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MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA
This topic covers Church Propaganda. This includes Church teaching manuals and other manuals published by Intellectual Reserve Inc. These manuals generally gloss over Church history in a "Faith Promoting" way, leaving out things such as Polygamy, Polyandry - or anything else that is embarrassing to the Church.
| This morning I noticed a more recent piece of LDS propaganda about Joseph Smith, "Teaching of Presidents of the Church - Joseph Smith", on the kitchen table at my Mormon mother's and stepfather's home. I looked in the Index for "Polygamy"; there were two references listed, as follows:
Introduction (p. xii): "This book deals with the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that have application to our day. For example, this book does not discuss such topics as the Prophet's teachings regarding the law of consecration as applied to the stewardship of property. The Lord withdrew this law from the Church because the Saints were not prepared to live it (see DandC 119, section heading). This book also does not discuss plural marriage. The doctrines and principles relating to plural marriage were revealed to Joseph Smith as early as 1831. The Prophet taught the doctrine of plural marriage, and a number of such marriages were performed during his lifetime. Over the next several decades, under the direction of the Church Presidents who succeeded Joseph Smith, a significant number of Church members entered into plural marriages. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which discontinued plural marriage in the Church (see Official Declaration 1). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer practices plural marriages."
The Life and Ministry of Joseph Smith (p. 22): "In 1841 the first sealings of couples were performed, and in 1843 the Prophet dictated the revelation that describes the eternal nature of the marriage covenant (see DandC 132). The doctrines in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831. As commanded by God, he also taught the doctrine of plural marriage."
1. I noted that the word "polygamy" was never used in this church manual. In terms of religious developments in North America during the past 165+ years, polygamy and Mormonism have become synonymous.
2. There is no mention that Smith not only participated in the "doctrine of plural marriage", he was the first Mormon to do so, he had at least 33 plural wives, and he polygamously married 11 female church members who were already married and seven teenage girls (ref. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org).
3. The summary of DandC 132 states: "Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831." (ref. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/132). The Wives of Joseph Smith website, which is based on the info. in Todd Compton's book, "In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith", states that Smith married his first plural wife, Fanny Alger, in 1833 (she was 16). The LDS Church's online genealogy records for Smith indicate that he married Alger in 1835.
What historical record(s) does the LDS Church apparently have that Smith was at least thinking about polygamy a minimum of two years before he married Alger? If the info. in the summary of DandC 132 is correct, someone affiliated with the Mormon Church in its infancy (Smith? Cowdery? Harris? Rigdon?) wrote something down about polygamy that resulted in the church reference to 1831 and Smith's plural marriage knowledge. Anybody know what was written, and by whom?
According to the info. in Compton's book/The Wives of Joseph Smith website, "Joseph kept his marriage to Fanny out of the view of the public, and his wife Emma. Chauncey Webb recounts Emma’s later discovery of the relationship: “Emma was furious, and drove the girl, who was unable to conceal the consequences of her celestial relation with the prophet, out of her house”. (ref. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/02-...).
According to the LDS Church, from 1831 on Joseph Smith was aware of the "principles" relative to polygamy, which included the first wife (Emma, in Joseph's case) granting her consent before the Mormon priesthood holder (e.g., Joseph) could polygamously marry a "virgin" that he desired and wanted to "espouse" (ref. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/132/6...). Joseph had violated this "principle". Why did "the Lord' not punish him for doing so?
Another important polygamy "principle", as known to Joseph Smith as early as 1831 according to the LDS Church, was that only an unmarried virgin could become the plural wife of a Mormon priesthood holder. DandC 132:61 states (emphasis in bold is mine): "And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood–if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else."
The online genealogy data for Joseph Smith on the LDS Church's FamilySearch.org website shows that Smith married a no. of women who were already married (i.e., "vowed") to another man. Compton's book and The Wives of Joseph Smith website list 11 such women. Married women are not virgins. Joseph violated another "principle" pertaining to the "revelation" of polygamy. Again, why was he not punished by "the Lord" for his disobedience? After all, "obedience is the first law of heaven".
4. On February 9, 1831, Joseph Smith "received" a "revelation", which became DandC 42 (ref. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/42/...). The summary for the Section is: "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 9, 1831. HC 1: 148–154. It was received in the presence of twelve elders, and in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise previously made that the “law” would be given in Ohio; see Section 38: 32. The Prophet specifies this revelation as “embracing the law of the Church.”' DandC 42:22 says "Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else." Clearly, by pursuing and secretly marrying young Fanny Alger, Joseph Smith violated a direct commandment from "the Lord". Latter-day Saints should be asking themselves, "Why was Joseph Smith not excommunicated for adultery?"
According to The Wives of Joseph Smith website, "To calm rumors regarding Fanny’s relationship with Joseph, the church quickly adopted a “Chapter of Rules for Marriage among the Saints”, which declared, “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with...polygamy; we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife...” This “Article on Marriage” was canonized and published in the Doctrine and Covenants. In 1852, the doctrine of polygamy was publicly announced, thus ending eighteen years of secret practice. “The Article on Marriage” became obsolete and was later removed." (ref. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/02-...).
5. The manual mentioned above states: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer practices plural marriages." This is true. What the church do not state (in the manual or elsewhere) is that polygamy is still a part of the body of doctrine of the LDS Church. No church president or First Presidency has ever rescinded the doctrine of plural marriage and it remains a part of official church scripture, as per DandC 132. Here's what I wrote the Editor of The New York Times yesterday, "Furthermore, polygamy is an “eternal” reality for Mormons such as LDS Apostle Russell Nelson and his wives, Dantzel White and Wendy Watson. Nelson was “sealed” (married) to White for “all time and eternity” in an LDS temple in 1945, and likewise to Watson in 2006 after White died. If LDS doctrine is true, Nelson is a polygamist."
6. "As commanded by God, he [Joseph Smith] also taught the doctrine of plural marriage." Nowhere in the DandC does "the Lord" command Smith to teach about polygamy. In fact, DandC 42:12 states "And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel." (ref. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/42/12...). However, the Book of Mormon condemns having more than one wife, and the "wives and concubines" of David and Solomon were "abominable" to "the Lord", according to Jacob 2:24 (ref. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jacob/2/...). Very strangely, by July 12, 1843 "the Lord" had changed his mind. DandC 132:1 says (emphasis in bold is mine): "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understandwherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines".
Just more factual arrows to keep in your quiver (so to speak) for the next time you find yourself in a discussion with 'faithful' Latter-day Saints about Joseph Smith, "the Prophet of the Restoration".
| Brigham Young said:
"You ought to love a woman only so far as she adorns the doctrine
you profess; so far as she adorns that doctrine, just so far let your love
extend to her. When will she be worthy of the full extent of your
affection? When she has lived long enough to secure to herself a
glorious resurrection and an eternal exaltation as your companion, and
never until then.
The Prophet Brigham Young
"Elders, never love your wives one hair's breadth further than they
adorn the Gospel, never love them so but that you can leave them
at a moment's warning without shedding a tear.
"Should you love a child any more than this? No. Here are Apostles
and Prophets who are destined to be exalted with the Gods, to become
rulers in the kingdoms of our Father, to become equal with the Father
and the Son, and will you let your affections be unduly placed on
anything this side that kingdom and glory? If you do, you disgrace your
calling and Priesthood. The very moment that persons in this Church
suffer their affections to be immoderately placed upon an object this
side the celestial kingdom, they disgrace their profession and calling.
When you love your Wives and children, are fond of your horses, your
carriages, your fine houses, your goods and chattels, or anything of an
earthly nature, before your affections become too strong, wait until you
and your family are sealed up unto eternal lives, and you know they are
yours from that time henceforth and for ever."
June 15, 1856, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p.360
| What do you people think of this?It is just like a pope or Anglican archbishop would preach his message.They hide all Mormon beliefs and act like a mainstream church.
There is nothing new about the Mormons hiding their doctrines to appear to be mainstream. They did it in 1964 at the World's Fair with "Man's Search for Happiness" and have been doing it ever since. It's all bait and switch.
It's a well done propaganda puff piece: a full on cinematographic sales pitch complete with orchestra and chorus and a maudlin appeal by Holland and his trembling voice.
If any of those nevermos that dig this video were to have gone to the morg services in the U.S. Midwest on Easter Sunday they would have found Stake Conference piped in from Happy Valley with only a few smug references to Easter claiming they "celebrate it every Sunday".
The Mormons' Achilles heel right now is thinking that there is nothing wrong with their church; it's just a matter of proper recruiting and getting people to attend long enough to get properly "converted".
They will never see much growth until they begin to realize that their church's lack of conversion is because their content sucks and not because of poor recruiting techniques. JS is not only not an asset but a serious liability. The vast majority of the uninitiated see these stories are plain kooky. They need to steer away from JS and his baggage and focus more generically on our good buddy Jesus like in their video.
They can run but never hide from their kooky JS history in the age of the internet. What worked before simply isn't working any more.
| Last night I noticed my ten year old doing a "wordsearch" puzzle. I assumed, incorrectly, that it was something from school, but at one point, he said, "Dad, I got all of them except 'matrimony.'"
Of course, I immediately wondered why my son was doing something with 'matrimony' in it, so I checked it out. The puzzle was labeled "Protect the Family" and had a list of words and phrases, ranging from "ELIMINATEFILTH" to "FAMILYHOMEEVENING" to "DEFENDMARRIAGE."
I asked him where he got this puzzle, and he said he found it on the coffee table in the living room. It was then that I turned the page over and saw that it had been printed on the back of the Relief Society newsletter for the month.
I don't know if my son even knows what matrimony means, but it seems really odd to put this kind of thing on a newsletter for grown women. Of course, it's not really appropriate for kids, either.
What a weird church it is sometimes.
| CBC News from SLC: Mormon Nutshell - Interracial Couples, MoTab, Mishies and "Love at Home".
In Salt Lake City to check out Mormonism in advance of the US election, Paul Hunter, journalist with CBC TV (Canada) was directed *by the church* to "get to know" a Mormon interracial family. He went to what looked like family home evening, with family hymn singing, scripture reading and kneeling for prayers. Dad (black) said that "Mormon values" are what America needs and Romney can bring that. Mom (white) made a political statement that I can't remember but couldn't post here anyway to avoid getting too political.
What's SLC without the MoTab? I heard and recognized the hymn when I wasn't even watching TV. It got my attention. Apparently Paul Hunter thinks everybody loves the Mormon choir but it's not my cup of tea, so to speak. The tabernacle always films well, though, with the big organ and such.
My mind fuzzed over and I can't remember who was singing which hymn. I think it was the Mom, Dad and kids singing "Love at Home" and the MoTab something about "mother and father" and "obedience". I know the hymn but can't recall it at the moment.
Hunter also interviewed some teens/20s, not surprisingly at this point a cross-section of races (such as I have never seen in church in my area nor in Salt Lake City for that matter). Some were for Romney, some not, so that is a hopeful sign of people thinking for themselves.
Throw in missionaries, the temple, and some guys making a video to round things out.
My questions are not about why a Mormon would support a Mormon for president. That is self-evident.
But how did the church rep that Paul Hunter contacted just so happen to choose an interracial family for him to interview? Again I say it seems that a calculated impression is being pushed that is out of touch with the reality of Mormonism.
Did not BY and subsequent Mormon prophets have a lot to say about interracial relationships? Don't we care about BY any more? Is he not still a prophet? Is the church not still based on JS and BY and their teachings?
Or is it that old "speaking as a man" ploy? Or that a dead prophet is a prophet it's safe - and advisable - to ignore?
I wince at such obvious PR moves. What's worse is when a good journalist does a fluff piece and calls it "news" when the image is so obviously being manipulated.
Here's the only clip I could find of the Hunter piece. It's just an intro. That's just as well I suppose as, again, could be straddling the line into politics, which is not where I'm trying to go.
Hunter calls Salt Lake City a place "where even the garbage cans are clean".
Finer minds than mine can likely come up with a good quip about that.
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