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Do The Essays Confirm "anti-Mormon Lies"?


Do the Essays Confirm "Anti-Mormon" Statements?  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you recognize any information in the new Gospel Topic Essays as what members had previously told you were only "anti-Mormon lies"?

    • Yes
      41
    • No
      21
  2. 2. If "yes", then approximately how many of these previously "anti-Mormon lies" did you find confirmed in the Gospel Topic Essays?

    • N/A (Chose "No" to Question 1)
      22
    • Only 1
      1
    • A Few
      9
    • Several
      12
    • Many
      22


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That's becoming a very tiresome argument.  How Joseph lived polygamy is not the same way that Biblical Prophets ever did. 

 

 

Ever hear of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon?

Edited by mnn727
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So then why did Joseph live polygamy and polyandry in secret and behind Emma's back (for the most part).  Why did he publicly deny living polygamy even to the members of the church if it was so understood back then vs. today?

Emma had problems with polygamy generally.  Joseph had to make a decision with either pleasing God or Emma.  He either follows the command by God or makes Emma happy by not practicing it.  Many of the Church members had problems with polygamy.  It was new and something they were not comfortable with.  I am sure Joseph would have had to do things differently but he had to work with the plate that was given to him.  In the end, we all have to decide who we will follow. The long term consequences of not following God is far greater than making your current spouse happy.

 

My question to you is that can you declare before God and Joseph Smith that had you been in Joseph Smith position, under the same circumstances, that you would done a better job.    My point in is in the individual cases like with Helen Mar Kimball.  If Helen, her parents, and Joseph Smith were all ok with what occurred there, who are you or anyone else to say it was wrong?  They knew the circumstances involving that than any of us.  If you see Joseph and Helen in the Spirit world, are you going to be bold enough to tell them it was wrong to their faces  I don't think you will. 

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So were Brigham Young's polygamous and polyandrous marriages less sacred than Joseph's?  

 

No, they were simply out of the closet by that time.  Are you thoroughly familiar with the context or just satisfied to critique them?  For example which of Brigham's sealings were for time and all eternity and which weren't?  Do you know why?

 

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Emma had problems with polygamy generally.  Joseph had to make a decision with either pleasing God or Emma.  He either follows the command by God or makes Emma happy by not practicing it.  Many of the Church members had problems with polygamy.  It was new and something they were not comfortable with.  I am sure Joseph would have had to do things differently but he had to work with the plate that was given to him.  In the end, we all have to decide who we will follow. The long term consequences of not following God is far greater than making your current spouse happy.

 

My question to you is that can you declare before God and Joseph Smith that had you been in Joseph Smith position, under the same circumstances, that you would done a better job.    My point in is in the individual cases like with Helen Mar Kimball.  If Helen, her parents, and Joseph Smith were all ok with what occurred there, who are you or anyone else to say it was wrong?  They knew the circumstances involving that than any of us.  If you see Joseph and Helen in the Spirit world, are you going to be bold enough to tell them it was wrong to their faces  I don't think you will. So,

 

What is interesting to me is that God had spelled out the conditions for entering into plural marriage, such as having the consent of your original wife. Are you saying that Joseph had to violate the terms of the covenant to please God?

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What is interesting to me is that God had spelled out the conditions for entering into plural marriage, such as having the consent of your original wife. Are you saying that Joseph had to violate the terms of the covenant to please God?

 

Check out Rough Stone Rolling for (ta da) context.  Bushman does not try to pretend to know it all, but he does do a very good job of pulling out historical references and allowing the reader to come to a conclusion.  He doesn't sugar coat either.

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So then why did Joseph live polygamy and polyandry in secret and behind Emma's back (for the most part).  Why did he publicly deny living polygamy even to the members of the church if it was so understood back then vs. today?

Emma gave very conflicting reports on what she knew and didn't know. It has been conclusively shown she knew about Josephs polygamy at least in part yet in her later life she denied he was polygamous at all.

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Except that doesn't address what I said at all. I wasn't talking about the stone in the hat translation method.

 

The thread was on the essays, not just Polygamy.  That's what hung  you up on my "context" comment.  Your lens is focused on polygamy questions not the more general topic of "essays confirming anti-mormon lies".

 

You are the one who changed the focus of the thread.

 

Of course you cannot be blamed.  Most threads about Mormonism eventually winnow down to polygamy, blacks, and women in the priesthood, with the occasional Mountain Meadows Massacre thrown in.  Its kind of like our own Godwin's Law corollary.

Edited by KevinG
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No, they were simply out of the closet by that time.  Are you thoroughly familiar with the context or just satisfied to critique them?  For example which of Brigham's sealings were for time and all eternity and which weren't?  Do you know why?

 

Inquiring minds want to know.

Yes, I am very familiar with his sealings.  I think it's just curious that some members will go to great lengths to argue that Joseph lived polygamy and polyandry differently than Brigham (and other early church leaders and members) did.  Why the double standard?

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Anti-Mormon lies are still "lies" in my view.  Even if they are correct on the basic subject matter, their conclusions they arrive at from them I still do not agree with.

People throw around the word "lie" a lot. I hope the people who criticize Fawn Brodie's claims to know peoples mind states and motivations don't make the all too common mistake of assuming the intent of people who may just be mistaken. One is not lying if they are just mistaken or otherwise not consciously deceiving.

carbon dioxide, you seem to be stating that you consider them lies solely because you don't agree with them. Is that what you really meant?

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Check out Rough Stone Rolling for (ta da) context.  Bushman does not try to pretend to know it all, but he does do a very good job of pulling out historical references and allowing the reader to come to a conclusion.  He doesn't sugar coat either.

 

I read that book (bought it when it first came out). I'm asking you why you think Joseph had to violate the terms of the covenant to please God. I don't remember Bushman addressing that issue.

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The thread was on the essays, not just Polygamy.  That's what hung  you up on my "context" comment.  Your lens is focused on polygamy questions not the more general topic of "essays confirming anti-mormon lies".

 

You are the one who changed the focus of the thread.

 

I was just using an example, which you dismissed as the church hiding history with history. If you're going to mock something someone says, at least address it.

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It is a reasonable argument when addressed to someone who criticizes and/or rejects Joseph Smith because of his behavior, yet has no problem accepting the Biblical prophets  despite their similar (and even worse) behavior.

Is there a thread where these kind of claims have been discussed already, because I'm only seeing a lot of unsubstantiated generalizations here, on this thread...

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People throw around the word "lie" a lot. I hope the people who criticize Fawn Brodie's claims to know peoples mind states and motivations don't make the all too common mistake of assuming the intent of people who may just be mistaken. One is not lying if they are just mistaken or otherwise not consciously deceiving.

carbon dioxide, you seem to be stating that you consider them lies solely because you don't agree with them. Is that what you really meant?

 

My biggest problem with Brodie's book was her trying to get inside Joseph Smith's head, which is of course impossible.  But as far as reporting the documented history, she did a pretty good job, with a few exceptions. 

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Yes, I am very familiar with his sealings.  I think it's just curious that some members will go to great lengths to argue that Joseph lived polygamy and polyandry differently than Brigham (and other early church leaders and members) did.  Why the double standard?

 

I think it's that Brigham did it openly, and Joseph did not. So, no one has to wonder why Brigham concealed things from his wife or anyone else. 

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The thread was on the essays, not just Polygamy.  That's what hung  you up on my "context" comment.  Your lens is focused on polygamy questions not the more general topic of "essays confirming anti-mormon lies".

 

You are the one who changed the focus of the thread.

 

Of course you cannot be blamed.  Most threads about Mormonism eventually winnow down to polygamy, blacks, and women in the priesthood, with the occasional Mountain Meadows Massacre thrown in.  Its kind of like our own Godwin's Law corollary.

 

Please do not put words into my mouth. I understand now that you're not interested in discussing anything with me. Carry on.

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The Old Testament is hardly a text that gives detailed information on how those who practiced polygamy lived it. In most cases, we just know the man had more than one wife. That is it. I don't know how you can make concrete conclusions based on hardly any information given in the Bible. In addition, Joseph Smith really had nobody to show him the ropes on how to live it. Bible prophets grew up with it and it was common enough that they had role models to learn from. Joseph Smith had none of that. He had to go by trial and error under an atmosphere of persecution and other problems.

What is shocking to you in 2015 may not have been shocking to those involved in the 1840s. They understood things a lot better than we do today. Joseph Smith did get sealed to other men's wives. My feeling is if these wives were ok with it, their husbands were ok then if we are shocked about it it is only because we don't understand the details. Not that what was done was wrong. The problem is more with US than Joseph Smith.

Except that the vast majority of members in 1840 also didn't know about it, including Emma.

I also find it interesting that in all the comparisons to Biblical prophets, speaking of human error, and Joseph not knowing all the ropes, the fact that Joseph's polygamy did not follow the revelation in 132 at all is never considered. Did biblical prophets manage to follow God's commands (although I don't see any command by God for polygamy), was God not revealing the practice clear enough or did he purposefully leave Joseph in the dark, and what of his compete failure to fulfill nearly any of 132's specifications?

Edited by Joshua Valentine
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That's becoming a very tiresome argument.  How Joseph lived polygamy is not the same way that Biblical Prophets ever did. 

 

No one expects Joseph to have been perfect, but when one learns that he married 14 year old girls (and other teenagers who were housemaids to Emma) and that he married other men's wives, that's shocking.  Especially knowing that most of this was done behind Emma's back. Maybe you already knew the details of how Joseph lived polygamy, but I believe the great majority of members were unaware of them until now (and even most may still not know about them.)

 

Wasn’t Hagar essentially a “housemaid” to Abraham’s wife?  
 
We don’t know her age (nor, IIRC, the ages of the other polygamous wives of the Biblical prophets), so how can you make a comparison on that basis? Do you have any reason to believe that she couldn’t have been as young as 14?   What was considered “marriageable age” has changed.  IIRC,  as recently as 20 years ago, it was still legal in some states for a 14 year old girl to marry (with parental consent).  One of my direct ancestors married when she was barely 15, and that was in 1823.  One of her sons fought at Shiloh when he was only 15.  
 
Shocking?  As opposed to marrying a second wife, solely because you couldn’t have children by your first wife;  then throwing your second wife and her (and your) son out on the street once you no longer needed them to perpetuate the family line?
 
BTW, why is it any more shocking for a man to marry another man’s wife than for a woman to marry another woman’s husband?
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Emma gave very conflicting reports on what she knew and didn't know. It has been conclusively shown she knew about Josephs polygamy at least in part yet in her later life she denied he was polygamous at all.

We have record that Emma knew of at least a few of Joseph's sealing (and gave her consent).

 

We also have record that she was not aware of many of the sealings until after they'd taken place.  Even some of those that she consented too were re-enacted for her benefit (as Joseph had already married the 2 Partridge sisters previously behind Emma's back),

 

Here's what Emily Partridge wrote about Emma's knowledge of the sealings and her consent (and also the re-enactment of the first sealing):

 

. . .the Prophet Joseph and his wife Emma offered us a home in their family, and they treated us with great kindness. We had been there about a year when the principle of plural marriage was made known to us, and I was married to Joseph Smith on the 4th of March, 1843, Elder Heber C. Kimball performing the ceremony. My sister Eliza was also married to Joseph a few days later. This was done without the knowledge of Emma Smith. Two months afterwards she consented to give her husband two wives, provided he would give her the privilege of choosing them. She accordingly chose my sister Eliza and myself, and to save family trouble Brother Joseph thought it best to have another ceremony performed. Accordingly on the 11th of May, 1843, we were sealed to Joseph Smith a second time, in Emma's presence, she giving her free and full consent thereto. From that very hour, however, Emma was our bitter enemy. We remained in the family several months after this, but things went from bad to worse until we were obliged to leave the house and find another home.  
Edited by ALarson
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I read that book (bought it when it first came out). I'm asking you why you think Joseph had to violate the terms of the covenant to please God. I don't remember Bushman addressing that issue.

 

Read it again.  

 

He presents source materials and allows the reader to draw their conclusions.

 

Emma (as some have said here) was not always consistent in her support, feelings, and reports of the principle.  I don't see her as villain.  Goodness knows she tried to support Joseph in a very difficult task.  

 

Joseph seems to have struggled with how to live the commandment God gave the Saints while still honoring Emma.  Again, quite human of him.

 

The mockery and shock tactics that anti-Mormons use is very effective against those who have been taught faith promoting rumors (aka there weren't enough men).  It is easy to knock down a testimony build on a false premise.

 

However - the reality of the Saints situation, their humanity, and their faith in trying to live a very difficult principle, while staying under the radar of a hostile anti presence in their own midst, compounded by the counterfeit and manipulative actions of people like Bennett...  add that up and you can see the great difficulty in living the commandment historically, and the great difficulty in presenting it in proper context today.

 

I believe the Saints were commanded.  But as with many commandments and revelations we are sometimes asked to keep them sacred, protect them from those who would use them to harm us.  Mordecai and Esther is a good example from the Bible of this kind of thing.  Also as with many commandments this one shattered cultural customs and norms.  It was very difficult for all the Saints, not just Joseph to adapt.

 

Essays like the ones the Church is publishing seek to get past the superficial understanding that anti and pro Mormons sometimes have about these complex issues.  It educates the Saints more fully, but it also takes away a favorite anti-Mormon tactic of "shock and awe" or "see they lied to you" away from those who seek to shake the faith of the Saints.

 

So "context" is important to see a truer picture of things that happened.  

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