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Could Joseph Smith be a "Fallen Prophet"


Guest Lori

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I can't come to any peace over the polygamy revelation. It contradicts the Book of Mormon and after studying all about it, there is not a single evidence of need for it. It has damaged the church horribly, and many people will never read the Book of Mormon because of it. All the excuses that apologists make for it don't pass the test. There were more men than women. The women were left broken hearted and dehumanized by practicing it. One only needs to look at the FLDS church to see how it worked. They actually couldn't find a 14? year old girl unmarried at one point. Raising up righteous seed may be commanded by God at certain times but that doesn't explain sending a faithful member on a mission and taking his wife.

Was Joseph possibly deceived? David Whitmer gives a powerful testimony about Joseph changing revelations and falling away. He makes a strong case for this possibility. It would explain the contradictions from the D & C to the B of M.

I can't understand why there were changes to revelations (monogamy, the Church's name, High Priests.......) Why the need to change the Book of Commandments 2 times and how can they justify that? I have read so many statements by Joseph and Brigham Young, and others that sound like they were abusing their power and glorifying themselves in it. I thought Prophets were supposed to be humble? They were bragging about their kingdom and glory which seems wrong.

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Apparently you've missed verse 30 of Jacob 5. God leaves the door open for its use.

Do you realize how many changes the Bible has been through? (eg Romans 8:1)

Read the book of Jonah... especially chapter 4. Jonah wanted the city of Nineveh dead and he sat outside for a week pouting because God had made him a false prophet.

Peter and Paul bashed heads quite frequently and disagreed on doctrine. Gal 2

Seems to me you are looking for a world full of gods walking around. :P

The women were emotionless and dehumanized by practicing.

This is an unfair mischaracterization of my ancestors and the stuggles that they faced and I don't much appreciate it. <_<

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You're so close Lori--but you're trying too hard. You're missing the most obvious answer that's staring you right in the face.

Remember Lori: it's not the end of the world if the church isn't what they say it is. You don't have to stop believing in God if Joseph wasn't a prophet. So many people in the church are afraid to even consider the possibility that it's false because they think giving up Mormonism would be giving up God. It doesn't have to be.

Follow the clues. Look at the evidence. Don't be afraid of the truth.

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If Joseph Smith and Brigham Young where fallen Prophets who are you to be their Judge?

Heb 11

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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When it comes to polygamy, it's a dead end no matter which path I choose. To believe that it was commanded makes me feel worthless to God as a woman. The emotional torture of those women rips your heart out. I am not a feminist. I love everything about being a mother, wife, homemaker-all of it. If Heavenly Father loves me, why would he command something that completely destroys a woman's spirit. IF it's not practiced here I have to accept it to be with my husband in the C. Kingdom so why would I even want that? I am starting to feel despair over it. I have a testimony of Book of Mormon but not of the D & C. (especially 132) It's not just the fact that I am considered lower than man-it's that God just passes women around like we are cattle if I accept this doctrine. This is the least desirable belief for me and to continue believing in all of the church will make the rest of my life misery now that I know the truth of polygamy.

The other path is to believe he was a fallen prophet. I don't want to believe it's all false because then I start doubting anything and then I will become agnostic.

I just don't have any amazing testimony experiences. I just feel good when I live the commandments and hear about our Saviour. I wish I KNEW it was true so I could just be happy to "wait and see" like so many Mormon women. If "the same sociality that exists here will exist there" and if we leave this life with the same weaknesses then why would I feel any different about it there? I doubt these women would be feeling so casual about it if they saw their husband in bed with someone else and had to allow it. (and live with it!)

Now I feel sick and repulsed when I hear about Joseph Smith, Brigham, all of the polygamists. I can't endure a year of celebration. Once you read about the truth of polygamy it changes everything. It has haunted me my whole life and I am finally facing the reality. I couldn't sweep in under the rug anymore the way I see our church do.

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You've only read one side of the story... "In sacred loneliness" is a one dimensional wonder.

Did it provide all the quotes from these same women who said how blessed they where and how happy they where for living a higher principle?

Of course they had struggles. We all do.

You should really read up on this... there has been some really good threads on this the past few months. One posters I would suggests talking to about this is Jan. Cal robinson from ZLMB as well.

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I have to make righteous judgement if I am to follow a prophet who claims he had revelation to take married women as wives in secret. Especially considering the commandments of honesty, coveting, adultery, and the warnings of secret combinations and blood oaths.

The prophets I was raised to love are not the same ones I just read about in "Mormon Polygamy." After 5 minutes into that book I was devestated.

Can a prophet not fall? Are there any accounts in the bible of fallen prophets?

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Yes, I have read those quotes and they were often given in public forums to defend the practice with the government. I really haven't read anything to convince me any of those women were happy. Brigham Young even said in a 2 week trial to them that they had not had one happy day since entering in it. Have you read that quote? He was admitting they were unhappy and in a flood of tears. How do you explain all the divorces? I was shocked at how easily they divorced back then.

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Peter was teaching false doctrine and he was rebucked for it. Gal 2 Does that make him a false Apostle?

Jonah wanted Nineveh dead. and reacted mean and spiteful because he had prophecied falsely. (Jonah 5)

King David is the ultimate falen Prophet. He murdered to get his wife. But in nothing did he sin but in that murder. 2 Sam 12 God himself gave him his wives. Can you deal with that?

If Joseph Smith and BY sent people on missions (i have reason to doubt alot of this) to get their wifes, God will take vengance on them. Just like he did King David.

Theres no evidence that Joseph Fathered any children but by Emma. Only alligations. Theres a conference going to happen I think this month about possible DNA mathces for Joseph Smith. until then the jury is out and all is specualtion and hersay.

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How do you explain the women giving sworn testimony that they had sex with Joseph? I think the fact that he didn't father any children makes a great argument that God wasn't raising righteous seed.

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Yes they did... I also know people who gave sworn testimonies that they didnt participate in the mob that lynched Joseph and Hyrum even though their wounds proved other wise. And they got off scott free.

:P

The Jury is out until the DNA tests are announched sometime at the end of this month.

Off to bed for now.

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The women were emotionless and dehumanized by practicing.

This is an unfair mischaracterization of my ancestors and the stuggles that they faced and I don't much appreciate it.

I wholeheartedly agree with Lori, here. My ancestors were duped into the deplorable practice of plural marriage, and it nearly proved to be their undoing. The practice was decidedly ungodly, and did not benefit them at all. Probably the greatest struggle they faced was living in a plural marriage or some other problem caused by plural marriage.

The women did not have very much time with their husbands, and it was far worse than this for the children, who were the most innocent of all.

Maybe Lori wasn't providing an accurate depiction of Zakuska's ancestors, but the description certainly fits mine. The book "In Sacred Lonliness" provides a reliable view into the practice of plural marriage, and it also provides a much needed balance to the fictitious traditional spin that the Mormon church improperly perpetuates. Plural marriage was and is an abomination. The knee-jerk labelling of reliable books like "In Sacred Lonliness" as "one-sided" is unwarranted. In this case, the historical record has dealt Mormonism a fair hand, and some Latter-Day Saints still claim unfair treatment.

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Just to add a little something to the messages on polygamy. Polygamy is not something that I would want to do, nor is it something that I fully agree with. I know my wife feels the same way. The point is, MY feelings on the issue do not dictate what is true and what is not true. If truth was dependant on peoples emotions, there would not be a single truth anywhere because everyone would disagree with something.

Polygamy was/is accepted in many cultures through out history. It seems so "wrong" to us because of our culture, and God does not base his commandments off of our earthly culture. We believe what he preaches, he doesn't preach what we believe.

With that said, I believe that polygamy was inspired of God during the early days of the church. I don't know why it was practiced in the 1800's, just like I don't know why it was practiced during biblical times, and that doesnt really matter. I may not like it, but who am I to tell God how he should run his church. I trust his knowledge over my feelings. I hear he knows more than I do.

P.S. Lori

Just a side not that my wife finds comfort in. :P The wife had to give the husband permission to court and marry another woman. This went for every spouse. If they didn't want to share their husband, all they had to do was say no.

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Just like traditional western marriages, plural marriage among the pioneer saints had good ones and had bad ones, some were happy and some were not. If the problem with the bad marriages was plural marriage itself and not the individuals who participated in it then why didn

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I sympathize with Lori's concerns. I am not very impressed by the practice of polygamy overall. My ancestors practiced it on both sides. In fact, my grandmother was married by Matthias Cowley about a dozen years after the first Manifesto (in Utah/Idaho region), and as a second-wife was thus a post-Manifesto polygamist in good standing with the Church . This grandmother considered the principle as very spiritual and made some success with it. However, the practice was excruciatingly hard. During her first pregancy she had to be treated as an unwed mother -- something hard to imagine in those times in Utah.

On my father's side, my grandmother grew up in polygamy, as her mother was a second wife. The first wife got all the "riches." She had a better house, more spending money, better furniture, etc. Thus, my grandmother's family lived in poverty and had a very much hand to mouth existence. This left a bitterness in the family that is still discussed to this very day at family reunions.

Polygamy was not practiced perfectly, and its hard to imagine how it could be.

I do not understand Joseph Smith's personal practice of polygamy. I would prefer to believe that his personal life has been misunderstood by historians, as it is hard to separate out fact from fiction. Joseph would have lots of stories told about him, and some stories were bound to be wildly exaggerated -- especially the salacious ones.

Regardless, Joseph Smith will have to account for his own life. I do not worship him. I regard his productivity as a prophet. I believe in the LDS scriptures -- all of them.

I am especially glad polygamy is defunct. It holds no attraction over me. Look what it has done to the FLDS, which is an embarrassment on multiple dimensions.

If early LDS polygamy served a purpose, it was to solidify the religious community, especially in the early Nauvoo and Utah periods from about 1841-ish to the late sixties or early seventies. It may have helped the Church to endure its many persecutions by creating strong foundations of loyalty. It established a "royal priesthood." Just think about how many Kimballs, Cannons, and Smiths there are that still lead in the Church.

Now that the Church is on solid foundation, one would hope polygamy is gone forever. I think so.

I am amazed that the Church survived polygamy. But, obviously it did. I do not understand why God requires sacrifices of almost Abrahamic proportions, but it is obvious that he does. (I know of no LDS or non-LDS older adult who has not experienced tragedy at different points).

I wish everything was clean and pretty in our Church history, but nothing in life is clean and pretty. Let's face it, there is a human component to this Church, and if humans can muck things up they will.

This is why we need continuing revelation. And, yes, revelations change. That's what prophets do. It isn't even hidden. Read the italicized portions over each section of Doctrine & Covenants. Many times it will tell you that a section was synthesized from multiple previous revelations. I believe that is the norm, even when the italics don't say so. Joseph Smith had to work with scribes and did not have word processors. What do we expect from him?

And let's face it, most D&C revelations were not of the "word-for-word" dictated-from-God kind, but were the "still-small-voice" kind. Even so, they were still revelations.

We LDS talk about the first vision of Joseph as if he was supposed to walk away from the sacred groves at age 14 understanding all the nuiances of the trinity doctrine, priesthood, restoration, etc. I think this is because we fail to understand how prophets and visions work.

Sorry for this diatribe. But, I conclude this: Polygamy was damn hard, but at some level it must have been necessary. Prophets are not perfect, especially in their personal lives. Was Joseph fallen? I would say, "by his fruits, ye shall know him." By that standard he was not fallen, but he was often mystifying.

Lori, good luck in your religious pursuits. Your struggles are legitimate, and I have experienced similar ones. In the end, I am better with the Church than without. I say this even though I find some things still irritating. But, does the Church have room for me? Yes, I have little doubt of it. ... and the work will carry on... .

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Joseph Smith was studing the Bible, likely 1831. He ran accross passages indicating that revered Patriarchs and prophets of old were polygamists raised questions that prompted the Prophet to inquire of the Lord about marriage in general and about plurality of wives in particular. He then learned that when the Lord commanded it, as he had with the Patriarchs anciently, a man could have more than one living wife at a time and not be condemned for adultery. He also understood that the Church would one day be required to live the law. This was written a decade latter on July 12, 1843 (D&C 132:1

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zakuska:

If Joseph Smith and Brigham Young where fallen Prophets who are you to be their Judge?

Indeed! Who are we? This is the typical way that LDS leaders (now rank-and-file) try to 'bounce back' honest questions/concerns and call into question the motives/loyalty of the person with the questions.... this has been pointed out by such as Livina Fielding Anderson. Z: we're ordinary, rank-and-file members who have eyes, ears, and brains, Thank You.

People who strive for honesty in thought & expression should be cherished by an organization, not be targeted as objects of derision.

Lori-

Part of what the apols say is true, we shouldn't expect perfect prophets (they are people), BUT however- they should be enough of Positive examples for us to attract our esteem. If they're not ' a cut above'...what's the point of following them? Having building(s) named for living leaders is a bit over the edge, I believe.

What was the name of the missionary 'couple'? Ive been looking for documentation/info about this.

Please allow 3 of my fav quotes:

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." --Saul Bellow

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you very uncomfortable for a while, but eventually you'll embrace it and feel a lot better.

"Oh well, I guess I wasn't valiant enough in the pre-existence to be able to swallow all of the inconsistencies."

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I can't come to any peace over the polygamy revelation. It contradicts the Book of Mormon and after studying all about it, there is not a single evidence of need for it. It has damaged the church horribly, and many people will never read the Book of Mormon because of it. All the excuses that apologists make for it don't pass the test. There were more men than women. The women were emotionless and dehumanized by practicing it. One only needs to look at the FLDS church to see how it worked. They actually couldn't find a 14? year old girl unmarried at one point. Raising up righteous seed may be commanded by God at certain times but that doesn't explain sending a faithful member on a mission and taking his wife.

Was Joseph possibly deceived? David Whitmer gives a powerful testimony about Joseph changing revelations and falling away. He makes a strong case for this possibility. It would explain the contradictions from the D & C to the B of M.

I can't understand why there were changes to revelations (monogamy, the Church's name, High Priests.......) Why the need to change the Book of Commandments 2 times and how can they justify that? I have read so many statements by Joseph and Brigham Young, and others that sound like they were abusing their power and glorifying themselves in it. I thought Prophets were supposed to be humble? They were bragging about their kingdom and glory which seems wrong.

But was plygamy doctrine, policy or practice? I guess some here would say he's not a fallen prophet if it was either of the latter two, even if wrong abhorent.

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Just a quick sidenote with no intent to derail this thread. The LDS Church today retains plural marriage as part of its doctrine (D&C 132), and still practices it to a limited degree -- i.e., a widower can be sealed to a second wife if she hasn't already been sealed to another. Some call this "spiritual polygamy" but it's still a form of polygamy and still occurs today. Apostles Dallin Oaks and Tom Perry have done this, as well as many other LDS men whose first wives have died and they have taken a second wife not previously sealed to another. An interesting quirk that is rarely disucssed.

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Just to add a little something to the messages on polygamy. Polygamy is not something that I would want to do, nor is it something that I fully agree with. I know my wife feels the same way. The point is, MY feelings on the issue do not dictate what is true and what is not true. If truth was dependant on peoples emotions, there would not be a single truth anywhere because everyone would disagree with something.

Polygamy was/is accepted in many cultures through out history. It seems so "wrong" to us because of our culture, and God does not base his commandments off of our earthly culture. We believe what he preaches, he doesn't preach what we believe.

With that said, I believe that polygamy was inspired of God during the early days of the church. I don't know why it was practiced in the 1800's, just like I don't know why it was practiced during biblical times, and that doesnt really matter. I may not like it, but who am I to tell God how he should run his church. I trust his knowledge over my feelings. I hear he knows more than I do.

P.S. Lori

Just a side not that my wife finds comfort in. :P The wife had to give the husband permission to court and marry another woman. This went for every spouse. If they didn't want to share their husband, all they had to do was say no.

P.S. Lori

Just a side not that my wife finds comfort in.  <_< The wife had to give the husband  permission to court and marry another woman.  This went for every spouse.  If they didn't want to share their husband, all they had to do was say no

.

According to D&C 132, yes.

Problem is Joseph married quite a number of women secretly, without Emma knowing. Among them, Eliza Snow, Emma's counselor inthe RS and also Emma's second counselor in the RS, whose name slips my mind. So, here we have three of four members of the RS presidency married to Jospeh and the only one who does not know is Emma, the one whose permission was required.

Teancum

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I sympathize with Lori's concerns.  I am not very impressed by the practice of polygamy overall.  My ancestors practiced it on both sides.  In fact, my grandmother was married by Matthias Cowley about a dozen years after the first Manifesto (in Utah/Idaho region), and as a second-wife was thus a post-Manifesto polygamist in good standing with the Church . 

Interesting. How did she stay on good standing when Matthias Cowley wsa one of two apostles excommunicates for post Manifesto plural marriage?

This grandmother considered the principle as very spiritual and made some success with it.  However, the practice was excruciatingly hard.  During her first pregancy she had to be treated as an unwed mother -- something hard to imagine in those times in Utah.

And she was treated as an unwed mother most likely because those practicing post Manifesto plural marriages were trying to hide it.

Teancum

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Lori-

You might also wish to refer to a previous thread about/regarding Women's Health & P.

As was pointed out...having multiple partners is NOT conducive to good health...and that's what happens in effect with P... You're sharing the same partner with other women, and therefore, the partners those women have had...

Women DO NOT become more fertile or tend to have more children under P, but rather fewer, since their husband/partners are not as available for insemination as often, perhaps out of sync with their cycles. That debunks the theory that more children resulted from P.

I think on a personal level...it was threatening and harmful to people as well as uplifting to others. the previous about-ragarding being preg. when P was not accepted is also a valid point. It will be VERY interesting to see the DNA studies next month!!

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Just like traditional western marriages, plural marriage among the pioneer saints had good ones and had bad ones, some were happy and some were not. If the problem with the bad marriages was plural marriage itself and not the individuals who participated in it then why didn
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