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September 27, 1886 Revelation -- a forgery?


kamenraider

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I don't believe it's a forgery. I belive it is a legit revelation.

The only thing I have a problem with is Lorin C. Whooly's claim that he, his father and a handful of others were set apart by John Taylor to keep the principle alive. That, I believe is a lie.

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Yeah that's a separate issue. It'd be worth doing a thread about sometime.

Regarding the revelation though, there was another thread about it awhile back where a couple of people claimed that it was bogus. I wanted to hear from them again and discuss it.

I also am wondering how to take the First Presidency statement from 1933 that claims that "no such revelation exists."

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This link gives the followng footnotes.

  • [1] The text of several of John Taylor uncanonized revelations are found in Collier, Unpublished Revelations, vol. one, parts 80-88; Black, New and Everlasting Covenant, 234-50; Revelations in Addition to Those Found in the LDS Edition of the D&C, CDROM. Two of these have been published by the Church in My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth, 50-52; see also MFP 2:347-49, 354.

[2] Max Anderson considers the revelation to be genuine in Polygamy Story, 63-76. D. Michael Quinn acknowledged its authenticity and noted that Apostle Mark E. Petersen stated in 1974:

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I don't know if it was a forgery. Was a hand writing analysis done on it? I believe it was found among John Taylor's effects after his death.

I find the grammatical syntax of the "Lord" in this revelation not matching up with the grammatical stylings of him in the D&C, but that's just my opinion. If you were trying to make a decent forgery you would at least try and make it sound like the D&C.

Most importantly what was the revelation speaking of? Is he speaking of polygamy? If so, he doesn't come out and say it directly. It seems vague.

This is a confusing time in early Mormon history. It seems like a major schism was taking place during Taylor's leadership which eventually set the course of the FLDS church.

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I seem to remember another poster here pointing out differences between the formation of one or two different letters of the alphabet in the revelation manuscript compared with other correspondence of Pres. Taylor. That doesn't concern me too much since I'm aware of my own handwriting changing considerably from day to day, however I do wonder what a forger's motive might be at that early date, and who he (or whoever else) would think it might have been that would have tried to deceive people in such a manner.

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Is the September 27, 1886 revelation to John Taylor a forgery?

Who would have forged it, and why?

(I'm hoping to hear from people who know what I'm talking about, so didn't bother to explain the revelation.)

Hi kamenraider,

I believe it is authentic and also believe it does not support the Woolley claims.

Since President Taylor did write several other revelations, then why not that one?

Other John Taylor revelations were put in European editions of the Doctrine and Covenants by the church, and in church accepted books, so there is no reason for a church member to doubt them.

Here is my collection of John Taylor revelations:

Book of the Prophet John Taylor

Do you know of any other ones?

Richard

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I also am wondering how to take the First Presidency statement from 1933 that claims that "no such revelation exists."

I've wondered about that too. One possibility is that they(Grant,Clark,Ivins) didn't think the rev. was authentic. So if it ain't authentic it aint a rev. ergo no such rev. exists.

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It seems inconsistent that the Lord would use the term "free agency."

The term "free agency" was also used in a revelation to John Taylor on June 27, 1882* which was "accepted as the word and will of God" by the Council of Fifty on the same day (see John Henry Smith Journal, Tues. June 27, 1882). They must have all overlooked that little inconsistency.

*note: The June 25/26, 1882 revelation was also accepted on this date. The revelation dated "early Summer 1882" (or as "July 1882" by Ogden Kraut) in erichard's link above also mentions "free agency".

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Hi kamenraider,

I believe it is authentic and also believe it does not support the Woolley claims.

Since President Taylor did write several other revelations, then why not that one?

Other John Taylor revelations were put in European editions of the Doctrine and Covenants by the church, and in church accepted books, so there is no reason for a church member to doubt them.

Here is my collection of John Taylor revelations:

Book of the Prophet John Taylor

Do you know of any other ones?

Richard

I don't know of any other ones off the top of my head.

Richard Holzapfel presented a paper at a church history symposium last year about John Taylor's revelations and a slightly different version of it was printed in the book Champion of Liberty from BYU's Religious Studies Center.

edit: He seems to regard the September 27, 1886 revelation as being of questionable authenticity, perhaps due to Lorin Woolley's use of it.

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...a slightly different version of it was printed in the book Champion of Liberty from BYU's Religious Studies Center.

What were the differences between the two versions?

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The term "free agency" was also used in a revelation to John Taylor on June 27, 1882* which was "accepted as the word and will of God" by the Council of Fifty on the same day (see John Henry Smith Journal, Tues. June 27, 1882). They must have all overlooked that little inconsistency.

*note: The June 25/26, 1882 revelation was also accepted on this date. The revelation dated "early Summer 1882" (or as "July 1882" by Ogden Kraut) in erichard's link above also mentions "free agency".

A revelation to the "Council of Fifty," a secular body, is quite a different thing from a revelation to the body of the Church, isn't it?

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The term "free agency" was also used in a revelation to John Taylor on June 27, 1882* which was "accepted as the word and will of God" by the Council of Fifty on the same day (see John Henry Smith Journal, Tues. June 27, 1882). They must have all overlooked that little inconsistency.

George Albert Smith and Spencer W. Kimball also used the term in conference addresses while serving as Presidents of the Church, so it wouldn't necessarily draw one to conclude that the document is a forgery, or that the revelation, in its moments of original delivery, or in an official, edited, final form for Church-wide use (which apparently has not been produced), would not have been of the Lord.

I think the way it is used to justify plural marriage post-Official Declaration-1 is an abuse of the document as it stands.

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George Albert Smith and Spencer W. Kimball also used the term in conference addresses while serving as Presidents of the Church, so it wouldn't necessarily draw one to conclude that the document is a forgery, or that the revelation, in its moments of original delivery, or in an official, edited, final form for Church-wide use (which apparently has not been produced), would not have been of the Lord.

I think the way it is used to justify plural marriage post-Official Declaration-1 is an abuse of the document as it stands.

Yeah, John Taylor also used the term in other writings of his.

BCSpace mentioned in another thread that OD -1 was merely a policy change. I think that's one point of the September 27, 1886 revelation -- that eternal laws can't change, even if the Church's policies can.

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A revelation to the "Council of Fifty," a secular body, is quite a different thing from a revelation to the body of the Church, isn't it?

I actually view the Fifty as a priesthood body rather than a secular body, even though they did meet at times with two non-LDS members in considering secular issues.

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that eternal laws can't change, even if the Church's policies can.

That kinda reminds me of something in the Bible.

Matthew 19:25-26

24)And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

25)When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

26)But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are bpossible.

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I've wondered about that too. One possibility is that they(Grant,Clark,Ivins) didn't think the rev. was authentic. So if it ain't authentic it aint a rev. ergo no such rev. exists.

I agree. I am related to Ivins, I think that's the way they took it at the time. No cite for reference, or evidence for the board on it, though.

HiJolly

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I actually view the Fifty as a priesthood body rather than a secular body, even though they did meet at times with two non-LDS members in considering secular issues.

But the fact that it was submitted to this body rather than to the Twelve and First Presidency, which would be expected prior to submission to the membership of the Church for consideration of acceptance as scripture, makes this whole thing rather problematic for those claiming the "revelation's" legitimacy.

The "Council of Fifty" is, at best, an odd body whose exact function was never clear, either in Nauvoo or the Great Basin.

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I think that's one point of the September 27, 1886 revelation -- that eternal laws can't change, even if the Church's policies can.

Yes--the Lord will honor His word for the plural marriages performed by proper authority prior to the revocation of the command and the practice, but those plural marriages performed since that time cannot be compliant with eternal law and so are illegitimate and not honorable. This is why using the document to justify plural marriage today is an abuse of the document.

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What were the differences between the two versions?

I didn't see Bro. Holzapfel present his paper, but I assume that since the published version is co-authored with Christopher Jones, that it was just slightly adapted with his help to be suitable for publication in a book.

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Yes--the Lord will honor His word for the plural marriages performed by proper authority prior to the revocation of the command and the practice, but those plural marriages performed since that time cannot be compliant with eternal law and so are illegitimate and not honorable. This is why using the document to justify plural marriage today is an abuse of the document.

Those plural marriages since what time? Since the manifesto? Was there a revocation of that law in 1890 in your view?

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Those plural marriages since what time? Since the manifesto? Was there a revocation of that law in 1890 in your view?

I think "event" is actually a better word than "time" for the revocation. The Manifesto does not pinpoint the time and place of this event, but attests that it happened around that time.

That which was revoked is the authoritative performance of the covenant between living people in this world, which covenant is subordinate to its superior commandment, which is subordinate to its superior eternal law, which is subordinate to any applicable governing eternal law, the parsing and execution of which in our behalf is subordinate to God, who embodies all eternal law of every kind.

Subsequent performances of plural marriages were not sanctioned and became as any of the other "covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (...and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred)..." and they "are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead."

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