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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:59 pm 
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From http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html

Is it possible that women lied about their relationship to JS?
Is it possible that BY (etc) altered History of the Church (and D&C)?
Is it possible that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist?

All I want is the truth!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Interesting. I suppose that it really doesn't matter that much from my point of view, being as I am a mainstream Mormon, which came from polygamy either from Brigham or Joseph. Either way this article is saying that the mainstream church is not true. Fine. Whatever. It is surprising, though, that Rock doesn't come to the same conclusion. If Joseph did not practice and was still prophet when he died and the church as he organized it was true then, it would follow that the way it should have continued would be the way it was then being run. If Brigham hijacked it and was out of tune with God then the church he was running was not true. The church I belong to is the one that was run by Brigham. Therefore, the LDS church is not true. I come to the same conclusion when I put Joseph to the test as a polygamist. I wonder if Rock is going to join the CofC now. Come on, Rock, inquiring minds want to know :D .


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:55 pm 
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ff42 wrote:
From http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-im-abandoning-polygamy.html

Is it possible that women lied about their relationship to JS?
Is it possible that BY (etc) altered History of the Church (and D&C)?
Is it possible that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist?

All I want is the truth!


People can lie about anything if it suits their agenda. Personally, I don't care how many wives he had. It has nothing to do with me in the 21st century.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:54 pm 
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Is it possible that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist?

No, it's not possible. There is a total consensus among scholars that Joseph Smith Jr. originated polygamy within Mormonism because the evidence is overwhelming.

Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy is an apologetic book by Ex-RLDS members who believe as an article of faith that Brigham Young founded polygamy and Joseph Smith fought it. This religious belief is not historical. The reality is that Joseph Smith routinely denied being a polygamist publicly, while he secretly taught and engaged in the practice.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:08 pm 
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The irony of this is that if Joseph wasn't a polygamist, and truly fought against it (which I don't believe for a second) then the modern Utah branch of the LDS church is almost certainly THE WRONG BRANCH. It was the polygamist group lead by the polygamist Brigham Young that founded the modern Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints in Utah.

So if you are a modern Mormon in the Utah church, you better start looking elsewhere.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:02 pm 
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John Hamer wrote:
The reality is that Joseph Smith routinely denied being a polygamist publicly, while he secretly taught and engaged in the practice.


That is one of the ironies of the LDS vs RLDS split. The Brighamites followed what Joseph had been teaching privately. The RLDS followed what Joseph had been teaching publicly. The seeds of schism were sown by Joseph Smith himself.

Even more ironically, both groups have since accepted that Joseph taught and practiced polygamy, and both groups have rejected the practice. Which has lead to yet more schism, as the fundamentalists split off from the LDS to keep practicing polygamy, and other groups splintering off from the RLDS that still embrace the wildly improbable "Joseph Fought Polygamy" theory...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:07 pm 
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For a while the party line was that celestial plural marriage was different from ungodly polygamy. But I don't think that's the line being taken by this guy.

I find his blog (puremormonism) dull and unoriginal. It's the same old I-don't-like-the-way-they're-doing-it-so-it-must-not-be-scriptural-and-I'll-do-it-my-way.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:11 pm 
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star stuff wrote:
So if you are a modern Mormon in the Utah church, you better start looking elsewhere.



Most of these are non-Brighamite:

Quote:
Church of the Potter Christ
Church of the Firstborn (Morrisite)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Gibsonite)
Kingdom of Heaven
Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Most High
Order of Enoch
Aaronic Order
Zion's Order, Inc
Perfected Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter-day Saints
Restored Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter-day Saints
Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ
Church of the Christian Brotherhood
Church of Jesus Christ Restored 1830
Lion of God Ministry
Church of Jesus Christ (Zion's Branch)
Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Church of Christ (Fettingite)
Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message
Church of Christ (Restored)
Church of Israel
Church of Christ (Temple Lot) (Hedrickites)
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
Primitive Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)
Church of Jesus Christ (Cutlerite)
Restored Church of Jesus Christ
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
Church of Christ (Aaron Smith)
Church of the Messiah
Holy Church of Jesus Christ
Church of Jesus Christ (Drewite)
True Church of Jesus Christ Restored
Church of Christ (Whitmerite)
The Bride, the Lamb's Wife
Congregation of Jehovah's Presbytery of Zion
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Gladdenite)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_se ... t_movement


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:14 pm 
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Kephas wrote:
Most of these are non-Brighamite...


Well, if he's convinced by the Prices, he can narrow that search by joining their church directly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_Branches


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:42 pm 
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It seems perfectly logical to me that JS would condemn anyone advocating polygamy who wasn't him. Not that he was against polygamy, but that he wanted to be the one in control of it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Kephas wrote:

I find his blog (puremormonism) dull and unoriginal. It's the same old I-don't-like-the-way-they're-doing-it-so-it-must-not-be-scriptural-and-I'll-do-it-my-way.


Geez, Kephas; now you're just being mean.

It's not that "I don't like how they're doing it and I'll do it my way." I Don't really care. I'm just a guy rummaging around trying to learn what's true and what isn't. Like most of you, I've discovered that a lot of what I was raised to believe simply is not factual.

I'm not invested in the church as an institution, so if it turns out that Brigham was a cad (and it certainly seems that way),I'm willing to shrug and move on as I don't buy into the "Line of Authority" B.S. Following a particular "authority" is the quickest way for one to find himself derailed from a freelance search for the truth.

It should be clear from my writings that I don't give a hang about the institution of the church itself (Example: my piece last February on "The Best Conference Talk You Never Read"), but I am attracted to much of the core theology that Joseph Smith taught, primarily the attributes of God. Most members have no interest in delving into the broader Theo-cosmology of their own religion, but I'm fascinated by all that quasi-new age type stuff.

Ella Menno, as to whether my conclusions will guide me to the Church of Christ, I don't think that's where they lead. I don't subscribe to the "these guys are wrong so these other guys must be right" way of thinking. I don't believe my search for truth will result in my re-attaching myself to any particular organization.

John, yes, many scholars believe that J.S. practiced polygamy; I'm just saying that perhaps those assumptions deserve a second look based on the evidence. Even these scholars find the whole thing unlikely and confusing, but seem to have been forced to a conclusion based on the flood of affidavits. (Even Fawn Brodie admitted "The more I work with the polygamy material, the more baffled I become.")

So, what if those affidavits were fraudulent? Doesn't that warrant a new trial? It makes little sense to accept the testimony of those who have ulterior motives while refusing to consider the words of the defendant.

Of course, anyone coming to any conclusions on the issue based solely on my flimsy and inadequate review would be doing himself a disservice. I say take a look at the book, and then weigh the evidence for yourself. It's all available free on their website. (There's such an abundance of evidence that I haven't even read volume II myself.)

http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm

I'm not married to any conclusions here, just seeking for truth wherever it leads. If anyone is aware of any information refuting the evidence the Prices' have put forward, I'm very interested in seeing it.

I appreciate all of you for your input. (Except you, Kephas; thanks to you I'll be crying myself to sleep tonight.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:51 pm 
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This is a VERY interesting concept. If JS did in fact NOT practice polygamy, then I could believe it is possible he did have a vision (although I would still have lots of other problems with him)

If that was the case, then I would despise BY more than I already do. Having seen BYs writings, I despise him and his doctrines, and I would despise him even more for the BIG lie of polygamy, and therefore have a very hard time believing that the church under him was true. Especially when I see the fruits of his church (as opposed to members) Members do great things. The church does very little good in the world - unless of course using member funds.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:54 pm 
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John Hamer wrote:
Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy is an apologetic book by Ex-RLDS members who believe as an article of faith that Brigham Young founded polygamy and Joseph Smith fought it.


Just because someone has an agenda doesn't automatically make them wrong, but it usually tends to end up that way.
So to summarize..
All or nearly all serious Mormon and non-Mormon historians admit that Smith practiced polygamy. And this church comes along and writes a book that tries to prove he never did.
Not being an expert on the subject I think one answer seems much more likely than the other.
So how do these guys explain the Fanny Alger affair?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:16 pm 
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As far as I'm concerned, the church was restored in its purity until 1831, when JS somehow came up with the idea of polygamy (probably due to his hyper sex drive, which PBS's "The Mormons" claims he had). Image

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:46 pm 
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In this situation, we’re not just dealing with a couple affidavits gathered long after the fact from Brigham Young and his cronies. We have detailed evidence from every kind of source imaginable: not just loyalists, but people who hated Brigham Young and had nothing to do with him or his church. We have detailed accounts from both before and after Joseph’s death; contemporary records; contemporary charges; in addition to the mountain of affidavits gathered after the fact. They all come together to paint a very consistent picture, which is why there is consensus among historians on this issue.

I agree that we have to be cautious about Brighamite testimony, since Brigham Young and his followers had an agenda. However, here are a handful of examples of non-Brighamite leaders who testified or whose own practice testifies that JSJ founded polygamy:

    • William Marks, originally an anti-polygamist at Nauvoo and later 1st Counselor in the RLDS Church First Presidency (the RLDS Church was the main anti-polygamy Mormon church)

    • William Smith, the only surviving brother of JSJ; opponent of BY, he founded his own Williamite Mormon church and continued to practice polygamy in secret, just as his brother had taught, while publicly disavowing it, just as his brother had

    • William Law, anti-polygamy leader who left the First Presidency of JSJ because of JSJ’s practice of polygamy, and founded an anti-polygamy Reform Mormon Church in Nauvoo --- why would he need to do that if JSJ was busily “fighting polygamy”?

    • Lyman Wight, anti-BY leader who took his group to Texas where they continued to practice polygamy, in secret as JSJ taught, despite the fact that they didn't recognize BY's assumed authority

    • James Strang, anti-BY leader who took his group to Beaver Island where the practice polygamy openly while maintaining their opposition to BY

    • Alpheus Cutler, refused to follow BY to Utah, secretly practice polygamy in his colony of Manti, Iowa, before rejecting the doctrine and divorcing his wives

    • William McLellin, anti-BY ex-apostle who affiliated with a number of anti-polygamy Mormon churches
Again, this is just a tiny sample of what exists. These are just a few of the people who were BY’s opponents after the succession crisis, who would have no interest in adopting practices that BY was instituting, but who all either practiced polygamy or testified that JSJ had or both.

Against this and all the other contemporary accounts and all the Brighamite evidence, we have some strong, public statements of Joseph Smith condemning polygamy. These are the statements that Rock explains encouraged him to begin to reconsider the question.

What conclusion must we draw from this contradiction? Was more or less every single person in early Mormonism part of a giant cabal that was fighting Joseph Smith in Joseph’s lifetime and after his death? Did JSJ have that little control over his church in 1843-44?

Of course not. It’s very clear that Joseph Smith was making public statements that were deliberately intended to deceive people who were not in the know. This is also very consistent with JSJ’s behavior regarding controversial practices. He likewise made deceptive public statements about the Danites in Missouri and his own actions in the Missouri Mormon War. JSJ was in constant danger of arrest and his clear policy was to attempt to deceive his enemies to protect himself and the church.

To sum up:
Did BY distort the story recorded in the History of the Church? Absolutely.

Was BY a scoundrel? I certainly think so, but that’s my own opinion.

Was BY a member of a secret cabal that was practicing polygamy in Nauvoo during Joseph Smith’s lifetime? Yes. And Joseph Smith was the leader of that cabal.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:18 pm 
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RockWaterman wrote:
Geez, Kephas; now you're just being mean.


I didn't intend to be. I'll confess to curtness and a habitually choleric humor, however.

Quote:
I'm not invested in the church as an institution, so if it turns out that Brigham was a cad (and it certainly seems that way),I'm willing to shrug and move on as I don't buy into the "Line of Authority" B.S. Following a particular "authority" is the quickest way for one to find himself derailed from a freelance search for the truth.


I think in terms of lineage branches rather than lines of authority, and see the restoration as a tree or tangled bush with many branches and twigs of varying size and strength. So, I do not argue for a "one true branch" which is nonsensical based on the living tree analogy. But I also don't feel that all the lineages are of equal weight or power.


Quote:
It should be clear from my writings that I don't give a hang about the institution of the church itself (Example: my piece last February on "The Best Conference Talk You Never Read"), but I am attracted to much of the core theology that Joseph Smith taught, primarily the attributes of God. Most members have no interest in delving into the broader Theo-cosmology of their own religion, but I'm fascinated by all that quasi-new age type stuff.


We're in agreement here, as I also derive a lot of value from Mormonism's crypto-gnostic roots. However, many of the same people who argue that JS wasn't a polygamist also reject other of his teachings (the King Follett discourse, etc.) which tactic you might not go along with. A good example of this is the Temple Lot church, which basically rejects everything beyond the raw text of the BoM and anything that happened after Kirtland except for the dedication of the Temple Lot. Now, they are intellectually consistent, I'll give them that.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Trip wrote:
John Hamer wrote:
Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy is an apologetic book by Ex-RLDS members who believe as an article of faith that Brigham Young founded polygamy and Joseph Smith fought it.



So how do these guys explain the Fanny Alger affair?


I don't know what they've said about Fanny Alger because I've only read volume 1. Volume II is here. You can root around looking for it if you want:

http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm

My own experience over the years trying to get to the bottom (get it?) of Fanny has been unsatisfying. Lots of rumors flew, mostly decades later, but no first hand accounts. I seem to remember Richard Bushman in Rough Stone Rolling tracing it to -ah, what was her name? The wife of Brigham who left and went on the lecture circuit and wrote a book.. The 27th Wife, or something, it was called.

Anyway, according to the info, this chick heard it gossiped among Brigham's other wives. Or maybe she just made it up. There's a quote of Cowdery's referring to a "nasty, ugly affair" in a letter decades later, but I've never seen the whole letter, and for all I know he was referring to the gossip as being nasty and ugly, rather than to Joseph's involvement as commonly believed. Don't trust sentence fragments when you're doing forensic history, I always say.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:30 pm 
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Kephas wrote:
RockWaterman wrote:
Geez, Kephas; now you're just being mean.


I didn't intend to be. I'll confess to curtness and a habitually choleric humor, however.









However, many of the same people who argue that JS wasn't a polygamist also reject other of his teachings (the King Follett discourse, etc.)




You know your Restorationist stuff, Kephas. When I was a missionary in Independence, I liked the temple lot guys better than I liked the Reorgs. In light of what I've been learning about polygamy, I may owe the Reorgs an apology, though.

I like your thinking here concerning the branches. I'm hereby adopting this way of looking at it.

I did not know there was a rejection of King Follett among any of the Restoration branches. Why? It came from Joseph, not Brigham. I like the discourse.

I'm pleased that we're now friends, and I hereby christen you "Choleric Kephas"

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:48 pm 
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RockWaterman wrote:
You know your Restorationist stuff, Kephas. When I was a missionary in Independence, I liked the temple lot guys better than I liked the Reorgs.


They are consistent and actually have a backbone, in contrast to the non-entities currently in charge of the CoC. I met and listened to William Sheldon (the Temple Lot apostle) give his pitch when I last visited there (and also the first time I visited there ten years previously ... he's like the only guy there I guess, lol). He makes a good case, but there has to be more to a church's claim to fame than a little plot of ground. I attended one Temple Lot branch meeting in Arizona some years ago and it was indistinguishable from your generic evangelical sect.

Quote:
I did not know there was a rejection of King Follett among any of the Restoration branches. Why? It came from Joseph, not Brigham. I like the discourse.


IIRC, the CoC(TL) considers JS a fallen prophet and reject everything he did after the dedication of the Temple Lot, which includes any of his Nauvoo theology. They also have no interest in what went on at Adam-Ondi-Ahman or Far West and don't consider those temple sites to be of any importance. I think they consider the church as having been rejected and thus chased out of Independence, so anything that happened after that is null and void.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:25 pm 
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Kephas wrote:
RockWaterman wrote:
You know your Restorationist stuff, Kephas. When I was a missionary in Independence, I liked the temple lot guys better than I liked the Reorgs.


They are consistent and actually have a backbone, in contrast to the non-entities currently in charge of the CoC. I met and listened to William Sheldon (the Temple Lot apostle) give his pitch when I last visited there (and also the first time I visited there ten years previously ... he's like the only guy there I guess, lol). He makes a good case, but there has to be more to a church's claim to fame than a little plot of ground. I attended one Temple Lot branch meeting in Arizona some years ago and it was indistinguishable from your generic evangelical sect.

Quote:
I did not know there was a rejection of King Follett among any of the Restoration branches. Why? It came from Joseph, not Brigham. I like the discourse.


IIRC, the CoC(TL) considers JS a fallen prophet and reject everything he did after the dedication of the Temple Lot, which includes any of his Nauvoo theology. They also have no interest in what went on at Adam-Ondi-Ahman or Far West and don't consider those temple sites to be of any importance. I think they consider the church as having been rejected and thus chased out of Independence, so anything that happened after that is null and void.


Wow, who knew there were Temple Lot members in Arizona? I would have been surprised that there were enough to fill their little chapel on the lot.

Interesting about the CofC rejecting anything after Independence. Thanks for the info. I'm not as well read as I thought. You have humbled me.

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