Mormon proselytizing can be tricky

Deseret News (online) published this cartoon by Arie Van De Graff on Jan 21, 2013.


It might come as no surprise that there actually is A Book of Mormons. Written and compiled by Latter-day Saints Richard S. Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker, the book was published by Signature Books in 1982. Donny and Marie are not in it, but 78 other “pivotal personalities” important to Mormonism are. From Elijah Abel to Zina D. H. Young, Van Wagoner and Walker “make accessible those elusive moments, those highlights of the lives of the people [they] met most and liked best in Mormon history” (ix).

Here are a few of the “highlights” the authors chose to include.

John M. Bernhisel: “In addition to the [10] sealings performed by Joseph Smith, and the seven wives married in Nauvoo, Bernhisel was sealed to eighty-three deceased women in the Salt Lake Endowment House in 1868, plus an additional twenty-three wives one year later.” (16)

Sam Brannan: “Mindful of Brannan’s financial success, President Brigham Young advised him, ‘If you want to continue to prosper, do not forget the Lord’s treasury, lest he forget you; for with the liberal, the Lord is liberal. And when you have settled with the treasury, I want you to remember that Brother Brigham has long been destitute of a home, and suffered heavy losses and incurred great expenses in searching out a location and planting the church in this place. He wants you to send him a present of twenty thousand dollars in gold dust, to help him in his labors.” (22)

Abraham H. Cannon: “1896. Despite the Wilford Woodruff Manifesto (1890), Cannon married Lillian Hamblin: ‘Father [President George Q. Cannon] also spoke to me about taking some good girl and raising up seed by her for my brother David…He told me to think the matter over, and speak to him later about it. Such a ceremony as this could be performed in Mexico, so Pres. Woodruff has said.’ With the assistance of Joseph F. Smith, Abraham married Lillian off the coast of California, and sired one child on behalf of his deceased brother.” (42-43)

Heber J. Grant: “During an 1883-1884 mission to the Moquis Indians in Arizona, Grant reported a vision in which he learned that he had been called to be an apostle because his natural father J.M. Grant, and the Prophet Joseph [Heber’s father by sealing], had requested it.” (Both men were deceased at this time. 101)

Anthony W. Ivins: “Officiator for Post-Manifesto Plural Marriages: 1897. Though a monogamist himself, Ivins was authorized by the First Presidency to perform plural marriage sealings, illegal under both U.S. and Mexican laws.” (133)

W.W. Phelps: “A Phelps editorial in the Star…was viewed by Missourians as an ‘invitation to free people of color to settle in Jackson County!’ Phelps tried to placate slaveholders in a special edition of the Star: ‘Our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as members of the church.’” (206)

Orson Pratt: “When Pratt returned from a mission to Great Britain, he found that Church leaders had withdrawn his wife’s food allotment and were accusing her of adultery with John C. Bennett. She countered that Joseph Smith had proposed she become one of his ‘celestial wives,’ and that Brigham Young had urged her to say nothing, but ‘do as Joseph wished.’” (211)

Parley Pratt: “Orson [Parley’s brother], expelled from the temple, complained to Brigham Young about Parley’s alleged immorality…Orson was referring to Parley’s relations with Belinda Marden, to whom he had been secretly sealed on November 20, 1844. At the time, Belinda accompanied Pratt on a mission to New York, not even his wife, Mary Ann, was aware of the marriage. When Belinda gave birth to a son (1846), Mary Ann asked Belinda if the child were illegitimate. Told the truth, Mary Ann immediately severed her marital relationship with Pratt, though she did not divorce him until 1853, after coming to Utah.” (221)

Sidney Rigdon: “1842. May: Lasting difficulties were created between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon when Rigdon’s daughter Nancy, her brother John, and her brother-in-law George W. Robinson testified that the Prophet [Joseph Smith] had proposed ‘spiritual marriage’ to her. Joseph publicly denied the accusations.” (236)

B.H. Roberts: “Roberts…refused to sign a Church ‘political manifesto’ which stipulated that before a general authority could seek political office he must ‘apply to the proper authorities and learn from them whether he can, consistently with the obligations already entered into with the Church upon assuming his office, take upon himself the added duties and labors and responsibilities of the new position.’…Roberts felt that the political manifesto constituted an infringement on basic civil liberties. He was suspended from ecclesiastical duties and given three weeks to recant…. He walked the streets all night, wrestling with the dilemma of sacrificing principle or being stripped of his Church blessings. Just hours before the deadline, he decided to sign and was accepted back into fellowship.” (243-244)

Joseph Fielding Smith: “He was often viewed as a ‘stern and unbending judge of righteousness,’ as suggested by his views on capital punishment; ‘There are sins which cannot be forgiven, except by the guilty person paying a price by the shedding of his blood. Capital punishment was to benefit the guilty to obtain a better resurrection when the sin had been one unto death.’” (305)

Annie Clark Tanner: “Six months later [after she became a plural wife], Tanner married a third wife. ‘I had not seen the third wife, but I did wonder wherein I lacked that so soon he should take another wife. Then I remembered the doctrine of the Trinity as taught by the Church – that if one wanted to attain the very pinnacle of glory in the next world there must be, at least, three wives.’” (350)

David Whitmer: “According to a March, 1929, revelation, Joseph Smith was given ‘a gift to translate the [Book of Mormon], and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other’ (Book of Commandments 4:2). Whitmer opposed Joseph Smith as president of the Church, feeling that the Prophet’s only gift was to translate the Book of Mormon. The revelation was revised in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants to read, ‘I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.’” (389)

While sharing the Book of Mormon might be tricky for LDS missionaries, sharing A Book of Mormons with investigators would probably prove to be a great deal more difficult.

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

21 Responses to Mormon proselytizing can be tricky

  1. Kate says:

    Unbelievable. The polygamy makes me sick. I wonder how many Mormons would stay in the religion if it was still like this? The FLDS are looked down upon by the LDS because of this very weirdness, but what they don’t see or understand is that this weirdness is also their history. This is Mormonism.

  2. Mike R says:

    Kate, you’re free from the grip of a false prophet led organization , and you can now see
    how sincere women were once spiritually and emotionally deceived by being members of
    such . It’s so sad how people are misled into embracing an imitation gospel. Polygamy was
    called one of the most important doctrines ever revealed to man, that it was an essential
    church ordinance that Mormon prophets claimed they were personally directed by Jesus to
    reveal . Mormonism cleverly advertised itself as the very same church that was established
    by Jesus in the first century . But we find that Mormon leaders have only succumbed to the
    behavior of mixing in their own ideas onto what Jesus’ original apostles preached as
    church doctrine and ordinance and thus they taught polygamy was a restored gospel truth of
    Jesus’ church . Paul knew there would be those who might try and alter the gospel that he
    had preached so he warned in Gal. 1:8-9 to be on alert for such false prophets/ apostles .
    Mormon prophets/apostles are such men .

  3. falcon says:

    Come on! This was a long time ago. What does it matter anyway? Does it really tell us anything about Mormonism that we should pay attention to? Mormonism has changed so should we even be concerned about all the women these guys married, living and or dead?
    I must admit, marrying a dead woman is kind of creepy! Although on second thought, there may be some advantages. ONLY KIDDING………………….everyone just lighten up. It’s the falcon after all!

  4. falcon says:

    You wonder how much evidence a TBM would need in order to even begin to consider that maybe the religion they’ve invested in so heavily, isn’t what they think it is. There is really two kinds of Mormonism. There’s the one that Mormons think they believe in and than there’s the reality of what it actually is.
    Stop and think about 19th century Mormonism; what these people believed and practiced. Through social and political pressure Mormonism had to dump its most egregious practices and agree to join polite society. Over the years they’ve continued to try and go main-stream but they’re stuck with the past. Only the most fantastic explanations can keep the ruse going in the minds of the faithful.
    But I get it in because when people are so emotionally invested in something or someone, they will do anything to protect and maintain the fantasy. For those who were born Mormon and always had doubts, it’s easier to walk away. But for those whose lives are centered and governed by the Mormon organization, it’s a real difficult task.

  5. Kate says:

    I had a member of the bishopric stop by my house one time and he talked to me about getting a temple recommend (he was actually here about a calling for me and the temple came up) I told him I would never be able to get one because I don’t believe in polygamy. He said I don’t have to believe in it. I asked him if he planned on being a polygamist in the Celestial Kingdom, he looked a little uncomfortable and said yes. I told him I don’t believe in polygamy in Heaven either. He told me not to worry about stuff like that, god has it all worked out. My point is……they don’t worry about stuff like that, they leave it to their god, or as the Wilder family said, “They put it on a shelf.” If they actually sat down and thought about these things, many would have a mental breakdown.
    Another thing that I hear a lot about the men who had many wives is that they didn’t sleep with all of them! I had this conversation about Brigham Young just the other day. Let’s not forget the charge that only a few select and worthy men practiced polygamy. Of course not all men got to practice it, there were only so many women and with the higher ups in the church taking 50+ wives that left the others without a woman! No wonder they had to resort to marrying dead women! I’m so glad I’m out of this weirdness.
    The really sad part is I have friends who are just sick over what is going to happen in the Celestial Kingdom. They are well aware that they will have to share their husbands with other women. They too just hope their god has it all worked out. In Mormonism, women are nothing more than brood mares or as Heber C. Kimball said:

    “I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow.” – Apostle Heber C. Kimball, The Twenty Seventh Wife, Irving Wallace, p. 101.

    He said this from the pulpit and I can’t imagine what the women were thinking, especially his own wives. I don’t know why any woman, then or now, would short change herself this way.

  6. falcon says:

    This almost seems to be beyond being a “sex object”.
    Man, this is loco stuff. I know, Mormons will tell us how spiritually gifted and talented they are because they can accept this weirdness and see it as normal.
    The more convoluted and revolting an idea, the more a cultist loves it.

  7. grindael says:

    Unbelievable. The polygamy makes me sick. I wonder how many Mormons would stay in the religion if it was still like this? The FLDS are looked down upon by the LDS because of this very weirdness, but what they don’t see or understand is that this weirdness is also their history. This is Mormonism.

    Kate, it still is. They have stopped the practice but still believe the principle. And all of those men are lauded as “great apostles and prophets”. They were nothing of the kind, as their own words reveal. But now, it’s put the current “prophet” on a pedestal, and throw the rest under the bus unless you can live with selected things that they said. There is nothing divine in polyandry, lying, bribing judges, fixing elections, robbing the poor, giving commandments that killed and destroyed people (the handcart debacle for one), encouraging vengeance and revenge, narcissism, fakery, hypocrisy, cheating and overall ineptitude in spiritual things.

    “The more convoluted and [I would say senseless] an idea, the more a cultist loves it.”

    I don’t know that Kimball’s comparison of women to cows was said over the pulpit Kate. But the comment is pure 19th Century Mormonism at its best, and typical of Brigham’s personal “prophet” and best buddy Heber C. Kimball. This account by Wilford Woodruff is so typical of the insecure and tyrannical Kimball,

    President Heber C. Kimball rebuked Albert P. Rockwood [of the First Counsel of the Seventy] in the presence of the Saints in the Deseret Store for his stupidity and folly. Brother Kimball says, “As I pass by you I cannot even get your eye. You do not speak to me. You are as dry as an old cabbage leaf, wilted up. You have not the spirit of God and you have tried to ride me for years and if you do not wake up and do your duty, I will ride you and that too with sharp spurs. I feel to rebuke you in the name of the Lord, and Brother Woodruff, you write it, that it may stand on record against him.” (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.462, October 3, 1856).

    Here is Rockwood’s GA Bio. Thus we see the nature of despots revealed. Young & Kimball were the worst.

  8. Ironman1995 says:

    Its so much easier to read and live Jesus Christ words as he spoke them as he lived .
    Then to put together and take apart the Mormon jig saw puzzle and follow and live that.

  9. falcon says:

    I’m curious, is this Celestial Kingdom polygamy common knowledge among rank and file Mormons and MM?
    The FLDS is 19th century Mormonism, Utah style. The Community of Christ is 19th century Mormonism prior to Navoo.
    So place Mormonism on a continuum and you’ve got a lot of different shades of this religion. I’ve asked, and none of our Mormon posters seem to want to go on record as to what is the true revelation?
    In the past, I posted a series of links to an interview done with Anne Wilde. That will blow your hair back!
    She’s a dyed in the wool polygamist.

  10. Kate says:

    “I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow.”
    I did read that he said this from the pulpit. It’s from an autobiography of Ann Eliza Young, written by Irving Wallace. This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

    “Ann Eliza Young, a long-time critic of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, alleged that later in a sermon given from the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Kimball declared, “I think no more of taking [another] wife than I do of buying a cow.” One LDS scholar has argued that Ann Eliza fabricated the quote, since it cannot be corroborated by any other source, including the extensive (though not comprehensive) record of early Mormon sermons in the Journal of Discourses.”

    Ann Eliza Young was one of Brigham Young’s plural wives and later spoke out against polygamy so of course she can’t be trusted to be telling the truth. Personally I would be more inclined to believe her than the LDS church, especially given the things Heber C. Kimball said about polygamy and women. I’m sure you are way ahead of me on the research here 🙂

    [Thanks for the clarification Kate. -grindael]

    “They have stopped the practice but still believe the principle.”

    I don’t know how people separate the two. My mind doesn’t work that way 🙂 Maybe the LDS need to be reminded what Heber C. Kimball said about denying polygamy.

    “You might as well deny Mormonism and turn away from it, as to oppose the plurality of wives. Let the Presidency of this Church, and the Twelve Apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they will oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them will be damned”. – Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City, October 12, 1856

    They do deny it by not practicing it. Gordon Hinckley said it is not doctrinal on Larry King Live:

    HINCKLEY: “I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law.”

    HINCKLEY: It does, because people mistakenly assume that this church has something to do with it. It has nothing whatever to do with it. It has had nothing to do with it for a very long time. It’s outside the realm of our responsibility. These people are not members. Any man or woman who becomes involved in it is excommunicated from the church.

    Full interview here for those who want to read it:

    So who do Mormons believe? Are they damned for not practicing it, or are they to be excommunicated for practicing it? Both leaders quoted here are from the past so do their words even count? Insane how once a prophet or leader dies, all their counsel and revelations become just their opinion.

  11. grindael says:

    Some “Kimball-isms” by Wilford Woodruff,

    Elder Kimball sayes I get up of necessity to say a few words. I am quite unwell, But I feel the importance of this work. I have been a member of this Church 12 years. I came out of the Baptist Church & Joined this & I have passed through evry thing but death, & we have come here to call for help to build the Houses & I have spent $30 to get here & collected $15 dollars. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 2, 1841–1845, p.296, Boston Conference, September 9, 1843)

    He added, “I speak in Parables. I Compare the Saints to a good cow. When you milk her Clean she will always have an abundance of milk to give. But you milk her a little & she will soon dry up. So with the Saints. If they do but little in building up Zion they soon have but little to do with.” (ibid)

    He loved those cow comparisons. And then there was the paranoia:

    H C Kimball arose and related a dream. Said He was travelling with President Young vary fast and they thought they could fly and they flew through [p.99] the air and lit down upon a large plain. And they saw it coverd with large groups of snakes and they had to jump from place to place to get over them but they lay still while they were in there midst. Brother Young said the interpetation was the people were full of evil and speaking evil of them but would not grumble while they were present.
    (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, p. 99, December 15, 1846)

    The fore part of the evening was occupied in conversing upon a variety of subjects And Had a little intermission during which time Elders Young Kimball and others had a little recreation and bodily exercise and had prayers after which Presidents Young and Kimball spoke in tongues a while.
    (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, p. 105, December 29, 1846).

    No translation or interpretation offered by Woodruff or Young & Kimball.

    Elder Kimball followed & remarked that what President Young said it was the word of the Lord unto him & was Just as much binding upon him as though it was A written Revelation And it was just as much binding upon the whole camp as it was upon him & urged the saints to give heed to the teachings that were given. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, p. 189, May 29, 1847).

    Rebaptism instituted in the Church:

    I had not been on the bed but a short time before Br Kimball called upon me & informed me that the Twelve were going soon to the water to be Baptized for the remission of their sins to set an example to the Church As they would be called upon on Sunday morning to be baptized by the Twelve [all?] those that wished. We considerd this A duty & privlege as we come into a glorious valley to locate & build a temple & build up Zion we felt like renewing our Convenant before the Lord and each other.

    We soon repaired to the water & President Brigham Young went down into the water & Baptized all his Brethren the Twelve that were with him by burying them in the water. He also confirmed us in the Church & sealed upon us our apostleship & all the keys, powers & Blessings belonging to that office. Br Heber C. Kimball Baptized & Confirmed President Bringham Young. The following are the names of those present on this occasion: B Young H C Kimball O. Pratt W. Richards W. Woodruff G. A. Smith & A Lyman. Distance of the day 20. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, p.249- 250, August 6, 1847)

    A “Brother Andrews” cut off for adultery for doing exactly what Joseph Smith did, taking a second wife, & Kimball extols blood atonement:

    Br H. C. Kimball Addressed the Council & said that He had been to the mountains & got an endowment & felt it in his bones & wanted to talk a little. He said the day had come when iniquity Could not be harboured in the church. And men because they belong to my family or Br Brigham Youngs family will not be screened in wickedness. I would even turn over to the law of God sons out of my own loins if [p.298] they done wrong. Will I suffer iniquity to go unpunished in others more than in my own sons? I tell you nay. Br Andrews has been adopted into my family. But let the law of God have its demand upon him if it takes his head off for A man had better enter into life maimed than into Hell with all his members.

    The Accusations Against Br Andrews were then read. Some He Acknowledged to & some were proven against him After which President Young Addressed the meeting in an interesting manner & gave good teaching.

    He said A man by seeking that which did not belong to him would loose that which He seemeth to have As in this case Br Andrews by unlawfully marrying this woman is now left without any wife. There is no Elder in this Church [who has] any right to marry A woman to a man who has A living wife. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, p. 298, Dec. 21, 1847)

  12. grindael says:

    Kimball-isms (continued)

    Of course this didn’t apply to Young & Kimball and their inner circle who were doing it at an amazing rate.

    Brother Kimball addressed the meeting a part of the day. Among other remarks He said Jesus Christ was the first Born of the Father & He was the candidate & Elected to redeem the world. Lucipher set up as a candidate to run against Jesus Christ But He was overcome & thrust down to Hell with all that followed him. And we will have no more division Henceforth & forever in Israel. We will have but one candidate for office but No opposition. All will be Elected & proven. If a person is qualifyed to fill a greater station than He holds He will have a chance. The Presidency & Twelve will fill in Eternity those stations Appointed them. So with all men. But I expect to remain on this Earth untill I am able to create a world of my own & people it. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.51, July 27, 1851)

    President H C Kimball Arose & Said the Conference was not for the benefit of one but for the whole. Is the Store House full of wheat? Is the tithing Butter & cheese brought in? Some of you will Ask can I get my Endowment? But I will say not one of you will get your endowments untill you pay your tithing. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.56, Sept. 7, 1851)

    H. C. Kimball said I am going to make an offering to president Young. Abram paid tithes to Melchezedeck. A certain woman gave a purse. Others filled it. Br Rhodes gave the President sixty four pounds of gold for the public works. He has not lacked any thing. You should give the Best you have to the Lord & He will pour you out a Blessing that there will not Be room to receive it. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.66, Sept. 7, 1851)

    H C Kimball moved that Brigham Young Be the Govornor of the State of Deserett. Carried unanimously & H C Kimball Lieut Govornor, which was sustained with Applause. President Young remarked that No doubt before you get home you will hear we have committed treason. President Young remarked that the Gentile would take exception to what is Said Here. I know as the Lord lives that the people of the United States have departed from the spirit & letter of their Constitution And this people will be ownly the people that will sustain it. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.112, April 7, 1852)

    H C Kimball then arose & said I wish to speak to the understandings of the people. I never saw any room like this on earth. The cock pit in Preston is some like it. I am satisfyed that [we?] Cannot build fast enough to Accomodat the People. President Young teachings are sweeter than the best morsel I ever tasted. If we are faithful in keeping the Commandments of God you will never fall in Battle but will be preserved to finish your work on Earth. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.122, April 8, 1852).

    Some have said that I was vary presumptuous to say that Brother Brigham was my God & Saviour. Brother Joseph was his God. The one that gave Joseph the keys of the kingdom was his God which was Peter. Jesus Christ was his God & the God & Father of Jesus Christ was Adam. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.130, April 10, 1852)

    Brother Kimball said to Brother Brigham [p.135] you shall be blessed & all your House & not one of them Shall be lost & no man shall get Between me & Brother Brigham & Brother Richards & no man or woman shall get between the Twelve & Presidency. If they do they will get pinched & any man or woman that tries to get between us will be damned. They tried to prejudice Joseph against us in his day & they will be damned. The Twelve are the best men that live and any man that tries to put their feet upon their neck will get the feet of the Twelve upon their neck. (Brother Brigham came in at this time.) Do as Br Brigham tells you & all will be right & you will not have sorrow. Follow my council & you will not have sorrow. If my own family would take my Council & had faith in me I would never have a doctor in my family but I have doctors here that I have faith in. Let me send for a doctor & they have faith in him & not in me then what further am I? (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.135, April 10, 1852)

    H. C. Kimball made some remarks. He said that what President Young had presented to the people to Carry out was ownly what we had in our Houses for years all have to be purchased even George Watt [sic]. I want all I have to be secure in the kingdom of God. If the Presidency & Twelve enter into this order they will swollow up the whole Church in a little time & also the whole world as Joseph did in Egypt. The Plurality of wives was esstablished & many of you have fought it & you may fight it untill you go into your graves & it will still be the work of God & will Continue to be to all Eternity. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.259, April 7, 1854)

    [President Kimball] said that He would withdraw fellowship from any sister that would run after any of the gentiles & He would withdraw fellowship from any mother that would give her consent for their daughters to go & associate with the gentile or from the father if He gave his consent and if He caught any man commiting Adultery with one of his daughters He would kill them both & so ought any righteous man. But let not any person that has commit Adultery ever kill another person for commiting the same act. Many important things were said which were reported by the writers & will be published in due time. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.303, Feb. 3, 1855)

    P P Pratt addressed the People. Spoke upon drilling wheat cultivating less land & doing it better. He was followed by President Kimball who said what Brother Pratt had said was Gods truth evry word of it. For all truth was gods truth. Some people cannot see the end of theire nose. If they did they would know more. I believe men in their resurrected bodies eat or they would die. I believe they eat as well as men in their mortal bodies.

    You have got to be subject to the priesthood & learn to obey your head or you will be damned. [p.399] We have the Apostles here to lead us and if we are passive in ther hands we shall be saved. You should be vary careful of the Apostles while you have them with you. Speak well of them & treat them kindly & do them good or you will suffer. You expect to be saved But you have got to do right.

    A Man asked me if I had not got women sealed to me that were rebellious to you. I told them it was none of their Business. He asked if that would take away any of my glory. I said No it will not. If your wives are rebellious against you let them go away if they want to. It will not take away my glory for my wives to leave me. If I do my Duty & do not have women that will obey me I will go to heaven & the Lord will give me all that I want. I would like to raise up a good Posterity on Earth if I could but I dont want to fight in order to do it. Many other remarks was made which I have not written. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.399, Feb. 3, 1856).

    Rebaptisms (again)

    After the Font was dedicated [at the Bowery] President Brigham Young went down into the water in the Font & Baptized Presidents Heber C. Kimball & J. M. Grant & he laid his hands upon them & confirmed them members in the [p.460] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints & blessed them in the name of the Lord. He blessed Heber C Kimball & Heber C Kimball was mouth in blessing J. M. Grant. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.460, Oct 2, 1856).

    The Conference was called to order by President Kimball at 9 oclk and he said I want to say a word to the Congregation and to all the House of Israel. If you expect to be blessed & have the word of God come through his servants let there be peace & silence. Let evry man take his seat & set there till the meeting is out & you are dismissed. God says that his house is a house of order & not of confusion & let evry man be in silence & the women not [p.466] one whit behind the men. I will inform the Congregation men & women that if there is any one that wishes to go out they had better go out now For the policee will be at those gaps & there can none go out when they once take their seats & we want the policee if the men that are in the c[…..]es make the noise that they did yesterday to just knock them in the head. These are my orders. For men to Come hundreds of miles & then to sit & talk & chatter & do their business here at this meeting it is not proper.

    You may say I am severe. I am not half as severe as the Lord wants me to be. I have seen Joseph when men were in Council meetings with him & rose to leave, cut them right off from the church before they got out of the door. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 4, p.466, October 7, 1856)

    (more later)

  13. Kate says:

    Wow, these men were evil. With all of this ranting, weirdness and yes power, it’s no wonder the people of Ohio, Illinois and Missouri wanted them out. I can’t even begin to understand what it was like for the converts from Europe who came to Salt Lake and had no way of getting back home. Just imagine getting the whitewashed missionary lessons and giving up everything, traveling across thousands of miles of ocean and land, broke, destitute, maybe even lost a loved one on the way, only to arrive at this. Talk about bait and switch.
    I know we focus more on the LDS but does anyone know if the FLDS still believe and practice all that these men revealed? I know, I know, I need to do the research…..:)

  14. falcon says:

    In the interview with Ann Wilde, she was asked about polyandry, the practice of Joseph Smith “marrying” women already married to other men. She explains that perhaps these women were Smith’s in the pre-existence. I thought that was pretty creative and a “reason” I hadn’t heard before. She explains that she believes Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.
    So the impression I was left with was that Smith’s “status” must mean that there are “reasons” for what he did. I like this. It’s a get out of jail free card for any Mormon prophet or the Mormon church for that matter. So since these men are prophets and the LDS church is God’s established (church) both are “perfect” and anything they do is A-OK.
    Process that! That’s the reason it’s so difficult to have a rational discussion with a TBM about the short comings of the LDS church and its leaders.

  15. falcon says:

    For those of us who have nothing invested in Mormonism ($$$$$, emotions, family, employment), we can sift through the evidence and come pretty quickly to a conclusion. It’s really difficult for me to put myself in a TBMs head and see things from his/her perspective.
    I mean who’s going to believe that an angel appeared to a guy and directed him to dig up some golden plates and provided some magic glasses to translate a language that never existed?
    Just on the surface its not believable. And then when you learn that people come to believe this because they got a feeling which serves as confirmation that it’s true, well it would be kind to say it stretches credulity to the breaking point?
    Then when you get a little deeper into the weeds and study the details of this religion, including our topic at hand, all I have to say is that it really is inexcusable to go on believing in it.
    But I can understand why it’s hard to let it go. I was told by a man that it took him five years to get the Mormonism out of his head and emotions. He kept wanting it to be true long after he knew it wasn’t. That’s a heavy duty emotional hook.

  16. Kate says:

    So I’ve spent some time today watching the video link you provided to the interview with Anne Wilde. What I find interesting is that she started out in the LDS church and as an adult turned to polygamy. It was crazy listening to her tell her beliefs, beliefs that LDS flat out deny, twist or spin. So far the most interesting thing she said was that in these days the gift of discernment is very important and that Mormons need to decide whether they want to be a member of the church or live eternal principles. She also says that living eternal principles is the only way to make it to the highest degree of Heaven which was revealed by LDS leaders.
    This is the first time that I have heard that John Taylor put a council together to keep the practice of polygamy going separate from the church. I need to do some research on that. I’m looking forward to finishing this interview! Interesting stuff!

  17. grindael says:


    The practice of Celestial Marriage was always separate from the Church. The power to marry couples was always centered on just a few men. They carried on in secret for years, until revealing it to the church and public in 1852. After that it was more widespread, but still limited in its practice. It was eventually used as a method of determining loyalty, and only those that practiced it were really allowed in the inner sanctum of the church’s business, (although there were exceptions). They then publicly announced its end, but carried on in secret until 1904. Joseph F. Smith committed perjury in the Reed Smoot Hearings by saying that there was not one marriage sanctioned after the first Manifesto. This doctrine was brought into the church with lies, and left the church with lies.

  18. falcon says:

    I’ve watched these Ann Wilde interviews before and all I can say is that she sure has a handle on the history of Mormonism, especially the changes.
    Something she says interested me because I don’t know much about the topic. She says that “priesthood” is separate from the “church”. John Dehlin asks her about what the “true” priesthood is if there are all these different sects. That’s where she gets into people feeling they have received this from the Lord and she isn’t about to judge the legitimacy of it.
    She also talks about Jesus being a polygamist and that he had “progeny”.
    Now the interesting thing is that she’s so matter-of-fact about all of this. In some ways it’s kind of refreshing to listen to her because there’s no equivocation with her. Absolutely no embarrassment. Her “husband” must have been an interesting guy. She says they/he wrote 65 books about Mormonism. She never got or expected any financial support from him since he had another family. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone talk about something so weird as if it were totally normal.

  19. Kate says:

    I was thinking the same thing about Ann Wilde. She states so confidently what LDS deny, twist, and spin. She’s “original” Mormonism at its best in my mind. I wonder how many faithful LDS turn to polygamy and the fundamentalist way of Mormonism. I do know a guy who grew up here, married in the temple, had children and worked in Salt Lake City. One day they were just divorced. Come to find out, he had joined a polygamous sect up there and married a second wife. His first wife was clueless but was friends with someone who had attended the marriage ceremony of this guy and his second wife. This friend thought it was wrong that the first wife didn’t know so filled her in. Honestly, after all the research, if I were ever to return to Mormonism I would have to be a polygamist.

    I’m confused. I know that polygamy was practiced in secret and denied in public for years, but how could it be separate from the church? Anne Wilde says that polygamy was revealed as a “law of the priesthood” and in 1852 was voted on and accepted by members as a “law of the church.” So at least from 1852 on, it was a law of the church and not separate from the church. Am I understanding that right? Maybe the LDS church doesn’t see it that way?
    Anne says that in 1886 George Q. Cannon brought John Taylor a manifesto and asked him to take it up with the Lord to see if they should stop the practice of polygamy. The next morning John Taylor said the answer from the Lord was clear and that “Rather than sign that, I would rather have my tongue torn out of my mouth and my arms severed from my body.” She says John Taylor called men in that day and appointed them to keep the law alive and to “See that not a year pass that a child was not born into plural marriage.” She does admit that the LDS church would probably say that never happened.
    She does go on to say that the priesthood was revealed when their wasn’t a church yet, so they can exist separately. Polygamy is not the priesthood, but a “law of the priesthood” and an eternal principle. If I’m understanding her right, they can practice polygamy separate from the church because it’s a law of the priesthood, even if it’s no longer a law of the church.
    If she is correct and John Taylor knew the day was coming that polygamy would be dropped from the church, then it wouldn’t be that hard to believe that he made a way for it to continue through men that he appointed.

  20. grindael says:


    What I mean is that the lay members never had any control over polygamy. They didn’t know about it when Smith was practicing it. Most didn’t know about it until 1852. Then, only certain leaders had control of who could marry another wife. It was all controlled by just a few men. They then preached about it publically, but the church, the women in the church, could never object to it, without consequences. D&C 132 wasn’t even canonized until 1876, so the Articles on Marriage, (where it states that Church Law was one man & one wife) was actually the binding doctrine on the church until then. And by then, an 1862 law made polygamy illegal in Utah Territory and the Nation. So when they did canonize D&C 132, they did so in the face of U.S. law, breaking the articles of faith and numerous scriptures that tell them to uphold the law of the land. The whole doctrine of polygamy isn’t right. Not how it began, not how they instigated it publically, or how they ended it. I can totally destroy that “separate from the church” argument from Mormon Scripture, but I’m too tired right now. It was separate from the church, but NOT LEGALLY or by SCRIPTURE, for when 132 was voted binding, it directly contradicted other scripture. Blood Atonement is a good example of another “law of the Priesthood”. But you won’t see them defending that in the same way.

  21. Kate says:

    Thanks for the reply. I realize that I have been looking at this through the eyes of an FLDS woman. I guess I didn’t realize that this “law of the priesthood” didn’t apply to all men. Which is funny to me because how were all men to obey and follow section 132? Maybe this is why TBM aren’t that worried about polygamy and becoming gods, not all are meant to.

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