, in the days of exile, for you know I foretold you of these things. I am now at Carlos Graingers, Just back of Brother Hyrams farm, it is only one mile from town, the nights are very pleasant indeed, all three of you can come and See me in the fore part of the night, let Brother Whitney come a little a head, and nock at the south East corner of the house at
the window; it is next to the cornfield, I have a room intirely by myself, the whole matter can be attended to with most perfect safty, I know it is the will of God that you should comfort me now in this time of afiliction, or not at [al]l[;] now is the time or never, but I hav[e] no kneed of saying any such thing, to you, for I know the goodness of your hearts, and that you will do the will of the Lord, when it is made known to you; the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma [Smith] comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty: only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater frendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I will tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. one thing I want to see you for it is to git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads, &c. you will pardon me for my earnestness on this subject when you consider how lonesome I must be, your good feelings know how to make every allowance for me, I [p.167]close my letter, I think Emma [Smith, his first wife] wont come tonight[,] if she dont dont fail to come to night. I subscribe myself your most obedient, and affectionate, companion, and friend. Joseph Smith
Sarah Ann Whitney was married to Joseph Smith on July 27, 1842. Nine months later on April 29, 1843, she was married to Joseph C.
Kingsbury with the Prophet Joseph Smith officiating. She was then eighteen years old. It seems that Joseph Smith married Sarah Ann Whitney for time and for all eternity and then relinquished her for time, in a pretended marriage ceremony, to Joseph C. Kingsbury. Sarah Ann Whitney was the first woman who had her marriage to Joseph Smith sealed for eternity in the Nauvoo Temple on January 12, 1846. From the foregoing marriages of Sarah Ann Whitney, her secret marriage to Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet, being commanded to marry him at the age of seventeen by a special revelation, the 1842 letter written by Joseph Smith to her parents and herself to come to visit him, her living with Joseph C. Kingsbury and her marriage with Heber C. Kimball it must be said: THIS WAS ALL DONE TO “RAISE UP SEED TO THE LORD?” I don’t think so. Smith had her as a wife for almost two years, yet had no children by her, she was married to Kimball in March of 1845 and had a son a year later.
Kingsbury recorded the following in his diary: “On the 29th of April 1843 I according to President Council & others agreed to Stand by Sarah Ann Whitney as Supposed to be her husband & had a pretended marriage for the purpose of Bringing about the purposes of God in these last days so spoken by the mouth of the Prophits Isiah Jeremiah Ezekial and also Joseph Smith, and Sarah Ann should recd a Great Glory Honner and Eternal Lives and I also should recd a Great Glory Honner and Eternal lives to the full desire of my heart in having my companion Caroline in the first Reserection to lcaim [claim] her & no one to have power to take her
away from me & we Both shall be Crowned & Enthroned togeather I the Celestial Kingdom”. (Kingsbury, p. 13)
Perhaps all the ‘raising up seed’ excuses are just that? According to Sarah Pratt, speaking about her conversation with Smith’s son, Joseph III:
“I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: ‘You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don’t you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?’ He answered: ‘If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?’ I said to him: ‘Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened.”
If something is an abomination to God, how does it then become un-abominable? The whole Jacob 30:30 argument (in the wake of actual historical events) is a farce. _johnny
Thanks to everyone for their scholarship and insights on this topic. I can see this going in several directions, so before it goes further I’d like to ask you all to step back for a minute, take a deep breath or two, ask the Lord for guidance, and enter back into the conversation with an eye toward respectful discussion and clear communication on these important issues. Thanks, everyone!
Great job! Talk about a mini-seminar on the topic. I know Andy and grindael have really earned their props for the in depth research they have done and for the excellent presentations. grindael since you were a gung-ho Mormon who had an opportunity to delve into the achieves at BYU, the comments are especially edifying. You were progressing beyond your peers in dedication and knowledge to and about Mormonism. To do a 180 flip during your study is testimony to the Holy Spirit’s work in converting you from the darkness of Mormonism into the light of the Christian Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m so encouraged that those Mormons who come here seeking answers to their questions will find their way out of Mormonism and to Christ Jesus Our Lord, who rules and reigns.
A love letter? Addressed to her parents? you got to be kidding. Never in my life as a women have I heard a tail as tall as this, yes a letter that was addressed to her parents. LOL.
Dear, and Beloved, Brother and Sister, Whitney, and &c.— I wanted the love letter to go to you for approval, since I hold your daughter in the highest esteem of my being. Wow, a real love letter sent to her parents. Imagine.
At least I give you credit for quoting the whole letter that’s better then most critics will do. You should see how they twist it to make it sound like some secret affair. To bad we don’t know exactly what took place.
According to Richard L. Bushman, this may have been “a reference perhaps to the sealing of Newel and Elizabeth in eternal marriage three days later.” Compton adds, “This was not just a meeting of husband and plural wife, it was a meeting with Sarah’s family, with a religious aspect. But you made your point so be it. Smiling. 🙂
Falcon, love your wit, but I see you circled all around verse 30 with out touching it. Could this mean you don’t exactly know why the Nephite Prophets inserted it. I imagine next time you wish to use this again, it will also be notably left out. That is verse 30, Smile.
Well on too other things, what else you cooking up for little Helen. 🙂
Sharon Lindbloom, this is the first time I have ever complained even though I have been called out for many things even being called a stupid poster. But this is the lowest yet.
Quote a verse referenced by Falcon. I find his offensive, mocking, ridiculing a person and judging even if it is in jest. I find this ugly and highly offensive and has no place on a Christian Forum.
[Helen, as I understand it, it is the way Falcon referenced the passage, not the passage itself, that you object to. Therefore, the reference and paragraph from Falcon’s comment have been removed. –Sharon]
Amen . The Mormon people need a truely reliable prophet to guide them–Jesus .
” When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed , they said ,
this is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world. ” Jn.6:14
” Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.”
Like I told you before, the truth lies in the sting. You need to face the ugly facts regarding Mormonism and Joseph Smith. You ought to be more offended by his abhorrent and reckless behavior than by my pointing it out. His polygamy and polyandry took a terrible toll on the women he seduced and manipulated in his role as a church leader not to mention his long suffering wife. Before you get all self-righteous, stop and think about those women, several married to other men, and the adolescent girls and what he did to them You need to wake-up to reality.
I pity you.
Ok Helen, Let me do to you what you did to Falcon.
I notice you avoided what YOUR PROPHET said about Polgamy being a FALSE DOCTRINE.
Could this mean you don’t exactly know why the Joseph Smith and Hyrum YOUR Prophets said it?
I imagine next time you wish to push polgamy again, the issue of what Joseph Smith said will also be notably left out and avoided by you. Smile.
Well on too other things, what else you cooking up for little Rick?
Helen, Besides avoiding over and over what I said, Funny how you harp on Falcon for avoiding verse 30, yet you avoid what I said, you also avoided what Grindal and Andy said. That makes you a hyprocite.
Also Maybe Falcon is not avoiding what you said, maybe it is me and others answered it for you so he did not want to waste a post telling you what we told you.
“Also Maybe Falcon is not avoiding what you said, maybe it is me and others answered it for you so he did not want to waste a post telling you what we told you.”
That’s it exactly. Andy, grindael and others simply nailed Helen with the 30:30 verse proving her ignorance of what the BoM actually teaches and what Joseph Smith did in practice.
Helen either doesn’t read, has difficulty processing information or she’s so diluted by Mormonism that she can’t think clearly. Her lame and creative interpretation of 30:30 is totally off the mark and proves once again that Mormons are so concerned about massaging information to fit their own current narrative that truth takes a vacation.