Faithful Mormons Respond to News of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy

ShockWavesShock waves continue to move across the globe as Mormons discover their Church’s recent admissions regarding Joseph Smith’s polygamy. There is much distress evident among Mormons who have always believed (been told) that the kinds of things now disclosed in the Mormon Church essays (i.e., Joseph Smith married up to 40 women, many were quite young, some were married to other living men, Joseph lied to his legal wife, Emma, etc) were anti-Mormon lies. One former Mormon described the scene as his still-LDS family in Latin America realized the news reports were true: “mother in law crying, father in law shell shocked.”

After the tears, what do people do when they find their trusted leaders have repeatedly lied to them? How will Mormons reconcile this new information with what they have been told in the past? How will the Mormon Church react to the burden imposed on it by wounded and angry members? Tim at LDS & Evangelical Conversations proposes five possible institutional (as opposed to individual) responses. I just list them here; Tim goes into more detail on his blog — please do go read it. Tim’s list:

  1. So What?
  2. No Sex.
  3. He [Joseph] Was a Fallen Prophet.
  4. No Religion Is True, So Stick With What You Know.
  5. Repentance.

Based on past behavior, it’s likely that the Mormon Church will do its best to retain membership while protecting the institution – which means protecting the Prophet. Among faithful Mormons (individuals), it seems that members don’t get past the first two options – at least when posting publicly.

At the Facebook page “1 Million Mormons on Fb” a member asked, “What do you think about Joseph Smith having 40 wives? I just read about this [this] morning. It makes me cringe”

The 220 responses (as of this writing) are pretty revealing. Even though the information for the question came directly from the LDS Church’s website, some Mormons reacted with denial:

CD: “Be careful of things you read. I have heard of these things too but as for as I know Emma was the only wife Joseph Smith had.”

PFM: “He only had 2 [wives] while alive.”

CP: “You can’t believe everything you read, hear, or even some things you think you have seen. I have never heard such a thing…”

CHR: “Why? Why do members worry or stress over church history and sometimes the facts aren’t even correct?”

Almera Johnson v4Many Mormons acknowledged Joseph Smith’s polygamy but offered up the traditional, typical (but historically untenable) excuses:

EL: “Smith married a lot of the women he did because they did not have a husband who was a worthy member of the church so they did the sealing ceremony so that the wife would be married in the after life”

KLR: “The definition of wives in our day vs back then were different. It was said as wives because there wasn’t enough men to be priesthood holders in the home. It was for priesthood representation… most of them had lost their husbands on the trek.”

NWS: “Imagine living in those times. Imagine being a single woman with no chance of having a husband and or any children because all the men were married. So for your entire life you would have no chance to be married in this life or the next…So it seems to me the soul purpose of polygamy was to have a temple marriage and experience having children.”

WSC: “…polygamy was to grow this church population, and to help women because they had no rights, so if it was true [that Joseph Smith had 40 wives] it was to help theses women.”

MAA: “Polygamy today is typically a fruit of the flesh. However back in Joseph day remember so many lady’s husbands where killed by mobs against the lds church. And back then the law of the land was ladies need husbands or they are worthless and harlets in the eyes of others…Joseph had one wife for this life. Most if not all others where for sealing of all eternity like today’s family sealings.”

Though Tim compiled a list of possible Church responses to the current situation, many individual Mormons follow the same path in their personal reactions. Lot’s of Mormons subscribed to the first idea on Tim’s list, “So what?”

KNC: “Who cares?! Move forward in faith believing in all things and pray that your concerns will go away. Heavenly Father is in charge and that’s all we should worry about!”

EH: “Past is past. Is that still a problem?”

RCB: “I don’t care. Why does it matter?”

RP: “Doesn’t really matter. He was an instrument to bring forth the gospel in these latter days. Polygamy was NOT against the law of the land then either.”

Lot’s of Mormons also embraced the second response on Tim’s list, “No sex.”

AS: “Polygamy then is not like polygamy now. He was not having sex with all of them. It was a commandment that he faithfully obeyed even with how hard it was for him to do. It was a very tough decision for him and Emma.”

SPP: “Remember something here concerning this issue. Just because they had more than one wife doesn’t mean they were having sex with all these women.”

NDH: “I think to a certain extent polygamy was like adoption. Joseph didn’t have kids with all these wives. He took them as wives because their husbands where killed.”

LB: “I have never been convinced that he was married and had sexual relations with these women.”

HAW: “Remember back then it wasn’t to sleep with them or anything. It was to help them. With money and everything else.”

Not a single Mormon commenting on this Facebook thread suggested Joseph Smith could have been a fallen prophet. In fact, many made a point of praising Joseph and his actions:

NWB: “Can you imagine telling your spouse you had to do this? Emma hated the idea. Joseph and Emma went through such trials. I’m so grateful for their service and testimonies”

SO: “Joseph was a great man. Obedient, loving and submissive to the mind and will of the Lord.”

LS: “It doesn’t matter or change how I feel about him. He was a great Prophet then & still is.”

CL: “At least he had a big enough heart and patience to care and love all those woman but his true love will always[s] be Emma”

LFP: “I think he was the most Christ like person who has ever existed”

Talk_to_the_HandFinally, many Mormons did not try to make sense of Joseph Smith’s polygamy/polyandry, nor did they make excuses. For them, it’s all about personal testimony:

JACB: “I think it boils down to having FAITH in the Lord Jesus that he knew what was best for those people at the time. I am 99% sure that Joseph Smith and others would not have done it otherwise. Again, I just want to say it has everything to do with FAITH.”

LC: “We are like little children and Heavenly Father is an adult. Just like parents give instructions to children they don’t understand or agree with so it is with commandments. In 1000 years from now it will make perfect sense because we’ll be different people.”

KM: “We cant judge. We’ve never walked in Josephs shoes. What took place is between him and h[eavenly]f[ather]. What matters is if the holy ghost confirms to us the church is true.”

SS: “Anything that the Lord commands, no matter what it is…doesn’t bother me. We just need 2 have faith & trust that there is a reason 4 all things.”

CSC: “Really? Why are we focusing on this? He was called of God, and commanded to live that life…. If we have Faith in the Lord and his gospel, we have Faith in his plan and commands, and how we would feel about it should not matter…..”

AMM: “I don’t care about his wives I know he was the prophet of the Lord the spirit of God testify to me”

JCC: “that was a commandment from God, Joseph struggled to follow this commandment…as for myself I don’t understand why the Lord directed his servant to abide by this commandment, but it was a commandment non the less…The Lord instructs His prophets in many things that we may not understand…We need to listen to the prophet of our day and trust in the Lord and His ways”

Those of us who have ministered God’s truth among the Mormon people know that denial is the first reaction a Mormon will exhibit when faced with painful truths. Then anger. Then excuses. Then more anger, more denial. And on it goes, often taking years before a true-believing Mormon finds the courage to begin asking questions.

On a public forum like Facebook, Mormons are careful to present a face of strong faith and testimony. But in private, things may be strikingly different — like the “mother-in-law crying and the father-in-law shell-shocked.” Don’t be fooled: despite denials, excuses and faith-promoting testimonies, the LDS Church’s revelations on Joseph Smith’s polygamy have rocked the Mormon world.

hugIn his blog post, Tim calls November 2014 a “watershed moment in the history of Mormonism.” Which way the water will ultimately flow remains to be seen, but this we know: many Mormons are feeling lost, tossed and set adrift right now.

This is Jesus’ time to shine. Just as He rescued Peter from the rough and wind-driven sea (Matthew 14:22-32), He is able to reach out and rescue those Mormons who have become aware that they are spiritually floundering. Please, friends, pray for them. May all God’s people be marked by great compassion for those Mormons who are losing their faith in the Mormon system and beginning to sink. Show them the hope they have if they but call on Jesus. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Please Lord, may it be so for the Mormon people.

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, Joseph Smith, LDS Church, Mormon Culture, Mormon History, Polygamy, Truth, Honesty, Prayer, and Inquiry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Faithful Mormons Respond to News of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy

  1. falcon says:

    I must admit when I read the reactions of those faithful LDS folks, I laughed out loud; more than once. Then I felt a little guilty about laughing out loud. I also shook my head in wonderment of the total nonsensical rationale of these people.
    I know, I know. It’s a cult and this is the way cult members react when they find out the naked truth about their beloved leader. I remember one leader way back saying something about if it was ever proven that Smith was a “glass looker” and “treasure hunter” with his magic rock it would be a bombshell. Well guess what? The documentation was found and the excuse making kept the whole program moving down the tracks.
    I have a Mormon facebook friend and he just posted how wonderful it is that he and his wife have been sealed in the temple and they will be together for eternity. She responds with the same sentiment. OK, now imagine that you start finding out the truth about Smith and you see the sealing and the forever family slipping through your fingertips? At that point it’s easier to come up with a totally bogus excuse/explanation then have to face the reality of maybe the whole program is a sham.
    My heart truly aches for the Mormon people. Although I LOL reading Sharon’s article, I take no perverse pleasure in watching this.

  2. falcon says:

    So what do you do when new evidence (to you) doesn’t match your current narrative. In the case of these LDS folks, they have to change their narrative to make sense of it all. This is a real jolt. It knocks the true believer off of their static emotional equilibrium. How much cognitive dissonance can a person absorb? Cognitive dissonance is holding two contradictory beliefs at the same time.
    So how can it be said that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration who holds the keys to this dispensation yet he was committing adultery? As we can see from Sharon’s article, many LDS folks are working on fitting this round peg of evidence into the square hole of desire and belief.
    What happens when the next shoe falls? They find something else out the runs contrary to their current belief system.
    Hopefully, they will find Christ and in doing so secure for themselves, eternal life.

  3. Mike R says:

    Many Mormons are finally seeing what Christians have been trying to tell them , namely , they follow men who run a powerful corporation which demand unquestioning loyalty . It’s pay your 10% and keep in line type of devotion . To criticize the hierarchy and think that they as likely to be wrong as they are to be right in what the teach or how the lead is to show signs of a spiritual sickness ! ( Conf Report Oct 1947 p 67 Harold B. Lee ) .
    How Mormon leaders have handled their polygamy issue has been a mess from start to finish .
    Their habit of choosing to not be forthright with their flock is still evident , but now even though this latest Essay admits some more information , Mormons are rightly sensing something is amiss with their leaders . May God continue to open their eyes to the truth about the men at the top.

    The Mormon people are decent sincere people who have been detoured by men who have cleverly convinced them to give allegiance to them as authorities in their lives . But there is good news for Mormons who desire to follow Christ , and that is for them to dismiss their leaders from their lives and thus be free from following them . Jesus Himself pre warned Mormons long ago of the dangers
    of latter days false prophets .
    Mormons should take note of Matt 15:14 . It speaks of their dilemma . Jesus is waiting for the Mormon people to put Him first and walk away from the businessmen in Salt Lake City who masquerade as apostles of Jesus . Rev 2:2 .
    We pray for conscientious Mormons , may God give them the strength to dismiss their leaders and
    trust Him to direct their path after making that decision .

  4. MJP says:

    The long term effect remains to be seen. However, it seems clear to me there will be some loss of support from members, even loss of membership.

    Just the same, I think some will strengthen their faith. Its an odd situation, really.

    I look forward to seeing what it does.

  5. Mike R says:

    Not sure how my last post was doubled , oh well .

    MJP ,
    I agree that there will Mormons who will leave their church because of this latest admission by their leaders ( concerning Joseph Smiths polygamy ) , and I hope it will a multitude of them . For those who will be in denial and try to claim that there faith is strengthened by this issue , they are only fooling themselves , rationalizing . They’re not ready to hear the truth , hopefully down the road they will be , but false prophets can have quite a holding effect on their followers . That’s nothing new but it breaks our hearts to see it play out in the lives of sincere people who are relatives or friends .

  6. MJP says:

    The more I have thought about the list above, I have to say its largely irrelevant. How people react to Smith is not the issue: the issue is what the LDS church has done. Who cares whether Smith had sex with the ladies. Who cares if he was a fallen prophet? Who cares whether he was commanded by hid god to do it? All of these questions are relevant to a discussion about Smith’s behavior, but not the church’s behavior.

    The relevant question should be why did the church act the way it did in sweeping Smith’s behavior under the rug, especially if it could be justified on any of the above terms? That, to me, is the far greater question here. The answer to that question also will lead to far more information into the aims of the LDS church than will studying Smith’s behavior.

    I am very curious to get a better understanding of how LDS faithful do react to this news, but I am mostly interested in how they now view the church, not Smith. Smith’s behavior is of course important in studying Mormonism, but the reaction of the church to Smith’s behavior, I think, should be more important.


    Mike R, I too, hope many leave because of this, and yes, it breaks my heart, too.

  7. MistakenTestimony says:

    Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like truth. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to believe.

  8. Mike R says:

    I remember seeing a news article recently that showed a picture of Temple square , I think , where there was a statue of Joseph Smith holding hands with Emma his first wife . The Mormon people should now demand that statues of all of Joseph’s other wives be there also . For those Mormons who claim that this recent disclose by their leaders about polygamy only strengthens their faith , then do a good thing and petition your leaders to do this .

  9. makeitshine says:

    This may not affect the TBMS that much (just the ones already thinking of leaving) but it will probably REALLY going to affect those thinking of converting to Mormonism and that’s a big way Mormons keep their numbers up since so many leave once they reach adulthood (out of the 12 kids in my ward age class alone only 4 are still members). Now that the church has admitted it I dont think it will sit well with people who aren’t already members and are looking into becoming LDS.

    I know of quite a few guys from my ward (my little brothers friends) who were younger than me who were not TBMS but still served missions for the experience and fell away for a while after, they came back once married and chose to raise their families in the church because of the family values. (this was before you could google all the anti-mormon stuff) I think those are falling away temporarily in this transitioning age group will FOR SURE rethink coming back to the church to raise families, because now how will they explain all this to their kids once they start to grow up? Easier to cut your losses during the adulthood age transition.

  10. falcon says:

    I certainly don’t think this admission, finally, that Smith was a polygamist will have much effect on the average LDS pew sitter. This type probably won’t even know about the essay. I’ve seen something similar in one branch of Lutheranism when it decided to allow active homosexual clergy to be called as pastors by the denominations churches. Those pew sitters have the attitude of, “Well we don’t have to call………” I’m sure you can finish the sentence.
    In the minds of these folks nothing has changed. They don’t even see it as an issue. To-be-fair, whole congregations have left this synod but it’s generally because the pastors wouldn’t go along with the change and influenced their congregations to pull out of the group.
    Where this LDS essay will have an effect will be on people who are fed-up with the program anyway. In the Catholic church, the clergy abuse and cover-up scandal has cost the church. The rank-and-file aren’t so inclined to let the hierarchy spin them

  11. falcon says:

    The FLDS would say that the 1890 Manifesto ending polygamy in Mormonism wasn’t an authentic revelation. They will say it is as titled, simply a “manifesto”. It has no bearing on what the Mormon god really intended but was merely an abdication of that “principle” that would allow men to reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. So to the FLDS, the LDS sect lost its credibility a long time ago.
    With this essay, will we see a new erosion of the credibility of the LDS church? This religious system couldn’t duck-and-cover any more in regards to Smith’s marital practice. They did everything they could for decades to hide what Smith did. Their excuse when folks started to find out about it was to deny that they had ever hidden it. So deny it and then deny that you denied it.
    So now they’ve decided to get it all out there and hold on tight. Here’s the problem as was pointed out by one of our other posters. It’s not faith in Smith that the sect has to protect, it’s faith in the LDS church. The mantra of Mormons is that “the church is true”! When a faithful member begins to lose faith in the system that’s suppose to turn them into a god, it’s basically turn out the lights the party’s over.
    makeitshine wrote above “(out of the 12 kids in my ward age class alone only 4 are still members)”.
    So that’s one-third active. Guess what the “inactive” numbers are for those on the rolls of the LDS church? Yes indeed it’s two-thirds. Funny how that works. But here’s the deal. If the LDS corp. can get those active members to continue to kick-in 10% of the income to the sect, that’s going to be a pretty good cash flow. Besides that, think of all the time the active members put in to keep the corp. going. I’m talking about things as mundane as cleaning the facilities. The time cost to an active LDS member is immense. If the LDS church starts going backwards on numbers, as will happen, those that are left will have to pick-up more of the slack. Pretty soon the LDS church will burn them out.
    There will always be people who will hold on to the false promises of the “restored gospel”. The problem will come when the numbers start going backwards.

  12. falcon says:

    Members of the LDS sect are not a monolithic bunch of true believers.
    They come in all different sizes and shapes as it’s applied to their faith. I’ve listed some of these in the past as provided by Jim Spencer in his book “Have You Witnessed to a Mormon Lately”.

    The above link will take you directly to chapter six that discusses the various Mormon types, as Jim explains it.
    So the impact of the “essay” on Joseph Smith’s polygamy will hit each of these types in a different way. As witnesses for Jesus Christ, it’s important that we recognize the opening we have to ask the questions, provide the information that targets the need of the moment.
    This doesn’t have to be real complicated. I think the important thing is to give the LDS member hope. That hope is eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

  13. Mike R says:

    Autocratic religious organizations like Mormonism have a certain hold on it members that makes it very difficult for them to think for themselves concerning spiritual issues . The man at the top of the church is their pilot , their king , the channel through which God reveals His will for them . Safety from the Devil is in joining the organization , it is viewed as the Ark where safety is found . It’s even been described by Mormon leaders as the way , truth and life ( Conf Report April 1961 p 119 by Marion G Romney ) . thus Mormons include the church in their testimony . They must repeat the mantra that it is unique –the only true church of Jesus on earth . All others are part of what constitutes the church of the Devil for these days according to their leaders .

    My wife once faithfully followed ” a modern day prophet “which taught the same type of thing . It’s always the organization , come to the organization for salvation , Jehovah only works through a organization , all other churches/organizations are part of the Devil’s empire of false religion etc etc .
    But the leaders at the top of her religious organization also had lied about some of it’s past teachings , what they presented for years was presented to rank and file members in a way that caused them to believe that which was not the whole truth . When non members would bring this to their attention it was dismissed as lies , attacks etc .
    My wife came to discover that the men at the top were not appointed by God , they were religious but that’s all. They had to much power/ money to lose in admitting that the church they constructed was a man made organization . Jesus had become all but buried under the rules, structure , and emphasis of the “organization ” in their daily lives . It wasn’t about a personal
    relationship with Jesus , it was more about the organization which dominated their talk .

    Hopefully with this latest attempt by their leaders in the Essay’s they posted , Mormons will see that there is something not quite right with the church these men have constructed . Hopefully the Mormon people will see that their leaders are not what they have claimed all along , and that a move away from them and exclusively over to Jesus is where they will find the deepest longing
    of the human heart and soul it’s all about Jesus, unobstructed by complex religious organizations.
    A right relationship with God through a personal direct encounter with His Son is what frees a person’s shoulders of the load which autocratic religious organizations place on them in this life , and grants them a place in God’s home above after they leave this earth .

    Mormonism is not the answer .

  14. Brian says:

    As always, Sharon, excellent post.

    A couple weeks ago I was reading the closing chapters of Luke. Hoping to better understand what the Feast of Unleavened Bread was, I read a brief commentary from InterVarsity Press. I learned that at the time of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, Israel was celebrating a huge holiday. The commentary likened it to America’s Independence Day and Thanksgiving rolled into one. The Passover marks the day the Isarelites gained freedom from captivity in Egypt, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a time of thanksgiving for the harvest.

    The commentary said that against this backdrop, the Jewish leaders were plotting how to kill Jesus. (Imagine this on their Thanksgiving.) It spoke of how sin, especially the sin of rejecting Jesus’ person and work, leads to a distortion in perception. A distortion of perception is what we see in some of the comments you have shared.

    I loved your prayer for the LDS people, Sharon. I will continue to include them in prayer. They are victims of spiritual deception. But what joy awaits those who discover the pardon, righteousness, and acceptance which Jesus freely offers from the bounty of his grace.

  15. RikkiJ says:

    As usual, MRM does it’s research and unlike the LDS faith, the article is based on hard, ascertainable facts.

    I do believe though that the LDS days are numbered. Rank and file are inactive and leaving in droves. Over the next year, it’s just going to fall apart.

    Hope they will find Christ.

  16. falcon says:

    “I do believe though that the LDS days are numbered.”
    I don’t know. There are always a certain number of people who will stay with something even if it’s out of habit. Mormonism has all kinds of spin-offs. The Community of Christ had one most recently when they went through some changes. Personally, I don’t think they’re all that “Mormon” any more when you compare them to some of the other groups. The CoC doesn’t appear to even be that into the BoM. I talked to a member once who told me he couldn’t remember the last time the BoM was used in his CoC church services. On a blog, a CoC member said that converts in foreign countries often didn’t even know what the BoM is.
    The LDS church has to come up with a reason for members to stay. Look at all of the things that they have changed just to keep folks in the fold. It wasn’t just polygamy, blacks in the priesthood but also changes made to the temple rituals. Once people start to figure out the whole deal is a farce………let’s just say the leadership is walking a fine line. Modernize and perish. Don’t modernize and perish.

  17. RikkiJ says:

    Okay let’s take a bet. I say by Dec. 1st, 2015 – At least 80% of the LDS church membership will be lost (wards populated by not more than 10% of the regular attendees only at sacrament service if not a complete collapse of the LDS church). If this is true, then the next time I’m in your neck of the woods, you can buy me some wings. And if by Dec. 2015, the majority of the LDS church hasn’t come to nought, then I’ll buy you wings when you’re in my neck of the woods.

    Either way, hoping the LDS Church finds Christ.

  18. cattyjane says:


    😉 I love that you are studying that. Yes Jesus was killed during passover. Removing the leaven from our houses and our food is symbolic of removing the sin from our homes and lives. During the passover meal we eat lamb, drink wine, and eat unleavened bread. These are all symbolic of the sanctification, sacrifice, and redemption that has been given to us. Read about the Exodus from Egypt and Leviticus 23. That will show you exactly what the Passover was. Its a time to remember that God delivered us by his own hand. We are reminded at this time that He is our deliverance and our salvation.

    Yes many LDS will dismiss these events. They will come up with reasons that these things occurred and use the OT by twisting scripture to justify their actions. Peoples will to do what they want, rather than what God wants them to do, can be very strong and very blinding. Some people have a lot to lose by leaving the LDS church but spiritually they have more to gain by leaving. Sometimes they cant see that.

  19. falcon says:

    I’m a stickler for details so I’m going to let you revise your prediction. Are we talking about members actually resigning or going inactive? There are a lot of Mormons who have left the LDS church but have never officially “resigned”. I have pointed out previously that the LDS church is like the “Hotel California” sung by the Eagles. I believe the line goes, “You can check out but you can never leave.”
    I think this video was shot in Utah and the Hotel California is really a metaphor for the LDS church. Listen to the words and see if you don’t agree.

  20. falcon says:

    I don’t know if Mormons are going to be jumping ship in large numbers due to the publication of this LDS essay on Smith’s polygamy. I think maybe the individual Mormon shelf and a whole lot of excuse making will be able to hold the testimony in tact, sort of. It may take some paint off the testimony and they may have to polish it up a bit, but these folks love the LDS church more so than they love Smith himself.
    The list of excuses in the article pretty much tells it all. The faithful Mormon has way too much to lose to toss it all out and walk away. Think of it; forever families, married for eternity, becoming a god with a whole planetary system to rule. Massaging Smith’s polygamy is pretty easy in light of all of this that could be lost by walking away.
    OK so the faithful member will have to suspend credulity and adjust personal integrity but that could probably be done pretty easily. Then there’s walking away from the culture and all of the friends, job risk in some cases and family issues. The system is bigger than Smith, isn’t it? What’s the big deal about personal integrity when you’re thinking you will become a god. The Mormon god of this world was a sinner too and he made it to the top!

  21. gregstocks says:

    Don’t really care what the corporate church empire says about this issue as my faith is in Jesus Christ and His gospel and not in men and their organizations or actions. Joseph was instrumental in bringing forth the Book of Mormon which is the word of God and which unequivocally condemns the practice of polygamy for all men.
    Section 132 is a false doctrine and truly an “other gospel” Paul warned about. It is to bad Joseph got enticed into involving himself and others in that unholy practice but that doesn’t change the good he did in bringing forth the Book of Mormon.

  22. cattyjane says:

    You do understand that because JS spoke falsehood and claimed it was the word of God and he lived an immoral life that this disqualifies him from being a prophet at all. This includes his claims regarding the BOM.

  23. Mike R says:

    gregstocks, welcome . I must say that I find your reasoning strange . So Joseph Smith fell into teaching false doctrine — Gal 1:8 ; and you don’t care about what the church leadership says about
    polygamy ( that would include their teachings about it after Joseph Smith’s time ) ; and so the only thing that matters to you is that Joseph Smith did a good thing by bringing forth the Book of Mormon .

    I must say that if you are a Mormon then you are in a rather dangerous situation give your above statement because you would be well on your way to apostasy , according to Mormon leadership .
    Now I must say that I am glad to hear to say what you did concerning Joseph Smith’s error and D&C 132 being a false doctrine . I just hope that the Jesus you have faith in is indeed the true Savior , and not the Mormon version ( 2Cor 11:4 ) , because believing in a false Christ is a way bigger error than polygamy is .
    At least Joseph Smith did some good by bringing forth the Book of Mormon ? But all false prophets have done ” some good ” at one time or another .
    The Mormon church leadership are either true apostles or they are well meaning imitations , and
    an examination of their teaching track record since 1830 will reveal the answer .

  24. gregstocks says:

    I disagree with your logic. The so-called revelation known as D&C 132 was supposedly received in 1843 while the Book of Mormon was published in 1830. Just because JS got taken in by that doesn’t have anything to do with the validity of prior good works he did. Prophets are people and all people are fallible. Lots of prophets did things wrong and things right just like normal people. The bad never cancels the good. Take Jonah for example. He ran from his calling and then after he did what God wanted and preached repentance to the people in Ninevah he was upset the people repented and weren’t destroyed. Doesn’t sound like a real good guy to me but he still did a good work.
    I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found within it. My testimony and faith is centered on Jesus Christ and not in any men, whether they were/are prophets or not.

  25. Mike R says:

    grestocks , it’s plain to see that you’re trying to rescue your prophet and church from the obvious verdict which it’s introducing of polygamy renders : Matt 24:11 ; al 1:8 ; 2Tim 4:3,4 . The Mormon church is not the one true church of Jesus Christ . Joseph Smith was not appointed by Jesus to restore His exterminated church / gospel because of a complete apostasy 1700 years earlier .

    You appear to be attempting to separate your leadership authority from the Book of Mormon , you embrace the Book of Mormon but are calling into question the teaching of your leadership ? That is a very dangerous position to be in , according to them . So I either believe them or you in evaluating the claims of Mormonism today . You’re responding like many a Mormon will be forced to when faced with the facts about your leaders behavior . Your use of Jonah is a red herring . Of course prophets are human , fallible . But true prophets don’t exhibit a pattern of teaching erroneous doctrines , and Mormon prophets/apostles have done just that . Joseph Smith like Brigham Young continued to teach their false doctrines , they refused correction , and such are rightly identified as those to whom Paul was warning us about in 2Cor 11:4,13 ;Gal 1:8 ; 2Tim 4:3,4 . If you think that you call Joseph Smith guilty of Pauls’ warning in these verses and yet because he brought forth the Book of Mormon then that means Mormon prophets after Joseph are all worthy as respects their priesthood authority to lead , then you evidently are not aware of how your leaders view your reasoning . You , according to them , are well on your way to personal apostasy . It’s that simple .

    So tell me then do you still sustain Thomas Monson ? Or is that a case of ” who cares” also ?
    Quite frankly , you are not making a very good case for why we should consider joining the Mormon church . There is good news though in hearing your say that Joseph Smith is quilty of violating Gal 1:8 because that puts you closer to discovering that Mormonism is not the answer , which will then hopefully cause you to walk out the door of your Ward and exclusively trust Jesus . The way it stands now ( it appears ) is that you are saying Jesus is enough , but if you are still supporting Thomas Monson then that suggests you are saying more than doing the right thing . So Leave Mormonism behind and follow Jesus .

    You’re trying to rescue Mormonism . Mormonism is not the answer .

  26. makeitshine says:

    @gregstocks –
    Joseph Smith didn’t just deliver the Book of Mormon, but a whole new metaphysics with his “revelations” that were completely foreign to early Christianity and the faith once delivered. (not restored) And this is just the tip of the iceburg.

    The devil and his fallen angels and familiar spirits deceive in the small ways at first which leads down a path to further destruction. He uses his knowledge of past events, scripture, and teachings that sound “good” and appear moral. Josephs end result sheds light for us on the true spirit of his revelations, beginning with the first “vision”. (that and the fact that there was “confusion” surrounding the vision which any monk will tell you that is characteristic or a demonic vision)

    The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth, and the Truth is Christ himself. The Spirit always leads us TO CHRIST! The beginning and the End. Notice, Jesus didn’t ask Peter, “what do you think about my teachings” he asked him “who do you say that I AM?” The teachings of Joseph Smith (which most are not in the Book of Mormon) and the Mormon church, lead us both away from and beyond Christ. It took me a long time to really see it and deconstruct it all.

    It sounds as though you are headed in a good direction though, may God direct you on your path, seek Him!

  27. falcon says:

    Well indeed it is good to have you here. We don’t get many defenders of Smith and his religion these days as we use to in the past. Please don’t feel that you have to answer all of that which is thrown your way here. Now understand, at times most of the posters here are former Mormons. I’m not but I thought we’d lay some cards on the table.

    I’d like a couple of clarifications if you would indulge me. Who is Jesus? I’m mighty happy that you say you are putting your faith and trust in Him but is this the LDS Jesus or the Jesus revealed in the Bible. The LDS Jesus is the spirit off-spring of the Mormon god and one of his plural wives that live on or near the planet Kolob. Is that the Jesus you are claiming.
    One more question. I’m trying to limit myself. Which edition of the BoM are you claiming is revealed scripture. I’m sure you know there have been significant changes since Smith brought forth his tome by putting his magic rock in his hat, right?
    Finally, (I’m really trying to stop), is this restored gospel of Smith’s to be found in the BoM?

    I guess that’s enough for now. It would be helpful though if you could tell us which branch of Mormonism you embrace. You sort of sound like a conservative member of the Community of Christ Mormon sect.
    I study these things.

  28. Brian says:


    Thank you much for your insight into the Passover, and the symbolism of the Passover meal. It is so interesting to think of the Last Supper, and Jesus and his disciples gathered for it in the upper room. The meal would have included a sacrificed lamb. And his disciples, participating in this meal and all its symbolism, sitting with the Lamb of God.


    Welcome to this forum. It is great to have you participating. I appreciate the candor in your postings. It’s good to have you here.

  29. MistakenTestimony says:


    You said, “I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is found within it.”

    Would you mind telling me how exactly you “know” the Book of Mormon is the word of God? Do you believe it’s true because the Holy Spirit gave you a subjective experience to let you know it’s true? But how do you know that that was indeed the Holy Spirit rather than an impostor?

    You don’t know that the Holy Spirit gave you a subjective experience, you believe that the Holy Spirit did. Therefore, you don’t know that the BoM is the word of God because you don’t even know if your subjective experience was divine or the result of a reheated day-old burrito.

    You said, ” My testimony and faith is centered on Jesus Christ and not in any men, whether they were/are prophets or not.”

    Hogwash. The BoM is the keystone of your testimony and faith. If Joseph Smith’s BoM crumbles then down falls the whole building. So your statement that you are “centered on Jesus Christ and not in any men” is simply not true, for truly you are centered on the works of the man Joseph Smith, who has been objectively (not subjectively) demonstrated to be a false prophet.

  30. falcon says:

    Every once in a while, we have a Mormon show-up here who is practicing his/her own version of Mormonism. Mormonism is built, not on the BoM, but on what the Mormon prophets have said. It’s all subject to change as these prophets get more enlightenment from the Mormon god.
    Smith, at the start, had a fairly conventional view of the doctrine of God. Then he took off on one of his many nefarious journeys and came up with there being many gods and men becoming gods. One of the cornerstones of this man-to-god program was the practice of polygamy. These men got themselves sealed to as many women as they could so that they would have them in the Celestial Kingdom to procreate spirit off-spring. These off-spring are to populate the male-to-god’s planetary system.

    So if stocks doesn’t believe this then Smith is a fallen prophet. He’s not just a guy who had a goofy opinion.
    Sandra Tanner and her husband Gerald got themselves down to just believing in the BoM. They gave up on Smith. It didn’t take long though for the BoM to bite the spiritual dust for them.

  31. cattyjane says:


    Do with this what you will. There are rules determining if a prophet is a true prophet of God or not.

    The number one rule of a prophet is that whatever the Prophet predicts must come to pass. If the prophets predictions fail, they are exposed as not being a prophet of the one true God. Deuteronomy 18:21-22

    A true Prophet will be 100% accurate. There is absolutely n o margin for error. One of the tests of truth is that the Prophets will be united in what they say. They will line up together. Jeremiah 28:9

    A true Prophet never gives his private interpretation. He only shares what is revealed to him by the Lord. Scripture defines scripture, not man. 2 Peter 1:20

    A true Prophet keeps the law of God. If a prophet does not agree with scripture (OT and NT) and does not keep the ten commandments, he is a false prophet. Isaiah 8:20

    Some examples of prophets include Abraham, Moses, Miriam, Isaiah, Samuel, Ezekiel, Malachi, Job and Daniel. The most essential job of a prophet is that they rebuke the sins of people who oppress the poor, the greedy, the dishonest, and any sins against the Almighty Himself. A good example is the prophet Amos. He assured the people that their excessive religiousness would not save them in the day of their deserved punishment; that, as far as judgment was concerned, they stood no better with Him than did the Ethiopians, or the Arameans, or the Philistines. Amos told the people that they must be alike in character to God.

    Hosea writes about the everlasting love that God has for Israel, even tho she has played the harlot. Hosea provides a warning that just as God’s love and care are sure and lasting, His justice and righteousness are just as lasting.

    Prophets are counselors, admonishers and censors of the people. They must live a morally pure life, must have training in the law of God, and God must decide to impart prophesy upon the person.

    You mentioned Jonah and his disobedience to God. Im not sure if you realize all of the facts surrounding that event. Nineveh (a Gentile city) was one of the largest cities during that time and also a bitter enemy of Israel. Jonah feared that if Nineveh was spared that it would remain to torment Israel. Also during this time there was a huge revival happening in Jeruselem.
    We read in scripture that there are two divine calls to Jonah, both worded in a similar manner. In the first case, Jonah disobeys the divine command; and in the second, he obeys. In both cases he interacts with non-Israelites (Gentiles) who show fear of the Lord, and in both he stands in sharp contrast to them. Both interactions lead Jonah to address the Lord in distress. The first time he calls to the Lord is from Sheol, the pit or netherworld, or land of the dead. The second time he cried out was when God showed compassion on Ninevah. This was just as Jonah had prophesied would happen Jonah 4:2. Only this time God had a dialogue with Jonah about why he bestowed compassion on this city.

    True prophets pay a penalty for disobeying God. Jonah died but God showed compassion on him when he repented and gave him a second chance to obey. In the same way God showed compassion on Ninevah when they repented and heeded the prophets warnings.

    One thing that is never noticed among the prophets in the OT is they never add to the laws that were given to Moses (the first five books of the bible). They did not change how things were done in the temple, they did not add to food laws or to the ten commandments. They enforced the laws that had been spoken by the mouth of God to Moses and gave warning to those who were being disobedient to them in order to return them to obedience. I think this is very important to understand.

  32. makeitshine says:

    We need to tread lightly when it comes to the testimony, since if you haven’t ever had one, in the Mormon mind there is no way you could understand it, and therefore explaining it is futile. I think the most confusion surrounding it is the how the LDS approaches the operation of the Holy Spirit to begin with as I posted about above. As for the testimony – there’s definitely emotion involved, and also in many a strong spirit of deception. The testimony is something to be desired and spiritual witness is sought after (which according to monks is also a sure path to deception) but also once you have one, we were taught in church that to leave was a blasphemy and unforgivable sin (sound cult-ish?) So you will fight to protect it and likely stay far away from anything that will shake it. This could be one reason people don’t remove membership.”What if I made a mistake or just didnt have enough faith?” – will always be in the back of the mind.

    I do believe however that a person can actually experience the Grace of God and I have. I don’t know if that’s a “thing” all Christians believe in, but I know for sure its not exclusive to the Mormons. I think a lot of them simply have confused the experience of Grace as a sign that the “Church is true” due to what they have been taught.

    I have also heard a lot of Mormons say as they learn more about these things, there is less they feel they truly “know”.

    @Falcon, I’ve heard a couple of interviews also where they said the BoM and the idea of premortal existence are usually the last thing to go (this was is for me), before finally giving it all up, and a big one was that some had issues with the person of Joseph and were always trying to somehow separate him from the Church but in the end it was impossible.

    Sorry if my posts seem to run altogether or don’t make sense, I have a strange brain with too many thoughts 😀

  33. Mike R says:

    Falcon , I think you’re on to something with gregstocks , as you noted he does seem to be of another Mormon group not the main one headquartered in S.L. C. Utah .

    In the last few years Mormons have come face to face with many of the aberrant teachings of their leaders , teachings they were not aware of . Therefore a variety of excuses are utilized in an attempt to rationalize away the thought that their leaders are not reliable as guides in providing accurate interpretation of the scriptures or of not succumbing to the same error they have long accused other churches of , namely , doctrinal vacillation . Mormon leaders have long reminded their followers that other churches / religious leaders , are guilty of violating Gal 1:8 , and hence they do not have the true gospel of salvation to offer . It’s ironic that gregstocks believes that Joseph Smith is also guilty of preaching ” another gospel ” when he introduced polygamy to be important ordinance .

    If the Revelation recorded as D&C 132 is only a ” so called revelation ” , as gregstocks claims then he places himself in dire straights because he is calling all Mormon prophets from Joseph Smith to Thomas Monson deceivers , as they all testify that D&C 132 is a true revelation from God .

    But like I said earlier , that kind of admission by a Mormon is great to hear because they are one big step closer to freedom from membership in a false prophet led organization .
    We pray for gregstocks to make the difficult decisions ahead which he must make in order to find God’s gift of eternal life — Jn 14:6 , all of Jesus and none of Mormonism .

  34. makeitshine says:

    I guess its kind of a conspiracy theory, but some Mormons think that D&C 132 was added in by Bringham Young after Joseph died. Even if you take all the Celestial marriage and exhaltation away, then what are you left with, and how does the Book of Mormon add anything that Christianity didn’t already have?

    And like you guys said above, whats the point of restoration ( of what yet is still tbd) if only to fall right into apostasy again which would mean again losing the Preisthood Authority again right?

    When Christ spoke from the cross and said “it is finished” he really meant it. This was Gods final act, his ultimate revelation to mankind. The kingdom was established, and we are in the end times waiting his return.

    Mormonism is all just a wild goose chase…. Satan is the author of confusion.

  35. falcon says:

    I understand very well what you’re talking about regarding a Mormon thinking they got an “inner witness” thinking that it’s the Holy Ghost. The tradition that the Mormons came out of was the Enlightenment period of the early 19th century with the Methodist camp meetings. I’ve gone into detail about this in the past and won’t repeat it here.
    I think there’s some validity to the idea that what people often experience isn’t the Spirit of God but rather a manifestation coming out of their own soul. There was a Chinese Christian mystic by the name of Watchman Nee who wrote a book titled “The Latent Power of the Soul”. I think he was on to something.
    I came to Christ in faith during the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s/early 1970s. It was the Baby Boomer’s revival. These awakenings often get hijacked by cults who try to deceive folks. It was the era of the Children of God, the Moonies and several other groups.
    I’ll write more about this if the thread heads in that direction.

  36. makeitshine says:

    @falcon – interesting you should bring up the chinesse mystic. I have a book by a former buddhist turned orthodox monastic – the book aims to preach Christianity to the Chinese people through the eyes of their own ancient sage Lao Tzu. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. One part he says this:

    “If one’s intention is not to face ones sin-condition, repent and thus be reconciled to God, but instead to “be spiritual” while continuing to worship oneself, then one can- upon becoming award of the light of ones spirit – begin to worship it as God, This is the ultimate delusion.”

    Isn’t this exactly what Smith teaches, that the spirit/soul is divine? Seems like he was in need of wise sage ;)….. and a more distinct vocabulary because calling everything God doesn’t help anyone understand anything. What about dolphins? Were they also self existent intelligences?

  37. cattyjane says:

    I made a mistake in one of my sentences. Sorry. It should say “One thing that is noticed among the prophets in the OT is they never add to the laws that were given to Moses (the first five books of the bible).”

  38. MistakenTestimony says:


    You said, “We need to tread lightly when it comes to the testimony, since if you haven’t ever had one, in the Mormon mind there is no way you could understand it, and therefore explaining it is futile.”

    I would say that arguing with a Mormon with a testimony is futile, but explaining the illogicality of a testimony to a Mormon is essential. I’m a heart-of-the-matter kind of guy. I don’t like to take turns moving pawns with someone only to find out halfway through the game that we are not even playing on the same board. The LDS testimony is the single argument from which all other arguments flow. We can keep cutting off heads which only create more heads endlessly, but until we strike the heart of the beast at the body we will endlessly be fighting proxy wars on the periphery.

    The idea of the LDS doctrine of testimony is a ridiculous epistemological position because it requires pure unadulterated subjectivity and circular logic to remain in tact, neither of which can be used as a basis for “knowledge.” Mormons are very logical like other Americans with every area of their lives, that is until it comes to their religion when all logic and objectivity are like water off a duck’s back. And until we have a common understanding of what constitutes “knowledge” we will both be playing chess on two separate boards while endlessly moving pieces.

  39. Mike R says:

    cattyjane, thanks for sharing that info about prophets . Great job .

  40. makeitshine says:

    @MistT- Oh, I meant THEM trying to explain its validity to Us is futile in their own mind because we have not experienced it, therefore cannot understand. Yes, by all means we should explain to them!

    Sometimes things I type don’t come out how I meant them!

    We would hear ALL the time in church how we had this greater light than regular Christians because they don’t have this “witness” or the fullness, but that we are to try and bring them to this light. Basically we though everyone else was just in the dark.

  41. RikkiJ says:


    “wards populated by not more than 10% of the regular attendees only at sacrament service if not a complete collapse of the LDS church”

    A. A complete collapse means financial bankruptcy, insolvency or the seizure of the assets of the corporation due to a lien or successful lawsuits from creditors

    B. A complete collapse also means the majority of active members becoming inactive – 90% of them no more to attend sacrament service

    C. The division of the LDS denomination of Mormonism into various splinter groups

    D. The resignation and dissension of highest ranking members of the LDS Church, namely the Apostles

  42. MistakenTestimony says:

    RikkiJ, you have pretty high hopes. Would you mind explaining why all of this would happen before 12/1/15?

  43. falcon says:

    You’re expecting all that to happen in a year? I would say, “What are you smoking man?” but that wouldn’t be appropriate, would it? I mean, not that what you have written wouldn’t be great, especially if these LDS folks found Christ in the process, but I don’t know. I think with it being Thanksgiving time perhaps your eyes are bigger than you stomach.

    When I’ve visited Mormon sites, the whole approach by the faithful little volunteer workers is to get you to “feel” something. They think that’s spiritual. You try to disabuse someone of their notion that they are having or have had spiritual experiences. It’s what their entire faith is predicated on. When it comes to evidence vs. emotion, people tend to go for the emotion. Get someone to believe something in concert with strong emotions and it’s like dope.

  44. MistakenTestimony says:

    Adolf Hitler,

    You said, “Reason may treacherously deceive a man, but emotion is always sure and never leaves him.”

    I just felt like that bears repeating because it sounds eerily close to what Falcon said, “When it comes to evidence vs. emotion, people tend to go for the emotion. Get someone to believe something in concert with strong emotions and it’s like dope.” It’s not every day that Falcon gets compared to Hitler. (yep, that just happened…)


    No, seriously. Would you mind explaining why all of this would happen before 12/1/15? I’m curious why you would say that 90+% of active members and the highest leaders will leave, and the corporation will become financially bankrupt and split into several groups by the end of next year.

  45. RikkiJ says:

    @MistakenTestimony, Falcon

    Can’t tell you, but I should clarify that one of those four (A,B,C,D) would be sufficient for the falling apart of the LDS

  46. Mike R says:

    I hope that a conscientious Mormon will start a petition to have statues of all of Joseph’s other wives placed along side the statue of him and Emma that’s in the Temple square area . Mormon leadership likes to remind everyone that family’s are important and so that should’nt be too big of a request . It would be the respectful thing to do to remember those other women also , right ?

    Maybe a full page add in the Deseret News could be placed announcing this family oriented
    project . I’m sure the Mormon Women’s Relief Society would be glad to facilitate it .

  47. Jim Stiles says:

    I personally know of one TBM who is claiming that the LDS church taught all along that Joseph Smith engaged in polygamy. Who is worse: the liars or those who lie for the liars?

  48. Mike R says:

    Jim, if that TBM you know of meant that information about Joseph’s Smith’s practicing polygamy
    has been mentioned by Mormon writers for a long time then there is some truth to that . But the church has been very reluctant to provide that info in it’s official publications ” all along ” . At times in recent years it was mentioned , but the thing that caught the majority of rank and file LDS by surprise is that they learned from this recent Essay that Joseph had dozens of wives ( 40 ) ! That’s something that should have been given wide spread exposure all along to the Mormon people . It’s just one more example of their leadership not being completely forthright with them about some important issues . Many Mormons sense something is amiss , and rightly so .
    Let’s keep praying that multitudes will dismiss their leaders , they don’t deserve them .

  49. falcon says:

    I picked this up off of an e mail that was sent to me. I hadn’t been aware of this.

    LDS Church Attempts to counter the blow-back from their historical lying with new Ensign message. The opening paragraphs contain this:
    (from Ensign article)
    Some of the hardest questions come when what we believe is challenged by changing cultural fashions or by new information, sometimes misinformation, that critics of the Church confront us with. At such times, it may seem that our doctrinal or historical foundations are not as solid as we thought. We may be tempted to question the truths we’ve taken for granted and the spiritual experiences that have formed our faith.
    What do we do when doubt seeps into our hearts? Are there really answers to those hard questions?
    Yes, there are. In fact, all the answers—all the right answers—depend on the answer to just one question: do I trust God above everyone else? (end of quote from Ensign)
    Blogger’s comment:
    This question contains an ulterior motive, to get you to dismiss all the hard questions as not being entirely comprehensible, that they are too complex for your to know the truth, and to get you to just trust God, aka, trust the LDS leaders over what all of the facts are screaming to you. The LDS church must be in panic mode. They have to be reeling from all the publicity from the polygamy essays. You can trust yourself. Your judgment of the weighed facts is perfectly capable of recognizing where the deception is occurring. Anytime someone tries to get you to use emotions and feelings over logic and reason, be weary of a deception being attempted on your soul.

    Ensign article:

  50. Kate says:

    I have a TBM friend on Facebook who posted a picture and underneath it, it said:

    ” Praise to the man even with 40 wives and teenage brides.”
    My friend’s comment was: ” This may sound irreverent but WOOT! WOOT!”

    All I can say is how pathetic to praise a pedafile. Who does this? He has a daughter. How would he feel if Thomas Monson wanted to marry his young 14 year old? I have lost a lot of respect for this guy. I’ve known him for 35 years!

    It’s sad but now that the church has put out an essay about it, most LDS will find a way to justify it or put it on the shelf. I don’t see this as a big deal to most LDS.

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