Legends of Joseph

Visiting the Nauvoo, Illinois area this week, I took a tour of Carthage Jail on Tuesday. Many thanks to Sister B. for accommodating my arrival after hours (new winter hours close the site at 4:00 p.m.). I did not get to see the film, but my friend and I were treated to an unhurried, private tour of the jail led by a veteran missionary (this is Sister B.’s sixth mission for the Mormon Church!). Here are a few things I learned from Sister B. and an elder who stuck his head into the dungeon cell for a few minutes during our tour.

  1. The construction of the jail was begun in 1838, just about the time the Saints were being run out of Missouri, and completed in 1841. They built the jail just so they could kill the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum.
  2. Joseph was jailed on a false charge of treason. In bypassing the Governor and calling out the militia (the Nauvoo Legion) he was only doing what all the other towns had done. The other towns’ officials didn’t get in any trouble; only Joseph got arrested.
  3. Joseph Smith did not destroy the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper, he only ordered it done. Besides, someone else in the area had had his press destroyed five times and nobody did anything about it. Only Joseph ever got in trouble for these things.
  4. Sister B. did not know the Prophet had 33 wives but, she said, lots of people had three or four wives and nobody thought anything of it. Yet when Joseph did it everybody got upset.
  5. One thing Sister B. was absolutely sure of: The Prophet did not marry other men’s wives. It just didn’t happen. No way. A prophet would not do such things.
  6. Joseph Smith did have a gun in the jail (she admitted), but he didn’t plan to shoot anybody and he didn’t shoot anybody. In fact, Sister B. has a gun at home, but she isn’t planning to shoot anyone, either.
  7. The jailer could see just by looking at Joseph that the Prophet was no ordinary man. Sister B. explained that John 8:12 says, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of Christ” [sic]. Joseph Smith glowed with that light; the jailer could see it, so he treated Joseph differently, with tender care.

I’ve toured Carthage Jail many times, yet every time I go I learn something new.

It’s a shame that much of what I learn is rooted in pure emotion rather than in historical fact.

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 Joseph Smith, Mormon Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Legends of Joseph

  1. Mike R says:

    It’s hard to believe that a person so dedicated to her religion and who serves as a guide at
    a significant historical place related to her faith could know so little about Joseph Smith
    especially his polygamous life. Mormon leadership have never been quick to make just any
    material from it’s archives more readily available to the public , and if it were’nt for groups
    like some former members and a few conscientious BYU professors who have in essence
    forced the leadership’s hand by loudly clamoring for less suppression of archive material ,
    there would be even less knowledge of past Mormon leaders teachings/behavior. Much has
    happened in the last 20 years or so in this area . I think the Mormon people are kept so busy
    in church activities and family , combined with complete trust in their leaders to never mislead
    them , that this makes it difficult for them to find out some information etc. As long as the
    Mormon church operates as a multi billion dollar corporation run from the top down by a
    man and his close associates there will always be a atmosphere of control that can spawn
    suppression of information that the rank and file members deserve to know .

  2. falcon says:

    All I can say Sharon is what dupes and fools!

  3. Marsha says:

    When I was at Carthage Jail in the jailer’s bedroom, the guide played a 4-minute taped recording which told of Joseph writing to his wife Emma. He quoted a very touching passage that spoke of their young son. I asked if Joseph had also written letters to his other 30 plus wives, and the tour guide was appalled that I even asked the question!

  4. Kate says:

    What is truly sad is that people touring the site may actually believe the lies, both outright and by omission. The fact that this elderly lady is clueless doesn’t surprise me at all. I didn’t know Joseph Smith had all of those wives either. I wonder just how many Mormons are aware of it?

  5. Clyde6070 says:

    History is a strange animal. As a tour guide you’re given so much information on the subject and that is all. If the tour guide is well read then a more information is available and the tour is more enjoyable.

  6. spartacus says:

    Way to miss the point Clyde.

    Here is a woman who obviously has been LDS for a long time. She is obviously devout in that she is on her sixth mission. And, yet, she doesn’t know or won’t admit that Joseph Smith had the number of wives he had; she gives false facts about the environs in order to downplay Joseph’s actions, consciously or because that’s all she’s been told; she’s on her sixth mission and yet has never even tried to learn about the women, who I am sure she would otherwise believe Joseph loved so much, to find out that about a third of them were already married; probably hasn’t even thought about the wrong of letters to just one out of 30 some.

    Clyde, do you really believe that the jail was specifically built to house and stage the assassination of Joseph Smith? If not, then the “so much information on the subject and that is all” given to this tour guide, should probably elicit a different response from you than “History is a strange animal.”

    How are you, Clyde? I don’t think I’ve gotten to hear from you much lately. Hope you are well.

  7. Clyde6070 says:

    History is a strange animal. Think of the movie ‘The Miracle Worker”, about Helen Keller as a blind deaf and dumb girl. Great movie Great story about overcoming adversity. Later in life Helen Keller became a socialist which at that time was next to communism. Now someone can come up with a better story about her if they had more facts. I remember it that way.
    One must remember that this blog is for the nit picky people, those who need to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  8. falcon says:

    That tour guide reminds me of a die-hard fan of a sports team who just can’t accept the idea that his/her team lost the game. There’s always a hundred excuses for the failure, generally it was the refs. In this case Joseph Smith had no culpability in his eventual demise. There were all these people plotting and scheming against him right down to building the jail just for him. How can people be so incredibly blind?
    I was on a tour this summer in Omaha, NE at the site of the winter camp of the Mormons as they headed off to Utah. I didn’t have the heart to really ask the sweet little foreign tour guide any real questions. I didn’t want to witness her being emotionally crushed right before my eyes. I think the head honchos were within a safe distance to rescue her should anyone get pointed in their questioning. I did turn down the offer of a free BoM which shocked my wife since I’m always looking for free stuff.
    What’s interesting about these tour guides is their presentation however. It’s pretty slick. Knowing what I know about Mormonism and the way they (Mormons) like to present the story, it was easy to spot the techniques.
    I think that truth would be a better technique.

  9. Rick B says:

    Falcon, How could you turn down a free book? Dont you know you could have turned around and sold it for a buck at a used book store, LOL.

    I think it’s funny, LDS deny facts rooted in their own written history, Like Strange doctrines taught by BY, or JS and his many wives, yet they believe he glowed. Was he really a glow stick, or alien from space? He did believe men lived on the moon.

    I also find it funny, they believe the jail was built just to off JS, yet would it have been easier to simply shank him on the road?

    Plus I love how they ignore the fact that he shoot 3 people, and claimed he was like Jesus in the sense that he was a lamb going to the slaughter. I’m sorry But JS is not even close to Jesus in His death. Jesus did not fight back, did not attack people, did not try and run or escape.

    And for all the LDS that claim, JS was just defending himself, I am all for self defense, Just walk up on the street and jump me and see what happens, you will be lucky if you walk away. But the self defense issue just goes down the toilet when JS claimed his up coming death was just like Jesus death.

    Plus if you read History of the church with the jail account, JS was shocked that his brother was shoot and killed, that tells me JS did not know his own death was coming as it is implied he knew.

  10. shematwater says:

    I am not going to argue any particular point being made in the blog. I only make general comments.
    Clyde is right that a history is a funny thing, and few people even understand the history of just twenty years ago. People want to think that history is an exact science, which cannot be farther from the truth. There is the saying “History is written by the winner” as can clearly be seen in many text books that have existed throughout time. While I do not think this is completely accurate, it does illustrate the point.
    History is portrayed by each person in the way they would like it to be seen. They will take what is fact and interpret it to fit their ideas and beliefs. On occasion they will even take theory and present it as fact, because doing so helps support their point of view.
    This should always be understood and expected. Any history produced by the church (except that written at the time) is going to focus on those things that the church feels are important. Any history written by those opposed to the church is going to focus on other things.

    Speaking of the points made in this blog, I will give my opinion that what is presented is not an accurate representation of what Sister B. said, but has been filter through the lenses of the writer so as to make them appear to support what they want history to say (and yes, even yesterday is history). I have heard all these points before (except the first) and none of them is spoken of in the way that they are presented here.

  11. falcon says:

    Nice try Shem!
    Your excuse making and side stepping approach has been used in the past by Mormon posters who can’t bare to face the truth. We don’t have to “interpret” the facts here. The facts stand alone.
    *Joseph Smith did have 33 wives. That’s not an interpretation but a fact.
    *Several of the women were already married to members of the church. That’s a fact.
    *Smith married a couple of adolescent girls. Another fact.
    *Joseph Smith tried to shot his way out of the jail. Again, a fact.
    *Joseph Smith was a treasure hunter using a seer stone to “look” into the ground. A fact.
    You wrote:
    “Speaking of the points made in this blog, I will give my opinion that what is presented is not an accurate representation of what Sister B. said, but has been filter through the lenses of the writer so as to make them appear to support what they want history to say (and yes, even yesterday is history). I have heard all these points before (except the first) and none of them is spoken of in the way that they are presented here.”
    Are you questioning Sharon’s integrity? Were you there to hear what Sister B. said to Sharon? Fact of the matter is you have no idea but it’s just a Mormon escape hatch to try and discredit Sharon’s report.
    It’s a difficult task that Mormons have because they’ve bought the Joseph Smith fantasy via their emotions and now they have to try and find some “reasonable” explanations that just make them, in the end, look foolish.
    Mormons don’t believe Mormonism because of the facts. They believe in spite of the facts.

  12. Rick B says:

    You and some other LDS here on this blog are claiming you want the truth, yet their are a few good men on this blog that are saying, You cant handle the truth. I am saying you dont want the truth and after your last post you have just thrown all your creditability out the window.

    If History is filtered and we really dont understand it, and therefore cannot trust it, then you might as well shut up and go away. Your prophets have and do quote former leaders and prophets from longer than 20 years ago, you guys claim to trust the Bible and the D and C and the BoM and other sources that claim to be over 2000 years old. So How can you trust them to be accurate? How can we trust the Bible? It’s nothing more than history.

    We might as well fire all Historians and people who wrote books talking about even Non-LDS people, like George Washington, Lincoln, and many other historic figures from years ago, It seems we really cannot know or trust these sources.

    Also you mention Liable and slander, then in a rather subtle way you accuse Sharon of being dishonest. I love how many of us here have encountered LDS in our lives that said things that make us say, you really believe that? Or do things, yet when we mention them to people like you, we are accused of making it up or putting words in their mouth. I’m sorry, but it seems it will take you dying and standing before God and hearing, Depart from me you worker of evil, I never knew you, before you really wake up and figure out you in fact followed a false prophet.

  13. Kate says:

    I sort of wish I would have read shem’s comment here before I responded to him in another thread, I wouldn’t have bothered. Instead of commenting on or having dialogue, he’s here to defame character or attack personally because he knows what’s being said here is true. I for one believe Sharon wholeheartedly because some of what Sister B told her I have actually been taught and have heard it from other LDS. The treason comment I’ve heard over and over.

    LDS history isn’t a funny thing because the church believes in keeping fantastic records! Facts about Mormonism aren’t just some person looking back twenty years and piecing it together from memory, it was written down and recorded at the time. Testimonies of past prophets and leaders are right there in black and white written in the days it happened. Nice try though. Rather than give reasons why this couldn’t have been taught, shem has to try and discredit the person saying it. Shem be honest, are you an LDS apologist and do you work for FAIR? This is what LDS apologists do, rather than tell the truth they attack the messenger.

  14. Mike R says:

    Sister B is getting some good work experience to aid her in her next job which could be at
    the Church P.R. Dept. But I see # 6 = she’s a pistol packin woman , wow ! Now that’s
    something I would love to talk about . Seriously though, when we encounter LDS like her
    or other Missionaries or guides at Mormon historical sites it is up to us plant seeds
    with a hope that God will use to eventually bring them to freedom in Jesus . The vast
    majority of people like sister B I’m sure are concerned about being accurate in what they
    say/teach. The spotlight on being accountable in promoting historical/doctrinal truth
    is to be focused on the leadership in Mormonism . They claim their history is extremely
    accurate . Problem is these men have made it difficult for most people (members included)
    to access much of that history , and while they have been pressured to finally allow more
    available still the question arises as to what is still suppressed in their archives or the First
    Pres. private vault? There are films that have been produced with leadership approval
    that are extremely well done and even quite emotional to watch , these have dealt with
    Joseph Smith’s personal life and family and how he was chosen to be God’s mouthpiece
    to restore true gospel. Unfortunately , too many times these have been sadly lacking
    in full disclosure of important issues. This behavior has caused the term “propaganda” to
    used to describe the content of some of these films . But I guess for a Church that has secret
    rituals in their gospel this should’nt surprise anyone.

  15. Clyde6070 says:

    Falcon I like your take on history. If Joseph had tried to shoot his way out of jail he would have done it before the crowd arrived, But that is your way of looking at it.
    Rick! Your conclusion is all wrong. History is filtered through the writers eye but it is like an eyewitness account. Two people can reach different conclusions. Notice Falcons 1:40 entry and this one.

  16. falcon says:

    There are facts and there is context within which the facts are then interpreted. Not every interpretation ends with an accurate assessment of the events. At that point it becomes opinion. Mormons would have us believe that the truth is whatever a person wants it to be. That’s like situational ethics or morality that changes with time and the setting. Therefore slavery wasn’t really wrong and the Nazi’s were justified in their killing of six million Jews.
    If Mormons have to massage the facts to maintain a faith in Mormonism that’s OK with them because they desire the Joseph Smith fantasy to be true. That’s why also, the BoM can be an historically accurate book to them despite the evidence to the contrary. It’s just a matter of “interpretation”, “revelation” and a willingness to see “facts” in what ever light makes the whole thing work (for them).

  17. Rick B says:

    You can claim all you want as Shem that History is filtered, But if that is the case, then we simply cannot trust it. My Mother and I guess me also, have and had family die in the holocaust. My mom has a photo album that she showed me and I want if and when she should pass away. It show family dressed in the prisoner clothing and the stacks of bodies.

    When I was in Israel they also have a holocaust museum, But as of today, their are many despite the facts that deny it ever took place. Both sides claim history as their guide.

    What about the moon landing, many still deny that ever took place and claim it was all a hoax. You guys simply cannot stand the truth and can see the problems from what you believe, but just finds ways to deny them. The evidence is over whelming and you guys cant stand it. But then try and put it on us claiming the history is wrong, or we dont understand or whatever you can say to make it look like we are wrong.

  18. falcon says:

    I remember several years ago a case in our area where a young woman took a terrible, horrific beating at the hands of her boy friend. There was no disputing the facts in the case. However the boy friend’s family blamed the girl for the beating. It was her fault.
    So the facts were indisputable. However the “interpretation”, some of us would call it “spin”, was such that their boy was not to blame. The victim was to blame for the beating. Now most of us would look on this as totally ridiculous. The behavior was inexcusable. But not to the young man’s family.
    This is the mind-set of Mormons. Joseph Smith can do no wrong. There’s always a mis-interpretation or the lack of application of proper context which would totally change the explanation. Those of us who aren’t afflicted with Joseph Smith-itis, that mental disease that causes other-wise rational people to accept cognitive dissonance as normal, don’t get it. And it’s not a matter, as Mormons would say, of not having received personal revelation, the testimony that enlightens them and drives them to meta level spiritual heights.
    Actually, it’s just being deceived and accepting the deception as normal. It can all be explained and rationalized. It’s just a matter of interpretation, context, how one chooses to see things. In this flawed form of thinking, anything can work. In fact the more ridiculous and the more convoluted the idea is, the more it must be true. It’s just the way you look at it.
    This is what holds Mormons in shackles. Ask any former Mormon how their thinking has changed since they broke these shackles. That’s why Mormonism has to blame “Satan” for misleading those who have gotten their heads straight. In Mormonism everything is literally flipped on its head.

  19. Marsha says:

    I was told something by a Mormon missionary recently and it seems to fit here: “People don’t have to make up wild stories about our past; they just need to read our history!” Boy, how right she was!!!

  20. shematwater says:

    I think Clyde is the only one who actually understands what it is I am saying. Falcon and Rick seem to prefer to twist my words into something they were never intended to be, and honestly, I don’t know how they can be made to even imply what they are saying.

    The point is this: Facts are facts, but the context of those facts is what makes history. Thus, a person interprets those facts as he views history, or would like to view it. Let us take an example from Falcon.
    He claims “Joseph Smith tried to shot his way out of the jail. Again, a fact.”
    This is not a fact, but is his interpretation of the context of the facts. The real facts are these:
    1. Joseph Smith had a gun on his person at the time.
    2. Joseph shot six times into the mob, though only three bullets discharged.
    3. He made a call from the window and was shot.
    These are the facts in the case. Falcon, taking the facts and interprets the context as an attempt to shoot his way out. Others look at these facts (even non-LDS) and see only an attempt to defend himself. Many take the call from the window as a cry for help from other masons, which would indicate that he was not attempting to escape and get out of the jail. All this is interpretation of facts. None of it is fact, as none of it is provable.

  21. shematwater says:

    Now, none of this makes the study of history useless, and Rick tries to claim my words imply. I simply say, and very accurately, that a study of history must be a cautious one, and we should not simply accept things because we like the way they are portrayed in books.

    Now, more specifically, my comments regarding how the writer presented Sister B.’s words: These statements are not given as direct quotes. They are given as summaries of points made during a conversation. Thus they are going to be presented as the writer perceives them. When I say it is worded to make history appear as they want it to, I am not talking about the history of Joseph Smith, but the history of that conversation.
    I make no comment on their integrity, and would make the same comment regarding anyone else, including myself. Clyde is again correct in that these comments are just like eye witness accounts. Each person perceives things differently, and thus each person will relate the event in a different way.


    It is actually much more frequently you, and other non-LDS, who are making the personal remarks and attacks at us. It is not uncommon for something we say to be passed over with a comment on how ignorant, or arrogant, or just plain stupid we are. Some even seem to make a career out of it, never making a post without including some kind of personal attack.

    I made no personal attack against anyone. I pointed out that all people are influenced by personal bias, and this is going to affect how they report certain events. Anyone who denies this fact is either a fool or a liar.

  22. falcon says:

    It’s your job to make yourself clear. It’s funny to hear a Mormon charge that Christians are distorting what they say/write.
    My bad on the “shoot his way out of jail” in regard to Joseph Smith. I should have worded it differently. However I don’t think it’s common knowledge among Mormons that Smith had a gun and he used it to defend himself and actually shot a couple of people. This is in regards to his being a lamb being led to slaughter; a Mormon fiction. That’s not an accurate description of what happened. I noticed that you left out of your “facts” list the “fact” that Smith had some success with his pistol.
    I think our point is that Mormons present their history in a way that isn’t a matter of interpretation but rather a shading of the truth, at best. Take for instance what Mormons are told, if ever, regarding Smith’s polygamy.
    In the end it really isn’t a matter of interpretation because Mormonism is based on a false premise that (Mormonism) was practiced by Jesus’ early disciples but all of this was lost and needed to be restored. This isn’t a matter of “interpretation” but rather “invention” as is the entire BoM. That’s why Mormon sects such as the CoC give their members the option of viewing the BoM as a “spiritual” book rather than actual history.
    Mormonism fails in the fact check category and that is why prospects are pushed to feel something and count it as confirmation from God regarding the truth of Mormonism.
    If you’re willing to accept Smith’s fantasy, I’ve got plenty of others you need to consider that I’m sure will give you tingles.

  23. Rick B says:

    Shem, you can say what you want, But I am convinced by what mormons say and dont say about what they believe, you guys simply want to believe what you want to believe.

    As I said before, I agree and dont have a problem with JS shooting a gun in self defense, Not one problem with that at all, yet you seem to ignore that I already said that by mentioning it again and acting as if we have a problem with it.

    The problem that I do have is, LDS history teaches JS went to His death as a lamb to the slaughter, just like Jesus Did. As I said, Jesus, Did not talk back, He did not try and fight back, He did not try and run away. JS did everything opposite of what Jesus did. Thats the problem I have.

  24. Clyde6070 says:

    Rick and Falcon
    Theodosius, an eastern roman emperor, issued a decree stating that the doctrine of the trinity is the true doctrine of God and any other way is heretical. This decree is over 1600 years old. How much truth should put on it?

  25. falcon says:

    Sorry but I don’t get your point. I guess Theodosius was agreeing with what the Church was teaching and had been teaching since the first century.
    Since we are discussing history here, I need to remind you that there is no historical support for the premise upon which Mormonism is built. That is that the primitive Christian church was practicing Mormonism and after the death of the apostles all of that (Mormonism) disappeared. In addition to that, there was this incredible conspiracy to remove all of the Mormonism from the Biblical text.
    A premise like that reaches to the level of the ten year old boy who claims the dog ate his homework. There is no historical record to support the Mormon proposition. We don’t even have to argue about interpretation or context in light of the absence of any supporting evidence to the Mormon fiction.
    Taking this further, there isn’t a reputable historian that would support the BoM as a historically accurate document. That’s why Mormonism has to be believed based on how the BoM makes them feel when they read it. Given that “test” of historical accuracy, we could make the case that any book that stirs someone emotionally is in fact true.

  26. Rick B says:

    I want to add to what Falcon said, according to Mormons and the BoM, that the apostle John and 3 of his buddies have never died. I have also meet MM in person who claim they know people who claim to have meet these guys in person.

    So where are they? Why have they never come to SLC and meet with the prophet and declared who they are, that they have been living for over 2000 years and are Sharing the Mormon gospel? It’s because they are not alive and the BoM is pure fiction, and bad fiction at that.

  27. Clyde6070 says:

    Since 2 A.M. is not a good time for me let me see if I can complete my thought. Arianism and others ideas on God and Jesus were still around. Theodosius’ decree limited the idea of God and Jesus to just the trinity. All other ideas about God were declared heretical and suppressed. The doctrine of the trinity was the only sanctioned view of God. To paraphrase what you say about Mormonism Once the emperor issues a decree the thinking is done for you and no other thought is aloud.

  28. Mike R says:

    Clyde, Well , you managed to get one thing correct , namely, that 2 A.M. is definitely not
    a good time for you to get your thoughts complete . [ I used to start work at 1:30 A.M. , it’s
    not the best time to do some things ] .

  29. falcon says:

    Yea Clyde,
    I’m with Mike. I think you probably should have thought things through a little more. It’s the Mormon narrative you’re repeating in an effort to provide some support for the (Mormon) unprovable premise that Mormonism was the norm for first century Christianity.
    That’s why it would be a good idea for you to actually study the history rather than repeat what the LDS church teaches you.
    I know that would take some actual work but the end result would be that you’d be an actual free thinking adult capable of making an informed decision.
    Just for fun, however, I want to prove to you that I can think Mormon when I need to. I’m going to give you a Mormon like answer. Here it goes.

    God placed the Roman Emperor in his position of power in order that he might affirm what the Church had been teaching since its inception and to, therefore, vanquish the heretics. Just read the Book of Daniel and Nehemiah in the OT where God used this approach to do his will.

    How’s that. I could also add that this has been “revealed” to me, it makes me feel good so therefore it’s true.
    None-the-less whether the Emperor decreed the doctrine of the Trinity or not, has no effect on the truthfulness of what God reveals about Himself in His Holy Word the Bible and what was taught by the apostles.
    You attack what the Church has taught for 2,000 years and yet will willingly and with great enthusiasm, accept the Mormon notion of millions and billions of gods, and men becoming gods and ruling their own planets with one or many wives. You embrace the false notion that this fantasy was the real first century Christianity.
    You’re an easy sell.
    Why don’t you just try Jesus. He holds the key.

  30. shematwater says:


    I never said you had a problem with it. I mentioned it merely as an example of interpretation, and nothing more. You want to infer things from it that is up to you, not me.


    I have known about Joseph Smith having a gun since I was about eight years old. Actually, the way I heard it originally was that Hyrum had a one shot pistol as well, which he also fired. I am all for knowing the facts of the events, and I think that every member should know them. I would actually be somewhat surprised if any real sizable portion of the membership did not know about it.

    Speaking a lamb to the slaughter, I will say three things.
    First, I have never really compared this to Christ, nor have I seen anyone else do so. Not that they haven’t, just that I haven’t seen it. However, the main similarity is in the fact that Joseph Smith preferred death to denying what he knew to be true.
    Second, when this comment was made Joseph and Hyrum were being escorted without weapons to jail. Joseph Smith knew he was going to die in that jail, as he had told others as much. So, when he made the comment he likely felt like a lamb going to the slaughter. Of course, he never once said that he would be dumb, as was said of Christ.
    Third, the fact that he defended himself does not contradict either of the first two points, and thus he was a martyr for his faith, just as all other martyrs in the past. A martyr is someone who dies rather than their cause, and whether they fought to live or not does not change this definition.

  31. falcon says:

    I wouldn’t consider him a martyr. Smith brought a lot of the trouble he had on himself. I would consider him a victim of mob violence. People in that era we’re a violent lot. There was a lot of frontier justice.
    Here’s a story of a real martyr. It takes about five minutes to watch.


    Now it’s true that people can die for something that is not true. But the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings eternal life to all those who would accept Him as their Lord and Savior. There is just one Jesus; one qualified Savior. The biggest error of Mormonism is that it replaces the Jesus who died on the cross for the sin of mankind, with a false Christ. A false Jesus.
    Mormonism claims a different god, in fact multiple gods. There was no Mormonism until Joseph Smith created it. The key to eternal life is to know Jesus and the power of His resurrection.
    There are Mormons who come here everyday looking for the answer that will bring them peace and contentment. To those we would say it all begins with Jesus.

  32. Clyde6070 says:

    God placed the Roman Emperor in his position of power in order that he might affirm what the Church had been teaching since its inception and to, therefore, vanquish the heretics. Wow if this is true then God must have placed Hitler, Stalin and all the other leaders in power for some reason. Could it have been so millions would die?
    No I don’t believe that. Here is what I have found out.
    Constantine calls for a council of bishop at nicea to decide where Jesus stands in the order of things-Eternal or created? They say He is Eternal. But there are things that still are puzzling and the idea is still being kicked around.
    Eventually Constantine dies but not before being baptist by Eusebius who believed Jesus was created. Theodosius comes along and issue a decree that the trinity is the true and only way to see God. The decree is law. Anything else is heresy. So two rules are in affect, Rule One-the trinity is true, Rule two if something contradicts the trinity see rule one.
    So when Jesus says thing like My Father is greater than I and only He knows when I will return We have set those statements aside because they show Jesus as being subordinate to God. Then

  33. falcon says:

    Ah Clyde,
    You obviously didn’t get it. I prefaced my remarks by saying I was giving a “Mormon” like answer. The point was that Mormons can come up with the most ridiculous explanations in order to maintain their faith in the Joseph Smith fantasy. I decided I’d play the Mormon game.
    Here’s the bottom line if you’d care to check it out; the Church taught the doctrine from the beginning. You have absolutely no clue what Jesus’ subordination to the Father is all about.
    We can trace the doctrine of the trinity back to the beginnings of the Church. Mormons can trace Mormonism back to about 1832. There was no Mormonism in the early church. That’s a fact. Not an interpretation.

  34. parkman says:

    “…I was giving a “Mormon” like answer.”
    Another do as I say and not as I do moment.
    I get put down when I give a “Trinitarian” type answer.

  35. Rick B says:

    Shem said

    I would actually be somewhat surprised if any real sizable portion of the membership did not know about it.

    In reality Shem, Either LDS know about it and avoid it, even if mentioned, or they really dont know about it. I have mentioned it to many mormons who strongly deny JS had a gun or even shot people. Once I show them from the Book, History of the church, they have a hard time dealing with it and blow it off.

    I once as I said before, went to SLC and toured all of the temple area. I ask one tour leading MM about it, she ignored me and went and asked security to remove me. Wow, so much for being open and honest.

    Another MM at the temple area said she never heard about it, I had the Book with me and read it to hear, she broke down and cried saying she never knew that about JS and never was told he shot people and tried escaping, She said she would go home and research this and other stuff and seek God. I can only hope she left this false religion, since I never saw her again. so No shem, People either dont know, or they do know and never openly admit it.

  36. shematwater says:


    I never said there are not those that don’t know, and I hope you don’t take offense that I do not completely trust your portrayal of the membership of the church. You are hardly an unbiased observer. I think a better source would be something like a poll given to a large number of members.


    Paul brought on himself the persecutions of the Jews; as did Peter, James, John, and all the other faithful. It was not long before the Christians brought on themselves the persecutions of the Romans.
    In all cases the persecuted did something that others disapproved of, and when they were told to stop doing so they refused.
    It is no different with Joseph Smith. He believed in what he taught and what he did; people told him to stop teaching and doing those things; he refused, and thus brought on himself the persecution of those opposed to him.

    None of this changes the fact that he was a martyr.

    Speaking of the doctrine of the trinity; according to the religious history class I took this doctrine first appears in the record a number of years after Christ, and remained a fringe doctrine for about a century. It was in the second century that it began to take hold, and eventually rose to the point of being declared the only true doctrine of God. But it was not the original doctrine.

    What we generally have is Christian historians claiming it was the original, and for the simple fact that they interpret the Bible to say this, and thus it was the original. However, most non-Christian historians do not see this concept in the Bible, but see it introduced much later, some believe by Paul.

  37. Andy Watson says:


    I read your post above several times, and I don’t understand the point you are trying to make in regards to the topic at hand. Or, is there any relation to the topic at all? I see at the bottom of your post that you apparently didn’t finish writing your thoughts. Your choppy and wild historical statements mixed with Bible texts all wrapped up in your logic that negates the sovereignty of God and the deity of Jesus Christ have me unable to put it together. Also, if you could tell me where you learning Christian church history that would be helpful. Some of your statements are factual, but they are mixed up in other things that take away from whatever argument you are trying to make. Please clarify and state your point.

    I’ll be more than happy to discuss Christian church history, the doctrine of the Trinity, and the deity of Jesus Christ as it relates to John 14:28. If I didn’t know this was a blog relating to Mormonism, I would have thought by reading your post that you are a Jehovah’s Witness. You are arm-in-arm with these heretics that Mormonism despises when it comes to historical inaccuracies and doctrinal heresy and errors. If you want to go back to the 4th century, then prepare to have credible sources of reference other than Wikipedia and LDS sources because neither of them are factual in regards to Christian church history primarily because Mormonism didn’t exist at the time of Nicea, Constantine, or Theodosius. Let me know when your bags are packed. It’s going to be a long trip.


  38. falcon says:

    What a joke comparing the first century apostles and Joseph Smith. Smith was a fraud, a deceiver and a guy who got killed in a shoot-out. I support his right to defend himself but you can’t have it both ways. Did the persecuted Christians in the first century fight back against those who persecuted them? Did Jesus? No!
    And considering the doctrine of the Trinity you said it was not the original doctrine. So what was? You, my friend, are way over your head when you start talking about this doctrine. You better get yourself up to speed before you start expounding on it.
    BTW, I notice that the Mormon posters avoid any questions dealing with the call for evidence supporting the Mormon premise that (Mormonism) was really first century Christianity. I imagine they will contend that Arianism was really Mormonism in disguise and that Arius was really a prophet as were the other heretics.
    Historically there was never any Mormonism any where until about 1832 unless you want to claim those from whom Joseph Smith lifted the ideas from.

  39. Clyde6070 says:

    Falcon It seems you have bought into the idea of the trinity is 200 years old. I agree with what Shematwater said in his blog but I don’t know where I read it before. This is historical stuff. You might read something that could prove what I have read is wrong.
    Theodosius decree was law and any dispute was heretical. The secular government enforce what the church taught. To me this limited any other ideas anyone might have about the nature of God and to know God and His Son should not be limited to one idea.
    Lately I have been reading books like Gods versuses the Gods, Justinians’ Flea and A.D. 381 just for your curiosity.

  40. falcon says:

    In the five years that I’ve been participating on this blog, I’ve gone down the “Trinity” discussion road numerous times with Mormons and it’s getting tedious and BORING! I should have just saved all of the information regarding the early history of the Church and the doctrine of the Trinity and cut and pasted it.
    You guys get all exercised with this doctrine, claiming that it wasn’t part of early Church history and thinking and yet you provide exactly zero evidence that the Mormon view of the nature of God and Mormonism for that matter existed in the primitive Church.
    I’m going to leave this to Andy to provide you with the suitable information.
    In the meantime I would suggest you find out who Jesus is and in doing so secure for yourselves eternal life.

  41. Rick B says:

    Shem, JS was no martyr.
    We read in History of the church pg 103 JS was telling brother Taylor to fight of the crowd as best as he can.

    Again, I have no issue with self defense, But A guy claiming to go to his death as Jesus did, then fighting back is no martyr or even going as Jesus did.

    In the same volume on pg 105, Brother Richards was troubled and said to Brother Taylor,

    is it possible that they have killed brother Hyrum and Joseph

    It seems they never knew their death was coming as JS claimed he knew it was.

    In Volume 6 of History in the into section it says, JS saw the Mob forming and he prepared to meet force with force. Since when do martyrs meet force with force and admit to that? When did Jesus do that?

    Near the end of the intro it says, JS returned the fire of his assailants bringing down his man every time, and that he made a handsome fight in the jail.

  42. shematwater says:


    Since my last post I have done a little more research and find I was in error. It wasn’t until 381 that that doctrine of the trinity as it exists today was first declare, which was brought about by the Arian controversy.
    The Bible has no direct statements of this doctrine, and neither do any Christian teachers prior to about 200.
    I know you are harping for proof, and I do apologize that I cannot provide it at this time. I will do so as soon as I am able (either tonight or tomorrow).


    I couldn’t care less what you think. A martyr is a man who suffers death rather than deny his faith and religion. The definition does not mandate that they do not defend themselves, only that they die rather than deny their faith. This is what Joseph Smith did, and thus he is a martyr, and no attempt by you or anyone else to alter the meaning of the English language will change that fact.

    Honestly, I find this whole argument to be a petty bickering over words. You can’t seem to stand the idea that a man you seem to hate is referred as something you think should be honored. You believe him a fraud, and so you cannot stomach the idea that others would honor him in this way.
    I have to wonder if you want call any of early LDS who were killed for their religion to be martyrs, or whether you would find some way to take this honor from them as well.

  43. Clyde6070 says:

    If it is boring to you think of life this way. You pre-existed. You helped in the heavenly war on the winning side. You jumped at a chance to gain a body. You came to earth to gain this body. You don’t remember what you did in the preexistence but you are here and you have to figure it out with a little help form those who precede you.
    Now try to think how unboring that is. What you can write on that subject will astound you.

  44. falcon says:

    You’re nuts!

  45. Rick B says:

    Falcon, Mormons claim we passed through the veil of forgetfulness, but if we really did, then how is it that, that is the only thing we remember? That makes no sense.

  46. Clyde6070 says:

    We don’t remember the veil or anything, but if you have a good imagination it makes for a good story.

  47. parkman says:

    “…Mormons claim we passed through the veil of forgetfulness, but if we really did, then how is it that, that is the only thing we remember? That makes no sense.”

    If you are like most people, your earthly parents have taught you about things you have forgotten about when you were little. Heavenly Father is still teaching us today, that is how we know.

  48. Rick B says:

    Clyde, it seems you feel I am wrong. And your a Mormon. Yet parkman is a Mormon and agrees with me. So this goes back to the problem I pointed out long ago, if two Mormons cannot agree and they both feel they have the truth and are telling me I am wrong, who do I trust and how can I know it is you over someone else?

  49. shematwater says:


    This is the article that I read. I admit that I have not finished it, as it is lengthy and I lack time at the moment. However, the introduction is rather instructive, and contains many references for you to checkout.


    Nice try twisting the words of Parkman. He wasn’t agreeing with you at all, but explaining how things work.
    Can you remember your first birthday? Or think back to the very first memory you have: have your parents told you stories of things that happened before this memory?

    In the same manner we do not remember anything of the time before this life, including the veil. I don’t think Park or Clyde disagree with this.
    However, our Heavenly Father, with the aid of our earthly families, endeavors to teach us of those times and things that we do not remember. For this reason, and this reason only, we know we passed through the veil, even though we have no memory of it.

  50. Rick B says:

    Sorry but this veil does not exist, it as with Mormonism is false and fake

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