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Polygamy Denials In Times & Seasons


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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

So, are we to conclude that lying for the Lord is OK? Are we to conclude that the end justifies the means? Are we to conclude that the true Church is founded on deceit?

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But do you really think that justifies hiding it?  The main leaders were certianly doing it and lying about it.

Not if they were under oath not to reveal anything at that time.

Matthew 5:33-37

"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God

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Why has he tried to mislead people from the truth of his actual history?

And who are you to say what his actual history is. There have been so many stories, so much speculation, that much of what has been said cannot be believed. I believe the "actual" history is in the doctrines Joseph taught and in the fruits of his church.

Who am I? I am someone who was asked to believe that JS was a prophet. I was told to judge him by his works. So I have the right to judge the works of JS. What I recently found out that what the church teaches about Joseph Smith is not necessarily true. They are more concerned about teaching faith promoting things than teaching truth. So I am left to find the facts about its history myself. I can no longer trust the church to tell the truth about its history. I now understand why the church needs so many lawyer officers.

There have been stories and there has been speculation but there are also facts. I try to find the facts and then make my judgment. The facts on polygamy and the facts about JS's money-digging / mining career clearly indicate that JS was less then truthful and tried to hide his true history.

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And who are you to say what his actual history is. There have been so many stories, so much speculation, that much of what has been said cannot be believed. I believe the "actual" history is in the doctrines Joseph taught and in the fruits of his church.

Doctrines and fruits are history? Now that's some serious dancing!

Isn't it amazing that I, NoSmiles and others can study the LDS Church's own history, read something that doesn't make sense, question it, then be told that what we found was probably just speculation. Do you see the irony? The apologist is speculating that the history is just speculation!

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I guess I disagree. To me, if this was really from God, it was sure ungodly then way they brought it out.

Teancum

Yes it was ungodly that those engaging in a counterfeit practice of seduction, when caught and disfellowshipped, decided to accuse Joseph of the very crimes they themselves committed.

It was ungodly that a practice instituted by God and instituted among a called people was forced into the public eye and categorized as evil by those were bitter about being caught in their own sins and sought revenge upon the Saints.

- - -

I read the Bushman volume and would recommend it to anyone. It points out the Emma was informed and consented to several marriages, and may or may not have known about some subsequent.

Of course don't let evidence or good scholarship ruin the perfectly good mantra of "Joseph Lied". :P

The extreme camps of Joseph as liar vs. Joseph as perfect are both spouting idiocy.

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And who are you to say what his actual history is. There have been so many stories, so much speculation, that much of what has been said cannot be believed. I believe the "actual" history is in the doctrines Joseph taught and in the fruits of his church.

Doctrines and fruits are history? Now that's some serious dancing!

Isn't it amazing that I, NoSmiles and others can study the LDS Church's own history, read something that doesn't make sense, question it, then be told that what we found was probably just speculation. Do you see the irony? The apologist is speculating that the history is just speculation!

There's the problem...

Doesn't make sense to me = evil and wrong.

Doesn't agree with my understanding = hiding the truth and lying.

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And who are you to say what his actual history is. There have been so many stories, so much speculation, that much of what has been said cannot be believed. I believe the "actual" history is in the doctrines Joseph taught and in the fruits of his church.

Doctrines and fruits are history? Now that's some serious dancing!

Isn't it amazing that I, NoSmiles and others can study the LDS Church's own history, read something that doesn't make sense, question it, then be told that what we found was probably just speculation. Do you see the irony? The apologist is speculating that the history is just speculation!

There's the problem...

Doesn't make sense to me = evil and wrong.

Doesn't agree with my understanding = hiding the truth and lying.

Let

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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?

Yes he did take wives before Emma knew. Emma even signed the statement denying plural marriage when it was going on and she did not know. In fact, her RS secretary Eliza Snow was married to Joseph at that time, and Emma did not know. Her second counselor's daughter was also married to Joseph at that time and she did not know. The two women knew and deceived her as well and let her lend her name to a lie. But they justified it by using what they believed were different words. They did not practice spiritual wifery or polygamy so they could deny it. They practiced celestial marriage.

Later when Emma knew she was at a marriage ceremony for two women who married Joseph, the Partridge girls if I recall. But they had married Joseph previously. SO even that had some element of subterfuge towards Emma.

RSR and Mormon Enigma document this information.

Teancum

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Why is it that William Law and John C Bennett and others seem to get a pass when it was their blatant dishonesty that caused the whole mess. And these two men, in particular, as well as others, not only revealed to the world what they promised not to, but they distorted the facts so much they were beyond recognition, yet they are often praised by critics for their bravery in telling the truth. It makes me want to wretch.

T-Shirt

I do not recall that William Law got a pass. He never did the things that Bennett did. Yes Bennett was a scoundrel and perhaps Law became one. It seems though that Law became disenchanted when JS allegedly proposed to Law's wife to become a polyandrous wife of Joseph. Or that Law and his wife would not enter into the practice. Right or wrong it seems that plural marriage is what turned Law against Joseph.

As for keeping something secret that they promised not to? Are you sure Law committed to keeping plural marriage a secret? You know, the secrecy of this and other things in the late Nauvoo period just seem to smack of the secret combinations that Book of Mormon is so strong in condemning.

Teancum

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You know, the secrecy of this and other things in the late Nauvoo period just seem to smack of the secret combinations that Book of Mormon is so strong in condemning.

Poor Joseph must have missed the "...to get gain" part.

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The extreme camps of Joseph as liar vs. Joseph as perfect are both spouting idiocy.

No Dad. In thise case it is pretty clear that Jospeh lied, was deceitful or practiecd subterfuge, with his wife at a minimum. BTW, I do not condemn him for this per say. We all lie and sin. In regards to plural marriage I just think Joseph made some big mistakes. He still did a lot of other really great things.

Teancum

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You know, the secrecy of this and other things in the late Nauvoo period just seem to smack of the secret combinations that Book of Mormon is so strong in condemning.

Poor Joseph must have missed the "...to get gain" part.

Gain can mean more then money. Power, control, influence.

Teancum

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BTW, I do not condemn him for this per say. We all lie and sin. In regards to plural marriage I just think Joseph made some big mistakes. He still did a lot of other really great things.

What you just said is much more acceptable than- "Joseph is a liar." (emphasis on the period) and its not the kind of extreme position that I have a problem with.

I think Joseph struggled to understand how to implement the revelations he received too. They are inherantly frought with contradictions between obeying God and honoring one's spouse... That's why I think some of the difficulties arose, and why I think the subsequent questions and revelations on polygamy were so explicit in involving the whole family in the decision. That has not led me to conlcude that Joseph deserved being categorized as a liar and out of hand dismissed as being driven by his lusts to make up polygamy...

Thus my statement that the extreme camps on this issue too often spout idiocy.

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