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  JOSEPH SMITH
Total Articles: 101
Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism and Polygamy.
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Ol' Joe Did It To His Best Friends
Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005, at 07:32 AM
Original Author(s): Serenade
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I was reading "In Sacred Loneliness", by Todd Compton, and I came across a passage that hit me so hard that I had to share it (from pages 236 - 239). Joseph Smith received a "revelation" concerning Marinda, Orson Hyde's first wife. While Mr. Hyde was on a three-year mission to Palestine, Joseph told her that the LORD said she should hearken to JS's counsel in all things whatsoever he should teach unto her. The things he taught included polygamy and polyandry! Sidney Rigdon wrote of this situation: "If Richard should take a notion to Hyde's wife in his absence, all that is necessary to be done is to be sealed. No harm done; no adultery committed; only taking a little advantage of the rights of the priesthood. And after Richards has gone the round of dissipation with Hyde's wife, she is afterwards turned over to Smith, and thus the poor silly woman becomes the actual dupe to two designing men under the sanctimonious garb of rights of the royal priesthood." Miranda ended up marrying Smith for eternity in 1842 while Hyde is still on his mission. I wonder if he felt the knife blade between his shoulders all the way over in Israel?

As I read this book, I am taken to ever-increasing heights of outrage in and disgust at the truth behind Joseph Smith's charlatanism and lechery. I still am amazed at how thoroughly the Mormon Church covers his sins and crimes. Your average Mormon will never hear the truth of what really happened. No wonder the "thinking has already been done."
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A Double Bind
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2005, at 07:50 AM
Original Author(s): Miss Taken
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
"Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigations of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant." (in "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith, " Juvenile Instructor, 15 Aug. 1892, 492

I heard this more than once at Stake Conferences etc, from GA's and always wondered about the source.

What a mind bind... Where is the free agency in that I suppose Jesus is supposed to have said something similar i.e. he who looks back is not worthy of the kingdom...

But I still think the principles of love and free agency transend this way of thinking...
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Joseph's Narcissism
Monday, Mar 28, 2005, at 08:24 AM
Original Author(s): Peter_mary
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I ran across a couple of quotes from Joseph Smith that were just too good not to post. Those who are familiar with early Church history will no doubt be familiar with these, but they might be eye-openers for some folks.

These are all from History of the Church, Vol. 6

"I combat the errors of the ages;...I solve mathemtatical problems of universities, with truth--diamond truth; and God is my right hand man." [1843]

"God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be a god to you in His stead." [1844]

"I have more to boast of than ever any man had...I boast that no man ever did such a work as I." [1844]

We often speak of his penchant for the ladies, or his love of the military, his charisma, his power and control issues, but ultimately, I expect that when the final analysis is done on Joseph Smith Jr. what we will finally observe is nothing more than a classic narcisistic personality disorder coupled with a whole clot of really gullible people who lacked the sophistication to understand him for what he was. The question is, what's the excuse for not understanding him TODAY?
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"...Your Eternal Salvation..." The Effects Of This Phrase
Tuesday, Mar 29, 2005, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): D.c.vd
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Joe Smith used this as a pick-up line for already married women. Here were some very "prim and proper" ladies, married, with children, they join the crutch, Joe sends hubby off to Timbucktoo and tells the lady,"God has revealed to me that you need to become my 'spiritual wife'. Shock and awe are the first responses, then he adds, "Your eternal salvation rests upon this...blah,blah, oh, by the way we need to consumate this marriage."

I had a friend while I was still TBM that had a very good job. It requires shift work, but it pays well and has a great retirement. He told me, "I have to quit because I'm having to work on some Sunday's and I'm concerned about my 'eternal salvation'.

My wife's uncle called her the other night and said he heard that she and I had left the church. "What about your eternal salvation?" She has been reading "In Sacred Lonliness" and these are the same phrases Joe Smith and Breedem Young used to get their way. What a pick up line.
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Joseph Smith And His Inspired Version Of The Bible
Wednesday, Apr 20, 2005, at 08:22 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Someone quoted a part of the "inspired" version of the Bible today. JS changed Matthew 5:41 from
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
to:
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him a mile; and whosoever shall compel thee to go with him twain, thou shalt go with him twain.
I had never heard this change before. Okay, I understand that JS wanted to change the meaning of the verse. Fine. That's nothing new, even though it completely destroys the idea that Jesus was trying to get across.

What amazes me is that people are able to maintain belief in this despite such a whopping internal inconsistency. Did Jesus say what is in the KJV or in the "Inspired" version? If the latter, why wouldn't he say the same thing to the Nephites a short time later? It is no wonder that this verse is not one of the selected few that made it into the Bible appendices.

The other speaker read from the "Book of Mormon Challenge" in which we are to try to create a new set of scriptures the way JS did. My favorite point in that challenge reads: "When you have finished, you must not make any changes in the text. The first edition must stand forever."

Anyone else find this degree of ignorance offensive?
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A Fun Little Wander
Friday, Apr 22, 2005, at 08:01 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I said I was working on a "doozy" for you all (in another thread). . . well, here goes.

Paramount in the story of the Latter-day Saints is the account given by Joseph Smith of a visitation he received from the angel Moroni on September 21, 1823. He stated that after he retired to bed, his room became filled with light. At his bedside stood an angel who called Smith by name and told him that God had a work for the young boy to do. Smith claimed to have been told how, "there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang" (Joseph Smith - History 1:34).

Smith claims that he was not allowed to retrieve the buried plates for another four years. In verse 54 of his testimony, he related that the day he was allowed to dig up the record came on September 22, 1827. Mormon historian Leonard Arrington notes that, "Sometime after midnight in the early morning hours of September 22, Joseph and Emma drove to the hill, obtained the plates and hid them in an old birch log about three miles from the Smith home. With neighboring ruffians seeking the plates, thinking they were of great monetary worth, Joseph changed the hiding place several times and managed to keep them from being discovered and stolen" (Mormonism: From Its New York Beginnings, Dialogue, Vol.13, No.3, p.122). Eventually Joseph Smith would bring the plates home to be translated. His mother, Lucy Mack Smith, remembered the day this way:

"The plates were secreted about three miles from home... Joseph, on coming to them, took them from their secret place, and, wrapping them in his linen frock, placed them under his arm and started for home.

After proceeding a short distance, he thought it would be more safe to leave the road and go through the woods. Traveling some distance after he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again; and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house. lie was still altogether speechless from fright and the fatigue of running" (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Smith, pp.107-108).

Smith stated, "These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed" (History of the Church 4:537)

Numerous LDS leaders and historians have concurred with Smith's description. As to the size and thickness of the plates there seems to be no dispute.

Paintings of Smith show him receiving the plates with outstretched arms or resting on his knee. Although these are just an artist's perception, these descriptions do cause us to ask, "If they really existed, just how heavy would those plates have been given the size and description by Smith?"

The answer to this question is varied. We do know that gold weighs about 1200 pounds per cubic foot. Given the dimensions by Smith, some have concluded that the plates could have weighed as much as 234 pounds to as little as 100 pounds. The heavier weight is based on what would probably be the total weight of a solid block of gold measuring the size of Smith's plates. This weight would tend to be unlikely given the fact that engravings on a thin plate of soft metal such as gold would probably not lay perfectly flat. If such indentions did tend to cause the plate to "bulge," it would also seem likely that the engravings would have been difficult to read.

Mormon metallurgist Reed Putnam estimates that if the plates were made of pure gold, they would have probably weighed around 100 pounds. In perspective, that would be like carrying a bag of Portland cement under one's arm.

The possibility of the plates being too heavy for Smith to carry has not escaped the notice of LDS apologists. To credit their founder with the ability to carry such a weight while running at "the top of his speed" would seem to conclude that Smith had no idea how heavy gold really was, thus making it appear that he fabricated this story.

Researchers for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) have attempted to come to Smith's rescue. In a bulletin cover (number F-15) they provide an explanation for this anomaly. Entitled "Where the Gold Plates Gold?" it theorized that the plates were not made of pure gold at all. Rather, they theorize, that they were composed of an alloy called tumbaga. This Central American alloy, the article states, is made up of 8K gold and copper. In other words, the plates would have been primarily composed of 66% copper and only 33% gold.

The article debunks the notion that the plates could have been made of pure gold since "pure gold would be too soft to make useful plates." However, this argument overlooks Mosiah 8:9 in the Book of Mormon that mentions 24 Jaredite plates that were "filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold."

This argument also fails to take into account a photograph in earlier editions of the Book of Mormon that showed a "gold tablet found in Persia in 1961, dating to the time of Darius II (Fourth century B.C.), covered with cuneiform engravings." The caption went on to say, "This tablet is about the size of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon." In his book entitled An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Dr. Hugh Nibley also mentioned this parallel as evidence to the fact that Smith had plates of gold. If the plates deposited by Moroni were really an alloy made primarily of copper, why go to such lengths?

The FARMS' article supports the tumbaga theory by referring to William Smith, Joseph's brother, who was quoted in the Saints Herald (31, 1884, p. 644) as stating that the plates were a mixture of gold and copper. One can only imagine how William arrived at such a conclusion since there is no evidence to suggest that the plates were ever analyzed. Making William's statement even less credible is the fact that he admitted to having never seen the plates. He claimed, "I was permitted to lift them as they laid in a pillow-case; but not to see them, as was contrary to the commands he had received. They weighed about sixty pounds according to the best of my judgment" (A New Witness for Christ in America 2:417). FARMS insists that tumbaga plates would have weighed only about 53 pounds. In other words, it would be like carrying a sack of redi-mix concrete.

Despite the effort from FARMS to change LDS history, it appears that the tumbaga theory is not being taken too seriously. As recently as May 15, 1999, the LDS Church News ran an article entitled "Hands-on opportunity." Speaking of Joseph Smith, it read, "He had also been instructed by an angel, Moroni, who had met with him each year for four years. On his last visit, he was entrusted with plates of solid gold, which he had been translating by the power of the Spirit."

Keep this in mind the next time you stop at a hardware store. Pick up a bag of cement, tuck it under your arm, and imagine yourself carrying it for a distance of three miles running as fast as you can at least part of the way. For added effect you could jump over a display or two.

Physics. . . it's a bitch.
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New 'Readers Digest Book' - With Chapter On Joseph Smith
Friday, May 6, 2005, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Just received a new book I ordered from Readers Digest titled, 'Unsolved Mysteries of American History.'

There is a good chapter (number 20), titled, 'What were Joseph Smith's Golden Plates?' In typical RD fashion, this is condensed, only 9 pages. But in spite of it's brevity it does a great job of exposing ole' Joe for the fraud he was. It describes how he plagiarized the B of M, and his gold digging and magical activities prior to the B of M. It mentions 'Book of the Hebrews' by Ethan Smith as one of the B of M source materials.

One sentence is as follows, 'By the end of the century, most historians had concluded that the source of the B of M was the popular culture of the time.'

It spends some time discussing Fawn Brodie's book, 'No Man Knows My History' indicating among other things, 'how he used his religious doctrine to justify his sexual desires.'

At the end of the chapter a page and one half is devoted to the Mark Hoffman story. It describes how TSCC was duped by many of Hoffman's forged documents including the 'Salamander Letter.' It states that besides being motivated by money that he had forged the documents to do double damage: first, by making the church pay him to keep them secret; second by leaking the documents to the press anyway.

Finally, at the end of the chapter it cites several reference materials including: Fawn Brodie's book; Richard Bushman, 'Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism' - 1984; Robert Lindsey, 'A gathering of Saints' - 1988; Steven Naifeh, and Gregory White Smith, 'The Mormon Murders' - 1988; Newell Bringhurst, 'Reconsidering No Man Knows My History' - 1999; Robert Anderson, 'Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith' - 1999. I've read this book and Anderson who is a psychotherapist gives JS the diagnosis of a Narcissist,(someone stuck on themselves). There are other mental illness diagnosis as well cited for ole' Joe. I've read Anderson's book and it is a good read.

When I ordered this book, (Readers Digest, 'Unsolved Mysteries'), I had no idea there would be a chapter on good ole' Joe. That in and of itself made purchase of the book worthwhile.

Since the Readers Digest is widely read I believe millions who would not normally read anything pro or con about TSCC will read this chapter and have their appetites whetted for more. This should be interesting. Stay tuned for more kiddies.
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Joseph Smith's Complexity A Tough Test For Scholars
Monday, May 9, 2005, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
WASHINGTON – For the past two centuries, historians have invariably portrayed Joseph Smith as either a money-digger and religious charlatan or a religious genius and revolutionary theologian.

But historians today – those of all religious and academic stripes – seem to be reaching agreement that the man who founded The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is far more complex and far more complicated than any of the simplistic biographies that have defined the LDS prophet.

"A small history will not account for such a large man," said Richard Bushman, a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University whose own definitive analysis on Joseph Smith will be released this fall.

"Something in him transcends time and space," he said, adding that historians must now consider the prophet in broader terms than "uniquely American" or simply a product of New England revivalism.

Bushman headlined the morning session of a two-day conference at the Library of Congress on "The Worlds of Joseph Smith," a series of lectures and scholarly commentary commemorating the bicentennial of Joseph Smith's birth.

For many of the LDS faithful in the audience, it was an opportunity to embrace academic debate about the man they revere as a modern prophet. For more secular students of religion, it was a chance to delve into the spiritual nuances of 19th century America with its abundance of restoration philosophy, apocalyptic idealism and millennialism.

Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
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Mormon Leader Pushes Youths To Share Their Faith
Monday, May 23, 2005, at 07:21 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
All Hail Joseph Smith. You can live twice the lifetime of him and never come close what he accomplished. Of course, today if you did what he did, you'd spend quite a bit of time in jail. Theft, deception, polygamy, bigamy, destruction of property, statutory rape and more. The story of Joseph Smith should not inspire any child let alone any adult. The man was a bonafide criminal who through use of deception convinced men to turn over their money and their wives. Today the turning over of wives has ceased, but the turning over of monies is now linked to Celestial Glory. What an amazing money making scheme Joseph came up with that the prophet Gordon B. Hinckley uses to bilk mormons of upwards of 7 BILLION dollars a year.

From Religion News Blog:

The story of founder Joseph Smith should inspire today's young people to do all they can to live their lives rooted in their faith, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told the church's youth Saturday night at the Alamodome.

Gordon B. Hinckley, the top leader of the 12 million-member church since 1995, addressed an estimated 15,000 church members on the eve of today's dedication of the church's new San Antonio Temple at 20080 Stone Oak Parkway.

In a brief, encouraging message to the church's young people, Hinckley called the history of the LDS church a miracle, considering that Smith was a farm boy of little education when he founded the church, which has spread to the far corners of the Earth.

"I've lived two and a half times as long as he did, and I haven't even come close to what he accomplished," the 95-year-old president said. His listeners laughed as he added, "Neither will you."

Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
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Smith: A Look Back On 200 Years
Monday, May 23, 2005, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
As he gets closer to his 200th birthday, Joseph Smith has grown more handsome.

In modern portraits and films, the Mormon church founder's large nose, Napoleonic hairstyle and stout belly have given way to the leaner, tanner look of a California surfer. He seems less remote and more like us.

That may help 21st century Latter-day Saints - more than half of whom have joined in the past few decades - identify with the man they believe ushered in a new Christian dispensation.

Many of the 12 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plan to spend this year celebrating the life of the farm-boy-turned-prophet who was born Dec. 23, 1805.

Mormon folk will sing "praise to the man who communed with Jehovah." Thousands of teens will dance their devotion in college stadiums. Artists will paint and sculpt his likeness, while the church and various filmmakers retell his story on the big screen.

http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_2748485
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Is The King Follett Discourse Doctrine Or Opinion?
Wednesday, May 25, 2005, at 09:20 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The King Follett Discourse provides mormons for much of their current understanding on the nature of god and man -- god was once a man, man can become god. In fact,

The King Follett Discourse is more in line with current Mormon thinking, in regards to the nature of god, than the Book of Mormon, which frequently refers to god as a great spirit. It is interesting that a speech given by Joseph Smith at a funeral carries so much doctrinal weight, but other statements, such as his Indian/Lamanite theories are just opinion. Apologists dismiss the Zelph story becuase it contradicts their limited geography theory, but Joseph claimed to receive that information through a revelation.

Was the King Follett Discourse a revelation? It is interesting how the church cherry picks Joseph's teachings and"revelations" to shape current doctrine. And with Gordo's recent statements about God/man being just a couplet, perhaps the King Follett Discourse is on its way out.

My experience is that most church members and leaders have spoken of the King Follet Discourse as something nearly sacred. Certainly doctrinal.

But, hardly any of them have ever read it, or even know where to find a copy.
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On This Day In History 1844 Joseph Smith Orders Destruction Of Nauvoo Expositor
Friday, Jun 10, 2005, at 10:30 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph and Hyrum Smith (both secretly practicing polygamy) tell Nauvoo City Council that the 1843 revelation pertains to ancient polygamy, not to modern times. Under the authority of Mayor Joseph Smith and the Nauvoo City Council, police, members of the Nauvoo Legion under orders of "Lieutenant-General" Joseph Smith and a "possey consisting of some hundred" destroy the press, office and papers of The NAUVOO EXPOSITOR as "a public nuisance."

Afterward the crowd gathers in front of Joseph Smith's house where he, "gave them a short address told them they had done right. That they had executed my orders required of me by the city council that I would never submit to have another libellous publication in [print] established in this city."
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Why Joesph Smith Was Jailed At Carthage
Tuesday, Jul 5, 2005, at 01:01 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
WRIT ISSUED UPON AFFIDAVIT BY THOMAS MORRISON, J. P., STATE OF ILLINOIS, HANCOCK COUNTY, ss `The people of the state of Illinois, to all constables, sheriffs, and coroners of the said state, greeting: `Whereas complaint hath been made before me, one of the justices of the peace in and for the county of Hancock aforesaid, upon the oath of Francis M. Higbee, of the said county, that Joseph Smith Samuel Bennett, John Taylor, William W. Phelps, Hyrum Smith, John P. Greene, Stephen Perry, Dimick B. Huntington, Jonathan Dunham, Stephen Markham, William Edwards, Jonathan Holmes, Jesse P. Harmon, John Lytle, Joseph W. Coolidge, Harvey D. Redfield, Porter Rockwell, and Levi Richards of said counts, did on the 10th day of June instant, commit a riot at and within the county aforesaid, wherein they with force and violence broke into the printing office of the Nauvoo Expositor, and unlawfully and with force burned and destroyed the printing press, type and fixtures of the same, being the property of William Law, Wilson Law, Charles Ivins, Francis M. Higbee, Chauncey L. Higbee, Robert D. Foster, and Charles A. Foster.

`These are therefore to command you forthwith to apprehend the said Joseph Smith, Samuel Bennett, John Taylor, William W. Phelps, Hyrum Smith, John P. Greene, Stephen Perry, Dimick B. Huntington, Jonathan Dunham, Stephen Markham, William Edwards, Jonathan Holmes, Jesse P. Harmon, John Lytle, Joseph W. Coolidge, Harvey D. Redfield, Porter Rockwell, and Levi Richards, and bring them before me, or some other justice of the peace, to answer the premises, and farther to be dealt with according to law.

`Given under my hand and seal at Carthage, in the county aforesaid, this 11th day of June, A. D., 1844. [Signed] THOMAS MORRISON, J. P.'

Early in 1843 a group of members of the Church at Nauvoo, including Joseph Smith's second counselor and one of the presidents of the Nauvoo Stake and several business and professional people, commenced opposing Joseph Smith because of new doctrine and practices which were introduced in the Church. Foremost among these so-called objectionable tenets were the practice of plural marriage, eternal progression of man toward godhood, eternalizing of the marriage covenant, the endowment ceremony, and the political kingdom of God with its secret Council of Fifty. After these men were excommunicated from the Church in April 1844, they purchased a press and published a paper entitled the Nauvoo Expositor, the only issue appearing June 7. This first and last edition of the paper declared that Joseph Smith had become a tyrant, ruling Nauvoo contrary to American principles of separation of church and state; that he had introduced into the Church doctrine and practices which were contrary to the original teachings of the Church, particularly that secretly he was practicing plural marriage which they termed "whoredoms and abominations." They announced their intention to seek the repeal of the Nauvoo Charter so that Nauvoo might become a city governed by American standards of democracy.

The Expositor appeared on Friday afternoon, and the following morning and the Monday thereafter the city council met to consider its threat to the peace and security of the city. With the powers granted by the city charter, they declared the newspaper a nuisance, as they felt its declarations threatened the security of the city. They authorized the mayor (Joseph Smith) to see that the nuisance was abated. The Prophet instructed the city marshal to abate the nuisance which he and his men accomplished by breaking into the printing shop, throwing the press into street where it was smashed with a sledge hammer, dumping the type into the street, and burning the undistributed copies of the newspaper. Such an extralegal method of abating a newspaper was not without precedent in Illinois (though not in keeping with long established practices concerning abatement of a public press), but it was viewed as a violation to the federal Constitution which forbids destruction of property without due process of law. The city council had only the authority to abate the nuisance by suspending further publication of the paper pending a court hearing which would determine whether it was a public nuisance.

The proprietor of the paper went to Carthage and swore out a warrant for the 18 members of the city council, charging that they had violated the federal Constitution by destroying property with the resultant implication of "suppression of the freedom of the press." In response to the charge 15 members of the Nauvoo city council appeared before the justice of the peace in Carthage on Tuesday, June 25, and were bound over to the next term of the circuit court on bail of $500 each. Jointly they posted $7500 in bonds and some of them returned to Nauvoo that afternoon. Joseph and Hyrum, however, remained in Carthage to have an interview with Governor Ford. While awaiting audience with him, they were arrested on charges of treason and rioting for having used some of the Nauvoo Legion to assist the town marshal in the destruction of Expositor equipment. For this charge they were committed to the Carthage jail that afternoon.
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The Shakers, Or Where Have I Heard This Before?
Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005, at 01:45 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Philo's post about Shakers having multiple witnesses to some of their divine visitations led me to find some great stuff on Google.andnbsp;

Click here for the title page and table of contents of the book I reference. andnbsp;Note it was published in 1816.

From the Testimony of Mother Lee and the Elders (click here):andnbsp;

Mother Ann, and the Elders with her, uniformly taught the doctrine of a free offer of the gospel to all souls, whether in this world, or in the world of spirits. That none could be deprived of the offer of salvation because they had left the world before Christ made his appearance; or because they had lived in some remote part of the earth, where the sound of the gospel had never reached their ears. Their labors in the work of regeneration were not confined to this world, but extended to the world of spirits, and their travail and sufferings for the salvation of departed souls, were often distressing, beyond description

Another of the excerpts from the above mentioned book:

Men and women in this world can please themselves, by gratifying their lusts, and if they do not overcome their passions by the gospel, they carry them into the world of spirits with them. Death does not destroy these passions, nor make them less powerful; but souls in hell feel their lustful passions rise intensely stronger than in this world; and yet they can find no way to gratify them; therefore, their lust is their torment; and it torments them in proportion to its rage.

And more here:

You must remember the poor and needy, the widow and the fatherless; and deal out your bread to the hungry, and your clothes to the naked. Your natures will say, ?They may work and get these things for themselves.' But Christ said, 'Give to him that asketh, and of him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.' If I had but two mouthfuls of bread, I would give to him that needed; and, if I had but two coats, I would give to him who had none. You must put away your covetousness, your lust, and your filth, and be prepared for the increase of the gospel; for the time will come when this gospel will be preached to all nations, and many will flock to Zion to hear the word of the Lord."

How about this revelation?:

Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people. The Great I AM is beginning to pour out his spirit upon the earth; and many will be struck with consternation at what they behold; and many will be provoked in their spirits, to persecute and abuse those who are the subjects of strange and mysterious operations.

Or this revelation:

I AM, is GOD; whose power is Almighty, and whose glory and beauty filleth all immensity and space; yet the least creature of my creation, is an object of my particular notice; either in mercy or in judgment. And with Me, time does not exist, for before time was, I AM, existed; and the after Me can never come.

7. JEHOVAH JAH, is my name; through endless worlds I am known; fulfilling, to the least jot and tittle, that which I have promised through the mouths of my true and faithful servants.

8. All creation, that mortals can comprehend, should pass into oblivion, rather than one word from my mouth should fail of being accomplished

It's like shooting fish in a barrel.andnbsp;

Go here and see what Doctrine and Covenants or Book of Mormon ideas you can find. andnbsp;

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Joseph Smith Not A Martyr By Any Stretch Of The Imagination
Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005, at 08:33 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I'm certain that if you ask about anyone what a martyr is they would say it is someone who dies for their beliefs. But where does the term martyr come from?

Martyr comes from the Greek to witness (martys). The act of witnessing is called martyia in the Greek and signifies a legal testimony. Because of the fact at the time of the apostles and the patristic fathers that the act of giving testimony of Christ resulted in death and often an ignoble death, the term "martyr" began to be synonymous with death because of being a Christian.

Now how does this relate to Jospeh Smith. The first question is "was Joseph killed as a direct result of his testimony of Christ and the Church?" I believe we can answer this one no. Joseph was jailed because he destroyed a printing press of a paper that divulged his polygamous acts. This together with the atrocities that the Mormon's took part in, in the killing of innocents in Missouri and the rise of the political and physical threat from the Nauvoo legion etc, the locals could be construed as acting out of fear for their lives.

In reading any of the accounts of the martyrs from the apostolic and patristic periods, we may see that they went willingly to their deaths in defense of their faith. Smith was not asked to renounce his faith or die. When the murderers attacked Smith and the others in the jail he went down in a blaze of glory, killing or wounding a number of men with a smuggled pistol. And instead of calling upon God when he meant to possibly jump from the window, he uttered a Masonic Oath of help.

Joseph Smith a martyr? I do not think so.
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Historian Says Smith's Personal Story May Overshadow Others
Tuesday, Aug 2, 2005, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Not much has changed in the debate over the bona fides of Mormon founder Joseph Smith since he claimed to have communed with God in a New York maple grove in the spring of 1820.

In the bicentennial year of his birth, Latter-day Saints worldwide still extol the integrity of their church's founding prophet, while detractors continue their unrelenting assault on his intentions. He is at once visionary leader and religious charlatan.

Yet, in the 175th year of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its enduring vitality may have rendered moot the question of whether Smith truly translated ancient Scripture etched on golden plates or made up the tale out of whole cloth.

http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_2900771
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New JosephSmith.NET Website Continues Pattern Of Whitewashing
Wednesday, Aug 3, 2005, at 11:31 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The church has spent a lot of money on its new web sight JosephSmith.net. It is a faithful hard-on for the prophet. Full of glossy details about JS's life, in the authorized Boyd K. Packer sanctioned faithful history mode. My friend, a BYU Professor is in charge of this project. Sadley, it is exactly what one would expect from the church...a whitewashed portrayal of his life.

No mention of his treasure seeking /glass looking days.

No mention of his looking in a hat for his supposed translation.

No mention of his second sight activity.

No mention of his marrying other men's wives.

No mention of his polygamy.

No mention of his being crowned King of the earth.

No mention of his ordering the death of a sitting governor of Missouri.

No mention of his bank and real estate frauds.

No mention of his drinking activities.

No mention of his threatening woman with destruction if they turned down his marriage proposals.

No mention of his unfulfileld prophecies

No mention of his posthumously changing canonize scripture

No mention of his inability to keep his fact straight when telling a story (First Vison)

No mention of his socopathic tendancies

Basically it is just a total whitewash of his life.... no warts...Gee, Joseph was such a great guy...an amazing historical figure...One of the top 100 Americans...

Only problem is that it is all a sham....

But I wouldn't expect anything else from the church...they will NEVER be honest with their Main Man Joseph...just like his lies...he NEEDS lies to prop him up so the church can continue to worship him...
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Smith's Egyptian Alphabet And Grammar Translations
Friday, Aug 12, 2005, at 08:54 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I picked up Larson's, "By His Own Hand On Papyrus" again. Just to have something to thumb through while I rode the spin bike at the gym. I stumbled upon a tidbit that I missed when I previously read the book 4 months ago.

Joseph's overactive machinations contained in his Egyptian grammar and alphabet writings.

The book is vague re the grammar and alphabet and does not spend a great deal of time on it. I dare say an entire book could be written on it. It blasts things out of the water. I wondered why more was not expounded upon it. The few pages Larson spends on it are rather devestating to the final product contained in the Book of Abraham.

The grammar, explained by Smith, incorrectly purports to have various egyptian characters which contain "degrees" and inflections. He explains the "degrees" as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Each egyptian character, according to Prophet Seer and Revelator Smith, is capable of all five degrees depending on how it is written. Larson goes on to explain Smith's "discovery" that the egyptian character, depending on what degree it is written in means progressively different and expanded translations. Keeping in mind that this "discovery" came directly from God, I found myself battling with the waves of nausea... again. This whole thing just stinks. But I digress.

Continuing.

Smith has the 1st degree translating into, usually, a simple 2-3 words from the one character. However,when the same character graduates to the 5th degree... Hooahhhhh! That same character can mean a paragraph.

Of course this was all later discovered to be utter green horse poopy.

But what nearly sent me sprawling to the floor thrown from my spin bike seat of which I was madly peddling on... was the fact that this hand written explanation by Smith of egyptian grammar contains demonstrations, explanations and actual translations of certain characters. It was as if Smith planned to teach a course on how to read Egyptian!

Abraham 1:23, 24
" 23. The land of egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of ham, and the daughter of egyptus, which in the chaldean signifies egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden."

"24. When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from ham, sprang that race which preserved the race in the land"

All that above basically translates from one egyptian character written in the 5th degree. Which, of course, I can't write here (no egyptian keys on my computer)...but Smith translated that character to phonetically say:

Iota toues Zip Zi

Smith classifies the character as being in his bogus "5th degree"... and thus milks two paragraphs out of it.

So "Iota toues Zip Zi" is, for the better part, Abraham 1:23,24.

Which is complete green, steamy, fly infested, soon to be hardened in the sun, horse poo. There is nothing palatable about this.Or am I missing something? eh? hmmm?

But Smith said it was so. And for years the church thought Smith was spot on.

Questions:

How does FARMS wiggle out of this?

Is this not extremely damning to Smith's credibility?

Wasn't this Egyptian Alphabet and grammar written in Smith's own handwriting and don't we have numerous journal entries and publications where Smith logs that he continues laboring in the papyri translations?"
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Some Understanding Of The Times And Why People Believed Joseph Smith Jr.
Friday, Aug 19, 2005, at 10:50 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I love to buy books at garage/yard sales and a few years ago, I bought a book published by Readers Digest for $2.00 about ancient America with lots of great pictures and historical information that I laid flat on the bottom shelf of a huge bookcase because it was so large.

I had not paid particular attention to it until my TBM hubby, in an effort to prove I am wrong about my assertions that JS told a whopper, found it in our bookcase and plopped it down in front of me, with great glee as proof that Joseph Smith was correct, opening it to the section:

"Lost Tribes in the New World."

The book is called: "Mysteries of the Ancient Americas" The New World Before Columbus Published by Readers Digest 1986

The information related in this book explains many of the reasons why people in Joseph Smith's time would believe wholeheartedly that the American Indians were Hebrews from Israel with Biblical underpinnings in their religions.

Here are a few short quotes from one chapter:

"Lost Tribes in the New World" pg. 32-38 The thrust of this chapter is the lost tribes from the Biblical accounts.

There is also a section on: Descendants of "White" Indians -These blue eyed Indians were sometimes called "Welsh Indians," as there were claims that they were conversant in the Welsh tongue.

An author in the late 18th century, James Adair, a trader in Indian territories for at least 40 years said that he heard chants among he Choctaw and Chickasaw and their neighbors that he said was the name Jehovah which he said was the Indian phrase for dead or lost.

Another phrase he said meant "gone to Canaan" and he claimed that the word "kora" was borrowed unchanged from the Hebrew.

This is a fascination book and shows two drawings and the research of Lord Kingsborough (Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough) who, in the 19th century was a young member of Parliament.

He "was convinced that the Indians of Mexico were directly descended from Israel's Ten Lost Tribes. As proof he spent his fortune on reproducing volumes of Aztec codices that, he claimed illustrated biblical events. " He relied heavily on Adair. He died in 1837 pg. 37

In 1650 one answer to the "Jewish Ancestors" question was published "The Hope of Israel" by Manasseh ben Israel, a rabbi in Amsterdam.

He told of a Spanish Jewish traveler, Antonio de Montezinos whose Indian Guide on one South American trip greeted him with "Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel)" pg 36

This author saw Old Testament customs in practice: ritual calendars, purification rites, circumcision, flood myths, sacrifices to gods, the veneration of a tribal ark.

Now turn to page 40 and imagine my surprise to see a large picture of a painting of Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni delivering the golden plates on a hillside in New York.

Here are a few quotes from the several paragraphs relating to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon:

"According to Mormon history, these plates told how their ancestors came to America from the "land of Jerusalem."

"No other document, inscription, or legend now known shows a lose correspondence with this account of the peopling of America, but there are tempting inferences that can be drawn from the evidence that does exist."

"It is wishful thinking, then, or the legacy of Spanish political propaganda that keeps alive the belief that the native Americans were eagerly awaiting the coming of he white man in the 16th century - (referring to Quetzalcoatl).

So far as is known, today, the existence of such a thing had never been imagined by the Aztec or Inca."

"We now know that Viking kings preceded Columbus to North America by 500 years."

This is a huge book with over 300 pages and hundreds of beautifully done pictures.

This book I referenced, shows that the combination of the Spaniards and the subsequent peopling of America from Europe with their acceptance of Biblical history as their religious reference point,(and a great reliance on it being historically correct) led many to interpret the languages and drawings of the Indians as having Hebrew - Old Testament correlations.

Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon fell right in line with the thinking of the day. He went along with what he read that was accepted as the prevailing notions of the history of the American Indians.

What he claimed in his stories in the Book of Mormon was plausible. Even the procurement of the claimed original documents by angels, and visions, was religiously acceptable as a representative manifestation of God working in their lives.

Understanding this background shows that it was not hard for Joseph Smith to gain so many followers.

It might explain why even Jewish people would go along with Joseph Smith's claims.

Believing Mormons, nearly 170 years later will take anything even remotely resembling an acceptance of a tiny scrap of fact or possible evidence or opinion, and use it to prove Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is a true, factual book.

I was astounded to find a book published in 1986 with references to the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. After reading the whole chapter, I understood why it was included.

Correlations between the American Indians and the Bible seems to be more a matter of heavily invested religious beliefs and wishful thinking of the times.
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Did Ethan Smith's Book, "View Of The Hebrews" Furnish The Structural Material For Joseph Smith's Authoring Of The Book Of Mormon
Saturday, Sep 3, 2005, at 08:26 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
There is much debate on where JS got the ideas that he included in the BoM. One popular theory is that it came from a book by Ethan Smith, titled "View of the Hebrews", that was easily available to JS in Palmyra in two editions published 5 and 8 years prior to the publishing of the BoM. Ethan Smith lived in the ajoining county to the residence of JS. B.H. Roberts, in a book titled "Studies of the Book of Mormon", gives one of the best presentations that I have read, that indeed JS may very well have gotten his ideas and material from Ethan Smith's book.

B.H. Roberts (who died in 1933) is described as "Mormonism's most competent historian and leading theologian, as well as the most aggressive exponent and capable disputant in its leadership, Roberts quite naturally, and certainly very effectively, filled the role of chief defender of the faith." This book was published in 1985 from some of his unpublished manuscripts, and is defended by Church apologists as his playing "the Devil's advocate" in his research of possible non-divine origins of the BoM. He has won me over to the idea that JS had to have used the Ethan Smith book as a guide to his authoring the BoM. Let me quote a section of Roberts's book and then you be the judge:

(pg 240) "The material in Ethan Smith's book is of a character and quantity to make a ground plan for the Book of Mormon: It supplies a large amount of material respecting American antinquities - leading to the belief that civilized or semi-civilized nations in ancient time accupied the American continents.

It not only suggest, but pleads on every page for Israelitish origin of the American Indians.

It deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of Israel, as the BoM does.

It deals with the future gathering of Israel, and the restoration of the Ten Tribes, as the BoM does.

It emphasizes and uses much of the material from the prophecies of Isaiah, including whole chapters, as the BoM does.

It makes special appeal to the Gentiles of the New World - having in mind more especially the people of the United States - to become the nursing fathers and mothers unto Israel in the New World - even as the BoM does, holding out great promises to the great Gentitle nation that shll occupy America, if it acquiesces in the divine program.

It holds that the peopling of the New World was by migrations from the Old World, the same as does the BoM. It takes its migrating people into a country where "never man dwelt," just as the BoM takes its Jaredite colony into "that quarter where there never had man been."

In both cases the journey was to the northward; in both cases the colony entered into the valley of a great river; they both encountered "seas" of "many waters" in the course of their journey; in both cases the journey was a long one. The motive in both cases was the same - a religious one; Ethan is prominently connected with the recording of the matter in the one case, and Ether in the other.

Ethan Smith's book supposes that his lost tribes divide into two classes, the one fostering the arts that make for civilization, the other followed the wild hunting and indolent life that ultimately led to barbarism, which is just what happens in the BoM peoples.

"Long and dismal" wars break out between Ethan Smith's civilized division and his barbarous division. The same occurs between Nephite and Lamanite, divisions drawn on the same lines of civilized and barbarous in the BoM.

The savage division utterly esterminates the civilized in Ethan Smith's book; the Lamanites, the barbarous division of the BoM, utterly destroy the civilized division - the Nephites.

Ethan Smith's book assumes for the ancient civilized people a culture of mechanic arts; of written language; of the knowledge and use of iron and other metals; and of navigation. The BoM does the same for its civilized peoples.

Ethan Smith's book assumes unity of race for the inhabitants of America - the Hebrew race, and no other. The BoM does the same.

Ethan Smith's book assumes that this race (save perhaps, the Eskimo of the extreme north) occupied the whole extent of the American continents. The BoM does the same for its peoples.

It assumes the Indian tongue to have had one source - the Hebrew; the BoM makes the same assumption for the language of its peoples.

Ethan Smith's book describes an instrument among the mound finds comprising breast plate with two white buckhorn buttons attached, "in imitation of the precious stones of Urim," says Ethan Smith. Joseph Smith used some such instrument in translating the BoM, called Urim and Thummim.

Ethan Smith's book admits the existence of idolatry and human sacrifice, the BoM does the same.

Ethan Smith's book extols generosity to the poor and denounces pride, as traits of the American Indian; the BoM does the same for its peoples. Ethan Smith's book denounces polygamy, the BoM under cetain conditions does the same as to David and Solomon's practices.

Ethan Smith's book quotes Indian traditions of a "Lost Book of God" and the promise of its restoration to the Indians, with a return of their lost favor with the Great Spirit. This is in keeping with the lost sacred records to the savage Lamanites of the BoM.

Ethan Smith's sacred book was buried with some "high priest", "keeper of the sacred traditions"; the BoM sacred records were hidden or buried by Moroni, a character that corresponds to the Indian tradition in the Hill Cumorah.

Ethan Smith's book describes extensive military fortifications linking cities together over wide area of Ohio and Mississippi valleys, with military observatory or "watch towers" overlooking them; the BoM describes extensive fortifications erected thoughout large areas with military "watch towers" here and there overlooking them.

Ethan Smith's book also describes sacred towers or "high places" in some instances devoted to true worship, in other cases to idloatrous practices; the BoM also has its prayer or sacred towers.

Part of Ethan Smith's ancient inhabitants effect a change from monarchial governments to republican forms of government: BoM peoples do the same.

Some of Ethan Smith's peoples believed in the constant struggle between the good and the bad principle, by which the world is governed; Lehi, first of Nephits prophets, taught the existence of a necessary opposition in all things - righteousness opposed to wickedness - good to bad; life to death, and so following.

Ethan Smith's book speaks of the gospel having been preached in the ancient America; the BoM clearly portrays a knowledge of the gospel had among the Nephites.

Ethan Smith gives, in considerable detail, the story of the Mexican culture-hero Quetzalcoatl - who in so many things is reminescent of the Christ; the BoM brings the risen Messiah to the New World, gives him a ministry, disciples and a church.

Can such numerous and startling points of resemblance and suggestive contact be merely coincidence?"

Sorry for the length of the post but thought it important to bring out this evidence coming from one of Church's best defenders of the faith for those TBM lurkers or those sitting on the fence. Seems to me to be pretty convincing evidence of where JSs ideas for the BoM came from.
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Politics Of Mormonism In The 1840 And The Murder Of Joseph Smith
Saturday, Sep 3, 2005, at 01:28 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
From the Oxford Press (local paper in Oxford, Ohio and not to be confused with the Oxford University Press)

Book traces area ties in 1844 murder of Mormon leader
Assassination was result of political aspirations

To read the entire review, here's the link.

"Junius and Joseph: Presidential Politics and the Assassination of the First Mormon Prophet", by Robert S. Wicks

Anyone read this book?

Excerpts:
Wicks said he and Foister found lots of connections between southwest Ohio and Smith's assassination. Wicks said that his book contends that Smith's murder in 1844 was not what was previously thought of to be a mob uprising, but a political assassination that dealt with his involvement with the Mormon Church and his presidential bid.
I know this isn't a new theory in this circle or even among TBM's because I recall my mother telling me of this theory. But here is presented evidence that, though various predjudices against Smith abounded, it was his move into state and national politics that enabled the events that led to a political assassination...not a religious martyrdom.
Wicks' book examines Smith's effort to build a Mormon theocratic state in America, which brought him into disagreement with the Whig Party's political ideology. Smith and his followers wanted to accomplish a larger religious goal, and when he made his presidential bid it created not only strong supporters, but angry opponents.
Clash of political ideology and rise of a theocratic state...not the devil trying to destroy the Church and the Gospel. Hmmmmm...

Is it possible that "faithful history", (credit to bob mccue for this so-called), is once again shallow beyond credibility when it comes to the subject of Joseph?
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Mormon History 101: As A Mormon Did You Know This Is How The "Nephite Record" And "Urim And Thummin" Were Recorded In The Mormon Church History Books?
Sunday, Sep 4, 2005, at 08:27 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Mormon History 101 appears to be a class that can be only taken on line on the RfM site! :-)

Come here to find out things you did not know -- the little known facts of how Mormonism came about!

This is where the only truth about Mormon history is taught, right from their own words, as recorded at the by their own authorized authors.

This is info from a standard history book of the Mormon Church:

" "A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." by B.H. Roberts

VOL 1 "How the Book of Mormon was Obtained"

These books are in the LDS Data base on CD, also in their libraries (Ward/Stake/Institute of Religion)in the REFERENCE section.

I own the whole set in paperback which I purchased in the late 70s before they were discontinued.

A few notes:

B H Roberts says that they were dressed "for riding" by taking the horse and spring wagon of Mr. Knight (some would call this stealing, as they did not ask permission of Mr. Knight who was a guest in his home) and went to the "hill Cumorah, and in he presence of Moroni obtained the Nephite record, the breast-plate and Urim and Thummim.

pg. 87, "Early the next morning, Mr. Knight discovered both his horse and wagon were gone, suspected some "rogue had stolen them. Lucy Smith volunteered no information as to Joseph having made use of the horse and wagon, but tried to pacify Mr. Knight with the idea that they were but temporarily out of the way."

When Joseph returned home, he took his mother aside and showed her the Urim and Thummim which he had evidently detached from the breast plate and concealed on his own person when depositing the plates...he seemed to have kept the instrument constantly about him after that time as by means of it he could at will be made aware of approaching danger to the record."

The next chapter is entitled: pg. 88 Other Psychics Than the Prophet "The fact was that Joseph Smith was not the only psychic in the vicinity of Palmyra."

He had previously asked Lucy (his mother) very early in the morning if she had a chest with a lock and key but she could not locate one.

This is the reason Joseph pg. 86 "concealed them temporarily, in the woods some two or three miles distant. He found a fallen birch log that was much decayed .....carefully cutting the bark and removing sufficient of the decayed wood to admit ...the plates, ...they were deposited in the cavity, the bark drawn together again and as far as possible all signs of the log having been disturbed obliterated."

Pg 93 - "The Breastplate of Urim and Thummim

"It has been several times remarked that with the plates on which a brief history of the ancient American peoples was engrave, there was an ancient breast-plate to which, when the Prophet took possession of it, the Urim and Thummim were attached.

This breast-plate it appears the Prophet did not bring home with him when he brought the record. But a few days later, according to a statement by Lucy Smith, he came into the house from the field one afternoon and after remaining a a short time put on his "great coat" and left the house.

On his returning the mother was engaged in an upper room of the house preparing oilcloth for painting - it will be remembered that this was an art she has followed for some years. Joseph called to her and asked her to come down stairs. To this she answered she could not then leave her work, but Joseph insisted and she came downstairs and entered the room where he was whereupon he placed in her hands the Nephite breast plate herein alluded to.

'It was wrapped in a a thin muslin handkerchief,' she explains, 'so thin that I could feel it's proportions without any difficulty'. It was concave on one side, convex on the other and extended from the neck downwards as far as the center of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material, for the purpose of fastening it to the breast, two of which ran back to go over the shoulders and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips. They were just the width of two of my fingers (for I measured them). and they had holes in the end of them, to be convenient in fastening. After I had examined it, Joseph placed it in the chest with the Urim and Thummin."

I highly recommend reading the B H Roberts books. They are filled with things you have never heard in church. The set comes with an Index, which in invaluable also.

It is no wonder these stories have been sanitized into faith promoting versions over the years. The real history is just too wild and crazy to believe! :-)

This was the kind of information that finally hit home. There was no way Joseph Smith Jr was telling the truth about anything.

He made up his stories, visions, religion, and BOM fiction from the get-go from many sources available to him at the time, ("View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith, no relation, Solomon Spaulding writings, Emanuel Swedenborg writings, Bible, and many others) and the best that could be said for him is that he created a faith-based hoax/scam that Brigham Young could use! These young men were on a path to create an isolated religion and hold their power close to the chest.

Thanks to the Brighamites, Mormonism is still alive and well today as a huge conglomerate of investments, businesses, and acquisitions.

See my other post: http://www.wingnet.net/~erickett/boar...

[edit for correction]The Mormon Church is only part of it's financial empire. I don't know how this works. Date: Sep 03 13:30
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Newly Discovered Documents Link Mormon Founder To Crimes
Friday, Sep 16, 2005, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
NORWICH – County historians have rediscovered historical records proving the founder of the Mormon Church was arrested on several occasions while living in Chenango County.

The papers turned up after a three decade absence, and may prove to be the most historically significant discovery in the modern history of the area.

The documents, which have recently been turned over to the Chenango County Historical Society, include legal bills from separate charges filed against Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, now the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The religious founder, the bills show, was arrested three times in the county between 1826 and 1830. County Historian Dale Storms said the cases involved Smith’s involvement in “glass looking,” or searching for treasure, and “being a disorderly person.”

“From the beginning, there have been people who have been against the Mormon religion. They sought to discredit him by saying he was arrested all over throughout Bainbridge,” Storms said. “It is not a small thing. ... These are important papers to a major religion.”

http://www.evesun.com/news/top2.html

NORWICH, N.Y. Records showing that Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith was arrested while living in upstate New York have resurfaced after a three-decade absence. The documents dating back to the late 1820s were recently handed over to the Chenango County Historical Society by a man whose mother used to be the county's historian.

The current county historian, Dale Storms, says the records pertain to Smith's arrests for "glass looking," a 19th-century term for treasure hunting. One document is a bill for two dollars, 68 cents for a judge's fees in Smith's case.

In 1830, Smith founded what became known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ten years after he claimed to have seen a vision of God and Jesus while praying in the woods near his home in Palmyra in western New York.

Smith was killed in 1844 by an anti-Mormon mob in Illinois.

http://www.wstm.com/Global/story.asp?...

Also: http://kutv.com/topstories/local_stor...
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Joseph Smith - Chenango County Historian Dale Storms - Answer To Giving Joseph Smith Court Records To The Mormon Church
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2005, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Jeff Wood
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
From: Jeff Wood Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 9:11 AM
To: info@nysha.org
Subject: Comments or Questions from Web Site

Could you please tell me why your Chenango County historian, Dale Storms, handed over a piece of New York state history in the form of the original trial documents of Joseph Smith's trials to the Mormon Church?

I assure you that these papers will be buried deeply within the granite caves of Utah never to surface again.....as proof of my assertion, see if the Mormon Church will provide a pdf document image of the originals for public consumption. I'll let you guess what their answer will be......

- -

Here's the New York State Historical Association's answer.
From: "NYSHA Library"
To: Jeff Wood
Subject: Joseph Smith - Chenango County Historian Dale Storms
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 09:23:26 -0400

The New York State Historical Association is a self-supporting, private, non-profit, educational institution committed to the preservation of New York State's documentary heritage. It promotes historical research at the state and local levels with no official connection with the State of New York.

Since we are a private organization with no state contection we have no control or say what a local historian does with a collection. Local historians are appointed by the local government, so if you have concerns about these documents, you should direct them to the Chenago County Board of Representatives in Norwich, New York.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Van Vranken

Library Assistant

NYSHA Library

Cooperstown, NY 13326
Thanks, Jeff.
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Please Set The Record Straight. The Original Documents Still Reside In The Chenango County's Possession.
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2005, at 10:58 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
An email from Al Oram:

Please set the record straight. The original documents still reside in the Chenango County's possession.

Al Oram
From: Historian [mailto:CountyHistorian@CO.CHENANGO.NY.US]
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 7:04 AM
To: Al Oram
Subject: Joseph Smith's arrest audits

Dear Sir,

The original Joseph Smith documents remain and always will remain in the custody of Chenango County government. I sent copies to Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah and as far as I can determine their spokeswoman said she was glad they were returned to their "proper place" - meaning Chenango County, New York. Some AP reporter apparently thought she meant to Latter Day Saints and changed the original story. I was shocked and could not correct that article. It would be over my dead body if these documents ever left the County. Please let our fellow historians everywhere know I would never send these papers away. Presently anyone wishing to view the originals must be with me, our County Auditor, and a Sheriff's Deputy. No one may touch them, but because of Freedom of Information we occasionally have to let qualified parties see the originals. All others use copies.
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Joseph Smith's Death Was God Sanctioned
Monday, Sep 26, 2005, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I have to chuckle.

Now I truly know there is an answer for everything in the world of apologetics.

I recently rebutted a fellow in an email exchange about Smiths wacky behaviors at the end of his life. We talked briefly about the genesis behind Smith's bid to be president of the USA, the council of the 50, and Smith having himself crowned king over all the earth.

My friend conceded finally that it all added up to nonsense (!)

BUT... after 1830, it did not matter what the prophet did because God's church was restored. And that was God's prime objective.

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely" he cried.

The final parting thought was,

"If joseph was in error sexually, politically, militantly (with his 3000 man militia threatening the countryside) etc then God took Smith out of the equation and prepared Brigham Young to take his place.... after all, BY stayed faithful by Smith's side through thick and thin.... because God was preparing BY.

It's all good. Let's just summarize:

If you perform God's prime objective, then come up with a plan of your own... God has you killed.

It just tickles me that I used to think like that!

I am just glad I don't have to ride that train of thought any more.

Noggin (Mike)

http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agor...
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Joseph Smith Is To "Translator" As Phyllis Schlafly Is To "Feminist"
Friday, Nov 18, 2005, at 08:14 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Robert K. Dellenbach says,
"Just as in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s day, the ability to translate holy writ today is a spiritual gift from God...No other person with such limited education as Joseph has single-handedly translated in such a short period of time from ancient writings more than 500 pages of scriptural text." (The Message: The Miraculous Translation of the Book of Mormon)
And yet, Grant Palmer said,
"My conclusion is that a large body of evidence demonstrates that Joseph mistranslated a number of documents. I know of no subtantial evidence to support his claim to have ever literally translate any document, leaving me to appreciate his writing at face value rather than because of their antiquity." (Grant Palmer, An Insiders View of Mormon Origins, p. 36)
I think the only people who agree with Mr. Palmer are those not using their testimonies to guide their "research".
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Extremely Rare LDS Historical Tidbits I Bet You Didn't Know
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2005, at 08:30 AM
Original Author(s): Dr. Shades
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The following are excerpts from the endnotes of Cowdrey, Wayne; Davis, Howard; and Vanick, Arthur. Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? The Spalding Enigma. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2005. The information here is so rare that I thought others might be interested:

Page 488:

As has been the case in so many other politically motivated assassinations, the circumstances surrounding Smith's death have been rich fodder for any number of conspiracy theiroes. One of the most intriguing of these is a largely uninvestigated story offered by Josephine (Jesse) Rigdon Secord, Sidney Rigdon's last surviving grandchild, during an interview with Noel B. Croft on August 23, 1972. According to Mrs. Secord, then about 90, her aunt Athalia (Rigdon's eldest child, born August 11, 1821) told her around the turn fo the 20th century that "the killing of Joseph Smith was the result of a complex political plot which included, among others, the Masons, John C. Bennett, and (Athalia's own husband) George W. Robinson." Once Smith was out of the way, the conspirators intended to "control the church through Sidney Rigdon, whom they considered to be mentally unstable. . . [and] easily controlled by them." All that can be said at this point is that careful review of the circumstances leading up to Smith's murder certainly leaves room for such a possibility. In later years, both Robinson and Rigdon retired to Friendship, N.Y., where both joined the local Masonic Lodge and where both, according to local legend, lived in constant fear of vengeance from the Utah church headed by Brigham Young--Robinson even going so far as to have heavy bars placed over some of the lower windows of his home and a bulletproof room constructed for him in his bank.

Page 510, regarding the bank notes issues by the failed Kirtland Bank:

The one-dollar note of this worthless currency portrays a man fleecing a sheep, and the series included $3.00 bills.

Page 541, emphasis added by authors:

Joseph's letter to Oliver of October 22 contains a rare and candid admission by the Prophet himself that should not to be [sic] passed over lightly. This reads as follows:
"I arrived at home on Sun morn. the 4th [of October] after a prosperous journey. . . . people all friendly to us except a few who are in opposition to every thing unless it is the same thing that is exactly like themselves and two of our most formidable persecutors are now under censure and are cited to a trial in the church for crimes which if true are worse than all the Gold Book business.
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Spending Christmas With Joseph And Emma - Move Aside Jesus, You Are Just Not As Hip As Joseph
Friday, Dec 9, 2005, at 08:29 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
As speculated before in other parts of the Ex-Mormon world, we are beginning to wonder how long it will take the LDS Corporation to clean up Joseph Smith's background so that he can replace Jesus Christ. More emphasis is put on how absolutely wonderful Joseph Smith is and very little attention is paid to Jesus Christ anymore. Look at the latest Ensign - smack dab on the cover is Joseph Smith. I think they did mention Jesus somewhere in there, buried back on page 28 in small print.

Mormons don't need Jesus, they have Joseph. No man has done more for mankind than Joseph. Joseph restored the gospel. Joseph restored the handshakes, passwords and new names. Joseph restored the garments.

I want to run down the hall yelling out Joseph's name. JOSEPH! JOSEPH! JOSEPH!

Who's that Jesus Christ fellow anyway? Oh who cares anyway, we have JOSEPH SMITH!

From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
"As a great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Smith, Gracia N. Jones has both a historical and a personal interest in that question. A few years back, as she was researching the lives of her ancestors, she began to ponder the holiday connection. "I wondered what Joseph and Emma did at Christmas. In doing my earlier research, it seemed that Joseph was seldom home, so they had very little family time – and certainly not much uninterrupted family time – because people came constantly to see Joseph, and he never turned anyone away. I wanted to know how this affected their Christmases.

She also wondered if any of the traditions in her own family had been handed down from those earlier generations (her family line comes through Joseph and Emma's son Alexander).

The results of her research ended up in a little book called "The Holidays With Joseph and Emma" (Covenant, $12.95)."
So there you have it, now a Mormon has come out with a book that shows how wonderful Smithmas (er.. Christmas) was with Joseph and Emma.

I wonder if during Christmas Emma allowed all of Joseph's wives to come over for the day. A kind of "free for all" deal. What about the wives of those husbands Joseph took away and married for himself?

Smells like another bullshit book published by a Mormon who has been kept in the dark her whole life.

Click the link to read more on the lies and deception Mormonism has woven into their new Savior, Joseph Smith.

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249...
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Joseph Smith: Prophet Of The Restoration (Two Thumbs Down - I'd Give It More If I Had Them)
Monday, Dec 19, 2005, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Livingston
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I had the dubious privilege of seeing the LDS Inc's newest movie production, Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. It was worse than I would ever have suspected.

It began with a sister missionary sobbing out her testimony that Joseph was like Jesus because he loved us and suffered for us and sacrificed his life for us.

Next the movie began. I had seen a trailer for this and was expecting something better than Legacy. No facts but lots of action and feel good adventures, and a lot of tears. Not so. The plot was complicated and preachy, striking a missionary tone from the start. The movie was disjointed and the plot bogged down with every vision ever filmed in any other church history film. The first vision did include the "satanic attack" on Joseph. This was done using scary filming reminiscent of horror movies such as The Ring along with scary noises and what seemed like a silhouette. They even gave Satan a diabolical laugh! If it weren't so stupid it would be terrifying. I would not recommend that you take young children to see this. The Satan laugh and cinematography came back in every period of intense suffering through the film. I have never seen Satan so personified in any film the church has made. Maybe they will go into horror next!

The remainder of the movie was filled with the abuse that Joseph received during his life and did not show any of the reasons people had to be angry with him except he "asks to much of people."

Richard Dutcher will not have any competition from the church... that much is clear. This movie stank. I went expecting to see a humorously ignorant feel good Joseph story and instead got a laborious lobotomizing film about Joseph's near divinity. They should have called it The Passion of Joseph Smith. What a relief it was when it was finally over.

Go if you must... but you have been warned.

Oh I almost forgot the translation. In the movie they made it look like Joseph translated directly from the plates just across the table from his scribe. There was not even a screen between them. They were careful not to show the whole scene so that the curtain between them was never shown. I assume this was so they could claim at least a little honesty. If this keeps up pretty soon they will have his scribe sitting next to him while he translates.

Merry Smithmas! Ick...
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Why Did Joseph Smith Try Selling The Book Of Mormon Copyright?
Friday, Dec 23, 2005, at 09:03 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Immediately after publishing the Book of Mormon in 1830, Joseph received a revelation that Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery were to go to Toronto, Canada to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. They failed to do so, (partly because the revelation sent them to the wrong town) and upon their return, accused Joseph Smith of falsely prophesying.

Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copyright, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father's house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada. Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copyright, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: "Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil." So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copyright was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man.”
- David Witmer, AN ADDRESS TO ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, 1887, http://www.irr.org/mit/address4.html

Oliver Cowdery related his own account of Joseph Smith's "revelation" to sell the Book of Mormon copyright:

"that some among you will remember which sent Bro. Page and me, so unwisely, to Toronto, with a prediction from the Lord by "Urim and Thummim," that we would there find a man anxious to buy the "First Elder's copyright." I well remember we did not find him, and had to return surprised and disappointed. But so great was my faith, that in going to Toronto, nothing but calmness pervaded my soul, every doubt was banished, and I as much expected that Bro. Page and I would fulfill the revelation as that we should live. And you may believe, without asking me to relate the particulars that it would be no easy task to describe our desolation and grief. Bro. Page and I did not think that god would have deceived us through "Urim and Thummin [sic], " exactly as came the Book of Mormon.
- Oliver Cowdery, Defense, p. 229

So why did Joseph Smith try selling the Book of Mormon copyright?

"Joseph Capron wrote that Smith hoped his volume would "relieve the family from all pecuniary embarrassment." There is evidence from Mormon sources to confirm Capron's recollections. Smith himself admitted in his unpublished history that "he sought the plates to obtain riches."

"Hyrum Smith wrote to his grandfather, Asael, that he believed that service to the Lord would bring the family their long-awaited prosperity. In October 1829, Joseph wrote excitedly to Oliver Cowdery that Josiah Stowell had a chance to obtain five or six hundred dollars and that he was going to buy copies of the Book of Mormon. Lucy Mack Smith said that when it was finally published in March 1830 the family had to sell copies of the book to buy food."

"The economic situation of the Smith families was so desperate at this time that Joseph tried to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. Hiram Page wrote with bitterness years later that the prophet heard he could sell the copyright of any useful book in Canada and that he then received a revelation that "this would be a good opportunity to get a handsome sum." Page explained that once expenses were met the profits were to be "for the exclusive benefit of the Smith family and was to be at the disposal of Joseph." Page indicated that they hoped to get $8,000 for the copyright and that they traveled to Canada covertly to prevent Martin Harris from sharing in the dividend. Smith evidently believed that Harris was well enough off while his own family was destitute. When Page, Cowdery, and Knight arrived at Kingston, Ontario, they found no buyer. Martin Harris apparently learned of what was done, and Joseph guaranteed him in writing that he would share in any profits made from the subsequent sales of the book. In the spring of 1830 Harris walked the streets of Palmyra, trying to sell as many copies of the new scripture as he could. Shortly after Joseph Smith and Jesse Knight saw him in the road with books in his hand, he told them "the books will not sell for nobody wants them."
- Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge, p.20-21

So when selling the Book of Mormon didn't make them money as they had hoped, they organized a church.
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Joseph Smith's Habit Of Making Up Phoney Names
Friday, Dec 23, 2005, at 09:04 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Most Mormons today don't know it, but Joseph Smith had a real talent and habit of making up phoney names. You see this throughout Smith's original "revelations" besides the Book of Mormon.

Here are some expamples from Joseph Smith's original revelations as recorded in the original 1835 versions of the Doctrine and Covenants:

Original DandC (1835), Section 86:4:
"Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servant Alam and Ahashdah, Mahalaleel and Pelagoram, and my servant Gazelam, and Horah, and Olihah, and Shalemanasseh, and Mehemson, be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression except judgment shall immediately follow, in your several stewardships, to manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the bishopric both in the land of Zion, and in the land of Shinehah, for I have consecrated the land of Shinehah in mine own due time for the benefit of the saints of the Most High..."

Original DandC (1835), Section 98:5:
"And again, let my servant Shederlaomach have the place upon which he now dwells. And let my servant Olihah have the lot which is set off joining the house which is to be for the Lane-shine- house, which is lot number one: and also the lot upon which his father resides. And let my servant Shederlaomach and Olihah have the Lane-shine-house and all things that pertain unto it..."

Explanations:

"Section 82 of the Doctrine and Covenants, dated 26 April 1832, guided the formation of a united order in the Joseph Smith era. Until recently, code names were shown for the nine participants: Ahashdah (Newel K. Whitney), Pelagoram (Sidney Rigdon), Gazelam (Joseph Smith), Olihah (Oliver Cowdery), and Mahemson (Martin Harris). The remaining names, Alam, Mahalaleel, Horah, and Shalemanasseh, have recently been identified as Edward Partridge, Sidney Gilbert, John Whitmer, and W. W. Phelps (Whittaker 1983). The 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants eliminated the secret names from Section 82, substituting the real names where known. Code names were similarly deleted from sections 78, 92, 96, and 104 dealing with the United Order."
- Kent W. Huff, Dialogue, Vol.19, No.2, p.146

"The Doctrine and Covenants, first edition (1835), carried some new off-biblical names, like Shalemanasseh (section 82), Shederlaomach (112 and 104), and Tahhanhes (104) -- names which have a familiar ring, sounding like Shalmaneser and Manasseh, Chedorlaamer and Tahpanhes. "Ahman," part of the name Adam-ondi-Ahman, closely resembles in sound and idea the name Amen in Revelation 3:14."

"Other invented names found in 82 and 104, such as Shinehah and Laneshine house and Olihah, Pelagoram, and Gazelam, are hardly biblical in sound. When Joseph had reason to use pseudonyms, he could have borrowed from the Bible names like Hananeel, Hadoram, Ahiman, Aholiab, Argob, Tirzah. He uses the biblical "Mahalaleel" both as a real name and as an oblique name. "Cainhannoch" for "New York" is a linkage of Cain and Hanoch which is both closely biblical and strangely different..."

"But, in the 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, two revelations (1914: 103 and 105) appeared for the first time, containing invented names which did require a knowledge of Hebrew. And this despite the fact that they are concerned with Zion's Camp and are dated April and June, 1834! In Section 103, Joseph gives himself another pseudonym besides "Gazelam": namely, Baurak Ale, repeated in 105:16 and 27.
- Louis C. Zucker, Dialogue, Vol.3, No.2, p.49

Look at Smith's "translations" of Facsimile #2 in the Book of Abraham and you'll see he also demonstrated a talent for making up names. We know today that Smith's so-called translations of the this Egyptian hyroglyph are completely fraudulent. But it was pretty impressive to early Mormons and is still proudly shown in today's Pearl of Great Price.

See:
http://nowscape.com/mormon/kolob-defined.htm
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Why LDS Members Tried To Castrate Joseph Smith In 1832
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2005, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Most Mormons believe that Joseph Smith's and Sidney Rigdon's tarring in February 1832 was done by an "anti-Mormon mob" inspired by the devil.

To the contrary, they were tarred not by an "anti-Mormon mob," but by their own followers, for two primary reasons.

First was their plan to have all of their church members sign over all of their assets and properties to the "United Order" communal experiment. Some members saw this as Smith and Rigdon's scheme to fleece them, and rightly so; the financial disaster that was the United Order, which culminated in the Kirtland Bank scandal, caused many Mormons to lose their life savings, and about half of all church members abandoned the faith over the incident, including most of the original twelve apostles.

The proof that it was his own church members who did the tarring was Smith's own statement that he recognized the perpetrators in church the morning after the incident, primarily one Symonds Rider and the sons of John Johnson. Smith, Emma, and Rigdon had been boarding with the Johnson family 35 miles from Kirtland at Hiram, Ohio. They weren't subjecting themselves to the communal lifestyle that they demanded of their followers at Kirtland.

Second, it was alleged that Smith made a pass at Johnson's 15 year-old daughter, Nancy Marinda, and that was her brothers' motivation for attacking Smith. "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith" supports this idea, but in his "In Sacred Loneliness" Todd Compton doubts it for lack of convincing evidence. It's likely true that Smith made the pass at Marinda for five reasons:

1. Joseph Smith had already taught his "plural marriage" concept in his 1831 "revelation" commanding a group of married men to "take ye wives from among the Lamanites" in 1831 (the tarring occurred in February 1832). This indicates that he had extra-marital relations on his mind during that period.

2. Joseph Smith eventually "plural married" Marinda in April of 1842, after sending her husband, Orson Hyde, on a mission. (Marinda later said she thought Smith was the father of her son, Frank.)

Thus, it is likely that Smith had his eye on Marinda since he had met the 15-year-old girl at Hiram in 1831, and that his 1842 "plural marriage" to her was his formalization of a long-existing desire for her (as it was also in the documented cases of Mary Rollins and Sarah Ann Whitney). The essence of Smith's "spiritual wifery" concept was that people knew each other in the "pre-existence," and that part of their earthly mission was to find their "soul mates" (Remember "Saturday's Warrior?") Once Smith had designated a female as one of his "soul mates," or "spiritual wives," they were to be "his" for eternity, even if they were already married to someone else; in this case, Orson Hyde.

3. Third, Smith's "plural" relationship with the 16-year-old Fanny Alger began in 1833. Since the 1832 tarring incident occurred between the 1831 marry-the-Lamanite-girls revelation and the 1833 beginning of his affair with Fanny, it's entirely likely that the tarring was at least partly because of Smith's budding unorthodox sexual concepts, which he tried out on fifteen year-old Marinda.

4. Fourth, it seems more likely that Marinda's brothers would want to castrate a man because of a sexual advance on their teenage sister, rather than over an issue of money.

5. The mob of church members that attacked Rigdon and Smith that night did not attempt to castrate Rigdon. Smith was the sole target of castration by Marinda's brothers.

Here is a little of LDS member and historian Todd Compton's views on the subject:
According to Luke Johnson, Smth was stretched on a board, then 'they tore off the night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation. But when the Doctor saw the prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate.

The motivation for this mobbing has been debated. Clark Braden, a late, antagonastic, secondhand witness, alleged in a polemic public debate that Marinda's brother Eli led a mob against Smith because the prophet had been too intimate with Marinda. This tradition suggests that Smith may have married Marinda at this early time, and some circumstantial factors support such a possibility. The castration attempt might be taken as evidence that the mob felt that Joseph had committed a sexual impropriety; since the attempt is reported by Luke Johnson, there is no reason to doubt it. Also, they had planned the operation in advance, as they brought along a doctor to perform it.

The first revelations on polygamy had been received in 1831, by historian Daniel Bachman's dating. Also, Joseph Smith did tend to marry women who had stayed at his house or in whose house he had stayed. [Joseph Smith was living in the home of Marinda at the time.]

Many other factors, however, argue against this theory. First, Marinda had no brother named Eli, which suggests that Braden's accusation, late as it is, is garbled and unreliable. In addition, two antagonistic accounts by Hayden and S. F. Whitney give an entirely different reason for the mobbing, with an entirely different leader, Simonds Ryder, an ex-Mormon, though the Johnson brothers are still participants. In these accounts the reason for the violence is economic: the Johnson boys were in the mob because of 'the horrid fact that a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it in the control of Smith.' The castration, in this scenario, may have only been a threat, meant to intimidate Smith and cause him to leave Hiram, Ohio.

While it is not impossible that Marinda became Smith's first plural wife in 1831, the evidence for such a marriage, resting chiefly on the late, unreliable Braden, is not compelling. Unless more credible evidence is found, it is best to proceed under the assumption that Joseph and Marinda did not marry or have a relationship in 1831.
- "In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith," 231-232.
Of course, Braden's recollection of an "Eli" could possibly have referred to a nickname for one of Marinda's brothers.

Faithful Latter-day Saint Mary Elizabeth Rollins testified that Joseph had a private conversation with her in 1831; she was then twelve years old. She said Joseph 'told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife.'
- Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner to Emmeline B. Wells, summer 1905, LDS Archives

Within six months of Joseph's conversation with 12 year-old Mary Elizabeth Rollins, he and Emma had moved into the John Johnson home, where 15 year-old Marinda lived. Orson Pratt later quoted Lyman Johnson as saying that 'Joseph had made known to him as early as 1831 that plural marriage was a correct principle,' but remarked also that 'the time had not yet come to teach and practice it.'
- Orson Pratt, "Latter-day Saints Millennial Star (Liverpool England), 40 (16 Dec. 1878):788)

Perhaps Joseph was not discreet in his discussions about plural marriage, because rumor and insinuation fed the fury of the mob that tarred and feathered him. When the Johnson boys joined the mob that entered their own home, they clearly suspected an improper association between Joseph and their sixteen-year-old sister, Nancy Marinda."
- "Joseph Smith: the First Mormon", p.146.

If Joseph Smith had been successfuly castrated that night in 1832, it's unlikely that there would ever have been secret Mormon temple ceremonies, sealings, garments or even temples as they exist today. After all, these are all relics of Joseph Smith's attempts to practice and conceal his plural marriage.

See:
http://www.i4m.com/think/temples/temple_legacy.htm

Castration that night in 1832 may have done Joseph Smith and his followers more harm than good.
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No Salvation If You Reject Joseph Smith
Tuesday, Dec 27, 2005, at 12:19 PM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
According to the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith deserves all of the praise he's getting this time of year. After all, we cannot be saved without him...

"If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by Joseph Smith; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him." - 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142, Apostle George Q. Cannon quoted

"Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision. ... Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration. I submit that if Joseph Smith talked with God the Father and His Beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate that leads to the path of salvation and eternal life." - The Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign Mag., Nov. 1998, pp.70-71

[There is] "no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth...no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God" - The Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190

"No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith...every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are... [Joseph Smith] reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim–"Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!" But it is true." - The Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p.289-91

"He that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ" - The Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p.312

"I tell you, Joseph holds the keys, and none of us can get into the celestial kingdom without passing by him. We have not got rid of him, but he stands there as the sentinel, holding the keys of the kingdom of God; and there are many of them beside him. I tell you, if we get past those who have mingled with us, and know us best, and have a right to know us best, probably we can pass all other sentinels as far as it is necessary, or as far as we may desire. But I tell you, the pinch will be with those that have mingled with us, stood next to us, weighed our spirits, tried us, and proven us: there will be a pinch, in my view, to get past them. The others, perhaps, will say, If brother Joseph is satisfied with you, you may pass. If it is all right with him, it is all right with me. Then if Joseph shall say to a man, or if brother Brigham say to a man, I forgive you your sins, "Whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted unto them;" if you who have suffered and felt the weight of transgression–if you have generosity enough to forgive the sinner, I will forgive him: you cannot have more generosity than I have. I have given you power to forgive sins, and when the Lord gives a gift, he does not take it back again." - The Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p.154-155

"It is to be feared that in course of a century, some gifted man like Paul, some splendid orator, who will be able by his eloquence to attract crowds of the thousands who are ever ready to hear, and be carried away by, the sounding brass and tinkling cymbal of sparkling oratory, may command a hearing, may succeed in breathing a new life into this modern Mahometanism, and make the name of the martyred Joseph ring as loud, and stir the souls of men as much, as the mighty name of Christ itself. Sharon, Palmyra, Manchester, Kirtland, Far West, Adam-ondi-Ahman, Ramus. Nauvoo, and the Carthage Jail, may become holy and venerable names, places of classic interest, in another age; like Jerusalem, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, and Mount Calvary to the Christian, and Mecca and Medina to the Turk." - The Prophet Brigham Young, History of the Church, Vol. 7, p.40-41

These and other teachings are why so many people say the Mormon Church is not Christian:

http://www.i4m.com/think/history/mormon_christians.htm

What are non-Mormons to make of how Mormons adore Joseph Smith at Christmas time?
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Why Joseph Smith's Claim That American Indians Were Hebrews Was Believable In 19th Century New York
Monday, Jan 30, 2006, at 08:02 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
How and why 19th Century people of New York believed Joseph Smith and his claims that the American Indians were Hebrews from Israel is reviewed in a book I found several years ago.

I love to buy books at garage/yard sales and a few years ago, I bought a book published by Readers Digest for $2.00 about ancient America with lots of great pictures and historical information that I laid flat on the bottom shelf of a huge bookcase because it was so large.

I had not paid particular attention to it until my TBM hubby, a few years later found it in our bookcase and plopped it down in front of me, with great glee as proof that Joseph Smith was correct, opening it to the section: "Lost Tribes in the New World."

The book is called: "Mysteries of the Ancient Americas" The New World Before Columbus Published by Readers Digest 1986

The information related in this book explains many of the reasons why people in Joseph Smith's time, with Biblical underpinnings in their religions would believe wholeheartedly that the American Indians were Hebrews from Israel.

Here are a few short quotes from one chapter:

"Lost Tribes in the New World" pg. 32-38 The thrust of this chapter is the lost tribes from the Biblical accounts.

There is also a section on: Descendants of "White" Indians -These blue eyed Indians were sometimes called "Welsh Indians," as there were claims that they were conversant in the Welsh tongue.

An author in the late 18th century, James Adair, a trader in Indian territories for at least 40 years said that he heard chants among he Choctaw and Chickasaw and their neighbors that he said was the name Jehovah which he said was the Indian phrase for dead or lost.

Another phrase he said meant "gone to Canaan" and he claimed that the word "kora" was borrowed unchanged from the Hebrew.

This is a fascination book and shows two drawings and the research of Lord Kingsborough (Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough) who, in the 19th century was a young member of Parliament.

He "was convinced that the Indians of Mexico were directly descended from Israel's Ten Lost Tribes. As proof he spent his fortune on reproducing volumes of Aztec codices that, he claimed illustrated biblical events. " He relied heavily on Adair. He died in 1837 pg. 37

In 1650 one answer to the "Jewish Ancestors" question was published "The Hope of Israel" by Manasseh ben Israel, a rabbi in Amsterdam.

He told of a Spanish Jewish traveler, Antonio de Montezinos whose Indian Guide on one South American trip greeted him with "Shema Israel (Hear, O Israel)" pg 36

This author saw Old Testament customs in practice: ritual calendars, purification rites, circumcision, flood myths, sacrifices to gods, the veneration of a tribal ark.

I turned to page 40 and imagine my surprise to see a large picture of a painting of Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni delivering the golden plates on a hillside in New York.

Here are a few quotes from the several paragraphs relating to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon:

"According to Mormon history, these plates told how their ancestors came to America from the "land of Jerusalem."

"No other document, inscription, or legend now known shows a lose correspondence with this account of the peopling of America, but there are tempting inferences that can be drawn from the evidence that does exist."

"It is wishful thinking, then, or the legacy of Spanish political propaganda that keeps alive the belief that the native Americans were eagerly awaiting the coming of he white man in the 16th century - (referring to Quetzalcoatl).

So far as is known, today, the existence of such a thing had never been imagined by the Aztec or Inca."

"We now know that Viking kings preceded Columbus to North America by 500 years."

This is a huge book with over 300 pages and hundreds of beautifully done pictures.

This book, shows that the combination of the Spaniards and the subsequent peopling of America from Europe with their acceptance of Biblical history as their religious reference point,(and a great reliance on it being historically correct) led many to interpret the languages and drawings of the Indians as having Hebrew - Old Testament correlations.

Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon fell right in line with the thinking of the day. He went along with what he read that was accepted as the prevailing notions of the history of the American Indians.

What he claimed in his stories in the Book of Mormon was plausible to the religious public. Even the procurement of the claimed original documents by angels, and visions, was religiously acceptable as a representative manifestation of God working in their lives.

Understanding this background shows that it was not hard for Joseph Smith to gain so many followers.

It might explain why even Jewish people would go along with Joseph Smith's claims.

Believing Mormons, nearly 170 years later will take anything even remotely resembling an acceptance of a tiny scrap of fact or possible evidence or opinion, and use it to prove Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is a true, factual book.

I was astounded to find a book published in 1986 with references to the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. After reading the whole chapter, I understood why it was included.

Correlations between the American Indians and the Bible seems to be more a matter of heavily invested religious beliefs and wishful thinking of the times.

I suppose one could say that The Mormon Church is still stuck in the 19th Century New York as it has not followed the most current scientific evidence of the last 20 years of the real history of the Americas.

One does wonder if they will ever get up to date!

I share this info because, in my efforts to understand how Mormonism was still alive and well today, I had to gain a greater knowledge of how it got started in the first place. Once I knew more about the times, and the religious thinking of the day, it all fell into place.

D. Michael Quinn has an excellent book on the subject also: "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View."

My surprise was finding that Readers Digest book from 1986 that elucidated further how Mormonism got it's foot hold in the 19th Century.
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The Church Couldn't Promote And Honor Joseph Smith At A Worse Time
Thursday, Mar 9, 2006, at 09:24 AM
Original Author(s): Mormon Inc.
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Ever since the church remodeled the old Hotel Utah and renamed it the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, there has been a huge refocusing on Joseph Smith. Gordon B. Hinckley stated that the church over the years had become focused on Brigham Young and the Mormon Pioneers and he was going to put the focus back on Joseph Smith.

Since Gordo came in as the new prophet huge restoration projects in Nauvoo have taken place including rebuilding the Nauvoo Temple. A PBS program on the Joseph Smith came out. New movies showing Joseph Smith have been produced. The church right now is awash in Joseph Smith fever.

Huge mistake. The church would have been better off leaving Joseph Smith in the shadows and continue the focus on the Mormon Pioneers and the Mormon work ethic. Mormons are known for building something out of nothing and it's the Mormon work ethic that is the most respectable thing in Mormonism. Bringing Joseph Smith back, brings his teachings to the forefront. A big problem with the DNA contriversy.

The dilema is now the church has to go with modern science without castrating Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It's impossible; especially since Gordo has built the image of Joseph Smith so huge lately.

Now the church is going to try and say not all American indians are Lamanites when it's clear Joseph said they were. The DNA dilema would be easier to spin without Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. Why not focus on the Utah pioneers again and bring the Beehive back?

Gordon B. Hinckley's huge Joseph Smith image restoration couldn't have come at a worse time. Oh well, at least he isn't shoving the Book of Mormon down the members throats like Ezra Taft Benson did. At least as badly.

What these idiots can't see is either the DNA research is right and Joseph was wrong or Joseph was right and the DNA research is right. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is going to try and have it both ways and they are going to trip all over themselves trying to do so. Especially when the new DNA findings are a revolutionary scientific breakthrough that with only get more press coverage and create lots of excitement. The Mormons will have to go the way of the world but try to say Joseph was still right. Good luck! Ha!
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Was Joseph Smith Really A Martyr?
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2006, at 11:39 AM
Original Author(s): T-Bone
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The following article appeared on FARM. The link is: http://farms.byu.edu/questionday.php?id=12

Mormons often speak of Joseph Smith as a "martyr" who died for his religious beliefs. But Smith fought off the mob at Carthage with a pistol, killing two of them in the process, which disqualifies him as a martyr. A real martyr willingly lays down his life for Christ.

The term martyr is a Greek word meaning "witness." Many early witnesses of Christ died because of their beliefs, leading to the later identification of the word with one who dies in a cause. But one need not die to be a martyr, just as one can die without being a martyr.

Some biblical prophets were martyred in the same way. When the king sent soldiers to arrest the prophet Elijah, he twice called down fire from heaven and killed a hundred men (2 Kings 1:9-12). Elijah's successor, Elisha, when mocked by a group of 42 young men in the name of the Lord. "And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them" (2 Kings 2:23-24). Even the apostle Peter, in the garden of Gethsemane, drew a sword and wounded a man, in an attempt to prevent the arrest of Jesus (John 18:10).

Joseph Smith's actions in the Carthage jail were much like those of Peter in Gethsemane. He had promised to defend his companions, even at the risk of his own life, and kept that promise.


According to the Christian stories about Jesus, Jesus laid down his life willingly. He did not fight back, did not call down pillars of fire, and did not cause bears to come out of the woods to eat people (possibly because Gethsemane is not known for its huge bear population). In fact, there are so many references to Jesus being like a lamb, that we cannot possibly believe he fought back. He knew he was going to die, and he knew why, according to Christian teachings.

So why in the world would a man who knows he is going to lay down his life willingly have a pistol? Because he didn't know he was going to be killed. He thought, by all accounts of people who knew him, that he was superhuman. He thought he could fight his way out. Obviously, Joseph underestimated the mob.

The FARMS definition is a little off. Dictionary dot com (I like online resources because they are readily available to everybody here) says the following:
Martyr
1. One who chooses to suffer death rather than renounce religious principles. (emphasis mine)
2. One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

tr.v. mar•tyred, mar•tyr•ing, mar•tyrs
1. To make a martyr of, especially to put to death for devotion to religious beliefs. (emphasis mine)
2. To inflict great pain on; torment.
If you look up the definition, you’ll notice that I cut out the part of the definition that does not apply.

Church publications use the word “martyr” to mean somebody that has died for his religion, not solely as someone who was a witness. The following makes the whole proposition of interchanging the word “witness” with “martyr” simply ridiculous:
>> With the authorized servants martyred and both authority and doctrines gone, the world plunged into the Dark Ages … (see Isa. 60:2)

Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth,” Tambuli, July 1979, 1

As for arguing over definitions, this is just a typical FARMS tactic. As a child, I was taught that Joseph Smith was “martyred.” Not only that, I was taught that he went as a sheep to the slaughter and willingly laid down his life just as Jesus did. Suddenly, we’re asked to believe that he went out like a lion, gun in hand, just like prophets of old? Why the sudden change in posture? Why were we taught for so many years that Joseph foretold of his own death, and that he told the Saints not to worry. “He had premonitions of his own death and hastened to confer on the Quorum of the Twelve all the priesthood keys.” Merrill C. Oaks, “The Living Prophet: Our Source of Pure Doctrine,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 82

In the meantime, even church leaders admit that the governor of Illinois, Thomas B. Ford, accused Joseph of being a fraud. “Thus fell Joe Smith, the most successful impostor in modern times.” (In History of the Church, 7:35).

As an aside, if he knew of his own death, and arranged for the Twelve to receive the keys, why did he not arrange for a successor? Why were the Saints so thrown when he died, so much that groups claiming the real lineage of the prophet split off from the mainstream LDS church? Once again, because Joseph did not foresee his own death. He was an arrogant man by many accounts, and thought he could charm his way out of it. Not only that, he had a gun and thought he could shoot his way out. By other accounts, he tried to sign his way out using a Masonic distress sign and phrase, "Oh Lord, My God, is there no help for the widow's son?"

In the typical obfuscating style we see on a regular basis with apologetics, let me point out that they refer to the Greek meaning as a complete red herring, an intimidation tactic that stops critical thought with a little “bet you didn’t know” factoid. Joseph Smith was killed in 1844. He was not Greek, the people who killed him were not Greek, nor was he killed in Greece. So why does it matter if in Greek martyr and witness are the same thing? It doesn’t.

To put it simply, the argument that Joseph Smith was really a martyr because in Greek martyr means witness is a joke. He had a gun, and he shot back. He even called out with a Masonic distress call. Let’s just cut through the crap. Joseph Smith is no hero. He was a charlatan that had a penchant for young women and fantasies of talking with God. He ripped people off, they got mad, and they killed him for it. That’s it.

Finally, to compare Joseph Smith to Peter in Gethsemane is quite a Freudian slip. Didn’t Peter deny Christ? These guys are really counting on members not doing their research.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. Luke, 22: 34

Besides, what does it matter that there were fantasy figures in a work of ancient science fiction (or as apologetics refer to it now – allegory)? Saying that those fantasy figures fought against people who attacked them with pillars of fire and she bears then attempting to draw a parallel to a delusional sex fiend packing a six-shooter is completely ridiculous. It’s weak. And it’s insulting, not only to the prophets of old that Mormons that say that they revere so much, but to the man they are still making excuses for.
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Joseph Smith's Struggle With Masturbation
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Smith refers several times to his teen years and mentions some kind of moral "weakness" that he struggled with. the 1838 version of the "first vision" includes a similar reference. His earlier "first vision" accounts suggest that he went into a grove to ask forgiveness for a sin that he was struggling with.

We all know what Smith's libido was like later in his life. From the scrptures he wrote we also see an author very uncomfortable with sexual guilt.

Masturbation - especially for teen males - is very natural and common. It would certainly be normal if Smith experimented with masurbation, and wouldn't it be likely that his religious fervor would give him guilt?

Smith's mentions of early teen guilt and struggle with moral sin could be vauge references to masturbation.

Smith's original statements said that he “gratified many appetites.” In JOSEPH SMITH – HISTORY 28:27 he confessed. But I think Willard Richards edited his confession. The ALL CAPS is the stuff Richards edited out.

“28 During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three–having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me–I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God TO THE GRATIFICATION OF MANY APPETITES."

(This can be read in its original form in Times and Seasons, v. 3 pp. 748 – 749. The next verse, verse 29, was added later after Smith's death, which says he was merely guilty of "levity".)

Smith started having extramarital affairs as early as 1830. In 1831 he told a group of married men that they could take the virgin Lamanite women for child-bearing. In 1835 he had an illicit affair with a 16 year-old girl that boarded at his house. In DandC 132 Smith "revealed" the Lord's command that he take virgins "a hundredfold" in this life for bearing his offspring. By the time of his death, he had over 32 wives including teenagers and his own adopted daughters.

Yet Smith originated the doctrine that sexual sin was next in severity to murder. He taught the Mormon mantra that chastity and virtue are "most dear and previous above all things."

As the founder of Mormonism, Smith's own sexual issues made a tremendous and lasting mark on Mormonism.
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TBM Vs. Deconstructor And Randy On Joseph Smith's Teen Polygamy
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
By request, here is a re-repost of a reply I made to a TBM making excuses for Joseph Smith's marriage to fourteen year-old Helen Mar Kimball. It includes Randy Jordan's comments as well.



Of all the points I provided in my post, you have responded to almost none of them. Why instead have you merely done a cut-and-paste job from some apologist propaganda?

Your post contains several significant lies:

Concerning the marriage of Joseph to 14 year old Helen Mar Kimball, it was Helen's father that initiated and arranged the marriage.

That's a terribly deceptive twist of what really happened. In fact, it was Joseph Smith who initiated the idea of marrying Helen. He first approached her father, Heber, and had him go to Helen. That was the true context surrounding Helen's sacrifice.

The background to this story is another disturbing episode of early Mormonism in and of itself. Before Smith approached Heber to have 14 year-old Helen as his bride, Smith called on Heber to turn over his wife, Vilate, to be Smith's wife.
“During the summer of 1841, shortly after Heber's return from England, he was introduced to the doctrine of plural marriage directly through a startling test-a sacrifice which shook his very being and challenged his faith to the ultimate. He had already sacrificed homes, possessions, friends, relatives, all worldly rewards, peace, and tranquility for the Restoration. Nothing was left to place on the altar save his life, his children, and his wife. Joseph demanded for himself what to Heber was the unthinkable, his Vilate. Totally crushed spiritually and emotionally, Heber touched neither food nor water for three days and three nights and continually sought confirmation and comfort from God." Finally, after "some kind of assurance," Heber took Vilate to the upper room of Joseph's store on Water Street. The Prophet wept at this act of faith, devotion, and obedience. Joseph had never intended to take Vilate. It was all a test."
- Biography of Heber C. Kimball, "Heber C. Kimball, Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer." By Stanley B. Kimball, page 93.
So after Joseph Smith went so far as to "test" Heber C. Kimball to see if he would turn over his wife, Smith then asked for his only daughter, 14 year-old Helen.

Anti mormons attempt to portray a scandalous scene of teenage coercion on the part of Joseph, all the while ignoring the nineteenth-century context in which teenage marriages were found typical.

It's not anti-Mormons that portray this as a scandalous scene of teenage coercion on the part of Joseph Smith. It's Helen herself that wrote:
"Without any preliminaries, my father asked me if I would believe him if he told me that it was right for married men to take other wives."

"The first impulse was anger... My sensibilities were painfully touched. I felt such a sense of personal injury and displeasure; for to mention such a thing to me I thought altogether unworthy of my father, and as quick he spoke , I replied to him, short and emphatically, NO I WOULDN'T! This is the first time that I ever openly manifested anger towards him."

"Then he (my father) commenced talking seriously and reasoned and explained the principle (of polygamy) and why it was again established upon the earth, etc."

"This first interview had a similar effect to a sudden shock of a small earthquake. When he found (after the first outburst of displeasure for supposed injury) and I received it meekly, he took the first opportunity to introduce Sarah Ann to me as Joseph's Wife. This astonished me beyond measure."

"Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet's own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched unil they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more."- Helen Mar Whitney Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Womans Exponent, 1880 and recently reprinted in A Woman's view
Those are Helen's own words, not mine or some pathetic LDS church spin doctor. Judge for yourself that Helen was not experiencing any coercion, or that this situation had anything to do with an ethical God.

In fact, Joseph Smith gave her only 24 hours to decide on whether or not to marry him. Of this, Helen wrote:
"[my father] left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty four hours. ... I was skeptical - one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof That I had of its being right."

The next morning, 37 year-old Joseph Smith finally appeared himself to explain the "law of Celestial Marriage" and claim his teen bride. In her memoir, Helen wrote, "After which he said to me, 'if you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father's household and all of your kindred.' This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward."
Helen also writes about her mother's reaction to all of this:
"None but God and his angels could see my mother's bleeding heart - when Joseph asked her if she was willing, she replied 'If Helen is willing I have nothing more to say."

"She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me."
Helen thought her marriage to Joseph Smith was only dynastic. But to her surprise, it was more. Helen confided to a close friend in Nauvoo: "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it." ("Mormon Polygamy: A History by LDS member Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 53.)

In fact, Helen was not allowed to mingle with her friends anymore, because she was now married to Joseph Smith - at the ripe age of fourteen. Because she was married, she was kept from going to a dance that her brother was allowed to attend.

In a letter, Helen wrote:
"I felt quite sore over it, and thought it a very unkind act in father to allow William to go and enjoy the dance unrestrained with other of my companions, and fetter me down, for no girl danced better than I did, and I really felt it was too much to bear. It made the dull school more dull, and like a wild bird I longed for the freedom that was denied me; and thought to myself an abused child, and that it was pardonable if I did not murmur."
At this time, Helen was not a happy new bride for Joseph Smith, but a girl that had fallen into depression. She wrote in a poem:
From sight and looked fair but pitying angels wept.
They saw my youthful friends grow shy and cold.
And poisonous darts from sladerous tongues were hurled,
Untutored heart in the generous sacrifice,
Thou dids't not weigh the cost nor know the bitter price;
Thy happy dreams all over thous't doomed alas to be
Barded out from social scenes by this thy destiny,
And over they sadened memories of sweet departed joys
They sickened heart will brood and imagine future woes,
And like a fettered bird with wild and longing heart,
Thou wilt dayly pine for freedom and murmor at thy lot;
Does that sound to you like Helen was blessed with the spirit of joy for giving herself to Joseph Smith?

They also fail to mention that such young marriages were common practice in the Protestant polygamist past, seemingly feeling no need to condemn their own past for the same thing they see practiced in early Mormonism.

This statement is absolutely false. There was no common practice of polygamy in the Protestant past of Joseph Smith's time. Where is your evidence to back such ridiculous claims?

Here are the facts:
http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/teen_polygamy.htm

Then as now, it was not normal or appropriate for a thirty-something married man to marry a fourteen year-old girl. Why is that so difficult for you to agree with?

As a final note in understanding this aspect of plural marriage, it must be realized that polygamy had aspects of societal reform contained within. Such aspects were designed to raise society to higher standards of morality and spirituality.

That is absolutely ridiculous. Joseph Smith's polygamy had no redeeming social value. What real examples can you provide to support such an absurdity?

Also, how could secret marriages and wholesale adultery raise the standards of morality? I suppose we need to ask David Mitchell and Elizabeth Smart what great spirituality comes from such a fundamental Mormon "societal reform."

TBM Eveasdropper, your position regarding Smith marrying Helen Mar Kimball is reprehensible. Even if there was no sex, Joseph Smith's actions were a moral and legal crime. Shame on you and the LDS apologists you cite in a feeble attempt to justify this.
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Sex For Salvation - Joseph Smith's Revealed Gospel Principle
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Of all the gospel doctrines Joseph Smith established, none received this much attention from God. For God sent an angel to Joseph Smith over a dozen times to make sure he taught and practiced it.

This doctrine had the most saving power over any ordinance, because it guaranteed the salvation of an entire family for only one person's obedience to it.

That's right - Joseph Smith taught that only one person in a family needed to obey this doctrine in order to save their entire family. But if they rejected the doctrine, then their whole family would be damned.

That's exactly the offer the Prophet Joseph Smith gave to fourteen year-old Helen Mar Kimball.

Helen wrote:
"Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwords learned from the Prophet's own mouth."

"My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched until they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more."
- Helen Mar Whitney Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Womans Exponent, 1880 and recently reprinted in A Woman's view.
In fact, Joseph Smith gave Helen only 24 hours to decide on whether or not to marry him. Of this, Helen wrote:
"[my father] left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty four hours. ... I was skeptical - one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof That I had of its being right."

The next morning, 37 year-old Joseph Smith finally appeared himself to explain the "law of Celestial Marriage" and claim his teen bride. In her memoir, Helen wrote, "After which he said to me, 'if you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father's household and all of your kindred.' This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward."
Helen also writes about her mother's reaction to all of this:
"None but God and his angels could see my mother's bleeding heart - when Joseph asked her if she was willing, she replied 'If Helen is willing I have nothing more to say."

"She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me."
Helen thought her marriage to Joseph Smith was only dynastic. But to her surprise, it was more. Helen confided to a close friend in Nauvoo: "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it." ("Mormon Polygamy: A History by LDS member Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 53.)

What would Mormons do today if the Church still practiced this doctrine? What if a Bishop or Stake President could extend salvation to an entire family by taking one of their teen daughters?

Why can't Mormons today recognize the moral depravity in Joseph Smith's actions towards his followers?

Did angels really force Joseph Smith into behaving like this?

See:
http://www.i4m.com/think/history/angel_sword.htm
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Could Joseph Smith Speak German?
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006, at 07:47 AM
Original Author(s): Still Finding The Truth
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
In reading the King Follet discourse, I noticed that Joseph Smith puts great emphasis on the fact that he is well versed in multiple languages and thus can help us immensely in the proper interpretation and translation of scripture. At the end of his speech he boasts of his great intellect and precision in translation:

"I have now preached a little Latin, a little Hebrew, Greek, and German; and I have fulfilled all. I am not so big a fool as many have taken me to be. The Germans know that I read the German correctly." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6 pg. 11)

The main purpose of this post is to analyze the passages he reads from the German bible and decide whether his remarks were "inspired". The first reference he makes to alternate translations is about halfway through his address:

"I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Hebrew, Latin, German, and Greek languages. I have been reading the German, and find it to be the most correct translation, and to correspond nearest to the revelations which God has given to me for the last fourteen years. It tells about Jachoboy, the son of Zebedee. It means Jacob. In the English New Testament it is translated James. Now, if Jacob had the keys, you might talk about James through all eternity, and never get the keys. In the 21st verse of the fourth chapter of Matthew, my old German edition gives the word Jacob instead of James." (JD 6:5)

The German edition he is referring to is the original Martin Luther translation, completed in 1545. Luckily, I happen to have a copy of it and can read it without issues.

Now, the first thing I want to comment on is the reference to James, or Jacob. If you have ever studied anything other than a standard English bible, you will notice that it uses a form of Jacob for the apostle we know of as James. Why? Because that's what his name was. The first universally recognized English edition of the bible was the KJV. It was also the first bible ever to use the name James in place of Jacob. The reason for this was King James commissioned his 54 scholars to translate the bible, and there was no reference to any James anywhere. So they simply changed the most similar name in homage to their king.

Now, if Jacob had the keys, and you needed to know the name Jacob to get anywhere, wouldn't that be something JS should've been inspired to correct in the JST? Not only that, but the "revealed" temple ceremony continues to use James, even though it is a perfect, unchangable ceremony. Maybe that's the next thing they should change. Another interesting thing is the fact that they use Jakobus in the German temple ceremony. Is the temple more correct in German than it is in English?

He does continue on to verify the fact that it really is Jacob, simply by looking at the other bibles. How ingenious:

"The Latin says Jachabod, which means Jacob; the Hebrew says Jacob, the Greek says Jacob, and the German says Jacob." (JD 6:5)

Anyway, now that he's discovered this great and glorious truth, he continues to ramble for some time about the various languages, then finally comes to the German:

"I will leave this subject here, and make a few remarks on the subject of baptism. The baptism of water, without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it, is of no use: they are necessary and inseparably connected. An individual must be born of water and the spirit in order to get into the kingdom of God. In the German, the text bears me out the same as the revelations which I have given and taught for the last fourteen years on that subject. I have the testimony to put in their teeth. My testimony has been true all the time. You will find it in the declaration of John the Baptist. [Reads from the German.] John says, 'I baptise you with water; but when Jesus comes, who has the power (or keys), he shall administer the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.' Great God! Where is now all the sectarian world? And if this testimony is true, they are all damned as clearly as anathema can do it. I know the text is true. I call upon all you Germans who know that it is true to say aye. (Loud shouts of aye.)" (JD 6:10)

Okay, he's smooth enough here to not give any reference, maybe so no one could look it up and do a comparison while he was reading. The references he used come from Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:7-8, or Luke 3:16. In the KJV, they are as follows:

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:" (Matthew 3:11)

"7. And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 8. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." (Mark 1:7-8)

"John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:" (Luke 3:16)

And in the 1545 Luther text:

"Ich taufe euch mit Wasser zur Buße; der aber nach mir kommt, ist stärker denn ich, dem ich nicht genugsam bin, seine Schuhe zu tragen; der wird euch mit dem Heiligen Geist und mit Feuer taufen." (Matthaeus 3:11)

"7. und er predigte und sprach: Es kommt einer nach mir, der ist stärker denn ich, dem ich nicht genugsam bin, daß ich mich vor ihm bücke und die Riemen seiner Schuhe auflöse. 8. Ich taufe euch mit Wasser; aber er wird euch mit dem Heiligen Geist taufen." (Markus 1:7-8)

"antwortete Johannes und sprach zu allen: Ich taufe euch mit Wasser; es kommt aber ein Stärkerer nach mir, dem ich nicht genugsam bin, daß ich die Riemen seiner Schuhe auflöse; der wird euch mit dem heiligen Geist und mit Feuer taufen." (Lukas 3:16)

Okay, now for the kicker. What was so special about what he was telling us? Was it the reference to keys? In the German, the adjective it uses EVERY TIME is "stärker", which literally means stronger. How is that more divine than the King James scholars using "mighty"? Is "stronger" a synonym for "keys" in someone elses thesaurus? It's not in mine...

The only other cool thing I can glean out of this paragraph is his reference to baptism by the Holy Ghost, since he goes on to speak about that, but guess what? That's also in the KJV!

Umm... I'm lost here. If the KJV and Luther bibles are the same, then why did he use the example? Is it because he was a charismatic orator trying to impress the people?

I'll let the final portion of his address speak for itself, and you can decide what its purpose is:

"I rejoice in hearing the testimony of my aged friends. You don't know me: you never knew my heart. No man knows my history. I cannot tell it: I shall never undertake it. I don't blame any one for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself. I never did harm any man since I was born into the world. My voice is always for peace.

"I cannot lie down until all my work is finished. I never think any evil, nor do anything to the harm of my fellow-man. When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, you will all know me then. I add no more. God bless you all. Amen." (JD 6:11)

My conclusion is that he was speaking to impress, and he would grab onto the smallest piece of anything if it would make him look cool. Well, it worked. They believed him...

You can read the full text at: http://www.helpingmormons.org/follet....

And see scans of the original at: http://www.irr.org/mit/WDIST/wdist-gd...
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Top Ten Things You Didn't Know About Joseph Smith's Death
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Moroni Marten
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
  1. Joseph Smith abandoned his garments some time before he was imprisoned. He was not wearing them when he died.
  2. Joseph Smith was arrested and put in Carthage Jail because he ordered the destruction of a printing press that was exposing the truth about his polygamy and his plans to take over the U.S. government and institute a theo-democracy.
  3. At first, Joseph Smith tried running away from arrest by fleeing with Hyrum to Texas.
  4. Joseph Smith drank wine the night before he was killed.
  5. Joseph Smith sent a secret message to the Nauvoo Legion commander to bring troops to break him out of jail which the commander refused to do.
  6. Joseph Smith was smuggled a gun by a church friend which he fired frantically at the storming mob eventually killing two of them.
  7. Joseph Smith went to the window of the jail in view of the mob to scream the masonry distress call hoping to influence help by fellow masons.
  8. Joseph Smith was wearing an occult object called a Jupiter Talisman on him on the day he was killed.
  9. Joseph Smith left 33 widows, one as young as 15 and eleven that were already married to other men.
  10. Joseph Smith died as a"King." He was voted this office by a secret Council of Fifty over which he was head.
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Why I Think Joseph Smith Has Sex With His 14 Year-Old Bride
Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
One of the most common denials regarding Joseph Smith is that he had sex with his 14 year-old bride Helen Mar Kimball.

The fact that Joseph Smith married 14 year-old Helen is undisputed by church apologists. That he did so by promising her family salvation is also accepted by Mormons who know church history.

Yet some still try and argue that because there is no physical evidence of sexual relations between Smith and his bride, that the relationship was merely "dynastic" and was not about sex. Those who know Smith's revelations and behavior should know better than to make such silly claims.

No, there is no stained dress or other physical evidence of a sexual relationship. But the history record is pretty clear what Smith's polygamy was all about.

Here's why I think Joseph Smith had sex with his teen bride, Helen Mar Kimball:

1. Sex was the only reason Joseph Smith was commanded to marry virgins "a hundred fold" in this life. See DandC 132:55, 61-63.

2. Smith received this "Law" to only take virgins, which also exempted him from adultery (a sex sin), during the same time he married Helen. He married Helen in May of 1843 and wrote DandC 132 in June of 1843.

3. There is no recorded revelation during Joseph Smith's lifetime that he should enter into polygamy for dynastic or any other purpose other than "raising up seed." To those who say Smith married Helen for something other than sex, I ask: "where is the revelation?"

4. The Lord expressly forbids polygamy for any other reason than to "raise up seed." See BoM Jacob 24-30.

5. Joseph Smith had sex with his other teen wives, including Fanny Alger, age 16, Sarah Ann Whitney, age 17, and Flora Ann Woodworth, age 16. So why not Helen?

See:
http://www.i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm

6. Helen said it was more than just a ceremony. In her own testimony, she wrote "I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it."

7. Smith bragged about the pleasure he got from his teen brides, saying one "had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed."

8. Everyone Joseph Smith taught his polygamy doctrine to had sex with their secret brides.

9. Those close to Joseph Smith understood he married these women for sex. When Helen's father, Heber C. Kimball, asked Sister Eliza R. Snow the question if she was not a virgin although married to Joseph Smith, she replied, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith better than that."

So why didn't Helen get pregnant?

It's likely that at age 14, Helen was still not physically mature enough to get pregnant. Girls that age in the 19th century did not start menstruating until age 17 to 19.

See:
http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/teen_polygamy.htm

Joseph Smith has a history of marrying women who were very young, already pregnant, or already married - all ways to conceal pregnancy.

(There is also testimony from Joseph Smith's own brother. Hyrum, that Joseph's close friend Doctor William Bennett practiced abortions in Nauvoo.)

There is more evidence to suggest that Joseph Smith had sex with Helen and his other wives than there is that he saw God and Jesus in 1820. If Mormons will believe that story with such weak support, why will they not support such a strong case for Joseph Smith practicing polygamy as the Lord commanded?
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A Strange Doctrinal Oversight By Joseph Smith
Thursday, Apr 20, 2006, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The Book of Mormon, perhaps more than any other book of LDS "scripture", states in a no. of verses that everyone will be resurrected after death - the "righteous" and "unrighteous" alike. The concept of universal resurrection is a prominent aspect of LDS theology.

The other day, I was flipping through DandC 129 when I came across the following:

Verse 1: THERE are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones–

Verse 2: For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Verse 3: Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.

I never noticed it before, but DandC 129:3 conflicts with the doctrine of universal resurrection, per John 5:29, Acts 24:15, 2 Nephi 9:22, Mosiah 15:20, Moses 7:62 and other scriptures.

The words of verse 3 - "just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected" - are clear: some men bypass the resurrection. Being "made perfect" can only happen to someone who is not perfect (i.e., "spiritually purified"). Yet the church teaches that "no unclean thing" can enter the "Celestial Kingdom" (where Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and angels live, according to church doctrine).

So how do spirits of just men get "made perfect", bypass the resurrection, and "inherit the same glory" as angels and Jesus? If one accepts what The Book of Mormon says about universal resurrection as "true", this extra-ordinary situation involving "spirits of just men" cannot exist. Yet Joseph Smith, in Nauvoo on February 9, 1843, gave the "instructions" of DandC 129.

Interesting that Smith, the "Prophet of the Restoration", was unable to remember the doctrine of universal resurrection when he was "making known three grand keys by which the correct nature of ministering angels and spirits may be distinguished." (ref. http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/129). As an ex-Mormon of 10+ years, I remembered it. Perhaps the church should start using qualifying doctrinal exams when it selects its president (GBH would've failed, and the exam would change from year to year. LOL!).

Thought I'd share yet another Mormon doctrinal conflict.
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The Dithering Otherwise Known As The Joseph Smith Translation Of The Bible?
Monday, Apr 24, 2006, at 09:34 AM
Original Author(s): Cheeseburger
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Follow my line of thought, which started with curiosity and ended in confusion.

Joseph Smith, apparently commanded by God, sets about "correcting" the Old and New Testaments. The Book of Mormon is the "most correct book on earth", and it seems Joseph wanted to give the Bible similar treatment. Reasonable, since A. He is a Prophet. B. He is in possession of the Urim and Thummim. C. God wouldn't want mankind to be reading a badly corroded copy of His original letter to the world, when He now had another prophet that could set everything straight again.

SO, Joseph sets about "translating". The net result? Very little actual change, except that he now interpolates prophecies concerning himself and his alleged "golden book" into the original body of the Bible. He works from Genesis to Revelation.

The official Mormon standpoint is that he never finished his "translation". Why? He went from one end of the Bible to the other. How could it not be finished? He left bits out? He overlooked something? How could God allow him to do that? AND, if he WASN'T finished, then why hasn't some other prophet since stepped up and finished it?

I believe that he was indeed finished. I think that because there was no great change to the quantity of doctrine in the Bible, the Mo church likes to say that it's not finished. That way they can think of it as a lesser, imperfect work that is outshone by the real word of God written in BoM, DandC, POGP. Thus giving greater authenticity to Joseph himself.

No one "translates" something by going from the beginning to the end and leaving great tracts of it untouched. Especially when they are a "prophet" with magical translation toys to play with.
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"She Had Given Him More Pleasure Than Any Girl He Had Ever Enjoyed"
Thursday, May 11, 2006, at 07:57 AM
Original Author(s): William Law
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
"Joseph was very free in his talk about his women. He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked, that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this."
William Law, Interview in Salt Lake Tribune, July 31, 1887
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Joseph Smith Vs. Warren Jeffs
Monday, May 15, 2006, at 08:44 AM
Original Author(s): Adieu Lds
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Warren Jeffs: Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints



Joseph Smith: Considered plural celestial marriages to be on a higher plane than earthly marriages, lasting forever, and taking precedence over mundane marriages

Warren Jeffs Considers plural celestial marriages to be on a higher plane than earthly marriages, lasting forever, and taking precedence over mundane marriages



Joseph Smith: Wrote the Book of Mormon

Warren Jeffs: Believes in and preaches the Book of Mormon



Joseph Smith: Implemented the "Law of Consecration" or "United Order".

Warren Jeffs: Jeff’s United Effort Plan (UEP) holds all FLDS church member's property, homes, and most businesses



Joseph Smith: Pursuit of other women

Warren Jeffs: Pursuit of other women



Joseph Smith: Joseph taught that a woman's possibility of entering heaven depended largely on the worthiness of her husband, rather than on her own worthiness.

Warren Jeffs: Warren teaches that a woman's possibility of entering heaven depends largely on the worthiness of her husband, rather than on her own worthiness.



Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith ordered his followers to destroy the printing press of his opponents. After the press was wrecked, the governor of Illinois charged Joseph with violating the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and ordered his arrest.

Warren Jeffs: Warren Jeffs is placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, for such counts as, but not limited to, sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to conduct sexual conduct with a minor.
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Joseph Smith And Whorehouses
Monday, Jun 19, 2006, at 07:04 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
On another thread, someone mentioned that in Jon Krakauer's "Under The Banner Of Heaven" it mentions that Joseph Smith visited houses of prostitution.

From the book:
"According to Sarah Pratt, the wife of Mormon "apostle" Orson Pratt: "the prophet Joseph used to frequent houses of ill-fame. Mrs. White, a very pretty and attractive woman, once confessed to me that she made a business of it to be hospitable to the captains of the Mississippi steamboats. She told me that Joseph had made her acquaintance very soon after his arrival in Nauvoo, and that he had visited her dozens of times."
A look at the full testimony of Sister Pratt reveals even more details on the character of Joseph Smith:
"I have told you that the prophet Joseph used to frequent houses of ill-fame. Mrs. White, a very pretty and attractive woman, once confessed to me that she made a business of it to be hospitable to the captains of the Mississippi steamboats. She told me that Joseph had made her acquaintance very soon after his arrival in Nauvoo, and that he had visited her dozens of times."

"My husband (Apostle Orson Pratt) could not be induced to believe such things of his prophet. Seeing his obstinate incredulity, Mrs. White proposed to Mr. Pratt and myself to put us in a position where we could observe what was going on between herself and Joseph the prophet. We, however, declined this proposition."

"Next door to my house was a house of bad reputation. One single woman lived there, not very attractive. She used to be visited by people from Carthage whenever they came to Nauvoo. Joseph used to come on horseback, ride up to the house and tie his horse to a tree, many of which stood before the house. Then he would enter the house of the woman from the back. I have seen him do this repeatedly."

"Joseph Smith, the son of the prophet, and president of the re-organized Mormon church, paid me a visit, and I had a long talk with him. I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened."
Sarah Pratt Testimony: http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/18...

How could Joseph Smith be worthy to receive guidance and revelations from the Lord? What was inspiring him to make these visits to prostitutes?
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Yeah, The Bible Prophesies Of Joseph Smith, All Right
Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006, at 07:21 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Except that that "prophecy" can only be found in the "translation" of the Bible that Joseph Smith himself produced:

"And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father....." (Genesis 50:33, "Joseph Smith Translation."

Look at your King James Bible and note that the 50th chapter of Genesis has only 26 verses. Smith concocted 12 more verses, and "miraculously" included himself in them.

If you want to be really mean, the next time you discuss this with your TBM friend, take out your KJV and ask him to show you the prophecy about Joseph Smith. If he's like most TBMs, he will assume it's in there. When he sees that it's not in there, show him that it's only in the version of Genesis which Joseph Smith himself wrote.

The TBM will probably respond with "Well, Joseph was inspired to add that, because it's one of the parts of the Bible that was removed by wicked anti-Mormon priests." If he says that, then point out to him that a copy of the entire Book of Genesis was found intact among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and it is virtually identical to the KJV, and does not include any of the parts which Joseph Smith added.

Then sit back and watch the look on your friend's face as he struggles to come up with some explanation. If he's like one of our former TBM friends when my wife and I showed her that, he will probably change the subject or leave your house in a huff.

This item demonstrates Joseph Smith's narcissism like none other---the very haughtiness of altering the Old Testament to include himself in it.

Over the years, I have watched various documentaries about the DSS wherein I thought that was said. Having skimmed over a few articles, it appears that the fact is that *portions* of all the books in the Old Testament, rather than the entire books, are represented in the DSS save a couple. The DSS version of Genesis appears to be a sort of commentary.

However, nothing in the DSS, nor any other authentic ancient Biblical manuscripts, include anything like the portions that Joseph Smith self-servingly interpolated into the Book of Genesis regarding his alleged divine coming forth in the latter days.

Readers who are wondering if Smith was a "pious fraud" or a conscious, narcissistic, pompous fake might want to consider this in their deliberations. Inserting himself into the Bible via his 1831 "translation" does not sound very "pious" to me.

And let's also remember that Smith made many alterations in his own alleged "revelations from God" between their original 1833 publication and their re-issue just two years later. This illustrates how he was not hesitant to alter "holy scripture" as his attitudes and worldviews changed.
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Joseph Smith Visited Houses Of Prostitution
Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006, at 09:02 AM
Original Author(s): Bob Mccue / Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Wife of Apostle Orson Pratt isn't the only one who knew about abortions in Nauvoo..

LDS Elder Ebenezer Robinson testified that Hyrum Smith:
"instructed me in Nov or Dec 1843 to make a selection of some young woman and he would seal her to me, and I should take her home," he recalled, "and if she should have an offspring give out word that she had a husband, an Elder, who had gone on a foreign mission." Possibly referring to a secluded birthplace, or conceivably to abortion, Robinson spoke of "a place appointed in Iowa, 12 or 18 miles from Nauvoo to send female victims to his polygamous births." - Ebenezer Robinson to Jason W. Briggs, Jan. 28, 1880, LDS archives.
On December 29, 1873, Ebenezer and Angeline Robinson signed an affidavit saying that Hyrum Smith had come to their house in the fall of 1843 to teach them the doctrine of polygamy.

Apostle Orson Pratt's wife testified...
"One day they came both, Joseph and [Doctor] Bennett, on horseback to my house. Bennett dismounted, Joseph remained outside. Bennett wanted me to return to him a book I had borrowed from him. It was a so-called doctor-book. I had a rapidly growing little family and wanted to inform myself about certain matters in regard to babies, etc., -- this explains my borrowing that book."

"While giving Bennett his book, I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: 'Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble.' Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end."

"I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered."
- Testimony of Apostle Orson Pratt's wife, Sarah Pratt from "Joseph Smith the Prophet: His Family and Friends"
http://olivercowdery.com/smithhome/18...

Joseph Smith's once close associate Doctor Bennett was also accused by Hyrum Smith of practicing abortions.

Hyrum testified that Dr. Bennett was propositioning women in a similar fashion to Joseph Smith.
"[Dr. Bennett] endeavored to seduce them, and accomplished his designs by saying it was right; that it was one of the mysteries of God, which was to be revealed when the people was strong enough in faith to bear such mysteries?that it was perfectly right to have illicit intercourse with females, providing no one knew it but themselves, vehemently trying them from day to day, to yield to his passions, bringing witnesses of his own clan to testify that there were such revelations and such commandments, and that they were of God; also stating that he would be responsible for their sins, if there were any, and that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, provided they should become pregnant." - Affidavit of Hyrum Smith. Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.71
Here is a book review I posted at Amazon of The Saintly Scoundrel - The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett

by Andrew F. Smith.

http://www.salamandersociety.com/muse...

The juicy parts are more towards the end of the review. Smith and Bennett were birds (or is that blokes) of a feather.

The Saintly Scoundrel - The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett

by Andrew F. Smith

Reviewed by the Salamander Society at Amazon.com. (click on the book cover) Following are some quotes from the book but for a much deeper feel and context for Dr. John C. Bennett's influence in early Mormonism, please read the entire book.

January 1832 - Bennett meets William McLellin, a recent convert to Mormonism. McLellin then introduces Bennett to Joseph Smith and on January 13,1832 Bennett "talked considerable with Br Joseph". The content of their conversation was not recorded. p. 12

To add to his boldness, Bennett proposed conferring doctorates on women. John Riddell tried to dissuade him from doing this, particularly in medicine, because "predjudiced being" would oppose it. Bennett roared that he had hung "out the banner of reform" and wanted others to rally around it. He did compromise and meekly revised the bylaws to prohibit women from receiving medical degrees, although they could receive doctorates in seven other areas of study, making Christain College the first publicly chartered coeducational college in the United States. p 15

Bennett arranged to have the diplomas prepared and printed by Eber D. Howe, the editor of the Painseville Telegraph. Howe was an anti-Mormon who published Mormonism Unvailed in 1834, which Bennett likely read. When Bennett's vending of diplomas surfaced, the trustees directed the secretary to write Howe requesting information about how many diplomas had been printed and what had become of the remaining parchment. The trustees obviously feared that Bennett had produced additional diplomas and intended to sell them as well. p. 32

Bennett summarized Dr. William Smith's beliefs and presented them to his class in his opening lecture, declaring that tomatoes successfully treated diarrhea, biliousness, and dsypepsia. p. 34

Bennett serves for one year as Brigadier General of the Invincible Dragoons, Second Division of Illinois Militia. p 47

Bennett has Dr. B. A. Parnell, a phrenologist, examine him. Parnell examined Bennetts skull and described Bennett as being sanguine and bilious of temperament. Parnell listed 37 other attributes. Bennett later published this phrenology. p. 48

Spring of 1840 - Bennett attended a Mormon meeting in Springfield, Illinois and since he did not know anyone there he kept a low profile. p. 54

Summer 0f 1840 - Bennett wrote a series of three letters to Joseph Smith. He professed that wealth was not his aim but desired only happiness. He was convinced that he could enjoy himself better with the Mormons than with any other religious body. He hoped that the time would "soon come when your people will become my people, your God my God."

Jospeh Smith wrote back from Nauvoo on August 8, 1840. "It would afford me much pleasure to see you at this place, and from the desire you express in your letter to move to this place, I hope I shall soon have the satisfaction."

While there were many spontaneous conversions to Mormonism, religious fervor was not likely to have been central to Bennett's move to Nauvoo. His correspondence was a calculated attempt to gain Smith's and Rigdon's confidence. Unlike other confidence men, Bennett was quite ambitious and desired glory and renown; he was quite willing to sacrifice money both for fame and power. Bennett might hav believed from the onset that Smith was a charlatan and that Mormonism was a fraud, but this would not have particularly mattered to him. He pursued secular, not religious goals. He was interested in using the Mormons, as he had the Methodists and the Christian Disciples, to promote his eminence and enhance his power. p 55

September 1840 - Bennett's relocation to Nauvoo was not his first contact with Mormonism. William McLellin had introduced him to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon while they were all in Hiram, Ohio, in 1832. What Bennett heard in Hiram did not impress him, and he remained a steadfast supporter of Alexander Campbell, who spoke out frequently against Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Mormonism. Bennett likely read Campbell's Delusions: An Analysys of the Book of Mormon, an anti-Mormon tract first published in the Millennial Harbinger in 1831 and in pamphlet form the following year. In late 1834 Bennett moved to Chagrin, Ohio, not far from Painsville. Eber D. Howe, editor of the Painsville Telegraph, published several of Bennett's articles, and Bennett encountered Howe's anti-Mormon book, Mormonism Unveiled, published in November 1834. Kirtland was about four miles from Chagrin, and Bennett attended Mormon services there in early 1835, when both Rigdon and Smith were present. What he found in Kirtland did not impresshim either. After eight years of contact with Mormonism, Bennett was not likely to have become a thunder-struck convert in the summer of 1840.

Joseph Smith was impressed with Bennett and had him board with the Smith family for thirty-nine weeks. He became Joseph Smith's closest friend and confident, claiming to have known "Joseph better than any other man living for a least fourteen months!" William Law, who later became assistant president of the Mormon church, agreed with Bennett's assessment of his relationship with Joseph Smith. According to Law, Bennett "was more in the secret confidence of Joseph than perhaps any other man in the city." p 56

Bennett also befriended Joseph Smith's brothers, Hyrum Smith and Don Carlos Smith. Hyrum Smith replaced Joseph Smith, Sr. as the patrirarch of the Mormon church. When Bennett was baptized, he received the first patriarchal blessing bestowed by Hyrum Smith. Impressed with Bennett's speaking abilities, Hyrum Smith likened Bennett to the biblical "Paul reasoning with Felix, and they shall tremble when they hear thy words." Hyrum Smith predicted that Bennett would not turn "aside from the truth for the popularity of the world. p. 57

Stephen Douglas, then the Democratic secretary of state, also had opposed similar incorporations, but he assisted in the passage of the Mormon bills. Thereafter, he had himself appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court, serving on the Fifth Circuit, which included the city of Nauvoo. He moved to Quincy and occasionally visited Nauvoo, where he preached, attended meetings, and solidified Mormon support for the democratic party in future elections.

The History of the Church, published under Joseph Smith's name, reports that the Nauvoo charter was "of his (Smith's) own plan and device" and that he had "concocted it for the salvation of the Church." According to tis account, Bennett was "delegated to Springfield, Ilinois" to carry the "petition for a City Charter." It is unlikely that this was an accurate reflection of what really happened. Bennett was an experienced and accomplished lobbyist, having written and passed bills in Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, and Illinois. He specifically had written bills related to incorporating universities and militia unit, which were provided for in the Nauvoo charter. p 60

Whoever deserves credit for initiating the Nauvoo charter, Smith was elated with Bennett's role in shepherding the bill through the legislature. In his "Proclamation to the Saints Scattered Abroad," issued in January 1841, Smith introduced Bennett to the Mormon community by identifying him as "one of the principal instruments, in effecting our safety and deliverance form the unjust persecutions and demands of the authorities of Missouri, and also in procuring the city charter-He is a man of enterprize, extensive acquirements, and of independent mind, and is calculated to be a great blessing to our community." On January 5 Smith characterized Bennett as a superior orator, "active and diligent, always employing himself in doing good to his fellow men."

Two weeks later Smith reported a revelation from God regarding Bennett: "Again, let my servant John C. Bennett, help you in your labor, in sending my word to the Kings and people of the earth, and stand by you, even you my servant Joseph Smith in the hour of affliction, and his reward shall not fail if he receive council; and for his love, he shall be great for he shall be mine if he does this, saith the Lord. I have see the work he hath done, which I accept, if he continue; and will crown him with blessings and great glory."

The Mormon historian B.H. Roberts interpreted this revelation to mean that "John C. Bennett in coming to the Saints did so out of love for the work, had a desire to work righteousness but was among those who failed-he did not 'continue' in his right intentions." Since Smith later charged Bennett with almost continuous adultery from the time he arrived in Nauvoo, Bennett's intentions were questionable well before Smith announced the revelation. Whatever the proper explanation for this revelation might be, Robert's version is not likely it. pp. 61-62 Bennett also actively sought to launch the Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo. The first meeting of the Nauvoo Masons occurred in Hyrum Smith's office on December 29,1841. George Miller was elected worshipful master. Miller had been a wealthy farmer near Macomb in McDonough County, Illinois. when the Mormons were expelled from Missouri, he ran into Joseph Smith, Sr. and Don Carlos Smith in Quincy, Illinois. Miller invited them and other Mormons to live on his farm. After their departure from Missouri, Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon, and John Taylor visited Miller. Miller converted to Mormonism in the spring of 1839 and moved to Iowa, across from Nauvoo, in the spring of 1840.

On September 1,1840 - perhaps the same day Bennett first arrived in Nauvoo--Joseph Smith invited Miller to move to Nauvoo. In many ways, Miller's rise to power in the Mormon church parallels Bennett's. On the same day (January 19,1841) that Smith claimed to have had a revelation about Bennett, he also had one about Miller. Miller was made a bishop of the church by revelation and was appointed president of the Nauvoo House Association. In February 1841 Miller was ordained and was elected to the board of regents of the University of the City of Nauvoo. He also assisted in building the Nauvoo Temple.

At the same meeting that Miller was elected worshipful master of the Nauvoo Lodge, Bennett was elected secretary. Bennett, Miller and another Mason were appointed to a committee to draft bylaws for governing the Nauvoo Lodge. The bylaws were presented and approved on the following day. Bennett served as grand marshall. pp. 75,76

While in Nauvoo, Bennett had succeeded beyond his own wildest expectations. He later nostalgically observed that he had "possessed power, wealth, and the means to gratify every passion or desire." p. 78

According to Joseph Smith, as soon as Bennett became a Mormon (Bennett's date of baptism is disputed but was either in Sept or Oct of 1840) , Smith received a letter from an unidentified person cautioning the Mormons against him. Knowing that it was not uncommon "for good men to be evil spoken against," however, Smith kept quiet about the letter.

In February of 1841 Smith sent George Miller to McConnelsville to delve into Bennett's past. On March 2,1841, Miller reported back that "during many years his poor, but confiding wife, followed him from place to place, with no suspicion of his unfaithfulness to her; at length howevere, he became so bold enough in his departures, that it was evident to all around that he was a sore offender, and his wife left him under satisfactory evidence of his adulterous connections; nor was this his only fault; he used her bad otherwise." Miller concluded that Bennett was "an impostor, and unworthy of the confidence of all good men."

Despite this information, neither Smith nor Miller took any known action against Bennett. In fact, Smith appointed him assistant president of the Mormon Church in April 1841. Miller himself permitted Bennett to become the secretary of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge in December 1841.

On June 15, 1841, Hyrum Smith and William Law, then in Pittsburgh, wrote to Joseph Smith corroborating the content of George Miller's letter. According to Smith, he read the letter to Bennett, "which he did not attempt to deny, but candidly acknowledged the fact." Whatever happened, Bennett and Joseph Smith clearly had a temporary parting of the ways. Bennett, who had been living with Joseph Smith's family, moved into other quarters. pp. 79,80

Oliver Olney reported in his journal that in early April 1842 it was common gossip that members of the Twelve Apostles were "very intimate with females."

On April 10, 1842 Joseph Smith "pronounced a curse upon all adulterers, and fornicators, and unvirtuous persons." and those who had made use of his "name to carry on their iniquitious designs." The individuals to whom these remarks referred were unnamed. p. 85

On May 14, 1842 the city council passed an ordinance prohibiting brothels in the city. An eyewitness later claimed that Bennett had built one. The city council ordered it ripped down as a public nuisance. Lorenzo D. Wasson, Smith's nephew, reported that he had knowledge of "Bennett and his prostitutes." Whatever Bennett's connnection to the brothel, if any, it is unimaginable that it could have survived without the knowledge of the leaders of the church, yet due to a tacit acceptance, perhaps because the brothel was protected by Bennett, or it might have been an integral part of an emerging system of sexual experimentation then underway in Nauvoo, as Bennett later implied.

On May 17, 1842 Bennett resigned as mayor and voluntarily left the Mormon church. Two days later Joseph Smith was elected Mayor and Hyrum Smith was elected as vice-mayor. p 86

On the morning of May 26, 1842 Bennett met with sixty to one hudnred of the Masonic brethren. According to Smith, Bennett "acknowledged his wicked and licentious conduct toward certain females in Nauvoo, and that he was worthy of the severest chastisement, and cried like a child, and begged that he might be spared, in any possible way; so deep was his apparent sense of his quilt and unfitness for respectable society; so deeply did he feign, or really feel contrition for the moment, that he was forgiven still." Joseph Smith pled for mercy for Bennett. This seems curious, though perhaps this is consistent with Joseph Smith's pattern of forgiving sinners after public confession. Alternately, as others have speculated, Smith and Bennett might have come to agreement: if Bennett publicly confessed his sins, Smith would forgive him. Still others have suggested that Smith's reluctance to break with Bennett might have been based on his fear that Bennett would publicly reveal his knowledge about plural marriage and Joseph Smith. p. 90

Perhaps Smith expected or at least hoped that Bennett would leave Nauvoo quietly. When he failed to do so, Smith publicly censured him. On June 18,1842 Smith spoke out publicly against Bennett. According to Wilford Woodruff, Smith "spoke his mind in great plainness concerning the iniquity and wickedness of Gen. John Cook Bennett, and exposed him before the the public." Smith's public attack produced a heated exchange with Bennett. As described in a private letter published in Burlington's Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot, "Some hard swearing passed between these saints during the quarrel." According to the unidentified author, Bennett threatened "to write a book for the purpose of exposing the rascality of this pretender to the spirit of prophecy. Bennett was excommunicated from the Mormon church on this day. On June 21, 1842, Bennett abruptly left Nauvoo and headed for Springfield. p. 91

Bennett returned to Nauvoo before June 26, 1842 and boarded with George Robinson. On June 27 he wrote to James G. Edwards, editor of the Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot, reporting that the schism between Smith and him was irreconcilable. He also recounted that Smith had threatened to kill him and had "ordered some of his Danite band to effect the murder clandestinely." According to Bennett, on the evening of June 29 "twelve of the Danites, dressed in female apparel, approached my boarding house, (Gen. Robinson's) in Nauvoo, iwth their carriage wheels wrapped with blankets, and their horses feet covered with cloths, to prevent noise, about 10 o'clock, for the purpose of conveying me off and assassinating me, thus prevent disclosures- but I was so admirably prepared with arms, as were also my friends, that after prowling around the house for some time, they retired. p. 94

July 1842 - Bennett's Accusations Against Joseph Smith

1. That Bennett's disfellowshipment notice of May 11, 1842 signed by John E Page, William Smith and Lyman Wright was a forgery because these three men were not in Nauvoo at that time. All three were away on official church errands.

2. That Joseph Smith attempted to seduce Miss Nancy Rigdon, the eldest and single daughter of Sidney Rigdon.

3. That Joseph Smith sold valuable property to Willard Richards, N.K. Whitney, and others prior to declaring bankruptcy.

4. That Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and four others were initiated, passed and raised before the installation of the Masonic Lodge, which was against Masonic regulations.

5. That Joseph Smith introduced a new degree of masonry, called "Order Lodge", in which a part of the obligation says, "I furthermore promise and swear, that I will never touch a daughter of Adam, unless she is given me of the Lord," so as to accord with Smith's licentious practices.

6. That Bennett's affidavit, sworn on May 17, and his statement, signed on May 19 before the city council, were made under duress.

7. That Joseph Smith ordered Orrin Porter Rockwell to shoot former Governor of Missouri, Lilburn W. Boggs. pp. 100-105

September 1842 - Bennett publishes his 350 page book "History of the Saints" an anti-Mormon work. The Mormons of course were not overwhelmed by the book. Joseph Smith prophesied "that whoever has any hand in the matter, will find themselves in a poor fix in relation to the money matters." While the book's financial earnings have not been uncovered, it is not likely Smith's prediction was accurate. The book went through three printings in 1842. For two years Bennett had no known revenue other than the royalties from the book and his lecture fees. p.127

In 1850 Brigham Young announced that John C. Bennett had died in one of the most wretched slums of California, where he had gone in the excitement of the Great Gold Rush. According to Young, Bennett's body had been "dragged out with his boots on, put into a cart, hauled off, and dumped into a hole a rotten mass of corruption." Aroet Hale claimed that Bennett's death, as described by Young, was the fulfillment of one of Joseph Smith's prophecies. According to Hale, Bennett was cursed to "die a vagabond upon the face of the earth, without friends to berry him." p.166

The report of Bennett's demise was greatly exaggerated, however. He was alive and well, living in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Bennett continued to practice medicine, breed chickens and cattle, promote anti-slavery issues, served as a surgeon in the Union army and re-married. After a protracted illness, probably precipitated by a stroke, Bennett died at the age of sixty-four in August of 1867 in Polk City, Iowa. p. 185

Despite the Mormon appraisals, Bennett was respected by his Polk City neighbors and was relatively well-off when he died. His tombstone is one of the largest in the Polk City Cemetary. His second wife died less than one year later and was buried beside him. Bennett's first wife, Mary, lived until 1897. Nothing is known of his two children. pp. 185,186.

As shocking as Bennett's disclosures might have been in his day, the Mormon experiment with polygamy should be viewed in the broader context of sexual exploration underway in the United States at the time. On one end of the spectrum of sexual experimentation were the Shakers, who believed in complete abstinance. On the other end were those members of the Oneida Community in New York, who openly practiced their belief in free love.

Eight years before Bennett made his first disclosures, the United States had been rocked by the sensation surrounding the self-styled prophet "Matthias." This scandal included reports of lascivious sexual relations, a strange new religious cult, and eventually murder. Matthias was tried and convicted of lesser charges. Four months after he left jail in 1835, Matthias visited Kirtland, where he met and conversed with Joseph Smith and preached to the Mormons. Smith subsequently cast Matthias out of Kirtland. p. 191
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What Ties Joseph Smith, An "Indian" Skeleton Found In 1834 By Smith And His Companions, And The 1802 Map Of New York State Together?
Friday, Jul 28, 2006, at 10:54 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
There is another noteworthy episode in early church history involving Joseph Smith, the 1802 map of the State of New York, and a skeleton discovered in 1834 by Smith and his companions. In his journal entry dated June 3, 1834, Smith wrote:
"During our travels we visited several of the mounds which had been thrown up by the ancient inhabitants of this country - Nephites, Lamanites, etc., and this morning I went up on a high mound near the river, accompanied by the brethren. From this mound we could overlook the tops of the trees and view the prairie on each side of the river as far as our vision could extend, and the scenery was truly delightful.

"On the top of the mound were stones which presented the appearance of three altars having been erected one above the other, according to the ancient order; and the remains of bones were strewn over the surface of the ground. The brethren procured a shovel and a hoe, and removing the earth to the depth of about one foot, discovered the skeleton of a man almost entire and between his ribs the stone point of a Lamanitish arrow, which evidently produced his death. Elder Burr Riggs retained the arrow. The scenery around us produced peculiar sensations in our bosoms; and subsequently the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered that the person whose skeleton was before us was a white Lamanite, a large, thickset man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph. He was a warrior and a chieftain under the great prophet Onandagus, who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea, to the Rocky Mountains. The curse was taken from Zelph, or at least, in part--one of his thigh bones was broken by a stone thrown from a sling, while in battle, years before his death. He was killed in battle by the arrow found among his ribs, during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites."
(Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 2, page, 79-80).
This 'revelation' indicates that a Lamanite was 'white' (i.e., had become fair-skinned). 3 Nephi 2:14, 15 states:
14 - "And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;"
15- "And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites"

Science has established that the only natural way for a person's skin to be lighter than that of his/her parents is for one of the parents to be fair-skinned. One need only compare a photo of Michael Jackson of today to one of him from 20-30 years ago for proof that synthetic means (drugs and creams) have been invented to lighten skin color. However, these means did not exist during the Book of Mormon (BoM) timeline. Also, there is no genetic evidence supporting the idea in the BoM that people's skin color can be transformed from dark to light because they unite themselves to a group of fair-skinned people (ref. 3 Nephi 2:15). Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that supports the BoM teaching that the skin of a group of people can be darkened because they 'rebel' against God (see 2 Nephi 5:21).

Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other senior church leaders taught that the 'Indians' would become a "white and delightsome people", which was the wording in the Book of Mormon prior to the 1981 edition. It was changed to "pure and delightsome" because no converts to the church from the Americas (and the Polynesian Islands) whose ancestors were indigenous/native had become "white" (ref. http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no46....).

Smith indicated that Zelph died during "the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites". In June, 1834, Smith lived in Kirtland, Illinois. Mormon Chapter 6 indicates that the final epic battle between the Nephites and Lamanites occurred in the Hill Cumorah area (near Palmyra, NY). Palmyra is about 760 miles from Kirtland. The church has never explained why there is a significant discrepancy between Smith's Zelph 'revelation' and the Book of Mormon in terms of the location where the Nephite nation supposedly came to an end.

The Zelph 'revelation' indicates that the skeleton of a Lamanite killed in battle was buried only about a foot below the surface of the ground. Smith and his companions discovered the skeleton nearly 1,450 years after Zelph's death (according to the preface of Mormon Chpt. 6, the last, epic battle of the Nephites occurred in 385 A.D.). Adding up the number of Nephite warriors who supposedly died in battle in the Cumorah area, as per Mormon Chpt. 6, the total is 230,000 men. Women, children, and elderly Nephites slain by the Lamanites are not included this number. Having fallen in battle, the skeletons and weapons of those warriors would not be far beneath the ground's surface after 14 centuries (if at all), as the skeleton found by Smith and his companions proved. Why has not a single skeleton or weapon of the 230,000 Nephite warriors killed in fighting ever been located? With so many dead Nephites in such a relatively small area, it would be not be difficult to find archeological evidence confirming that the
battle actually happened.

Smith wrote in his journal entry that "the great prophet Onandagus…was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea, to the Rocky Mountains". Hill Cumorah (near Palmyra, NY) to the Rockies is a massive area. Various verses in the BoM indicate that the Nephites and Lamanites had spread out across the land. Heleman 3:8 (46 B.C.) states "And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east." Despite what the BoM indicates, there is no evidence of communities of fair-skinned people in North, Central, or South America during the BoM timeline.

Earlier this year, I wrote the Anthropology Dept. of Syracuse (NY) University, asking if there is any archeological evidence of the epic battle described in Mormon Chapter 6 or the existence of fair-skinned (Nephite) people in New York State and elsewhere in North America during the BoM timeline. The Department replied that there is none.

The name Onandagus is curious because it isn't like most names in the Book of Mormon (it ends in "us", like many Roman/Latin names). On the 1802 map of the State of New York, there is a surveyed area about 50 miles east of Palmyra called Onondaga. Other surveyed areas on the map in the same region of New York State are Brutus, Aurelius, Marcellus, Camillus, Manlius, Fabius, Sempronius, Romulus, and Junius (clearly not 'Indian' names). Drop the "a" in Onondaga and add the Latin suffix, "us", and you have Onandagus.

The 1802 map of New York State, which can be viewed at http://www.sunysb.edu/libmap/DeWitt.h.... The names of the surveyed areas cannot be readily seen online, but I have the digital image of the map (669 KB), which is large enough resolution-wise to zoom in using Windows Picture Viewer or another program to see the names. E-mail me at bwatson38@yahoo.ca if you'd like me to send you the digital image.
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"We Shouldn't Judge Joseph Smith By Present-Day Standards"
Monday, Jul 31, 2006, at 08:43 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
That's what many Mormon apologists, and even some people who claim to be Ex-Mormons argue, when discussing Smith's relationships with teenage girls. One Mopologist, Russell McGregor, whose internet alias is "Pahoran", called that "presentism"---the act of holding historical figures, particularly Mormon leaders, to present-day standards.

For those people, I would ask a rhetorical question: When has it ever been a "standard" in the history of the U.S. for a married man in his 30s, who is an alleged Christian minister, to engage in sexual relationships with women and teenage girls to whom he was not legally married?

Another question for those who claim to no longer believe in Mormonism, but still defend Smith's polygamous behavior: Does not the fact that:

*polygamy was illegal in Smith's day

*Smith desperately tried to keep his polygamy teachings and practices secret, and denied them to his dying day

*Smith and his fellow polygamists viciously attacked and slandered people who tried to expose his secret polygamy practice

...tell us that Smith's sexual behavior was *anything* but "standard" for his time?

"Fabricated stories designed to protect the [Nauvoo polygamous]individuals are seen elsewhere. Sidney Rigdon in the 18 June 1845 'Messenger and Advocate' reported that Parley P. Pratt, in speaking of the means by which church leaders should sustain Smith, advised that 'we must lie to protect brother Joseph, it is our duty to do so.' Not only were church leaders willing to violate the law to promote polygamy, they did not hesitate to blacken the character of individuals who threatened to expose the secret practice of plural marriage. Sarah Pratt was not the only woman to suffer from this policy. The 27 August 1842 'Wasp,' for example, branded Martha H. Brotherton a 'mean harlot,' and Nancy Rigdon suffered the same treatment after she opposed Smith's polygamous proposals.....Jane Law, wife of Smith's counselor William Law, was also blacklisted for rejecting Smith's polyandrous proposal." ("Mormon Polygamy: A History," Richard van Wagoner, pp. 38-39.)

Does this behavior paint Joseph Smith as a "pious" man whose extra-marital relationships did not violate the "standards" of his day?

Or does it paint him as a deceitful libertine who make deplorable and false character assassinations against his own disciples in order to cover up his illicit and immoral, sexual proposals and behavior?

One more note: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.
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Most Mormons Believe That Joseph Smith's And Sidney Rigdon's Tarring In February 1832 Was Done By An "Anti-Mormon Mob"
Friday, Aug 4, 2006, at 08:55 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Most Mormons believe that Joseph Smith's and Sidney Rigdon's tarring in February 1832 was done by an "anti-Mormon mob". To the contrary, they were tarred not by "anti-Mormon mobs," but by their own followers, for two primary reasons. First was their plan to have all of their church members sign over all of their assets and properties to the "United Order" communal experiment. Some members saw this as Smith and Rigdon's scheme to fleece them, and rightly so; the financial disaster that was the United Order, which culminated in the Kirtland Bank scandal, caused many Mormons to lose their life savings, and about half of all church members abandoned the faith over the incident, including most of the original twelve apostles. The proof that it was his own church members who did the tarring was Smith's own statement that he recognized the perpetrators in church the morning after the incident, primarily one Symonds Rider and the sons of John Johnson. Smith, Emma, and Rigdon had been boarding with the Johnson clan 35 miles from Kirtland at Hiram, Ohio. They weren't subjecting themselves to the communal lifestyle that they demanded of their followers at Kirtland. It was alleged that Smith made a pass at Johnson's teenage daughter, Nancy Marinda, and that that was her brothers' motivation for attacking Smith. "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith" supports this idea, but in his "In Sacred Loneliness" Todd Compton doubts it for lack of convincing evidence. I personally believe that it's likely true that Smith made the pass at Marinda for four reasons:

First, Smith had already hinted at his "plural marriage" concept in his 1831 "revelation" commanding his men to "take ye wives from among the Lamanites" in 1831 (the tarring occurred in February 1832). This indicates that he had extra-marital relations on his mind during that period.

Second, Marinda later married Orson Hyde; Smith sent Hyde on a mission, and secretly "plural married" Marinda in Hyde's absence, in April of 1842. Thus, it's likely that Smith had had his eye on Marinda since he had met the 15-year-old at Hiram in 1831, and that his 1842 "plural marriage" to her was his formalization of a long-existing desire for her (as it was also in the cases of Mary Rollins and Sarah Ann Whitney). The essence of Smith's "spiritual wifery" concept was that people knew each other in the "pre-existence," and that part of their earthly mission was to find their "soul mates" (Remember "Saturday's Warrior?") Once Smith had designated a female as one of his "soul mates," or "spiritual wives," they were to be "his" for eternity, even if they were already married to someone else; in this case, Orson Hyde.

Third, Smith's "plural" relationship with the 16-year-old Fanny Alger began in 1833, according to various bits of evidence. Since the 1832 tarring incident was sandwiched in between the 1831 "Lamanite revelation" and the 1833 beginning of his affair with Fanny, it's entirely likely that the tarring was at least partly because of Smith's budding unorthodox sexual concepts, which he tried out on Marinda.

Fourth, it seems more likely that the Johnson brothers would want to castrate a man because of a sexual advance on their teenage sister, rather than over an issue of money.

Here's a little of Compton's views on the subject:
"According to Luke Johnson, Smth was stretched on a board, then 'they tore off the night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation. But when the Dr. saw the prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate.'

"The motivation for this mobbing has been debated. Clark Braden, a late, antagonastic, secondhand witness, alleged in a polemic public debate that Marinda's brother Eli led a mob against Smith because the prophet had been too intimate with Marinda. This tradition suggests that Smith may have married Marinda at this early time, and some circumstantial factors support such a possibility. The castration attempt might be taken as evidence that the mob felt that Joseph had committed a sexual impropriety; since the attempt is reported by Luke Johnson, there is no reason to doubt it. Also, they had planned the operation in advance, as they brought along a doctor to perform it. The first revelations on polygamy had been received in 1831, by historian Daniel Bachman's dating. Also, Joseph Smith did tend to marry women who had stayed at his house or in whose house he had stayed.

"Many other factors, however, argue against this theory. First, Marinda had no brother named Eli, which suggests that Braden's accusation, late as it is, is garbled and unreliable. In addition, two antagonistic accounts by Hayden and S. F. Whitney give an entirely different reason for the mobbing, with an entirely different leader, Simonds Ryder, an ex-Mormon, though the Johnson brothers are still participants. In these accounts the reason for the violence is economic: the Johnson boys were in the mob because of 'the horrid fact that a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it in the control of Smith.' The castration, in this scenario, may have only been a threat, meant to intimidate Smith and cause him to leave Hiram.....While it is not impossible that Marinda became Smith's first plural wife in 1831, the evidence for such a marriage, resting chiefly on the late, unreliable Braden, is not compelling. Unless more credible evidence is found, it is best to proceed under the assumption that Joseph and Marinda did not marry or have a relationship in 1831."
("In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith," 231-232.)
Of course, Braden's recollection of an "Eli" could possibly have referred to a nickname for one of Marinda's brothers.

Here's what "Mormon Enigma" says about it:
"Evidence suggests that although Joseph believed he was commanded by God through revelation to establish plural marriage as part of the 'restoration of all things,' questions undoubtedly arose. For example, who would perform the marriages? Could Joseph officiate in his own behalf? Who should be told of the doctrine? How would Emma and others react to such an unorthodox practice? There is no record that Joseph received immeditate instructions in these matters, making his early attempts to instigate plural marriage most difficult for Emma when she encountered them.

Mary Elizabeth Rollins claimed that Joseph had a private conversation with her in 1831; she was then twelve years old. She said Joseph 'told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife.'
(Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner to Emmeline B. Wells, summer 1905, LDS Archives)
Within six months of Joseph's conversation with Mary Elizabeth Rollins, he and Emma had moved into the John Johnson home. Orson Pratt later quoted Lyman Johnson as saying that 'Joseph had made known to him\ \as early as 1831 that plural marriage was a correct principle,' but remarked also that 'the time had not yet come to teach and practice it.' (Orson Pratt, "Latter-day Saints Millennial Star (Liverpool England), 40 (16 Dec. 1878):788)

Perhaps Joseph was not discreet in his discussions about plural marriage, because rumor and insinuation fed the fury of the mob that tarred and feathered him. When the Johnson boys joined the mob that entered their own home, they clearly suspected an improper association between Joseph and their sixteen-year-old sister, Nancy Marinda." (as quoted from Donna Hill, "Joseph Smith: the First Mormon", p.146).

The point being that there is much more to Symonds Rider's case than a simple misspelled name; but LDS authors don't want you to know the full facts, because the true facts expose Joseph Smith's deviousness more than they do any failings of Rider.
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"Joseph Smith Violated No Law When He Ordered The Destruction Of The Nauvoo Expositor" Claim Mormon Apologists
Friday, Aug 4, 2006, at 09:09 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The actual criminal charge brought against Joseph Smith for the Expositor destruction was "riot." When his arrest became imminent for the riot charge, Smith declared martial law and activated his Nauvoo Legion to prevent his arrest and extradition. Joseph Smith was then arrested for "treason" against the state of Illinois.
"Joseph Smith, acting as mayor, ordered the city marshal to destroy the newspaper and press without delay and instructed the major general of the Nauvoo Legion to have the militia assist. Shortly after eight o'clock that evening, citizens and legionniares marched to the 'Expositor' office and smashed the press, scattering the type as they did so. This act infuriated the non-Mormons of Hancock County, who saw it as a final act of contempt for their laws. The 'Quincy Whig' denounced the 'high-handed outrage' and said that if this was a specimen of 'Mormon attitude towards law and rights it is not surprising that the Missourians were raised to madness and drove them from the state.'.....At Warsaw Thomas Sharp said, 'We hold ourselves at al times in readyness to co-operate with our fellow citizens...to exterminate, utterly exterminate, the wicked and abominable Mormon leaders.'....Advocating an attack upon the Mormon city, he screamed in his headlines, 'Strike them!' for the time has fully come.' To provide justification for a march on Nauvoo, charges of promoting a riot were made against Smith and several Mormon leaders, and Constable David Bettisworth was sent to Nauvoo on June 12 to apprehend them. When Bettisworth reached Nauvoo, Smith refused to go to Carthage, fearing his life would be endangered. He said he would stand trial before any judge in Nauvoo. To prevent Bettisworth from taking him, he secured a writ of habeas corpus from a city court and later was tried and acquitted before a non-Mormon judge. When Bettisworth came back to Carthage without his prisoner, the reaction of the old citizens was nearly hysterical....One citizen remarked, 'Joe has tried the game too often.' The Carthaginians sent messengers...urging armed men to come to Carthage to take Smith into custody. Emissaries were sent to Governor Ford, charging that Smith had defied the law and asking Ford to bring the state militia...In the face of an imminent attack on his city, Smith declared Nauvoo under martial law and called out the Legion, a defensive action which later led to treason charges being levied against him at Carthage.....Ford had learned of the excitement and decided to intervene.....he wrote the Mormon leader requesting that evidence be shown to justify the actions taken against the 'Expositor.' After reviewing this and counter evidence from the anti-Mormons, Ford wrote Smith on the next day, denouncing the city's proceedings as unlawful and demanding that those involved in the move against the Expositor submit to the processes of the law at Carthage." (Carthage Conspiracy, Oaks and Hill, pp. 15-16.)
Mormon apologists write:
"Nor did he violate the First Amendment at that time either. If Joseph Smith had not died soon afterwards, and the "Expositor" publishers had pressed civil charges, one charge against Smith would have been violation of rights of free speech. Of course, if that were true, that case would have been for naught. There was no guarantee of free speech at that time as we know it. The right of free speech at that time only pertained to national laws, as it had not been extended to the states via the 14th admendment."
Although the Bill of Rights was formally extended to the states in 1868, freedom of speech and of the press had been recognized as an inalienable right since the Peter Zenger case in New York in 1735. Zenger was tried for libel for criticizing the British government, and he was acquitted because his writings were true. Freedom of the press has been upheld in the US since that time.
"Beginning with Virginia in 1776, state after state wrote the idea of a free press into its constitution. In 1778, Massachusetts rejected a proposed constitution because it did not contain such a provision. Today, all state constitutions have a provision guaranteeing freedom of the press. Several states ratified the Federal Constitution itself only after being assured that the document would be amended to protect freedom of expression. Amendment 1 to the United States Constitution states that 'Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom...of the press.' " (World Book)
I assume that Illinois had such a law guaranteeing a frre press, because both Governor Ford and the "Expositor" publishers pointed to Smith's violation of freedom of the press in their complaints against him:
"General Smith,...I attribute the last outbreak to the destruction of the 'Expositor,' and to your refusal to comply with the writ issued by Esq. Morrison. The press in the United States is looked upon as the great bulwark of freedom, and its destruction in Nauvoo was represented and looked upon as a high-handed measure, and manifests to the people a disposition on your part to suppress the liberty of speech and of the press; this, with your refusal to comply with the requisition of a writ, I conceive to be the principal cause of this difficulty, and you are, moreover, represented to me as turbulent and defiant of the laws and institutions of your country." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 384.)
"We are earnestly seeking to explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredoms; which we verily know and are not accordant and consonant with the principles of Jesus Christ and the Apostles; and for that purpose, and with that end in view, with an eye single to the glory of God, we have dared to gird on the armor, and with God at our head, we most solemnly and sincerely declare that the sword of truth shall not depart from the thigh, nor the buckler from the arm, until we can enjoy those glorious privileges which nature's God and our country's laws have guarantied (sic) to us -- freedom of speech, the liberty of the press, and the right to worship God as seemeth us good." (William Law, Francis Higbee, 'Nauvoo Expositor')
The violation of the 'Expositor's' rights to free speech was only half of Smith's error; the other half being that he ordered its destruction without due process; that is why he was arrested for inciting riot. His excuse for its destruction was that the paper was a 'public nuisance'; however, the 'Expositor' does not contain a hint of inciting to riot, or to disturbing the public peace.

Its only 'crime' was that it criticized Joseph Smith, exposed his secret practice of polygamy, financial irregularities, and his plans to create a theocratic government headed by himself, and called for Nauvoo citizens to vote against Hyrum Smith in the legislative election.

Even LDS apostle (and lawyer) Dallin Oaks conceded that Smith had "no legal justification for the destruction of the Expositor press." (Carthage Conspiracy, p. 26.)

Smith had yet another motive to rid himself of the threat of William Law:
"The marriage to the Lawrence sisters became public knowledge when William Law, Joseph's second counselor in the First Presidency, became alienated from the prophet......On May 23 he filed suit against the Mormon leader in Hancock County Circuit Court, at Carthage, charging that Smith had been living with Maria Lawrence 'in an open state of adultery' from October 12, 1843, to the day of the suit. In response, Smith flatly denied polygamy in a speech delivered on May 26: '[The charges against me are false].....What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.....[I can prove them all perjurers.]' As polygamy was illegal under US law, Smith had little choice but to repudiate the practice." (In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, pp. 476-477.)
As it played out, Smith's method of 'proving them all perjurers' was not to take them to court, as would have been proper, but to attempt to silence them without due process by destroying their printing press.

Unfortunately, the later admission of the polygamy practice, along with the revelation of the instigation of the "Council of Fifty," and of Joseph Smith having himself crowned as "King of Israel," showed that what the 'Expositor' publishers wrote was the truth. Smith had the press destroyed not because it lied, but because it revealed his secret acts. Smith realized that if his secret acts and plans became public, his empire would crumble. He knew that he couldn't sue the publishers, because he would lose; therefore, his destruction of the press was a desperate act of lawlessness, done purely to maintain his power; he miscalculated the retaliation from non-Mormons, and it led directly to his death two weeks later.

In America, you don't mess with freedom of the press.
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Why Joseph Smith Does Not Qualify As A Martyr
Friday, Aug 4, 2006, at 09:19 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
My online Webster's defines "martyr" as:

1 : a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion

2 : a person who sacrifices something of great value and especially life itself for the sake of principle

3 : VICTIM; especially : a great or constant sufferer

Neither of those definitions apply to Joseph Smith's case. He didn't voluntarily choose to suffer death for religious beliefs; he was in jail because:
  • He ordered the illegal destruction of a printing press and office which had published a newspaper exposing his secret, illegal polygamy practice and the secret, illegal shadow government he was forming.
  • To avoid his arrest on charges of inciting a riot springing from his order, he illegally ordered the state-sanctioned militia, the "Nauvoo Legion", to prevent lawmen from entering Nauvoo to arrest him.
  • When his arrest seemed imminent anyway, Smith fled the state; he was persuaded to return and face justice when his wife and friends called him a coward for fleeing.
  • While in Carthage Jail, he allowed two guns to be smuggled in for their protection. Martyrs do not fight back. They choose to die for their beliefs.
  • While in jail, fearing that vigilantes would storm it and kill them, Smith smuggled an order out to Jonathan Dunham, the Nauvoo Legion commander, to defy state law, march to Carthage, and rescue them. Dunham refused to obey Smith's illegal order. Martyrs do not try to escape their fate; they have resigned themselves to die for their beliefs.
  • When the mob stormed the jail, Smith's final act was to go to the window and attempt to utter the Masonic 'call of distress,' which is to raise both arms in the air and cry, "O Lord My God! Is there no hope for the widow's son?" That call is supposed to make any fellow Masons in the area come to his aid. Since Smith had earlier sent Dunham the order to come rescue them, and most members of the Nauvoo Legion were members of Smith's Masonic Lodge, he hoped that some of them or other Masons in the mob were there to rescue them. But they weren't. Smith was shot before he could even finish uttering the call of distress.
All of Smith's actions in his final days show that he desperately worked to avoid his fate. Martyrs do not seek to avoid their fate; they have resigned themselves to it. And Smith did not die for any religious beliefs or noble principles; he was murdered by an outraged vigilante mob because of his numerous offenses against the law and decent society. Therefore, Joseph Smith was not a martyr.
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Can Anyone Get Into The Celestial Kingdom Without Joseph Smith's Permission?
Friday, Aug 4, 2006, at 09:37 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
From Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, page 289:
""Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them-something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them-namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are-I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation-the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit-world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim-"Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!" But it is true. "
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Where Did The 3 Degrees Of Glory And The Pre-Existence Theory Come From?
Monday, Aug 7, 2006, at 08:16 AM
Original Author(s): Jim Huston
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Emmanual Swedenborg was not a contemporary of Joseph Smith. He died in 1772. Everything he wrote had already been published. He was a student of Gnosticism and Jewish mysticism and magic (Kabbalism).

Information about Swedenborg and Joseph Smith.

In the village of Manchester had a reference work on religion (1784-1817) the books described Emmanual Swdenborg’s personal theophany.

In 1808 Swedenborg’s testimony of his theophany was front page news in Canandaigua – 13 miles from the Smith home in Manchester.

In 1830 Swedenborg was front page news in Palmyra. Because of the local interest in Swedenborg and his association with reptiles(salamanders) there was interest in the community. In 1825 Robert C Smith’s “Complete System of Occult Philosophy” recognized Swedenborg and the ‘elemental spirits who taught Swedenborg were of the highest order.’ This was a popular book in the area.

In 1830 another Palmyra newspaper emphasized Swedenborg’s ‘vision of the Lord.’

By Joseph Smith’s own statement he was acquainted with those views……..Aside from his lengthy summary of Swedenborg’s teachings, Sibly was also the only source for the various inscriptions on the Smith family magic parchments.

Joseph Smith told Edward Hunter that “Swedenborg had a view of the world to come but perished for want of bread.”

Joseph Smith married Sarah Cleveland in a polyandrous marriage. I can’t find the exact date of the marriage, but it is assumed to be in the mid 1830’s. In 1839 the Smiths were residing with the Cleveland’s. John Cleveland was Sarah Cleveland’s legal husband. He was a Swedenborgian. Sarah Cleveland was Emma Smith’s counselor in the Relief Society.

Joseph Smith knew enough of Swedenborg’s writings to discuss and criticize them in discussions with John Cleveland. He was knowledgeable about Swedenborg before this time. Since Sibly is the source for the inscriptions on the Smith family’s magic parchments, he is likely to be the source of Joseph Smith’s information on Swedenborg. (If you look back, this was 15-20 years earlier)

Joseph Smith instructed John C. Bennett to set up the Masonic Lodges as “Illuminati” or “enlightened” lodges. This was not the original Illuminati of Bavaria, but was the “enlightened thinkers” of which Swedenborg was a recognized leader until his death.

Richard Burton also saw Mormon parallels and specifically sent for and purchased nineteen volumes of Swedenborg to be included in Utah Territorial University.

This is summarized from a number of writings of Quinn and In Sacred Lonliness by Compton.

If you want to retreat into magical thinking, you may. Someone making a fantastic supernatural claim has the responsibility to prove that claim, not vice versa. The simplest explaination is that this is the source of the doctrine.

Joseph Smith was knowedgeable about Swedenborg by his own admission. But maybe he didn't get all his ideas there. Swedenbourg had a background in Gnositicsm and Kabbalism. Joseph Smith also had a background in Kabbalism and Gnosticism and was instructed by Alexander Neibaur who wrote authoritative articles on Kabbalism. Please note this was considered mysticism, magic and Christian practicioners were considered heritics. These doctrines were such things as:
  • Adam-God
  • Preexistance
  • Man may become Gods
  • Degrees of Glory
  • Robes of the Priesthood
  • Jesus was married
  • Melchezidek was the great high priest and teacher - it was a higher Priesthood
And so on......

And Joseph Smith was inspired directly from God, but only after he had learned these "secrets" from Gnosticism and Kabbalism.
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Another Mormon Myth - Joseph Smith - A Kind And Gentle Man
Wednesday, Oct 11, 2006, at 06:24 AM
Original Author(s): Oak Forest Anon
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph Smith is always portrayed in Mormon history as a kind and gentle man.

History tells us otherwise (most of these quotes are from official Mormon sources):

Joseph Smith – “Josiah Butterfield came to my house and insulted me so outrageously that I kicked him out of my house, across the yard, and into the street.” History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 316

Joseph Smith - “I met him [Walter Bagby] and gave me some abusive language, taking up a stone to throw at me: I seized him by the throat to choke him off.” History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 531

Joseph Smith – “Bagby called me a liar, and picked up a stone to throw at me, which so enraged me that I followed him a few steps, and struck him two or three times. Esquire Daniel H. Wells stepped between us and succeeded in separating us. I told the Esquire to assess the fine for the assault, and I was willing to pay it. He not doing it, I rode down to Alderman Whitney, stated the circumstances, and he imposed a fine which I paid, and then returned to the political meeting.” History of the Church, Vol. 5, p 524

Brigham Young - “Some may think that I am rather too severe; but if you had the Prophet Joseph Smith to deal with, you would think that I am quite mild…He would not bear the usage I have borne, and would appear as though he would tear down all the houses in the city, and tear up trees by the roots, if men conducted to him the way they have to me.” Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, 317-318

Benjamin F. Johnson, a close friend and associate of Joseph Smith stated the following regarding Joseph Smith: “And yet, although so social and even convival at times, he would allow no arrogance or undue liberties. Criticisms, even by his associates, were rarely acceptable. Contradictions would arouse him like a lion at once. By no one of his fellows would he be superceded. In the early days at Kirtland, and elsewhere one or another of his associates were more than once, for their impudence, helped from the congregation by his foot…he soundly thrashed his brother William…Letter by Benjamin F. Johnson to Elder George S. Gibbs, 1903 as printed in The Testimony of Joseph Smith’s Best Friend, pages 4-5

Max Parkin , Ph.D. from BYU in Church history, and former institute instructor, in his dissertation “Conflict at Kirtland” quotes an acquaintance of Joseph Smith, Luke Johnson as saying that when a minister insulted Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, Joseph “boxed his ears with both hands, and turning his face towards the door, kicked him into the street.” Conflict at Kirtland, Masters Thesis p. 132

Parkin quotes another acquaintance of Joseph Smith, Calvin Stoddard, who stated that “Smith then came up and knocked him in the forehead with his flat hand – the blow knocked him down, when Smith repeated the blow four or five times, very hard – made him blind – that Smith afterwards came to him and asked his forgiveness…Conflict in Kirtland, Masters Thesis, p. 132

The story of Joseph Smith’s “stick pulling”abilities are often spoken of as a lighthearted and harmless activity that he enjoyed to participate in. Retold by those who witnessed it sheds a different light on this activity: Joseph Smith – “I feel as strong as a giant, I pulled up with one hand the strongest man that could be found. Then two men tried, but they could not pull me up…History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 302

In his book Mormon Portraits, Dr. William Wyl quoted the following: “He [Joseph Smith] liked foot races and would have his boots off in a moment, to the great grief of the old bigots. I remember the visit of a U.S.A. major,…Joseph wanted to wrestle with him. He threw off his coat and cried: “I bet you five dollars that I will throw you, come on!” The major declined. Joseph laughed and said: “Now you see the benefits of one’s being a prophet; I knew you wouldn’t wrestle” One of the Saints felt so scandalized by the joke of the prophet that he left the church.” “Two reverends came one day to Nauvoo…Joseph took them to his study,…The two reverends interrupted Joseph frequently…getting impatient the Prophet said to the two holy men, while he stood up in his full height: “Gentlemen I am not much of a theologian, but I bet you five dollars, that I will throw you one after the other.” The reverends ran away and Joseph laughed himself nearly to death.” Mormon Portraits, p. 24

It appears to me that Joe had a rather short fuse, and never heard of the term "turning the other cheek."
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Joseph Smith At Carthage Jail
Tuesday, Dec 19, 2006, at 07:28 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Regarding Joseph Smith's death at Carthage Jail, Doctrine and Covenants 135:4 says:
"When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I SHALL DIE INNOCENT, AND IT SHALL YET BE SAID OF ME–HE WAS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD." (emphasis in the original)
This often-repeated idea of innocent martyrdom is not supported by the official historical record. Fom the Official History of the Church, we learn:
"Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time, 'Would any of you like to have this?' Brother Joseph immediately replied, 'Yes, give it to me,' whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket."

"The pistol was a six-shooting revolver, of Allen's patent; it belonged to me, and was one that I furnished to Brother Wheelock when he talked of going with me to the east, previous to our coming to Carthage. I have it now in my possession. Brother Wheelock went out on some errand, and was not suffered to return."

"I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, 'Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!' He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died."

"I had in my hands a large, strong hickory stick, brought there by Brother Markham, and left by him, which I had seized as soon as I saw the mob approach; and while Brother Joseph was firing the pistol, I stood close behind him. As soon as he had discharged it he stepped back, and I immediately took his place next to the door, while he occupied the one I had done while he was shooting."

"Brother Richards, at this time, had a knotty walking-stick in his hands belonging to me, and stood next to Brother Joseph, a little farther from the door, in an oblique direction, apparently to avoid the rake of the fire from the door. The firing of Brother Joseph made our assailants pause for a moment; very soon after, however, they pushed the door some distance open, and protruded and discharged their guns into the room, when I parried them off with my stick, giving another direction to the balls."

"It certainly was a terrible scene: streams of fire as thick as my arm passed by me as these men fired, and, unarmed as we were, it looked like certain death. I remember feeling as though my time had come, but I do not know when, in any critical position, I was more calm, unruffled, energetic, and acted with more promptness and decision. It certainly was far from pleasant to be so near the muzzles of those firearms as they belched forth their liquid flames and deadly balls. While I was engaged in parrying the guns, Brother Joseph said, 'That's right, Brother Taylor, parry them off as well as you can.' These were the last words I ever heard him speak on earth."
- Official History of the Church, Vol. 7, p.100-103
Reporter John Hay, of the Atlantic Monthly #24 (Dec. 1869) identified three men who were shot by Joseph Smith: John Wills in the arm, William Vorhees in the shoulder, and William Gallagher in the face. Hay was a son of Charles Hay, a surgeon of the Carthage militia and apparently a member of the mob.
"Of the three barrels discharged by Joseph, it is believed he hit three men: an Irishman named Wells-who was in the mob from his love of a brawl-in the arm; Voorhees-an oversized kid from Bear Creek known for his lack of good sense-in the shoulder; and a man named Gallagher-a Southerner from the Mississippi Bottom-in the face."

"Two other men were known to get hit in the hall, one a man named Townsend from Fort Madison, Iowa Territory, who died nine months later from the arm wound that wouldn't heal, and another named Mills, who was shot in the arm."
- Elder Reed Blake, 24 Hours to Martyrdom, p. 129
Smith's final conscious act was to prevent his death, not give it up. He went to the window and attempted to utter the Masonic distress cry of "O Lord My God! Is there no help for the widow's son?"

DandC Section 135 is part of John Taylor's account of the incident. It states: "Joseph leapt from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming 'O Lord my God!'"

That "canonized" version of events gives one the false impression that Smith was praying to God. The edited DandC version omits Heber C. Kimball's details of Smith's actions:
"When the enemy surrounded the jail, rushed up the stairway, and killed Hyrum Smith, Joseph stood at the open window, his martyr-cry being these words, 'O Lord My God! This was not the beginning of a prayer, because Joseph Smith did not pray in that manner. This brave, young man who knew that death was near, started to repeat the distress signal of the Masons, expecting thereby to gain the protection its members are pledged to give a brother in distress." - Mormonism and Masonry, p. 16-17
"President Young said the people of the United States had sought our destruction and they had used every Exertion to perfect it. They have worked through the masonic institution to perfect it. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were Master Masons and they were put to death by masons or through there instigation and he gave the sign of distress and he was shot by masons while in the act." - Wilford Woodruff's Journal, August 19th, 1860, Volume 5
One of Joseph Smith's polygamous wives, Zina D. Huntington, declared:
"I am the widow of a master mason, who, when leaping from the window of Carthage Jail pierced with bullets, made the masonic sign of distress." - Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Volume 1, page 698
Smith had good reason to believe that Masons might be in the crowd outside, because earlier that day, he had smuggled an order to Nauvoo Legion commander Jonathan Dunham to come break them out of the jail. But Dunham refused to obey the illegal order, knowing that bringing Mormon troops to Carthage might result in all-out civil war.

And in fact, immediately after the Smithand Hyrum were killed, a rumor began amongst the mobbers that the Mormons were on their way from Nauvoo. That prospect made the mob scatter, and probably saved John Taylor's and Willard Richards' lives.

Conclusion

Despite popular Mormon folklore, Joseph Smith did not give his life innocently "like a lamb to the slaughter" in martyrom. He died after shooting three men with a pistol and desperately trying to prevent his death even with his last utterance.

http://www.i4m.com/think/history/carthage-jail-smith.htm
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Joseph Smith the Translator
Friday, Apr 6, 2007, at 08:24 AM
Original Author(s): Jim Huston
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
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Joseph Smith Put Himself Over Jesus Christ
Monday, Apr 23, 2007, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph Smith wrote:
"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, NOR JESUS ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." (my emphasis added)
See: History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409.
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B. H. Roberts Tells The Joseph Smith Tale Of The Nephite Record - To Become The Book Of Mormon
Monday, Jul 23, 2007, at 07:14 AM
Original Author(s): Susieq#1
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
At no time, over nearly four decades as a Mormon convert, did I ever hear this originally documented source. This is not the way they tell it now days!

The first time I read any of this series of books was when I was well on my way out of the church.

"A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" (Six vol.s and an index.)

Troubles keeping the Nephite Record out of nefarious hands of other psychics.

Vol 1 Pg 90 - Was the Nephrite Record in Danger - He goes on..... These reflections indulged, we may now return to the statement with which they began-viz,Joseph Smith was not the only psychic in the vicinity of Palmyra. A Miss Chase, sister of Willard Chase, the Methodist class elder, already mentioned, had for some time been accredited with psychic powers of the mind, and practiced "crystal-gazing;" and besides this , remarkable as it may seem, parties in the neighborhood of the smith home, numbering some ten or twelve men sent a distance of sixty or seventy miles for a psychic-"conjuror" they called him --to come to Palmyra and to discover the whereabouts of "Joe Smith's gold bible."

The elder Smith learned of the arrival of this person at the home of Willard Chase, and heard him boast in the presence of his employers that he would "have them plates in spite of Joe Smith or all the devils in hell."

The day after taking possession of the Nephite record, the young Prophet was offered the job of digging a well for Mrs. Wells, of Macedon, a village some three miles west of Palmyra, and the family standing much in need of the money promised for the work, Joseph immediately accepted the employment...However, he never finished because of the threat of the other "conjurer" on his trail.

This is the beginning of the tale of how Joseph came back and assured his father and family that the record was save, was hidden near the home and Hyrum gave him a chest, with a lock and key and Joseph wrapped them in a farmer's "smock". and then he went through the woods .."his enemies were evidently on the watch for him, for three times he was assaulted by as many different persons; but being strong and athletic by dint of blows and flight he threw them off and finally reached home utterly exhausted from the excitement and the fatigue."

This is when he got his father and Mr. Knight and Mr. Stoal to search for the assailants (which was fruitless) and Hyrum came with the chest with the lock and key.

"It seems that in knocking down his third assailant, Joseph had dislocated his thumb ....and he requested his father to put it in place.

Joseph then remained at home with his family to secure the sacred record entrusted to him where he worked on the farm with his brothers."

Yup. That's plausible! Sure it is! But the people close to Joseph believed him wholeheartedly!

I wonder why the missionaries don't tell the story the way it is recorded? And they don't "sanitize" their history? ahh...hmmm... you be the judge!
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Relief Society Quiz Question Yesterday: Who Was Joseph Smith's Wife?
Monday, Nov 12, 2007, at 08:54 AM
Original Author(s): Southern Man
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The priesthood/relief society lesson yesterday was the obligatory annual lesson deifying Joseph Smith (on a side note, I was surprised that the JS lesson didn't occur until this late in the manual, and the year. Every PH/RS manual for the past several years has contained such a lesson, and it has always been the second or third lesson in the manual, meaning you get it in January). The teacher made up a quiz about Joseph Smith, in the form of a fill-in-the-blanks pop quizz that she handed out to the sisters.

The questions were, of course, entirely banal, and didn't ask anything about JS's less faith-promoting activities. I noticed three questions about his marital history: Who was Joseph Smith's wife? When did they marry? Who were her parents?

I asked my wife why the questions were phrased as though JS had had only one wife. I told her there obviously wasn't enough room, on the one line provided, to write in 33 names, or 33 dates of marriage, or 66 names of parents. All I got was a dirty look.

In PH, it was stated that JS was killed because he refused to deny that he was a prophet, and that he had seen HF and JC. Gee, that was news to me. The worst comment made about him was that he was a "poor businessman".

So the deification of Joseph Smith continues unabated. It always amuses and amazes me to see how little TBM's know about the man's actual history. I did hear one comment from one of the old stalwart members. He said he was disturbed that JS kept his polygamy secret. He said that if it was a commandment and a revelation from God, then why was it denied and hidden for so long? Why wasn't it just brought out into the public eye immediately? But most of the quorum members treat him like a weird relative, maybe not to be praised, but not to be denied either, and to be defended against outsiders.

And so it goes on.
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The Two Josephs - Two Conflicting Images
Friday, Nov 30, 2007, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Lightfingerlouie
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The post "I cried" made me profoundly sympathetic. I grew up with one Joseph Smith, and finally, after years of nonsense, discovered another.

My father was a great worshiper of Joseph Smith. "Worship" is the correct word. We heard about "the Prophet" endlessly---about all he suffered, all he did, all he "translated," and all he accomplished. He was second only to Jesus Christ, and if Jesus is not careful, old Joseph will knock him off his Celestial perch.

We visited Carthage Jail, Nauvoo, and, of course, the "Hill Cumorah." We walked in the footsteps of "the Prophet," and felt his presence. Well, my father felt his presence. I did not. I was too far gone, I guess.

When the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie came out, my wife and I went. The sense of nostalgia pulled me in. I told my father we had gone. He said "You should study and learn about a real "Superman," Joseph Smith. "

Bullets bounced off of "Superman." Joseph was not so fortunate. "Superman" was pretty darned loyal to Lois Lane. Joseph was not so loyal to Emma.

Later, I got my hands on the Tanners' stuff, and my eyes were opened to Joseph. I could not believe what I read. The guy was a philandering fraud, a skirt chasing, rock peeping liar. The two men could not be reconciled. The false Joseph, and the real Joseph, do not have much in common. Funny, really, how the Church can project one image of the man, and the history books undercut him with a vengeance.

But it is not just Joseph. I recall when Harold B. Lee became Church President. My mother said "He is a GIANT, a true GIANT of a man."

Those who knew him thought otherwise. And if you read the David O. McKay biography, you get quite a different view of Harold B. He was a political figure, and used the church to his advantage. He was a collector of power pellets, and he could be remarkably vicious.

The dual images of church leaders will always be in conflict. The image machine works well for the church, but when people come in contact with reality, the fall is long and the landing is hard. Spin comes with a high price tag when people catch on to the fact they have been manipulated.

Looking at all the Joseph Smith stuff in stores, I can see the spin goes on. The calendars, the awful "art," the "movies," and the false image of Joseph and Emma continues in hyperdrive. If anything, it is much more intense. But it all comes with a huge price tag. They can't figure that out.
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Joseph Smith Animal Sacrifices
Saturday, Dec 29, 2007, at 08:43 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
**In speaking of the translation of the ¯Book of Mormono, Emma Smith's cousin "...reported that Smith `translated the book of Mormon by means of the same peep stone, and under the same inspiration that directed his enchantments and dog sacrifices; it was all by the same spirit,'" (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, Dr. D. Michael Quinn, p. 144; emphasis mine).**

http://www.watchman.org/lds/bldatone....

About halfway down under "Animal Sacrifices":

http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no95....

This one also speaks of JS sliting the throat of a black lamb or dog and walking it around a fire until it bled out. In those says, the "black" animals were sacrificed to the "EVIL" gods, so I thought that was interesting.

**The account given in the said history at page 580, of a pure white dog to be used as a sacrifice to restrain the enchantment, and of the anger of the Almighty at the attempt to palm off on him a white sheep in the place of a white dog, is a fair sample of Smith’s revelations, and of the God that inspired him.**

http://www.mormonismi.net/kirjoitukse...

**In the Journal of Wandle Mace the following is recorded: "Joseph told them to go to Kirtland, and cleanse and purify a certain room in the Temple, that they must kill a lamb and offer a sacrifice unto the Lord which should prepare them to ordain Willard Richards a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles" ("Journal of Wandle Mace," p.32, microfilmed copy at Brigham Young University Library).**

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/chang...

From "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith" pp 172-173:

"...it is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice...was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the Prophets.

"The offering of sacrifice has ever been connnected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. We frequently have mention made of the offereing of sacrifice by the servants of the Most High in ancient days, prior to the law of Moses; which ordinances will be continued when the Priesthood is restored with all its authority, power and blessings.

"[after discussing the animal sacrifices described in Leviticus] These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Prisethood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass. It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses' day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.

"It may be asked by some, what necessity for sacrifice, since the Great Sacrifice was offered? In answer to which, if repentance, baptism, and faith existed prior to the days of Christ, what necessity for them since that time?"

Bruce R. McConkie in Mormon Doctrine says: "To complete the restoration of all things, apparently on a one-time basis, sacrifices will again be offered in this dispensation...(DandC 13)"
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Jupiter Talisman - Joe, Master Mason And Master Of The Dark Art Of The Occult
Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Grey Matter
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Source: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/chang...

Joseph Smith's Magic Talisman

In 1974 Dr. Reed Durham, who was director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah and president of the Mormon History Association, made a discovery that was so startling that it caused great consternation among Mormon scholars and officials. Dr. Durham found that what had previously been identified as the "Masonic jewel of the Prophet Joseph Smith" was in reality a "Jupiter talisman." This is a medallion which contains material relating to astrology and magic. Dr. Durham, apparently not realizing the devastating implications of his discovery, announced this important find in his presidential address before the Mormon History Association on April 20, 1974:

... I should like to initiate all of you into what is perhaps the strangest, the most mysterious, occult-like esoteric, and yet Masonically oriented practice ever adopted by Joseph Smith.... All available evidence suggests that Joseph Smith the Prophet possessed a magical Masonic medallion, or talisman, which he worked during his lifetime and which was evidently on his person when he was martyred. His talisman is in the shape of a silver dollar and is probably made of silver or tin. It is exactly one and nine-sixteenths in diameter,... the talisman,... originally purchased from the Emma Smith Bidamon family, fully notarized by that family to be authentic and to have belonged to Joseph Smith, can now be identified as a Jupiter talisman. It carries the sign and image of Jupiter and should more appropriately be referred to as the Table of Jupiter. And in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess. Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described.

The characters on the talisman are primarily in Hebrew, but there is one inscription in Latin. Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical equivalent and those numerical equivalents make up a magic square. By adding the numbers in this Jupiter Table in any direction ... the total will be the same. In this case, on the Jupiter Table, 34....

There is the one side of the talisman belonging to the Prophet Joseph Smith. You can see the Hebrew characters ... you see on the margins, at the bottom is the Jupiter sign.... The cross at the top represents the spirit of Jupiter, and you will see the path of Jupiter in the orbit of the heavens, and then again the Jupiter sign.

I wasn't able to find what this was, for–as I said–two months; and finally, in a magic book printed in England in 1801, published in America in 1804, and I traced it to Manchester, and to New York. It was a magic book by Francis Barrett and, lo and behold, how thrilled I was when I saw in his list of magic seals the very talisman which Joseph Smith had in his possession at the time of his martyrdom.... To the Egyptians, Jupiter was known as Ammon, but to the Greeks he was Zeus: the ancient sky Father, or Father of the Gods....

In astrology, Jupiter is always associated with high positions, getting one's own way, and all forms of status. And I quote: "Typically a person born under Jupiter will have the dignity of a natural ruler. . . . He will probably have an impressive manner. . . . In physical appearance, the highly developed Jupiterian is strong, personable, and often handsome. . . . the Jupiterian influence produces a cheerful winning personality, capable of great development." . . .

So closely is magic bound up with the stars and astrology that the term astrologer and magician were in ancient times almost synonymous. The purpose of the Table of Jupiter in talismanic magis [magic?] was to be able to call upon the celestial intelligences, assigned to the particular talisman, to assist one in all endeavors. The names of the deities which we gave to you, who could be invoked by the Table were always written on the talisman or represented by various numbers. Three such names were written on Joseph Smith's talisman: Abbah, Father; El Ob, Father is God or God the Father; and Josiphiel, Jehovah speaks for God, the Intelligence of Jupiter.

When properly invoked, with Jupiter being very powerful and ruling in the heavens, these intelligences–by the power of ancient magic–guaranteed to the possessor of this talisman the gain of riches, and favor, and power, and love and peace; and to confirm honors, and dignities, and councils. Talismatic magic further declared that any one who worked skillfully with this Jupiter Table would obtain the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman, whether from a friend, brother, relative, or even any female (Mormon Miscellaneous, published by David C. Martin, vol. 1, no. 1, October 1975, pp.14-15).

Reed Durham was severely criticized by Mormon scholars and officials for giving this speech. He was even called in by Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball, and finally found it necessary to issue a letter in which he reaffirmed his faith in Joseph Smith and said that he was sorry for the "concerns, and misunderstandings" that the speech had caused. We feel that Dr. Durham's identification of Joseph Smith's talisman is one of the most significant discoveries in Mormon history and that he should be commended for his research.

That Joseph Smith would own such a magic talisman fits very well with the evidence from his 1826 trial. W. D. Purple, who was an eye-witness to the trial, claimed it was reported that Smith said certain talismanic influences were needed to recover a box of treasure:

Mr. Thompson, an employee of Mr. Stowell, was the next witness.... Smith had told the Deacon that very many years before a band of robbers had buried on his flat a box of treasure, and as it was very valuable they had by a sacrifice placed a charm over it to protect it, so that it could not be obtained except by faith, accompanied by certain talismanic influences.... the box of treasure was struck by the shovel, on which they redoubled their energies, but it gradually receded from their grasp. One of the men placed his hand upon the box, but it gradually sunk from his reach.... Mr. Stowell went to his flock and selected a fine vigorous lamb, and resolved to sacrifice it to the demon spirit who guarded the coveted treasure ... but the treasure still receded from their grasp, and it was never obtained (The Chenango Union, Norwich, N.Y., May 3, 1877, as cited in A New Witness For Christ In America, vol. 2, pp.366-67).

Dr. Durham was unable to determine just when Joseph Smith obtained his talisman, but the fact that he was recommending "certain talismanic influences" around the time of the 1826 trial is certainly interesting. The Jupiter talisman is probably the type of talisman a money digger would be interested in because it was supposed to bring its possessor "the gain of riches, and favor, and power." Regardless of when Joseph Smith obtained his talisman, we do know that he possessed it up to the time of his death. He must have felt that it was very important because the Mormon scholar LaMar C. Berrett reveals that "This piece was in Joseph Smith's pocket when he was martyred at Carthage Jail" (The Wilford C. Wood Collection, 1972, vol. 1, p.173). Wesley P. Walters says that "Charles E. Bidamon, who sold the talisman to the Wood collection, stated in his accompanying affidavit: 'Emma Smith Bidamon the prophet's widow was my foster mother. She prized this piece very highly on account of its being one of the prophet's intimate possessions (Charles E. Bidamon Affidavit. Wood Coll. #7-J-b-21)."

The discovery of evidence to prove Joseph Smith's 1826 trial was certainly a devastating blow to Mormonism, for it proved that Joseph Smith was a believer in magical practices. Reed Durham's new find that Joseph Smith possessed a magic talisman is also very significant because it shows that Smith continued to hold these ideas until the time of his death.
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Historical Documentation That Shows That Joseph Smith Had Sex With Women Other Than Emma
Thursday, Mar 27, 2008, at 07:34 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
As many of us know, Mormon apologists claim that Joseph Smith's plural marriages were platonic and solely done for 'family dynastic' reasons, i.e., so that their families would be joined to 'the Prophet'.

At least two women other than Emma had sex with Joseph Smith, as follows:

1. - "Prescindia, who was Norman Buell's wife and simultaneously a plural wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, said that she did not know whether her husband Norman or the Prophet was the father of her son, Oliver. And a glance at a photo of Oliver shows a strong resemblance to Emma Smith's boys." (Mary Ettie V. Smith, "Fifteen Years Among the Mormons", page 34; Fawn Brodie "No Man Knows My History" pages 301-302, 437-39)

Of this, historian Fawn Brodie herself further wrote: "Evidence of children born to Joseph Smith by women other than Emma is extremely scarce except in the case of Prescindia Huntington Buell. Prescindia once stated to Mrs. Ettie V. Smith that 'she did not know whether Mr. Buel or the Prophet was the father of her son.' This statement I regarded with due reserve until I discovered a photograph of the son, Oliver Buell, which showed an unmistakable likeness to other sons of Joseph, born by Emma Smith.

That the Huntington family looked upon young Oliver as the Prophet's son is suggested by Oliver Huntington's diary entry of November 14, 1884: 'Then I stood proxy for the Prophet Joseph Smith in having sealed or adopted to him a child of my sister Prescenda, had while living with Norman Buell.' The ambiguous wording of the phrase I have italicized is significant, especially since there is no similar entry for any other of her children." (No Man Knows My History, Fawn Brodie)

My friend noted: It is obvious from this entry that the child was likely Joseph's, since there would be no reason for Prescindia to have one child sealed to Joseph that she had with her own husband Norman, if born while living with Norman. I have looked for the photograph online, but have been unable to find it.

2. - "Sylvia P. Sessions, married to Windsor P. Lyon, gave birth to a daughter on 8 February 1844, less than five months before Joseph Smith's martyrdom. That daughter, Josephine, related in a 24 February 1915 statement that prior to her mother's death in 1882 'she called me to her bedside and told me that her days on earth were about numbered and before she passed away from mortality she desired to tell me something which she had kept as an entire secret from me and all others but which she now desired to communicate to me.' Josephine's mother told her she was 'the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith, she having been sealed to the Prophet at the time that her husband Mr. Lyon was out of fellowship with the Church.'" (Affidavit to Church Historian Andrew Jenson, 24 Feb. 1915)
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Joseph Smith And Warren Jeffs
Monday, Apr 21, 2008, at 11:16 AM
Original Author(s): Truth Dancer
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
What is the difference between Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs? Are there any?

Joseph Smith claimed to be the prophet of the one and only true church. Same with Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith claimed divine revelation directly from Jesus Christ. Same with Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith claimed he was doing God's will. Same with Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith sent men away and then "married" their wives. Same with Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith "married" several underage girls. Same with Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith asked men to give him their wives. Same with Warren Jeffs. (Seems true believing men are OK with this).

Joseph Smith had thirty to forty "wives." Similar to Warren Jeffs...not sure how many he has these days but I think the numbers are similar.

In Joseph Smith's polygamy practice women could change husbands and trade up. Same with Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith's followers would do anything he told them to do. Same with the followers of Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith convinced girls and women that he would assure them and their families a place in the CKHL if they would be his. IIRC this is similar to the teachings of Warren Jeffs.

Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs both wholeheartedly embrace DandC 132 and hold this scripture as sacred.

Joseph Smith lied about his behavior. I think Warren Jeffs did as well... not sure of direct evidence on this.

Both men broke laws and had to hide out for a while.

Both men had women who adored them.

Both men claimed that men and women (girls) were REQUIRED to accept polygamy in order to live in the CKHL.

Both men had absolute power and authority over their followers.

Both men believed they were above the law of the land.

Both men have tried to destroy the lives of, or excommunicate those who didn't go along with their dictates/commands.

Both men believed in the united order.

Both men are revered, nearly worshipped by followers.

Both men are considered loving, charasmatic, wonderful men by followers.

Both men had a bit of paranoia (or maybe just a realization that they were offending lots of people).

Both men required the wearing of garments 24/7 (albeit the LDS church has shortened them a bit in recent decades).

Both men believed their power and position was because they were chosen.

Both men claimed they were ushering in the return and reign of Jesus Christ.

I have a sense that any other man who behaved as did Joseph Smith would not get the free pass Joseph Smith gets by believers. The same folks who condemn Warren Jeffs praise Joseph Smith. I don't get it.

If Joseph Smith did it, it was because God wanted him to. If another man did it, it was because of Satan.

Are there any real differences between the two men? Are there any significant differences between WF's version/practice of polygamy and polygamy during the early days of the church?
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Sex For Joseph Smith - Heavenly Father's Top Priority (Based On The Angels He Sent)
Monday, Jun 9, 2008, at 07:25 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The Church Declares:
"It is true that the Prophet Joseph Smith was visited by many heavenly messengers who helped inaugurate this final dispensation. Heavenly beings came to Joseph Smith to bestow priesthood keys, to unfold the majesty and glory of future events, and to warn or to admonish the maturing Prophet. Certainly to a remarkable degree the Prophet Joseph Smith received communication from an array of angels who helped prepare him to carry out his foreordained mission."

"The channels of communication are ever open between God and his appointed leaders of his living church."

"Latter-day Saints are blessed through the Prophet Joseph Smith’s great faith and mission that opened the windows of heaven. He was the pre-appointed agent through which communion with the heavens and the earthly ministry of angels were resumed in a grand manner. The mountain of truth built from the Prophet’s translations and revelations speaks for itself, towering above the stark foothills of earthly philosophy. This is amazing in light of young Joseph’s mortal inadequacy. Through faith, his weaknesses became strengths, and he nobly fulfilled his great foreordained mission–because heavenly messengers were his guides."
- LDS Church Publication, Ensign, Oct. 1994, page 62

Among these heavenly messengers, Joseph Smith testified that the Lord kept sending an angel with a sword to command him to secretly marry women. This angelic visitor appeared and threatened Joseph Smith's life on at least a half-dozen occasions.

See: http://www.i4m.com/think/history/ange...

Latter-day Saints should recognize an important message from the Prophet Joseph Smith's experiences with this heavenly messenger.

They demonstrate the Lord's priorities.

What a shame the Lord didn't send an angel with a sword to straighten Smith out on these other occasions:
  • No angel tried to stop him ordaining blacks to the priesthood
  • No angel corrected him for writing contradictory versions of the First Vision story
  • No angel coerced him into not ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo expositor press
  • No angel tried to stop him from ordering the Danites to kill Governor Boggs
  • No angel corrected him for repeatedly saying that Native Americans are Lamanites.
  • No angel warned him to stop having sex with his adopted daughters
  • No angel prevented Smith from claiming to know how to translate Egyptian
  • No angel came to tell him what happened to the lost 116 pages
  • No angel stopped him from committing bank fraud
  • No angel stopped him from trying to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon
  • No angel told him to take naked touching out of the endowment ceremony (that didn't happen until Jan 2005)
  • No angel chastised him from declaring he was greater than Jesus Christ
Nope. Angelic messengers were complete no-shows, except for when Smith supposedly didn't want to seduce other men's wives, and then Voilą, A MIRACLE! The Lord sends His angel to force Smith into secret adultery!

What kind of Lord do Mormons worship?

Someone else put this post on an LDS board, where a big TBM apologist responded. Here are some of his responses to my list, with my feedback.
"I have no problem with Joseph ordaining blacks to the priesthood."
Maybe you don't, but the never-will-lead-the-church-astray prophets of the church did have a BIG problem with it for over 120 years.

In an official LDS Church First Presidency statement from August 17th, 1951:
"The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre-mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality, and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the principle itself indicates that the coming to this earth and taking on mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintained their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes."

"Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or alloted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world."
- Official First Presidency Statement, see William E. Berrett's "The Church and the Negroid People," pp. 16-17
"I don't believe that the First Vision accounts are significantly contradictory."
Joseph Smith's accounts contain significant contradictions.

See: http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/mormon...
"Native Americans are Lamanites."
That would mean they are descendants of Lehi, who was a Jew from Israel. If Native Americans are descendants of an Israelite, why is there no trace of Israelite DNA in Native Americans? Funny how other tribes around the world have been able to prove their Israelite lineage through DNA.

See: http://www.uoregon.edu/~jbloom/race/g...
"The question of Joseph's marital relationships is (pretty much by its nature) rather murky..."
The scriptures and the historical record are VERY clear why Joseph Smith was commanded to take "virgins a hundred fold." This included his own foster daughters. Don't take my word for it, take the word of faithful LDS member and church historian, Todd Compton:

http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/202...

Emily and Eliza were the daughters of Nauvoo Bishop, Edward Partridge. When he died in 1840, Emily, sixteen, and Eliza, twenty, looked to “hire out” as maids to help support their family. They boarded at the Smith home and Joseph "adopted" them into his family.

Joseph Smith secretly married both of them behind Emma's back.

See: http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/202...

According to Joseph Smith's faithful personal secretary, William Clayton, on May 22nd, 1843, Emma found Joseph and Eliza Partridge secluded in a bed of an upstairs bedroom at the Smith home. Emma was devastated. - William Clayton's journal entry for 23 May (see Smith, 105-106)

This is very similar to what Smith did with two other young women. When Joseph Smith visited Canada in 1837 he converted to the church, Edward and Margaret Lawrence and their daughters Sarah and Maria. The Lawrence family moved to Nauvoo, where both parents died soon after their arrival. In 1842, Sarah and Maria, sixteen and eighteen years-old, began living in Joseph Smith’s home as "adopted" daughters like Emily and Eliza Partridge who were also living at the Smith residence.

In the spring of 1843, Joseph married Sarah and Maria.
"I believe that Joseph's translations were divinely inspired and correct."
According to the LDS Church, his translation of the Egyptian Papyri and facsimiles is not correct. Haven't you read The Church Ensign, July 1988, Page 51?
"The papyri in question are a part of the collection of Egyptian mummies and papyri that the Prophet Joseph Smith bought from Michael Chandler in 1835. After the Prophet's death, the papyri were lost to the Church. But in 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Utah, discovered some twenty-two separate papyri fragments in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which were clearly part of Joseph Smith's original collection."

"[F]rom paleographic and historical considerations, the Book of Breathings papyrus can reliably be dated to around A.D. 60-much too late for Abraham to have written it. Of course, it could be a copy-or a copy of a copy-of the original written by Abraham. However, a second problem arises when one compares the text of the book of Abraham with a translation of the Book of Breathings; they clearly are not the same..."
Wherever Joseph Smith got the Book of Abraham, it is admittedly not a translation of the papyri, as he claimed.
"Joseph received two revelations (Doctrine and Covenants 3 and 10) regarding the 116 lost manuscript pages. Whether or not they were delivered via an angel seems rather unimportant."
You completely sidestepped the point. If an angel can appear to command Joseph to secretly proposition women, why didn't an angel come and show Smith where the 116 pages were lost, or at least tell him they would never come to light?
"Joseph didn't commit bank fraud."
The record is very clear that he did. See: http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/j...
"Joseph never claimed to be greater than Jesus Christ."
According to the Official History of the Church, he did. Here's what Joseph Smith declared publicly:
"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet."
- The Prophet Joseph Smith, History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412

I'm only left wondering why this huge TBM apologist is such a blatant liar. I can't believe it is out of ignorance.

It's blatant lies like these that offend truth-seeking Mormons and ruin the credibility of the so-called church apologist establishment.
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Joseph Smith's translation of a Greek Manuscript
Sunday, Oct 12, 2008, at 07:40 AM
Original Author(s): Spongebob Squaregarments
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Most LDS are of course familiar with Joseph’s translations of the Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham, the retranslation of the Bible and some LDS are somewhat familiar with the Kinderhook Plates but very, very few members are aware of Joseph’s encounter with a Greek Psalter in 1842.

Summary of event: Professor Henry Caswall, a professor and skeptic of Joseph Smith, visited Joseph on April 19, 1842. He gave Joseph Smith a very old Greek Psalter to examine and asked him what it was.

Joseph of course translated the Book of Mormon from Reformed Egyptian and he also translated the Book of Abraham from Egyptian papyri so he apparently knew Egyptian well enough to translate it and professor Caswall wanted to see what he thought about this ancient Greek manuscript.

Joseph examined the ancient document and replied that it was a Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Professor Caswall of course knew Joseph was wrong as this was a known Greek Psalter and definitely not Egyptian.

Professor Caswall then informed the Prophet that it was but a plain Greek Psalter. Joseph then left the scene. Professor Caswall told this incident to Mormon apostle Dr. William Richards who said “Sometimes Mr. Smith speaks as mere man. If he gave a wrong opinion respecting the book, he spoke as a mere man.”

Although the Greek Psalter incident is the translation effort with the least amount of significance, it further damages Joseph’s claims to be a true seer. It’s hard for many of us that have analyzed the accounts of all of the ancient writings that Joseph claimed to have translated to accept the fact that all of Joseph’s translations that can be proven as accurate have all been proven to be incorrect. If nothing else, it was another opportunity for Joseph to prove himself to be a seer but he did not.

There is a difference between an isolated incident and a pattern. The Greek Psalter, Book of Abraham, Kinderhook Plates, and some would add the Book of Mormon (DNA evidence, anachronisms, lack of archaeological, anthropological, cultural, linguistic, and metallurgical evidence to support claims), reveal a disturbing pattern in Joseph Smith’s methods and perhaps his character. The testimony of his mother about his ability to spontaneously make up stories about ancient inhabitants of the Americas and the story he made up about Zelph the White Lamanite while on the Zion’s Camp March to Missouri are consistent with this pattern. He seemed unable to resist the opportunity to appear as an expert whether he was qualified to offer expert analysis or not. This pattern of deception can also be seen in his tendency to use prevarication to cover up his polygamous activities. It raises serious questions in those who are fair minded and objective about Joseph Smith’s believability and credibility.

For more info on the Greek Psalter incident: http://www.mormonthink.com/joseph-smi...
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Carthage Jail And The Mob
Sunday, Dec 28, 2008, at 09:12 AM
Original Author(s): Sunstoned
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
As a young Elder, I served in the land of Joseph (Illinois). Nauvoo was its own mission, but it was close and I visited it several times. At the time Nauvoo was staffed almost exclusively by older missionary couples, and they catered to us, giving out additional information and allowing us access to areas that were not part of the normal tour.

At Carthage, it was pointed out to us a plank in the floor where you could still see the outline of the blood stains from either Hyrum or Joseph. At one time this area was covered by a glass plate to protect it, but latter removed. The reasoning behind this according to our guide was that people started to get the impression we attributed a special meaning to the blood of Joseph Smith. Our guide told us that they didn’t point out the blood stain during the normal tours.

Being fond of history, I would engage the tour couples conversation and asking questions. The subject of JS fighting back with a pistol was known and the guides discussed it openly with us. I don’t know that this was brought up with the gentile visitors or not, but no one seemed to view this in a negative light. No mention was ever made of the wine that JS called for and drank, and I really touched a nerve when I brought up a question concerning the Masonic distress call that JS made at the window. One of the tour missionaries, an older man, told me that they were instructed not to bring this up and if it did come up to avoid discussion if possible. I thought it was odd that a prophet could carry a gun and fire to protect himself but somehow calling on his fellow masons for assistance was an embarrassment.

As missionaries, we got to visit several houses that were not on the regular tour. We also got to see the graves of Hyrum and Joseph. I also got some great pics of me sitting on the Sunstone (hence my avatar). The “reorgs” (then RLDS, now CofC) owned the Manson house, and it served as their visitor center. They treated us nice, but didn’t let us run around unattended. One of their guides told us that JS has called for the Nauvoo legion to march on Carthage to free him and his brother, but the order was never carried out. This guide’s opinion was that JS had got a little big for his britches and that he did not have as much support in Nauvoo as the Brighamites like to think. Also his take on polygamy was that it was started by BY after they left Nauvoo.
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When Did Joseph Smith Go Bad?
Thursday, Jan 1, 2009, at 05:30 PM
Original Author(s): Still Struggling To Escape The Morg
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
A few days ago, in another post, a question arose: “When did Joseph Smith go bad?”

I believe the answer to that question is in the book entitled “Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith” by Robert D. Anderson, who is an experienced psychiatrist and a former member of the LDS Church. Anderson clearly identifies when Joseph Smith reached the turning point in his life (pp.92-95).

As a child, Joseph was encouraged by his family to engage in magical thinking and fantasy. Joseph Smith, Sr., believed in witchcraft and taught magic to his children (This is very well-documented by Dr. Anderson). Lucy Smith believed that one of her children would become a prophet of God. Essentially, Joseph’s view of himself was largely determined by what his family wanted to believe about him. The family culture that Joseph Smith Jr. grew up was encouraging him to travel down a certain path.

The opportunity to live a normal life came when he was under the influence of his father-in-law, Isaac Hale. It was while Joseph Smith was money-digging that Joseph Smith met his future wife, Emma Hale, and asked her father for her hand in marriage. Isaac Hale refused, believing Joseph deceived people in his activities as a money-digger. Then Joseph and Emma decided to elope.

Isaac Hale found Joseph’s claims outrageous, barely tolerated him for Emma’s sake, and obviously wanted him to begin living a stable and hard-working life. It seems clear to me that Isaac Hale wanted Joseph to live and work in the real world, not some fantasy world.

According to Dr. Anderson, when Joseph was removed from his family’s influence and confronted by his decent father-in-law, the shell of his false self temporarily cracked; but as he returned to his family, the grandiose personality with its supernatural claims reasserted itself.

Anderson argues that if it had been possible to take Smith away – and keep him away – from people who wanted him to have supernatural powers then he might have developed into a normal adult.

Dr. Anderson explains that for seven months, Joseph Smith lived a period of normalcy. From the chastening revelation on 3 July 1828 to February 1829, Joseph Smith retreated from his supernatural claims, and came as close to a conventional life as he ever would. Joseph later explained this gap as punishment for losing the 116 pages -- the angle had taken away the gold plates and translating spectacles. Although he told his mother, Lucy, that these items had been returned to him 22 Sep 1828 (the night of the equinox), he later recalled that he “did not go immediately to translating, but went to labouring with my hands upon a small farm, which I had purchased of my wife’s father, in order to provide for my family.”

During these seven months of normalcy, Joseph’s parents came to visit, staying with Isaac and Elizabeth Hale for perhaps two months. Lucy remembered Joseph as so “hurried with his secular affairs, that he could not proceed with his spiritual concerns as far as was necessary …and his wife had so much of her time taken up with the care of her house, that she could write for him but a small portion of the time.” The traditional Mormon perspective is to see this period as a dark one, a time of spiritual loss and suffering.

But from a psychological point of view, Dr. Anderson sees it as one of the healthiest periods of Smith’s adult life. Smith’s deception was contained by fright, sorrow, and humiliation. And according to Anderson, fright, sorrow and humiliation can be import positive outside forces in the treatment of narcissistic personalities. Such experiences may provide some added motivation for the patient to struggle toward change by giving up grand claims that have gotten him in trouble and to move toward ordinary commonness.

Joseph had reached a fork in the road of his life. He could continue to travel down the path that his family wanted and expected, or he could try to live a normal, decent life.

But two factors encouraged his return to the supernatural, Anderson argues. The first was poverty. In early winter, Joseph and Emma were so poor that they paid a begging visit to Joseph’s older friend, Joseph Knight, asking for help. Knight gave Joseph food, a pairs of shoes, and $3.00. Anderson explains that only if we understand the desperateness of their economic plight can we begin to appreciate the extremity of Joseph’s solutions. Perhaps Joseph looked into the future during that winter and saw himself becoming his father. Perhaps he saw a future of poverty and contempt from this neighbour. But these factors are minor compared to the enormous underlying problem of identity. Take away the faēade (that he was a “prophet of God”) that was now crystallizing, and what remained was a small, incomplete, and helpless shadow of a man. But for narcissists, seeing themselves as ordinary and common is to feel weak and perpetually threatened -- that emotional deprivation, even physical hunger, might occur at any time. Perhaps even more powerful is feeling that they simply do not know who they are. Smith‘s need to be important and in control was strong; he returned to the compensating personality.

Anderson sees the visit of Joseph’s parents as the second factor. They obviously encouraged his supernatural claims, perhaps reporting their own belief, that since the original manuscript had not resurfaced in Palmyra, it must have been destroyed, Smith could begin again.

Anderson argues that “from a psychoanalytic perspective, this moment of return to claims of supernatural power was a decisive turning point for Joseph Smith, one that closed the door on the possibility of developing a healthy self. This moment is, in therapeutic terms, the saddest for Smith – not three years later when he is tarred, beaten, and nearly castrated in Ohio; or ten years later when he is incarcerated for months in Missouri; or fifteen years later when he is jailed and shot by a mob in Illinois. At this point, on a farm in Pennsylvania, his power over others is minimal; he has not has sexual relations with dozens of women and girls; three brothers and hundreds of followers have not yet died for him, given him their properties, their lives, their wives, their time, and their finest loyalty.”

Anderson further explains that from a psychoanalytic perspective, “a genuine acknowledgement that one comes from a dysfunctional, inferior family is a beginning step toward health. With such an admission, one can begin working toward authentic accomplishment. But to replace an honest awareness of dysfunction with the delusion that a man’s fears are divine visions and that he can do magical (“spiritual?”) acts diverts energies from potential progress and mires him more deeply in fantasy.”
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Sex For Joseph Smith: The Lord's Top Priority
Monday, Jan 5, 2009, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon Church declares:

"It is true that the Prophet Joseph Smith was visited by many heavenly messengers who helped inaugurate this final dispensation. Heavenly beings came to Joseph Smith to bestow priesthood keys, to unfold the majesty and glory of future events, and to warn or to admonish the maturing Prophet. Certainly to a remarkable degree the Prophet Joseph Smith received communication from an array of angels who helped prepare him to carry out his foreordained mission."

"The channels of communication are ever open between God and his appointed leaders of his living church."

"Latter-day Saints are blessed through the Prophet Joseph Smith's great faith and mission that opened the windows of heaven. He was the pre-appointed agent through which communion with the heavens and the earthly ministry of angels were resumed in a grand manner. The mountain of truth built from the Prophet's translations and revelations speaks for itself, towering above the stark foothills of earthly philosophy. This is amazing in light of young Joseph's mortal inadequacy. Through faith, his weaknesses became strengths, and he nobly fulfilled his great foreordained mission-because heavenly messengers were his guides." - LDS Church Publication, Ensign, Oct. 1994, page 62

Among these heavenly messengers, Joseph Smith testified that the Lord kept sending an angel with a sword to command him to secretly marry women. This angelic visitor appeared and threatened Joseph Smith's life on at least a half-dozen occasions!

See: http://www.i4m.com/think/history/ange...

Latter-day Saints should recognize an important message from the Prophet Joseph Smith's experiences with this heavenly messenger.

They demonstrate the Lord's priorities.

What a shame the Lord didn't send an angel with a sword to straighten Smith out on these other occasions:
  • No angel tried to stop him ordaining blacks to the priesthood
  • No angel corrected him for writing contradictory versions of the First Vision story
  • No angel coerced him into not ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo expositor press
  • No angel tried to stop him from ordering the Danites to kill Governor Boggs
  • No angel corrected him for repeatedly saying that Native Americans are Lamanites.
  • No angel warned him to stop having sex with his adopted daughters
  • No angel prevented Smith from claiming to know how to translate Egyptian
  • No angel came to tell him what happened to the lost 116 pages
  • No angel stopped him from committing bank fraud
  • No angel stopped him from trying to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon
  • No angel told him to take naked touching out of the endowment ceremony (that didn't happen until Jan 2005)
  • No angel chastised him from declaring he was greater than Jesus Christ
Nope. Angelic messengers were complete no-shows, except for when Smith supposedly didn't want to seduce other men's wives, and then Voilą, A MIRACLE! The Lord sends His angel to force Smith into secret adultery!

What kind of Lord do Mormons worship?

Someone else put this post on an LDS board, where a big TBM apologist responded. Here are some of his responses to my list, with my feedback.

>>"I have no problem with Joseph ordaining blacks to the priesthood."

Maybe you don't, but the never-will-lead-the-church-astray prophets of the church did have a BIG problem with it for over 120 years.

In an official LDS Church First Presidency statement from August 17th, 1951:

"The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre-mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality, and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the principle itself indicates that the coming to this earth and taking on mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintained their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes."

"Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or alloted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world." - Official First Presidency Statement, see William E. Berrett's "The Church and the Negroid People," pp. 16-17

>>"I don't believe that the First Vision accounts are significantly contradictory."

Joseph Smith's accounts contain significant contradictions.

See: http://www.i4m.com/think/lists/mormon...

>>"Native Americans are Lamanites."

That would mean they are descendants of Lehi, who was a Jew from Israel. If Native Americans are descendants of an Israelite, why is there no trace of Israelite DNA in Native Americans? Funny how other tribes around the world have been able to prove their Israelite lineage through DNA.

See: http://www.uoregon.edu/~jbloom/race/g...

>>"The question of Joseph's marital relationships is (pretty much by its nature) rather murky..."

The scriptures and the historical record are VERY clear why Joseph Smith was commanded to take "virgins a hundred fold." This included his own foster daughters. Don't take my word for it, take the word of faithful LDS member and church historian, Todd Compton:

http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/202...

Emily and Eliza were the daughters of Nauvoo Bishop, Edward Partridge. When he died in 1840, Emily, sixteen, and Eliza, twenty, looked to "hire out" as maids to help support their family. They boarded at the Smith home and Joseph "adopted" them into his family.

Joseph Smith secretly married both of them behind Emma's back.

See: http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/202...

According to Joseph Smith's faithful personal secretary, William Clayton, on May 22nd, 1843, Emma found Joseph and Eliza Partridge secluded in a bed of an upstairs bedroom at the Smith home. Emma was devastated. - William Clayton's journal entry for 23 May (see Smith, 105-106)

This is very similar to what Smith did with two other young women. When Joseph Smith visited Canada in 1837 he converted to the church, Edward and Margaret Lawrence and their daughters Sarah and Maria. The Lawrence family moved to Nauvoo, where both parents died soon after their arrival. In 1842, Sarah and Maria, sixteen and eighteen years-old, began living in Joseph Smith's home as "adopted" daughters like Emily and Eliza Partridge who were also living at the Smith residence.

In the spring of 1843, Joseph married Sarah and Maria.

>>"I believe that Joseph's translations were divinely inspired and correct."

According to the LDS Church, his translation of the Egyptian Papyri and facsimiles is not correct. Haven't you read The Church Ensign, July 1988, Page 51?

"The papyri in question are a part of the collection of Egyptian mummies and papyri that the Prophet Joseph Smith bought from Michael Chandler in 1835. After the Prophet's death, the papyri were lost to the Church. But in 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Utah, discovered some twenty-two separate papyri fragments in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which were clearly part of Joseph Smith's original collection."

"[F]rom paleographic and historical considerations, the Book of Breathings papyrus can reliably be dated to around A.D. 60-much too late for Abraham to have written it. Of course, it could be a copy-or a copy of a copy-of the original written by Abraham. However, a second problem arises when one compares the text of the book of Abraham with a translation of the Book of Breathings; they clearly are not the same..."

Wherever Joseph Smith got the Book of Abraham, it is admittedly not a translation of the papyri, as he claimed.

>> "Joseph received two revelations (Doctrine and Covenants 3 and 10) regarding the 116 lost manuscript pages. Whether or not they were delivered via an angel seems rather unimportant."

You completely sidestepped the point. If an angel can appear to command Joseph to secretly proposition women, why didn't an angel come and show Smith where the 116 pages were lost, or at least tell him they would never come to light?

>>"Joseph didn't commit bank fraud."

The record is very clear that he did. See: http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/j...

>>"Joseph never claimed to be greater than Jesus Christ."

According to the Official History of the Church, he did. Here's what Joseph Smith declared publicly:

"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet." - The Prophet Joseph Smith, History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412

I'm only left wondering why this huge TBM apologist is such a blatant liar. I can't believe it is out of ignorance.

It's blatant lies like these that offend truth-seeking Mormons and ruin the credibility of the so-called church apologist establishment.
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The Old Greek Psalter Trick
Monday, Jan 12, 2009, at 08:04 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The old Greek Psalter trick

I do like this story. It really does have the ring of truth about it. The proximate source is the great Uncle Dale at

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/...

But you can see the original book at:

http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhom...

By the way, a psalter is just a copy of the Book of Psalms in the Bible.

I relish this bit in the original book - dontcha love the Prophet's elegant grammar? And his sheer brass neck??

" I handed the book to the prophet, and begged him to explain its contents. He asked me if I had any idea of its meaning. I replied, that I believed it to be a Greek Psalter; but that I should like to hear his opinion. "No he said; "it ain't Greek at all, except, perhaps, a few words. What ain't Greek, is Egyptian; and what ain't Egyptian, is Greek. This book is very valuable. It is a dictionary of Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Pointing to the capital letters at the commencement of each verse, he said: Them figures is Egyptian hieroglyphics; and them which follows, is the interpretation of the hieroglyphics, written in the reformed Egyptian. Them characters is like the letters that was engraved on the golden plates." "

Warsaw Message Vol. I. Warsaw, Illinois, November 15, 1843. No. 45.

THE MORMON PROPHET AND THE GREEK PSALTER.

We lately heard a story, which while it may make us mourn over the depravity of Human Nature, serves to show, among many similar facts, the low artifices and cunning tricks, to which the Mormon Prophet will resort, in order to impose upon the gullibility of his followers. The story is in this wise; and can be substantiated by respectable witnesses.

Some time since, Professor Caswell, late of Kemper College, near St. Louis, an Episcopal Clergyman of reputation, being about to leave this country for England, paid a visit to Smith and the Saints, in order that he might be better able to represent the imposture to the British people. It so happened that the Professor had in his possession a Greek Psalter, of great age -- one that had been in the family for several hundred years. This book, as a relic of antiquity, was a curiosity to any one -- but to some of the Saints, who happened to see it, it was a marvel and wonder. Supposing its origin to have been as ancient, at least, as the Prophet's Egyptian Mummy, and not knowing but the Professor had dug it from the bowels of the same sacred hill in Western New York whence sprung the holy Book of Mormon, they importuned him to allow 'brother Joseph' an opportunity of translating it!

The Professor reluctantly assented to the proposal; and accompanied by a number of the anxious brethren, repaired to the residence of the Prophet. The remarkable book was handed him. Joe took it -- examined its old and worn leaves -- and turned over its musty pages. Expectation was now upon tip-toe. The brethren looked at one another -- at the book -- then at the Prophet. It was a most interesting scene!

Presently the spirit of prophecy began to arise within him; and he opened his mouth and spoke. That wonderful power, which enables him to see as far through a mill-stone as could Moses or Elijah of old, had already in the twinkling of an eye, made those rough and uncouth characters as plain to him as the nose on the face of the Professor. 'This Book,' said he, 'I pronounce to be a Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics!'

The brethren present were greatly astonished at this exhibition of their Prophet's power of revealing hidden things. After their exaltation had somewhat subsided, the Professor coolly told them that their Prophet was a base impostor! -- and that the book before them was but a plain Greek Psalter! -- Joe 'stepped out.'

Such is the manner in which this arrant knave imposes upon his followers! and such is the manner in which his knavery is sometimes exposed! Yet, strange that people continue to believe him!

Professor Caswell, since his sojourn in England, has published a work entitled 'Three Days at Nauvoo,' in which this rich scene is represented in an engraving.
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More Lies About The Prophet
Thursday, Jan 29, 2009, at 11:50 AM
Original Author(s): Substrate
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
There is a remarkable article in the Church News about the legal and business acumen of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles...

A couple of choice quotes:
"In addition to his many roles as the Lord's anointed, Joseph Smith showed remarkable competence in legal and business matters as well."
Yes, he showed such skill in business and legal matters that his biggest enterprise, the Kirtland Bank, folded ignomniously within a couple of weeks, and Joseph had to flee the state of Ohio to escape his creditors.

But this one is jaw-dropping:
"Underpinning the treason charge against the Prophet was his declaration of martial law in the face of a threat of mob violence against the people of Nauvoo. 'Consequently,' Brother Walker said, 'I would say that Joseph and Hyrum were martyred for trying to protect their people. The Expositor was an underlying subplot to the story, but the reason they found themselves in that jail on the 27th of June, 1844, was not due to the destruction of the Expositor. It had to do with the fact that Joseph and Hyrum were making their best effort to protect the saints. And for that, they would be killed.'"
So, destroying the Expositor was just an "underlying subplot," while the real reason for the "martyrdom" was Joseph's attempt to "protect the saints." Sometimes the rewriting of history is shameless, isn't it?

Joseph ordered the destruction of the Expositor because he feared William Law's exposure of his behavior, including polygamy and the creation of the Council of Fifty and Quorum of the Anointed. Yes, the saints had been under increasing threat from non-Mormon mobs, but it was the Expositor incident that pushed the mobs into action.

And rather than "protect the saints," Joseph fled the city to go into hiding, leaving his followers to fend for themselves. It wasn't until his own friends and family accused him of cowardice that he returned to face the legal consequences of his actions.

If this is a representative example of what they are doing with the "Joseph Smith Papers," I'd say the project isn't worth much.
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A "United Order" Origin?
Friday, Mar 20, 2009, at 08:48 AM
Original Author(s): Searcher68
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Have any of you heard of this as being an influence on Smith and others in the formulation of the concept of the “United Order”?

While recently studying some poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge I came across some very interesting information about a utopian society that he and Robert Southey planned to set up on the “banks of the Susquehanna River”. Being a past TBM, that phrase really got my attention. I went to Wikipedia and got the following information (note especially the description of pantisocracy):

“At the university, [Coleridge] was introduced to political and theological ideas then considered radical, including those of the poet Robert Southey. Coleridge joined Southey in a plan, soon abandoned, to found a utopian commune-like society, called pantisocracy, in the wilderness of Pennsylvania.”

“[I]n 1794 … [Southey], Coleridge and a few others discussed setting up an idealistic community in America ("pantisocracy"):

Their wants would be simple and natural; their toil need not be such as the slaves of luxury endure; where possessions were held in common, each would work for all; in their cottages the best books would have a place; literature and science, bathed anew in the invigorating stream of life and nature, could not but rise reanimated and purified. Each young man should take to himself a mild and lovely woman for his wife; it would be her part to prepare their innocent food, and tend their hardy and beautiful race.“

“Pantisocracy (meaning "government by all") was a utopian scheme devised in 1794 by the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey for an egalitarian community. They originally intended to establish such a community on the banks of the Susquehanna River in the United States, but by 1795 Southey had doubts about the viability of this and proposed moving the project to Wales. The two men were unable to agree on the location, causing the project to collapse.”
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The Joseph Smith Papers - It's Just Classic, Quasi-Historical Smoke-Screen
Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Nor Cal Law Student
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
“Conflict also increased at church headquarters in Kirtland. In seeking to establish a sacral society directed by prophetic leadership, JS crossed conventional boundaries between religious and secular affairs. For him, God’s commandments made no distinction between the spiritual and the temporal. Subjecting oneself to a religious leader’s direction in temporal matters clashed with American ideals of unfettered individual freedom. As the Mormon population of Kirtland continued to grow, JS and his associates conceived expansive plans for that community. A pivotal element was a bank, which could help provide capital for development. Though they were unable to obtain a state charter--an ultimately fatal flaw--they nevertheless established a financial institution in January 1837. The ‘Kirtland Safety Society’ faltered early, due in part to negative publicity, the refusal of many area banks to accept Safety Society notes, and the predatory actions of outsiders who systematically acquired it notes and quickly demanded payment in specie, thus depleting its reserves. The Safety Society suspended such payments in late January, then failed several months later during the recession that gripped the United States. Stresses related to the bank failure, mounting personal debt of Kirtland Mormons, and church indebtedness due to construction of the House of the Lord caused some to question the scope and legitimacy of JS’s prophetic leadership. Some of JS’s closest associates became disaffected. Prominent among the defections were JS’s former secretary Warren Parrish, several apostles, a number of the members of the Quorom of the Seventy, and the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon plates. Their discontent escalated from dismay with JS’s financial leadership to rejection of his religious leadership.

“Such views eventually spread to nearly one-third of the church’s general leadership...Declaring JS a fallen prophet, Parrish and others attempted to establish a church of their own and to take control of the House of the Lord. Oliver Cowdery, saddled with crushing personal financial losses, privately disparaged JS. Some dissidents sought to replace JS with David Whitmer as church president. Frederick G. Williams clashed with JS over the Safety Society. Compounding JS’s problem was the antipathy of numerous non-Mormon residents of Kirtland and vicinity, many of whom used both the legal system and threats of violence to harass him and the Latter-day Saints.”

(The Joseph Smith Papers, Church Historian’s Press, p. 227)

NOW FOR THE *REST* OF THE STORY

“Smith knew a good thing when he saw it, and in 1836, the best thing by far was land speculation. With the westward drive, land values were shooting up at such a frenzied rate that fortunes could be made virtually overnight. By the mid-thirties Smith had already spent every dollar he had buying up land around the Mormon community in Kirtland, hoping that a railroad would run a line somewhere across his property and make him a rich man. When he ran out of his own money, he started looking for other people’s money to use. The best way to attract money, of course, was to open a bank, and in 1836, coincidentally, the Lord commanded him to do just that.

“There was just one problem: you had to HAVE money to open a bank. Never a stickler for details, Smith went out and borrowed the money to open the Kirtland Safety Society Bank and have plates made up for printing the currency the bank would issue. To assure depositors that their money would be secure, he filled several strong boxes with sand, lead, old iron, and stones, then covered them with a single layer of bright fifty-cent silver coins. Prospective customers were brought into the vault and shown the heaping chests of silver. ‘The effect of those boxes was like magic,’ claimed one witness. ‘They created general confidence in the solidity of the bank, and that beautiful paper money went like hot cakes. For about a month it was the best money in the country.’

“Smith wasn’t fazed a bit when the state legislature refused to grant his bank a charter. With only a few additions to the printing plates (why waste money to have new ones made up?), the Kirtland Safety Society Bank became the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Co. As far as Smith was concerned, a company, unlike a bank, didn’t need a charter.

“The faithful, of course, didn’t care what it was called. It was enough for them that the bank was run by Joseph Smith. What safer place could they put their money than in the hands of the Prophet? Lest they miss the message, Smith wrote an article for the Mormon newspaper inviting his flock to ‘take stock in our safety society.... We would remind them also of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah,...which are as follows: ‘Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish...to bring...their silver and their gold (not their bank notes) with them, unto the name of the Lord they God...’ Smith added the parenthetical to the biblical text as a discreet reminder that his bank wanted deposits in hard coin, not in notes drawn on other banks.

“After only a few months of operation, the Anti-Banking Co. collapsed. The single layer of silver coins didn’t last long once the notes started coming in. Meanwhile, the Ohio state legislature, unamused by Smith’s semantic games, charged him with operating an unchartered bank and fined him $1,000. To collect, however, they had to get in line with the other investors who were suing Smith (thirteen suits were filed against him between June 1837 and April 1837). On the night of January 12, 1838, Smith, like many other speculators, declared bankruptcy with his feet, fleeing Kirtland and his followers under cover of darkness. In his imaginative account of the event, Smith later claimed he left Kirtland ‘to escape mob violence, which was about to burst upon us under the color of legal process to cover the hellish designs of our enemies.’

“To prevent his creditors from hounding him to his new home in Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith declared legal bankruptcy, but not before transferring many of his assets to his wives, children, friends, and associates--some 105 people in all. (In 1844, the year of Smith’s death, these transfers were declared fraudulent and illegal.)”

(The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Green, Forgery, Deceit, and Death, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, 1988, pp. 25-26, Chapter 6)
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Conjuration Of Moroni?
Friday, Sep 4, 2009, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Confused
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Professor Quinn feels that Joseph Smith may have been involved in "spirit conjurations" when he received the visitation concerning the gold plates which he used to translate the Book of Mormon:

Smith began praying late Sunday night on 21 September 1823. According to astrological guides, Sunday night was the only night of the week ruled by Jupiter... Jupiter, Smith's ruling planet, was the most prominent astrological symbol on the Smith family's golden lamen for summoning a good spirit....

Oliver Cowdery wrote that Smith began praying earnestly that Sunday night about "eleven or twelve" in order "to commune with some kind of messenger" (1835, 1:79). Scot's frequently cited 1665 instructions for conjuration (the edition upon which the Smith family's "Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah" parchment was based) specified that spirit conjurations should begin "at 11 a clock at night," and in describing a particular conjuration "at 11 a clock at night; not joyning to himself any companion, because this particular action will admit of none... providing beforehand the two Seals of the Earth, drawn exactly upon parchment... but if he desires it, they will engage to bring him the most pretious [sic] of their Jewels and Riches in twenty four hours; discovering unto him the way of finding hidden treasures and the richest mines"... The Smith's "Holiness to the Lord" parchment has those two seals...

Smith's prayer "to commune with some kind of messenger" on 21 September 1823 occurred once the moon had reached its maximum fullness the previous day and just before the autumnal equinox. The 1665 edition of Scot's works... specified, "And in the composition of any Circle for Magical feats, the fittest time is the brightest Moon-light"... the hour and day in which Smith prayed "to commune with some kind of messenger" was pinpointed in magic books as being ideal for the invocation of spirits. Also, the angel of that hour, Raphael, figured prominently at the center of the Smith family's most significant lamen... which was constructed to aid in a treasure quest... Young Joseph walked alone to that hill on 22 September 1823, when the moon was in its second day in Aries, which astrology specified was a day "good to find treasures hid"...

Significantly, Oliver Cowdery's account, the first published history of early Mormonism, sketched a folk magic context for the events of 22 September 1823 on the hill: "he had heard of the power of enchantment, and a thousand like stories, which held the hidden treasures of the earth"... Cowdery's report that Smith was prevented from obtaining the gold treasure by a thrice-repeated "shock [that] was produced upon his system" echoed treasure folklore of the 1820s that treasure-seekers could be "instant[an]eously struck, without attaining their object, as with an electric shock"...

All official and unofficial,... sources agree that Smith was not able to obtain the gold plates on 22 September 1823. Instead, he returned to the hill on exactly the same day each year until 1827. None of these accounts explains why the visits had to occur each year on exactly the same day. Magic provides a possible explanation: "Should nothing result [from the attempt at necromancy], the same experiment must be renewed in the following year, and if necessary a third time, when it is certain that the desired apparition will be obtained, and the longer it has been delayed the more realistic and striking it will be"... (Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, pages 120-122, 125, 133-134) [2nd Ed. pages 143-145, 147-148, 158]
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Joseph Smith At Carthage Jail
Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009, at 08:02 AM
Original Author(s): I4m
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Regarding Joseph Smith's death at Carthage Jail, Doctrine and Covenants 135:4 says:

"When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I SHALL DIE INNOCENT, AND IT SHALL YET BE SAID OF ME–HE WAS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD." (emphasis in the original)

This often-repeated idea of innocent martyrdom is not supported by the official historical record. Fom the Official History of the Church, we learn:

"Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time, 'Would any of you like to have this?' Brother Joseph immediately replied, 'Yes, give it to me,' whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket."

"The pistol was a six-shooting revolver, of Allen's patent; it belonged to me, and was one that I furnished to Brother Wheelock when he talked of going with me to the east, previous to our coming to Carthage. I have it now in my possession. Brother Wheelock went out on some errand, and was not suffered to return."

"I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, 'Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!' He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died."

"I had in my hands a large, strong hickory stick, brought there by Brother Markham, and left by him, which I had seized as soon as I saw the mob approach; and while Brother Joseph was firing the pistol, I stood close behind him. As soon as he had discharged it he stepped back, and I immediately took his place next to the door, while he occupied the one I had done while he was shooting."

"Brother Richards, at this time, had a knotty walking-stick in his hands belonging to me, and stood next to Brother Joseph, a little farther from the door, in an oblique direction, apparently to avoid the rake of the fire from the door. The firing of Brother Joseph made our assailants pause for a moment; very soon after, however, they pushed the door some distance open, and protruded and discharged their guns into the room, when I parried them off with my stick, giving another direction to the balls."

"It certainly was a terrible scene: streams of fire as thick as my arm passed by me as these men fired, and, unarmed as we were, it looked like certain death. I remember feeling as though my time had come, but I do not know when, in any critical position, I was more calm, unruffled, energetic, and acted with more promptness and decision. It certainly was far from pleasant to be so near the muzzles of those firearms as they belched forth their liquid flames and deadly balls. While I was engaged in parrying the guns, Brother Joseph said, 'That's right, Brother Taylor, parry them off as well as you can.' These were the last words I ever heard him speak on earth." - Official History of the Church, Vol. 7, p.100-103

Reporter John Hay, of the Atlantic Monthly identified three men who were shot by Joseph Smith: John Wills in the arm, William Vorhees in the shoulder, and William Gallagher in the face. Hay was a son of Charles Hay, a surgeon of the Carthage militia and apparently a member of the mob.

"Smith had two loaded six-barrelled revolvers in his room. How a man on trial for capital offences came to be supplied with such luxuries is a mystery that perhaps only one man could fully have solved; and as General Deming, the Jack-Mormon sheriff, died soon after, and left no explanation of the matter, investigation is effectually baffled. But the four shots which I have chronicled, and two which had no billet, exhausted one pistol, and the enemy gave Smith no time to use the other. Severely wounded as he was, he ran to the window, which was open to receive the fresh June air, and half leaped, half fell, into the jail yard below." - John Hay, "The Mormon Prophet's Tragedy," Atlantic Monthly (December 1869) 671-678.

In another conemporary account from a faithful Latter-Day Saint:

"Of the three barrels discharged by Joseph, it is believed he hit three men: an Irishman named Wells-who was in the mob from his love of a brawl-in the arm; Voorhees-an oversized kid from Bear Creek known for his lack of good sense-in the shoulder; and a man named Gallagher-a Southerner from the Mississippi Bottom-in the face."

"Two other men were known to get hit in the hall, one a man named Townsend from Fort Madison, Iowa Territory, who died nine months later from the arm wound that wouldn't heal, and another named Mills, who was shot in the arm." - Elder Reed Blake, 24 Hours to Martyrdom, p. 129

Smith's final conscious act was to prevent his death, not give it up. He went to the window and attempted to utter the Masonic distress cry of "O Lord My God! Is there no help for the widow's son?"

DandC Section 135 is part of John Taylor's account of the incident. It states: "Joseph leapt from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming 'O Lord my God!'"

That "canonized" version of events gives one the false impression that Smith was praying to God. The edited DandC version omits Heber C. Kimball's details of Smith's actions:

"When the enemy surrounded the jail, rushed up the stairway, and killed Hyrum Smith, Joseph stood at the open window, his martyr-cry being these words, 'O Lord My God! This was not the beginning of a prayer, because Joseph Smith did not pray in that manner. This brave, young man who knew that death was near, started to repeat the distress signal of the Masons, expecting thereby to gain the protection its members are pledged to give a brother in distress." - Mormonism and Masonry, p. 16-17

"President Young said the people of the United States had sought our destruction and they had used every Exertion to perfect it. They have worked through the masonic institution to perfect it. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were Master Masons and they were put to death by masons or through there instigation and he gave the sign of distress and he was shot by masons while in the act." - Wilford Woodruff's Journal, August 19th, 1860, Volume 5

One of Joseph Smith's polygamous wives, Zina D. Huntington, declared:

"I am the widow of a master mason, who, when leaping from the window of Carthage Jail pierced with bullets, made the masonic sign of distress." - Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Volume 1, page 698

Smith had good reason to believe that Masons might be in the crowd outside, because earlier that day, he had smuggled an order to Nauvoo Legion commander Jonathan Dunham to come break them out of the jail. But Dunham refused to obey the illegal order, knowing that bringing Mormon troops to Carthage might result in all-out civil war.

And in fact, immediately after the Smithand Hyrum were killed, a rumor began amongst the mobbers that the Mormons were on their way from Nauvoo. That prospect made the mob scatter, and probably saved John Taylor's and Willard Richards' lives.

Conclusion

Despite popular Mormon folklore, Joseph Smith did not give his life innocently "like a lamb to the slaughter" in martyrom. He died after shooting three men with a pistol and desperately trying to prevent his death even with his last utterance.

http://www.i4m.com/think/history/carthage-jail-smith.htm
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Joseph Smith Papers - TV Series
Friday, Nov 20, 2009, at 08:12 AM
Original Author(s): Beastie
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
BYU TV has been showing regular sessions called "Joseph Smith Papers". I assume this series is based on the new texts. My boyfriend and I have been watching some of these shows, and I found one particularly interesting.

Royal Skousen was talking about the translation of the BoM. Most of us know that Skousen is a firm proponent of the tight translation theory, in which Joseph is a reader more than a translator. Joseph reads the words that God has translated for him and placed on the seer stone. He was very dismissive of the loose translation theory. Of course, that skewers Mesoamerican apologia, but that isn't my main point. My main interest was his comment in regards to the Isaiah chapters in the BoM. He stated that some have claimed that JS probably opened a Bible and used it for those chapters. Royal Skousen disagrees. He stated that the Smith family probably did not even own a Bible.

I was quite taken aback by this. After all, on the church's own website it states: http://josephsmith.net/josephsmith/v/...
Joseph Smith Jr. was born December 23, 1805, the fifth of eleven children of Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith. "I was born . . . of goodly parents," said Joseph, "who spared no pains to instruct me in the Christian religion."1 His parents stressed personal religion and encouraged Joseph to seek his "soul's salvation" in Jesus Christ.2

Joseph Smith's parents loved the Lord. Lucy eventually joined one of the local churches, but continued to search for something more. "I therefore determined," said Lucy, "to examine my Bible, and, taking Jesus and his disciples for my guide, to endeavor to obtain from God which man could neither give nor take away."3

Joseph's father, Joseph Smith Sr., found peace in Bible study and seeking God in prayer. Under his leadership, the family met morning and evening for prayer, hymns, and scripture reading. At times Joseph Sr. taught his children "in his own home school and used the Bible as a text."4

The devotion to God that Joseph saw in his parents strengthened his confidence and faith to seek divine truth.
In fact, the Smith family was so familiar with the Bible that Biblical language was their "mother tongue", according to one historian, see: http://www.mormontimes.com/mormon_voi...
As Emma Smith described, Joseph Smith was "neither able to write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter, let alone dictate a book like the Book or Mormon." But that does not mean that Joseph Smith was uneducated, nor does it mean that he did not have vast knowledge of the Bible.

"The Smith family's oral culture was so thoroughly imbued with biblical language, both the Old and New Testament, that its use was fluent, easy and familiar" argued Lavina Fielding Anderson in her presentation "Mother Tongue: King James Version Language in Smith Family Discourse" last week at the Mormon History Association annual conference.

Joseph Smith and his family knew the Bible so well, they liberally sprinkled its phrases throughout their conversation and writings. Likely family scripture study, and "family prayers and hymn-singing night and morning" (a family ritual that Joseph Smith's brother William remembered as "irksome and tiresome to me") was the foundation of their biblical usage/
I have seen other people claim that the Smiths probably didn't own a Bible, such as Kerry Shirts here:
The witnesses describe the extreme poverty of Joseph Smith and his family, making it unlikely that they even owned a Bible. They testify that the relatively unlearned Joseph Smith dictated hour after hour, day after day, correcting mistakes without seeing them, without the use of Bible, manuscript, or notes of any kind. Those who were there, whose firsthand testimony regarding the dictation of the Book of Mormon text the authors appear to accept, adamantly affirmed that he had none, that he could not have had books or manuscripts without their knowing. "Joseph Smith dictated the Book of Mormon, without apparent hesitation, as fast as a scribe could write it in long hand. There is no chance for error on this point." Moreover, "The dictation from start to finish proceeded while the Prophet's eyes were thus hidden from seeing anything by the natural light . . . he did not stop to hunt up the passages which resemble, or are identical with, passages in the King James' Version of the Bible. Such an interruption could not have escaped detection, and would surely have been noted in the accounts of the listeners. The quotations, therefore, whether direct or indirect, must be regarded as having come precisely like the rest of the matter, and probably . . . without the conscious knowledge of the translator." That is one of the reasons these early witnesses considered the event a miracle. http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail...
The theory that Joseph Smith didn't have a Bible also contradicts the canonized version of the First Vision wherein it states that Smith read James 1:5 prior to venturing out to pray in the woods. It's just simply not plausible that Smith didn't have easy access to a Bible.

This is odd. The Joseph Smith Papers are practically being heralded as the Second Coming, and one would think that the preparation for the accompanying TV show would be thorough. Yet Skousen is making a claim that seems to directly contradict the church's own website.

One more interesting tidbit I can't resist throwing out - on another one of the shows a historian was discussing the visit of John the Baptist and the subsequent baptisms of Joseph and Oliver. The historian mentioned that the farm/garden journals of the time period show that it was raining on the particular day of the baptisms. Just like God, to pick a rainy day for a baptism. LOL.

I believe it was in this same episode that Skousen made the statement that they do not know how Joseph Smith translated the BofM but made no reference to the accounts of Smith using a hat in the medium process.. Leaving the viewer unaware and contradicting Mormon Apologist Daniel C. Peterson's description on PBS. In that piece, Daniel stated that Joseph Smith used a peep stone in a hat to translate. So which Apologist is right?
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Joseph Smith's Training As A Prophet And Seer
Monday, Jul 5, 2010, at 04:07 PM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Marvelous or not, in this treasure-seeking it invariably turned out that some mistake had been made, or that some uncontrollable spirit or impenetrable enchantment met with. Once only, in Palmyra's remembrance, were the Smiths' efforts clearly rewarded. The scene of this exploit, the hill called "Old Sharp," is still pointed out. One day the elder Joseph came with one of his sons to tell William Stafford that Joseph had discovered some treasures which could be procured in one way only. It would be necessary to take a black sheep to the ground where the riches lay concealed, and after cutting its throat, lead it around a circle while bleeding. Thus the wrath of the evil spirit might be appeased and the treasures obtained.24 "To gratify my curiosity," Stafford says, "I let them have...[the] sheep. They afterwards informed me that the sheep was killed pursuant to commandment; but as there was some mistake in the process, it did not have the desired effect." There remained the mutton, gratefully received on the Smith table, which in Stafford's view signalized this as "the only time they ever made money-digging a profitable business."25
footnotes-

23. These are of course the rituals of magic everywhere, the magic circle, and the magic force of blood in sacrifice. The latter reappears in Joseph's church at a later date, in connection with the doctrine of blood atonement. Stafford had a black wether both large and fat, but though promised a four-fold share in the treasure, he was unconvinced of the necessity for the sacrifice of this wether until it was pointed out to him that because the treasures were to be obtained through the black art, none but a black sheep would do." The Prophet of Palmyra (New York, 1890), p. 56.

24. Stephen S. Harding heard this detail while in Palmyra in the summer of 1829. See his letter of February 1822 to Thomas Gregg, printed in the latter's The Prophet of Palmyra (New York, 1890), p. 56.

25. William Stafford tells the story himself in his affidavit of Dec. 8, 1833, in Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, p. 239. The adventure of the black sheep recurs in every reminiscent account of Palmyra. Cook, Palmyra and Vicinity, p. 222, on the authority of an old resident, Wallace W. Miner, who had known Stafford well, adds a fresh detail. According to this version, after the sacrifice of the sheep, Joseph came to Stafford and offered to make the latter a number of sap-buckets in repayment; this he did to Stafford's satisfaction.

http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/...
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The False [LDS]Joseph Smith And The Real [Historical Reality] Joseph Smith
Monday, Aug 16, 2010, at 07:13 AM
Original Author(s): Nightingale
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Mormons consider that Joseph Smith was chosen by God to usher in the restored gospel. Non-Mormons view him as having founded a church. Big difference. Mormons can justify following JS despite his numerous obvious major character flaws by saying that they don't expect a prophet to be perfect and their church embodies the true gospel despite the human foibles of members and prophets alike. Non-Mormons ask how they justify following a leader who displayed such questionable integrity in his actions and words. How much does the personal character of your leader/s matter in any organization?

As much as the Mormon Church now seeks to deflect focus from JS, BY and various aspects of church history, the ethics and lives of their prophets formed and directed the church, influencing it still, perhaps more subtly but still extensively within the Mormon culture and faith. It is interesting to examine the different positions on JS; the favourable and reverential view that the Mormon Church upholds vs that held by non-Mormon analysts who see a fuller picture of JS's character and behaviour.

From an official LDS Church web site JS is described as follows:
  1. Latter-day Prophet
  2. Seeker of Truth
  3. Prophet of God
  4. Leader of Christ's Church
  5. Devoted Husband and Father
  6. Martyr of the Restored Gospel
"He did God's work until the day his life was taken by a mob, and we honor him for his faith, humility, and devotion. We are grateful for the Church he helped establish, the scriptures he translated, the revelations he received and the things he taught that help us understand the ways of God."


http://www.mormon.org/joseph-smith/

Sounds good for the church. But is it a full and accurate picture of JS? I think the character of JS is crucial to whether he is a good role model to follow as prophet to an entire religious movement. If not, how does one reconcile continued involvement in the Mormon Church? Equal to the character question is a reasonable expectation of consistency and lack of hypocrisy both in the leaders and the teachings.

Also, are the stands taken by the 20/21 C Mormon Church wrt social issues such as homosexuality and marriage equality in line with original church teachings? If so, were JS, BY and other "prophets" faithful or hypocritical regarding them? Although change is perhaps inevitable, how much change is reasonable before the original product is no longer recognizable or the new product unfaithful at heart to the original?

As seen on the site referenced above, JS is lauded as prophet, seeker of truth (!), devoted husband (!) and faithful, humble, devoted martyr. Non-Mormons see a different Smith, as below.

From (exmo) Deconstructor's site, Mormon prophets on homosexuality:

http://www.i4m.com/think/sexuality/ho...

http://www.i4m.com/think/history/morm...

Re JS in connection with abortion and prostitution, Decon excerpts:
"In Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" it mentions that Joseph Smith visited houses of prostitution.

"From the book:

"I have told you that the prophet Joseph used to frequent houses of ill-fame. Mrs. White, a very pretty and attractive woman, once confessed to me that she made a business of it to be hospitable to the captains of the Mississippi steamboats. She told me that Joseph had made her acquaintance very soon after his arrival in Nauvoo, and that he had visited her dozens of times."

"My husband (Apostle Orson Pratt) could not be induced to believe such things of his prophet. Seeing his obstinate incredulity, Mrs. White proposed to Mr. Pratt and myself to put us in a position where we could observe what was going on between herself and Joseph the prophet. We, however, declined this proposition."

"Next door to my house was a house of bad reputation. One single woman lived there, not very attractive. She used to be visited by people from Carthage whenever they came to Nauvoo. Joseph used to come on horseback, ride up to the house and tie his horse to a tree, many of which stood before the house. Then he would enter the house of the woman from the back. I have seen him do this repeatedly."

"Joseph Smith, the son of the prophet, and president of the re-organized Mormon church, paid me a visit, and I had a long talk with him. I saw that he was not inclined to believe the truth about his father, so I said to him: 'You pretend to have revelations from the Lord. Why don't you ask the Lord to tell you what kind of a man your father really was?' He answered: 'If my father had so many connections with women, where is the progeny?' I said to him: 'Your father had mostly intercourse with married women, and as to single ones, Dr. Bennett was always on hand, when anything happened."
Deconstructor posted in June 2006:
"Wife of Apostle Orson Pratt isn't the only one who knew about abortions in Nauvoo."

"LDS Elder Ebenezer Robinson testified that Hyrum Smith:

"instructed me in Nov or Dec 1843 to make a selection of some young woman and he would seal her to me, and I should take her home," he recalled, "and if she should have an offspring give out word that she had a husband, an Elder, who had gone on a foreign mission." Possibly referring to a secluded birthplace, or conceivably to abortion, Robinson spoke of "a place appointed in Iowa, 12 or 18 miles from Nauvoo to send female victims to his polygamous births." - Ebenezer Robinson to Jason W. Briggs, Jan. 28, 1880, LDS archives.

"On December 29, 1873, Ebenezer and Angeline Robinson signed an affidavit saying that Hyrum Smith had come to their house in the fall of 1843 to teach them the doctrine of polygamy.

"Apostle Orson Pratt's wife testified...

"One day they came both, Joseph and [Doctor] Bennett, on horseback to my house. Bennett dismounted, Joseph remained outside. Bennett wanted me to return to him a book I had borrowed from him. It was a so-called doctor-book. I had a rapidly growing little family and wanted to inform myself about certain matters in regard to babies, etc., -- this explains my borrowing that book."

"While giving Bennett his book, I observed that he held something in the left sleeve of his coat. Bennett smiled and said: 'Oh, a little job for Joseph; one of his women is in trouble.' Saying this. he took the thing out of his left sleeve. It was a pretty long instrument of a kind I had never seen before. It seemed to be of steel and was crooked at one end."

"I heard afterwards that the operation had been performed; that the woman was very sick, and that Joseph was very much afraid that she might die, but she recovered." - Testimony of Apostle Orson Pratt's wife, Sarah Pratt from "Joseph Smith the Prophet: His Family and Friends"
http://olivercowdery.com/
"Joseph Smith's once close associate Doctor Bennett was also accused by Hyrum Smith of practicing abortions.

"Hyrum testified that Dr. Bennett was propositioning women in a similar fashion to Joseph Smith.

"[Dr. Bennett] endeavored to seduce them, and accomplished his designs by saying it was right; that it was one of the mysteries of God, which was to be revealed when the people was strong enough in faith to bear such mysteries, that it was perfectly right to have illicit intercourse with females, providing no one knew it but themselves, vehemently trying them from day to day, to yield to his passions, bringing witnesses of his own clan to testify that there were such revelations and such commandments, and that they were of God; also stating that he would be responsible for their sins, if there were any, and that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, provided they should become pregnant." - Affidavit of Hyrum Smith. Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.71"
More evidence (or allegations as some would opine):

From: Mormon Portraits I, von Wymetal, Wilhelm, SLC: Tribune Printing and Pub., 1886, page 59-62.
"Mrs. [Sarah Pratt].: "You hear often that Joseph had no polygamous offspring. The reason of this is very simple. Abortion was practiced on a large scale in Nauvoo. Dr. John C. Bennett, the evil genius of Joseph, brought this abomination into a scientific system. He showed to my husband and me the instruments with which he used to * operate for Joseph. ' There was a house in Nauvoo, 'right across the flat,' about a mile and a-half from the town, a kind of hospital. They sent the women there, when they showed signs of celestial consequences. Abortion was practiced regularly in this house."

Mrs. H.: "Many little bodies of new-born children floated down the Mississippi..."
Steve Benson's informative post of today (August 13, 2010) adds to our body of knowledge about the character of JS:

In another thread, poster "1 and one" asks:

"[Was] Joseph Smith sealed to other men? [I] heard this as a rumor. Is it true? Are their any sources that mention it?"

Historian D. Michael Quinn provides answers to that question--and so much more--in his explosively-detailed book, "Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example" (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1996, 477 pp.)

The devastating, documented detail that Quinn provides effectively knocks today's Latter-day Quaints off their high and hypocritical Mormon moralistic horse, as he lays out historicall-devastating facts concerning LDS Church founder Joseph Smith's(as well as other early high-ranking Mormon leaders') attitudes and actions on what are for today's homophotic Mormons an exceedingly awful array of same-sex topics, including:
  1. Mormon Temple Sealings of Men to Other Men
  2. Claims of Authorization of Sealings of Mormon Men to Mormon Men
  3. laims of Mormon Temple Same-Sex Eternal Sealings
  4. Joseph Smith's "Revelations" of Eternal Friendship Covenants Between Men
  5. Joseph Smith on Same Sex-Marriage
  6. Joseph Smith's Toleration of Homoeroticism in the Mormon Church's Highest Leadership Circles
  7. Accusations Against Joseph Smith of "Immoral Acts" with Other Men
  8. Joseph Smith and "Homosocial" Relations Between Mormon Men
  9. Joseph Smith and Loving Same-Sex Bed Partners
  10. Joseph Smith and Same-Sex Kissing
  11. Joseph Smith's Intense Love of Young Men
Below are Quinn's findings in his own words--and better yet--in the words of Joseph Smith and Company:

--Mormon Temple Sealings of Men to Other Men--
"In 1954, the sociologist Kimball Young first suggested that Mormon marriage 'sealing' ceremonies (which began in 1843 and bind husband and wife for 'time and eternity') included same-sex marriage. For example, Brigham Young preached in 1862: 'I will here refer to a principle that has not bee named by me for years. With the introduction of the Priesthood upon the earth was also introduced the sealing ordinance.' Although modern readers would expect to hear next about eternal marriage, Young did not mention marriage or women. Instead, he said: 'By this power men will be sealed to men back to Adam.' In another sermon he preached that 'we can seal women to men [without a temple], but not men to men, without a Temple.'

"Such statements caused his sociologist grandson to observe, 'Here is evidence of deep, psychological Bruederschaft [brotherhood]. There are obviously latent homosexual features in this idea and its cultural aspect has many familiar parallels in other religions.' Kimball Young added that Mormonism 'had strong homosexual components' but acknowledged: 'Most Saints, including Brigham himself, would have been shocked by such an interpretation.' The grandson regarded homosexuality as unappealing as the Mormon practice of polygamy that was the topic of his book." (pp. 136-37)
--What Brigham Young Meant by the Phrase "Men Will Be Sealed to Men"--
". . . [S]ociologist [Kimball Young] misunderstood Brigham Young's statements about 'sealing men to men,' which referred to the nineteenth-century LDS practice of spiritual adoption. By this ordinance, a man (usually an apostle) became the spiritual father of the adopted man and of the adopted man's wife and children (if any). In social terms, this was an institutionalized form of mentor-protege' relationships between Mormon men. In its early stages under Brigham Young's direction, this adoptive sealing of men to men also involved obligations of financial support. One of Brigham Young's adopted sons was John D. Lee. As was customary in the first adoption ceremonies of 1846, Lee temporarily added the surname of his adopted father to his own. In these respects, this early Mormon ordinance is very similar to the celibate same-sex marriages of sub-Saharan Africa today." (p. 137)
--Mormon Men-to-Men Sealings vs. "Spiritual Adoption" Sealings--
". . . Brigham Young also indicated that some pioneer Mormon men had special covenants with each other, independent of the adoption ordinance. 'No man had a right to make a covenant to bind men together,' Young said in 1848. He added that 'God only had that right and by his commandment to the persona holding the keys of revelation could any man legally covenant and all covenants otherwise were null and of no effect.'" (p. 140)
--Claims That Joseph Smith Authorized Sealings of Mormon Men to Mormon Men--
"A generation after [Brigham Young's grandson and sociologist] Kimball Young, Antonio A. Feliz wrote: 'I found that Joseph [Smith] began a practice of sealing men to men during the last two years of his life in Nauvoo.' Feliz concluded that Joseph Smith secretly provided for a same-sex ordinance of companionship or sealing, which Brigham Young later changed to the father-son adoption ordinance. His evidence involves the funeral service for missionary Lorenzo D. Barnes in which all notetakers said Joseph Smith referred to an unidentified 'Lover' of Barnes, rather than to a wife. Feliz elaborated on this in a 1985 article in the newsletter of 'Affirmation,' the society of Mormon lesbians, gays, and bisexuals; in his 1988 autobiography 'Out of the Bishop's Closet;' in a 1992 story by the 'Salt Lake Tribune;' and in his 1999 paper at Salt Lake City's Stonewall Center, a community resource for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

"Barely two years after Barnes's death, Apostle Wilford Woodruff visited his English grave site and commented that Lorenzo's 'fidelity was stronger than death towards his Lover.' Woodruff added: 'I thought of his Lover, his Mother, his Father, his kindred and the Saints for they all loved him.' From this, Feliz concluded that 'we can only speculate on the identity of the person with whom he shared an intimate relationship in Nauvoo prior to his mission to England.'

"However, there are aspects of the Lorenzo Barnes case that undermine Feliz's assertions. Woodruff's diary also quoted from love poetry and love letters that Barnes wrote n January 1842 to Susan Conrad, 'his intended.' Sixteen years old when Barnes left her in Nauvoo for his English mission in 1841, Susan Conrad was 'the friend' and 'Lover' of whom Joseph Smith spoke in the 1843 funeral services for Barnes. She later married a man name Wilkinson and moved from Nauvoo to Utah, where Apostle Woodruff sometimes reminisced with her about Barnes. Even less known is that Barnes had returned to his hometown n Ohio while en route to his mission assignment. There in October 1841 another Mormon performed the civil marriage for Barnes and Amanda Wilson, who may have been one of his former students. Thus, Barnes was already married when he wrote the 1842 love poetry and letters to his sixteen-year-old 'Lover' Susan Conrad. Lorenzo D. Barnes may have been a polygamist at heart, but his experience had nothing to do with homoromantic attachments or a homomarital ceremony.

"Still, it is true that Joseph Smith's 1843 funeral sermon for Barnes never once mentioned husband-wife relationships. That was remarkable in a sermon on loving relationships in this life and in the Resurrection during which the prophet repeatedly spoke of 'brothers and friends,' fathers and sons, mothers, daughters, and sisters. Smith's silence concerning husbands and wives was deafening in this sermon about attachments of love. Feliz appropriately asked why. I do not agree that the answer involved same-sex ceremonies, but I do see this as the first Mormon expression of male bonding. George Q. Cannon forty years later called it 'greater than the love of a woman.'

"I know of no historical evidence that Mormonism's founding father ever said an officiator could perform a marriage-like ordinance for a same-sex couple. Nevertheless, I realize that some believing Mormons regard it as emotionally appealing or spiritually inspiring for there to be a priesthood ordinance to seal same-sex couples similar to Mormon's opposite-sex ordinance of marriage 'for time and all eternity.'" (pp. 138-39)
--Claims of Mormon Temple Same-Sex Eternal Sealings--
"Aside from the 1833 covenant of friendship in the School of the Prophets and Brigham Young's possible reference in 1848, I [Quinn] have no evidence that there were any same-sex covenants of eternal companionship among nineteenth-century Mormons. However, as previously indicated, nineteenth-century Mormon missionaries may have unknowingly baptized Aikane boys in Hawaii (or their equivalent in Tahiti) who had previously entered same-sex marriages. Also, tens of thousands of twentieth-century converts to the LDS Church in sub-Saharan Africa have come from areas in which celibate same-sex marriage ceremonies are common." (p. 140)
--Joseph Smith's "Revelations" of Eternal Friendship Covenants Between Men--
"[On 27 December 1832], Joseph Smith announced a revelation that included a covenant between men 'to be your friend . . . forever and ever. . . .

"[On 24 January 1833] [t]he male-only School of the Prophets commenced in accordance with [the] revelation on 27 December 1832." (p. 407)
--Joseph Smith on Same Sex-Marriage--
"Joseph Smith's published revelations contained no reference to same-sex marriage. . . .

"[However,] Joseph Smith . . . once referred figuratively to himself as married to a male friend. Beginning in 1840, twenty-nine-year-old Robert B. Thompson became the prophet's scribe and personal secretary. Their relationship was so close that Smith told his friend's wife: 'Sister Thompson, you must not feel bad towards me for keeping your husband away from you so much, for I am married to him.' She added that 'they truly love each other with fervent brotherly affection.' Concerning Thompson's death in 1841 Smith made this unusual explanation to his next secretary during a discussion of 'loose conduct' and sexual transgressions: 'He said [Robert B.] Thompson professed great friendship for him but he gave away to temptation and he had to die.'" (p. 136)
--Joseph Smith's Toleration of Homoeroticism in the Mormon Church's Highest Leadership Circles and Charges Against Smith of Committing "Immoral Acts" with Men--
"The first known instance of homoerotic behavior in the [Mormon Church] First Presidency involved John C. Bennett [who was] an assistant counselor . . . . They 27 July 1842 edition of the 'Wasp,' a church newspaper at Nauvoo, Illinois, claimed that Bennett had . . . engaged in sodomy.

"Second, it claimed that the Prophet Joseph Smith had tolerated Bennett's homoeroticism.

"Third, the church newspaper even printed one apostle's implication that Joseph Smith himself had also engaged in an 'immoral act' with a man.

"These are the actual words (written by Smith's brother William, an apostle): 'Gen. [Joseph] Smith was a great philanthropist [in the eyes of Bennett] as long as Bennett could practice adultery, fornication, and--we were going to say (Buggery,) without being exposed.' At that time the word 'buggery' was a slang word and legal term for 'sodomy,' or posterior [sexual relations] between men. Later statements by Brigham Young and Bennett himself indicate that this 1842 publication was not libeling Bennett.

"Previous actions and statements by Joseph Smith could also be construed as his toleration for Bennett's various sexual activities. On motion of John C. Bennett on 5 October 1840, the general conference (presided over by Smith) voted that no one could be judged guilty of a crime unless prove 'by two or three witnesses.' Such a burden of proof helped shield Bennett's sexual exploits. . . . This was Bennett's way of shielding his own sexual activities with both women and men."

"In January 1841, Smith also dictated a revelation about Bennett: 'his reward shall not fail, if he receive counsel; and for his love he shall be great, for he shall b e mine if he do this, saith the Lord' ('Doctrine and Covenants' 124:17)

"Later in 1841, the prophet further eroded the ability of anyone to investigate or punish Bennett's sexual conduct: 'If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you.' Then in words that must have warmed Bennett's heart, Smith continued his sermon by saying: 'If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours--for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sins is not sin.'

"It must have seemed to Bennett and others that the LDS president put those charitable words into action when he appointed John C. Bennett as assistant counselor to the First Presidency in April 1841. That was a month after one of the bishops of the church privately reported to Smith his investigation at Bennett's former residence: 'his wife left him under satisfactory evidence of his adulterous connections.' If Joseph Smith had not heard that his new counselor was practicing 'buggery,' he at least knew of Bennett's reputation for adultery.

"On the next page of the July 1842 'Wasp,' the church newspaper described Smith's reaction to Apostle Orson Pratt's vote against a resolution defending the prophet's chastity: 'Pres. Joseph Smith spoke in reply [on July 22]--Question to Elder Pratt, "Have you personally a knowledge of any immoral act in me toward the female sex, or in any other way?" Answer, by Elder Pratt, "Personally, toward the female sex, I have not."' Since this same issue of the 'Wasp' had already raised the topic of Bennett's 'buggery' and the prophet's alleged toleration of it, Smith's 'in any other way?' was an implicit challenge for Pratt to charge him with 'buggery' as well. Pratt declined to answer whether Joseph Smith had committed 'any immoral act' with someone other than a woman, but also declined to exonerate the prophet form such a charge. That indicates the depth of Pratt's disaffection,which resulted in his excommunication from the LDS Church within a month."

"Assistant [First Presidency] Counselor] John C. Bennett was 'disfellowshipped (denied church privileges) and later 'excommunicated' (removed from church membership). His homosexual activities were publicly revealed two months later."

"Two years later, Nauvoo's two LDS newspapers printed Apostle Brigham Young's reference to John C. Bennett's bisexual conduct: 'if he had let young men and women alone it would have been better for him.' One of Bennett's 'young men' was twenty-one-year-old Francis M. Higbee to whom Brigham's sermon specifically referred. . . .

"Joseph Smith forgave Higbee in 1842, and homoerotic activities were not among the specific charges for which the thirty-seven-year-old Bennett was dropped from office and excommunicated that year. . . . Mormonism's founding prophet also revised the common interpretation that God destroyed Sodom because its inhabitants preferred sex between men. According to Smith, God destroyed Sodom 'for rejecting the prophets.'" (pp. 266-68, 408-10, 412)
--Joseph Smith and "Homosocial" Relations Between Mormon Men--
"Throughout most of the nineteenth century, Mormon congregations were . . . segregated by gender. After he spoke to Nauvoo's citywide Sunday meeting in 1843, Mormon founder Joseph Smith criticized the fact that there were 'men among the women, and women among men' in the congregation. In 1859, Brigham Young proclaimed the Salt Lake Tabernacle's eating arrangement as the standard for all Mormon congregations: women sitting to the north (or right) of the center aisle, and men sitting to the south (or left), with children in the front benches. That seating pattern continued for decades in LDS congregations." (p. 67)
--Joseph Smith and Same-Sex Bed Partners--
"In fact, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith enjoyed bedtime snuggling with male friends throughout his life. Early in 1826, the twenty-year-old bachelor board with the Knight family, whose eighteen-year-old son later wrote: 'Joseph and I worked together and slept together.' IN an 1843 sermon, Smith (then the husband of many wives) preached that 'two who were vary friends indeed should lie down upon the same bed at night locked in each other['s] embrace talking of their love and should awake in the morning together. They could immediately renew their conversation of love even while rising from their bed.'

"That was how Apostle Wilford Woodruff recorded his prophet's words. The official 'History of the Church' still renders Smith's words this way: 'it is pleasing for friends to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep and wake in each other's embrace an renew their conversation.' The night before he was murdered by a mob in 1844, Smith shared a bed with thirty-two-year-old Dan Jones, 'and lay himself by my side in a close embrace.'"

"Smith's successor, Brigham Young, even dreamed of sleeping with non-Mormon men as a way of resolving conflict. IN 1858 the church historian wrote: 'Prest. Young said he dreamed last night, of seeing Gov. [Alfred] Cumming. He appeared exceedingly friendly, and said to Prest. Young we must be united, we must act in concert; and commenced undressing himself to go to bed with him.'" (p.87)

"[While] . . . for the vast majority of Americans, such same-sex sleeping arrangements were nonerotic, . . . [n]evertheless . . . . true that the phrase 'sleeping with' had a sexual meaning for Mormons as early as the 1840s. . . . [D]ue to necessity [such as close quarters or lack of space] or personal preference, Mormon culture and LDS leaders both continued to encourage same-sex sleeping arrangements. . . .

" . . . Mormonism's founder . . . encouraged same-sex friends to sleep in 'the same bed at night locked in each other['s] embrace talking of their love' . . . ." (p. 89)
--Joseph Smith and Same-Sex Kissing--
"Some Mormon leaders . . . had ardent dreams of same-sex kissing. For example, in 1847 Brigham Young dreamed that he met the deceased Joseph Smith and 'kissed him many times.' In 1896 stake president Charles O. Card recorded: 'I dreamed that president Woodruff and I met and embraced each other and Kissed each other in a very affectionate manner and I remarked he was the sweetest man I ever kissed. It thought in our embrace it was from the pure love of the Gospel.' Despite the homotactile dimension of this dream, Card was a polygamist who had no known homoerotic experiences." (p. 92)
--Joseph Smith's Intense Love of Young Men--
" . . . [D]espite his well-earned reputation of emotional intimacy with women, Joseph Smith also shared love of similar intensity with young men. In the autumn of 1838, Smith stayed two weeks with the family of John W. Hess, who later wrote: 'I was a boy then about fourteen years old. He [Joseph Smith] used to take me up on his knee and caress me as he would a little child.' As a result, Hess wrote: 'I became very much attached to him, and learned to love him more dearly than any other person I ever met, my father and mother no excepted.'

"Even more profound was the lifelong effect of a three-week visit Smith made to the Taylor home in 1842, beginning on the nineteenth birthday of William Taylor (a younger brother of LDS president John Taylor). 'It is impossible for me to express my feelings in regard to this period of my life,' William Taylor began. 'I have never know the same joy and satisfaction in the companionship of any other person, man or woman, that I felt with him [Joseph Smith], the man who had conversed with the Almighty.' That was an extraordinary statement in view of Taylor's marriage at age twenty-two and his four subsequent plural marriages. Decades later, Taylor explained: 'Sometimes in our return home in the evening after we had been tramping around in the woods, he [Joseph Smith] would call out: "Here, mother, come David and Jonathan."'

"In that way Mormonism's founding prophet referred to the most famous male relationship in the Bible. David said of his boyhood mentor Jonathan: 'thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women' (2 Sam. 1:26). Jonathan and David already had wives when the two you men 'kissed one another and wept one with another' (20:41). Consistent with Smith's David-and-Jonathan reference to young Taylor, a Mormon woman described the Mormon prophet's last words to forty-two-year-old George W. Rosecrans as Smith was traveling to his certain death in Carthage Jail in June 1844: 'If I never see you again, or if I never come back, remember that I love you.'

"For more than a thousand years, David and Jonathan have been revered as sexual lovers by Jews and Christians who valued homoeroticism. However, because David was a teenage polygamist and Jonathan fathered at least one child, most Bible readers and scholars regard David and Jonathan as platonic (or nonerotic) lovers. Likewise, m any regard the Bible's Song of Solomon as spiritual allegory rather than sexual imagery.

"First Presidency counselor George Q. Cannon paraphrased David's expression of male-male love during a sermon on Utah Pioneer Day in 1881: 'Men may never have beheld each other's faces and yet they will love one another, and it is a love that is greater than the love of woman.' Cannon, like other nineteenth-century Americans, then emphasized the platonic dimension of this male-male love: 'It exceeds any sexual love that can be conceived of, and it is this love that has bound the [Mormon] people together.'" (pp. 112-13)
Now, what was the Mormon Church saying about the "evil" of homosexuality? Perhaps they ought not to ask Joseph Smith.

NG: I remember being completely gobsmacked when Decon first posted his historically factual essay about JS procuring abortions and frequenting prostitutes. Even as an ex-member I could not fathom such behaviour and I scarcely believed it at first. I felt even more outrage and compassion for the females caught up in his sphere.

Now today Steve posts about JS in bed with the boys, literally.

I don't necessarily care about men being with prostitutes (if both parties are willing and protected in all ways). I support freedom of choice in all arenas (subject to equality, justice, safety, etc). I uphold every citizen's right to equality in every area. I embrace the live and let live ideal. It wouldn't necessarily bother me if JS was gay or had homosexual relationships (if that is what Quinn is saying in the sources cited by Steve). What I do object to is the rampant inconsistency and hypocrisy evidenced in so much of JS's life. He took the approach of "do as I say, not as I do" to a new height. My appalled outrage is not about the abortions, prostitutes or male relationships, necessarily, but about the utter hypocrisy of the man. How does that not render his writings and his dogma and his church unworthy of respect and belief? The idea that God calls imperfect humans to be prophets doesn't cover the extent of Smith's despicable dealings.

I think it is vital that people continue to publicize the true character of the man. It surely must have a big impact on the church that he founded.

It still upsets me to read about the adultery, including with prostitutes, the nasty, painful, unsafe abortions, the lying, the cheating, the unfaithfulness, the oppression of women, manipulation of followers, breaking of laws and callous disregard for other people's lives, among other egregious behaviour over many years, by a so-called prophet of God who was "worthy" to apparently restore the so-called gospel. Sure, according to scripture God can work with imperfect people, but calling Joseph Smith imperfect is like saying bin Laden needs diplomacy lessons.

A post from November 2007 by lightfingerlouie (a poster I have enjoyed and greatly miss) says it all, as louie so often did in his eloquent and poignant style (and thanks, louie, for providing the sub line for my post):

lfl from 2007: The post "I cried" made me profoundly sympathetic. I grew up with one Joseph Smith, and finally, after years of nonsense, discovered another.

My father was a great worshiper of Joseph Smith. "Worship" is the correct word. We heard about "the Prophet" endlessly---about all he suffered, all he did, all he "translated," and all he accomplished. He was second only to Jesus Christ, and if Jesus is not careful, old Joseph will knock him off his Celestial perch.

We visited Carthage Jail, Nauvoo, and, of course, the "Hill Cumorah." We walked in the footsteps of "the Prophet," and felt his presence. Well, my father felt his presence. I did not. I was too far gone, I guess.

When the first Christopher Reeve "Superman" movie came out, my wife and I went. The sense of nostalgia pulled me in. I told my father we had gone. He said "You should study and learn about a real "Superman," Joseph Smith."

Bullets bounced off of "Superman." Joseph was not so fortunate. "Superman" was pretty darned loyal to Lois Lane. Joseph was not so loyal to Emma.

Later, I got my hands on the Tanners' stuff, and my eyes were opened to Joseph. I could not believe what I read. The guy was a philandering fraud, a skirt chasing, rock peeping liar. The two men could not be reconciled. The false Joseph, and the real Joseph, do not have much in common. Funny, really, how the Church can project one image of the man, and the history books undercut him with a vengeance.

But it is not just Joseph. I recall when Harold B. Lee became Church President. My mother said "He is a GIANT, a true GIANT of a man."

Those who knew him thought otherwise. And if you read the David O. McKay biography, you get quite a different view of Harold B. He was a political figure, and used the church to his advantage. He was a collector of power pellets, and he could be remarkably vicious.

The dual images of church leaders will always be in conflict. The image machine works well for the church, but when people come in contact with reality, the fall is long and the landing is hard. Spin comes with a high price tag when people catch on to the fact they have been manipulated.

Looking at all the Joseph Smith stuff in stores, I can see the spin goes on. The calendars, the awful "art," the "movies," and the false image of Joseph and Emma continues in hyperdrive. If anything, it is much more intense. But it all comes with a huge price tag. They can't figure that out.

"Dual images of church leaders" - another great louieism. That is exactly what I'm pondering today. The church projects an image. Many outsiders, especially ex-members, see something different. Talk about your great divide.

Take that literally please. Talk about it! Some of these points could well get members thinking. Funny how few seem to consider that the character of their founding prophet is of such importance. The Mormon Church is great at deflecting that point. Thanks to all those who bring it back into focus.
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Testimony Of Mary Lightner
Monday, Sep 6, 2010, at 11:05 AM
Original Author(s): Eddie
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Testimony of Mary Elizabeth Lightner

Remarks by Sister Mary E. Lightner [in 1905] who was sealed to Joseph Smith in 1842.

Mary Lightner 1905 Address, typescript, BYU, p.1 - p.2
Much has come and gone from me through the powers and vicissitudes of this Church. I have been in almost every mob. I have been driven about and told I would be shot and had a gun pointed at me, but I stayed with the Church until it was driven from Nauvoo. The words of the Prophet that had been revealed to him always have been with me from the beginning to the end of the gospel. Every principle that has been given in the Church by the prophet is true. I know whereon I stand, I know what I believe, I know what I know and I know what I testify to you is the living truth. As I expect to meet it at the bar of the eternal Jehovah, it is true. And when you stand before the bar you will know. HE PREACHED POLYGAMY AND HE NOT ONLY PREACHED IT, BUT HE PRACTICED IT. I AM A LIVING WITNESS TO IT. IT WAS GIVEN TO HIM BEFORE HE GAVE IT TO THE CHURCH. AN ANGEL CAME TO HIM AND THE LAST TIME HE CAME WITH A DRAWN SWORD IN HIS HAND AND TOLD JOSEPH IF HE DID NOT GO INTO THAT PRINCIPLE, HE WOULD SLAY HIM. Joseph said he talked tohim soberly about it, and told him it was an abomination and quoted scripture to him. He said in the Book of Mormon it was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and they were to adhere to these things except the Lord speak. I am the first being that the revelation [DandC 132] was given to him for and I was one thousand miles away in Missouri, for we went up to Jackson County in 1841 [1831].
Mary Lightner 1905 Address, typescript, BYU, p.2 - p.3

The inability for TBMs to see what is right in front of them would be astounding to me if I had not lived it myself. The evidence of the many problems with both Mormon history and the Book of Mormon is myriad and well documented. People so easily explain away what they do not want to see.
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Doctrine And Covenants 121 And 132
Thursday, Sep 9, 2010, at 07:23 AM
Original Author(s): Darth J
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Doctrine and Covenants 132 gives specific parameters for when plural marriage is acceptable to the Lord:
  • The consent of the previous wife must be sought
  • The plural wives must be virgins
  • The plural wives must be vowed to no one else
  • A man's plural wives "are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth"
DandC 132:61-63

The Book of Mormon also specifies that the purpose of plural marriage is to raise up a seed to the Lord (i.e., have a lot of kids). Jacob 2:30

In practicing plural marriage, Joseph Smith:
  • Frequently did not seek Emma's consent/hid his plural marriages from Emma
  • On January 17, 1842, married Mary Elizabeth Rollins, who was several months pregnant (obviously not a virgin)
  • Entered polyandrous marriages with the wives of other men
  • Had no known children with his plural wives
Joseph Smith continuously violated the requirements for plural marriage that the Lord revealed in DandC 132. We also learn from the Doctrine and Covenants that the powers of the priesthood can only be exercised in righteousness.

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson–

36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

DandC 121

How do you reconcile the claim that Joseph Smith continued to be a prophet until his death with his violating the commandments about plural marriage, which would have caused the Spirit of the Lord to withdraw from him and his priesthood authority to cease?
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Joseph Smith's Possible Mental Disorders
Wednesday, Sep 15, 2010, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Beastie
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
It has to be recognized that it is nearly impossible to diagnose a dead person with a mental disorder with 100% accuracy. This will always remain speculative. But I have thought a lot about the question, and saved some old posts I made on the matter that I'll share again. Since this is a compilation of a couple of posts, there is some repetition.

I do believe there is some reason to believe that it is possible Joseph Smith had bipolar, although I do not believe the evidence is so overwhelming that anyone should feel compelled to believe as much. I think others have made a very persuasive case that JS did have some form of narcissism, although narcissism is part and parcel of bipolar mania. I think some of the narcissism was so extreme, liking having himself crowned "king", that it is more indicative of bipolar mania than simple narcissism. In addition, the fact that, while supposedly having to be forced to practice polygamy at sword-point, he married a high number of young women in a very short period of time could indicate the hyper-sexuality and poor decision making that is also hallmarks of bipolar mania. Moreover, his youngest son, David, appears to have suffered from severe bipolar to the point of being institutionalized. Bipolar is hereditary.

It is more challenging to find instances of depression that could indicate bipolar instead of a logical reaction to a depressing situation. This would be harder to prove in any historical figure, not just Joseph Smith, because a bipolar depressed individual normally is barely capable of movement, and often masks the depression as a physical illness - and they do feel physically ill. It's not just being down in the dumps, although some milder forms of bipolar could be described more in that fashion. So these people are fairly incapacitated, and aren't going to be engaged in the type of notable activities that would become historical footnotes, while manic behavior would. But I did analyze Joseph Smith's diaries and journals for any clues in that regard, and I think there are some. I put these together in previous posts I made on the subject and will share them here. BTW, my ex-husband and one of my sons suffer from bi-polar, so I sometimes refer to behavior I have seen in them, in comparison to JS.

In JS' own handwriting he recorded this:
"November 19th/AD 1833/ From the 13th untill this date nothing of note has transpired since the great sign in the heavins. This day my heart is somewhat sorrowfull but I feel to trust in the Lord the God of Jacob. I have learned in my travels that man is trecherous and selfish but few excepted." (From Faulring's An American Prophet's Records, page 14)
JS certainly had many critics, sometimes violent ones, but he was also surrounded by faithful supporters and family throughout his life. Certainly his mind was in a dark state the day he declared that man is "trecherous and selfish but few excepted". I remember very similar statements from both my exhusband and son during their dark periods. People with bipolar depression tend to catastrophize and exaggerate, so while a non bipolar depressed individual would be able to recognize that yes, he/she is currently having a rough time and may have been mistreated by someone, there have been other faithful friends and family around to help out, a person in a depressed bipolar state begins to see the entire world as a dark and threatening place, and appears incapable of remembering or recognizing evidence that shows there have always been some people who support and love that individual. So a person with bipolar would be very inclined to make generalizations such as "man is treacherous and selfish but few excepted".

And yes, of course, human beings feel depressed when things go badly. But most human beings also do not claim to be visited by heavenly beings, to hear the voice of the Lord, to see angels, crown themselves king, run for president, and marry thirty odd women. We have to look at these evidences in the context of his other behavior.

I read Scott Faulring's An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith. Most of it was dreadfully boring, as most journals/diaries are, but I was taking notes of events/statements that could be indicative of either bipolar mania or depression.

Of course, I will state one more time, that this will always remain purely speculative. We are talking about a dead man, and have no access to his friends or families to clarify these questions. But it's still interesting, although speculative.

Some of the earlier records were actually written by JS himself. These tended to be more revealing in terms of possible depression. This makes sense - writing by oneself gives a feeling of intimacy and privacy that is no longer present when dictating to a scribe. Once scribes became involved, possible evidence of depression became more indirect. For example, noting periods of illness with vague or no symptoms listed. In my personal experience, it is quite common for sufferers of bipolar to attribute their inability to function during depressions to vague illnesses. Of course, why would they even try to explain what's going on in their heads to a third party?

So, in my opinion, the best evidence of possible bipolar depression comes from the early records, written by JS himself.

"November 19th/AD 1833/ From the 13th untill this date nothing of note has transpired since the great sign in the heavins. This day my heart is somewhat sorrowfull but I feel to trust in the Lord the God of Jacob. I have learned in my travels that man is trecherous and selfish but few excepted." (From Faulring's An American Prophet's Records, page 14)

Here JS actually tells us nothing of note has transpired, so there is no circumstantial trigger for depression.

"November 28th [1832] This day I have spent in reading and writing. This evening my mind is calm and serene for which I thank the Lord.

December 4th This day I have been unwell and done but little, been at home all day. Regulated some things this Evening. I feel better in my mind than I have for a few days back. Oh Lord deliver thy servent out of temptations and fill his heart with wisdom and understanding." (both page 10)

Here are the entries between these two entries, both of which indicate depression. November 29th This day I road from Kirtland to Chardon to see my Sister Sophronia and also called to see my Sister Catherine and found them well.

This evening Brother Frederick G. Williams Prophecyed that next spring I should go to the city of Pittsburg to etablish a Bishopwrick and within one year I should go to the city of New York. The Lord spare the life of they servent. Amen.

November 30th 1830 [editor corrected to 1832] This day returned home to Kirland and found all well to the joy and satisfaction of my soul. On my return home stopped at Mr. King's and bore testimony to him and Family andc.

December 1th I bore testimony to Mr. Gilmore/ I wrote and corrected revelations andc.

December 2th The Sabath, I went to meeting andc

December 3rd Ordained Brother Packherd with my own hands. Also Brother Umfiry [Humphery who] came to see me from the East and braught news from Brother Lyman Johnson and Orson Pratt, andc

Also held a conference in the Evening. Brothers Jesse Gause and Mormon and William McLellen was excommunicated from the Church andc

Once again, no circumstantial trigger.

I also noted statements or events that could be indicative of mania. One could argue that claiming to be a prophet who saw God Himself and continued to communicate with heavenly beings constitutes constant grandiosity, so I was looking for statements that seemed extreme even under that circumstance. Here are some of the more notable:

Feb 25, 1843 I am a Lawyer. I am big lawyer and comprehend heaven, earth, and hell to bring forth knowledge which shall cover up all Lawyers and doctors. This is the doctrine of the Constitution so help me God. (page 313)

March 4, 1843 I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels. It is expedience when you strike at an enemy, strike the most deadly blow possible. (326)

June 30, 1843 Joseph commenced a lecture on the stand to many thousands by How do you do? I meet you with a heart full of gratitude to Almighty God. I am well, healthy, [and] strong as a giant. While I was on the road I pulled up the strongest man. Then they got 2 men and they could not pull me up. I have pulled mentally till I have pulled Missouri here. (389)

I wish the Lawyer who say we have no powers in Nauvoo may be choked to death with his own words. Don't employ any Lawyers for their knowledge for I know more [than] they all. (390)

Ran for president Jan 1844

March 1844 The Council of Fifty- having himself crowned "King"

Another interesting element is the pattern of his plural marriages. Although JS married women at a frequent pace from 1841 on, there were periods when his marrying escalated, and when it involved younger women in particular, which could lead to the speculation that it was most likely connected with sexual desire.

One of these periods coincides with several of the above grandiose statements - March-spring 1843. The other period was early summer of 1842. I noted some of his records from August 1842 as possibly being manic as well, due to his effusive praise of his friends and family members. For example:

"Blessed is Brother Erastus H. Derby, and he shall be blessed of the Lord. He possesses a sober mind, and a faithful heart. The snares therefore that are subsequent to befall other men, who are treacherous and rotten-hearted, shall not come nigh to his doors, but shall be far from the path of his feet. He loveth wisdom, and shall be found possessed of her. Let there be a crown of glory, and a diadem upon his head. Let the light of eternal Truth shine forth upon his understanding, let his name be had in remembrance, let the blessings of Jehovah be crowned upon his posterity after him, for he rendereth me consolation, in the lonely places of my retreat. (246)

He went on to talk at length about his family members, how noble, virtuous, and pure they are, as well as lavishly praising other friends in the church.

Now, admittedly none of this "nails" the case, but it is evidence that I think should be considered.

Lawrence Foster also believes that there is evidence JS may have suffered from bipolar, and states that there have been six descendants of JS who have been diagnosed with the disorder, as well. Here's a link to his comments:

http://www.signaturebooks.com/excerpt...

You have to scroll down to get to his comments.
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Joseph Smith "Translates" A Greek Psalter
Monday, Oct 4, 2010, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): Eddie
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Though not as well documented as the Kinderhook Plate debacle, Joseph Smith once again reveals he is a charlatan with the Greek Psalter incident.
"He led the way to his house, accompanied by many elders, preachers, and other Mormon dignitaries. On entering the house, chairs were provided for the prophet and myself, while the curious and gaping spectators remained standing. I handed the book to the prophet, and begged him to explain its contents. He asked me if I had any idea of its meaning. I replied, that I believed it to be a Greek Psalter; but that I should like to hear his opinion. "No he said; "it ain't Greek at all, except, perhaps, a few words. What ain't Greek, is Egyptian; and what ain't Egyptian, is Greek. This book is very valuable. It is a dictionary of Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Pointing to the capital letters at the commencement of each verse, he said: Them figures is Egyptian hieroglyphics; and them which follows, is the interpretation of the hieroglyphics, written in the reformed Egyptian. Them characters is like the letters that was engraved on the golden plates." Upon this, the Mormons around began to congratulate me on the informationI was receiving. "There," they said; "we told you so -- we told you that our prophet would give you satisfaction. None but our prophet can explain these mysteries." The prophet now turned to me, and said, "This book ain't of no use to you, you don't understand it." "Oh yes," I replied; "it is of some use; for if I were in want of money, I could sell it for something handsome."

...Having exhibited the book to the prophet, I requested him in return to show me his papyrus, and to give me his own explanation, which I had hitherto received only at second hand. He proceeded with me to his office, accompanied by the multitude. He produced the glass frames which I had seen on the previous day; but he did not appear very forward to explain the figures. I pointed to a particular hieroglyphic, and requested him to expound its meaning. No answer being returned, I looked up, and behold! the prophet had disappeared. The Mormons told me that he had just stepped out, and would probably soon return. I waited some time, but in vain..."
http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhom...

See also:

http://www.mormonthink.com/greekweb.h...
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Joseph Smith's Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Monday, Oct 11, 2010, at 08:35 AM
Original Author(s): Nalicea
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
This year I found out that the LDS version of the Bible, really needs to bluntly be called the Joseph Smith Version, rather than the King James Version.

I remember very clearly back in High School, when we were studying the Old Testament in Seminary, and we came across Genesis. Genesis Chapter 50:33, to be exact.
"Verse 33: And that seer will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise I give unto you; for I will remember you from generation to generation; and his name shall be called Joseph, and it shall be after the name of his father; and he shall be like unto you; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation."
I will never forget how I thought this proof of Joseph Smith's coming as a prophet, was some of the most profound evidence I had come across that the LDS church WAS the true church. For this proof to be in an ancient book completely seperate from the BoM, it was just another piece of information to help strengthen my testimony. I remember how my seminary teacher went on and on for almost an entire lesson, regarding the importance of this verse, and what it truly meant. We were so "blessed" to be a part of this true church in the Latter Days...

In February of this year, my older RM TBM brother sent me a private message on FB. In this message was a link on how Latter-Day Saints used to pay their tithing with slaves, sometimes, during the time of Brigham Young. I was so disgusted by this information, I had to see if this was really true. It was, and one thing after another came out of hiding regarding the true history of the church. I was thinking, there has to be something that can refute everything that I am finding, but the further I searched the more damning the evidence became. Nothing was able to pull it back out into the light. In fact, LDS church history just kept crawling deeper and deeper into a dark pit of lies, disgust, fraud, brainwashing, and deceit. When I found out that Joseph had made lots of changes to the Bible, that really piqued my interest. I remembered that "wonderful" prophecy of Joseph Smith's coming to save us all during the latter-days. So I decided to look it up in my scriptures that I have had since I was baptized. I compared that verse with online versions of KJV. This is what I found:

http://www.christiananswers.net/bible/gen50.html

http://www.catholic.org/bible/book.php?id=1andbible_chapter=50

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0150.htm

Everywhere that I look, Genesis Chapter 50 stops at Verse 26, not verse 38. The prophecy of Joseph Smith's coming isn't even there!

I did find an LDS site that shows the changes that he made compared with the original KJV, but you really have to be looking. It is kind of interesting to see what changes JS did make, if you have the time. Here is the link for that:

http://scriptures.lds.org/jst/contents

I guess I am just wondering if this prophetic verse was pushed on anyone else? When you found out the truth, how did you feel? For me, I think that this was the final nail in the coffin, before I told my family that I would no longer take part in any church activities. It was the final straw on an already towering mountain of excrement.
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Testimonies That Are Not Easily Dismissed That Show The True Character Of Joseph Smith
Monday, Nov 1, 2010, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Stan Johnson
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
""In an affidavit signed by Issac Hale and published in the Susquehanna Register, May 1, 1834, Joseph’s own father-in-law said:

"I first became acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825. He was at that time in the employ of a set of men who were called ‘money diggers’; and his occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see by what means of a stone placed in his hat, and his hat closed over his face. In this way he pretended to discover minerals and hidden treasure."

Also, testimony of Smith family neighbor and friend of Joseph Smith, Peter Ingersoll:

"In the month of August, 1827, I was hired by Joseph Smith, Jr. to go to Pennsylvania, to move his wife's household furniture up to Manchester, where his wife then was."

"When we arrived at Mr. Hale's, in Harmony, Pa. from which place he had taken his wife, a scene presented itself, truly affecting. His father-in-law (Mr. Hale) addressed Joseph, in a flood of tears: "You have stolen my daughter and married her. I had much rather have followed her to her grave. You spend your time in digging for money -- pretend to see in a stone, and thus try to deceive people.""

"Joseph wept, and acknowledged he could not see in a stone now, nor never could; and that his former pretensions in that respect, were all false. He then promised to give up his old habits of digging for money and looking into stones."

"Joseph told me on his return, that he intended to keep the promise which he had made to his father-in-law; "but," said he, "it will be hard for me, for they will all oppose, as they want me to look in the stone for them to dig money." And in fact it was as he predicted. They urged him, day after day, to resume his old practice of looking in the stone."

- Peter Ingersoll Affidavit, Palmyra, Wayne County. N. Y. Dec. 2, 1833,""

I don't think these testimonies can be easily dismissed. These people are not Ex-Mormons, but in fact are two people that knew Joseph Smith before the Mormon Church was even organized on April 6, 1830. One of these witnesses is Emma's own father... Issac Hale. I think these affidavits speak volumes of about the real corrupt character of Joseph Smith.
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Doesn't Her Song Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves Describe Joseph Smith And His Family?
Monday, Nov 1, 2010, at 08:39 AM
Original Author(s): Joseph
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Doesn't her song Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves describe Joseph Smith and his family?

http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Seer_stones

Joseph as the village seer

Brant Gardner clarifies the role that Joseph and his stone played within the community of Palmyra, Young Joseph Smith was a member of a specialized sub-community with ties to these very old and very respected practices, though by the early 1800s they were respected only by a marginalized segment of society. He exhibited a talent parallel to others in similar communities. Even in Palmyra he was not unique. In D. Michael Quinn's words: "Until the Book of Mormon thrust young Smith into prominence, Palmyra's most notable seer was Sally Chase, who used a greenish-colored stone. William Stafford also had a seer stone, and Joshua Stafford had a 'peepstone which looked like white marble and had a hole through the center.'" [9] Richard Bushman adds Chauncy Hart, and an unnamed man in Susquehanna County, both of whom had stones with which they found lost objects. [10] [1

During his tenure as a "village seer," Joseph acquired several seer stones. Joseph first used a neighbor's seer stone (probably that belonging to Palmyra seer Sally Chase, on the balance of historical evidence, though there are other possibilities) to discover the location of a brown, baby's foot-shaped stone. The vision of this stone likely occurred in about 1819–1820, and he obtained his first seer stone in about 1821–1822
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Oliver Huntington Promised By Joseph Smith That He Would Preach To The Inhabitants Of The Moon
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Vhainya
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Oliver Huntington promised by JS that he would preach to the inhabitants of the moon.
"Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.

"As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do -- that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years.

"He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.

"In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes."
(The Young Woman's Journal, published by the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, vol. 3, pp. 263-64)

Just another example of how people believed JS no matter how outrageous his claims were.

What do apologists say to this?

Steven Gibson seems to have come up with a wonderful explanation:

http://www.lightplanet.com/response/a...
"Another aspect of the matter needs to be considered. At the present time, man has no scientific or revealed knowledge of whether or not there are inhabitants on the earth's moon. The fact that a handful of astronauts didn't see any inhabitants in the tiny area they viewed when they landed on the moon decades ago certainly gives no definitive information, any more than visitors to earth who might land in barren Death Valley would have any idea of the billions of inhabitants elsewhere."
Yes, he published this.
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Joseph Smith The Mason
Thursday, Mar 17, 2011, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Mar 16, 1842 - Joseph Smith is raised to the office of Fellow Craft Mason and then to Master Mason one day after being initiated into the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge as an Entered Apprentice Mason. He writes in his journal: "I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree."

Tuesday, 15.-I officiated as grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons, at the Grove near the Temple. Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested. In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office...

Wednesday, March 16.-I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree.

-Joseph Smith. Diary. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. 4, Ch. 32.

Less than two months later, on May 4, 1842, Joseph introduced the temple endowment ceremony (History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 1-2).
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Joseph Smith Jr - No Longer A Blank Canvas
Monday, Apr 11, 2011, at 07:32 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
For well over a century, few were aware of the unsavory facts about and surrounding JSJr and the founding years of Mormonism (1820-1844). Few people had access to the multi-volume History of the Church and Journal of Discourses or contemporary news articles, much less the diaries, journals, and correspondences of the contemporaries and associates of JSJr. Locating what one might be looking for in those multi-volume sets took hours and hours, and so questions that might not justify more than a quick perusal went unanswered.

The LDS Church had, in many ways, a blank canvas on which to paint a portrait of JSJr as was expedient. And paint in rather broad brush strokes it did, many contrary to what actually took place and the Church historians knew better.

The stone in the crown of the hat as the chief method of translating the Book of Mormon is an example. It is funny and quite contrary to the portrayals shoveled out of Salt Lake City. My hat's off to the South Park guys for exposing and making it damned hilarious (pun intended). More than how hokey that one example is (and did I say it really is funny?), that example points up how insidious the white washing of JSJr by Salt Lake City is.

TBMs that are still caught up in the Salt Lake City mythology about JSJr take offense at the stone in the hat, and challenges to the claim of martyrdom even though the term does not fit the facts.

As generations of lesser technologies pass in their stout allegiance to the myth, new generations much more tech savvy are replacing them. Many elderly TBMs that saw DCP on the documentary attest to the fact that JSJr did in fact use the stone in the crown of a hat have resisted and find it heretical. Their children, and especially their grandchildren, go online or some other now-more-convenient source and verify from the diaries and writings of the scribes that such was the method.

The mopologists' chief tool has been greater access to primary and secondary sources about Mormonism than the critics. Will Schryver trying to parade around some special insights and access to the KEP and the Egyptian papyri, for example. Implicit is the notion that if those that disagree with him had the opportunity to see what he has seen with his eyes, hold in their hands what he has held in his hands (remind you of DCP's insistence in December of 2009 about the supposed 2nd Watson Letter?), then you would not disagree with Will but would agree with him. (However, that begs the question then given the LDS Church's mission and goal to spread the gospel, why not open these archived items up to all to see, so that more will become believers?)

Today the accessibility to information online, the same medium by which we are reading and posting on this 'message board', is blowing the lid off of this information. Like Pandora's Box, now that it is open, no one will ever be able to stuff this information back in and close the box so that the LDS Church can return to its mythology. Joseph Smith Jr is quickly catching up to Brigham Young as the number one liability of the LDS Church.

The canvas is no longer blank. No longer can the LDS Church deny with a straight face that JSJr engaged in polygyny, having sex with women other than his wife, Emma. Denials of JSJr's theocratic designs now sound tinny and hollow as information about the Council of Fifty and JSJr having himself annointed king of the world have leaked out. No longer do we have the innocent, almost naļve and young boy earnestly praying to god about which church to join. Records have been uncovered, and disseminated on the internet about his 1826 trial for 'glass looking for hire'. Now giant white toads and salamanders crawl around the magic rocks and treasure seeking that are the truth about the young JSJr. It is no longer just the realm of scholars that have the facts about KEP and circumstances that led to the generation of the BoAbr, the Kinderhook Plates fiasco or the Greek Psalter test performed by Rev Henry Caswall. We can now read the one and only issue of the Nauvoo Expositor, rather than simply hear what has turned outto be a false mantra repeated over and over that it was a yellow journalism rag, all filled with lies.

Historical facts have now painted a quite different portrait of JSJr than the one that the LDS Church imagined, white washed and promulgated to its members and the world for decades after decades. The historical facts have pushed mopologists into corners, leaving them only sarcasm and the politics of personal destruction against critics as their remaining tools.

The LDS Church needs to deep six the historical JSJr now that he has replaced the romanticized JSJr. The only way for the LDS Church to do so will be to move along and away from JSJr. The less talk of JSJr (and BY), the more the LDS Church will attract new members.
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Mormon Apologist's Attempt To Explain Joseph Smith Having A Gun At Carthage Jail
Thursday, Jun 9, 2011, at 08:43 AM
Original Author(s): Rebeckah
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
http://www.ldsmag.com/church/article/...
"These [critics] often claim to “expose” these minor events of Church history in a sensationalistic attempt to shock members of the Church with “hidden” revelations or “secret” accounts about various episodes in Church history."
Funny, I've never heard anyone claiming to "expose" this aspect of Joseph's death. They simply point out that it is hardly "martyrdom" or "going as a lamb to the slaughter" when you go out in a hail of bullets.
"They will often claim that the Church has kept this knowledge under wraps for fear that if it was generally known it would cause many members of the Church to immediately renounce their faith and result in the ruination of the Church."
Who claims that? Where? When? I call Strawman on this. Attempting to distract the issue from: Joseph had a GUN you morons! to: You're trying to "shock" me from my faith. Stupid argument but what can you expect from an apologist site?
"Regardless of that, critics have continued to press this issue and some members of the Church have really struggled with it. If Joseph Smith used a gun at Carthage Jail, the question becomes: was he a martyr or a coward?"
No, the question remains: "Was he a martyr?" -- the "coward" addendum is (you guessed it) a Strawman. Notice how they puff up his "bravery" because he didn't hide in a corner. Of course if he HAD hidden in a corner instead of shooting people with a gun that he wasn't supposed to have had it would have been a lot closer to the "lamb to a slaughter" claim that Mormons like so much.

The dishonesty hurts my brain. I should have turned away at "apologists". ;)
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Emanuel Swedenborg
Thursday, Sep 29, 2011, at 12:23 PM
Original Author(s): 20truths
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
In 1784 a man by the name of Emanuel Swedenborg wrote about his visions of the afterlife. His teachings were remarkably similar to what Joseph Smith later claimed to receive as revelation. For example, Swedenborg taught: "There are three heavens," described as "entirely distinct from each other." He called the highest heaven "the Celestial Kingdom," and stated that the inhabitants of the three heavens corresponded to the "sun, moon and stars." This directly parallels Joseph's vision on the degrees of glory as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76.

By Joseph Smith's own statements, he was familiar with Swedenborg's writings. Joseph told a convert by the name of Edward Hunter that:
"Emanuel Swedenborg had a view of the world to come, but for daily food he perished." (Statement in 1839 by Joseph Smith to Edward Hunter, a Swedenborgian convert who later became the presiding bishop of the Church)
http://www.mormonscience.org/Public/A...

While Joseph clearly did not base all his theology on Swedenborg (there are several important differences), there are similarities to what Swedenborg wrote. The following table discusses some of these similarities:

Emanuel Swedenborg Joseph Smith

(Heaven and Hell, chapter 5)

There are three heavens: the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural. Those of a lower heaven are unable to see those in a higher heaven. Furthermore, the celestial heaven has three divisions.

(Doctrine and Covenants, 76, 131:1)

There are three heavens: the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms. Those of a lower heaven are unable to see those in a higher heaven. Furthermore, the celestial kingdom has three divisions.

(Conjugial Love, 20-21, 54(5), 155)

Swedenborg witnessed a marriage ceremony in heaven, in which the husband wore priesthood robes like those of Aaron while the wife was arrayed as a queen. Also, marriage between man and woman is necessary to inherit the highest heaven.

(Doctrine and Covenants, 131:2)

LDS temple marriages are believed to carry over to heaven, and involve clothing similar to what Swedenborg described. Also, marriage between man and woman is necessary to inherit the highest degree of the Celestial kingdom.

(Heaven and Hell, 421-422)

After dying, people enter a world of spirits that is nearly identical to this one. Afterward, they inherit a degree of glory based on how they lived while incarnate.

(Alma 12:24, 34:32-34, 40:21)

After dying, people go to the spirit world, which exists here on this world. Afterward, they inherit a degree of glory based on how they lived on the earth as well as in the spirit world.

(Heaven and Hell, 27, 35)

Societies of angels exist whose primary function is to communicate between the kingdoms of heaven.

(Doctrine and Covenants, 76:86-88)

Angels are appointed to minister to lower kingdoms of heaven.

Emanuel Swedenborg received his divine calling on April 6, 1744. One year later on April 6, 1745 the Lord appeared to him again.

(Doctrine and Covenants, 20:1)

The LDS church was established on April 6, 1830. It also teaches that Jesus was born on April 6.

(Last Judgement, 33-39; True Christian Religion, 647)

The church established by Christ died spiritually due to apostasy and false doctrines. The Lord's church would be re-established and again act as a link with heaven.

(Joseph Smith History, 1:16)

The church established by Christ died spiritually due to apostasy and false doctrines. The Lord's church was restored through Joseph Smith.

(True Christian Religion, 340-342, Heaven and Hell, 427)

One of the great errors of Christianity is justification by faith alone. People will be judged for their actions as well.

(Alma 11:34-37)

Faith is meaningless without works. People will be judged for their actions as well.

(Arcana Coelestia, vol. 1)

The creation and Garden of Eden stories are allegories of our spiritual progress.

The LDS counterpart to this idea is found in the temple endowment.
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The Use Of "Urim And Thummim"
Thursday, Dec 8, 2011, at 01:44 PM
Original Author(s): Thews
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
The use of "Urim and Thummim" wasn't used until 1833, or three years after the Book of Mormon was published. The church dates this at 1829, but in the footnotes admits it was actually 1833. The Nephite interpreters were taken back when the supposed evil doers "stole" the lost 116 pages, leaving Joseph Smith with his seer stones (the brown and white ones) which he placed in his hat. The church claims he used the seer stones "for convenience" to translate the plates, as if to imply there were many tools available to him.

Brother Hyrum asked Joseph Smith to use the Urim and Thummim in 1843, which Joseph Smith claimed he didn't need, but it does put the Urim and Thummim in Joseph Smith's possession just before he died. Joseph Smith's seer stones are currently locked up in the LDS vault. To summarize, there never was a an Urim and Thummim... just the occult seer stones Joseph Smith used to see evil treasure guardians when he was a money digger.
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It's Joseph-Eve!
Thursday, Dec 22, 2011, at 12:13 PM
Original Author(s): Honorentheos
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
My family has started a new Smithmas eve tradition, somewhat like leaving cookies and milk out for Santa.

We place a glass of brandy out on the mantle in remembrance of Joseph Smith not accepting alcohol while a boy before his leg surgery. The children are left to wonder in amazement that it's still there, undrunk the next morning, looking every bit like the miracle it is.

This is, of course, followed by my drinking the brandy on Smithmas day in rememberance of the "bracer" he drank while in Carthage.

Ah, Smithmas. It's like Christmas and April Fools wrapped into one.
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Where Did Joseph Smith Get A Gun At Carthage Jail?
Thursday, Apr 19, 2012, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
He got the gun from John Fulmer

Originally Cyrus Wheelock was credited, and in recent years the Fullmer family has provided evidence that it was John Fullmer. However, it is likely that they both handed out guns to Joseph and Hyrum since they both apparently had one.

Here are two accounts: http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/j...

This was a providential circumstance, as most other persons had been very rigidly searched. Joseph then handed the single barrel pistol which had been given him by John S. Fullmer, to his brother Hyrum, and said, "You may have use for this." Brother Hyrum observed, "I hate to use such things otto see them used." "So do I," said Joseph, "but we may have to, to defend ourselves;" upon this Hyrum took the pistol.

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/j...

John Taylor, who became the third President of the Mormon Church, made these statements concerning the death of Joseph Smith:

"Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time, 'Would any of you like to have this?' Brother Joseph immediately replied, 'Yes, give it to me,' whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket.... I was sitting at one of the front windows of the jail, when I saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming around the corner of the jail, and aiming towards the stairs....

"I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, 'Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!' He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed died." (History of the Church, Vol. 7, p. 100, 102 and 103)

[Web-editor: For more information see Changing World, Like a Lamb?]

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/j...

Scroll up to the header "two minutes in Jail"

As he struck the floor he exclaimed emphatically, "I am a dead man." Joseph looked towards him and responded, "Oh, dear brother Hyrum!" and opening the door two or three inches with his left hand, discharged one barrel of a six shooter (pistol) at random in the entry, from whence a ball grazed Hyrum's breast, and entering his throat passed into his head, while other muskets were aimed at him and some balls hit him.

Joseph continued snapping his revolver round the easing of the door into the space as before, three barrels of which missed fire, while Mr. Taylor with a walking stick stood by his side and knocked down the bayonets and muskets which were constantly discharging through the doorway, while I stood by him, ready to lend any assistance, with another stick, but could not come within striking distance without going directly before the muzzle of the guns.

When the revolver failed, we had no more firearms, and expected an immediate rush of the mob, and the doorway full of muskets, half way in the room, and no hope but instant death from within.
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The Difference Between Warren Jeffs And Joseph Smith
Friday, Aug 10, 2012, at 07:14 AM
Original Author(s): Truthseeker
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Take a look at this - the only difference between the two is 180 years.
  • Number of wives: Joseph Smith: 34, Warren Jeffs: 78
  • Age of Youngest Wife: Joseph Smith: 14, Warren Jeffs: 12
  • Other Men's Wives: Joseph Smith: 11, Warren Jeffs: 21
  • Mother Daughter Pairs: Joseph Smith: 1, Warren Jeffs: 7
  • Biological Sister Wives: Joseph Smith: 8, Warren Jeffs: 56
  • Under age 18 Wives: Joseph Smith: 7, Warren Jeffs: 24
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Plagarism: True Origin Of The "Celestial Kingdom"
Monday, Nov 19, 2012, at 07:40 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I've often wondered where Smith got his descriptions of the afterlife as first described in Section 76 of the DandC.

In D. Michael Quinn's excellent book "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View," he gives a very fascinating source of Smith's "revelations." Quinn offers an exhaustive examination of the sources for the 1832 DandC Section 76 "Vision" of the "three degrees of glory."

In fact, Smith's descripton of the "Celestial Kingdom" was not only a copy from earlier written works, but also VERY controversial to the Latter-Day Saints.

The diaries of Orson Pratt and John Murdock from the 1830's record their efforts to reassure members who questioned the 1832 vision of heaven. The two men described countless excommunications of Mormons, including branch presidents, who denounced "the degress of glory" as a "satanic revelation." Even Brigham Young had a hard time with it at first and described it as "a trial to many."

Why were Mormons choking on this idea of three heavens?

Quinn explains that it's because members correctly recognized it as coming from the occult. The only other sources of separate degrees in heaven came from occult writers during and before Smith's time.

For example, in 1784 a man by the name of Emanuel Swedenborg wrote a book about his visions of the afterlife. Swedenborg insisted: "There are three heavens," described as "entirely distinct from each other." He called the highest heaven "the Celestial Kingdom," and stated that the inhabitants of the three heavens corresponded to the "sun, moon and stars."

By Joseph Smith's own statements, he was familiar with Swedenborg's writtings. Smith told a convert by the name of Edward Hunter that "Emanuel Swedenborg had a view of the world to come, but for daily food he perished." In other words, Smith liked Swedenborg's concepts of the afterlife, but criticized him for not profiting from them.

I was so fascinated by the connection that Quinn documented, that I bought a copy of Swedenborg's book myself from Amazon.com. It's called "Heaven and Hell and Its Wonders and was written way before Joseph Smith. Yet it describes the three Mormon degrees of glory to the tee, along with many other concepts including "the veil," "sprit prison," "celestial marriage," and more.

Not only does Quinn make a strong case that Smith knew all about Swedenborg's ideas, but he also shows that his book "Heaven and Hell and Its Wonders" was a book in Smith's hometown library since 1817. Quinn also writes that "Nine miles from Smith's farm, in 1826 the Canandaigua newspaper also advertised Swedenborg's book for sale. The bookstore offered Swedenborg's publications for as little as 37 cents."

If you ever want to know details about the Mormon afterlife, read Swedenborg's book. Smith liberally plagarized from it to come up with his DandC "visions" of the celestial, telestial and terrestrial kingdoms. But Swedenborg's works are definately the originals.

Nowhere have I said that Swedenborg was the first one to suggest three heavens in the afterlife. Yes, some early gnostics compared heaven to the trinity and suggested each figure in the godhead pertained to a level. That's not my point.

Anyone who has actually read Swedenborg's book "Heaven and Hell and Its Wonders will recognize that Smith plagarized many names and ideas. There's all kinds of parallels between the 1778 English translation of Swedenborg's book and Smith's preaching of the 1830s.

My point isn't that Swedenborg was the first to suggest three heavens, but that he was the true orgin of terminology that ended up in Mormonism.

For example, Swedenborg writes about:

- the "Celestial Kingdom"

- after death, all people go to a waiting place called "The Spirit World" divided into a "Spirit Prison" for the unbaptized and a "Paradise" for the baptized

- Angels from the Celestial Kingdom are naked except for a white robe/garment given to them by "The Lord" which shines and glimers (See the late-1830 "First Vision" description of Moroni)

- Sprits and angels are in human form and one can converse with them "as one man to another." No singing, wings or halos.

- The "Sprit World" is this earth, but we cannot see the spirits because of "the veil".

- Marriage exist only in the highest Celesital Kingdom.

Granted, Swedenborg's book is almost 500 pages and Smith did not plagarize the whole thing. But since Smith admitted to reading this work, it's likely Smith borrowed key concepts in order to come up with DandC Section 76.

There really is very little in Mormon scipture detailing the afterlife, wheras Swedenborg dedicated a whole book to it. There was plenty for Smith to take from for his purposes.
topic image
Virtually Everything That Joseph Smith "Translated" Or "Received As Revelation From God" Can Be Easily Proven False
Monday, Jan 28, 2013, at 12:09 PM
Original Author(s): Joesmithsleftteste
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
Part I - Joseph Smith's translations

Joseph Smith claimed to have translated a number of books from ancient sources. These include The Book of Mormon, The Book of Abraham, The Kinderhook Plates, and The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. There are, unfortunately, many problems with all of the translations. Further, many of his revelations and prophecies were canonized at one point, only to be declared "spiritual teachings," at another, or they were changed from one publishing to the next.

The Book of Abraham

The papyri that Joseph Smith stated that he translated the Book of Abraham from were lost for many years, only to turn up in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1966. Both Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists were called in to verify that they were the same scrolls and to translate them. After evaluating them, Egyptologists from both groups announced that the scrolls were funerary scrolls that had nothing to do with the texts of The Book of Abraham, and are a copy of The Hor Book of Breathings, a funerary scroll (Wikipedia - Book of Abraham See also the link at the end of this paragraph for an LDS source confirming what they are.) The notes that announced what images in the facsimiles represented had nothing to do with the real meanings of the images. A few easily spotted errors include listing canopic jars as idolatrous gods (Facsimile 1, figures 5-8), and designating some clearly female characters as male (Facsimile 1 figures 2 and 4). Carrie was able to spot those two issues on her own - without looking anywhere else for information - based on college-level knowledge of costume history and mummification practices and techniques. Facsimile 2, Figure 7 also has an image of a fertility god with an enormous erection and lists it as being God sitting on his throne (Kay Burmingham, An American Fraud). To see for yourself what a true believing LDS Egyptologist says the papyri say, a complete translation of the Book of Abraham papyri (more correctly referred to as The Hor Book of Breathings), translated by BYU associate research professor from the department of ancient scripture at BYU, can be found here - Michael Rhodes' Translation of Book of Abraham Papyri

The Kinderhook Plates

Another example of Joseph Smith's false translation powers involves the Kinderhook plates. The Kinderhook plates were a set of plates made by people near Kinderhook, Illinois who intended to have Joseph Smith try to translate them so, after he claimed to translate them, they could expose him as a fraud. The plates were presented to Smith and he, as the forgers anticipated, pretended the ability to translate them, claiming that they were written by a righteous Jaredite (History of the Church Vol. 5). Ironically, it wasn't until years later that any of the forgers came forward with the truth about the plates and by that time, the plates were thought lost. However, one of the plates turned up in 1920 and scientific testing in 1980 proved that they were products of 19th century metalworking (LDS.org - 1981 Ensign - Kinderhook Plates). Why would any person with the slightest degree of inspiration declare that a deliberate hoax contained the writings of a righteous Jaredite?

The Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith claims that he translated the Book of Mormon from the gold plates and the Book of Mormon is ".The most correct of any book on Earth," (Introduction, The Book of Mormon, 1981 edition). However, there are many parts of The Book of Mormon that are identical to the King James Version of the Bible. Some of these passages incorporate parts where the KJV translation of the Bible included the Italics to indicate where words were added that weren't in the Hebrew text, but necessary for smooth English comprehension. The Book of Mormon, despite the fact that those translation issues from Reformed Egyptian to English would be significantly different from Hebrew to English, has the exact same passages with the exact same wording. Some examples of this can be found in Mosiah 14 and Isaiah 53, both of which are word for word identical with the only difference being that the Book of Mormon text does not italicize and of the italicized words in the KJV.

Furthermore, when Joseph Smith created his translation of the Bible, he translated parts of the Bible differently than both the corresponding KJV texts and the Book of Mormon texts that are identical or very similar to the KJV. We find it impossible to understand how the "most correct book of any on Earth" could be wrong when a later translation of the Bible (written by the same man, with the same "prophetic inspiration") declares a different meaning for those verses. Either one book or the other translated the verses wrong and since both had the same translator, it would mean that the translator was a false prophet and both were wrong.

The Greek Psalters

There are also the incidents with the Greek Psalters, although they are less clearly documented and less relevant than the previously mentioned failures of translation (Henry Caswall, Mormonism and Its Author). They do, however, continue to establish a pattern of Joseph Smith proclaiming that he is able to translate things that A) He cannot translate and his attempts at doing so fail and, B) Aren't even what he claims they are.

Doctrine and Covenants and The Book of Commandments.

The Book of Commandments was the precursor to the Doctrine and Covenants. Many of the revelations made their way from the first book to the next without any noteworthy changes being made to them (The Book of Commandments doesn't typically use last names, whereas DandC does, but that really doesn't matter), but there were many changes that were made from one book to the next. The Book of Commandments chapter 4, which corresponds to DandC Section 5, has some changes that completely change the meaning of the section. Where TBoC 5, paragraph 2 indicates clearly that Joseph Smith's only gift will be to translate The Book of Mormon, the corresponding DandC 5:2-4 changes who the revelation is directed toward and implies that Joseph Smith will be granted other gifts than just translation. (Book of Commandments)

Beyond that, an entire 68 page portion of the Doctrine and Covenants was removed in 1921. The original DandC contained a section for Theology known as the Lectures on Faith. Even though these lectures were considered doctrine for nearly 100 years, they were eventually removed - likely due to the fact that they taught that God was a spirit and that God the Father and Jesus Christ made up the two members of the Godhead (DandC 1835 Edition, Lecture fifth of faith, Section V, Paragraph 2).

Joseph Smith created three canonical books of scripture and worked on translations for several other "holy" works, but every single one of them either contradicts another one, underwent doctrinal changes, or turned out to be completely fraudulent. By their fruits ye shall know them.
topic image
The Greek Psalter--A Little 'salt' In The Prophetic Wounds
Friday, Oct 11, 2013, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: JOSEPH SMITH   -Link To MC Article-
I think an excellent topic would be the Greek Psalter incident of 4/19/1842. Reverend Caswall from England was teaching at a college in St Louis MO. He took an old family Greek Psalter to Nauvoo. He asked to see "the Prophet". According to Caswall, JSJr looked at it, and pronounced the Greek Psalter to be ancient Egyptian writings.

Hugh Nibley called Caswall's writing "most effective single contribution to antimormon literature" (Hugh Nibley, The Myth Makers (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1961), 193 reprinted in volume 11 of The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1992), 11:304.

The first Mormon mention of it was 18 months later in the Times and Seasons, 9 (October 15, 1843): 364, 65 (no author attribution)
It will be recollected by some that a Mr. Caswell professing to be an Episcopal minister came to this city some twelve or eighteen months ago. He had with him an old munuscript [sic], professing to be ignorant of its contents, and came to Joseph Smith, as he said for the purpose of having it translated. Mr. Smith had a little conversation with him and treated him with civility but as the gentleman seemed very much afraid of his document, he declined having any thing to do with it.
Eight years after the fact, John Taylor verified the Caswall visit to Nauvoo. In 1850, in a debate in France, Taylor verified the Caswall visit that took place in 1842. "'Three Nights' Public Discussion between the Revds. C. W. Cleeve, James Robertson, and Philip Carter, and Elder John Taylor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France" (Liverpool: John Taylor, 1850), 32
Concerning Mr. Caswall, I was at Nauvoo during the time of his visit. He came for the purpose of looking for evil. He was a wicked man, and associated with reprobates, mobocrats, and murderers. It is, I suppose, true that he was reverend gentleman; but it has been no uncommon thing with us to witness associations of this kind, nor for reverend gentlemen; so called, to be found leading on mobs to deeds of plunder and death. I saw Mr. Caswall in the printing office at Nauvoo; he had with him an old manuscript, and professed to be anxious to know what it was. I looked at it, and told him that I believed it was a Greek manuscript. In his book, he states that it was a Greek Psalter; but that none of the Mormons told him what it was. Herein is a falsehood, for I told him. Yet these are the men and books that we are to have our evidence from.
Neither the Times and Seasons account nor the John Taylor account took issue with any of Caswall's details and claims that JSJr proclaimed that the old Greek Psalter was in Egyptian, and when Caswall explained it as Greek, JSJr backpeddled that what's not in Greek is in Egyptian, "it is a dictionary of Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Neither Mormon account took Caswall to task for claiming that as the others assembled and continued looking at the Greek Psalter after Caswall explained to "the Prophet" and other Mormons what it really was, JSJr quietly sneaked out the back door.

But, as we've come to know from JSJr in early 1943 (post-Greek Psalter incident) he knew so little of the ancient Greek languages, JSJr did not know that he was placing inverted (upside down) hieratic characters to fill in missing portions of Facsimile 2 that only had hieroglyphs, as he was preparing the facsimiles for print in June 1843.

Nibley perhaps said it best, Caswall's writings are perhaps the "most effective single contribution to antimormon literature", as there was no refutation of the key points of Caswall's account that indicted "the Prophet".
 
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  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
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  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
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  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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