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aaronshaf

What did the Nauvoo Expositor lie about?

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A couple of questions that I'd like LDS folks to answer:

1. Is it the general belief of LDS apologists that the Nauvoo Expositor did not contain any lies per se?

2. Is it correct to say that Mormon apologists agree with the assertion that the Expositor was publicly exposing what Smith was practicing but denying?

3. Is it correct to say that Mormon apologists think the exposure of Smith's polygamy was unwarranted given the uproar it would cause? If yes, then are you saying that it simply wasn't the public's business to know of Smith's polygamy and William Law had no moral right to expose it?

As you can see, I'm not chiefly concerned with the question of whether or not it was technically legal. I consider that a distracting sub-topic.

So far I summarize the typical Mormon response in my head as, "Well, the Expositor didn't lie about anything Joseph Smith was doing, but it had no right to make public what would have caused violence and uproar." I'm trying to get my head around the Mormon view of why the Expositor was justifiably destroyed, and *specific* examples of slander would help.

With reference to the Nauvoo Expositor:

"Truly," [William Clayton] wrote, the paper "seems to be a source of falsehood and bitter misrepresentation."

- Richard Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 540.

In a speech given shortly after the press was destroyed, Joseph Smith said:

"I cared not how many papers there were in the city if they would print the truth but would submit to no libe[l]s or slander."

- Richard Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 540.

Surely any competent reader familiar with Latter-day Saint teachings on 'celestial marriage (including the plurality of wives) and families sealed together forever' will notice its misrepresentation in the Expositor who wrote that this doctrine was basically 'pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts.' If the Saints were involved in whoredoms, who were the whores? I don't know, is it just me or does anyone else feel this might be a tad upsetting?

Let's rephrase your question Aaron:

3. Is it correct to say that Mormon apologists think the exposure of Smith's pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts was unwarranted given the uproar it would cause? If yes, then are you saying that it simply wasn't the public's business to know of Smith's pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts and William Law had no moral right to expose it?

See any difference between asking about Smith's polygamy and Smith's pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts? If you had come onto the board and asked phrased your question the same way that the Expositor phrased what they wrote, the thread would have been ipso facto closed by the moderators.

I don't believe it was the 'making things public' that bothered the Saints so much as how these apostates misrepresented and mangled the teachings of Joseph Smith which they published in the Nauvoo Expositor. Something which contra-Mormons and apostates still do today--the raison d'

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Wow, lots of helpful conversation but it doesn't seem like my question was answered with the simple list I asked for (or maybe I missed it?).

A couple of questions that I'd like LDS folks to answer:

1. Is it the general belief of LDS apologists that the Nauvoo Expositor did not contain any lies per se?

2. Is it correct to say that Mormon apologists agree with the assertion that the Expositor was publicly exposing what Smith was practicing but denying?

3. Is it correct to say that Mormon apologists think the exposure of Smith's polygamy was unwarranted given the uproar it would cause? If yes, then are you saying that it simply wasn't the public's business to know of Smith's polygamy and William Law had no moral right to expose it?

As you can see, I'm not chiefly concerned with the question of whether or not it was technically legal. I consider that a distracting sub-topic.

So far I summarize the typical Mormon response in my head as, "Well, the Expositor didn't lie about anything Joseph Smith was doing, but it had no right to make public what would have caused violence and uproar." I'm trying to get my head around the Mormon view of why the Expositor was justifiably destroyed, and *specific* examples of slander would help.

Thanks again,

Aaron

PS I'm at aaronshaf.com now. Do I know you, Nighthawke? :P I'm in Utah now so any of the folks I used to interact with... I'd be happy to have lunch with.

Aaron,

At what point did you get the notion that this board exists to do your own private research? You, dear friend, are expected to participate substantively in threads that your start -- something you have not done here -- otherwise you're just trolling.

Of course, the smarmy, condescending tenor of your posts already exposes the fact that you're just trolling.

Personally, I always love it when a born-again Christian such as yourself brings up the subject of polygamy. You seem to living under the assumption that because you are not of the LDS Christian strain of Christianity you are somehow excused from discussion of and, more rightly, defense of plural marriage. This, however, cannot be the case as your own devotion and veneration of the Bible practically compells you to explain and defend in a coherent manner such cases as Abraham's "marriage" to Hagar and his subsequent marriage to another woman. Specifically, you must explain 1) why this was wrong and 2) if it was wrong, why did Abraham maintain his prophetic calling. 3) If it was wrong, why did God never correct him?

The same question must be addressed in the cases of Moses, Jacob, and just about every other patriarch.

Moreover, if you are going to assert that plural marriage is not a part of God's plan, you must also provide a coherent explanation for why Mosaic Code not only provided instructions for the proper practice of plural marriage but why it actually compelled its practice in certain instances.

Until you can provide salient answers to such quesitons, then merely mocking Joseph Smith and the Mormons for a belief and practice that is firmly grounded in the texts which you hold to be inerrant, isn't going to cut it. You don't get a free pass on this one, my friend.

C.I.

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See any difference between asking about Smith's polygamy and Smith's pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts?

Aw, Nighthawke, many sincere and thoughtful people see this as just an evasion. In particular, many sincere and thoughtful people concerned with what they may consider to be the LDS Church's efforts to whitewash ugly historical situations may well reject such an evasion. If your apologist efforts are to be as persuasive as possible, you might wish to strike evasion off your list.

The truth is that Smith had plural wives while denying that he did not and that some of his apostles did, too. It is also true that the Expositor revealed this situation and that's why Smith ordered it silenced.

James Clifford Miller

[email protected]

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At what point did you get the notion that this board exists to do your own private research? You, dear friend, are expected to participate substantively in threads that your start -- something you have not done here -- otherwise you're just trolling.

Of course, the smarmy, condescending tenor of your posts already exposes the fact that you're just trolling.

Before I started participating here, I had heard from anti-Mormon sources that one of the most frequently used apologist tactics was personal attacks. The above post certainly corroborates those charges. Watching such personal attacks take place has also convinced me that they often take place when apologists run out of actual arguments.

The request for information which elicited the above personal attack was, in my opinion, valid and appropriate. It warrants an equally valid and appropriate response. Civility instead of hostility is always appropriate and quid pro quo responses are always both civil and appropriate.

James Clifford Miller

[email protected]

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An evasion? What a crock. I'm with Nighthawk, you can't commit a whoredom without a whore. So who and where were the whores?

To my knowlede, everyone whose honestly considered the proposition has come to the conclusion that -- no matter what you think or feel about it -- Smith et al's., practice of plural marriage was a religiously motivated activity. The classification of it as a "whoredom" would have been highly offensive and deeply disturbing.

If you don't believe me, why don't you find some of the folks on this list who are not married but simply live with their signficant other (at one point in tme we had several) and ask them how they'd feel if we started calling them whoremongers because of it. You think they'd deny it, or would they just go merrily on their way.

Evasion, indeed.

C.I.

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C'mon James, get a grip and start acting like an adult instead of a petulant little baby.

I didn't "attack" Aaron personally. I attacked his posting habits and stye. He started a thread which he knew would generate a lot of heat and then he stepped back and simply observed the whole fray. He didn't contribute a single, substantial post during the duration, and he still hasn't. That's not a personal attack as it doesn't involve a single observation about his personaly characterics or traits.

Before I started participating here, I had heard from anti-Mormon sources that one of the most frequently used apologist tactics was personal attacks.

Well, they would certainly be the best source of information, now wouldn't they.

The above post certainly corroborates those charges.

Pish posh. Stop being so thinned skinned.

Watching such personal attacks take place has also convinced me that they often take place when apologists run out of actual arguments.

Really? My experience has been that folks like you like to claim personal attacks when the conversation has moved beyond your ability to coherently participate.

The request for information which elicited the above personal attack was, in my opinion, valid and appropriate.

Really? Then I suppose you can point out to me where on the board rules it states the the board is to be used as a system of personal research and that active participation in the threads one starts isn't required.

Moreover, if there was a personal attack, it came from Aaron. As you recall, many of the folks on this board are the direct descendants of plural marriages. What Aaron effectively did was to call our great great grandmothers "whores". To my view, that was the sum total, and indeed, the only purpose of his posting this thread.

All I did was comment on his style of posting and the tone which I perceived coming from it. If I was wrong, please show me how. I'd like to see your definition of a personal attack, as I find it quite idiosyncratic.

It warrants an equally valid and appropriate response

Yes, it warrants Aaron actually taking an active role in his thread rather than just using it cause heat and then cull from it little tidbits which he can later use in other venues.

Civility instead of hostility is always appropriate and quid pro quo responses are always both civil and appropriate.

There was nothing incivil or hostile about my response. I critiqued his posting style and then made a substantive comment regarding his own responsibilites in regards to the debate over polygamy.

Could it be that you are a fundamentalist Christian like Aaron and you are simply seekig to deflect attention from the questions I posed? I don't have the slightest clue what your affiliations are, but there was nothing inappropriate about the comment I posted.

C.I.

P.S. Trust me, my reputation on this board is such that you'll know when I've conducted a personal attack.

ci

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To my knowlede, everyone whose honestly considered the proposition has come to the conclusion that -- no matter what you think or feel about it -- Smith et al's., practice of plural marriage was a religiously motivated activity. The classification of it as a "whoredom" would have been highly offensive and deeply disturbing.

Surely you must know that your opinion is not universally shared. Other thoughtful and sincere people have come to the opposite conclusion about Joseph Smith's motivations for marrying teen and twenty-something young women. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean he is a bad person or that he is wrong.

While we're on the subject, I must admit to some concern about what I consider to be an inappropriately high emotional level of responses to my post. Often, in LDS circles, there is an attempt to substitute a high emotional intensity for substantive discussion. Just because someone is highly emotional on any given subject does not mean they are right. It can mean they've run out of ammunition.

Back to the topic at hand: I reiterate that I don't think that playing semantics is a substantive way to deal with Smith's denials about living polygamy. There is substantive evidence that he DID live polygamy and that he DID deny it at the time.

This reminds me about that old joke about how many LDS it takes to change a lightbulb. The various versions have quite a number including Relief Society sisters to bring refreshments and deacons to set up chairs, but at the end the punchline comes with one or more LDS apologists to deny that the lightbulb ever had to be changed in the first place.

Not only is civility always appropriated, but basic honesty is, too. The growing number of people who cite evasions, semantic games and incivility on the FAIR message forums as part of the many reasons they ultimately left the LDS Church suggests the apologist side is not being well served by such tactics.

James Clifford Miller

[email protected]

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C'mon James, get a grip and start acting like an adult instead of a petulant little baby.

I didn't "attack" Aaron personally. I attacked his posting habits and stye.

Here's what you wrote:

"Of course, the smarmy, condescending tenor of your posts already exposes the fact that you're just trolling."

And here's what you wrote to me:

"C'mon James, get a grip and start acting like an adult instead of a petulant little baby."

Clearly, your definition of personal attacks and incivility differs from mine.

James Clifford Miller

[email protected]

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Everyone get back on topic and stop the sniping. This is a message board for dialogue, aaronshaf. Posters are not required to provide lists on demand.

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It is the perspective about what happened and 'agenda' which dictates how one looks at history.

I like this scripture it tends to define motives. D&C 121:16-17.

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Surely you must know that your opinion is not universally shared.

I do. And don't call me Surely.

Other thoughtful and sincere people have come to the opposite conclusion about Joseph Smith's motivations for marrying teen and twenty-something young women.

Based upon what evidence? I am unaware of single piece of documentary evidence that would, or even could, lead a person to believe that Smith was anything but sincere. They only way you can get to that conclusion is to assume facts not in evidence and attempt to read into the situation more than is there.

Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean he is a bad person or that he is wrong.

Can you show a single post from me where I have ever expressed this idea, implicitly or expressly? If not, then you have simply created a strawman with no bearing on this conversation.

While we're on the subject, I must admit to some concern about what I consider to be an inappropriately high emotional level of responses to my post.

Two thoughts: 1) What magical source are you using to determine the level of emotional response in any particular post when those posts are nothing more than written responses? 2) Even assuming you could make that determintion, which I doubt, who are you, exactly to determine what level of emotionality is appropriate and what is not?

Often, in LDS circles, there is an attempt to substitute a high emotional intensity for substantive discussion. 

For example? Can you provide an single example of this unsubstantiated assertion on your part? Otherwise it sounds like you are simply repeating a shallow stereotype of what you merely expect from Mormons.

Just because someone is highly emotional on any given subject does not mean they are right.

Nor does it mean they wrong either. It simply means they care about the argument.

It can mean they've run out of ammunition.

That is can mean that and that is inevitably does mean that are two totally different things. Unfortunately, your previous post might lead some to believe that your opinion that it always means that.

But let's face it, when the sum of your argument boils down to calling someone's ancestors whores and whoremongers, how much ammunition can you really claim to be packing? :P

Back to the topic at hand: I reiterate that I don't think that playing semantics is a substantive way to deal with Smith's denials about living polygamy.

And I reiterate that simply because you choose to label it "semantics" doesn't make it so.

There is substantive evidence that he DID live polygamy and that he DID deny it at the time.

Actually, I call it conclusive evidence that he did both. So what? The only people that I've seen even question it are a couple of posters who belong to the RLDS faith, thus their reasons for such a stance would be obvious. I'm unaware of a single LDS poster on this poster who denies that Smith was practicing plural marriage or that he denied it when approached about it.

That's not the "question" as you posit it. Moreover, Aaron knew that when he started the thread. And if he didn't know that, then he should have because FAIR published a rather lengthy article on the subject just last month.

The question is "why" did Smith do these things and the answers to that question are far more complex and nuanced than you or Aaron seem to be willing to admit. Instead, it appears that most would rather demonize rather than discuss.

This reminds me about that old joke about how many LDS it takes to change a lightbulb.  The various versions have quite a number including Relief Society sisters to bring refreshments and deacons to set up chairs, but at the end the punchline comes with one or more LDS apologists to deny that the lightbulb ever had to be changed in the first place.

Silly and irrelevant. No LDS Apologists are deny that it took place. That's a fantasy of your own fabrication.

Not only is civility always appropriated, but basic honesty is, too. 

Ah, so now we get down to the not-so-veiled accustation of dishonesty! Who was it that was carping about "personal attacks" just a few posts ago?

The growing number of people who cite evasions, semantic games and incivility on the FAIR message forums as part of the many reasons they ultimately left the LDS Church suggests the apologist side is not being well served by such tactics.

Suggests to whom? You? On what limited data set are you drawing that conlcusion? Rather than call it semantics, why not address what Nighthawk actually wrote. She made a substantive point which, apparently, has gone right over your head.

C.I.

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Here's what you wrote:

I'm well aware of what I wrote.

"Of course, the smarmy, condescending tenor of your posts already exposes the fact that you're just trolling."

This reprents my opinioin of 1. the tenor of Aaron's post as I perceived it. 2. My perception of the purpose for such a post. His post followed the classic line of a troll posting in that it started in with a highly "emotional" accusation and then allowed the conversation to advance without ever attempting a substantive post in furtherance of the original. This is what trolls do.

You'll note that I didn't attack him, I attacked "the tenor of [his] posts" and then used that to draw a conclusion as to motivation. I never mentioned a single personal trait of Aaron.

And here's what you wrote to me:

"C'mon James, get a grip and start acting like an adult instead of a petulant little baby."

Indeed, now read what I actually wrote instead of ladening it down with your own perceptions of what I meant. I said, "start acting like an adult . . . " You'll note that I did not say that you are not an adult, but rather stated that you are "acting like" a petulant child. That is not an attack on you, but rather a critic of your post. Had I meant to attack you I would have said something to the effect of "James, you are such an arrogant . . . (add chosen insult here).

I did not do that, though I can how an undisciplined readin go what I wrote could lead to that conclusion.

Clearly, your definition of personal attacks and incivility differs from mine.

Ah yes, the obligatory claiming of the moral high ground. Just because I don't live up to your definition of "civility" doesn't mean I'm actually being "uncivil."

C.I.

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All right. Everyone has had their say. Get back on topic now or the thread will be closed. Last warning.

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In retrospect of what happened after, burning this newspaper was a colossal mistake. If Joseph could have constrained his Angel with its flaming sword to just point at the unmarried ladies, this whole unfortunate chain of events could have ben avoided and we could have had the Prophet lead everyone to Utah or where ever he would choose to go.

It might have also helped a bit, had JS not created the secret Council of Fifty and had

them ordain him king of the world -- just as he was campaigning to become the next

president of a united Canada, Mexico and United States.

And, it might have helped a little, had JS asked God for the pastoral skills necessary

in holding a church together, in which dissidents like his Counselor pro tem,

Elder Law, felt that their concerns were not being addressed by the top leadership.

All my life I've heard in Sunday School, how those "terrible apostates" in Nauvoo, in

1844, brought down the wrath of the Gentiles upon the poor, suffering, persecuted

Saints, by slandering the innocent prophet, and accusing him of filthy acts with the

equally innocent young females of the Church.

nauvoolegion.jpg

When will the day arrive, when a TBM has the guts to stand up and say that things

might have gone much, much better at Nauvoo, had JS shouldered more responsibility

as a proactive leader, working both within and without the Church to spread the love

of Jesus and accomodating of differing viewpoints on politics and religion?

But no -- I ask too much, and I know it.

Uncle "it was those apostates' fault! Joseph was meekly following the commands of Jehovah!" Dale

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Uncle Dale:

Please explain the term Manifest Destiny". cool.gif

Well, our moderators are already pulling their hair over disgressions from the main

issue at hand, which is whether the Nauvoo Expositor of June 7, 1844 contained

any lies about the top leadership in that city.

No doubt we could study Klaus J. Hansen's 1967 Quest for empire: The Political

Kingdom of God and the Council of Fifty in Mormon History, in terms of some sort

of "manifest religious destiny," but that would be quite a strectch from the topic at

hand. Were the monogamous reformers at Nauvoo in 1844 afraid that Smith and the

Council of Fifty were about to make an attempt to wrest the western regions from the

Republic of Mexico? Perhaps -- but that was more John C. Bennett's party line than the

Expositor's

manifest-destiny-3.jpg

In it's most full-blown proposition, "Manifest Destiny" was the racist, imperialist notion

that the culture, religion and politics of the United States of America should extend

beyond the Mississippi, gobbling up the Indian Territory -- should extend to the Pacific,

gobbling up the Mexican lands -- should extend to Hawaii, gobbling up an independent

kingdom -- and should extend to Manila Bay, where the white, Christian, Americans

could stash a fleet of battleships for future needs.

How does Mormonism fit into this "mighty wind blowing everything not tacked-down

westward?" Perhaps that's a subject for a different thread, eh?

"Thus spake the Angel of the Prairies; and when he had ceased to speak, I still continued to listen; for such a blaze of glory and intelligence burst at once upon my view, and events so passing strange, so complicated, so unlooked for, had taken place in a single century, and had been related to me in so masterly a manner, that I stood overwhelmed with astonishment and wonder, and could hardly believe my senses. "Is it possible," thought I, "that a republic founded upon the most liberal principles, and established by the sweat and blood and tears of our renowned ancestors, and so cherished and respected by their children, has faded like the dazzling splendor of the morning's dawn? has withered like an untimely flower? and that, too, by the corruption of its own degenerate sons, the very persons who should have cherished it forever? Where was the spirit of patriotism, of freedom, of love of county which had once characterized the sons of liberty, and warmed the bosoms of Americans?"

With reflections like these I had commenced a lamentation over my fallen, lost and ruined country. But suddenly recollecting myself, and calling to mind the other events which had been related, my sorrow was turned into joy. I saw, although there had been great corruption and a general overthrow of our government and its institutions, yet many of the sons of noble sires had stood firm and unshaken in the cause of freedom; even amid the wreck of states and the crash of thrones, they had maintained their integrity, and when they had no longer a county or government to fight for, they retired to the plains of the West, carrying with them the pure spirit of freedom..."

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/1880PrtA.htm

Uncle Dale

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See any difference between asking about Smith's polygamy and Smith's pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts?

Aw, Nighthawke, many sincere and thoughtful people see this as just an evasion. In particular, many sincere and thoughtful people concerned with what they may consider to be the LDS Church's efforts to whitewash ugly historical situations may well reject such an evasion. If your apologist efforts are to be as persuasive as possible, you might wish to strike evasion off your list.

The truth is that Smith had plural wives while denying that he did not and that some of his apostles did, too. It is also true that the Expositor revealed this situation and that's why Smith ordered it silenced.

I don't believe anyone has ever accused me of evading a question on polygamy before. I don't have a problem discussing polygamy, I invite all questions re: polygamy. The discussion at hand however is the Nauvoo Expositor.

I posted two quotations, one from William Clayton and one from Joseph Smith to show that one of the problems with the Nauvoo Expositor (which I mentioned in a previous post: "I believe the way the apostates who published the Expositor twisted Joseph Smith's King Follett discourse re: the plurality of gods particularly rankled the Nauvoo Saints--even more than the comments on a plurality of wives.") was "bitter misrepresentation" and "slander". I then posted the following to show as an example of the "bitter misrepresentation" and "slander":

Surely any competent reader familiar with Latter-day Saint teachings on 'celestial marriage (including the plurality of wives) and families sealed together forever' will notice its misrepresentation in the Expositor who wrote that this doctrine was basically 'pernicious and diabolical whoredoms leading the Saints to metamorphose into beasts.' If the Saints were involved in whoredoms, who were the whores? I don't know, is it just me or does anyone else feel this might be a tad upsetting?

I don't see how anyone could not see the "bitter misrepresentation" and "slander" in the above example, for someone to intimate such is pretty evasive I think.

This is only a single example. The Expositor was full of such injurious statements from start to finish including repealing the city charter for Nauvoo. I ask once more, not to evade anything but to place oneself in the shoes of these people and to look at it from their point of view, how would you feel if you had drained a swamp, suffered from malaria and other divers diseases while clearing the land, lived in tents (if you were one of the lucky ones), experienced deprivations, et cetera and by the sweat of your brow and the blood of your dead relatives buried nearby, built a city only to have bitter apostates pandering to the county's anti-Mormons and "old citizens of the county" to repeal the city's charter? Were the Saints about to lose their homes once again by the use of armed men/mobs?

With such threats, it is commendable that all that was destroyed was the printing press which, as the Saints had shown when the "Mormons' own press had been destroyed by a Missouri mob in 1833", could easily be replaced:

This was not the first time that frontier justice refused to recognize the right to a free press as inviolate. The printing press of abolitionist Elijah P. Lovejoy had been damaged and dumped in a river by a Missouri mob (who followed him into Illinois) in 1836. The destruction ruffled few feathers, other than those of the injured owner. Other attacks followed and, a year later, Lovejoy was murdered by another mob who then proceeded to destroy his fourth press. No one was convicted for either crime, and those who undertook to defend the press were themselves brought to trial. The Mormons' own press had been destroyed by a Missouri mob in 1833. With the publication of a compilation of Smith's revelations imminent, their print shop was reduced to rubble, the press ruined, and the type and galley sheets scattered. All told, perhaps sixteen violent attacks on presses or editors occurred in Illinois between 1832 and 1867, and another handful in other states.

- Terryl L. Givens, The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy, p. 34.

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When will the day arrive, when a TBM has the guts to stand up and say that things

might have gone much, much better at Nauvoo, had JS shouldered more responsibility

as a proactive leader, working both within and without the Church to spread the love

of Jesus and accomodating of differing viewpoints on politics and religion?

But no -- I ask too much, and I know it.

:P It is obvious that burning the press was a huge mistake. But JS had a gun pointed at him almost from the start...he was not running the Miss America pageant where everyone wishes for world peace. Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit, Uncle? It sucks the life out of you. JS was sued around 80 times. If he hadn't had filed the usual response to the last one they probably wouldn't have gone around the laws to grab him. I don't know of a "TBM" who could not make a list of dozens of things that "should" have been done. In hindsight...who couldn't? I also think it is common knowledge that the Mormons irritated their neighbors with their "we are God's chosen and this land is ours" routine. Common enough that it will come up in church as a warning.

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When will the day arrive, when a TBM has the guts to stand up and say that things

might have gone much, much better at Nauvoo, had JS shouldered more responsibility

as a proactive leader, working both within and without the Church to spread the love

of Jesus and accomodating of differing viewpoints on politics and religion?

But no -- I ask too much, and I know it.

:P It is obvious that burning the press was a huge mistake. But JS had a gun pointed at him almost from the start...he was not running the Miss America pageant where everyone wishes for world peace. Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit, Uncle? It sucks the life out of you. JS was sued around 80 times. If he hadn't had filed the usual response to the last one they probably wouldn't have gone around the laws to grab him. I don't know of a "TBM" who could not make a list of dozens of things that "should" have been done. In hindsight...who couldn't? I also think it is common knowledge that the Mormons irritated their neighbors with their "we are God's chosen and this land is ours" routine. Common enough that it will come up in church as a warning.

Point well taken, Sister --

When I used to make such remarks within Reorganized LDS Church, it was often

pointed out to me, as a sort of response, that "The Lord made use of the weak things

of the earth to restore his Gospel, and Joseph the Seer was never meant to be a new

Isaiah, full of kindness to the Gentiles."

I resisted such justifications of Smith's misjudgments then -- because I was being told

that ALL HE DID was as a consequence of God whispering in his ear, telling him to

destroy the Expositor and telling him to muster the Legion against the Illinois

militia, headed by Governor Ford, etc.

You seem to offer a middle ground approach to what was then going on. And, if I

read you right, it's an approach that I am more comfortable with than the "Joseph as

a puppet of God" justifications I rebelled against some years ago.

Just as possibility, might we suppose that God wished JS to take a LESS confrontive

stance with the Gentiles; a LESS intense & overwhleming (to the old citizens, at least)

Hancock Co. gathering; a MORE honest accounting of plural marriage (at least with the

common elders and other saintly monogamists); and even a LESS violent response

to the openly hostile public press?

If so -- such a "possibility" opens new rays of hope for me -- that God does not go

about destroying printing presses and mustering armed legions to defend his latter

day leaders, from due process of law.

Uncle Dale

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Uncle Dale:

And JS should not believe in some form of Manifest Destiny?

This very tenet was the big change, which made the Reorganized LDS Church less

obnoxious to its Gentile neighbors -- that is, the Reorganization did not endorse the

political kingdom of God.

J. J. Strang, Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, etc. ALL had plans for the

political kingdom, which was to set the stage for the Second Coming. They advocated

this policy because it truly was a tenet of the pre-1844 Church, albeit it mostly a

secret one.

So, coming out of an RLDS background, my views are just naturally opposed to the

institution of the political kingdom, as being the stone cut from the mountain, not by

human hands, which rolls forth, displacing or destroying all political and religious

institutions in its path.

Somehow JS and his closest associates (like Rigdon, and later J. C. Bennett) were able

to marry the prophecies in the Book of Daniel with the notion of the U. S. Constitution

being the ground-plan for that "final kingdom." Given the fact that this amalgamation

of religion and politics came at the end of the Jacksonian Era, when "Manifest Destiny"

was first creeping into U. S. foreign and domestic politics, it is not so unexpected to

see elements of "Manifest Destiny" (and later, "Popular Sovereignty") incorporated

into the more secretive side of Mormonism at Nauvoo.

Did God authorize JS to be crowned King of the World? Did God authorize the secret

Council of Fifty to begin to act as a "shadow government," readying "ambassadors"

to The Republic of Texas and other "foreign" powers?

If so, what good results ever came from any of that? If we are to judge a tree by its

fruit, I would say that the tree of "Political Kingdom" theocracy (with a few graftings

from manifest destiny) was a bad tree that bore bad fruit -- and the early RLDS

were wise to drop that portion of Mormonism altogether.

rumreor1.gif

Too bad that the Reorganization was never honest enough about the Expositor

incident to realize how much it had in common with the "Reformed LDS Church" of

William Law. When Jason W. Briggs, the President of the RLDS Council of Twelve,

said a few good things about the "Lawites," he was silenced and dropped from that

top quorum:

"From  Nauvoo  Expositor."

"That there does exist an order of things with the systematic elements of organization in our midst [at Nauvoo]; a system which, if exposed in its naked deformity, would make the virtuous mind revolt with horror; a system in the exercise of which lays prostrate all the dearest ties in our social relations; the glorious fabric upon which human happiness is based, ministers to the worst passions of our nature, and throws us back into the benighted regions of the dark ages, we have the greatest reason to believe." Nauvoo Expositor, June 7, 1844."

Jason W. Briggs' Remarks on the above 1844 sentiments:

"Taking the foregoing extracts as foreshadowing the design and character of the opposition whose organ it was, the Expositor deserved a better fate. The system alluded to "which lays prostrate all the dearest ties in our social relations," and "make the virtuous mind revolt with horror," was no doubt the "elementary" order of things which has since unfolded itself in Utah, blossomed and filled the land with its accursed fruit, and reproduced the "dark ages," in the depravity in morals and terrible crimes. The system which Brigham Young says was revealed to him, "before the church ever thought of it," and which he calls the "cable of the church;" and Orson Pratt calls it "celestial marriage." The single note of warning by the Expositor at the first cropping out of this "pernicious and diabolical" scheme was creditable to its conductors, and their testimony to the original principles corroborates that of the Reorganization respecting the 'old paths.'"

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/UT/utahmisc.htm#100075

Apostle Jason W. Briggs' candid reference to the "note of warning by the Expositor," was a rare RLDS admission of the Expositor's core anti-polygamy message. However, Briggs carefully edited out any reference to the polygamy advocated and practiced by Joseph Smith, Jr. He must have noticed the mass of documentation that the Expositor staff presented in that regard -- the fact that Briggs did not condemn their conclusions is probably significant -- but the pro-Smith religious environment within the RLDS Church did not allow Briggs to admit much more than his excerpts reveal.

Uncle Dale

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Serious,

Not sure which specific statement by Joseph refering to Emma being his only wife you were wanting, except maybe the following one given that April 1844 by Joseph (note: condensed):

"I had not been married scarcely five minutes, and made one proclamation of the Gospel, before it was reported that I had seven wives....I am innocent of all these charges...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 am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers." (Joseph Smith, Jr., 'History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints', 6:410-411 as quoted in 'Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy', vol. 1)

It would appear from this statement that Joseph believed himself innocent of polygamy. Would it not be just as true his statement "I can prove them all perjurors" apply also to those women who claimed plural marriage/intimacy with Joseph after his death?

Bradley E. Barnhart, priest (RLDS Restorationist)

Springfield, OR.

Hey I didn't think I was going to hit the jack pot on this one! Congratulations you brought me the very one I read so many years ago.

thanx!

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>Did God authorize JS to be crowned King of the World?

I missed the citation on that one. When you say, king of the world, I assume you have a citation where he was crowned the highest authority of a political kingdom at his time, is that correct? We are talking about the king of the USA, Britian, European nations, etc. and not some spiritual kingdom.

I am very interested in your citation on that one.

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When will the day arrive, when a TBM has the guts to stand up and say that things

might have gone much, much better at Nauvoo, had JS shouldered more responsibility

as a proactive leader, working both within and without the Church to spread the love

of Jesus and accomodating of differing viewpoints on politics and religion?

But no -- I ask too much, and I know it.

:P It is obvious that burning the press was a huge mistake. But JS had a gun pointed at him almost from the start...he was not running the Miss America pageant where everyone wishes for world peace. Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit, Uncle? It sucks the life out of you. JS was sued around 80 times. If he hadn't had filed the usual response to the last one they probably wouldn't have gone around the laws to grab him. I don't know of a "TBM" who could not make a list of dozens of things that "should" have been done. In hindsight...who couldn't? I also think it is common knowledge that the Mormons irritated their neighbors with their "we are God's chosen and this land is ours" routine. Common enough that it will come up in church as a warning.

It is a reusable explaination we could all put to any of the early apostles and prophets. When Satan knows who Christ is using for something important, imediately those weaker things around the chosen one can be used to become an 'energy' user. (Joseph who was sold into Egypt)

It is like playing chess with the devil and all his minions. They keep you so busy keeping his tail out of hot water he makes mistakes through emotional fatique. Then add to this his people pleasing personality.

It really makes you wonder if God didn't see it all coming and thought that making JS look bad was a great way to weed out spiritually deficient people who would hitch their wagon to mistakes instead of listening to the Lord. Stumbling blocks for the spiritually blind.

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Just as possibility, might we suppose that God wished JS to take a LESS confrontive

stance with the Gentiles; a LESS intense & overwhleming (to the old citizens, at least)

Hancock Co. gathering; a MORE honest accounting of plural marriage (at least with the

common elders and other saintly monogamists); and even a LESS violent response

to the openly hostile public press?

Bushman says that JS did not like being crossed. I just think they were between a rock and a hard place with most of this. It just never let up. That does tend to make people paranoid. The one thing I do understand lying about was polygamy. I think that would have been the end of them had they admitted it. Of course, it would be much more comfortable for us had he never started it. But then I wouldn't be here.

I am really disinterested in Mormon history...but I went to a power point lecture by a man who has put together a presentation of all of the lawsuits JS endured. It was stunning and very easy to see where they had made bad decisions. I hope to get him for our FAIR conference.

Let me add, Uncle...if you have ever been involved in a start-up organization with a bunch of do-gooders who are all new at it....you would not believe the bad decisions that go on and the predators that move in.

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