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Joseph Antley

Thomas Marsh And The Milk And Strippings

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Darth- there is evidence the milk stripping incident occurred. For one thing, Marsh himself never countered it though he was well aware of it. Further, there are contemporary journal entries that discuss the incident. While we typically afford it more than its due weight in terms of causing Marsh's apostasy, trying to claim it didn't happen at all goes too far. I'm doing more research on this incident but it is far from being ready to talk about.

Oh, I'm interested. The BCC source said that it wasn't discussed in the HP meeting that GAS referred to, at least by the official notes. I'm open to it having occurred, but considering all that was going on at the time, to say that this was the cause of his defection would be a little much. I think his official reason for leaving would be much more reasonable. I have annoying people in my ward and some very good friends that have much different opinions than I have and it doesn't phase me. I have been wronged by other church members (and even church policies). Still a member. When they want to go off and start hurting people, that's when I reconsider my associations. Perhaps I project too much.

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Oh, I'm interested. The BCC source said that it wasn't discussed in the HP meeting that GAS referred to, at least by the official notes.

The trial was not held before the High Council, so no one should expect to find it in their minutes.

Issues like this were usually handled by the teacher's quorum first, whose job it was to monitor backbiting in the church and mediate disputes. There is a lot of examples of teachers being assigned to resolve quarrels between parties, including women in the Far West Teacher's Minute Book in the Selected Collections from the Church Archive CD 1:19 . Unfortunately the meeting notes stop including much detail about cases they handled after 1835 IIRC. Or that quorum got bigger than 24 so another quorum handled it. Teachers functioned as branch presidents as Priests, elders, and high priests weren't allowed in 1838. There were no wards yet in the stake.

Next it was tried in the Bishop Partridge's court. If G. A. Smith wasn't in attendance, he could have gotten it from his future cousin-in-law, Henry Bigler, or his cousin Joseph Smith who were in attendance. Joseph was personally involved because his wife was involved in the dispute with Elizabeth Harris. George A. Smith had ample time to discuss with Joseph, what Joseph thought was the last straw in Marsh's apostasy. And G. A. Smith had reason to be particularly interested given that he was called to fill a vacancy in the Twelve (in part created by Marsh).

The BCC thread links to a M* discussion that some dude named Keller found a much earlier source for the Marsh story and provided a transcript of G.A. Smith's cousin-in-law's journal entry. But LoaP's study should supercede all previous work.

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I didn't say they had a great deal of knowledge. I said they understood the necessity. Your prior comment implies that Adam chose being with his wife over obeying God. I don't think that conclusion is warranted by what we know about the matter.

I'm not so sure.

Without going into specifics, I think my view is warranted by what we learn in the temple.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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When they taught this lesson in my ward everyone in the class knew it wasn't "that simple". The milk dispute was an excuse - an indicator of deeper problems - not "the one reason" Marsh left.

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I'm kind of interested to know "the rest of the story" (so to speak.) I know that Marsh separated from his wife around 1857 and he went to Utah and she and her son went to California. I know this because the son, Thomas E. Marsh ended up in Saratoga, California which is about two minutes away from where I grew up and his daughter married a very famous judge. I don't know (and can't find any info) on what the Marshs did from the time they left the church to the time the couple separated. I'm not even sure if they have any living descendants.

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I thought that Marsh left the church over his disgust about the raids conducted by some Mormons against Gallatin and other settlements. The milk strippings incident happened about the same time, but its not the reason he left. George A. Smith refered to the incident as causation while exhorting the saints to build some fences, and that is probably the reason for the legend as most members know it now, but that might be akin to saying that Sonia Johnson became a feminist activist and left the LDS church because the Bishop stepped in front of her at the drinking fountain one day.

This fails to evaluate the historical evidence thoroughly, though. There were a lot of factors that led to Marsh's disaffection. To argue the milk stripping incident didn't play a part is to misunderstand Marsh's position, his relationship with his wife and other church leaders, and the implications of an embarrassing and relatively public church court. Again, plenty more info to learn about the situation before tossing it off as a joke.

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This fails to evaluate the historical evidence thoroughly, though. There were a lot of factors that led to Marsh's disaffection. To argue the milk stripping incident didn't play a part is to misunderstand Marsh's position, his relationship with his wife and other church leaders, and the implications of an embarrassing and relatively public church court. Again, plenty more info to learn about the situation before tossing it off as a joke.

Well, I know, but in my limited experience, the story is told in isolation, giving the impression that this was the sole cause. It was much deeper, but it is rarely represented as such.

I'm getting offended by all this. Time to take a vacation from church....and work, and everything else for a couple of weeks.

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This fails to evaluate the historical evidence thoroughly, though. There were a lot of factors that led to Marsh's disaffection. To argue the milk stripping incident didn't play a part is to misunderstand Marsh's position, his relationship with his wife and other church leaders, and the implications of an embarrassing and relatively public church court. Again, plenty more info to learn about the situation before tossing it off as a joke.

I think what he is saying is that the milk incident was only one of many things that led to his apostacy--but certainly not THE thing. Not by a long shot. I do think it was much more of an issue than someone taking cuts in line, but that was just an example.

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I'm getting offended by all this. Time to take a vacation from church....and work, and everything else for a couple of weeks.

Lol! Just try to stay away from cheese while you're gone!

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I'm not so sure.

Without going into specifics, I think my view is warranted by what we learn in the temple.

Without going into specifics, what we learn in the temple is precisely what brings me to the opposite conclusion.

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Well, I know, but in my limited experience, the story is told in isolation, giving the impression that this was the sole cause. It was much deeper, but it is rarely represented as such.

I'm getting offended by all this. Time to take a vacation from church....and work, and everything else for a couple of weeks.

What if LDS leaders suspected Marsh of much worse than the milk strippings, including certain affidavits and so forth? Perhaps it would be prudent to circulate a less radical view of Marsh and leave more heated aspects to rest. Speculation like this has no real bounds, though, so I only advance that as food for thought.

I have no doubt the milk story is often invoked as a morality tale that essentially says "don't let the little things bother you." As you say there are deeper issues involved, no doubt. Creating a moral from a story like this is not uncommon in homiletics, generally. Mormons especially seem to have a drive to find meaning in personal experiences and narratives, and their approach shouldn't be confused with other methods of historical inquiry. The problem is the conflation of method and intent.The problem is compounded when overzealous folks go too far in their efforts at "debunking" and look far past the mark, even to the point of suggesting the story was invented from whole cloth. This is actually less honorable than the homiletic approach, in my opinion, because it ought to be holding itself to the same standards it demands of the milk story approach.

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I will throw in that when we discussed this incident the week before last in Gospel Doctrine class, I wanted to make sure the class did not think this was a stilly trifle of an incident, as it is often portrayed, but that Thomas Marsh was actually "in a straight betwixt two" conflicting covenants; one to his church, and the other to his wife.

This is more similar to me to Joseph and Emma and plural marriage than Adam and Eve.

In any case I think the milk incident was real and the factor in leading to apostasy was the inability to humble oneself and acknowledge wrong-doing and seek to repair the rift. I think it was the lack of humility relating to the incident that was the real cause of Marsh's fall. Pride after all cometh before the fall.

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If you get your milk straight from a cow (as opposed to homogenized and bottled in a grocery store)

Most state governments forbid non-homogenized milk. Are you fermenting rebellion and whipping up civil disobedience, Brother Lloyd?

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Most state governments forbid non-homogenized milk. Are you fermenting rebellion and whipping up civil disobedience, Brother Lloyd?

I think (though I can't say for sure) it might be more correct to say most state governments forbid the sale of non-homogenized milk but not the consumption, as on a family farm with its own milk cow. And even with that said, I think you might be confusing homogenization with pasteurization.

At any rate, Joseh Antley, with his self-confessed lack of understanding about milk strippings, is what my salt-of-the-earth parents might have called a greenhorn.

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I think you might be confusing homogenization with pasteurization.

Homogenization is illegal, too. Falls under anti-trust.

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In the spring of 1837, Thomas Marsh was experiencing frustration concerning his position as President of the Quorum of the Twelve. Although an 1835 revelation seemed to place his quorum next to the First Presidency in the church government (see D&C 107:22-23), in reality the presidency in Missouri and the two Church high councils had retained their supremacy (having been organized before the Twelve) next to the First Presidency. Furthermore, Thomas lamented that his quorum had not maintained close contact since their 1835 mission and that they had not been unified in fulfilling their divine calling as special missionaries. Even more serious to Thomas was the news that some members of his quorum had fallen into apostasy; he was likewise mortified to learn that Parley P. Pratt, also one of his quorum, was making preparations to proceed to England to preach the gospel.

Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten were first and second respectively in seniority among the Twelve, and both resided in Missouri. On 10 May 1837 they dispatched word to Parley requesting him to defer his mission across the Atlantic until the Quorum could convene. Thomas Marsh considered the taking of the gospel abroad an action of such magnitude that no member of the quorum should attempt it independently. In the letter, he called a meeting of the entire Quorum of the Twelve for 24 July 1837 in Kirtland, and Thomas Marsh and David Patten left sometime the following month for Ohio.

In the meantime, however, Joseph Smith had directed Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde of the Twelve to travel to England to preach the gospel. It is not known when Apostles Marsh and Patten learned of the departure of these missionaries, but it seems clear that the news angered them and shattered their hopes of unifying the Quorum. Brigham Young, remembering their arrival in Kirtland, later said: "As soon as they came, I got Marsh to go to Joseph But Patten would [not].... He got his mind prejudiced & when He went to see Joseph David insulted Joseph & Joseph slap[p]ed him in the face & kicked him out of the yard this done David good." It appears that Thomas B. Marsh desired to be the first to introduce the gospel abroad and was jealous that another of his quorum should upstage him.

In large measure, difficulties in the Quorum of the Twelve were resolved at the summer meeting in Kirtland, and Marsh's concerns relative to his quorum and their relationship to First Presidency were satisfactorily addressed in a revelation received by Joseph Smith on 23 July 1837 (D&C 112).

"I Have Sinned Against Heaven, and Am Unworthy of Your Confidence, But I Cannot Live Without a Reconciliation": Thomas B. Marsh Returns To the Church by Lyndon W. Cook, BYU Studies, vol. 20 (1979-1980), Number 4 - Summer 1980, p.393

Under Brigham Young, the "new" Quorum of the Twelve proved competent and fiercely loyal to Joseph and his principles and rendered extraordinary service at great sacrifice. After shared experiences in Britain molded this new quorum into an effective, united body of power, they returned home at a time when the Prophet's needs for loyal assistance had multiplied. The result, announced by Joseph Smith on 16 August 1841, was a significant realignment of assignment and authority, with the Twelve taking their place next to the First Presidency in managing all Church affairs. The ambiguity between the high councils and the Twelve that had so vexed Thomas Marsh and the apostles in Kirtland was over. The apostles had completed their preparation and the Prophet judged them, to use Brigham Young's phrase, "fit for power." What Thomas Marsh had dreamed of was now reality.

Throughout his service as president of the Twelve, Thomas Marsh had thought it his special mission to lead his quorum in taking the gospel abroad, and the July 1838 revelation (D&C 118), a few months before his apostasy, reaffirmed that mission. His 1857 letter to Heber Kimball pleading for readmission revealed that nineteen years later he still remembered: "I know what I have done; a mission was laid upon me & I have never filled it and now I fear it is too late, but it is filled by another. I see, the Lord could get along very well without me and He has lost nothing by my falling out of the ranks; But Oh what have I lost?"

Had Thomas B. Marsh remained faithful in 1838, he would have led the Quorum of the Twelve to England instead of Brigham Young and he would have presided over the "new quorum" and the "new role"-the one he had so impatiently longed for-that resulted from that mission. All this occurred, instead, without him.

Byron R. Merrill et al., comps., The Heavens Are Open: The 1992 Sperry Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History, p.128

The milk strippings were, I fear, merely the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Thomas Marsh and Orson Hyde lost a great deal from their falling away, but like Oliver Cowdery, they came back and should be recognized for the great things they did. We often don't think in terms of these men being prophets, but they were. Oliver Cowdery shared many of Joseph's early visions; so did Sidney Rigdon. Orson Hyde received a number of incredible visions showing the gospel going into the various nations of the world and the gathering of Judah to its ancestral homelands. Each of them, in their own way, was highly favored of the Lord. It's unfortunate that in some cases their pride got the best of them.

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