Why are non-Mormons uncomfortable with Mormonism?

On October 10 (2011) LDS blogger Joanna Brooks posted an interview with Patrick Mason, author of The Mormon Menace: Violence and Anti-Mormonism in the Postbellum South (Oxford University Press, 2011). The topic of the interview: “Why Do Southerners Call Mormonism a Cult?

Dr. Mason said that before the Civil War,

“…wherever Mormonism went, anti-Mormonism followed. Some of it was basic theological opposition to Mormon doctrine presented in tracts, books, pamphlets, and so forth. That’s reasonable in a free marketplace of ideas, and Mormons have certainly said that other churches were wrong. Theology is fair play.”

How refreshing for a valid theological difference between Mormonism and Christianity to be acknowledged. Yet, the purely theological concerns became overridden by social concerns:

“But something changed around the Civil War. In 1857, LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt was killed as retribution for alleged polygamy. And that’s the spark that motivated the rise of violent anti-Mormonism: the perception that Mormons were coming to steal women and corrupt Southern womanhood…not just theological difference, but the fear that they’re coming for our women.”

Dr. Mason noted that “violent anti-Mormonism” disappeared once the Mormon Church “dropped polygamy,” but the “anti-Mormon movement” continues today via Christian ministries that produce “sophisticated anti-Mormon literature based in historical research.”

Something I found interesting in Dr. Mason’s remarks was his characterization of Parley Pratt’s murder as “retribution for alleged polygamy.” I don’t think there is any doubt about Pratt’s polygamy – why does Dr. Mason call it “alleged”?

Furthermore, Pratt was murdered not only because he practiced polygamy according to the teachings of the LDS religion, but because he engaged in “spiritual wifery” with another man’s wife, and sought to steal this man’s children as well.

Pratt’s murderer was Hector McLean. McLean’s wife, Eleanor, had abandoned her family to become Pratt’s 12th plural wife. Soon thereafter, in 1857, McLean learned that Eleanor and Pratt were intending to abduct the McLean children and take them to Utah. After finding no help in this situation from the legal system, McLean and some of his misguided friends took matters into their own hands — tracking, attacking, and brutally killing Parley Pratt, the Mormon Apostle.

Was this the “spark” that gave rise to the “perception that Mormons were coming to steal women”? Could be; it makes sense. But any discussion regarding escalating concerns among non-Mormons toward Mormonism in 1857 should certainly include the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Reference to this particular “spark” was absent from Dr. Mason’s remarks.

In the interview with Dr. Mason “violent anti-Mormonism” is never defined, and no examples are given which would allow the reader to understand the nature or scope of this violence. But how can there be a credible discussion of “violent anti-Mormonism” beginning in 1857 without including the fact of violent Mormonism?

I would like to suggest that the Mormon massacre of 120 non-Mormon men, women and children who were passing through Utah Territory significantly contributed to nineteenth-century “anti-Mormonism.” The reports of the Mormon doctrine of blood atonement, the fearful treatment Mormons visited upon non-Mormon government officials, and the Mormon civil war (Utah War) against the United States must also be considered serious factors framing the non-Mormon view of Mormonism and its impact on the American way of life.

Joanna Brooks asked, “Why Do Southerners Call Mormonism a Cult?” There are many factors to be considered. Parley Pratt’s marriage to another man’s wife is but one of them.

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

63 Responses to Why are non-Mormons uncomfortable with Mormonism?

  1. falcon says:

    One thing often missing from discussions regarding historical events is a proper description of the context and most importantly the “zeitgeist” or “the spirit of the times”. We often impose our own current “zeitgeist” on events occurring in the past and come up with a distorted view. We often forget how violent folks were in carrying out there own brand of frontier justice.
    I visited Virginia City, Montana a few years ago and had a first hand look at the vigilanty justice that took place there right around the time of the Civil War. In one day something like six men were lynched including the corrupt sheriff. The people just got sick of the situation they found themselves in and took matters into their own hands. The vigilantes continued for some time posting secret messages on the doors of unsavory characters which was a heads-up to them to get out of the area or face the consequences.
    In Salt Lake City, in the same era, a black man was brutalized dragged through the streets and lynched having been accused of raping a woman. The editor of the Salt Lake City newspaper wrote that they needed to have “decent and orderly lynchings”. There was a proper way of carrying out lynchings I guess.
    It’s no secret that people were fed-up with Mormons and most of it had to do with polygamy. Go and read accounts of the Reed Smoot hearings when he was trying to be seated as the U.S. senator from Utah.
    It is true, once the Mormons dropped polygamy that pretty much ended a lot of the controversy. The fact of the matter is, when it came to violence, the Mormons gave as good as they got as was the “zeitgeist” of that era.

  2. falcon says:

    We forget that men used to fight duels if they felt their honor had been insulted. There was a guy by the name of Dan Sickles who became a general, and not a very good one in the Union Army during the Civil War, who prior to the war shot and killed a man who was having an affair with his wife. He pleaded not guilty by reason of temporary insanity (a novel plea at the time) and was acquitted of the murder charges against him. If memory serves me right, killing a man who was tampering with the affections of your wife was thought to be justifiable. So the fact that Parley Pratt was killed, especially if it was thought that he was trying to abduct the man’s children, would probably be seen as justifiable in that day.
    Another interesting case is James Strang:
    “…….while his career in the Michigan legislature was praised even by his enemies. However, his polygamous lifestyle and sometimes abrasive personality made him many enemies inside his church and out of it, contributing to his ultimate demise……On Monday, June 16, 1856, Strang was waylaid around 7:00 PM on the dock at the harbor of St. James, chief city of Beaver Island, by Wentworth and Bedford, who shot him in the back. All of this was carried out in full view of several officers and men of the USS Michigan, a U.S. Naval vessel docked in the harbor. Not one person on board the ship made any effort to warn or to aid the intended victim.Strang was hit three times: one bullet grazed his head, another lodged in his cheek and a third in his spine. One of the assassins then savagely pistol-whipped the fallen prophet before running aboard the nearby vessel with his companion”

  3. falcon says:

    “Some accused Captain McBlair of the Michigan of complicity in, or at least foreknowledge of, the assassination plot, though no hard evidence of this was ever forthcoming. The so-called “King of Beaver Island” was taken to Voree, where he lived for three weeks, dying on July 9, 1856 at the age of 43. After refusing to deliver Bedford and Wentworth to the local sheriff,[83] McBlair transported them to Mackinac Island, where they were given a mock trial, fined $1.25, released, and then feted by the locals. None of the plotters was ever punished for his crimes.” Wikipedia
    In case people are not familiar with James Strang, he was one of the Mormon leaders who vied for control of the Mormon church after the death of Joseph Smith. He started his own group which claimed to be the “true” restoration; one of many I might add.
    “Strang claimed that he was to occupy the office of king described in the Book of the Law of the Lord. He insisted that this authority was incumbent upon all holders of Joseph Smith’s prophetic office from the beginning of time, and his followers believed that Smith himself was crowned secretly as “king” of the Kingdom of God before his murder. Strang was accordingly crowned in 1850 by his counselor and Prime Minister, an actor named George J. Adams. About 300 people witnessed his coronation, for which he wore a bright red flannel robe topped by a white collar with black speckles. His tin crown was described in one account as “a shiny metal ring with a cluster of glass stars in the front. Strang also sported a breastplate and carried a wooden scepter. He “reigned” for six years……” (Wiki)
    Yes in deed, times were different, weren’t they?

  4. Mike R says:

    I think that for many people Mormonism is viewed as a clanish type of religion which
    has not stepped into the 21st century like they think it should . The current ads that
    feature ordinary men and women who are ” just like you ” are trying to dispel some
    misconceptions about the Mormon people. When this thread mentioned how certain
    non-LDS feared that Mormon men were coming after their women it made me think
    about the life of women who became Mormons, specially those women who became
    plural wives. After reading about the polygamous lifestyle many of these women endured
    I can only tip my hat in respect to them . They struggled with an immense burden, devoted
    mothers who sacrificed so much for their children , all the while having to share their
    husband with other women , all because they were told this was part of the Gospel of Jesus
    Christ. Today’s Mormon women have also been short- changed by their spiritual leaders from
    experiencing the benefits of the true Gospel because of the prospect of their entering a
    polygamous lifestyle in heaven after they die and their husband should decide to re-marry .
    In addition to this dilemma is another arrangement Mormon women find themselves in as
    a result of obeying their prophet ; namely that of being counseled to refrain from talking with
    their Heavenly Mother . Whether telling Her thank you for Her love , or confiding in Her
    for feminine counsel , this is an arrangement that has been declared as inappropriate by
    Mormon hierarchy . May Mormon women seek out the True God and the true Gospel He
    revealed thru His Son .

  5. Kate says:

    One thing Mormons don’t or won’t acknowledge is the fact that they are “anti” Christian. There have been several Mormons post on this board and they trash the doctrines of Christianity and the Bible at every turn. Parley Pratt was murdered by an enraged husband and father. It wasn’t the Christians that did it. As I’ve studied the war of 1838 and what really happened after the murder of Joseph Smith and Hyrum, all I can say is I was horribly misled at church. Mormons murdered. Not just at Mountain Meadows either. Joseph Smith and his group of Mormons did cause fear. He had a militia of 3,000, a secret group of murdering thugs (Danites) and his “avenging angel” and people knew it. We need to understand the time all of this happened too. The country was fairly new. Only 60 years had past since the Revolutionary War and here was Joseph Smith gathering an army and spouting off fiery sermons, I would imagine that put the fear into people. Mormons were not the innocents that we have been taught they were.
    Why do people call Mormonism a cult? Could it be the way Mormons are required to bow down to a man (prophet) putting his words above the Word of God? Maybe the way they are required to eat and drink what they are told? Maybe it’s the Occult symbols plastered all over their temples? One thing is for sure, once you are so far into it, you will believe, say and do anything. One poster here said he would kill if the prophet told him to. Sounds a bit cultish to me.

  6. Rick B says:

    The thing that I find Interesting is this. The LDS leaders Like Pratt, Smith and others would come and “Steal” these women and tell them you need to marry me ind be a plural wife to me in order to be saved. Yet we never read or hear about how these leaders go and seek out husbands and say look, I want to see you and your family saved, and in order to do that, you must join our church, then practice polygamy. This way you can keep your wife and have a few extra on the side. Nope that never happens, instead the leaders like BY, JS, and Pratt feel it would be better just to take the women instead.

    No LDS member today can convince me this was for honest and true purposes other than dirty, filthy men wanted to have sex with as many women as possible. I dont watch Porn or even condone it, But growing up as a child My dad and his dad my grandfather had calenders hanging in there bedrooms on the back doors. They were called Fishing with uncle buck. This uncle Buck would be fishing in a boat with naked and semi naked women. It was OK for my dad and his dad to do this because they justified it by saying, were married and love our wives and these women are not real, not real in the sense that they are here with us. But My mom and grandmother hated these things but just went along as the submissive wives.

    So I know it was not just my parents that did this stuff and do this stuff to this day. You simply cannot say, all these women were for none sexual purposes.

  7. grindael says:

    In their “explanation” for the murder of Pratt, the Pratt family put up a piece called “Eleanor McClain and the murder of Parley P. Pratt”. In that article they say:

    Parley Pratt, having been called by the First Presidency to preside over the Pacific Mission and to set up a gathering place for the Saints in San Jose, arrived in San Francisco on 2 July 1854.

    This is a lie. Pratt actually got to San Francisco in 1851. Most Mormon accounts about Pratt are filled with untruths.

    Though Hector and Eleanor did have marriage problems, they were all as a result of Mormonism. Hector sent his children to his grandparents in New Orleans so that his wife would not abscond with them to Utah, but she went there and tried to take them. She finally succeeded with Pratt’s help, after she left, went to Utah and became Pratt’s 12th “spiritual wife” without getting a divorce. Going back as Pratt’s “spiritual wife” to take them from Hector sent him over the edge. The Pratt family writes:

    “Whatever the legal situation, she thought of herself as an unmarried woman. ”

    But in the eyes of the law, it was an adulterous union. There are all kinds of problems with this whole scenario, which many Mormon sites ignore, one even states that

    “Elenor became acquainted with Parley P. Pratt on one of his missions and divorced her husband, ”

    Mormons then saw conspiracy in Pratt’s murder, and the Fancher Immigrants were a convenient scapegoat. Young, in visiting the MM site in 1861 said, “Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little.”

    Americans were well justified in their criticisms of Mormonism in the nineteenth century, and escalation to violence, was always a tragedy. But in almost every case, it was provoked by the Mormons.

  8. Brian says:

    A fine article, Sharon. You’re right; it is refreshing to see Dr. Mason speak of how there are valid differences between Christian and Mormon teachings. Hence, there are valid concerns on the part of Christians.

    The subject of Parley Pratt is interesting, isn’t it? I guess when it is boiled down to its simplest, Parley Pratt was a victim of domestic violence. In this case, the proverbial jealous husband.

  9. Mike R says:

    Falcon, I think that the case involving Mormon leader, James Strang, serves as another
    example of why we can’t take the spiritual witness of sincere Mormons seriously as a
    means of evaluating prophets . No doubt this prophet gained a following largely because
    of the personal revelation that individuals felt concerning him. This serves as yet another
    sobering reminder of why we reach out in love to those who follow false prophets. If not
    for the grace of God go I .

  10. falcon says:

    I kind of dig this James Strang in a perverse sort of way because he really demonstrates to us a sort of Joseph Smith wannabe. This is what Mormonism has produced and like Smith he was shot to death so I guess he could be assigned martyr status too.

    “Like Joseph Smith, James Strang reported numerous visions, unearthed and translated allegedly ancient metal plates using the Urim and Thummim, and claimed to have restored long-lost spiritual knowledge to humankind. Like Smith, he presented witnesses to authenticate the records he claimed to have received. Unlike Smith, however, Strang offered his plates to the public for examination. The non-Mormon Christopher Sholes–inventor of the typewriter and editor of a local newspaper–perused Strang’s “Voree Plates”, a minuscule brass chronicle Strang said he had been led to by a vision in 1845. Sholes offered no opinion on Strang’s find, but described the would-be prophet as “honest and earnest” and opined that his followers ranked “among the most honest and intelligent men in the neighborhood.” Strang published his translation of these plates as the “Voree Record,” purporting to be the last testament of one “Rajah Manchou of Vorito,” who had lived in the area centuries earlier and wished to leave a brief statement for posterity. While many scoffed, Strangites assert that two modern scholars have affirmed that the text on the plates appears to represent a genuine, albeit unknown, language. This assertion has not been verified by independent sources, however. The Voree Plates disappeared around 1900, and their current whereabouts are unknown.
    Well we all know how Mormons groove on revelation and James Strang was one who was into the tradition.
    “Strang received several other revelations, which while never formally added to his church’s Doctrine and Covenants, are nevertheless accepted as scripture by his followers.” (attribution Wiki)

  11. falcon says:

    We can learn a lot about the “spirit of the times” and the context in which Mormonism was birthed and subsequent conflicts between Mormons and “gentiles”. James Strang was baptized by Joseph Smith and laid claim to being Smith’s chosen one to fill Smith’s office. So when we take a look at Strang and some of the close followers of Smith we get an idea of why Mormons were viewed as being somewhat odd and a fraudulent religious sect.

    “Strang next testified that on September 1, 1845, an angel of God appeared to him and showed him the location of “the record of my people in whose possession thou dwellest.” Accordingly, Strang went on September 13 to the indicated site, located in Voree south of the White River on what is now referred to as the “Hill of Promise.” He led four witnesses to a large oak on the hillside, inviting them to examine the ground around the tree carefully before digging for the plates. All four later testified that they could discern no evidence of digging or other disturbance of the ground.”
    “After removing the tree, Strang’s companions dug down approximately three feet, where they discovered three small brass plates in a case of baked clay. Strang subsequently claimed to have deciphered this record, which he said was authored by an ancient Native American named “Rajah Manchou of Vorito.”
    The average Christian or gentile living in these times, especially when being made aware of polygamy, wouldn’t look with fondness upon Mormons or Mormonism. Adding to what Kate wrote above regarding Smith’s militia and his megalomania for not only religious but secular authority and power, clashes were inevitable.

  12. bws71 says:

    Mountain Meadow Massacre? Polygamy? Really? This post is drumming up stuff that is so far removed, so irrelevant to modern mormons I can hardly bring myself to comment. Some of the topics on this blog certainly discuss new and important issues. Many others are dusty, musty rehashes of tired diatribes. The exact details of PPP and his choices and his character are unknowable in my opinion. The historical record on both sides is incomplete and biased, like all historical records. I don’t feel I’m in a position to completely judge the character any man, least of all one I’ve never met. Even if everything bad ever said about PPP or JS or anyone else were true, this does not change my deep, personal experience with God and LDS theology. Thus the point of this blog post becomes moot to most LDS. I’m not converted to or by the character of my leaders, past or present. I’m am drawn to God by his Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit.

    If Mormon Coffee is good, why is it so bitter? This is my third attempt at participating in this blog. Each time I’ve left disappointed in the spirit of antagonism and fault finding. Not the sort of dialogue I find interesting, enlightening or productive. Rather it seems very self serving. Not sure who the intended audience is, but open minded, progressive LDS who are interested in an exchange of ideas and viewpoints with the intent of understanding each other better is not among them.


  13. Mike R says:

    BWS, thanks for your comments. I would like to respectfully remind you that while
    some who post here on Mormon coffee maybe less than respectful please under-
    stand that everyone is guest here , with many different experiences with Mormonism .
    Your caricature of a few who may post here could be correct, but I assure you it is’nt
    an accurate description of those who run this ministry . Either MormonISM is true or
    it’s not, either Mormon leaders are the sole true spiritual leaders that God reveals His
    saving truths through, or they’re false prophets . The information this ministry provides
    allows people to evaluate the claims of MormonISM . You may not find some on this blog
    to be respectful ; so you can ignore this blog. But you can not ignore the information this
    ministry provides . May you understand the difference .
    Concerning your statement that it does’nt matter to you if everything “bad” that is said about
    PPP, or Joseph Smith is true that this would’nt matter to you etc. You could’nt be more
    wrong on this ! One quick example: IF Joseph Smith fell into error concerning his teachings
    on who God is , or how a person can receive eternal life, that would make him a false prophet.
    You would be embracing beliefs that were inaccurate , false [ see 2 Pt.2:1 ] . That would
    directly affect your relationship with God and chance for eternal life . This is such a clear
    position that even a Mormon apostle has agreed : ” false prophets lead people astray , men
    choose , at the peril of their salvation, the prophets they follow. “

  14. Kate says:

    “I kind of dig this James Strang in a perverse sort of way because he really demonstrates to us a sort of Joseph Smith wannabe. This is what Mormonism has produced.”

    Mormonism is STILL producing this. There is a guy in Great Britain who claims the angel Moroni visited him and delivered to him some plates on his doorstep if I remember correctly. It was a record of the inhabitants of the British Isles and Stonehenge was actually built by these people. He’s extremely serious and he believes Joseph Smith was a true prophet yet never a polygamist. It’s quite interesting. His “revelations” are so similar to Joseph Smith. His translating the Book of Jeraneck is so similar to Smith’s. It’s interesting that Smith wannabes are still popping up after 180 years. This self proclaimed prophet’s name is Matthew Gill. I’m wondering if any LDS would give him credibility. After all, his story is VERY close to Joseph Smith’s claims.

    This blog is for anyone wanting to learn the real history and doctrines of Mormonism. Mountain Meadows, Polygamy, false doctrines, cover ups, all need to be told, especially for people like me who was raised in the LDS church and was a Mormon for 40 years and had been told the lies (at church) about Mountain Meadows and how no Mormon killed anyone, it was the Indians. Yes even the truth about Polygamy was lied about. I didn’t know Joseph Smith was a polygamist until I was 38 years old! Why the secrecy? He was married to 2 of my family members and I didn’t even know about it! I was told all my life (in church) that polygamy started with Brigham Young and the move West because there were so many widows. This stuff is not irrelevant.

  15. f_melo says:


    The post was talking about “anti mormonism”, and where it comes from. That´s why that information is relevant – because those sentiments linger in one way or another to this day. It´s also relevant to remind mormons that they should stop worshipping Thomas S. Monson and the 14 “apostles” or to consider them people to be imitated – i mean, imitated from what you hear from the pulpit but not from their real lives since 99% of the mormon people(at least outside of Utah) don´t know them personally and haven´t spent any personal time with them.
    Also, if your belief in the mormon church comes solely from your experience with god and its theology, why do you sing “praise to the man”? Aren´t you ashamed of praising such a flawed and sinful man? We all sin against God and do things we should repent of every day, that´s why praise and worship should be reserved to Jesus alone.
    Last, if mormons are so patriotic and put so much emphasis on keeping the laws of the land, what was Pratt doing marrying an already married woman? What about the sacred organization marriage is? Mormonism respects what it wants to respect.

  16. Kate says:

    I always learn from your posts! Reading through the last one reminds me that the whole truth is never told when it comes to Mormon leaders. I am no longer shocked by statements made by LDS prophets.

    “Young, in visiting the MM site in 1861 said, “Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little.”

    Does this not show that Brigham Young had something to do with Mountain Meadows? Yet Mormons will defend him to the end and insist he knew nothing about it. I was sure he knew nothing about it because that is what I had been taught. Parley Pratt wasn’t the innocent that he’s been made out to be. I would dare say that even in today’s society there are men who would kill the man who illegally married his wife and then came back to steal his children. The more I study things the more I am finding that the Mormons did indeed provoke most of it.

  17. Rick B says:

    I can tell you right now, You might be implying that some Christians here are less than respectful and maybe they are. Maybe even me, But I can assure you, that many a mormon has come here and been very disrespectful and I would love to see a lot of things expoused, sadly for what ever reason I dont think they will be.

    Also if you have never been to the Fairlds boards, go their and see how the LDS treat Non-LDS. I have meet many LDS who refuse to go to that board since so many LDS are so mean and hateful it embarrasses them. Then last example, their was a blog called the Mormon Hater Show, He was saying some very evil hateful things about Me, Bill Mc and some others. I was told he was reported to his Church, His blog did shut down for a while, then started back up. Then it shut down and restarted under a new name and was back attacking people again. So it does go both ways.

    I will be the first to say, Right or wrong, good or bad, Christians do and say stupid things, But will you admit, LDS do that? I dont think you will. Many LDS try and act as if they cannot do no wrong and are perfect, yet they are quick to point out the short comings of us Christians.

  18. bws71 says:

    Driving in to work and thinking about my disappointment and frustration with Mormon Coffee I realized where I think it comes from. When I first stumbled on this site a few years ago I was interested in an academic and dispassionate exchange of ideas among interesting and pleasant people of different Christian traditions. I thought I had found it. But, when I look at it objectively, I realize that expectation was based on wishful thinking, not reality. I contniue to be frustrated in this desired exchange because I want this forum to be something it is not. *My bad really*, not ‘yours.’ It is like being frustrated by a pet bird that can’t fetch my slippers or like being frustrated with a screwdriver that can’t light my gas grill. “Well, screwdrivers are not designed with that purpose.” Mormon Coffee is not for people like me. Why did I think it was? It isn’t about exchanging ideas and understanding how others view things with the intent to become more informed. It isn’t about repsectful persuasion among intellectual and spiritual equals. It is about the ‘right’ educating the ‘wrong.’

    What would be the mission statement of Mormon Coffee? I think I heard someone say “Revealing the ‘Truth” about Mormon history, doctrine and practice.” Fine, but it is your truth, your version of the truth. This seems rather presumptuous. To assume ANYONE can reveal historical truth with the level of accuracy some claim seems out of touch with reality.

    I don’t know who the audience of this blog is but it isn’t people like me. I may as well just accept this isn’t a productive place to visit. It is just a little sad to me.

  19. Mike R says:

    BWS, you were correct when you said that this blog is’nt for everyone. It is for those
    non-LDS who want to know if Mormonism advertises the true gospel of Jesus or not;
    it’s for those Mormons who have come find that eternal life is not found in the teachings
    of Mormon prophets and apostles, and have trusted the true Jesus Christ and His simple
    Gospel revealed in the New Testament. It’s for those former Mormons who are wondering
    and who may be confused over how to know that God loves them and how they can experience
    complete forgiveness from God. It’s for those Mormons who are concerned if Jesus’ warning
    in Matt.7:15 ; 24:11 is relevant for today , and if so how does affect them .
    You totally miss the point of this ministry concerning Mormon history. You might re-read
    Kate’s comments above as they are indicative of the experiences of to many Mormons.

  20. Kate says:

    I did say that it was about showing the truth of Mormonism. This blog and the Christian posters here have helped me so much in my search for God’s truth. In my 40 years as a Mormon, the things taught to me at church were so whitewashed. For example, Joseph Smith did absolutely NOTHING wrong and he was murdered at Carthage Jail. I now know the truth of what happened. I was taught that Mormons were horribly persecuted just for their beliefs and that they did absolutely NOTHING wrong. Truth matters. I didn’t know Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by putting an ordinary rock that he found in a neighbor’s well into his hat and shoved his face into it. None of this was ever taught at church. Why the deception? Where’s the honesty? The God of Christianity is not the god of Mormonism. The Jesus of Christianity is not the Jesus of Mormonism. For me, finding the true and living Christ of the Bible is more important than all the lies I was taught. It’s really all that matters to me. All of my family on both sides are still in Mormonism and it is so sad for me to watch them still believing the lies. If I were to tell my own mother how Joseph really translated the plates, she would call me a liar. These things are still being believed. Most Mormons don’t study or care what has been doctrine or what has changed. Most wouldn’t be caught dead on a site like this because it isn’t “church approved” I was like that too. Jesus says HE is the way, the truth and the light and NO ONE comes to the Father but through him. That’s it. It’s simple.

  21. Kate says:

    One only has to open the Journal of Discourses or any of the church publications really to find the contradictions and false teachings and revelation of leaders. None of it lines up. God is not a God of confusion. Mormonism is one big mess of confusion. The true version of the truth is in the church’s own publications. The thing that Mormons fail to realize is that the Christians only show what leaders have said and revealed. There is nothing “made up” , no lies are being told. Every comment can be backed up by a reference. It’s so sad that Mormons won’t see it for what it is. Mental gymnastics, twisting, spinning, or flat out denial of what is right there in black and white has to be done. Truth is simple. Joseph Smith was either a prophet of God or he wasn’t. After studying the evidence and testing him against the scriptures (Bible) it is clear that he wasn’t. May one day you put aside all of the confusion and find the true and living Christ of the Bible. There’s nothing like it! 🙂

  22. bws71 says:

    Mike R – I appreciate your comments. In your post at 10:35 you summarized who you feel this blog is for. You’re right, my demographic is not among those groups. No wonder I don’t have a useful experience here. It isn’t meant for me. Do you know of a mormon-friendly yet intellectually rigorous forum for people who don’t fit your target audience? I don’t want a nicey-nice “everyone is right, no one is wrong” exchange. That is also of no use to me. I would like an exchange between equals where a person’s comments are not interpreted in the most negative and extreme manner possible – a little more grace. I feel like my understanding of God has been greatly enhanced and deepened by my exchanges with my friends of other faiths. I have persuaded them to change their minds on certain topics and they have changed mine – real growth towards “the Truth” – something none of us have fully grasped.

    F Melo – I do not nor do I believe any LDS would agree that they ‘worship’ their leaders? I don’t know your intent but I think these types of inaccurate accusations stop the ears of thinking, feeling mormons. I see a big difference between ‘praise’ and ‘worship.’

    RickB – Mormons absolutely shoot their mouths off. You could tell me about any sort of ill behavior you’ve witnessed from a member of my church and I’d believe you. We are neither angels, capable of no wrong nor devils, who only do bad. We’re just people.

  23. bws71 says:

    Kate – I can’t speak to your experience. As far as ‘surprising’ historical facts about the church shattering my testimony – I feel like I’ve read and heard it all. Nothing I’ve read on this site or others like it is new to me. Yet my belief in key LDS doctrines remains. I feel my faith is based on a spiritual conviction gained through personal experience with God. I’ve come to a point where I don’t care about what we can or can’t vaguely make out through the darkened glass of history when it comes to my church – because it has no bearing on my spiritual life. It would be like you hearing an astrophysicist or an evolutionary psychologist tell you about their ‘proof’ that God does not exist. Do you care? Is your faith based on the presence or absence of empirical data – evidence? I suspect no. I suspect you believe in God because you feel Him moving undeniably in your life. This is how I feel about my faith. Christ is moving me, undeniably, towards Him – if not through, than at least despite my church affiliation =)

    I care about now, today – who I am and what I believe now. Mormons made terrible mistakes in the past – certainly. Whether those mistakes are the ones made popular in the non-mormon version of their history or some other mistakes doesn’t matter to me. I care about loving my neighbor, caring for my family and continuing to draw closer and closer to the savior, allowing Him to bring my heart and my life ever more in harmony with His. You likely feel the same.

  24. Kate says:

    Thanks for your comments to me. One thing that stands out is that you seem to dismiss everything in Mormonism up to this point. What is discussed here is the very foundation of Mormonism. If you dismiss the foundation, what holds your church together for you? Some Mormons can just look the other way when the whole truth comes out. Some of us can’t. I’m interested in truth. I’m interested in the true and living Christ. I’m interested in being saved by Grace through my faith in Christ. I am no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine Ephesians 4:14 My foundation is solid now. I have the foundation that Christ set up, passed down to his Apostles, who passed it down to the early church fathers, and so on. The foundation of Christianity is solid.

  25. Mike R says:

    BWS, thanks for your comments. I have stated many times on Mormon Coffee how I
    feel about the Mormon people, whichi s that they are decent people who are striving to
    serve God. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they have been detoured by their prophet
    and apostles from learning the true gospel , the one that Jesus’ original apostles spread
    to the world . If following what Mormon apostles teach about moral living was all there
    was to being a Christian , then I might become a Mormon, but it is’nt enough . If , ( and I
    say if ) Mormon apostles have introduced a God that is not the One True God , then
    everything else is’nt going to matter far as eternal life is concerned.
    As far as your opinion about what past Mormon prophets and apostles have taught not
    being all that important today, and , to you personally , I would caution you on that type
    of mind-set. Considering the alleged unbroken chain of Mormon priesthood authority that
    you were baptized with , it would matter a great deal if one of your past prophets apostacized
    for teaching false doctrine , and even without that scenario to consider you still must know
    that today’s Mormon authorities advertise their past brothers as being faithful in their duty as
    reliable spiritual guides in disclosing truth from God. Matt.7:15 ; 1 Jn.4:1 is relevant today .

  26. Brian says:

    Dear BWS71,

    It is good to have you here at this forum. It sounds as if you’re interested in some of the topics discussed here, but sometimes disappointed by the forum’s participants. And you’re considering not visiting here any more.

    I think many here would be happy to have you stay. Of course, it is up to you, and I respect your decision.

    If you decide to not visit again, or at least to take a break, I would like to offer a suggestion for your consideration, BWS. Take some time to read either John or Romans in the Bible. If the KJV is a challenge to understand, consider a newer translation, such as the NIV or ESV. And, without anything to deny, prove, and no pressure, spend some time in one of these books. Pray each day for God to reveal himself to you in the pages of his word.

    God bless you, BWS71.

  27. bws71 says:

    Kate – whether or not PPP married someone else’s wife or exactly how the book of mormon was translated is not what *I* would consider the ‘foundation of Mormonism.’ To me the foundation of Mormonism is Jesus Christ. You may feel I’m parroting the language of evangelical Christianity here, but I feel I’m simply revealing to you what is in my heart. Christ is such a part of my life. “The true, living Christ.” I think of Him and how he informs my actions and thoughts on a daily basis. I owe Him everything good in my life. He is the center of my religious experience and the object of my worshp.

    On the other hand, though I’ve read some inspiring things written by PPP (for example) – there are none that I can quote, none that I care about enough to remember. The details of his life are certainly not important to me. Let’s be clear, *I don’t believe all the bad press.* I don’t believe JS or BY were bad people with evil intent either. But, like all rumors and gossip – some of the bad press is probably true. Oh well. My faith is not based in man or men. Nor is yours I imagine.

    (I realize the nuances of what I’m trying to get across are likely going to be lost here. I know I’m exposing numerous targets for attack. I hope you can get a feel of what I mean.)

  28. bws71 says:

    MikeR – What teachings spoken in the 2011 general conference did you find most contrary to what you consider the true gospel? The teachings from modern prophets and apostles are what modern LDSs believe and care most about.

    To be clear I believe past LDS leaders to have been “faithful in their duty as reliable spiritual guides” – but I also allow them to be human beings, capable or error. Which of all the said and did is truth and what is error then? This is up to the current church leadership to endorse and the individual members to confirm for themselves through personal revelation. (I know, controversial topic.)

  29. Rick B says:

    You really should care about how the LDS church was founded and who said what. If your leaders did and are teaching a false gospel and a different Jesus, then that means you are believing in a false Jesus and a false gospel and as a result will spend eternity apart from the true Jesus and God the father. So yes it matters more than you think.

  30. Mike R says:

    BWS , I’m getting a mixed message from you. First you said that you really did’nt care
    if everything bad ever said about past Mormon leaders were true, ( this would include the
    charge that they are false prophets). Then you said that you believed these men were
    reliable and trustworthy in teaching their followers, as spiritual guides. Considering that
    Jesus warned of future false prophets, and that most of these would claim to have received
    their messages from angels or God , it is absolutely necessary we take Jesus’ warning
    seriously and test anyone who claims to be a prophet, that includes your past prophets,
    because they readily referred to in Church curriculum today , to name one example .
    The fact that these men are not perfect is not the focus , all men are imperfect. But when a
    prophet claims to be revealing truth he got from directly from God then it had better be
    be in accord with the Scriptures , otherwise it’s his own idea and thus it would be false
    doctrine — Gal.1-9 ; 2 Pt.2:1 — there is a consequence for embracing false doctrine ,
    especially when it concerns who God is or how a person receives eternal life .
    Mormon prophets and apostles have failed in this area , and despite their emphasis on
    moral living, they are false prophets . To be true to Jesus you must follow Him
    and dismiss these men from your life and not submit to them . Jesus asked all of us to
    count the cost and follow Him, this will harder for some than others . It will difficult for
    you, but it will be worth it .

  31. falcon says:

    The foundation of your faith seems, at least in part, established on your spiritual experiences. fmelo, one of our former Mormon posters here, was kind enough to share with me on this blog and personal e mails, about his personal spiritual experiences in Mormonism. Actually that particular topic is a favorite of mine because people of all sorts of religious persuasions have spiritual experiences which they contend validates their religious dogma. fmelo came to some very interesting and sobering conclusions about his spiritual experiences while a Mormon. I find his testimony regarding this quite compelling because he had the courage to examine what was going on and also that his conclusion didn’t turn him cynical and lead him to reject religion all together.
    I really don’t know what kind of discussion you want to have with Christians? Do you want to have some deep, meaningful dialogue that will scratch some sort of itch you have? While meaning no disrespect to you, it’s kind of difficult for me to have a deep, meaningful discussion with someone who believes that “God” lives on or near the planet Kolob with his band of goddess wives with whom he practices some sort of reproductive act(s) in order to produce spirit offspring. I could go on.
    So given that, what do you want to talk about? What’s the basis for the discussion? I’d just be feeding into what I see as your spiritual pathology. You’re really better off having these deep meaningful discussions with other Mormons. You’re on the same page regarding the most fundamental of doctrines, the nature of God.
    I can see why you don’t want to visit Mormon history. It’s embarrassing and doesn’t reinforce what you want to believe. So you pull out the old brush-off and minimize it as not important.

  32. falcon says:

    Your “Yawn, I’m so bored with all of you and what you discuss here” attitude is an interesting tactic. I see it as your attempt to ignore those events that formed the foundation of Mormonism. It’s also a subtle put-down and a way of elevating yourself. You’re so much more “deep” than these Christians who only want to talk about Joseph Smith’s magic rock, his polygamy and those dusty old episodes that happened so long ago and certainly don’t have any real meaning in today’s world. Besides, we don’t know what really happened do we? Casting a little doubt is also a means of saying we can never get to the truth of an historical event.
    As Kate points out, it wouldn’t be so bad if the LDS church were honest regarding the history of the religion. But because so much of it points to an inane and intellectually vapid bunch of religious entrepreneurs who resembled a bad night at karaoke, I’d say uncovering the facts is of utmost importance.
    Hopefully knowing and understanding what has gone on in the forming of what the LDS church is today will lead Mormons to reject the Kolob god and his Kolob Jesus offspring and to the discovery of who God really is and to know His Son Jesus Christ. In knowing this they can then be led to God’s plan of salvation and eternal life.

  33. f_melo says:


    What i mean by LDS people worshipping their leaders is that they are set as the ultimate example of how someone should live their lives and their words are never examined but blindly believed. What mormons feel about the prophet and twelve apostles goes far beyond simple respect. They are most times looked upon as pop-stars covered in celestial dust. That comes out even worse when you realize most members of the church don´t know them personally and yet they believe they are spiritually superior(supposing they´ve seen the resurrected Jesus, of which they never speak of but in code language – “i´m a special witness of Jesus Christ” – but what does that mean, and why don´t they say it plainly like the true apostles of the new testament did?).
    It´s pretty difficult to a decent conversation when you consider the church´s true history – it truly becomes hard to be taken seriously. Where is the evidence for the BoM? How can we compare manuscripts, traditions, etc.? How can we take mormon prophets seriously when they all keep changing their minds while claiming to be hearing from God? How can we have a serious conversation when your leaders have clearly misrepresented and denigrated historical Christianity, and told bald-face lies about the origin of its creeds? Also what makes it all far more complicated are the mormons that come here pretend that all is well, put a lot of spin on things and disappear without answering the most pressing questions. They obviously don´t deal with those question because it would have to make them admit the mormon church is false, there´s no other conclusion, especially under the light of Biblical Christianity.

  34. falcon says:

    OK, so I’m really curious as to what a Mormon would consider a really deep spiritual topic worthy of discussion?
    Might it be food storage? Could it be the role of women in the modern LDS church? Would a Mormon like to discuss what the steps are to becoming a god? Could we kick around the purpose and meaning of the temple ceremonies? Should we talk about whether or not a Mormon has the option to wear the sacred undergarment? We could also discuss the Word of Wisdom and if it’s really applicable in today’s world?
    I mean, what in the world would we talk about, grace? What’s the point of that since God’s grace to a Mormon means something entirely different in the context of the LDS religion and becoming a god than it does in Christianity. Would a Mormon like to talk about the atonement? Again, the place and meaning of the atonement is totally different in Mormonism than it is in Christianity, so what would the point of that discussion be?
    So do these Mormons who are looking for deep spiritual discussions with Christians that will lead to intellectual satisfaction want to talk about Mormon topics or Christian topics.
    There is, in my estimation, only one viable spiritual topic of discussion with a Mormon and that is, “Who is God?” That’s it! Any other discussions of purely spiritual matters will result in cross-cultural communication that will be confused because the participants have a totally different view of who God is.
    So that’s why I don’t mess around much with Mormons who want to talk about matters that have no similar point of reference. I can discuss these matters with Christians who hold to the same basic set of beliefs, but Mormons?
    It’s pointless!

  35. f_melo says:


    As i was on my way out of mormonism, the last thing i wanted was another belief based on subject spiritual feelings. Of course if i believe the Bible i have to admit that God was behind what happened and it was of a spiritual nature – that doesn´t mean that i believe in Jesus because i had an experience like a mormon testimony. I actually did a lot of historical research to find out the reliability of the Bible, if Jesus was a historical person, etc. While all is not clear archaeologically, historically, etc., the Bible and historic Christianity are very solid – one doesn´t need to feel Jesus to be the Messiah, a person can honestly say that the evidence is overwhelming(and indeed it is) that Jesus was a real man who performed miracles, proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah, died in real history under Pontius Pilate, and was resurrected on the third day, fact that was personally attested to by his disciples and about 500 more people, if not more. So, i don´t need a mormon testimony to believe in Jesus. My faith is objectively verifiable, not blind.
    Also, mormons only care about what their current leaders are saying because they are too lazy to learn what their past leaders have taught and they are also afraid of dealing with the implications of it, because many mormons hate polygamy and many of the things that happened in the beginning of the church. So, by saying that what your current leaders say is all a mormon should worry about is a cowardly way of not being responsible for what you believe and who you support.

  36. bws71 says:

    Thank you for the invitation. I’ve read the entire KJV multiple times, the old testament two or three times, the new testament and the epistles 6-7 times. I’ve read a fair amount from the NIV and I like much of the language there and find some verses much clearer than the KJV.

    Of possible interest to you, I credit the gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John) as instrumental in my salvation. I read them for the first time as a teenager in the church’s seminary program. I came from an inactive part member, part atheist home. The power and truth of Christ’s words rocked my world. I feel God reached out to me through his Scriptures and saved me from a path that would have led to certain misery.

    It may also be of interest to you to know that I feel LDS teachings and doctrines are MORE biblical than what I understand of evangelical interpretations. I find a few key evangelical doctrines directly contradict Christ’s own words. When people claim Mormon’s don’t believe in historical or biblical Christianity, I usually snort. It all depends on whose interpretation of the bible, who’s version of history.

    I appreciate all the comments since yesterday. I have responses that you may find interesting or useful. Unlike what I took from Falcon’s last comment, I think we have lots of interesting opportunities for discussion. I realize this thread has been jacked. I’m still very interested in pursuing this conversation. Anyone who’d like to continue to engage me, please contact me on my personal email. Brent(at)smithnet.us

  37. Kate says:

    It is extremely important for Mormons to care about what their past prophets have done and said. I don’t agree with the whole ” Well….he’s just a man and men aren’t perfect and they make mistakes.” Let’s take Brigham Young’s Adam/God doctrine for example, he revealed this as scripture no matter how Mormons today like to spin or twist it. People died believing Adam was God. Brigham Young taught a false doctrine. What does Jesus say about this? Matthew 7:18-20. Adam/God was a bad fruit. Jesus says a false prophet produces bad fruit and by their fruits ye shall know them. A true prophet can not bear both bad and good fruit. It’s either all good or it’s all bad. How many bad fruits did Joseph Smith produce? How many bad fruits are Mormons allowing for any certain prophet before they are considered a false prophet. Right, it doesn’t matter. These are the words of Jesus himself. This is why Mormons need to think and care about everything that has been said and done by past prophets. It really is Jesus or Joseph.

  38. Kate says:

    One thing that just entered my mind is the fact that many different sects of Mormonism still believe Adam is God. Aaron asked a young FLDS man about this in an interview in Manti. Many sects of Mormonism don’t even acknowledge Brigham Young as a prophet in the first place. Growing up I was aware of the FLDS (Kingston clan) and the RLDS back east, but I really thought that there were only 3 sects of Mormonism and I was always taught the other 2 sects were false with false prophets because they didn’t have the divine authority that Brigham Young had when he took over. I was taught that Brigham Young was the one God had chosen. I’m sure followers of every sect of Mormonism believes they alone have the authority from God. So it’s a little confusing when there are so many FLDS who believe the LDS are apostate for turning away from polygamy and other doctrines and the RLDS who also dumped a lot of Joseph Smith’s teachings and then the LDS who can’t bring themselves to just dump this stuff, they have to lie by omission or say it really didn’t happen that way, and all along it’s right there in black and white in LDS publications. I think if I were ever to go back and believe in Joseph Smith again, I would have to be FLDS because they have kept the original teachings. Never do they throw any of their prophets under the bus, but shout out loud and proud what they believe and have kept what was started by Mormonisms founder. This Ministry and others like it have their hands full in witnessing to all these different sects of Mormonism. Starting at the beginning with Joseph Smith is absolutely necessary.

  39. falcon says:

    It seems that our Mormon poster BWS71 wants, with one sweep of his hand, to dismiss any information presented about Mormonism that is of a historical nature. In his view it happened a long time ago, it’s musty and dusty, it’s point of view driven and has no real relevance to modern day Mormonism. That’s pretty convenient isn’t it. Just get rid of everything that led to Mormonism being what it is today and then really relevant, meaningful, and emotional and intellectually satisfying discussions can take place. All sorts of ear tickling possibilities as I see it.
    So I take it from his last post that what he really wants folks to contact him personally to have discussions about/from the Bible and the foundation for Mormonism he says is found there. Does that mean that the BoM and revelation by Mormon prophets is off the table in these discussions? It’s strictly going to be a discussion based on God’s revealed Word, the Holy Bible, right? Will the Joseph Smith KJV of the Bible be the “translation” of choice?
    He tells us that he’s found more of a foundation for Mormonism in the Bible than for orthodox Christianity. That’s a curious thing because I can’t find Mormonism in the Bible at all. Will someone point me to the passages dealing with the apostles practicing polygamy as the means to achieving personal deification? I’d like to read about Christian temples where first century Christians practiced Free Masonry rituals. I would like to examine the passages dealing with Heavenly Mother, spiritual procreation and sinful men becoming gods with their own planetary systems to rule.
    Yup, the OT and NT are just chocked full of Mormonism. You just have to be a little creative and be willing to read literally, between the lines.

  40. Mike R says:

    Kate, seems rather simple to see this behavior by Mormon leaders succumbing to
    dispensing false doctrine to their followers, when you’re free from the control of
    these men. But to those sincere Mormons who are still submitting to their prophets
    it is another picture altogether as they can’t see this aberrant behavior at all . No doubt
    fear of God’s chastisement for questioning His mouthpiece plays the major role in so
    many Mormon lives . No wonder Jesus took time to issue a warning about false prophets.
    You referenced a doctrine that Brigham Young encouraged people to consider, namely
    that Adam produced Jesus’ spiritual body and his physical body . This false teaching was
    embraced by many Mormons ( thankfully some had the common sense to reject it ) . It led
    to Mormons worshipping Adam . Talk about submission to a prophet’s authority ! It took
    years but this worship was finally rooted out of the church ( there’s probably still some
    who worship Adam but they keep it to themselves ). The religious organization that my wife
    was a member of had a similar episode . God’s sole mouthpiece, His modern day spokesman
    and ” channel of communication ” advocated the worship of Jesus for decades ( 1879-1950’s)
    then this doctrine was changed ! The reason ? God had revealed new light , Prov.4:18 was
    cited as proof . This is a stark reminder of the spiritual deception that false prophets can
    generate emotionally over the lives of their followers because submission to the prophet equals
    submission to God, reject the prophet’s authority is to reject God’s spiritual guidance . May
    the Mormon people walk completely over to Jesus away from their prophet.

  41. falcon says:

    Excellent post. Do you think that our Mormon poster friend bws would, like he seems to be proposing, want to have a discussion regarding Mormon doctrine using the Bible only? That is, no appealing to the BoM, the Doctrine and Covenants, the BoA or the writings/proclamations of Mormon prophets.
    A Mormon trying to understand the Bible in a Mormon context is going to have a steep hill to climb. That’s why we get all of these creative and fanciful interpretations of Scripture from Mormons. They have to torture the Scriptures to come up with any sort of plausible explanation for Mormon doctrine.
    We all remember the infamous David Koresh and his Branch Dividians. It was said that he had the Bible memorized. At the very least, he knew the Bible well. He was creative, crafty and very convincing and confident.
    Jude wrote that we should contend earnestly for the faith. Paul told Timothy to instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines. We are to hold fast to the truth of the gospel which has been once and finally delivered to true Believers in Jesus.
    In the 2,000 years since our Lord’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension, false prophets have arisen. They always have a new and improved way of interpreting the Scripture or a special revelation that they say confirms their take on the gospel message.
    The heretics drove the Church Fathers crazy with their slippery arguments and preposterous and convoluted arguments. If someone is intent on using creative Biblical interpretation methods and/or personal revelation as a means of supporting their proposals, the chance of having a meaningful discussion is nil.

  42. Brian says:

    Dear Brent (BWS),

    “Christ is such a part of my life. ‘The true, living Christ.’ I think of Him and how he informs my actions and thoughts on a daily basis. I owe Him everything good in my life. He is the center of my religious experience and the object of my worship.”

    Thanks for sharing this with us. You’ve said that everything which is good in your life you owe to Jesus. Would you like to describe these good things?

    You have also told us that you worship Jesus. To you, who is Jesus? Is Jesus God?

  43. Kate says:

    Believe me I know what you are saying. I have been where faithful Mormons are and I have been through the process of getting out. It is easy for me to see both sides of this. One thing that I didn’t understand is the “by their fruits ye shall know them.” The Mormon Missionaries use this passage all the time, but it means something totally different to a Mormon. I also had a hard time that first year because I thought rejecting the prophet was rejecting God. It takes time to get out of that mindset.

    I would like to see where Mormonism is in the Bible also. It isn’t there, I’ve looked. It’s also sad to me when Mormons try and dismiss everything in Mormonism’s past and just go by today. The past prophets, teachings and doctrines are the foundation of Mormonism. How can a faith be strong with no foundation? I know bws71 says his foundation is Jesus. If this is true, then why the need for Mormonism? Why the need for the prophet today? Yes it’s good to have a little food storage, have a little charity, give to the poor, be prepared for an emergency, but these are not the doctrines of Mormonism. I’d like to sit in on the general conferences of other Mormon sects just to compare. I wonder if their conferences are made up of good advice, doing good works, or are there actually new revelations by their prophets? Are they preaching Mormon doctrines? Just a thought.

  44. Ralph says:

    I believe in the Bible and I believe in Paul when he taught that Jesus was Adam (1 Cor 15:42-49 NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV). Wow, does that mean I am not a ‘Christian’?

    It’s all to do with what is actually meant by what is said. BY taught the ‘Adam/God’ discourse and believed it, but what did he actually mean? In the first instance this was mentioned he also said that he could not explain it any further as it would be too much for people to handle – ie they would not understand it. So did he actually mean that Heavenly Father and Adam (ie the first man on this earth) were one and the same, or did he mean something else like Paul taught about Jesus.

    Remember the word ‘adam’ means ‘man’. If that is one meaning, BYs teachings do not have to mean that Heavenly Father and Adam are the same being when looked at in that light, albeit they are ambiguous, so you can interpret it which ever way you want to.

    As far as the OP goes – if it’s stating that all of the violence against the LDS church started because of the practise of polygamy, then what about the Haun’s Mill massacre and the driving of the LDS out of Missouri by the extermination order, and the other mob attacks that occurred before these, which all happened before polygamy became ‘popular’ in the LDS circles?

  45. Ralph says:


    You gave a quote from BY at the site of the massacre and asked – ”Does this not show that Brigham Young had something to do with Mountain Meadows?” Let’s look at it in context. A cross was erected at the site as a memorial and Wilford Woodruff, who later became President of the Church, claimed that upon reading the inscription on the cross, which read, “Vengeance is mine, thus sayeth the Lord. I shall repay”, Young responded, “Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little”

    This indicates that BY was just changing the statement that was on the cross to an LDS view point – ie that we are God’s church and that now God has taken a little revenge for what had transpired up to that point at the hands of the non-LDS mobs. It does not show in any way shape or form that BY had anything to do with the massacre.

    To all,

    BTW, sorry I’ve been away for a while but things are a little busy at the moment, besides I was in a bike vs car accident and my bike lost. Oh well, need to get a new one.

  46. bws71 says:

    I checked my email box and was disappointed to not see any messages from any of this group. I’d love to engage in the many questions posed to me directly. I can’t do it at the pace required of this rapidly shifting blog thread. Thoughtful questions deserve a thoughtful response. Send me a message =) If you chose not to – well that is certainly your choice. I’m not disappearing. I’m just requesting a change of venue.

  47. Mike R says:

    Ralph, I’m glad you were’nt seriously injured .

    While your comment on early Mormon persecution has some merit , your attempt to rescue
    your prophet Brigham Young falls flat . It would save everyone so much time if you would
    just declare that Young was deceived by his personal revelation on this ; he was a false prophet.
    Perhaps this might bring home some of the awfulness of this doctrine of Adam-God :
    You are Ralph, a common man who lives on this planet. At some time in the future you will
    become a God and proceed with one of your wife to go to another planet and proceed to
    people it . Centuries later some of your children will call all this the Ralph-God doctrine, but it
    will denied or dodged by other children of yours . How does that sound Ralph ? Seeing as
    you are on record as testifying you’ll one day be worshipped as a Almighty just like in Rev 4:8,
    the above scenario is’nt far fetched ! On a serious note , serious because your salvation is
    at stake because of your being misled into this terrible doctrine of Mormon exaltation .
    Please Ralph , turn to completely to Jesus and leave this false doctrine behind with your
    prophets . Still praying for you .

  48. Kate says:

    ” This indicates that BY was just changing the statement that was on the cross to an LDS view point – ie that we are God’s church and that now God has taken a little revenge for what had transpired up to that point at the hands of the non-LDS mobs.”

    Seriously? This means the Mormons took vengeance. Which is exactly what I said. Which is exactly what grindael said (I was commenting on this quote from him). Not exactly the “innocents” that they claimed for oh, more than 100 years! You claim that it was revenge for the mobs and revenge for Haun’s Mill. What led up to Haun’s Mill Ralph? Research the war of 1838. Moromons were intent on “exterminating” the Missourians. The United States Militia was attacked by the Mormons at Crooked River. The Mormons attacked the United States Government by attacking it’s troops. Research the Battle of Crooked River and see what the Mormons did to Samuel Tarwater. This fueled the fire and the Militia took revenge at Haun’s Mill. Check out the link below, it’s letters from the other side of this. Yes Ralph, there are two sides to this story.


    “They have plundered or robbed and burned every house in Gallatin, our county seat, among the rest our Post Office, have driven almost every individual from the county, who are now flying before them with their families, many of whom have been forced out without necessary clothing, their wives and little children wading in many instances through the snow without a shoe. When the miserable families are then forced out, their houses are plundered and then burned. They are making this universal throughout the county. (Wm. P. Penniston, Co. G60th Reg., 2nd Brig., 3rd Div. M.M.)

  49. Kate says:

    Isn’t this what the Mormons claim the mobs did to them? Mormons were actually doing this themselves!Have you ever heard the other side of this story at church Ralph? I would bet not, it isn’t very “faith promoting”is it? You need to do a little more thorough research. It isn’t all onesided as the Mormons claim. It certainly didn’t give Brigham Young the right to take out vengeance at Mountain Meadows. Mormons killed, robbed,looted, and burned homes.They weren’t innocent, minding their own business and just horribly persecutedfor their faith as you and I have been taught.
    So according to you, it was perfectly fine that Brigham Young and his Mormons took revenge at Mountain
    Meadows, so does that mean that it was perfectly fine for the United States Militia to take revenge at
    Haun’s Mill?

  50. Ralph says:


    You missed my point. I was asking why the person in the OP said that the violence against the LDS church started because of polygamy after the civil war, when there was plenty of violence against the LDS church before that point in time. This would indicate that polygamy was not the reason for the violence as Patrick Mason indicated, wouldn’t it?

    And you also misunderstood my point about the ‘vengeance’ statement. You said that because BY said “Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little.” indicates that BY was part of the MMM. My point was that he saw what was written on the memorial cross which was “Vengeance is mine, thus sayeth the Lord. I shall repay” a quote from scripture. All BY did was reiterate that quote but made it state that God has now taken a little revenge for what had transpired in the past to His people. This in no way implies that BY had anything to do with the massacre as you wish to portray it. It was not BY that took revenge, but God if you read the proper context.

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