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Lds Church's Department Of War


Uncle Dale

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According to Scott Kenney's forthcoming history of the Kirtland Era from Signature Books,

on September 24, 1835, the LDS Church established and organized a War Department with

David Whitmer appointed as the "Capt of the Lords Host."

As Kenney puts it, this was "the war department by revelation" in the early Mormon Church.

http://www.saintswithouthalos.com/m/350924.phtml

I am curious to know the subsequent history of this clandestine organization. Its existence was kept

secret from the Gentiles, so far as I can determine.

All of my queries along these lines have hit dead ends, except for one "suggestion," that I look

more closely into the activities of Anson Call and Lot Smith. I have no idea where to even begin

with that sort of research.

Any ideas?

Uncle Dale

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According to Scott Kenney's forthcoming history of the Kirtland Era from Signature Books,

on September 24, 1835, the LDS Church established and organized a War Department with

David Whitmer appointed as the "Capt of the Lords Host."

As Kenney puts it, this was "the war department by revelation" in the early Mormon Church.

http://www.saintswithouthalos.com/m/350924.phtml

I am curious to know the subsequent history of this clandestine organization. Its existence was kept

secret from the Gentiles, so far as I can determine.

All of my queries along these lines have hit dead ends, except for one "suggestion," that I look

more closely into the activities of Anson Call and Lot Smith. I have no idea where to even begin

with that sort of research.

Any ideas?

Uncle Dale

I've got one: Looks like it didn't amount to anything.

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I've got one: Looks like it didn't amount to anything.

That is, unless Sampson Avard was David Whitmer's replacement in that office, after David's

1838 excommunication at Far West. But Avard was too low in the pecking order for that sort of

"cabinet level" Church calling. Lyman Wight or David Patton are the more logical possibilities.

UD

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All of my queries along these lines have hit dead ends, except for one "suggestion," that I look

more closely into the activities of Anson Call and Lot Smith. I have no idea where to even begin

with that sort of research.

Any ideas?

Uncle Dale

Have you contacted the Church History Library?

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Have you contacted the Church History Library?

Was there in June, but had very little stamina for doing research -- looked a bit in the archives.

You have to be a direct descendant of some of those old greybeards to get access to their preserved

papers. I did come across one mention by a pres. of 70s that the Danites should be re-instated. But,

as they were never a legitimate part of the Church, that offhanded remark from the 1880s probably

counts for very little.

The RLDS used to have Apostle Lyman Wight's preserved papers -- but there were burned about

100 years back. He's the one whom I think was chosen to replace Whitmer as the "Captain," but

I have no documentary proof -- nothing relevant in "Journal History of the Church" until 1857 and

then nothing said about Wight himself.

I give up -- maybe after Scott's book comes out somebody will fill in the missing links.

UD

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That is, unless Sampson Avard was David Whitmer's replacement in that office, after David's

1838 excommunication at Far West. But Avard was too low in the pecking order for that sort of

"cabinet level" Church calling. Lyman Wight or David Patton are the more logical possibilities.

UD

This is from the Danite Constitution in the "Senate Document", pgs. 5-6:

Article 8th. All officers shall be subject to the commands of the Captain

General, given through the Secretary of War;and all officers shall be subject

to their superiors in rank, according to the laws made for the purpose.

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This is from the Danite Constitution in the "Senate Document", pgs. 5-6:

Apostle John E. Page specifically testified in Pittsburgh in 1841 that the accusations in that document were lies.

I tend to agree with the LDS General Authority on that particular point -- at least I do not trust

the information allegedly reproduced in its pages as being totally accurate and valid.

http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1838Sent.htm

UD

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What is your point, here, Unk?

On top of his pointy head!!

Sorry, couldn't resist, but this is an interesting topic. Thanks for bringing it up Unk. Early Church history is interesting and the more I learn about it, the more I realize that we, the members are so much like the early members, but then again, we are really different and we shouldn't expect them to act and think like we do.

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On top of his pointy head!!

Sorry, couldn't resist, but this is an interesting topic. Thanks for bringing it up Unk. Early Church history is interesting and the more I learn about it, the more I realize that we, the members are so much like the early members, but then again, we are really different and we shouldn't expect them to act and think like we do.

My point is that the LDS Church has built into its views on "theodemocracy" and its doctrines on the

"Political Kingdom," the seeds for a future joining of church and state.

Pope Julius II no doubt looked splendid in his custom-made black armor -- (at least Rex Harrison did).

But the days of the "church militant" should be past now and we really should not have to be worrying

about the establishment of any new caliphates, whether they be Muslim, Catholic or Mormon.

That was my point -- I just hope Mitt understands that, and would refuse to "follow the prophet" while

Mitt's presidential finger is tightly locked upon the nuclear trigger.

We already have one US President who wishes to be a character in the Book of Revelation -- enough!

UD

.

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Man, Dale, are you really this worried about Romney getting elected?

Do you think he was prepared and asked to run in behalf of the Church?

Do you think he will do whatever the 1st presidency tells him to do if elected?

Do you think Romney believes he is ushering in a theodemocracy, or that the church believes so?

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Man, Dale, are you really this worried about Romney getting elected?

Do you think he was prepared and asked to run in behalf of the Church?

Do you think he will do whatever the 1st presidency tells him to do if elected?

Do you think Romney believes he is ushering in a theodemocracy, or that the church believes so?

If the 1st presidency told you next week to set aside three years' supply of food, instead of one,

would you refuse to obey?

If you were President of the USA, with the launch codes from thermonuclear weapons in your

hand, and the 1st presidency received a revelation saying that God ordered Iran to be destroyed,

(exactly as He ordered the destruction of the Midianites in the Book of Numbers), would you refuse?

Joseph Smith, Jr. proposed short-circuiting all those sorts of unsettling questions. He would simply

be BOTH the Lord's Mouthpiece AND the President of the USA.

In today's world, would you vote for a Joseph Smith, Jr. to become the most powerful man in the world,

(were he living and leading the Church today)?

UD

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If the 1st presidency told you next week to set aside three years' supply of food, instead of one,

would you refuse to obey?

I'm unclear what having a food supply has to do with the issue, but I don't currently have a one year supply, so I'd probably do whatever I could.

If you were President of the USA, with the launch codes from thermonuclear weapons in your

hand, and the 1st presidency received a revelation saying that God ordered Iran to be destroyed,

(exactly as He ordered the destruction of the Midianites in the Book of Numbers), would you refuse?

1) I'm not president. Nor will I ever be.

2) I sincerely doubt the 1st presidency would receive this revelation, so your conjecture is nothing more than a game of "what ifs," which we could play until the end of time and never really get anywhere.

What if Uncle Dale decided to drive to Utah and slit my throat?

Joseph Smith, Jr. proposed short-circuiting all those sorts of unsettling questions. He would simply

be BOTH the Lord's Mouthpiece AND the President of the USA.

And was he going to force all into Mormonism or cut them down, or would he speak for equal rights?

In today's world, would you vote for a Joseph Smith, Jr. to become the most powerful man in the world,

(were he living and leading the Church today)?

Man.

If you really think the Pres. of the United States is the "most powerful man in the world" there isn't much else I can do for you.

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If you really think the Pres. of the United States is the "most powerful man in the world" there isn't

much else I can do for you.

I speak of that in terms of launching icbms around the world, without the need to obtain prior

permission from anybody.

Yes, the leadership of Russia and China have a similar power in their hands -- but without the

means to extend that operation around the entire world, with a massive navy and air force.

And yes, on a much smaller scale, the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, Israel, India

and Pakistan have a similar power.

But all of that added together does not equal the power we place into the hands of the USA's

"Commander-in-Chief." If Mitt Romeny is elected, he will have that power at his disposal. He

will have to answer to only two "higher authorities" -- the American People and God.

The American people speak to Romney at the ballot box --- how does God speak to Romney today?

UD

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If the 1st presidency told you next week to set aside three years' supply of food, instead of one,

would you refuse to obey?

This is a bad example. Ha ha. Joke, but seriously, a lot of people are refusing the one year supply.

If you were President of the USA, with the launch codes from thermonuclear weapons in your

hand, and the 1st presidency received a revelation saying that God ordered Iran to be destroyed,

(exactly as He ordered the destruction of the Midianites in the Book of Numbers), would you refuse?

Maybe there is a difference between that ONE special case of the prophet called the president (any president) up with that special instruction from God, perhaps, yes, conceivably a Mitt Romney would follow whereas none other would.

But that is different than being a sock puppet on a daily basis -- I don't think that is ridiculous even to contemplate, IMO. And I say this because if the LDS church were on a direct course right now of theodemocracy, Mitt Romney isn't it, and it wouldn't be in terms of the United States government, IMO, but see that's a possible discussion.

That still leaves the first scenario and whether or not that would be a good thing, or would automatically happen (would Romney obey automatically). Other than pointing out that there was a different set up of politics and religion in Hebrew times compared to us, period.

Also there is then the discussion about how disposed God is towards thermonuclear weapons and Iran anyhow. I mean, technically God is already inspiring George Bush about the present war, eh? some might say, so what's the big difference anyway? I mean, maybe God is much more likely to reveal to Gordon B. Hinckley and that would cause the major phone call -- "Hey, God said to get rid of the Social Security program." So you've got to discuss the likelihood of the content of any of those 'special' revelatory phone calls.

And, I'm pretty sure God is about ready to open the gospel for preaching in Iran rather than blowing it up. If Iran gets blown up (God or Satan), I'm going to be very, very sad :P for my sweetheart is there.

In today's world, would you vote for a Joseph Smith, Jr. to become the most powerful man in the world, (were he living and leading the Church today)?

I always write in "Gordon B. Hinckley" as my vote for president, because I have not in conscious been able to vote for any of the choices since I've been a voter (I would have voted for Elizabeth Dole, but that was short-lived). This election may actually be different; I'm torn between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney, and oddly enough part of why I'm reluctant to vote Romney is because I don't want to be seen as a Mormon voting for a Mormon (of course, no one is really going to be looking at the polls).

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Dale, I noticed you avoided answering my specific questions. I'll ask again:

Do you think he was prepared and asked to run in behalf of the Church?

Do you think he will do whatever the 1st presidency tells him to do if elected?

Do you think Romney believes he is ushering in a theodemocracy, or that the church believes so?

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All fair questions, Uncle Dale, if a bit off-base. Perhaps someone should ask him to what extent prophetic revelations will play a role in his decision-making process once elected (which is a long shot, seeing as how he is currently in fourth place in the primary polls).

I don't know if this helps much, but I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

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UD,

I've always been intrigued by your posts and your knowledge of Mormon history but I gotta say I find your off-the-wall conspiracy theory in a word....PSYCHO!

Yes -- were that to "come to pass," it would indeed be "psycho."

But the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and if rhetoric such as my own is overblown,

then at least it serves the purpose of directing our attention back to the principle of keeping

church and state totally separated ----- and especially so with religions that have a history of

being Ecclesia Militans.

In the spring of 1844 First Counsellor in the Presidency, Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the

General Conference assembled at Nauvoo, from the podium, with JS seated next to him.

This eloquent memeber of the LDS First Presidency gave a brief history of the rise of the

Latter Day Saints, and pointed out that as early as 1830, they had been suspected by their

neighbors of planning to one day replace the civil government.

Then Rigdon went on to say that was exactly the case in 1844 -- that the Political Kingdom of God

was to rule not only in religious matters, but in civil affairs as well.

In 1844 the Church had the armed Nauvoo Legion at its disposal -- as it did again in 1857-58.

Given its track record of failing to keep church and state separate -- and given its track record of

failing to keep the church non-militant, I suppose that the Mormon leadership has earned the

historical reputation of being less than fully trustworthy (by us non-LDS) in these matters.

For more "psycho" stuff, go back and read the arguments against the seating of LDS Apostle

Reed Smoot in the Congress, as published by the U.S. Senate. See also the warnings of Senator

Frank Cannon (son of another militant First Counsellor), from whose writings I have derived the

precept that the LDS Church contains within its doctrines the eventual joining of church and state.

All Romney has to do is to disavow "theodemocracy" and the "Political Kingdom of God" and the

concept of replacing English Common Law with Brighamite "Mountain Law." He can do that in less

than ten seconds, and totally overturn my "psycho rhetoric," once and for all. --- Correct?

UD

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Can we name a single monotheistic religion that does not have a history of being Ecclesia Militans?

Depends upon what you mean by "religion."

I would say Jesus was not -- nor were some of his later professed followers:

Quakers

Amish

Shakers

Mennonites

Moravians

etc.

Ever hear of the Methodists maintaining a standing army or having a War Department?

But every time I think of John Calvin's Geneva, or of mounted 16th century Lutheran generals

on the battlefield, I shudder with horror.

Our bland, harmless Presbyterians of today are a far cry from "Covenant Theology" and the

Kirk of Scotland clergy intermixed with armed "soldiers of the cross."

We've come far since those bad old days --- let's make sure it stays that way.

UD

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Quakers

Amish

Shakers

Mennonites

Moravians

etc.

These are rather late arrivals on the scene. My feeling is that proclaiming oneself to have the corner on "truth" and "righteousness" inevitably leads to an attempt to force those beliefs on others. I don't think this was ever an intention of Joseph Smith, unless you can provide some quotes to the contrary. It seems his militarism was always in response to oppression (either real or perceived).

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Dale, I noticed you again avoided answering my specific questions. I'll ask again:

Do you think he was prepared and asked to run in behalf of the Church?

Do you think he will do whatever the 1st presidency tells him to do if elected?

Do you think Romney believes he is ushering in a theodemocracy, or that the church believes so?

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