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Polygamy Denials In Times & Seasons


Thinking

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"There is a difference between being deceitful, which is deliberate and being mistaken, which is not." (alter idem - from the Brigham Young thread)

Was the Church deceitful when it denied plural marriage in the Times and Seasons?

Times And Seasons - March 15, 1844, vol. 5, pp 474:

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Well the first one doesn't seem much of a lie to me. It's true. You can't have as many wives as you want if you have a certain priesthood. That was true in the days of polygamy as in days of monogamy. Think of David...

The next might be more of a condemnation of the idea of spiritual wifery, not so much polygamy. But I'm not very polished on history on the issue of polyg.

The last would need more historical (as well as context from the paper itself). And I'm no history buff.

With luv,

BD

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After lurking on several discussion about these statements, I've come to the conclusion that the Brethren were purposefully dismissive and deflected the questions on technicalities because:

1) The Principle was just being established by God and they were not instructed to reveal it publicly, and

2) It was no one elses d@#* business but those who entered into it.

If I were married to two women and someone was prying into my personal business I'd tell them I've been one hundred percent two hundred percent faithful to my wife! :P

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Thinking takes three quotes out of context and then makes offensive accusations.

The first quote was dealing specifically with those who were teaching things they were not authorized by the brethern to teach. As to the other quotes the context of time and place need to be looked at. I will leave that to the history buffs. Knowing the persecution the saints were under I wouldn't be surprised if they did an Abraham.

What I want to know is what is the motivation for someone to go to such effort to go through all the volumes of Times and Seasons to cherry pick three quotes so that person can gloat about how deceptive the church was. It cannot be a worthy motivation.

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Illinois was part of the United States at that time and the Mormons were surrounded by people who would not have taken kindly to polygamy, let alone some of the members who were not aware of it and had not yet been sold on the idea. Keeping such a practice under wraps was simply in response to what would have been an avalanche of condemnation and intervention. In the safety of Utah were the Church was the law, it could be practiced openly, at least for several decades before it was curtailed within the main group.

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Thinking takes three quotes out of context and then makes offensive accusations.

Is this out of context?

October 1, 1842 (Vol. III No. 23)

All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that husbands, parents and masters who exercise control over their wives, children, and servants and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.

We have given the above rule of marriage as the only one practiced in this church, to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system" is a matter of his own manufacture; and further to disabuse the public ear, and shew [show] that the said Bennett and his misanthropic friend Origen Bachelor, are perpetrating a foul and infamous slander upon an innocent people, and need but be known to be hated and despise. In support of this position, we present the following certificates:-

We the undersigned members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and residents of the city of Nauvoo, persons of families do hereby certify and declare that we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to show that Dr. J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system" is a creature of his own make as we know of no such society in this place nor never did.

S. Bennett, N. K. Whitney,

George Miller, Albert Pettey,

Alpheus Cutler, Elias Higbee,

Reynolds Cahoon, John Taylor,

Wilson Law, E. Robinson,

W. Woodruff, Aaron Johnson.

We the undersigned members of the ladies' relief society, and married females do certify and declare that we know of no system of marriage being practised in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints save the one contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and we give this certificate to the public to show that J. C. Bennett's "secret wife system" is a disclosure of his own make.

Emma Smith, President,

Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Counsellor,

Sarah M. Cleveland, Counsellor,

Eliza R. Snow, Secretary,

Mary C. Miller, Catharine Pettey,

Lois Cutler, Sarah Higbee,

Thirza Cahoon, Phebe Woodruff

Ann Hunter, Leonora Taylor,

Jane Law, Sarah Hillman,

Sophia R. Marks, Rosannah Marks,

Polly Z. Johnson, Angeline Robinson,

Abigail Works.

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Keeping such a practice under wraps was simply in response to what would have been an avalanche of condemnation and intervention.

The same might be said about the secret LDS Council of Fifty; the secret organzation

and development of the LDS Danites; Joseph Smith's secret coronation as King; the

secret re-wording of many of the original revelation texts; secret political agreements

with the Jacksonian Democrats; secret plans to assassinate ex-Governor Boggs of

Missouri; secret counterfeiting by top level LDS leaders; and secret blood oaths to

avenge the murders of the Smith brothers upon the heads of the people of Illinois.

In other words, keeping such secrets seems to cause problems -- and especially so

when we swear that The Brethren are totally honest, God-fearing men who would

never tell a lie nor harm a fly.

On the other hand, Mormonism is at its core an incipient theocracy, and all state

governments have the inherent right to protect state secrets, by any means necessary.

Uncle "Sometimes I wish I'd been born a Quaker" Dale

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After lurking on several discussion about these statements, I've come to the conclusion that the Brethren were purposefully dismissive and deflected the questions on technicalities because:

1) The Principle was just being established by God and they were not instructed to reveal it publicly, and

2) It was no one elses d@#* business but those who entered into it.

If I were married to two women and someone was prying into my personal business I'd tell them I've been one hundred percent two hundred percent faithful to my wife! :P

I've come to the conclusion that the Brethren were purposefully dismissive and deflected the questions on technicalities because:

\

So you think these two:

Times And Seasons - November 15, 1844, vol. 5, pp. 715:
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So on a personal level you, and I may as well, lie. But the challenge was put to the church as an institution and practice and it publically denied, or lied about it. Whetever the reasons, it was a lie.

Teancum

I am a very honest and open man. I reveal more about myself than I probably should... but don't pretend to be naive.

If you were to press me about information that was none of your business on an issue that would cause harm to people if I revealed it you are darn straight I'd lie to you. Like a rug! Abraham was obviously justified in doing so.

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2) It was no one elses d@#* business but those who entered into it.

Once again, a rationalization for polygamy makes me think of President Bill Clinton. For better or worse.

I serioulsy doubt Clinton was commanded of God, cleared it with Hillary and confided in his cabinet that he was to ___________ (fill in the blank yourself- I ain't getting the thread closed).

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2) It was no one elses d@#* business but those who entered into it.

Once again, a rationalization for polygamy makes me think of President Bill Clinton. For better or worse.

I serioulsy doubt Clinton was commanded of God, cleared it with Hillary and confided in his cabinet that he was to ___________ (fill in the blank yourself- I ain't getting the thread closed).

Notice that I only pointed out a similarity between rationalization #2 and Clinton.

"Commanded of God" was rationalization #1; if that's the definitive point, then maybe #2 is just confusing your case.

Just tryin' to help. :P

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2) It was no one elses d@#* business but those who entered into it.

Once again, a rationalization for polygamy makes me think of President Bill Clinton. For better or worse.

I serioulsy doubt Clinton was commanded of God, cleared it with Hillary and confided in his cabinet that he was to ___________ (fill in the blank yourself- I ain't getting the thread closed).

Notice that I only pointed out a similarity between rationalization #2 and Clinton.

"Commanded of God" was rationalization #1; if that's the definitive point, then maybe #2 is just confusing your case.

Just tryin' to help. <_<

:P "Yer honor, I'd like to rest my case prior to my last stupid statement if I may..."

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If you were to press me about information that was none of your business on an issue that would cause harm to people if I revealed it you are darn straight I'd lie to you. Like a rug! Abraham was obviously justified in doing so.

So you do you agree the statements being discussed were dishonest, a lie, a cover up? And are you saying that the Church was justified in such actions?

Teancum

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Is this out of context?

I said context of time and place which the critics of either our American history or Church history seem to ignore.

In fact in thinking about these statements, for the majority of the church at the time they were absolutely true. Not everyone was authorized to practice polygamy in the beginning, and even later it had certain regulations that had to be met.

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An alternative view on Joseph Smith and polygamy is online at http://www.restorationbookstore.org in the JSFP section. I thought the commentary dealing with Eliza R. Snow the so-called best documented plural wife of Joseph Smith's was pretty good. Legally because of critical flaws in the testimonies Joseph Smith was not a polygamist. Book's like Joseph Smith Who Was He? Did He Teach or Practice Polygamy? by Willard J. Smith have brought up these critical flaws for years. Even the testimony that made it into the Temple Lot case was rejected by the Judge in the case. They were not based on any point of law evidence of Joseph Smith's guilt.

The testimony of the key alleged earthly wives did not stand up in court.

Todd Comptom in his In Sacred Lonliness only satisfied me that Joseph Smith may have gotten in the platonic sealing aspect of plural marriage. I do not think all his documents he uses such as William Clayton's Nauvoo Journal have been proven authentic. The allegation D.&C. 132 was altered in the published version has been around for years. The best LDS apologetic response to Jame's Whitheads Temple Lot case claim that it was altered to differ from the copy he had seen is to accuse him of perjury. The copy was probably destroyed in 1852.

Basically Todd Comptom numerous times in his book admits that he knows nothing about anything happening in the marriage after they were sealed to Joseph Smith. But he expexts us to believe Joseph Smith lived with some of these very women even though he does not know that. I think if he was going to suggest something of worth it would have been possibly anything could have happened including agreements or associations for worlds to come without marital rights in the flesh.

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The only acceptable rationalization for lying is when telling the truth would endanger lives. This is the "Anne Frank" case, and I believe it is justified. It might apply to Joseph Smith and polygamy. OTOH, it would seem most wise for the institution of polygamy to be held off until the Saints had reached a location where they could truly practice their religion without fear or a need to lie. It's a sticky situation overall, and I'm reluctant to judge.

What I find really troubling is the deception of Emma right from the beginning of Joseph's polygamous relationships. If he had to hide it from his own wife, then he knew he was doing something wrong, IMO. Not a good way to plant the seeds of higher marriage.

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The only acceptable rationalization for lying is when telling the truth would endanger lives. This is the "Anne Frank" case, and I believe it is justified. It might apply to Joseph Smith and polygamy. OTOH, it would seem most wise for the institution of polygamy to be held off until the Saints had reached a location where they could truly practice their religion without fear or a need to lie. It's a sticky situation overall, and I'm reluctant to judge.

What I find really troubling is the deception of Emma right from the beginning of Joseph's polygamous relationships. If he had to hide it from his own wife, then he knew he was doing something wrong, IMO. Not a good way to plant the seeds of higher marriage.

This may be a question for another thread, but I'm curious if we really know for a fact that Joseph did lie to Emma. I would be curious if any Church history buffs are aware of the actual timeline. Did Joseph actually secretly take another wife without Emma knowing about it, or did he tell Emma about polygamy and Emma (justifiably) wasn't happy about it, but begrudgingly agreed to it, and the second marriage followed?

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This may be a question for another thread, but I'm curious if we really know for a fact that Joseph did lie to Emma. I would be curious if any Church history buffs are aware of the actual timeline. Did Joseph actually secretly take another wife without Emma knowing about it, or did he tell Emma about polygamy and Emma (justifiably) wasn't happy about it, but begrudgingly agreed to it, and the second marriage followed?

Liz - sounds like you need to read the anti-mormon bible - RSR :P. Bushman makes it quite clear that he decieved Emma. At the very least, he had entered into other marriages prior to Emma's knowledge.

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After lurking on several discussion about these statements, I've come to the conclusion that the Brethren were purposefully dismissive and deflected the questions on technicalities because:

1) The Principle was just being established by God and they were not instructed to reveal it publicly, and

2) It was no one elses d@#* business but those who entered into it.

If I were married to two women and someone was prying into my personal business I'd tell them I've been one hundred percent two hundred percent faithful to my wife! :P

That line of thinking is stunning to me.

They are all deceptive and at least one of the statements was such that I cannot conceive of how one argues that it was not a flat out lie. I am pretty creative but I can't see how would someone would argue that point?

It seems simliar to me saying that we don't eat sugar in my family while in fact we do almost every day.

As for "its none of their business", I wonder if that principle would apply to a group that decides to incorporate illegal drugs into their practices or how about the collecting of illegal arms or, well.... other illegal stuff.

Illegality and deception are the two key words here.

Of course, I believe that there was also to be more decption later in church history on the topic of polygamy.

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