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MMM and the Nauvoo Expositor


Lamanite

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I think Mormons on the whole can finally look at the MMM and say that the events of that day are unjustified and inexcusable. (At least the normal non-Danite Mormons can say this :P )

Couldn't we say the same about the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor? I'm wondering if we shouldn't say, "we really messed up on that one." And then not qualify it with a million legal justifications and so on. A simple admission that maybe those guys made a huge mistake might be a refreshing departure from a legal brief on the suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor. (Suppression is a wonderful euphemism for breaking into the printing office and throwing the press into the street where it was beat on with sledgehammers.)

We can certainly discuss the socio-political climate of the time. We can discuss religious persecution. But we don't need to use context to excuse a major screw up.

Can we view this event from our current vantage point and simply say, "perhaps we were wrong? Looking back maybe we shouldn't have destroyed that press." And then resist the urge to start talking again.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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I think Mormons on the whole can finally look at the MMM and say that the events of that day are unjustified and inexcusable. (At least the normal non-Danite Mormons can say this :P )

What faithful Mormon has ever justified the MMM? I have heard Brigham Young defended from the unjust and untrue accusations from Anti-Mormon zealots who have absolutely no foundation to assert that BY had anything to do with that tragic even that was brought about because of the desire for revenge and a hostile climate in which the people feared an attack from the government that was supposed to defend them.
Couldn't we say the same about the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor? I'm wondering if we shouldn't say, "we really messed up on that one." And then not qualify it with a million legal justifications and so on. A simple admission that maybe those guys made a huge mistake might be a refreshing departure from a legal brief on the suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor. (Suppression is a wonderful euphemism for breaking into the printing office and throwing the press into the street where it was beat on with sledgehammers.)
NO! I have never viewed the Nauvoo Expositor destruction as anything but a justifiable action of the Mayor and City council and that it was done in a lawful manner and according to the Nauvoo charter. I for one would never concede to the Anti-Mormon bigots that this was an illegal or unwarranted act. They would never concede that Joseph and Hyrum were martyred by a mod of evil and vicious apostates and enemies of the Prophet, so why should I make such an unjust concession?
We can certainly discuss the socio-political climate of the time. We can discuss religious persecution. But we don't need to use context to excuse a major screw up.

Can we view this event from our current vantage point and simply say, "perhaps we were wrong? Looking back maybe we shouldn't have destroyed that press." And then resist the urge to start talking again.

Why on earth should we say that? Perhaps Jesus was wrong for riding a donkey into Jerusalem or cleansing the Temple? His actions brought an excuse for His murder, just as the Prophet's actions brought an excuse for his murder. Are we now blaming the victims of these outrages for their own deaths? As far as the Nauvoo Expositor affair is concerned our own scriptures say this in passing:
(D&C 135:4) "When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said:
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Interesting how personally involved TBM's can associate with some issues. A big part of the defensiveness I suspect.

maybe there is no need to defend "their" actions.

They are Mormon and I am Mormon. We are Mormon. We are human. We are so very very very prone to mistakes. We mess up all the time. This was a big one!

Big UP!

Lamanite

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The Expositor was published by Mormons, and destroyed by Mormons.

The practices that the Expositor Mormons sought to expose were those which they believed violated the core principle of the LDS Church, and are no longer practiced by the LDS Church.

It seems then, that the modern day Mormon would be taking sides with the publishers, not the destroyers of it

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...

Start a MMM thread and wait for someone to say..." Yeah but those guys were mean and were going to kill them and blah blah the army blah blah eating up all the good food blah blah we had to kill women and children."

Just like how you couldn't say, "That was probably a mistake." and then stop talking. You had to had blah blah legal blah blah destruction of a printing press was justified and legal blah blah.

Sounds lame. I like a good ol fashioned expression of humility when its obvious the destruction of the press was not the brightest idea the Saints ever had.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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maybe there is no need to defend "their" actions.

I would tend towards this, yet my view has been and continues to be that one ought to gain wisdom from the strange, apparently inexplicable things of history.

MMM is definitely one of those things.

pre-1978 is one of those things.

The Expositor incident isn't one of those things, IMNSHO. Desperate people do desperate things in desperate times. Lives were at stake. The bad guys were itching for any excuse to start raping Eliza and offing Heber and mispropriating Simeon's farm.

If we look at it from safe armchairs, far distant with the place and the events that led to the Expositor incident, it's easy to say, "This and all other press destructions in the Antebellum US were antithetical to State constitutions' free speech guarantees."

Practice was considerably different from those ideals.

I disagree that we need to do anything but look at this as an interesting phenomenon of defensive government. We don't need to admit anything about it, defend it in any way, or worry about it in any substantive way.

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I disagree that we need to do anything but look at this as an interesting phenomenon of defensive government. We don't need to admit anything about it, defend it in any way, or worry about it in any substantive way.

And I agree with this. It's very easy to look back in our comfortable seats and judge a different time and people. No one condones MMM, but we weren't there and we had nothing to do with it and we can all hope we would have been the one who opposed such action. The Expositor was an entirely different matter and some continue to judge that based on modern day laws and sensibilities which did not apply at the time.

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The Expositor was an entirely different matter and some continue to judge that based on modern day laws and sensibilities which did not apply at the time.

Oh come on. Freedom of the press and due process of law are not 21th century concepts.

Yes, Smith's actions in destroying the press offended the sensibilities of people who lived in that era. Why do you think it caused such a commotion, leading to his arrest?

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Jaybear:

"Oh come on. Freedom of the press and due process of law are not 21th century concepts.".

Actually our understanding of "Freedom of the Press" is very much a 20th Century phenomenon.

"Yes, Smith's actions in destroying the press offended the sensibilities of people who lived in that era. Why do you think it caused such a commotion, leading to his arrest?".

When you are looking for an excuse any will do.

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Yes, Smith's actions in destroying the press offended the sensibilities of people who lived in that era. Why do you think it caused such a commotion, leading to his arrest?

From fairwiki:

10 June 1844

The city council declares the Expositor a public nuisance and threat to the peace. This was not mere exaggeration; there were sixteen episodes of mob violence against controversial newspapers in Illinois from 1832 to 1867, and so the leaders

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Oh come on. Freedom of the press and due process of law are not 21th century concepts.

Yes, Smith's actions in destroying the press offended the sensibilities of people who lived in that era. Why do you think it caused such a commotion, leading to his arrest?

I almost laughed when I read this! It is choice, freedom of the press! Ha! When we have modern day political hacks who are itching to get the so-called "fairness doctrine" re-established to silence certain political opponents! The most defended under this head (of free expression) is pornography! The only ones who were offended by the Prophet and City council's actions were his enemies, because they could not slander the good name of the Prophet and the Church and get up a mob to drive the Saints out of Nauvoo (like they did after killing the Prophet in cold blood!) which was their obvious purpose. It had nothing to do with the freedom of the press, or journalism, or ethics. It had everything to do with destroying Mormonism, like many who come here with their "fair criticism" of the Church today. This "hate speech" is protected in our enlightened 21st century... most of any journalistic integrity has gone the way of the "tabloid" mentality of modern yellow journalism. That is why the Expositor affair sticks in the craw of Anti-Mormons, one of their own was silenced. I suppose due process was followed when those blood thirsty demons in the flesh killed the Prophet and Patriarch? Or perhaps due process was served in Missouri in 1838? Or in Illinois in 1846?
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From fairwiki:

Great, a mormon scholar, Dalin Oaks, offers a reasoned argument why the suppression, not the destruction of the Expositor, could have been legal, and you read that to mean the destruction was legal.

You realize that is what lawyers do, offer reasoned argument to support a position. Here a mormon lawyer writes a paper attempting the legitimize actions that could have been (but were not) taken by the Mormon prophet. Color me unimpressed.

BTW, I said "could" have been legal, because from what I remember of the article, in true apologetic fashion, Oaks was talking about theory of the cities power to suppress, when presented with actual slander, in a setting where the accused are given the right to confront their accusers, in a proceeding presided over by a judge free of bias.

What happened in Nauvoo was a mockery of due process, that even Oaks would not dare defend.

Since you think Smith acted appropriately, tell me how its possible that he can get the city counsel to conclude that the Expositor slandered him, by accusing him of engaging in polygamy without either committing perjury, or suborning perjury of others?

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Start a MMM thread and wait for someone to say..." Yeah but those guys were mean and were going to kill them and blah blah the army blah blah eating up all the good food blah blah we had to kill women and children."

Just like how you couldn't say, "That was probably a mistake." and then stop talking. You had to had blah blah legal blah blah destruction of a printing press was justified and legal blah blah.

Sounds lame. I like a good ol fashioned expression of humility when its obvious the destruction of the press was not the brightest idea the Saints ever had.

Big UP!

Lamanite

In an atmosphere of mob violence, it's hard to condemn suppression of a libelous and inflammatory publication. You have a lot more reasoning and persuading to do before you even come close to convincing me, Lamanite.

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'I was on my way to the general conference when some of the Westboro Baptists ran me off the road because they disagreed with my idealogical leanings. They took me out of my car and attacked it with sledgehammers until it was not posible to repair it. They left me on the side of the freeway but I'm not bitter. They were nice enough to send me a check to replace it a few days later. What swell guys.'

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'I was on my way to the general conference when some of the Westboro Baptists ran me off the road because they disagreed with my idealogical leanings.

Try 'I was using my car to drive around and spread insiduous slander against them.'

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Against whom?

I'm illustrating that offering to pay for damages doesn't automatically make things right.

OK, then let's try for a more apt analogy.

You and your buddies are driving through my neighborhood smashing mailboxes and breaking windows with drive-by shots from your pellet guns. I stop you in the act by throwing spikes in front of your car. Later, when things are sorted out, I offer to buy you new tires to replace the ones that were destroyed.

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OK, then let's try for a more apt analogy.

You and your buddies are driving through my neighborhood smashing mailboxes and breaking windows with drive-by shots from your pellet guns. I stop you in the act by throwing spikes in front of your car. Later, when things are sorted out, I offer to buy you new tires to replace the ones that were destroyed.

So in your analogy, if I offered to pay for the mailboxes and windows all would be forgiven?

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