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The Danites comprised most of the 400 or so Mormon men who surrendered along with Smith and Rigdon to state militia forces at Far West. Smith, Rigdon, and several other Danite leaders were arrested, and spent the next few months in jail awaiting trial on treason and murder charges. Most of the other 15,000 or so Mormons, having been banished from Missouri, settled near Quincy, Illinois. Meaning, Smith didn't "disband the maverick body"; rather, the Danites were disbanded because they were either in jail or had moved to Illinois. Many former Missouri-period Danites later became Nauvoo policemen, Joseph Smith's bodyguards, or Nauvoo Legionnaries. Meaning, rather than being "maverick" or outcasts, they were among Smith's most trusted and loyal followers.
| Joseph Smith Endorsed And Encouraged The Danite Band And Its Activities |
Friday, Apr 7, 2006, at 09:42 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: DANITES -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I haven't read Bushman's book and I doubt that there's very much in it that I don't already know about, but kudos to him for at least admitting that Joseph Smith endorsed and encouraged the Danite band and its activities. As you say, the pro-church article you cited is just one lie after another.
Mopologists try to blame one man, Sampson Avard, for Danite atrocities and for falsely alledging that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon organized the band and authorized the crimes. But Avard was just one of many Mormons who testified to that in court. And contrary to the article's contention that the Danites and their crimes were born during the 1838 conflict, they actually had their genesis in Joseph Smith's 1831 "revelation" which stated that the time had come for the property of "Gentiles" to be "consecrated unto those of the house of Israel." IOW, Mormons, God's "chosen people," were to appropriate property from non-Mormons. Mopologists try to blame the Missouri conflict on such smokescreen issues as slavery and religious beliefs, but the actual reason for the troubles was the Mormons' criminal policies and behavior.
Interested parties can read about the origin of the Danites, and who gave them their orders, and the testimony of many Mormons regarding that, at
Note the slyly-worded, deceptive statement in the church-published article which substrate cited:
Others of the time in late reminiscences recalled that clandestine meetings were held, which were subsequently reported to Joseph Smith, who then denounced Avard, removed him from his official command, and disbanded the maverick body.
Of course faithful Utah Mormons, in their "late reminiscences" decades after the events, told a version of the facts which was more "faith-promoting" and less damaging to the reputation of their demigod Smith. But the court testimony and other contemporary accounts which I quote in my links above clearly show that Smith and Rigdon founded the Danites and fully authorized their crimes. Note that the testators include such notable Mormons as apostles Thoman Marsh and Orson Hyde, and William W. Phelps.
Also, the article's assertion that Smith removed Avard and disbanded the maverick body as soon as he learned of their criminal activities is pure hogwash. Read what really happened at
Also, Smith didn't "disband the maverick body"; the Danites comprised most of the 400 or so Mormon men who surrendered along with Smith and Rigdon to state militia forces at Far West. Smith, Rigdon, and several other Danite leaders were arrested, and spent the next few months in jail awaiting trial on treason and murder charges. Most of the other 15,000 or so Mormons, having been banished from Missouri, settled near Quincy, Illinois. Meaning, Smith didn't "disband the maverick body"; rather, the Danites were disbanded because they were either in jail or had moved to Illinois. Many former Missouri-period Danites later became Nauvoo policemen, Joseph Smith's bodyguards, or Nauvoo Legionnaries. Meaning, rather than being "maverick" or outcasts, they were among Smith's most trusted and loyal followers.
For those who want to read a more comprehensive work on the issues, I suggest Stephen LeSeuer's "The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri "
| Lyin' For The Lard Department: Found This One While Looking For Other Stuff |
Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009, at 08:49 AM
Original Author(s): Sl Cabbie
Topic: DANITES -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| (high velocity bullchip warning on this one; be ready to duck as necessary)
It popped up on Google while I was looking up some Porter Rockwell information and comes from a report from last spring's so-called "Mormon History Association" Conference held in Springfield, Illinois (where, for some odd reason, they couldn't hear a high-pitched whirling noise emanating from Honest Abe's gravesite).
Here's the real standout in a crowd of lulus . . .
Joseph I. Bentley, the third presenter in the session, said, "The suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor is commonly thought to be the event that led to the death of Joseph Smith."
It provoked a charge of treason, which placed Joseph and Hyrum in Carthage Jail to await trial. There they were murdered by a mob.
As a response to mob outrage stemming from the Expositor incident, Joseph declared martial law "to preserve the city and the lives of its citizens," Brother Bentley said. The Nauvoo Legion was thus called to duty. At the same time, Joseph requested Gov. Thomas Ford come and help him keep the peace.
"Joseph boldly addressed the legion with a drawn and uplifted sword defying mob rule but not official authority," Brother Bentley said. "This show of force may have actually forestalled an expected invasion of Nauvoo that was actually planned for that same week, and it certainly did protect the saints for the moment, but it is what ultimately caused the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, this one act."
I also give this next one an honorable mention in the dissembling department, a fairly obvious example of deformed lawyerese . . . It concerns charges that JS ordered the shooting of former Missouri Governor Boggs, who penned the notorious "Extermination Order."
A key question in the extradition case was whether Joseph could have fled from Missouri justice, since that was a prerequisite for extradition, if he had not been in the state at the time of the shooting. Butterfield submitted affidavits from several individuals attesting that Joseph had been in Nauvoo at the time. One of these affidavits was signed by Stephen A. Douglas, then a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and later candidate for U.S. President against Lincoln.
In my best Joe Friday voice: Here are the facts ma'am. Boggs was seriously wounded by a pepperbox pistol found at the scene of the crime. The sheriff determined that Orrin Porter Rockwell was in Missouri at the time and the principal suspect. Witnesses placed him at a shop from which the weapon was stolen.
Eight days later, Orrin Porter Rockwell stepped off a steamboat at Nauvoo, and the next day Joseph Smith announced that Boggs had been murdered.
This report was premature; there were four doctors in Boggs' home the night of the shooting; one of them was his brother, Joseph Boggs, and the former Missouri governor lived nineteen more years with two buckshot in him . . .
Joseph Smith gave Rockwell "an elegant new carriage . . . upon his return from Missouri."
Source: Harold Schindler, "Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder"; 1966; pp. 74-79
In the aftermath of the Boggs shooting, JS hid out on an island in the Mississippi, and Rockwell headed east to Philadelphia for a time (with a bounty on his head that eventually reached $3000).
He was arrested in 1843 in St. Louis, and charged with the attempted murder of Boggs and held in various jails for nine months (with one failed escape attempt); he was finally released in December of that year after a grand jury decided there was insufficient evidence to indict him on the Boggs murder attempt.
| Here's A Good Read, The Mormon Menace, The Confessions Of John Doyle Lee, Danite |
Thursday, Oct 8, 2009, at 07:33 AM
Original Author(s): Jw The Inquizzinator
Topic: DANITES -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Title: The Mormon Menace |
The Confessions of John Doyle Lee, Danite
Author: John Doyle Lee
Alfred Henry Lewis
Couple of Snippets:
"In the Endowment a list is made out the day previous, of those who are to take their endowments. Every person is required to wash himself clean, from head to foot. Also to prepare and bring a good supply of food, of the best quality, for themselves and those who labor in the house of the Lord. About twenty-five persons are required in the different departments to attend to the washing, anointing, blessing, ordaining, and sealing. From twenty-five to fifty persons are passed through in twenty-four hours. I was among the first to receive my washings and anointings, and even received my second anointing, which made me an equal of the Priesthood, with right and authority to build up
the Kingdom in all the earth and power to fill any vacancy that might occur. I have officiated in all the different branches, from the highest to the lowest.
There were about forty men who attained to that rank in the Priesthood, including the twelve apostles and Brigham, and to them was intrusted the keeping of the records. I was the head clerk; Brother Richards was my assistant clerk. My office was in room number one, of Brigham's apartments. I kept a record of the sealings, anointings, marriages, and adoptions.
Also, I was the second son adopted of Brigham. I should have been his first adopted son, being the first who proposed it to him, but, ever ready to give preference to those in authority, I placed Brother Rockwood's name first on the list. I had also had my children adopted to me in the Temple. Brigham had his children adopted to himself, and we were the only ones, to my knowledge, that had our children so adopted in the Temple of Nauvoo....."
"...In the Temple I took three wives - Martha Berry, Polly Ann Workman, and Delithea Morris, and had my family sealed to me over the altar in the Temple, and six of them received their second anointings - that is, the first six wives did, but the last three there was not time to attend to...."
"....Only a few words in regard to the Prophet Joseph. He was tried twenty-one times for different offenses, and acquitted each time. Once when he was visiting in Peoria he was captured by four men from Missouri, who started with him in a wagon to take him to that State. Two sat beside him with cocked pistols, punching him in the side occasionally, and telling him that if he opened his mouth they would blow his brains out. He was not arrested by any process of law, but they were trying to kidnap him. Brother Markham, an old friend of Joseph, ran ahead to the town of Peoria, employed a lawyer, got out a writ of habeas corpus, and had him set at liberty.
When the news reached Nauvoo the Saints were in the wildest state of excitement. The Mormon steamer was crowded with Danites, and sent full steam ahead to Peoria to rescue the Prophet. When the Danites arrived they found him at liberty. This was in 1843.
The same winter Joseph organized what was called the "Council of Fifty." This was a confidential organition. A man by the name of Jackson belonged to it, though he did not belong to the Church. This Council was designated as a law-making department, but no records were kept of its doings, or if kept, were burned at the close of each meeting. Whenever anything of importance was on foot this Council was called to deliberate upon it. The Council was named the "Living Constitution." Joseph said that no legislature could enact laws that would meet every case or attain the ends of justice in all respects...."
"....Brother Rosmos Anderson was a Danish man who had come to Utah with his family to receive the benefits arising from an association with the Latter-day Saints. He had married a widow lady somewhat older than himself; and she had a daughter who was fully grown. The girl was anxious to be sealed to her stepfather. Anderson was equally anxious to take her for a second wife, but Bishop Klingensmith had set his eye on her, and desired her for himself.
At one of the meetings Anderson and his stepdaughter confessed they had committed adultery, believing that if they did so that Brigham would allow them to marry when he learned the facts. Their confession being full, they were rebaptized and received into full membership. They were then placed under covenant that if they again committed adultery Anderson should suffer death.
Soon after this a charge was laid against Anderson before the Council, accusing him of adultery with his stepdaughter. This Council was composed of Bishop Klingensmith and his two counselors; it was the Bishop's Council. The Council voted that Anderson must die for violating his covenants. Bishop Klingensmith went to Anderson and told him the judgment was that he must die by having his throat cut, so that the running of his blood would atone for his sins.
Anderson, being a firm believer in the doctrine of Blood Atonement and the teachings of the Mormon Church, made no protest, but asked half a day to prepare for death. His request was granted. His wife was ordered to prepare a suit of clean clothing, in which to have her husband buried, and informed that he was to be killed for his sins, she being directed to tell those who inquired after her husband that he had gone to California.
Bishop Klingensmith and Danite James Haslem dug a grave in a field near Cedar City, and that night, about twelve o'clock, went to Anderson's house and told him to make ready to obey the Council. Anderson got up, dressed himself, bid his family good-by, and without remonstrance accompanied those he believed were carrying out the will of Almighty God. They went to the place where the grave was prepared, Anderson kneeling by the side of the grave and praying. Bishop Klingensmith then cut Anderson's throat and held him so that his blood ran into the grave.
As soon as he was dead they dressed him in his clean clothes, threw him into the grave and buried him. They then carried his bloody clothing back to his family, and gave them to his wife to wash, when she was again instructed to say that her husband was in California. She obeyed their orders...."
Lots more in there
| Believing a convicted glass-looker that he found a golden bible and translated it by divination is silly. Selling your property to finance the publication of the book is stupid. Letting him have his way with your wife is crazy. The Danites are down right scary. The Danites were an underground group of Mormon zealots organized in June 1838 in Far West, Missouri, after the fall of the Kirtland bank. They were Joseph Smith's bodyguards and vigilantes determined to drive out dissenters from he group.
The Danites started out as a fringe group organized by Sampson Avard, Jared Carter and George W. Robinson. Their oath was "to support the heads of the church in all things that they say or do, whether right or wrong." Eventually the group grew to over eighty individuals. At this point things began to spiral out of control.
Sidney Rigdon gave his famous "Salt Sermon." In it he likens the dissenters (David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, William W. Phelps, etc.) to "salt that had lost its savor" and is good for nothing but to be cast out and that the dissenters would be "trodden under the foot of men." The Danites took this as a coded message that their actions we approved by church leadership.
Rigdon then went on to write a scathing letter to the dissenters.
To Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, and Lyman E. Johnson, greeting:
Out of the county you shall go, and no power shall save you. And you shall have three days after you receive this communication...for you to depart with your families peaceably;...and unless you heed us,...there shall be no escape; for there is but one decree for you, which is depart, depart, or a more fatal calamity shall befall you...we will put you from the county of Caldwell: so help us God. (Sidney Rigdon, Letter to the dissenters)
The letter was signed by 83 Danites. Interestingly, Hyrum Smith's signature was on the letter.
Sometime after the salt sermon Joseph Smith began teaching that when Judas betrayed Christ he didn't hang himself, but rather, he was killed by Peter.
Joseph Smith in a short speech sanctioned what had been said by Rigdon. though said he "I don't [want] the brethren to act unlawfully but will tell them one thing Judas was a traitor and in stead of hanging himself was hung by Peter," and with this hint the subject was dropped for the day having created great excitement and prepared the people to execute anything that should be proposed. (Reed Peck, pp.6-7)
This statement was echoed by Heber C. Kimball in the Journal of Discourses.
Judas lost that saving principle, and they took him and killed him. It is said in the Bible that his bowels gushed out; but they actually kicked him until his bowels came outů Judas was like salt that had lost its saving principles-good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men... It is so with you, ye Elders of Israel, when you forfeit your covenants.... I know the day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us and against the covenants they have made, and they will be destroyed as Judas was. (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, pp.125-26)
Armed with the salt sermon, Sidney's letter and Joseph's doctrine that betraying the church was grounds for death, the Danites drove the dissenters from their home and pillaged their property and goods. It was not a good time to lose a testimony of the church. Joseph Smith wrote
"Thus far, according to the order of the Danites. We have a company of Danites in these times, to put to right physically that which is not right, and to cleanse the Church of every great evil which has hitherto existed among us inasmuch as they cannot be put to right by teachings and persuasyons [sic]. This company or a part of them exhibited on the fourth day of July [–] They come up to consecrate, by companies of tens, commanded by their captains over ten." (Joseph Smith, Journal, July 27, 1838, Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith)
Eventually the Danites began pillaging non-Mormon Missourians. They would steal horses and cattle and all manner of goods. The Danites felt that they were justified in doing this since the Missourians had done the same to the Mormons. Around this time Governor Boggs stepped in and issued his famous extermination order.
In the fall of 1838 Joseph Smith was charged with treason. It is at this time that Joseph began to condemn the group. He excommunicated Sampson Avard, claiming Avard had taken things into his own hands.
"When a knowledge of Avard's rascality came to the Presidency of the Church, he was cut off from the Church, and every means proper used to destroy his influence, at which he was highly incensed and went about whispering his evil insinuations, but finding every effort unavailing, he again turned conspirator, and sought to make friends with the mob." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 181)
This didn't put an end to the Danites though. They became enforcers of the law of consecration, rigged elections and eventually moved into a military role in the Mormon wars. Self professed Danite, John N. Sapp claims that there were around 900 Danites at this point but John C. Corrill figured it was a smaller, select group of about 300 men.
The disgruntled Sampson Avard became the lead witness for the prosecution in a trial of Joseph Smith and other church leaders. He went on to claim that Joseph was the prime mover and organizer of the Danites and that Joseph endorsed the pillaging of the non-Mormon communities. It's impossible to know exactly how involved Joseph was. He was aware of the group and initially approved of some of their activities. After Avard was excommunicated, Smith publicly condemned both Avard and the Danites.
The Danite movement died a quick death in November 1838, however, many ex-Danites were given prominent positions in Nauvoo. Hosea Stout became the chief of police. Orrin Porter Rockwell became a body guard to the prophet and later Brigham Young. John D. Lee was one of the leaders of the militia that was involved in the Mountain Meadow Massacre.
Though the organized Danites disappeared, the mentality was ingrained into many parts of Mormon society and even the religion itself. Shortly after the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young introduced the oath of vengeance to the temple ceremony (it was removed about 80 years later).
"You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation."
On top of the oath of vengeance, Brigham also taught that if you commit sin you should be killed, just like Peter killed Judas. Spilling the infidel's blood is the best way to help him repent for his sins.
If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head, and kill man woman and child it would do a great deal towards atoning for the sin. Would this be to curse them? no it would be a blessing to them. – it would do them good that they might be saved with their Bren. A man would shudder should they here us take about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, although the true principles of it are not understood... (Brigham Young Addresses, Ms d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, dated Feb. 5, 1852, LDS Church Historical Department, Salt Lake City, Utah)
This is essentially Danite doctrine with a twist. Instead of killing dissenters and sinners because they're bad, we're killing them because we want to help them. Again, this was a bad time to lose your testimony of the church. The following offenses were punishable by death.
"Blood-atonement sins included adultery, apostasy, 'covenant breaking,' counterfeiting, 'many men who left this Church,' murder, not being 'heartily on the Lord's side,' profaning 'the name of the Lord,' sexual intercourse between a 'white' person and an African-American, stealing, and telling lies... (D. Michael Quinn)
Here is an example of blood atonement in action.
"To whatever extent the preaching on blood atonement may have influenced action, it would have been in relation to Mormon disciplinary action among its own members. In point would be a verbally reported case of a Mr. Johnson in Cedar City who was found guilty of adultery with his stepdaughter by a bishop's court and sentenced to death for atonement of his sin. According to the report of reputable eyewitnesses, judgment was executed with consent of the offender who went to his unconsecrated grave in full confidence of salvation through the shedding of his blood. Such a case, however primitive, is understandable within the meaning of the doctrine and the emotional extremes of the [Mormon] Reformation." (Utah Historical Quarterly, January, 1958, page 62, note 39)
Blood atonement is the creepy, friendly version of the Danites.
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