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Steve Benson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic. Benson is the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and LDS prophet Ezra Taft Benson.
General Authorities: Regular Joe Schmoes Or Pompous In-The-Knows? A Personal Take
Tuesday, Feb 12, 2008, at 07:22 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
In another thread, poster "No Longer a Believer" asked:

"In your experience with GAs, do you find them to be mostly nice guys, or mostly pompous? Do they see themselves as better than us common folk? Or do they view it like they preach it, that they're just regular joe schmoe members like us but called to positions of great responsibility?"

From my personal experience with some of them, a few observations:

--Jack Goaslind of the Seventies was sincerely affable, warm, approachable and friendly. The Goaslinds and my family were local community friends back in the 1960s. Jack would visit my Arizona home years later during his periodic stake conference tours of duty. We'd have Sunday lunch together and, on one occasion, he laughed his head off in my living room reading the irreverent Mormon-related cartoons of Cal Grondhal. When I left the Church he wrote me a genuinely kind note, in which he did not pass judgment.

--Spencer Kimball was friendly, as well, despite his gawd-awful condemnatory book, "The Miracle of Forgiveness." My parents lived next door to him and his wife Camille for awhile. One Sunday afternoon when I was over at the my folks' home loading furniture and household belongings into a U-Haul parked in their driveway, he handed me a plate of tomatoes from his garden over the backyard fence. While my grandfather had criticized me for "putting the ox in the mire" by waiting until Sunday to move items to Arizona from Utah, when I told Kimball what my grandfather's assessment of my Sunday activity was, Kimball merely smiled and replied that it sounded like something ETB would say.

--Neal Maxwell was courteous, gracious and mellow-talking, but cagey. On the one hand, he sent me a letter offering to meet with me to talk over my growing concerns about the truthfulness of the Mormon Church after my father had indicated to Maxwell that my faith was on the rocks. On the other hand, in what seemed to me to be bordering on paranoia, he expressed concern more than once that I not tape our conversations. Maxwell struck me as a careful and loyal Church bureaucrat who knew which side his bread was buttered on and therefore knew when to keep his mouth shut in order to protect his own position in the realm. His outward, disarming friendliness was countered in my experience with him by what I saw as his attempts to control others by reminding them of his superior ecclesiastial position. For example, before he would even entertain my questions, he showed me into a side office and asked if I was a "oovenant breaker."

--Dallin Oaks could also be charming in orchestrated settings but was capable of being quite aloof, with a strong authoritarian streak, a professsed desire to protect his own turf against encroachment from even other apostles and a scowling, folded-arm, argumentative posture befitting of an attack dog lawyer. Oaks was also not above lying in public about the backroom behavior of fellow GAs like Boyd K. Packer (whom he had criticized in my private discussions with Oaks) and then condemning those (specifically, myself) as a "heel" for blowing the whistle on him when he got caught. Given Packer's seniority over Oaks, I saw this as a possible attempt on Oaks' part to remain on Packer's good side. Oaks generally came across to me as cool, calculating and clever--but not in a positive way.

--Bruce McConkie was personable in private one-on-one situations but even then was a doctrinaire personality, as he sat in his home in his stocking feet and open-necked shirt, quoting scriptures in defense of his positions and criticizing Mormon church presidents who didn't see things his way. While I found McConkie cordial when I visited with him at his residence, he nonetheless came across to me as a dogmatic know-it-all on religious matters during the time I spent with him, who was unwilling to admit mistakes but, instead, strongly inclined to blame others for not understanding the truth of his declarations.

--Thomas Monson was smiling and polite when I briefly chatted with him at a Benson family event but I did not feel that he was particularly warm. (Perhaps he wasn't feeling well that day, since he complained to me about how his diabetes was causing him foot problems).

Everyone of these guys, of course, had their own personalities but I think they were nonetheless to some degree constrained, contained and molded by the roles they were assigned and which they played in the LDS high chain of command.

The Mormon Church, it appeared to me, could bring out elements of the best and worst in them.
Blame Those Stupid Scribes: LDS Efforts To Explain Away Joe Smith's False ID Of Moroni As Nephi
Thursday, Feb 14, 2008, at 08:28 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
One of the more problematic aspects of Mormonism's oft-doctored history is the fact that Joseph Smith originally identified the angelic messenger who supposedly led him to the gold plates as "Nephi," not "Moroni."

"What is wanted?"

"Joseph, having been true and faithful, desires further gold and buried treasure by conversing with Nephi, er, Moroni, or whoever's the guy, on the hill."

You get the picture.

Leave it, of course, to Mormon apologists to attempt a clunky rewrite of the record to pooh-pooh one of the most egregious cases of mistaken identity in the history of Mormonism's mistaken "prophets."

In an effort to save the two-headed Angel Nephi/Moroni from the chopping block of razor-sharp examination, one promotional pro-Mo tangled web of a website engages in the strain-and-blame game of fingering Smith's allegedly incompetent scribes--when, in fact, the Mormon case against "The Angel Moroni and His Use of a Fake ID" has as many holes in it as a pair of Masonic emblem-punched LDS underwear.

The defense of the indefensible goes this way:

"[Mormonisim's critics have cited] several early sources that mistakenly name the angel that visited Joseph Smith as Nephi. . . .

"The truth is that angel who visited Joseph and told him about the 'Book of Mormon' was Moroni. Elden Watson and D. Charles Pyle addressed these similarities and differences in an article . . . entitled 'The Nephi/Moroni Problem.'

"In this article, Watson and Pyle show that the various sources [cited against Smith's misidentification of the Angel Moroni] . . . are actually all derived from one error that was then perpetuated in multiple sources.

"Watson and Pyle also demonstrate that Joseph Smith recorded the name of the angel as Moroni long before this one error was recorded and then re-recorded by the authors of these multiple citations and that in the early days of the Church, essentially everyone knew that it was Moroni and not Nephi who gave Joseph Smith the 'Book of Mormon' record.

"Likewise, author Matthew B. Brown documents the circumstances of the mistaken recording of Moroni as Nephi by one of Josph Smith's scribes. Brown then also shows that later the same year Josph Smith again, as he had in the past, identified the angel as Moroni. . . .

"Therefore, this history has not been changed, as [Mormon critics charge]. Rather, [they have] simply pointed out one record with the name mistakenly changed from Mornoni to Nephi which was copied by others. Given that Joseph Smith and many other reported the name of the angel to be Moroni both before and after the mistaken record, there is ample evidence that Joseph's story never changed."


Or, better yet, hello???

Leave it, of course, to the relentless, unrepentant Jerald and Sandra Tanner to do the job of picking apart the apologists' pre-school prevarications:

"The story of Joseph Smith's second vision – the appearance of the Angel Moroni who delivered the gold plates of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith – . . . presents a serious problem.

"In his first handwritten history, Joseph Smith seems to have been unaware of the name of the angel who appeared to him. He merely stated that it was 'an angel of the Lord.'

"In 1835, however, Smith identified the celestial visitor as 'Moroni' and seemed to hold to this view until 1838 . . .

"When Joseph Smith published his official version of Mormon Church history in 1842 in the 'Times and Seasons,' vol. 3, p. 753, it became obvious that he had changed his mind – the angel was really 'Nephi': 'He called me by name and said . . . that his name was Nephi . . .'

"The Church at that time seemed to accept Joseph Smith's identification of the angel. A few months later the Church's 'Millennial Star,' printed in England, also published Joseph Smith's story stating that the angel's name was 'Nephi' (vol. 3, p. 53). On page 71 of the same volume, we read that the 'message of the angel Nephi . . . opened a new dispensation to man . . .' The name was also published in the 1851 edition of the Pearl of Great Price as 'Nephi.'

"By 1878, however, Church leaders had become concerned about Joseph Smith's conflicting accounts and when Apostle Orson Pratt published a new edition of the 'Pearl of Great Price' that year, the name had been altered to read 'Moroni.' This falsified reading still appears in modern editions of the 'Pearl of Great Price': 'He called me by name, and said . . . that his name was Moroni . . .'

"Some Mormon apologists have tried to argue that Joseph Smith 'corrected' the original manuscript from 'Nephi' to 'Moroni.' While it is true that the manuscript has been tampered with, the evidence shows clearly that this was done after Joseph Smith's death. The name was originally written as 'Nephi,' but someone has written the name 'Moroni' above the line. . . .

"An examination of the duplicate copy of the handwritten manuscript . . . provides conclusive evidence that the change was not made during Joseph Smith's lifetime. This manuscript was not even started until about a year after Smith's death. Like the other manuscript . . ., it also has the name 'Nephi' written in the text with the name 'Moroni' interpolated above the line.

"It is obvious that if Joseph Smith had changed the first manuscript, the scribe who made the second copy would not have written the name 'Nephi' in the second manuscript.

"It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith lived for two years after the name 'Nephi' was printed in the 'Times and Seasons' and never printed a retraction.

"H. Michael Marquardt has also pointed out that after this portion of the handwritten manuscript was printed in the 'Times and Seasons,' Joseph Smith himself went over it to make corrections.

"In the 'History of the Church,' vol. 7, p. 387, we find this statement attributed to Brigham Young: 'Tuesday, April 1, 1845. – I commenced revising the History of Joseph Smith . . . President Joseph Smith had corrected forty-two pages before his massacre.'

"It is obvious, therefore, that Smith intended to have his followers understand that the angel's name was 'Nephi.' The version which the Church has canonized in modern editions of the 'Pearl of Great Price' was changed so that there would be no contradictions in the prophet's stories concerning how he obtained the gold plates."

The Tanners also point to premier Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley's misleading attempt to explain without brain Smith's misidentification of the gold-plated angel Moroni as "Nephi."

Taking his typically dishonest piece of LDS propaganda entitled "Censoring the Joseph Smith Story," the Tanners point out how fibley Nibley "grossly misrepresented something LaMar Petersen said in his 'Problems in Mormon Text' (1957), in order to prove that '[s]ome critics . . . seem to think that if they can show that a friend or enemy of Joseph Smith reports him as saying that he was visited by Nephi [rather than Moroni], they have caught the Prophet in a fraud.' . . . Nibley [then] gave a lengthy footnote in alleged support of this claim.

"Nibley makes it sound as if Petersen had only given examples remote from Joseph Smith, overlooking the fact that Petersen's primary example was from the publication overseen by Joseph Smith himself. Joseph Smith had originally called the angel Nephi in this account, not Moroni. Petersen wrote to Nibley confronting his misrepresentation of his work:

"'You infer that the identification of Nephi as the angel who visited Joseph Smith in his room is the work of critics. You fail to state that the identification was made by Joseph himself and that if it was an error he never corrected it . . . I think you mislead the reader in your footnote . . . You fail to note that the source of the Nephi story was the "Times and Seasons" which was definitely not in England "far away from Joseph Smith."' . . .

"Nibley wrote back but did not address the issue of his misrepresenting Petersen. Rather he tried to make it sound as if Petersen had a problem of not liking his words twisted by Nibley: 'It's lucky you wrote me when you did,' Nibley writes. 'It is still not too late; the Lord has extended the day of our probation: you would be insane to waste this priceless reprieve, you could still be one of the few really happy men on the earth, but you'll have to stop being a damn fool.'"

Other skeptical examiners of Mormon Spinmeisters, Inc. also point out the hollowness of the LDS apologist approach to "history," as related to the Angel Nephi/Moroni debacle.

In support of the Tanners' dissection of Mormon deceit and adding further evidence of its own, an analysis entitled "20 Truths About Mormonism" lays out a devastating case against the "Nephi-Is-Moronee" baloney:

"Regarding the angelic visitation where Joseph was shown the gold plates, it was originally recorded: 'He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.' ('Times and Seasons,' Vol. III, pp. 749, 753)

"In modern printings of the 'History of the Church,' this has been changed to read 'Moroni.' It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith lived for two years after the name 'Nephi' was printed in [the] 'Times and Seasons' and he never published a retraction.

"In August, 1842, the 'Millennial Star,' printed in England, also published Joseph Smith's story stating that the angel's name was 'Nephi' (see 'Millennial Star,' Vol. 3, p. 53). On page 71 of the same volume we read that the '. . . message of the angel Nephi opened a new dispensation to man . . . '

"In 1853, Joseph's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, also said the angel's name was Nephi ('Biographical Sketches,' p. 79).

"The name was also published in the 'Pearl of Great Price' (1851 edition, p. 41) as 'Nephi.' The original handwritten manuscript of the 'Pearl of Great Price' dictated by Joseph Smith reveals that the name was originally written as 'Nephi,' but that someone at a later date wrote the word 'Moroni' above the line. All evidence indicates that this change was made after Joseph's death.

"Walter L. Whipple, in his thesis written at BYU, stated that Orson Pratt 'published 'The Pearl of Great Price' in 1878, and removed the name of Nephi from the text entirely and inserted the name "Moroni" in its place' ('Textual Changes in the Pearl of Great Price,' typed copy, p. 125).

"Lastly, in 1888 J. C. Whitmer made this statement (it should be noted that a majority of the Book of Mormon is alleged to have been translated in the Whitmer home): 'I have heard my grandmother (Mary M. Whitmer) say on several occasions that she was shown the plates of the 'Book of Mormon' by an holy angel, whom she always called Brother Nephi.' (John C. Whitmer, 'The Eight Witnesses,' 'The Historical Record,' Volume 7, October, 1888, p. 621)

"Why would the Church feel the need to change Joseph Smith's story? Perhaps because Moroni makes more sense than Nephi, given that it was Moroni who buried the plates in the first place. But Joseph originally said the angel was named Nephi, not Moroni.

"LDS apologists argue that the references cited above may propagate a transcription error omitted during the 1838 manuscript recitation. It is claimed that Joseph or his scribe perhaps tangled the names in the process.

"While this is possible, it defies credibility that the error would then go undetected for four years, pass review for inclusion in the 'Times and Seasons,' not be corrected in any subsequent issue, and then recur in 1851 in the printing of the 'Pearl of Great Price.'"

While the above repudiations by the Tanners, et al., of Mormonism's desperately-seeking Angel Moroni apologists are certainly appreciated, there is yet a further explanation (and by far the most compelling one that I can think of) to aid LDS rewriters in their earnest efforts to rescue Joseph Smith from his own internally inconsistent, glaringly contradictory, manufactured-out-of-whole-plate Mormon Church origin stories:

In actuality, it really WAS the Angel Moroni who appeared to Smith. But to convince the boy prophet of his true identity, Moroni purposely introduced himself to Smith using Moroni's temple name, "Nephi," and accompanied that coded ID with a secret handshake while dancing the holy hokey pokey, so that Smith would know for certain that that's what it's all about.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Punch me mine to the Celestial Kingdom. :)

Each of you devoted LDSers bow your head and say, "Yes, I guess. Just help me out of this mess."
Pulp From Inside The Cult: Rules For Interviewing God's Prophet And Treatment Of Utah's Gays
Monday, Mar 10, 2008, at 07:11 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
Going through my Mormon-related files recently, I came across a single-sheet, unsourced document headlined in bold, underlined letters, “Protocol for Media Interviews with President Hinckley.”

Before outlining the specific contents of that document, however, it is interesting to note that I also discovered along with it a letter appearing to be from Glen Murray, identified on the letter's stationery as the mayor of the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The letter, featuring on its left margin the embossed seal of the city, listed under the seal the following information as to the letter's possible origination:


R3B 189
(204) 986-2196
FAX: (204) 949-0566

R3B 189
(204) 986-2196
TELEC.: (204) 949-0566


The text of the letter read as follows:

"January 19, 2001

"FILE NO: 449

"Mr. Bruce Olsen
Managing Editor
Public Affairs Department
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
15 [sic] East South Temple Street
Salt Lake City
Utah, U.S.A. 84150-6200

"Dear Mr. Olsen:

"Thank you for your letter regarding the upcoming Olympic Games and the most beautiful calendar which you enclosed as well.

"I am concerned about how my family and I would be treated given Utah's record and attitude towards Gay and Lesbian people.

"We just hosted the Pan Am Games and tried to ensure all were welcome.

"How are the rights of Gay and Lesbian people protected in your State?

"I look forward to receiving your response.

"Yours very truly,




Now, back to the list of instructions which I found with the above letter (also seemingly directed to Mormon Church PR officials, but this time from the Mormon Church itself) for determining the granting of media interviews with the LDS Church president.

If authentic, this directive indicates that those in the LDS high command overseeing the Mormon Church's public relations department are apparently unconvinced that the gift of divine revelation claimed to be guiding the LDS prophet of God is sufficient enough of a shield and a protection to safeguard said prophet against inappropriate, freely-asked, open-ended, ill-designed and uncontrolled probes from a potentially pernicious press.

The strict rules for leading and limiting the media when considering and ultimately granting audience with the Mormon Lord’s anointed are outlined as follows in the directive (quote):


“1. Public Affairs personnel and Secretary should met before the interview

"Background of writer Motives and interest of writer, focus of the story Origin of request for interview

“2. Writer should be well prepared before the interview

"Doctrinal orientation Explanation of the scope of the interview limitations

“3. Questions should be pre-approved

"Focus on present and immediate past and future Avoid philosophical, historical and theological questions Focus on the President, his personal experience, his ministry

“4. Limit interviews to 15 30 minutes

“5. Public Affairs personnel and Secretary should be active in guiding the interview and assisting the President and the writer

"Deflection of inappropriate or repetitive questions Timely conclusion of the interview”



We thank thee, oh God, for a prophet, to be guided by his handlers in these latter days as to the press and gays . . . ?
Idea For Next Temple Square Visitors Center Film - Salt Lake City's Historic Red Light District And Cigar Factories
Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008, at 08:39 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
Organizing my files on Mormon-related matters, I came across the following excerpts which detail the sly and happy history of the LDS capitol's devious dance with Sodomic sins of the flesh.

Perhaps a recounting of the wink-wink toleration of certain entertainment spots in the heart and history of Salt Lake City's business district would help underscore the late LDS president Gordon B. Hinckley's insistent claim that Mormons are not a "weird" people after all and that, hey, folks should visit more often:

"[A still-standing Salt Lake building] is one of three . . . remaining on Regent Street . . . [that] were houses of prostitution in Salt Lake City's red-light district.

"From the mid-1870s until the late 1930s, Regent Street, then known as Commercial Street, operated under the tacit approval of the police department as a 'resort of gamblers and fast women.' As such, it is deeply woven into the fabric of the community and documents one aspect of the social and political history of Salt Lake.

"Native Salt Laker John Held, who became nationally known for his drawings of the 'Roaring Twenties' in the United States, provide an interesting description of Commercial Street:

'Within the street were saloons, cafes and parlor houses, and cribs that were rented nightly to the itinerate "Ladies of the Calling." Soliciting was taboo, so these ladies sat at the top of the stairs and called their invitation to "come on up, kid."

'The parlor houses allowed no such publicity. There was no outward display to gain entrants to a parlor house. One pushed an electric bell and was admitted by a uniformed maid or an attendant.

'The luxury of these houses always included a "Professor" at the piano. There was none of the brashness of the mechanical piano; those were heard in the saloons and shooting galleries of the street.

'The names of two of the madams are engraved on my memory, just as they were cut on the copper plates that Dad mmde for printing the ladies' personal cards. In Dad's engraving shop an order for cards from the madame was always welcome. They demanded the finest and most expensive engraving, and the cards were of the finest stock, pure rag vellum . . .

'One of the madams called herself Miss Ada Wilson. Hers was a lavish house on Commerical Street. Another gave her name as Miss Helen Blazes. Her establishment catered to the big money, and in it only wine was served. In other houses beer was the popular refreshement, at one dollar a bottle, served to the guests in small whiskey glasses.'

"This building was constructed in 1898 for Gustave S. Holmes. A prominent Salt Lake City businessman, he owned the fashionable Knustford Hotel, was a director of the National Bank of the Republic, had extensive mining interests, and in 1909 was reported to be the fifth or sixth largest taxpayer in Salt Lake County.

"From the time it was built until at least the late 1910s the upper floor of the building housed a brothel, while a legitimate business, the Leader Cigar Factory, occupied the ground floor."

The Research Center of the Utah State Division of Archives and History, under the heading "Markers and Monuments," reports the following concerning the notorious past of Salt Lake City's Commercial Street biz and fizz district:

"This site [COMMERCIAL STREET 167-169 Regent Street] . . . originally housed two buildings used as brothels on Salt Lake City's busy Commercial Street during the late 1800's and early 1900's.

"Commercial Street was created in 1871, one of the first streets to be cut through Salt Lake City's large city blocks. Commercial Street originally contained legitimate businesses but by the 1880's the 'Salt Lake Tribune' referred to the street as 'a resort of gamblers and fast women' and, according to the 'Deseret News,' the occupants of Commercial Street were 'the demi-monde, the male parasite, the dope fiend, the gambler and the begger.'

"In 1893 a two-story structure was built by Gustav S. Holmes at 167 Regent Street and in 1899 a similar structure was built by Stephen Hayes at 169 Regent Street. The second floor of each building was a 'parlor house,' so named because prostitutes ordinarily received their customers in a common parlor or sitting room. The large center room was surrounded by 10 rooms, or 'cribs,' just large enough for a bed, wash stand, dresser, and a chair or two.

"The architect of the site at 169 Regent Street was Walter E. Ware, one of early Salt Lake's prominent designers. Commercial Street, now known as Regent Street, is the center for publishing of Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers. Presses have been running on the street since the early 1900's."
The Pot Calling The Kettle Less Than White And Delightsome: Plagiarism Of BYU's Honor Code
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, at 07:57 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
(Note: The following is adapted and updated from a post of mine that first appeared on the Recovery from Mormonism board on 21 January 2004).

The Associated Press reports that students at the University Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) plagiarized wording from Brigham Young University’s honor code without giving BYU proper credit for what has been described in news accounts as basically a “sloppy” Internet “cut-and-paste” job by the UTSA students.

--BYU: Spotless and Blotless?

Mormon-owned Salt Lake City-based television station KSL pointed out that BYU had itself given proper credit to the Center for Academic Integrity for its own acknowledged borrowing from the Center's wording which BYU says it incorporated into its own honor code.

KSL also reported that the UTSA student who oversaw the drafting-by-unattributed copying of UTSA’s honor code admitted that the taboo exercise “was an oversight that will be corrected.”

--Live by the BYU Honor Code, Die by the BYU Honor Code

BYU’s honor code condemns “intentional plagiarism” as “a form of intellectual theft that violates recognized principles of academic integrity as well as the Honor Code.” It describes it as “the deliberate act of representing the words, ideas, or data of another as one’s own without providing proper attribution to the author through quotation, reference, or footnote.”

Referring to intentional plagiarism, BYU’s honor code warns that “such plagiarism may subject the student to appropriate disciplinary action administered through the university Honor Code Office, in addition to academic sanctions that may be applied by an instructor.”

BYU’s honor code also condemns “inadvertent plagiarism,” which it defines as “the inappropriate, but nondeliberate, use of another's words, ideas, or data without proper attribution. Inadvertent plagiarism usually results from an ignorant failure to follow established rules for documenting sources or from simply being insufficiently careful in research and writing.”

While not being “in violation of the Honor Code,” BYU’s honor code declares that inadvertent plagiarism “nevertheless [constitutes] a form of intellectual carelessness that is unacceptable in the academic community.” BYU’s honor code further defines inadvertent plagiarism as “a form of academic misconduct for which an instructor can impose appropriate academic sanctions. Students who are in doubt as to whether they are providing proper attribution have the responsibility to consult with their instructor and obtain guidance.”

BYU’s honor code goes on to declare that “[p]lagiarism of any kind is completely contrary to the established practices of higher education, where all members of the university are expected to acknolwledge the original intellectual work of others that is included in one’s own work” and that ”[i]n some cases, plagiarism may also involve violations of copyright law.”

BYU’s honor code then gives examples of plagiarism:

“Direct Plagiarism: The verbatim copying of an original source without acknowledging the source.

“Paraphrased Plagiarism: The paraphrasing, without acknowledgment, of ideas from another that the reader might mistake for your own.

“Plagiarism Mosaic: The borrowing of words, ideas, or data from an original source and blending this original material with one's own without acknowledging the source.

“Insufficient Acknowledgment: The partial or incomplete attribution of words, ideas, or data from an original source.”

BYU’s honor code notes that “[p]lagiarism may occur with respect to unpublished as well as published material. Acts of copying another student's work and submitting it as one's own individual work without proper attribution is a serious form of plagiarism.”

--He Who Is Without Sin, Let Him Give the BYU President’s Plagiarized Inaugural Address

Before Mormons get quick to point out the plagiarisitic shortcomings revealed at other institutions of higher learning, it might be appropriate to remind them of the plagiarizing penchant of BYU’s own president.

On 25 April 1996, the then-incoming president of BYU (and Mormon General Authority), Merrill J. Bateman, delivered his inaugural address to the student body assembled in the Marriott Center, entitled "Response to the Charge."

Bateman was subsequently accused of stealing--without attribution--portions of his remarks from an article published earlier the same year, authored by conservative philosopher Gertrude Himmelfarb, entitled, "The Christian University: A Call to Counterrevolution." (First Things, no. 59, January 1996, pp. 16-19)

The plagiarism accusation caused an uproar in academic circles, leading Bateman to deny the charge. The accusation was subsequently mentioned in an article appearing in the “Desert News,” in conjunction with the end of Bateman's tenure as BYU president:

“Bateman, who served as the LDS Church's presiding bishop until his appointment as university president, was accused of plagiarizing the ideas of neo-conservative scholar Gertrude Himmelfarb during his 1996 inaugural address. Bateman denied the plagiarism charge.”

--Comparing Bateman's Inaugural Address with Himmelfarb's Article

Although the manuscript copy of Bateman's 1996 inaugural address offered a single footnote reference to Himmelfarb's ideas (located on p. 18 of her article), Bateman failed in the spoken version of those remarks to acknowledge his reliance on Himmelfarb's ideas--thus, leaving the false impression that her words were his own.

A point-by-point, topical comparison of the Himmelfarb and Bateman texts raises serious questions about Bateman's intellectual honesty:

*On Disparaging Truth, Knowledge and Objectivity


"Today many eminent professors in some of our most esteemed universities disparage the ideas of truth, knowledge, and objectivity as naive or disingenuous at best, as fraudulent and despotic at worst."

"Above all, it is the truth that is denigrated."

"Finally, and most disastrously, the university, liberated from religious dogma, has also become liberated from the traditional academic dogma, the belief in truth, knowledge, and objectivity."


"During the past two decades, however, a number of well-known educators have begun to denigrate truth, knowledge, and objectivity."

*On Politicization of the University By Interest Groups


"It [the university] is also a highly politicized institution; no longer subject to any religious authority, the university is at the mercy of the whims and wills of interest groups and ideologies."


"The university becomes a politicized institution that is at the mercy and whims of various interest groups."

*On the Secularization of the University and Its Hostility to Religion


"For we are now confronted with a university . . . that has almost totally abandoned its original mission. It is now not merely a secular institution but a secularist one, propagating secularism as a creed, a creed that is not neutral as among religions but is hostile to all religions, indeed to religion itself."


"If university scholars reject the notion of ‘truth,’ there is no basis for intellectual and moral integrity. Secularism becomes a creed that is no longer neutral but hostile to religion."

*On the Rise of Radical Relativism


"The animating spirit of postmodernism is a radical relativism and skepticism that rejects any idea of truth, knowledge, or objectivity."


"The driving theory is a radical relativism and skepticism that rejects any idea of truth or knowledge."

--Before Giving Another Speech, Bateman Should Perhaps Review BYU's Honor Code

BYU's honor code says the following about academic honesty and plagiarism:

“The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to 'be honest.' Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life's work, but also to build character. ‘President David O. McKay taught that character is the highest aim of education’ (‘The Aims of a BYU Education,’ p. 6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim.

“BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.”

--Fellow General Authority Boyd K. Packer Rides to Bateman's Rescue

A few months after exposure of BYU President Bateman as a plagiarizer, Boyd K. Packer issued what some saw as a thinly-veiled attack against Bateman's Mormon critics.

At October 1996 General Conference, in a sermon entitled, "The Twelve Apostles," Packer warned:

“Some few within the Church, openly or perhaps far worse, in the darkness of anonymity, reproach their leaders in the wards and stakes and the Church, seeking to make them ‘an offender for a word,’ as Isaiah said. To them the Lord said, ‘Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.

“’But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves . . .

“’Because they have offended my little ones they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine house.

“’Their basket shall not be full, their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them.

“’They shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation.’

“That terrible penalty will not apply to those who try as best they can to live the gospel and sustain their leaders. Nor need it apply to those who in the past have been guilty of indifference or even opposition, if they will repent and confess their transgressions, and forsake them.”

--Conclusion: Beware of Using Packer as One’s Ultimate Defense? Copy That

For those troubled by the fact that the president of BYU was never disciplined for violating the very honor code of the university he was tapped out to lead, take heart.

If Boyd K. Packer comes to a Mormon leader's defense, you know that leader did something wrong. :)
Various 1st Vision Versions: Apostles Defend Not Teaching Them By Invoking Cartooning
Wednesday, Apr 2, 2008, at 07:02 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
In September 1993, I met for private discussions in the LDS Church Administration Building with Mormon apostles Neal Maxwell and Dallin Oaks to discuss significant doctrinal and historical issues that were, for me, fundamentally challenging to my continued belief in Mormonism.

One of those areas we examined was the varying accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision.

Since the means by which Mormon apostles personally view this purported event within the context of their own faith has been a matter of recent interest on this board, I thought it would be relevant to review what Maxwell and Oaks had to say in reaction to the various accounts of the Smith's First Vision fable.

I asked them why the LDS Church was not honest with its history, specifically in regard to failing to openly present in its standard lesson materials the varying accounts of that alleged "vision."


In response, Maxwell, provided me photocopies of two articles, one by BYU assistant professor of history James B. Allen, entitled "Eight Contemporary Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision" ('Improvement Era,' April 1970, pp. 9-17) and the other by B.Y.U. professor of Church History Milton Backman, entitled, "Joseph Smith's Recitals of the First Vision" ('Ensign,' January 1985, pp. 4-13).

In his article, heralded as a "first(-)time . . . report on eight different accounts of the First Vision," Allen wrote:

"[T]he account [of the First Vision] was repeated several times and in several different ways, even by the Prophet, and . . . although each narrative emphasized different ideas and events, none is incompatible with other accounts. There is a striking consistency throughout all the narratives, and if one wishes he may combine them into an impressive report that in no way contradicts any of the individual reports. Moreover, the descriptions given of events related to the vision but that happened outside the grove are consistent with our knowledge of contemporary events.

"In the last analysis, the First Vision becomes truly meaningful in a personal way only when one seeks, as Joseph Smith sought, to reach God through private, earnest supplication." (pp. 11, 12)

Backman contended in his article that "[a]ccounts of the First Vision were prepared at different times, for different audiences, and for different purposes. Each of them emphasizes different aspects of the experience . . .

"Since the 1838 recital [of the First Vision] was included in the Pearl of Great Price, an investigation of the publications of this history helps one better understand principles concerning the formation of scriptures. Joseph Smith was responsible for many changes in punctuation, spelling, and other similar revisions in his manuscript history. After a portion of this history was canonized in the Pearl of Great Price, additional textual refinements were made by editors acting under the authorization of Church leaders. These revisions were apparently made in the interests of grammatical quality, clarification, and consistency. Several short paragraphs were also added that had been included as notes in the manuscript history prior to the Prophet's martyrdom. All these alterations were in harmony with precedents set by Joseph Smith in his textual revisions of latter-day scriptures. In no instance was there a change in the basic message recorded in the manuscript history concerning the historical setting of the First Vision or the truths unfolded during this remarkable experience. But changes were made in an effort to convey the truths unfolded by God in the latter-days in the best and clearest language that man could fashion." (pp. 9, 17)

Maxwell told us that, in his opinion, Backman's article was better than Allen's.


Oaks said that he didn't believe the various accounts of the First Vision contradicted one another. Rather, he explained, they merely emphasized different aspects of the First Vision which were important to Joseph Smith "in his process of development" at the time he relayed them. Oaks said that we needed to keep in mind the context, circumstances and audiences to whom Joseph Smith was speaking.

Oaks also attempted to explain the varying accounts of the First Vision by citing then-B.Y.U. professor of literature and English as a Second Language, Arthur King, who, Oaks said, expressed gratitude that Joseph Smith gave "a ripened version of the First Vision." Oaks said this version indicated Smith was "at the crossroads of spiritual development."


I asked Maxwell and Oaks why the LDS Church was not honest with its history, evident by the fact that it fails to put into its manuals and teaching materials all of the different versions of the First Vision, so that members of the Church do not hit upon them on their own, are thus confused and do not have the benefit of having obtained this knowledge through official LDS Church channels.

Oaks said the decision not to do so was "a judgment call." He said, "We can keep things simple or we can lay out all the details and complexities."

Oaks compared the Mormon Church's public presentation of the First Vision to what I did for a living, saying, "It's kind of like drawing cartoons. You keep the cartoons simple." I replied, "All my cartoons are simple because that's all I'm capable of doing--drawing simple cartoons." Oaks responded, "That's what makes them so beautiful."

Maxwell made a similar analogy between the Church's decision to keep the account of the First Vision uncomplicated and the drawing of cartoons.


I asked why the LDS Church was not honest with its history in regard to Smith's 1828 joining of a Methodist Sunday School--despite the commandment from God and Jesus in the grove of trees to join none of the existing churches in Smith's day.

Oaks said Joseph Smith's "state of knowledge was much deeper than mine" (meaning Oaks'). He said that because, after receiving the First Vision, Smith "could not meet with others of his own faith," he "would want to meet with other Christians." Moreover, Oaks described Joseph Smith as a "friendly" person, one who was "interested in sampling what others taught."

Maxwell added that Smith was "social" and "gregarious" and that, at any rate, his joining with the Methodists was "brief."

Oaks noted that just as people were "moving in out and out of marriage in the Utah period," so, too, on the New York frontier during the 1830s, an attitude prevailed requiring "no formal divorce in church membership."

Oaks added that, according to the LDS General Handbook of Instructions, "joining other churches is not, by itself, a sign of apostasy."
Fraud Of The Gaps: Richard Dawkins' Accurate Answer To A Creationist-Concocted Kooky Q
Thursday, Apr 3, 2008, at 08:12 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
Creationists have howled like a barrel of monkeys about a purported "stumping" of noted evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on a question regarding the transition of lifeforms from simple to complex over time:

Truth be told, Dawkins wasn't stumped at all; cognitively cramped creationists are merely incapable of cranially comprehending or honestly explaining actual science. In a well-grounded response entitled, "Creationist crankery flashback: Richard Dawkins stumped?," the following salient points (ignored by Bible-simplified creationists) are put forth in a scientifically solid way in order to place Dawkins' answer in proper, factual context:

"Richard Dawkins talks about intermediates, and the common fallacy that we are descended from modern animals. From what I gathered when I first watched the clip, I gathered Richard Dawkins was trying to ascertain the premise behind the question he was asked.

"Indeed, his question does address the modus operandi of the creationists who ask these kinds of 'God of the gaps' questions. The creationist finds an area where a scientific theory has not been fully researched, points to the gap in knowledge and claims victory by default (the victory being short lived once the gap is filled in with the results of research; see where 'irreducible complexity' meets the sea sponge.)

"If the intermediates that Dawkins talks about were alive today alongside their modern counterparts, we could easily undertake genetic research into their differences and the 'increases in information.' However, the reality that they aren’t around makes research in evolutionary biology difficult and inevitably means that there will be gaps in our knowledge of the genetic history of life on Earth.

"Indeed, if we are to turn the creationists’ absurdity back on themselves so that we could 'win by default' and take advantage of practical obstacles to research, we could ask all sorts of silly questions. 'Creationist, are you aware of any genetic testing directly confirming the paternal status of Adam to any modern member of the human race?'

"The 'no example of an increase in information' meme is just another in the series of 'God of the gaps' canards doing the rounds by means of the uncritical parroting of a faithful but unthinking and opportunistic movement. Dawkins’ response, while awkward, is actually on topic, although you may be forgiven for thinking otherwise. . . ."

While Dawkins answered the question in a scientifically credible way, too bad the interview was tampered with.

In an expose' of the creationist propaganda ploy that resulted in the Dawkins set-up, entitled "Creationist Deception Exposed" ("The Skeptic," Vol. 18, No. 3), author Barry Williams writes:

"A small apprehension often lurks in the back of the mind of any Skeptic who has ever given an interview for later publication or broadcast; 'What if the interviewer wants to show me, or the Skeptics, in a bad light?' With the technology now available to the media it would not be at all difficult to rearrange the words one has used to change one's meaning completely.

"Perhaps we should mention here a little about the technicalities of the TV interview. In any news or current affairs type interviews, pre-recorded outside a studio, a small technical deception is not uncommon. Normally only one video camera is used, and that camera is usually focused on the interviewee, but if the interview is played like that, with disembodied questions coming from `off camera', it tends to make the subjects look like they are talking to a wall. So, at the end of the interview, the camera changes places to focus on the interviewer, who then asks some of the questions again, or gives their reactions to something the interviewee has said. These are known as 'reaction shots' (or 'noddies' in the vernacular) and are designed to include the interviewer in the final product. This is technically a deception, but it is a harmless one used to make the segment more viewable. In documentaries, however, this quite often does not apply, and it is usual for the people speaking to be seen expounding theirviews without the intervention of interviewers.

"Of course, in all such cases there must be an element of trust between the interviewee and the interviewer. It would be quite simple, technically, for the interviewer or the tape editor, to record a totally different set of questions and splice them together with the interviewee's answers, thus making the interviewee look like a complete idiot. However, to do so would be a gross breach of a journalist's professional ethics, and it doesn't happen often. Personally speaking, I have usually found that those ethical rules are scrupulously observed. I don't believe I have ever been misquoted, nor taken out of context, in the many interviews I have given, although I might sometimes feel that my main point has not received the prominence it deserves. That is only personal opinion, however, and usually good editing has often made my answers sound more coherent and less prolix than I am sure they deserved, and they have always retained the sense of what I said.

"Some exception to the rule may be made in the case of comedy programmes, where some prominent identity is seen as giving answers to some question the host throws up, for example, his genuine answer to a complex economic question might be seen as a response to a query about his sex life (Clive James uses this to good effect in his late night talk show). This is all good clean fun and is hardly likely to cause the respondent any serious heartburn, because it can clearly be seen to be a deliberate manipulation of data for comic effect. That this is not always the case is exemplified by a recent experience of Richard Dawkins.

"Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is one of the world's leading evolutionary biologists, the author of several highly regarded books on evolution through natural selection, including 'The Selfish Gene,' 'The Blind Watchmaker' (to my mind, the very best explanation of evolution for the lay person), 'The Extended Phenotype,' 'River out of Eden' and 'Climbing Mount Improbable,' and is constantly in demand as a public speaker, and by the media as an advocate for good science.

"Given his position and his professional expertise, it is hardly surprising, then, that he is also a cogent and trenchant critic of the anti-scientific dogma that masquerades under the title "creation science".

"The Background

". . . Professor Dawkins contacted the 'Skeptic' office, seeking assistance in locating an Australian TV production company. His story will demonstrate the depths to which the creationist movement will stoop in order to try to discredit its critics.

" . . . Professor Dawkins had been made aware of a video tape being circulated in creationist circles, in which he appears, and on the cover of which is his photograph. 'Titled From a Frog to a Prince,' it is distributed in the Australia by 'Answers in Genesis,' of Acacia Ridge, Queensland and in the USA by 'American Portrait Films,' Cleveland, Ohio. Copyright is held by 'A.I.G. - I.C.R. - Keziah' and it was produced by 'Keziah.'

"AIG, as regular readers will recognise, refers to 'Answers in Genesis,' the new trading name of the Queensland based Creation Science Foundation; ICR is the 'Institute of Creation Research,' a prominent US creationist outfit, and the source for much of what passes for information in such circles; 'Keziah' was then unfamiliar to us.

"Prof. Dawkins was puzzled, and not a little perplexed, to be informed by a Christian contact in the USA that his appearance on the tape included a question being posed to him, whereupon he pauses for 11 seconds, and then answers an entirely different question. His contact, having viewed the tape, and having noticed the long pause and seeming evasion of what was a pretty simple question about evolution, was convinced that it had been a set-up.

"As he hadn't then seen the tape, it was difficult for Richard to comprehend the full details, but he was suspicious of the circumstances, and sought our assistance in tracking down 'Keziah,' which he thought was an Australian company. We had no information about Keziah, though we did recall a request from a woman purporting to represent American Portrait Films, for an interview with Richard while he was in Australia as our special guest at the 1996 Australian Skeptics annual convention in Melbourne. Subsequently, we managed to track down Keziah Productions to Peregian in Queensland.

"The set-up

"Prof. Dawkins then acquired a copy of the tape and became even more incensed as the details of what had been done to him became clearer. In correspondence to me (published here with his permission) he recounts what had happened:

'As a preamble, I should explain that, following the advice of my colleague Stephen Jay Gould, I have a policy of not granting interviews to creationists or flat earthers. This is not because I cannot answer their arguments, but because I have better things to do with my time and I do not want to give them the oxygen of publicity.

'On September 16, 1997, Keziah Video Productions, in the persons of Gillian Brown and Geoffrey Smith, came to my house in Oxford to film an interview with me. I had agreed to see them, on the misapprehension (as it later turned out) that they were from a respectable Australian broadcasting company. I had no idea they were a creationist front and I would not have granted them an interview had I known this, because of my policy as mentioned above.

'The interview began. I have considerable experience of television work, and I was initially surprised at the amateurishness of their filming technique, but I carried on without voicing my surprise. As the interview proceeded, I became increasingly puzzled at the tone of the questions. Puzzlement gave way to suspicion that Keziah was, in fact, a creationist front which had gained admittance to my house under false pretences.

'The suspicion increased sharply when I was challenged to produce an example of an evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome. It is a question that nobody except a creationist would ask. A real biologist finds it an easy question to answer (the answer is that natural selection increases the information content of the genome all the time - that is precisely what natural selection means), but, from an evolutionary point of view, it is not an interesting way to put it. It would only be phrased that way by somebody who doubts that evolution happened.

'Now I was faced with a dilemma. I was almost certain that these people had gained admittance to my house under false pretences - in other words, I had been set up. On the other hand, I am a naturally courteous person, especially in my own house, and these were guests from overseas. What should I do? I paused for a long time, trying to decide whether to throw them out, and, I have to admit, struggling not to lose my temper. Finally, I decided that I would ask them to leave, but I would do it in a polite way, explaining to them why. I then asked them to stop the tape, which they did.

'The tape having stopped, I explained to them my suspicions, and asked them to leave my house. Gillian Brown pleaded with me, saying that she had flown all the way from Australia especially to interview me. She begged me not to send her home empty handed, after they had travelled such a long way. She assured me that they were not creationists, but were taking a balanced view of all sides in the debate. Like a fool, I took pity on her, and agreed to continue. I remember that, having had quite an acrimonious argument with her, when I finally agreed to resume the interview I made a conscious effort to be extra polite and friendly.'

"Now perhaps it could be argued that Prof Dawkins' memories of the events might have deteriorated with the passage of time since the interview, so let us consider the general plausibility of what the tape purported to show. A question was asked relating to 'evolutionary process which increases the information content of the genome.' This question was not asked of just anyone, but of a biologist whose speciality is precisely in that field, who has been teaching biology at Oxford University for 27 years, and who is very experienced in answering the far more complex questions of some of the best students in the world. It beggars belief that someone of Richard Dawkins' stature in the field would have been stumped by such a simple question or would have evaded it.

"Anyone who has ever been interviewed will recognise that 11 seconds of silence is an inordinately long hiatus in any interview. Even if one is not an expert in the field, or is unfamiliar with the question being asked, the normal human reaction is to say, 'Well, I don't know much about that ...' or 'That's an interesting question ...' or to generally waffle on a bit, while arranging one's thoughts. What one does not do is just sit there saying nothing. Even in the case of a total media neophyte, stricken by 'mike fright,' they might react that way, briefly, but it is highly unlikely that anyone would remain mute for such a length of time. However, Richard Dawkins is far from being a media neophyte, having been the subject of hundreds of media interviews, and he was not asked a question he couldn't answer, merely a question he regarded as being put in an ill-informed way.

"Richard puts it into better context in his letter:

'As it happens, my forthcoming book, "Unweaving the Rainbow," has an entire chapter ("The Genetic Book of the Dead") devoted to a much more interesting version of the idea that natural selection gathers up information from the environment, and builds it into the genome. At the time of the interview, the book was almost finished . . . . That chapter would have been in the forefront of my mind, and it is therefore especially ludicrous to suggest that I would have evaded the question by talking about fish and amphibians.

'If I'd wanted to turn the question into more congenial channels, all I had to do was talk about "The Genetic Book of the Dead." It is a chapter I am particularly pleased with. I'd have welcomed the opportunity to expound it. Why on earth, when faced with such an opportunity, would I have kept totally silent? Unless, once again, I was actually thinking about something quite different while struggling to keep my temper?'

"If it had been left at that, it might merely have been evidence of professional incompetence on the part of the producer and editor of the tape. Further evidence of incompetence includes the tape showing the male 'interviewer' in a completely different room from the Dawkins' drawing room where the interview took place, and with entirely different lighting. Moreover, the person who interviewed Prof Dawkins was named as Geoffrey Smith, while the 'interviewer' shown in this clip is identified as Chris Nicholls, the narrator of the entire tape. However this, of itself, is not evidence of malice. While it is doubtful if any professional video producer would inadvertently leave a silence of that length in a tape, the fact that the long silence ends with an answer to an entirely different question, one about fishes, amphibians, and common ancestry, speaks strongly of malicious intent.

"This becomes even more apparent when one views the tape, particularly if one has had the pleasure of spending any time in the company of Richard Dawkins, as I did as his Sydney host during his Australia in 1996.

"Throughout this tape, Richard Dawkins speaks about his field of expertise in his usual polite and informative way. Then, suddenly, we see the interpolation of an 'interviewer,' quite obviously inserted at some later stage of production, posing a question directly to Richard . . . The tape then cuts directly to Richard and holds on him for 11 seconds, while he is shown looking uncomfortable, then cuts back to the 'interviewer' briefly, while Richard begins to (seemingly) answer an entirely different question, during which the tape cuts back to him.

"There are several clues pointing to deceptive intent here. Nowhere else in the tape is an interviewer shown directly asking a question of any of the other four people who speak, nor is an interviewer seen posing any questions to Richard in his previous pieces. Richard does not react as one would expect him to, had he merely been asked a difficult question; his reaction is much more believably one of someone who has just realised he has been conned into giving an interview he would not normally have given, ie he doesn't look nonplussed, he looks angry. To compound this, there is another brief insert of the 'interviewer' with Richard's voice coming from off camera, before returning to Richard, looking as urbane and polite as ever. Such is the dramatic change in Richard's demeanour between the two segments, that it is utterly inconceivable that the second piece of tape followed immediately after the first.

"Quite clearly, this tape has been manipulated, and rather ineptly done at that. But by now it is asking too much to blame it all on simple incompetence; it begins to reek of deceitful intent.

"Stronger evidence of this has subsequently come to light. In an advertisement in 'Creation' magazine, the official mouthpiece of 'Answers in Genesis,' the tape 'From a Frog to a Prince,' is touted as a 'brilliant new documentary' and contains the following excerpt:

' . . .Then the documentary shows a question put to the highly fluent evolutionist Dawkins, which is really the crucial question: can he point to any example today in which a mutation has actually added information? (If there is such an example, surely an Oxford zoology professor, promoting neoDarwinism around the world, would know of it!) This is actually the dramatic high point of the whole presentation.

'We think that the Dawkins response on screen (we won't spoil it for potential viewers) makes a more powerful point against evolution than volumes written by Creationists! Even a ten year old watching it in our Brisbane office, got the point.'

"And we also get the point. Because their volumes of unscientific dogma are having no effect in the scientific debate, they resort to trickery in order to denigrate their critics, and to mislead unsophisticated minds.

"The nature of the plot

"It was mentioned earlier that some comedy programmes use the interposed question for comic effect, but the 'Keziah' tape is not being sold as a comedy tape; it purports to be a serious discussion of a scientific issue; it purports to show that there is no biological evidence for evolution. By selectively editing this tape, the producer clearly seeks to show:

"a) that Richard Dawkins, an eminent biologist, was unable to answer a question he was asked about biology; and

"b) that he then evaded the question by answering a completely different one.

"This tape seeks to denigrate Professor Dawkins' professional reputation, and it is difficult to believe that it was not deliberately done.

"It begins to look, then, that this is a piece of crude propaganda . . ., deliberately manipulated to give the false impression that the fact of evolution is seriously under scientific question, and that the fanciful notions of creation 'scientists' are contributing to that debate.

"There is further evidence that this is the line being pursued in creationist circles. In recent times, both the Australian Skeptics web site and at the 'Skeptic' office, we have fielded questions from a number of individuals who have posed questions couched in the terms, 'Can you give one example of new information being added to the genome by mutation today?' We have no way of telling whether the callers are asking this question because they have seen (and been misled by) this deceitful video tape, or because creationists have been otherwise spreading the word that it is 'a question evolutionists cannot answer.' It does, however, seem too much of a coincidence that it should all be happening in such a short space of time.

"From our experience of answering such questioners, it becomes clear that they have little knowledge of biology, and when asked to clarify what it is they are asking, they invariably flounder around the point. Clearly this has not been a question that just popped into a selection of enquiring minds all at once; it seems obvious it is something they have been told will 'baffle the evolutionists.' . . .

"Professor Dawkins has taken steps to reduce the harm done by the 'Keziah' tape, both to his reputation and to the public understanding of science. . . . [H]e wrote to the 'Institute for Creation Research' in California, pointing out in detail how the tape had dishonestly misrepresented his position, and requesting that the Institute investigate his complaint and immediately withdraw the tape from circulation. At the date of publication, he ha[d] not even received an acknowledgement from the ICR. Nor can we be entirely surprised by this. As the titles roll at the end of the tape, we see that Dr John Morris and Dr Carl Wieland, chief executives respectively of the Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis, are shown as 'consultants.'

"So much for the supposed impartiality of Gillian Brown, the producer of the tape, or for her protestations of 'balanced view,' of which she assured Professor Dawkins when seeking to continue taping in his home.

"What does it mean?

"So what is one to infer from this exercise? This tape, 'From a Frog to a Prince,' purports to be a serious discussion of a scientific issue, but how is a scientific issue addressed by what clearly appears to be a deliberate misrepresentation of the position of one of the protagonists? That is not the way science works, and anyone who makes any pretence of being engaged in scientific discourse should be well aware of that. But then, science has very little to do with what creation 'scientists' are about.

"This is, sadly, typical of the less-than-honest political propagandist approach creationists use in their 'mission.' Unlike genuine scientists they conduct little, if any, scientific research in support of their contention that the natural processes of the world are as a direct result of a supernatural creation event within the past 6-10,000 years, and of a global flood some 3,000 years ago. What they do seek to do is to attack the credibility of evolutionary (and other) theories that show up their claims for the poorly thought-out and simple-minded religious dogma they really are. Because they are not engaged in scientific research, and thus cannot hope to succeed on the scientific level, they resort to ad hominem attacks on the genuine scientists who have exposed their myths.

"What are the effects?

"What effects will the dissemination of this particularly egregious example of that tactic have in the real world? What effect would it have, for example, on Richard Dawkins' professional reputation among his scientific peers? We would suspect practically none, because no professional biologist, nor any other competent scientist, would be hoodwinked for a moment into thinking that Prof. Dawkins had been baffled by such a crudely easy question.

"But that misses the point of the tape. This propaganda is not aimed at professional scientists who would not be fooled by the implied message. Richard Dawkins' academic chair deals with the 'Public Understanding of Science' and, as such, he is among those academics who are sometimes referred to as 'public intellectuals,' those scientists, and others, who make their expertise and knowledge available and comprehensible to the public.

"So what of his public reputation? Less scientifically literate members of the public, who have the misfortune to be subjected to this propaganda, may be led to believe that he had been stumped by a simple question and, as a consequence, they might be misled into believing that creationists are actually engaged in scientific debate. Nothing could be further from the truth - their purpose, pure and simple, is political.

"There is yet another consequence - in some ways more serious. There are many people whose strongly held religious beliefs make them prime targets for creationist propaganda. Should these people see this video tape, and, by it be encouraged to believe that creation `science' has found a fatal flaw in the theory of evolution, then they have been cruelly deceived by people they have been led to believe they can trust.

"Most scientifically literate people, and even many of those whose understanding of it is slight, have long recognised creation `science' for the infantile religious dogma that it is, so this crude propaganda is unlikely to have a great deal of lasting effect on them. But those who have little understanding of science, and particularly those who have trusted the creationists' claim that they are engaged in science, have had their trust betrayed. The nature of the calls we have received from people who have seemingly swallowed this line leave us in no doubt that that is precisely what has happened.

"This is not the way of science - it is the way of political propaganda - yet another blatant example of 'telling lies for God.' . . ."
Backway Passages, Teleprompters, Food Fests And Church Security: "Insider" Memories Of Gen. Conference
Sunday, Apr 6, 2008, at 08:52 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
As we all bask in the blissful baloney (or other appropriate word inserted here) of General Conference, I'd like to share a few reposted recollections on having experienced it all "from the inside," so to speak (with apologies to those who have heard them before).

Teleprompted by the Spirit

At General Conference time, members of ETB's family (along with the relations of other GAs) were provided special, nontransferable passes--identified as such by family name--for admission into the sessions. They were issued to us through ETB's office manager and used to access the old Tabernacle at a designated portal {#7, as I recall). We'd cut in line, flash the ticket and be escorted to our seats. It wasn't fair or right, but neither concept regularly operates in Mormonism.

One of the more interesting vantage points for viewing Conference was sitting high up in the dome, behind the Tabernacle Choir, next to the white plastered walls and massive organ pipes. To get there, the ushers would lead us through a low-ceiling wood-paneled carpeted area behind the dais, to a back passageway and up a narrow stairwell to the crow's nest. From there, I could look down over the bald spots of the fellows in the men's section, directly on to the pulpit.

While it provided a unique view, it was also as hot as hell. There were big, colored lights up where we sat, used for shining on the smooth, blank walls behind us for special effect. Sitting there in our Sunday best, we did a slow cook--but it wasn't due to any burning in the bosom. During the last few times I sat up there, I would read anti-Mormon literature that I had been handed at the gates of Temple Square a few minutes earlier, since it was often more interesting than the GA sermons.

From high atop the Choir lair, I could see the GAs reading from their teleprompted scripts. The texts would scroll across a screen embedded in the top of the pulpit and then reflect up on panes of glass strategically positioned in front of the speakers.

Not only were the sermons teleprompted, I witnessed the Lord's anointed getting cues on their prepared prayers by artificial means. Everything was tightly timed, with the GAs supposed heartfelt petitions to heaven, as well as their ostensibly Holy Ghost-inspired sermons, precisely orchestrated and slotted into the overall script, so that the camera operators could, on cue, cut to commercial breaks, or to warm and fuzzy Red Square (er, Temple Square) vignettes, or to the chime of the Nauvoo Bell.

We Thank Thee, Oh, God, That We're Related to the Prophet--and Can be Seen at General Conference in These Latter Days

When Benson family members weren't perched up behind the Tabernacle Choir, we could sit in specially roped-off benches, front and center, on the main floor of the Tabernacle, along with the other family and friends of the "we're-so-special" GA crowd.

Speaking personally for my own part of the family, we became increasingly uncomfortable with what we considered to be an arrogant arrangement and so decided that we would remain behind and simply watch Conference on TV at the Salt Lake home of my parents.

Upset was expressed when we let our decision be known. ETB, it was insisted, desired that his family to be with him--in the Tabernacle--during Conference so that he could look down from the dais and see us all there on those hard, fake wood-stained benches as a sign of our love and support.

I replied that if this was what my grandfather wanted, then we would sit there in the Tabernacle until ETB got up and left. That meant that because he was now pretty old and frail, his assistants would often escort him out of the Conference session at the hour break--during the rest song, when everyone would stand up, stretch and sing a hymn before dropping back on their faithful posteriors for the second half of indoctrination.

So that's what we did. ETB would be escorted out during the break, waving weakly, and we would likewise exit (without waving, by the way). We would meet up with him in the back area, out of sight behind the dais, where we would join him and his handlers in escorting him through an underground tunnel over to his Eagle Gate condo that was across the street from Temple Square.

Or, if his assistants got ETB out ahead of us, we would simply make our own way out of the Tabernacle and go over to his apartment. By then, ETB's staff had wheel chaired him into his small, private study, where they would place him in a soft, leather reclining chair. They would then either turn on the TV for the second half of Conference or merely play soft music for him to listen to.

I, and other members of the Benson clan, would join ETB here for the duration of the Conference session. I would sit by his side, holding his hand and occasionally speaking to him softly. He would smile, squeeze my hand and sometimes say a word or two. But most of the time, he would not say or do much of anything, but just sit there.

Inside the Tabernacle, Trying to Talk to Church Security

When we did sit in the Tabernacle's seating area set aside for GA family members and Church-designated dignitaries (like Senator Orrin Hatch), I would often spot a friend of mine, with whom I had grown up and played as a boy in Salt Lake City.

His name was Doyle. Doyle (now known as "Duff") had morphed into a buff, jut-jawed dude with a microphone screwed into his ear. Doyle, you see, had landed a job working the Church security Conference detail.

I would sit there on the benches and observe him standing silently down in front of the plush seats for the GAs, intently scanning the audience. Prior to the kick-off of the Conference sessions, as we made our way to our seats, I would say hi to Doyle. He would respond with a tight-lipped smile, nod briefly and not say much more.

We later exchanged some polite correspondence but nothing of substance emerged from it, other than Doyle saying he didn't agree with my decision to leave the Mormon Church.

GA Gluttony

It used to be a tradition among the "perkified" that between breaks of the Conference morning and afternoon sessions, GAs and their families were treated to a sumptuous lunch, high atop the Church Office building.

The GAs relations (as well as friends and dates brought along by, say, their grandchildren) would gather at large tables, where they would be served heaping plates full of hot food, brought to them by young, crisply dressed girls. It was a place to eat, to be seen and to impress.

Meanwhile, during this GA food fest, we could look out the windows of this Great and Spacious Building, down at the lawn directly outside the Tabernacle, where the "great unwashed"--those LDS "little people"--were clustered on blankets brought from home, eating cheap box lunches which they had bought or food they had packed themselves--waiting and hoping to get into the afternoon session.

With our bellies full and burping pleasantly, we would eventually make our way down to the Tabernacle where we would again flash our passes, cut into line at the last minute ahead of people who had been waiting for hours, and make our way into "our" special seating.

One year, after returning home to Arizona from Conference, a member of our ward mentioned that they had seen us at Temple Square as we maneuvered our way into the Tabernacle, where this member and their family had long been waiting, trying to get in by standing in line. It was an uncomfortable encounter for us--and we knew the arrangement was not right.

So we determined that we had had had enough of this kind of undeserved treatment and therefore decided in the future to wait in line with everyone else. If we couldn't make it into the Tabernacle because seating ran out, we would go over to the Assembly Hall and listen to Conference being piped in from across the way.

With General Conference playing this weekend and the prophets, seers and teleprompters imparting to the Saints their words of wisdom, I look back on those former days and did what I decided needed to be on one of those glorious Conference Sundays:

I went and got a flat tire on my truck fixed.
General Conference Showdown: "Heated Discussions" And A Personal Encounter With Church Security
Sunday, Apr 6, 2008, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
At the invitation of the Ex-Mormon Foundation, back during the first weekend of October 2001 I went to Salt Lake City during LDS General Conference weekend to perform at the Salt Lake public library a "Tunes and Toons" show with ex-evangelical preacher-turned-atheist Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The Ex-Mormon Foundation's own alternative conference was being held that same weekend in conjunction with the semi-annual LDS bizarre bazaar on Temple Square.

(For a recap of the ex-Mo event, see Richard Packham's travelog entitled, "Visiting the Sacred Sites of Mormonism," at:

Myself, Dan and a couple of other friends decided to take a tour of Temple Square during our visit, the first stop being the Visitors Center.

Wearing a black shirt with white lettering sporting the word "Godless" (either that one or another black-and-white favorite of mine reading "No Gods, No Masters"--can't remember which, although I've got a photo somewhere of us a few minutes later standing in front of the Christus statue upstairs), I entered the Visitors Center/public relations sanctuary with my heathen, hell-bound buddies.

Immediately upon coming through the doors, we were approached by a pair of neatly-dressed, attractive, friendly, doe-eyed sister missionary greeters with glued-on, big bright smiles. (I was later told by a comely ex-Mormon woman who had herself been a sister missionary assigned to the Temple Square beat that it was indeed the purposeful practice of the Church to place the good-looking lady missionaries on Temple Square in order to draw in the crowds).

One asked me in a chipper voice if I knew anything about the Mormon Church.

I replied that I knew a little.

She began giving her stock floor approach so to avoid an unnecessary waste of her time and mine, I gently informed her that I was the grandson of the former president of the Mormon Church, Ezra Taft Benson.

Her surprised response was, "Didn't you say something on TV that rhymed?" I answered in the affirmative. (She was referring to my April 1996 interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" with Mike Wallace, where I observed that the duty of faithful Mormons was to "pray, pay and obey").

At that point we began a polite, measured conversation about LDS beliefs, standing there inside the Visitors Center entryway at the base of the carpeted stairs on the first level.

Our conversation was further propelled by the sister missionary's next question. How could one explain, she asked, the feeling in one's heart that the Book of Mormon is true?

I kept my answer short and respectfully to the point by replying that religious feelings could actually be accounted for as a combination of a personal desire to believe, along with neurological and chemical reactions in the temporal lobe of brain, which result in what people often interpret as so-called "spiritual" sensations or experiences.

I quickly saw that this response wasn't registering with the sister missionary.

At this point, a serious-looking young man in his late 20s or early 30s, dressed in a dark suit with an earpiece screwed into the side of his head, approached me and the sister missionary.

He interrupted us and said, "We are told that you are having a heated discussion and heated discussions are not allowed here."

The sister missionary with whom I had been conversing in temperate tones turned to the Church security goon and said firmly, "We're not having a heated discussion."

The security dude didn't say anything, ducked his head slightly, fiddled with his earpiece and walked away.

Later that afternoon, my younger brother phoned me to tell me that he had been walking across Temple Square that day himself, when he said he was approached by a Church security guy who recognized him and who told him that I had been asked to leave the Visitors Center because I supposedly had been disruptive.

I explained to my brother that, in fact, I had not been disruptive, that the conversation which I was having with the sister missionary (before we were rudely interrupted by the Mormon Church) was initiated by her, that we were politely talking with each other and that when the security hound approached us the sister missionary herself informed him that we were not engaged in a heated discussion.

Welcome to Red Square on Temple Square--where square-headed Church security snoops are constantly on the look-out for those evil "heated discussions."

What really happened that October General Conference day was that an episode of honest, open and cordial disagreement raised the body heat of Mormon secret undercover, underweared control freaks.

Hear the strains of the Tabernacle Choir floating through the air on Temple Square:

"There is beauty all around when ex-Mos go home . . ."
Multi-Wifer Criminals Joseph Smith And Warren Jeffs Both Sought Refuge Deep In The Heart Of Texas
Thursday, Apr 10, 2008, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
It has been accurately pointed out that Warren Jeffs' establishment of his polygamous cult compound in Texas had its roots in the twisted ideas of fellow polygamous child abuser Joseph Smith:

"The seeds Joseph Smith planted have sprung up in Texas. . . .

"State troopers raided the 1,700-acre West Texas ranch on . . . to look for evidence that the teen, who called authorities a week ago, was married."

Illegal marriage to teenage brides? Where have we heard this before?

Say it ain't so, Joe!:

--Birds of a Feather Flee Together: Like Warren Jeffs, Joseph Smith Harbored Plans to Relocate His Mormon Followers to Texas for Power and Protection--

Michael Van Wagenen, University of Utah PhD. candidate, explains his master's thesis premise of Joseph Smith's Jeff-like attraction to Texas.

In his article, "The Texas Republic and the Mormon Kingdom of God," he writes:

"From its earliest days of colonization, Texas sparked the imaginationand ambition of some of North America's greatest leaders. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was one such man.

"His interest in Texas coincided with the strategic goal of Sam Houston, the president of the young Texas Republic, to create a buffer zone between the areas of Anglo settlement and Mexico.

"History has until now hidden how close the ambitions of these two men came to carving out a Mormon Kingdom of God in Texas.

"In 1844 Smith and his followers were received with political jealousy, religious suspicions, and distaste by their neighbors in Nauvoo, Illinois. Smith looked outside the United States for both refuge and empire.

"Times were difficult for Sam Houston, as well, as he faced the wrath of Comanches on the Western frontier and Santa Anna on the southern border. He was looking for assistance from England, France, or perhaps even the Mormons. Smith appointed an ambassador to the Texas Republic, and secret negotiations began in earnest.

"According to Mormon records, Houston agreed to sell Smith a disputed strip of land between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande.

"Before the Mormon leader could take further action, he was murdered by a mob in Illinois. In the leadership succession crisis that ensued, the negotiations were abandoned.

"Yet the secret negotiations cannot be seen as a total failure. Houston remained a friend to the Mormons throughout his political career and was later instrumental in ending the Utah War of 185758. In addition, a group of Mormon settlers emigrated to the Texas Republic on the eve of statehood and became an important part of the Texas cultural mosaic."

Van Wagenen has discovered in his research that "negotiations between Sam Houston and Mormon representatives to buy a considerable piece of Texas land [commenced] during the early 1840s. The Texas plan was one of several such plans instituted by Smith and the Council of Fifty to move the church if necessary to an isolated region and establish an independent government.

"Houston was open to the idea because if his efforts to annex Texas to the United States failed, he needed a buffer between his republic and Mexico. . . .

"[I]n the last weeks of Smith’s life, Smith rejected the idea of going to Texas, and after his martyrdom Brigham Young completely rejected the plan. Apostle Lyman Wight, who had been involved in the negotiations, led a group of Latter Day Saints to Texas and presided over a Mormon settlement there until his death in 1858. There are no Wightites today."

As Smith's Kingdom of God designs to move his Mormon followers to Texas died with Smith's own death, Jeffs' plans for a Texas Zion died with his own arrest.

The website, "To the Remmant" (which calls for "the establishment of Zion," for "the gospel and government of God working in harmony," for "the improvement and sanctification of all things" and for the creation of "[t]he kingdom of heaven on earth"), writes that Joseph Smith (like Warren Jeffs) had plans on herding his followers to Texas:

"Earlier deliberations in the Council [of Fifty] had sent scouts to Texas [with plans to organize a Mormon exodus to that still-non U.S. frontier area].

"The plans to move to Texas seem to have been well-developed. A treaty between the Mormons and the government of Texas had been drafted and awaited final approval from both groups.

"However, it was in the midst of these negotiations that Joseph Smith was killed. Lyman Wight, Lucien Woodworth and George Miller sought to revive the plans of the [C]ouncil to relocate the [S]aints in the Republic of Texas (not yet annexed to the U.S.) . .. Wight believed that his Smith’s Council of Fifty assignment to establish a colony in Texas superceded his calling as an apostle, and was excommunicated for his attempts to move the Saints to Texas. Woodworth and Miller were also dropped from the [C ouncil. James Emmett, who had been appointed by the Council of Fifty to explore California and Oregon led a group of 100 [S]aints (without approval) to establish a colony [in Texas], and was subsequently disfellowshipped from the church . . . The decision to stay away from Texas proved to be wise, as the relations between Mexico and Texas were tenuous at best, and often marked by violent conflict."

In 2004, Jeffs pursued his eventually doomed Smith-like plan for Texas relocation by moving approximately 150 of his faithful sheep/personal family members to his polygamous compound near Eldorado in the Lone Star State.

Again, why Texas? Because Texas has historically been seen by Jeffs (like it also was by Smith and his followers) as a place of evenual refuge for his fundamentalist polygamous church.

As Associated Press reporter Jennifer Dobner writes in her article, "Facts About the Polygamist Sect FLDS":

"Since the early 20th century the traditional home base of the [FLDS] church has been the twin border towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. The church also has enclaves in Colorado, South Dakota, Texas and British Columbia."

Even the Salt Lake City-based LDS Church admits on is own "Newsroom" website that Smith (like Jeffs) indeed had designs on leading his Mormon devotees to Texas--and that those plans eventually led to a positive Mormon presence in that state:

"Before Joseph Smith, the first President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was murdered in 1844, he and other Church leaders considered buying a tract of land in Texas.

"The land would serve as a gathering place for the Saints should they be persecuted and driven out of Illinois. These plans were dissolved with the death of Joseph Smith. Missionary work in Texas had begun one year prior to this event.

"In 1845, former Church leader Lyman Wight moved to central Texas with 100 others. Although he was excommunicated from the Church, he and his colony gave a favorable reputation to Church members in the state. In 1849, missionaries visited the Wight colonies and several were baptized back into the Church. From 1854 to 1857, several hundred converts immigrated to Utah from Texas.

"In 1898, land was purchased that eventually became the colony of Kelsey, composed of 300 Church members. In 1906, membership was 1,000 and by 1930, 3,840 members met in 14 congregations. Membership was 50,000 in 1977; 120,000 in 1984 (when the Dallas Texas Temple was completed) and 154,000 in 1990.

"On October 14, 1993, Richard A. Searfoss of League City, Texas, became the first Latter-day Saint to pilot the flight of a space shuttle. In 1994, Church members and missionaries rallied to assist flood-stricken southeast Texas, gathering relief supplies and helping to clean up debris and water-ravaged homes."

--Like Warren Jeffs, Joseph Smith Was An Unbalanced Man Who Saw Organized Violence as a Means By Which to Protect His Power While Seeking Establishment of a Safe Haven for His Faithful Flock in Texas--

As Jerald and Sandra Tanner write in their book, "The Changing World of Mormonism," Smith (like Jeffs) had both irrational and illegal designs on Texas territory.

Quoting from the book, "History of the Church," the Tanners note:

"'Joseph Smith seems to have desired to lead a large army, for he prepared a "Petition to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States," dated 26th March, asking the privilege of raising 100,000 men to extend protection to persons wishing to settle Oregon and other portions of the territory of the United States, and extend protection to the people in Texas' ("History of the Church," vol. 6, p.282).

"In this document we read:

"'Section 1. Be it ordained . . . that Joseph Smith . . . is hereby authorized and empowered to raise a company of one hundred thousand armed volunteers . . .

"'Sec. 2. And be it further ordained that if any person or persons shall hinder or attempt to hinder or molest the said Joseph Smith from executing his designs in raising said volunteers, . . . he, or they so hindering molesting, or offending, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars . . . or by hard labor on some public work not exceeding two years, or both,. . .

"'Sec. 3. And be it further ordained . . . the said Joseph Smith is hereby constituted a member of the army of these United States. . . . '("History of the Church," vol. 6, p. 277).

"There was, of course, hardly any chance that Joseph Smith's petition would be accepted. On April 25, 1844, Orson Hyde wrote a letter from Washington in which he stated: 'Mr. Semple said that Mr. Smith could not constitutionally be constituted a member of the army by law; and this, if nothing else, would prevent its passage' (ibid., vol. 6, p.372)."

--Like Joseph Smith, Warren Jeffs Sought Refuge from the Law for Himself and His Fellow Polygamous Zion Seekers in Texas--

"The Eldorado Success"--a local publication in the town not far from where the criminally-minded Jeffs' established his polygamous compound--explains Jeffs' Smith-like reasons for wanting to relocate to Texas:

"As recemtly as the annual FLDS conference, held April 6, 2002, in Colorado City, AZ, Warren Jeffs spoke on behalf of his ailing father, Rulon Jeffs, and told the [FLDS] church faithful that Zion was to be reestablished in Missouri.

"His plan apparently changed shortly afer the death of his father five months later. By November of 2003 the YFZ [Yearning for Zion] Land corporation had been formed and property was being acquired here in Schleicher County. . . .

"By the end of . . . 2004, all but the most skeptical had reached the conclusion that Warren Jeffs was building his Zion in Schleicher County.

"Then on New Years' Day came the news that a dedication ceremony had been held for the group's new temple. A mere six weeks later the towering structure dominate[d] the landscape at YFZ Ranch and news about the temple [began] fueling a new round of media interest. Reporters and investigators from across the country [have been] following Warren Jeffs' trail to Texas. It remains to be seen if hs legal problems weill do the same."

As to why a paranoid Jeffs' saw salvation in Texas (as also did a paranoid Smith), fellow Colorado City polygamist Richard Holm (who has since turned against Jeffs like former comrades of Smith similarly turned against him) explains why Jeffs began moving his followers to Texas.

Reports "The Eldorado Success":

"Holm says Warren Jeffs decision to move a portion [of] his FLDS faithful to Texas [was] a strange one. 'I think his decision to move ha[d] a lot to do with the pressure Warren [was] under here in Colorado City,' Holm said. 'I'm not sure whey he chose Eldorado, or Texas for that matter.' Holm said '{i]t might have had something to do with the Supreme Court striking down Texas' anti-sodomy law.'

"Holm noted that Jeffs, who ha[d] a well-publicized penchant for security and who travel[ed] with a group of bodyguards, could [have] be[en] . . . coming to Texas because he feared reprisal from those he ha[d] stepped on in Colorado City. 'People like me,' Holm said. 'There are a lot of people like me who have had their lives ruined by this snake.'

"[Holm said that] '[w]hat he may [have] be[en] doing [was] building his own sort of Disneyland down there where his most obedient followers [could] come and visit for a few days and while they [were] there they [would] get to see the wizard.' . . .

"'Warren is a coward and he [was] going to do whatever he [could] to stay out of trouble,' Holm said. 'I've heard him say in his sermons that if he [was] ever arrested he [would] be killed in jail. I honestly believe that he believes that.'"

Joseph Smith and Warren Jeffs: Two Texas-lovin' peas in the same perverted polygamous pod.
Early Mormon Temple Delights: Full Nudity, Alleged Sex Acts, Washings In Whiskey
Friday, Apr 11, 2008, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
Gluttonous Temple Birthday Parties with Virgins and Other Fleshly Frolics for the Endowed Faithful.

In the wake of recent press reports of alleged sexual intercourse performed upon beds made available in the temple erected on Warren Jeffs' male playground compound, questions have arisen concerning what, over time, may also have secretly transpired in the walled-off temples of the so-called "mainstream" Mormon Church.

Before addressing those curiosities, a preliminary review is in order of media reports concerning what has been discovered behind the closed doors of Warren Jeffs’ FLDS temple--evidence that may pertain to purported sexual activity said to have taken place in sordid secrecy, and at the expense of young, vulnerable, trapped child brides.


According to recent media reports, the temple located on the grounds of Jeff's patriarchal playground was used to consummate sex acts between male members of the sect and their new temple-signed, sealed and delivered underage wives.

A 'Fort Worth Star Telegram’ article headlined, "Eldorado temple used for sex with young girls, records say," reports the following:

" . . . The temple inside [the FLDS] polygamous sect's outpost was used by husbands when they had sex for the first time with their new underage wives, according to an affidavit released Wednesday by Texas officials.

"The search- and arrest-warrant affidavit said the temple at the YFZ (Yearn for Zion) Ranch contains an area with a bed where males over 17 engaged in sexual activity with females under 17.

"On Saturday, investigators found 'disturbed bed linens and a strand of hair that appears to be from a female head,' the affidavit states. . . .

"The affidavit, signed by Department of Public Safety investigator Leslie Brooks, said evidence was found inside the temple that the men would force the young girls to have sex 'at the initial time of marriage.' . . .

"Investigators have refused to reveal how many men are being detained at the ranch. . . .

"Once inside the gleaming white structure that towers over the compound, investigators found 'multiple locked safes, locked desk drawers, locked vaults, as well as multiple computers and beds,' court documents said.

"Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange would not comment about what else investigators have found on the 1,691-acre ranch. . . ."

These revelations (so to speak) raise certain questions related to the Mormon Church itself.

If fundamentalist polygamists claim (as, of course, they do) to be following the original doctrines and practices of Joseph Smith’s Mormon Church, then what has historically taken place within the secrecy-shrouded temples of the so-called “mainstream” Mormon Church?


The Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has strongly disavowed any doctrinal or practitional connection to the polygamous beliefs and activities of Warren Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

However, dating back to the early days of Joseph Smith's Mormon Church and keeping in mind its historically paranoid penchant for tight-lipped secrecy surrounding its closely-guarded temple rituals, rumors have continued to swirl alleging that faithful Mormons have engaged in all kinds of improprieties within the walls of their temples.

David John Buerger, in his book, "The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship" (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994) reviews accusations from early Mormon temple days that secret sexually-oriented acts were being performed inside these edifices.

Early official Mormon reluctance to openly address and disavow these alleged practices (particularly relating to goings-on in the Nauvoo temple) did nothing but fuel speculation.

Buerger writes:

"Despite injunctions for secrecy, accounts soon began to circulate about the temple rituals. During the 28 December 1845 meeting of the Quorum of the Anointed, [Heber C.] Kimball had, according to [William] Clayton, 'alluded to the stories in circulation that several persons had been killed on their way through the ordinances, and that men and women were stripped naked here. Joseph [Smith] said that for men and women to hold their tongues, was their salvation.’

“An example of such a lurid contemporary account can be found in the 'Warsaw Signal,' edited by rabid Mormon critic Thomas Sharp, for 18 February 1846:

"'The Saints have endeavored to keep the ceremony of the endowment perfectly quiet; but some of them have let the cat out of the bag and disclosed all. We have the story from two different sources, and as both correspond, we give it credit, although persons abroad, not acquainted with Mormonism, will be loath to believe that so much depravity as is evinced in the invention of this ceremony can exist, and that men and women can be found who consider the obscene rites sacred.

"'There must always be two candidates, a male and female presented for the endowment at once. These must pay one dollar each as a fee. If a male cannot find a female to take the endowment with him, the heads of the church provide one, and vice versa.

"The candidates are first taken into a room together, where they are stripped of all their clothing and are made to wash each other from head to foot.

"'They are then separated and put into different rooms, where they are oiled--with perfumed sweet oil, by one of the functionaries of the church.

"'They then pass into another room still separate, where one of the Twelve pronounces a blessing upon them and gives them extensive powers and privileges--such as a plurality of wives to the male, and other similar blessings to the female.

"'The ceremony being ended, the candidates are brought together, still in a state of nudity, into a room where they are allowed to remain together, alone, as long as they see proper. They are then invested with their robes and take their departure.

"'The really deluded among the Saints consider this ceremony as sacred and intended as a trial of their virtue. But it was invented by the Twelve, evidently for the purpose of offering them an opportunity for gratifying their brutal lusts.'"


Buerger goes on to cite the contradicting claims of an ex-Mormon woman who, despite her disaffection from the Church, disputed the 'Warsaw Signal's' account of what supposedly secretly transpired in Mormon temples.

Buerger writes:

"A woman who had been through the temple herself but had since left the Mormons wrote to correct this distorted account. Her letter was published in the 15 April 1846 number of the 'Warsaw Signal.' Although her personal response to the temple and an unrelated polygamous proposition were negative, her description in large part fits with the more sympathetic accounts provided by Clayton's record and adds some intriguing details. Writes 'Emeline':

“’'I discover by your paper, in what you have published in regard to the Mormon endowments, given of late in the temple, that you have been wrongly informed at least, so far as actual experience has taught me [what transpires] in the orgies of an afternoon, in that (as I have been taught to believe) most holy building.

“’'In revealing what I am about to do, during the laughable farce, several oaths and obligations of a serious character, not to reveal the secrets of the priesthood--had they been given me by any thing other than assumed authority, and vile, corrupt, licentious libertines, taking upon themselves the livery of Heaven, and essaying to represent the characters of our God and Savior--knowing those characters as I did previously to be the most debased wretches upon earth, the whole farce appeared to me to be nothing less than fearful blasphemy.

“’I went into this pretended holy operation, in company with 14 others, all sisters in the Mormon Church, and with most of whom I was well acquainted. They were, in the main, women of good character, and appeared sincere in their respective devotions.

“’We were first received past the Guard into a private room on the north side of the Temple--this was the room of preparation or purification.

“’'We were divested of all our apparel, and in a state of perfect nudity we were washed from heat to foot--a blanket was then thrown about our persons, and then commencing at the head we were anointed from heat to foot with sweet oil scented (I think) with lavender. We were then clothed in a white robe.

“’All this was done by sisters in the Church--none others were present--[I]t is false to say that men and women are admitted together in an indecent manner.

“’We were then conducted into a room called the Garden of Eden; here we found several of our brethren robed in white also, and apparently in a soporfic [i.e., sleepy] state. We were presented before them and a voice from the Lord awoke them from sleep.

"’After a considerable ceremony, which I do not recollect much of, we were left by the Lord and soon a very dandy-like fellow appeared with a black cap on, that had a long veil attached to it; he appeared very familiar--and by his very insinuating and friendly manner induced some of our sisters eat of the "forbidden fruit."

“’Soon after the voice of the Lord appeared again in the garden; we all appeared frightened, and both men and women huddled together into the corner of the room, as if in the act of hiding.

“’The fellow in the black cap presents himself before the Lord and engages in a controversy, boasting of what he had done. The Lord pronounced a curse upon him--he gets down upon his belly and crawls off.

“’At this period of the holy ceremony, I could not suppress my visible passions, for this fellow acted his part well--undoubtedly his part being the part of a Devil--was the most natural.

“’We were then presented with aprons, which we put on about this time, a sword was shook at us through the partition of the room, which was to guard the Tree of Life.

“’After considerable ceremony, which I do not recollect, we were passed into another room, which was dark and was dreary. This was called the Terrestrial Kingdom; immediately the dandy in the black cap made his appearance; at first he appeared very sly--peeping about, and when he found the Lord was not present, he became very familiar and persuasive. Said he, "[H]ere we are. all together, and all good fellows well met. Come Methodists, come Presbyterians, come Baptists, come Quakers, come Mormons, and come Strangites, etc., etc. Come let us drink together."

“’'In this way he tempted us, and we partook with him.

"'After a considerable parade and ceremony, we passed into another room, or Celestial Kingdom. Here I saw some of the Twelve, and particularly Brigham Young, with a white crown upon his head, and so I have since been told, representing God himself.

“’We passed this room without much ceremony into another. I have forgotten what it represented, not much of interest transpired here, and we were conducted back and put in possession of our clothing--as save sister ---; she had a very fine alpaca [i.e., woolen] dress stolen during our absence, and has never been able to recover it.

“’'In the different apartments of this singular farce, we took upon ourselves oaths and obligations not to reveal the secrets of the priesthood. I do not consider them binding; as I have had ample and repeated opportunity to prove the administrators of these obligations are corrupt as the Devil in Hell.

“’'In once place I was presented with a new name, which I was not to reveal for eternity. By this name I am to be called in eternity, as after the resurrection. This name was---; and from all that I can gather, all the females had the same name given them, but we were not allowed to reveal it to each other, under no less penalty than to have our throats cut from ear to ear, our hearts torn out, etc., etc. I have forgotten a part of the penalties.

“’'In one place something was spoken to me which I do not recollect--the meaning was "marrow in the bone;" the token was a firm hold of the hand, pressing the fingernail firmly into the wrist of the right hand. I have since been told by a brother that there was a mystical meaning in this, that will hereafter be revealed to me.

“’'Now, sir, this is the substance of the Mormon endowment--and the Mormon who says it is not true, is a liar; and the truth is not in him!

“’I have been a member of this farce of Priestcraft for the last six years; the first four years I suspected nothing but what I was in the right of all holy things.

“’The last two years I have been doubtful, seeing the abandoned conduct of the priests; but I toiled on, expecting something would be revealed in the endowments of the Temple that would strengthen my faith, and qualify me for heavenly purposes. For this I have toiled by night and by day; for this I have worked my fingers to the quick, to gain something from my scanty allowance, to assist in the completion of that building, the motto of which was to be "HOLINESS TO THE LORD" and illumined by the Shekina of heaven.

“’Imagine then my disappointment in the blasphemous farce I saw acted before me, and by men who have at repeated trials, attempted to seduce me into the lowest degradation and ruin.

“’But, thanks to my Heavenly Protector! I have been enabled to withstand the shock, and hope and trust I shall outlive the disgrace of once being associated with such a set of heartless scoundrels.

“’'I hope, sir, for the good of the community, you will give my "revelation" a place in your columns, for in the presence of high heaven, I pronounce every word of it truth, and nothing but truth.'"

Author Buerger follows the above account with this summary:

"Other exposes' followed, some more reliable than others, but by this time the majority of Saints had departed Nauvoo and environs for the exodus to the Rocky Mountains." (pp. 91-95)


Buerger provides further details of early Mormon temple initiatory washings which took place with the male and female participants separated from each other.

He writes:

"The earliest accounts Nauvoo temple endowment indicate that initiatory washings followed a literal Old Testament model of actual bathing. Large tubs of water are specified in the separate men's and women's rooms. The anointing was performed by liberally pouring consecrated oil from a horn over the head allowing it to run over the whole body." (p. 81)


Buerger writes of "[the Kirtland temple ritual being] . . . a simple, staged ceremony consisting of washing and anointing the body, blessing and sealing the individual and washing the feet"--with an interesting twist.

In this regard, Buerger reports the account of Oliver Cowdery of early Mormon washings, which Cowdery said included being bathed in cinnamon-scented whiskey:

"According to Book of Mormon witness Oliver Cowdery, five days prior to the 21st [of January 1836] some preliminary washings took place:

“’[M]et in the evening with [B]ro. Joseph Smith, Jr. at his house, in company with [B]ro. John Corrill, and after pure water was prepared, called upon the Lord and proceeded to wash each other's bodies, and bathe the same with whiskey, perfumed with cinnamon. This we did that we might be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath, confessing our sins and covenanting to be faith to God.

“’While performing this washing unto the Lord with solemnity, our minds were filled with many reflections upon the propriety of the same, and how the priests anciently used to wash always before ministering before the Lord." (Oliver Cowdery Sketch Book, 16 January. 1836, pp. 4-5, archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah) (p. 11)


Buerger writes that the solemn assembly accompanying the dedication of the Kirtland Temple wasn’t , at least to some participants, all that it was washed up to be:

"Although other participants reported pentecostal experiences, not all remembered the incident in glowing terms.

“Years later two prominent apostates would denounce the events. William McLellin, at the time a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, subsequently wrote that 'it was no endowment from God. Not only myself was not endowed, but no other man of the five hundred who was present--except it wa with wine!'

“David Whitmer later described the even as a 'grand fizzle' and denied any angelic visitations.

“ In 1841 William Harris, by then a disaffected participant, wrote:

“’When the day [of the 'endowment meeting, or solemn assembly'] arrived, great numbers convened from the different Churches in the country. They spent the day in fasting and prayer, and in washing and perfuming their bodies, they also washed their feet, and anointed their heads with what they called holy oil, and pronounced blessings.

‘’'In the evening, they met for the endowment. The fast was then broken by eating light what bread, and drinking as much wine as they saw proper.

“’Smith knew well how to infuse the spirit which the expected to receive; so he encouraged the brethren to drink freely, telling them that the wine was consecrated, and would not make them drunk.

“’As may be supposed, they drank to the purpose. After this, they began to prophesy, pronouncing blessings upon their friends, and curses upon their enemies.

“’If I should be so unhappy as to go to the regions of the damned, I never expect to hear language more awful, or more becoming the infernal pit, than wa uttered that night. The curses were pronounced principally upon the clergy of the present day, and upon the Jackson county mob in Missouri. After spending the night in alternate blessings and cursing, the meeting adjourned.'

Buerger further notes:

"This account is echoed as well by John Corrill, a church historian:

“’The sacrament was then administered, in which they partook of the bread and wine freely, and a report went abroad that some of them got drunk: as to that every man must answer for himself.'" (pp. 28-29)


Buerger reports the revelation Wilford Woodruff claims to have received in early 1877, as the St. George temple's new president.

Buerger quotes the words of the purported heavenly message, as penned by Woodruff in his personal journal:

“’Let my servant Wilford call upon the virgins, Maidens, Daughters, and Mothers in Zion and let them enter my Holy Temple on the 1 day of March, the day that my servant Wilford has seen the time allotted to man . . . and let them receive their washing and anointing and endowments for and behalf of the wives who are dead and have been sealed to my servant Wilford, or those who are to be sealed to him, and this shall be acceptable unto my, saith the Lord . . .'"

Buerger then reviews what Woodruff claims transpired next:

"Accordingly on 1 March 1877 Woodruff spent his seventieth birthday in the St. George temple with 154 women performing proxy endowments for deceased women who had been or were being sealed to Woodruff:

“’I arrived at the Temple of the Lord in Saint George Washington County, Utah, at 8 o'clock in the morning. I was there surrounded with one hundred and fifty-four virgins, Maidens, Daughters and Mothers in Zion from the age of fourteen to the aged mother leaning upon her staff . . .

“’When they had all assembled to gather in the Creation Room I presented myself before them clothed in m y white doe skin temple dress. I there delivered unto them a short address. . . . You are today in this Endowment without a man with you. But we shall furnish one Man as an Adam. . . .

“’I went through the Endowments of the day more like being in vision than a reality. These 154 sisters were led to three veils and three of us . . . all dressed in Temple clothing, took them all through the three veils. . . . President Young was present at the Temple in witnessing the ceremonies.

"'At the close of the labor at the temple, I . . . [was] placed in the midst of a surprise party got up for the occasion, the room decorated, and a table set loaded with all the luxuries of life, surrounded by nearly one hundred of those who had been receiving endowments for my dead during the day.

"President Young sat at the head of the table surrounded by his family and after blessing was asked there was presented before me a present of a birthday bridal cake three stories high adorned with the beasts of the field from the elephant down, and ornamented with two satin sheets covered with printed poetry composed for the occasion. . . .

“’This scene this day is among the most wonderful events of the last dispensation and fullness of times in which we live.

“’And this door which is open for the redemption of the dead in this manner will accomplish great and important results, for it is not being carried out in a great many instances in the Temple of the Lord, and will continue to be more and more unto the end.'" (pp. 108-110)

So, there you have it: Early Mormon temple delights, including full nudity, alleged sex acts, washings in whiskey, gluttonous birthday parties with virgins--the list goes on and on.

Not like any of that kooky fundamentalist temple stuff. :)
LDS Church Choking Over Actual Headline: "Polygamists Bar Police From Entering Mormon Temple"
Monday, Apr 14, 2008, at 09:30 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
Choke, choke, chortle, chortle. :)

Below is the link to and excerpts from the article in question--published by "Yahoo! Asian News"--which features a color photograph of the Salt Lake City temple, complete with a statue of Brigham Young in the foreground:

"'Polygamists bar police from entering Mormon temple'

"FORT WORTH, Texas, April 5, 2008 . . . [Agence France-Presses]: Police and members of a polygamist sect under investigation for possible child abuse are locked in a standoff over access to a Mormon temple where a suspected victim was believed to be held, local media reported.

"'In preparing for entry to the temple, law enforcement is preparing for the worst,' Allison Palmer, an assistant district attorney told 'The San Angelo Standard Times' on Saturday. . . .

"A complaint filed by a teenage girl was reportedly the trigger for a massive police operation late Friday, during which authorities removed 52 girls between the ages of six months and 17 years from a compound in Eldorado, Texas, owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

"However, sect members have refused to allow Texas Child Protective Services access to the compound's temple, reports said.

"Non-Mormons are barred from entering Mormon temples under the church's doctrine.

"'It appears to be of great concern to them if a person from outside their congregation even attempts to step inside their place of worship,' Palmer is quoted as saying. . . .

"The raid on Friday was triggered by reports that a 50-year-old man had illegally married and had sex with a girl that is currently 16 years old and has an eight-month-old child, 'The Standard-Times' reported.

"Social workers determined that 18 of the 52 girls had been abused or were at immediate risk of future abuse, 'The Houston Chronicle' reported. . . .

"The ranch, in the town of El Dorado about 414 kilometers (255 miles) southwest of Dallas, Texas, is linked to Warren Jeffs, an avowed polygamist who is now behind bars. His Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) owns the sprawling ranch property.

"Jeffs, who was considered to be the sect's prophet, was arrested near Las Vegas in 2006 and sentenced to life in jail for being an accomplice to rape. He also faces federal charges in Arizona and Utah.

"The vast Texas ranch was bought by the sect in 2003 and has been kept under surveillance by the authorities.

"The mainstream Mormon church -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- renounced polygamy more than one century ago as a price of Utah's admission to the United States.

"It now excommunicates members who engage in the practice and disavows any connection with the FLDS church."

"During the trial of Warren Jeffs in St. George, Utah, last year a woman tearfully told the court how she had been forced into marriage aged 14 at a ceremony he had conducted at a motel in Nevada in 2001.

"The woman, identified only as 'Jane Doe IV,' said Jeffs performed the wedding despite her protests at the choice of husband. . . .

"Prosecutors said Jeffs instructed the girl to 'multiply and replenish the earth and raise children in the priesthood.'

"After Doe's older husband had sexual intercourse with her, she asked Jeffs to end the marriage, saying she hated having 'husband-wife' relations with him.

"According to Doe, Jeffs told her to 'go back and do what he tells you to do.'

"Two of her sisters testified during the preliminary hearing that Doe had been 'forced' to have sex with her husband. . . .

"Members of the FLDS church are known to live in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, South Dakota and British Columbia."
LDS Apostles Hooked, Snagged And Otherwise Hung Out Over The Kinderhook Plates
Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
In another thread, poster "SpongeBob SquareGarments" noted that he "was taught the Kinderhook Plates proved Joseph was a prophet."

But such was not to be the actual case, as he went on to explain:

"Growing up in the church, I was taught the story of the Kinderhook Plates as a faith-promoting historical event from the LDS church that lends credibility to Joseph’s translating ability.

"A very intelligent member of the bishopric taught this gospel doctrine lesson. It was one of the most fascinating lessons I’ve ever heard at church. He kept building up the story with more and more damaging evidence to build suspense. I couldn’t wait to hear how Joseph was going to get out of this one.

"Now the beauty of the KP, is that it comes entirely from church sources, no ‘anti-Mormon’ materials needed to show that Joseph Smith was a fraud. To quote from History of the Church by Joseph Smith:

'I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and that he received his Kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.' (Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., "History of the Church," v. 5, p. 372_) "Joseph’s initial translation of the KP was also published in the 'Times and Seasons,' as well as many other church publications.

"For the next 130 years, the KP were unquestionably believed by LDS to be from an ancient Jaredite and that Joseph’s translation of them were correct. This included Assistant Church Historian and GA B.H. Roberts.

"Some 36 years after the KP were unearthed, a farmer (W. Fugate) admitted to making the plates as a hoax. The church still supported that the KP were real ancient plates and that this man was a liar. B.H. Roberts attacked the man’s credibility in the History of the Church:

'How easy to have covered Joseph Smith and his followers with ridicule by proclaiming the hoax as soon as they accepted the Kinderhook plates as genuine! Why was it not done? The fact that Fugate’s story was not told until thirty-six years after the event, and that he alone of all those who were connected with the event gives that version of it, is rather strong evidence that his story is the hoax, not the discovery of the plates, nor the engravings upon them.'

"Joseph was killed some time afterwards and the plates were lost during the Civil War. When one of the plates was rediscovered in the 1960s, Welby W. Ricks, President of BYU Archaeological Society exclaimed:

'A recent rediscovery of one of the Kinderhook plates which was examined by Joseph Smith, Jun., reaffirms his prophetic calling and reveals the false statements made by one of the finders....“The plates are now back in their original category of genuine. . . . Joseph Smith, Jun., stands as a true prophet and translator of ancient records by divine means and all the world is invited to investigate the truth which has sprung out of the earth not only of the Kinderhook plates, but of the Book of Mormon as well.'

"Tests done in the 1960s proved inconclusive. The church still defended that the KP and Joseph’s translations were correct.

"Finally in 1980 they got permission to do destructive testing on the plate and it proved that the plate was not of ancient origin but was produced in the 1800s in a manner exactly as the hoaxers had claimed. Also, an analysis was done and determined that this could not have been a forgery of the Kinderhook Plates, but was in fact one of the actual plates discovered in Kinderhook in 1843.

"After that, the church backed off on its claims that the Kinderhook Plates were real. The LDS apologists quickly changed their story and stopped defending that the plates and Joseph’s translation of them were true. Now the LDS apologists say it was all a hoax, and Joseph never fell for it, and someone other than Joseph must have said that the plates were real and translated them.

"When I was taught the lesson, it must have been before it was well-known that the KP were a hoax. I had never heard the story before and neither did anyone else in the class. The teacher saved Joseph in the end by saying that the plate found in the 1960s was a forgery of the original ‘real’ Kinderhook Plates. He concluded that the KP were real and that there probably was an Indian chief, perhaps an ancient Jaredite, a descendant of Ham, and these plates told about him, and Joseph translated them correctly.

"This may have been before the destructive testing was done or wasn’t known to the teacher. As the 'Ensign' in 1981 states very clearly that the plate was one of the original KP and that they were all a hoax, my teacher’s conclusion is unsupportable.

"I wish I could find that teacher today. I would love to hear what he would now say about the KP as the church has announced that they are a hoax.

"So was anyone else ever taught the story of the Kinderhook Plates?

"To read more about the KP and to see the actual pages from the History of the Church that discuss them:"

In answer to "SpongeBob SquareGarments" question:

Yes, I was taught the story of the Kinderhook Plates (and a very fishy one at that) by Mormon Apostles Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell, with whom I met in the privacy of Maxwell's church office in September 1993 to discuss basic historical and doctrinal issues that (to me, at least) seriously undermined the credibility of Mormonism's claims to authenticity.

One of those claims was that the Kinderhook Plates were of ancient origin and had been translated by Joseph Smith.

As I had come to discover, however, through my own research (referring here to a phrase coined by Jerald and Sandra Tanner), the Kinderhook Plates were a "bogus" translation produced by a "bogus" prophet.

I asked Oaks and Maxwell why the Mormon Church had not offically addressed the problem of Smith's inability to translate these purportedly ancient Kinderhook Plates--a record which Smith had declared to be genuine in origin and which (despite his claim to have deciphered a portion of them) were ultimately and empirically proved to be fraudulent.

In posing my inquiry, I first reviewed for Oaks and Maxwell why the Kinderhook Plates were, in fact, spurious. Quoting the Tanners' assessment that "only a bogus prophet translates bogus plates," I provided a brief history of their origin.

The Kinderhook Plates, I said, were manufactured by Smith's detractors with the intent of setting Smith up for an embarrassing fall.

I noted that Smith accepted the Kinderhook Plates as genuine and indicated he would translate them and that Smith approved a "Times and Seasons" editorial written by Apostle John Taylor which declared that the Kinderhook Plates served to verify the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

I related (as published in the "Documentary History of the Church"), that Smith wrote he did, in fact, commence a translation of a portion of the Kinderhook Plates. (As a result of that partial translation, Smith declared that these plates contained the story of a man related to Ham who had descended through the lineage of the Egyptian pharaoh).

I acknowledged that the diary entry penned in Smith's name had, in actuality, been written in Smith's behalf by Smith's scribe, William Clayton. (Clayton had put the narrative in the form of a Smith first-person account--a practice common at that time when compiling Church history. Indeed, LDS historian Dean Jesse ultimately acknowledged that 60% of Mormon Church history was written in the third person, by individuals who then changed the pronouns to first person).

Along this line, I indicated that individuals took their own diary accounts and journals describing what Smith had taught or done, then wrote them from a first-person perspective.

However, I also mentioned that Clayton was a close, personal friend of Smith and had served as the scribe for the history of the Nauvoo temple. I further mentioned that Clayton maintained Smith's personal diary for him. I said, therefore, that if there was anyone who would have known what Smith said or felt about the Kinderhook Plates, it would have been Clayton.

As I was laying out this background, Maxwell was busy taking notes on a pad. He said he didn't know about this and would look into it. But that did not keep Maxwell from offering his opinion on the matter. He said that if Joseph Smith had felt the Kinderhook Plates were indeed important, worthy of translation and from God, "he would have moved on them," but he did not. Maxwell said Smith's "benign neglect" thus verified that the Kinderhook Plates were not important. Maxwell compared and contrasted the Prophet Joseph's "benign neglect" toward the Kinderhook Plates with what he characterized as Smith's eagerness and quickness in dealing with the Book of Abraham.

Oaks responded that the translation of the Book of Abraham, not the Kinderhook Plates was a "substantive issue" which raised important and fundamental questions--as opposed, he said, to the Kinderhook Plates--or to the question of whether or not the Book of Mormon was plagiarized from the writings of Solomon Spalding.

I told Oaks that, in comparison to the Book of Abraham question, I agreed the Kinderhook Plates were of significantly less importance.

I still felt, however, that Smith's inability to translate the Kinderhook Plates (which were ultimately shown to be fakes) was nonetheless an issue that deserved a decent explanation.

Neither Oaks or Maxwell offered anything meaningful, substantive, explanatory or decent in that regard.
The LDS Church Gets Yet Another Well-Deserved Shaft In Media Descriptions Of (F)LDS Polygamists
Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008, at 07:08 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
It comes, of course, in the form of an infectious "splinter" that (to a frustrated Mormon spin machine) just can't seem to be extracted, retracted, distracted or redacted.

Salt Lake City-based Associated Press reporter Jennifer Dobner (with whom I have had media-related dealings in the past and whom I respect as a seasoned and competent professional), in a story published internationally headlined "Polygamous Group Encouraged Fear" (12 April 2008), describes the (f)LDS sect as a "renegade Mormon splinter group [which] requires girls at puberty to enter into polygamous marriages with much older men and produce children, authorities say. The sect also teaches children to fear the outside world, including the very authorities who removed them until a court hearing Thursday that will help determine their future."

Employing similar language, two other Associated Press reporters in a Dallas Morning News story headlined "Texas authorities defend handling of polygamist sect" (11 April 2008), likewise describe the [f]LDS cult as a "renegade Mormon splinter group" which "[a]uthorities in Texas suspected [would generate] . . . trouble ever since [its] members . . . bought an exotic game ranch and began building."

There you have it--and will always have it.

No matter how much the Mormon Church desperately tries to put lipstick on its polygamy pig, the fact remains that the image which ultimately sticks with reporters (and with people generally) is the joined-at-the-hip connection between the so-called "mainstream" Mormon Church and its fundamentalist Mormon tributaries.

The LDS Church PR department can (in concert with choirs of faithully bleating Saints) deceptively and repetitively babble about how Mormons are supposedly in no way, shape or form doctrinally intertwined with Mormon fundamentalist practitioners of Mormon founder Joseph Smith's officially-decreed Mormon polygamous doctrines.

But the fact remains that the historical and canonical relationship between LDS and (f)LDS will always be cemented on the Mormon Church--even as Mormons continue to complain 'til the pigs come home.

So, for all you Mormon patriarchs out there--past, present and future:

Oink! The swine have come home to root.
Lying For The Lord And To The Press: The LDS Church On Its Actual Polygamous Beliefs And Practices
Monday, Apr 21, 2008, at 11:29 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-

It is a matter of documentary history that the so-called ”mainstream” Mormon Church–despite its deliberate attempts to mislead the public and the press–has:

--long sanctioned the practice of polygamy,

--lied about is practice, despite alleged “official" repudiations of polygamy;

--considered (and still considers) polygamy to be official Mormon doctrine; and

--performs polygamous marriages for time and all eternity in its present-day Mormon temples.

An examination of the record will establish the factual nature of the above assertions.


It is clear from Smith's own behavior (as well as from the acceptance of that behavior by faithful Mormons of Smith’s day), that polygamy was considered the official, canon law of the LDS God and the LDS Church.

The following is excerpted from a Salt Lake Tribune review of practicing Mormon and author Todd Compton's book, "In Sacred Loneliness," which chronicles the multiple wifery of Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith:

"In identifying 33 well-documented wives of [Joseph] Smith – other researchers have placed the figure as high as 48 – Compton found that in the case of 11 women, Smith's polygamy was polyandrous; that is, the women were married and cohabiting with their husbands, who mostly were faithful Mormons, when Smith married them.

"Yet not one divorced her 'first husband' when Smith was alive. Indeed, they continued to live with their civil spouses while married to Smith. . . .

"Eleven of Smith's wives were between ages 14 and 20, nine were in their 20s, eight were in Smith's own peer group of 31 to 40, two were in their 40s and three in their 50s. . . .

"Toward the end of Smith's life, knowledge of his secret marriages began to leak out. William Law, Smith's second counselor . . . filed suit against the church leader for living 'in an open state of adultery' with 19-year-old Maria Lawrence.

"In a speech a month before his death, Smith responded by flatly denying polygamy, which was illegal under federal law: 'What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one,' he said. "

(Salt Lake Tribune, December 13, 1997, p. C2; for Smith's speech in toto, see "History of the Church,” vol. 6, pp. 408-12.)


To not practice polygamy, Young warned, would mean denial to disobedient Mormon men of the chance to become gods in the Mormon hereafter. As Young sternly warned Mormons in a sermon on 6 August 1862:

"The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy ("Journal of Discourses," vol. 11, p. 269)

Young went on in the same sermon, as reported in the LDS-owned Deseret News, to pound home the absolute necessity of polygamy in the Mormon God's plan of salvation. In so doing, he denounced monogamy as a second-rate form of marriage, blaming its emergence on the ancient, degraded and criminal Romans:

"Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman Empire . . .

"Rome became the mistress of the world, and introduced this order of monogamy wherever her sway was acknowledged. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers . . .

"Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord's servants have always practiced it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?’ It is the only popular religion there . . . "


The first seven presidents of the Mormon Church were devoted, practicing polygamists.

Count your many plural wives, name them one by one:

Joseph Smith, LDS Church president (1830-1844), had at least 33 wives, with seven children by Emma Hale Smith. It is unknown if he had any children by plural wives.

Brigham Young, LDS Church president (1847-1877), had 50 wives and 56 children.

John Taylor, LDS Church president (1880-1887), had least 14 wives and an estimated 36 children.

Wilford Woodruff, LDS Church president (1889-1898), had least 10 wives and an estimated 34 children.

Lorenzo Snow, LDS Church president (1898-1901), had at least nine wives, with 33 children.

Joseph F. Smith, LDS Church president (1901-1918), had six wives and 43 children.

Heber J. Grant, LDS Church president (1918-1945), had three wives and 12 children.

As Sandra Tanner, in her article, “LDS Leaders Still Believe There Will Be Polygamy in Heaven,” points out:

“According to LDS doctrine, these men will have all of their faithful wives and children with them in the resurrection, which would mean they will be living polygamy in the Celestial Kingdom.”


Confirming the deliberately deceitful practice by the Mormon Church of post-Manifesto polygamy as uncovered by excommunicated Mormon and noted historian D. Michael Quinn, ex-Mormon researchers Jerald and Sandra Tanner write in their article, "Wanted: 'One Mighty and Strong'-- Fundamentalists Charge LDS Church Has Fallen Into Apostacy":

"As the United States government continued to press the [Mormon] Church to give up the practice [of polygamy], new laws were enacted to force compliance . . . . Historian B. Carmon Hardy explains: ‘ . . . [O]n September 24, 1890, President Woodruff produced his famous Manifesto, advising Church members to obey the laws of the land as they related to polygamy.' (Hardy, 'Solemn Covenant: The Mormon Polygamous Passage,' p. 130).

Not so fast. As the Tanners further report:

"However, many were left to wonder if this statement was to be considered a revelation or just an admonition. Did it mean all Mormons were to discontinue living with their plural families, refrain from having more children born to these unions, or just that they were not to take any additional wives. There seemed to be one policy for the public and another in private . . . . Hardy lists the names of 220 LDS men, including bishops, stake presidents and apostles, who continued to take plural wives after the Manifesto. ("Solemn Covenant," Appendix II)"

Citing the research of Richard Van Wagoner in his book, "Mormon Polygamy" (p. 159), the Tanners note that between "1902 to April 1904 . . . 'at least sixty-three plural marriages were sealed throughout the Church.'" (Van Wagoner, “Mormon Polygamy,” p. 159)

In the famous three-year-long Reed Smoot hearings that commenced in 1904, the U.S. Senate--by now aware of disturbing evidence that Mormon Church leaders were, in fact, marrying additional wives, including some outside the territorial boundaries of the United States--challenged the right of Mormon Apostle Smoot to take elected office in the federal legislative body.

Subsequent testimonial evidence at the hearings revealed that several high-ranking Mormon Church officials had continued to engage in polygamous relations--including the fathering of offspring with their plural wives--after the ostensible anti-polygamy 1890 Manifesto had been issued and supposedly cemented into place.

As the Tanners write, the pressure from the federal government now was on.

"Finally,” they write, "on April 7, 1904, President Joseph F. Smith issued a second Manifesto declaring that members were to enter into no new plural marriages. However, these statements were understood by some to simply mean that there were to be no new marriages in the United States, that they did not apply to plural marriages in Mexico or outside of the country."

Indeed, as Van Wagoner notes, some Mormon leaders continued to practice polygamy in Mexico:

"Though the 1904 Manifesto sought and obtained Mormon confirmation of President Smith's statements before the Smoot hearings, most Saints knew little of the covert post-Manifesto polygamy that Church leaders had been supporting." ("Mormon Polygamy," p. 168)

Eventually, as the Tanners note (again citing Hardy), "two apostles--John W. Taylor, son of President John Taylor, and Matthias F. Cowley--were dropped from the [Q]uorum [of the Twelve] for their continued practice of the principle."


Conducting rigorous historical research on polygamy has proven to be hazardous to one's Church membership.

One need only review the case of former Mormon and noted historian D. Michael Quinn, who was stripped of his Church membership for his scholarly examination of LDS polygamous practices--a study which indisputably revealed that even after supposedly denouncing and discontinuing the practice of polygamy with its 1890 “Manifesto,” the Mormon Church, through many of its highest leaders, continued its secretive practice. (Quinn, “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890 1904,” in “Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought," Spring 1985)

Quinn's "Dialogue" article provided a devastating historical account of the shell game played for decades by the Mormon Church in a deliberate campaign of misdirection and misinformation.

Quinn explains in another article, "On Being a Mormon Historian (and Its Aftermath)," how his research into post-Manifesto Mormon polygamy took form, despite a decided lack of cooperation from the highest levels of the LDS Church, and as part of Quinn's attempts to notify ranking Church leaders of both his research efforts and publication intents.

He writes:

"President [Gordon B.] Hinckley telephoned in June 1982 to say that he was sympathetic about a request I had written to obtain access to documents in the First Presidency fault [about post-Manifesto polygamy] but that my request could not be granted.

"Since I now knew all I ever would about post-Manifesto polygamy, I told him I would go ahead and publish the most detailed and supportive study I could of the topic.

“President Hinckley said the decision was up to me, that he had done what he could to help." (Quinn, "On Being A Mormon Historian (and Its Aftermath)", in Smith, George D., ed., "Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1992], p. 90)

Quinn also details in the same article the reasons for his excommunication:

“In 1985, after 'Dialogue' published my article ‘LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890 - 1904’, three apostles [Boyd K. Packer, Mark E. Petersen and Ezra Taft Benson] gave orders for my Stake President to confiscate my temple recommend.

"Six years earlier, I had formally notified the First Presidency and the Managing Director of the Church Historical Department about my research on post-Manifesto polygamy and my intention to publish it . . . Now I was told that three apostles believed I was guilty of ‘speaking evil of the Lord's anointed.’ The Stake President was also told to ‘take further action’ against me if this did not ‘remedy the situation’ of my writing controversial Mormon history . . ..

"I told my Stake President that this was an obvious effort to intimidate me from doing history that might ‘offend the Brethren’ (to use Ezra Taft Benson’s phrase) . . . . The Stake President also saw this as a back-door effort to have me fired from BYU . . . .

“At various stake and regional meetings, Apostle Packer began publicly referring to ‘a BYU historian who is writing about polygamy to embarrass the Church.’ At firesides in Utah and California, a member of BYU’s Religious Education Department referred to me as ‘the anti-Christ of BYU.’ . . . Church leaders today seem to regard my post-Manifesto polygamy article . . . as ‘speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed’ because they themselves regard certain acts and words of those earlier Church leaders as embarrassing, if not actually wrong. I do not regard it as disloyal to conscientiously recreate the words, acts and circumstances of earlier prophets and apostles . . . .

“No one ever gave me an ultimatum or threatened to fire me from Brigham Young University. However, University administrators and I were both on the losing side of a war of attrition mandated by the General Authorities . . . .

“On 20 January 1988, I wrote a letter of resignation, effective at the end of the current school semester . . . . I explained [that] ‘the situation seems to be that academic freedom merely survives at BYU without fundamental support by the institution, exists against tremendous pressure and is nurtured only through the dedication of individual administrators and faculty members.’ . . .

“Three months after my departure, it angered me to learn that BYU had fired a Hebrew professor for his private views on the historicity of the Book of Mormon. Although I personally regard the Book of Mormon as ancient history and sacred text, I told an inquiring newspaper reporter: ‘BYU officials have said that Harvard should aspire to become the BYU of the East. That’s like saying the Mayo Clinic should aspire to be Auschwitz. BYU is an Auschwitz of the mind.’ . . .

“When BYU’s Associate Academic Vice-President asked me if that was an accurate quote, I confirmed that it was. ‘Academic freedom exists at BYU only for what is considered non-controversial by the University’s Board of Trustees [meaning the Quorum of the Twelve] and administrators,’ I wrote. ‘By those definitions, academic freedom has always existed at Soviet universities (even during the Stalin era) . . .

“It is . . . my conviction that God desires everyone to enjoy freedom of inquiry and expression without fear, obstruction or intimidation. I find it one of the fundamental ironies of modern Mormonism that the General Authorities, who praise free agency, also do their best to limit free agency's prerequisites--access to information, uninhibited inquiry and freedom of expression.”

(Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian,” pp. 91-95)

Additional sordid details behind the excommunication of Quinn seeped out some eight years after his post-Manifesto essay was first published.

The facts behind the ecclesiastical execution of Quinn were provided directly to me by two of the Mormon Church's highest henchmen–“Apostle-ologists” Neal A. Maxwell and Dallin H. Oaks.

On 9 September 1993, I met with Oaks and Maxwell in Maxwell's Church office, #303, located in the Church Administration Building, in downtown Salt Lake City.

There I presented them with a list of detailed and wide-ranging questions concerning fundamental doctrines, teachings, practices and policies of the Mormon Church that significantly troubled me--and about which I felt I deserved credible and straight-forward answers.

In the broad sense on the polygamy question, I wanted to know from these pre-eminent LDS damage controllers why the Mormon Church had not been more forthcoming and honest with its history in regard to the official practice (and later blatant denial of) polygamy.

Specifically, I wanted to know about what I regarded as the mystery of history--and those who tell the truth about polygamy without permission.

In that meeting, “good cop” Maxwell offered unconvincing rationalizations for the Mormon Church’s failure to be honest and forthcoming about its practice of polygamy.

“Bad cop” Oaks followed up by launching a shockingly shabby attack on Quinn’s personal integrity.

In answer to the larger inquiry, Maxwell cagily replied by noting that the process of writing history is frustrating, complex and incomplete.

He handed me a photocopy of a sermon. (The copy turned out, I discovered later, to be a talk Maxwell himself had delivered during the 1984 October General Conference entitled, “Out of Obscurity.” However, the single sheet excerpts that he provided me contained no title or author, although it had been marked up in red ink for my benefit. Maxwell’s address ultimately appeared in the General Conference issue of the "Ensign," 10, November 1984, p. 11).

Quoting from a "Tribute to Neville Chamberlain," delivered in the British House of Commons, 12 November 1940, Maxwell’s sermon declared:

"History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days."

The sermon then addressed what Maxwell verbally described to us as the definition of history: a collection, he said, of "floating mosaic tiles":

"The finished mosaic of the history of the Restoration will be larger and more varied as more pieces of tile emerge, adjusting a sequence here or enlarging there a sector of our understanding.

"The fundamental outline is in place now, however. But history deals with imperfect people in process of time, whose imperfections produce refractions as the pure light of the gospel plays upon them. There may even be a few pieces of tile which, for the moment, do not seem to fit . . .

"So, belatedly, the fullness of the history of the dispensation of the fullness of times will be written.

"The final mosaic of the Restoration will be resplendent, reflecting divine design and the same centerpiece--the Father's plan of salvation and exaltation and the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ."

What Maxwell’s excuses lacked in clarity, Oaks’ made up for in character assassination.

While Oaks was much less colorful than his charming co-charlatan Maxwell, he was much more direct in dealing with the substance of my inquiry.

Oaks acknowledged that he had read Quinn's article on post-Manifesto polygamy, covering the period from 1890 into the early 20th century.

Oaks confessed that the Mormon Church had not, in fact, been honest about its practice of polygamy during that time. He admitted that the case, as laid out by Quinn, was, in fact, true. Oaks admitted that, in his opinion, lies had indeed been told by Mormon Church leaders about the continuing practice of polygamy after it supposedly was ended by the Manifesto of 1890.

But enough of admitting "divinely-inspired" Church wrongdoing.

Oaks then proceeded to attack Quinn personally by accusing him of breaking his word.

Oaks said that Quinn had been given access to all of J. Reuben Clark's papers for the purpose of writing a book on Clark's years of Church service. Oaks said he had assured the Church that Quinn was credible, in order that Quinn could be given access to those records. Oaks noted that shortly after Quinn's research was published on Clark, out came Quinn's article on post-Manifesto polygamy.

Quinn, Oaks said angrily, had violated Oaks' confidence. He accused Quinn of having taken more information out of Church archives than he had been given permission to examine and research, going in.

Oaks said that Quinn was not an innocent victim in this affair. Oaks indicated that he subsequently wrote Quinn a letter, in which he expressed his "deep disappointment" with him and telling Quinn he had exceeded the limits of their original understanding.

In that letter, Oaks further said, he told Quinn that he now regarded him as someone who could not be trusted. Oaks added that Quinn would not tell us about these things, if asked, because of Quinn's involvement.

On that last point, I wanted to see for myself.

In August 2001, I personally recounted to Quinn Oaks' version of events and asked him for his own recollections.

Visibly agitated but in a controlled and calm voice, Quinn emphatically denied that he had violated any research agreement with the Church Historical Department.

He told me that it was clearly understood going in that he had open access to archival materials.


It is matter of doctrinal record that polygamy remains the canonized, scriptural, official and unrepudiated law of the Mormon Church, as laid out in Section 132 of the its official scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants.

To be sure, this so-called "revelation" is described in the DandC has having been given "through Joseph Smith [in] Nauvoo, Illinois, [and] recorded on July 12, 1843 [as cited in] 'History of the Church' 5:501-7"].

To this day, DandC 132 remains the official, standing doctrine of the Mormon Church and Mormons are explicitly warned in this section that if they do not follow the God's eternal law of polygamy, they will be damned.

The text of the "revelation” follows:

"1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein 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-

"2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.

"3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.

"4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

"5 For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.

"6 And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fullness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fullness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.

"7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

"8 Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.

"9 Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name?

"10. Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed?

"11 And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was?

"12 I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment-that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord.

"13 And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God.

"14 For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.

"15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.

"16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.

"17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

"18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.

"19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them-Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths-then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, ashath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

"20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

"21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

"22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

"23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

"24 This is eternal lives-to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

"25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.

"26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.

"27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.

"28 I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was.

"29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.

"30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins-from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph-which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.

"31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.

"32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.

"33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.

"34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.

"35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it.

"36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.

"37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

"38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

"39 David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

"40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.

"41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

"42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.

"43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.

"44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many.

"45 For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.

"46 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.

"47 And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.

"48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.

"49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.

"50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.

"51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.

“52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.

“53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.

“54 And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.

“55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.

“56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I, the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.

“57 And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.

“58 Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto.

“59 Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him.

“60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.

“61 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.

“62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

“63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

“64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

“65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

“66 And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen. "


The Mormon Church’s still-official embrace of polygamy as the eternal law of God has not kept the Mormon Church president from lying about it still.

In a nationally-televised interview with Larry King on 8 September 1998, then-LDS president Gordon B. Hinckley, in blatant contradiction of canonized Mormon scripture on the doctrine of polygamy, falsely asserted to King:

“I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law.”

As Sandra Tanner points out in her examinaton of Mormon belief in polygamy, Hinckley’s lie contains some substantial and serious defects:

“There are two problems with Hinckley's answer.

“First, he failed to explain why [DandC] section 132 is still contained in their scriptures if it does not represent doctrine.

“And second, his statement that they don't practice polygamy today because it is illegal contradicts the fact that it was illegal to practice plural marriage when Joseph Smith introduced the teaching, and was the reason why Utah was denied statehood until 1896. . . . “


Despite its efforts to mislead the public and the press, the “mainstream” Mormon Church continues to permit faithful Mormon men to be polygamously married in heaven-sanctioned, temple-performed, secret ceremonies to other women, in the event of the death of the man’s previous wife or in the case of divorce.

Mormon Apostle Charles W. Penrose explained this practice some 111 years ago--one which is still being officially followed by the Mormon Church today:

“In the case of a man marrying a wife in the everlasting covenant who dies while he continues in the flesh and marries another by the same divine law, each wife will come forth in her order and enter with him into his glory.” (Penrose, "’Mormon’ Doctrine Plain and Simple, or Leaves from the Tree of Life,” p. 66).

Sandra Tanner lists examples of modern-day polygamous marriages that have been present-day sanctioned and performed in Mormonism’s temples:

“This doctrine [of polygamous marriage] was reaffirmed in October of 2007 at the funeral for the second wife of President Howard W. Hunter, the fourteenth President of the LDS Church. The Deseret News reported:

“’President Hinckley affirmed the eternal nature of the marriage between Sister [Inis] Hunter and the former church president, whose first wife, Claire Jeffs, died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease and is now buried beside him in the Salt Lake Cemetery. Inis Hunter "will now be laid to rest on the other side," he said. "They were sealed under the authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood for time and for all eternity," he said, recalling the marriage ceremony he performed for them in the Salt Lake Temple in April 1990.’ ("Sister Hunter's humor and cheerfulness remembered as she is laid to rest," Deseret News, Oct. 22, 2007).

“Another example of plural sealings is Apostle Russell M. Nelson's marriage in 2006 to a BYU professor. The BYU NewsNet for April 7, 2006, announced the temple marriage of Apostle Nelson, age 81, to Wendy Watson. . . . His first wife died in February of 2005 and this was the first marriage for his new wife. This would mean, according to LDS beliefs, that Nelson has two wives sealed to him for eternity.

“Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth president of the LDS Church, remarried twice after the death of his first wife, and in his book, ‘Doctrines of Salvation,’ Vol. 2, p. 67, he remarked, ‘ . . . [M]y wives will be mine in eternity.’

“Harold B. Lee, the eleventh president of the Church, also remarried after his wife’s death and was sealed to another woman and was looking forward to a polygamous relationship in heaven. He, in fact, wrote a poem in which he reflected that his second wife, Joan, would join his first wife, Fern, as his eternal wives:

“’My lovely Joan was sent to me: So Joan joins Fern That three might be, more fitted for eternity. "O Heavenly Father, my thanks to thee.’

“(Deseret News 1974 Church Almanac, p. 17)

According to cagily-talking Mormon apostle Quentin L. Cook, as recently quoted by the LDS Church-owned news station KSL:

"Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called Mormons, do not practice polygamy, and they have not practiced polygamy for over a century."

Yet, by his own admission and practice, fellow Mormon apostle and eternally blessed multi-wifer Dallin H. Oaks expressly contradicts his colleague Cook, claiming exactly the opposite in Oaks' own acknowledgment of what faithful Mormons currently are up to behind the secrecy-veiled walls of their present-day temples:

"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer.

"Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married [in the LDS temple] Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."

(Dallin Oaks, "Timing," speech delivered at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 29 January 2002)

Determining the maze of multiple Mormon matrimony in the hereafter can be messy, to say the least.

According to the official LDS Church Handbook of Instruction (p. 72), the following living, loyal Latter-day Saints can be polygamously and eternally sealed, or married in Mormon temples:

“Living Women – A living woman may be sealed to only one husband. . . .

“Living Men – If a husband and wife have been sealed and the wife dies, the man may have another woman sealed to him if she is not already sealed.”

Despite the confusing doctrinal problem of attempting to determine, in essence, who’s on first, second or third base in Mormonism’s polygamous marriage ballgame, the LDS Church continues to advocate temple sealings to multiple spouses.

For example, Mormon General Authority Robert E. Wells, in a article entitled “United Blended Families,” gave the example of Mormon and former U.S. Senator Jake Garn, following the death of Garn’s first wife:

“Former Utah senator Jake Garn was reluctant to remarry following the death of his first wife, Hazel, in 1976, but he soon realized that he could not be both a father and a mother to his children. When he began dating Kathleen Brewerton, who would become his second wife, questions soon arose about how his first wife would feel should he become sealed to a second wife. The couple took their questions to President Spencer W. Kimball.

“He said he did not know exactly how these relationships will be worked out, but he did know that through faithfulness all will be well and we will have much joy. Brother Garn later recalled. Kathleen told him that she was afraid of offending Hazel. President Kimball's demeanor seemed to change. From being somewhat hesitant in his earlier answers, he now became sure and spoke with firmness. He looked right at Kathleen and with a tear forming in his eye, he said, ‘I do know this: you have nothing to worry about. Not only will she accept you, she will put her arms around you and thank you for raising her children.’ (Jake Garn, "Why I Believe" [1992], p. 13).

“Family members need not worry about the sealing situation of blended families as it might be in the next life. Our concern is to live the gospel now and to love others, especially those in our family. If we live the gospel to the best of our ability, the Lord in His love and mercy will bless us in the next life and all things will be right” (Wells, "Uniting Blended Families," "Ensign," Aug. 1997, p. 24)

Sandra Tanner points out the problems presented by polygamous temple sealings–a practice secretly engaged in by the present-day Mormon Church:

“Temple sealings are all-important to the LDS people and designate who will be joined to whom in the hereafter.

“These blended families raise a number of problems for the LDS concept of the eternal union of the family unit. In the case of children born to a mother in a second marriage, but where the mother was sealed to the first husband, would the children be considered part of the first temple marriage? Wouldn't this leave the second husband, the actual father, out of the picture?

“Assuming the second husband has gone through the temple, but not sealed to this wife, would the children stay with the second husband? Would they then be deprived of their mother, who is sealed to the first husband? The LDS Church has no answer.”


Based on the historical record, both past and present, Sandra Tanner addresses that central issue succinctly:

“ . . . [T]he doctrine and practice of plural marriage has not been abandoned, but only delayed until the afterlife. It seems the LDS Church simply wants to keep it out of the public eye for better public relations and fear of being identified with polygamist splinter groups.”
Paranoid, Phony And Polygamous Prophet Joe Claims His "Child Of Hell" Wife Emma Poisoned His Coffee
Friday, Apr 25, 2008, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-

Joseph Smith’s inventively lustful claim that God commanded him to practice polygamy ended up causing him all kinds of grief (including contributing to his death at Carthage, Illinois, after he had ordered a newspaper press destroyed for having exposed his polygamous affairs).

Before he was actually murdered, however, Jumpy Joe suspected that even his wife was out to kill him over his polygamous philanderings.


In their book, "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith,” LDS authors Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery write of Smith’s polygamy-produced paranoia:

"Although Emma's attempt to accept plural marriage brought temporary peace to the Smith household, neither Emma's resolve nor the peace lasted long. Emily Partridge commented that Joseph 'would walk the floor back and forth, with his hands clasped behind him (a way he had of placing his hands when his mind was deeply troubled), his countenance showing that he was weighed down with some terrible burden.'

"The strain in his private life, coupled with threats from marauders and dissension within the church and community, began to affect Joseph's health. On Sunday, November 5, Joseph became suddenly sick and vomited so hard that he dislocated his jaw and 'raised fresh blood.'

"His self-diagnosis was that he had every symptom of poisoning. But he was well enough in the evening to attend an Endowment Council meeting in the room over the red brick store.

"According to current medical literature, no poison available in 1844 was caustic enough to pool blood in the stomach so rapidly after ingestion as Joseph's symptoms indicate and still be so ineffective as to allow the victim to pursue normal activities within a few hours . . . .

"Twenty-two years later Brigham Young described a 'secret council,' . . . at which he said Joseph accused Emma of the poisoning and 'called upon her to deny it if she could . . . . He told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked than she. He told her where she got the poison, and how she put it in a cup of coffee; said he, 'You got that poison so and so, and I drank it, but you could not kill me.' When it entered his stomach he went to the door and threw it off. He spoke to her in that council in a very severe manner, and she never said one word in reply. I have witnesses all around, who can testify that I am now telling the truth. Twice she undertook to kill him.' [Young] did not elaborate on the alleged second occurrence, but in 1866 Brigham's rhetoric could well have been stronger that Joseph's actual words, for it came at a time when Brigham was particularly hostile toward Emma.

"Evidence suggests that Joseph indeed accused Emma of poisoning his coffee. His diary records that he and Emma did not participate in the Prayer Circle at that meeting . . . . This is particularly significant because members were asked not to join the Prayer Circle if they had feelings of antagonism toward anyone else in the group. Only unusual circumstances would have restrained them. Apparently Joseph believed at the time that Emma poisoned him, but strong evidence suggests that his self-diagnosis was mistaken and, therefore, so was his accusation of Emma.

"Five weeks later Joseph again experienced sudden nausea and vomiting. 'I awoke this morning in good health but was soon suddenly seized with a great dryness of the mouth and throat, and sickness of the stomach, and vomited freely . . . . I was never prostrated so low, in so short a time, before, but by evening was considerably revived.'

"He mentioned being 'somewhat out of health' on January 21, 'somewhat unwell' on April 2, and 'suddenly taken sick,' on April 28 . . . .

"Acute indigestion, food poisoning, ulcers, gallstones, and other diseases cause a reaction similar to Joseph's. Certainly Joseph's life was filled with the emotional tension and conflict that traditionally accompany ulcers. When he had his second attack of vomiting early in December, his diary states: 'My wife waited on me, assisted by my scribe, Willard Richards, and his brother Levi, who administered some hers and mild drinks.' . . . In this instance Joseph portrayed Emma as a helper and nurse instead of the instigator of the attack.

"He apparently failed to correct the conclusions held by Brigham Young and John Taylor, for Emma remained forever suspect in their minds.

"Stories of poisoning drew in another suspect: Samuel Smith's daughter Mary later wrote to her cousin Ina Coolbrith that Eliza R. Snow poisoned Joseph. She said that while Eliza resided in her Uncle Joseph's house Emma fixed Joseph a cup of coffee and Eliza poured something in it, then Joseph drank and vomited. Eliza had not lived in the house for nearly a year.

"Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer, a plural married to Joseph by Brigham Young in July, wrote an autobiography in 1868 and related a bizarre dream that may have been prompted by rumors of Emma poisoning Joseph. She stated: 'In the rise of polygamy [Emma] Smith was going to poison me. I told [the dream] to brother Joseph. He told me it was true. She would do it if she could.'

"The talk of poisoning may have prompted Emily Partridge to say of this period: 'There were times, one in particular that I was really afraid of my life.' . . . She was far more likely to fear retribution from Emma than Emma was to administer it. But circulation of poisoning stories gave rise to apprehension and suspicion directed toward Emma." (pp. 163-65)


A suspicious Brigham Young with his own paranoia over Emma claimed in an 1863 sermon that she tried to kick Young and his pals out of the Church, as well as attempted to murder her righteously roaming-eye husband Joseph:

"In Joseph's da[y] she [Emma] tried to throw me, Br. Heber, Br. Willard Richards and the Twelve Apostles out of the Church, and tried to destroy the whole church and I know it.

"Joseph himself testified before high Heaven more than once that she had administered poison to him. There are men and women present today who can bear witness that more hell was never wrapped up in any human being than there is in her. She gave him too heavy a dose and he vomited it up and was saved by faith." ("BYA," vol. 4 Gen. Conf. 7 Oct. 1863)


In his journal, Charles Lowell Walker wrote:

"Br Snow . . . also related that when Emma, Joseph's first wife, heard of the Revelation [on polygamy] she sought the life of Joseph and tired to poison him, but he was delivered by the Power of God. ("Diary of Charles Lowell Walker,” vol. 1, p. 438, 17 December 1876)


"The simple fact is that Mormon historians have already shown the Emma Smith/Joseph Smith/Polygamy story to be very different than the LDS would like to have it. I mean, come on, you have to ask yourself why Brigham Young once (in public!) claimed Emma Smith tried to poison Joseph, but now Mormons only talk about what a great marriage the Smiths had.

"Read 'Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith' or 'In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith' or 'Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling' - three books written by Mormons." ("Interview with Sandra Tanner on the Life of Emma Smith--Wife of Mormon Founder”)


Indeed, wouldn’t you be a bit of an insomniac too if you were convinced that your wife was conspiring to fatally spike your Kool Aid?
Fool's Gold: "Ancient Writings Support LDS Doctrine And Teachings"
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008, at 07:14 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
So claims an apologist for Mormonism:

Have no fear, brothers and sisters. Despite apostate detractors, here is the startling proof, from the "Encyclopedia of Mormonism," no less, that ancient writings do indeed support LDS doctcrine and teachings!:

"'The Anthon Transcript was a sheet of paper, thought to be lost, upon which Joseph Smith copied sample "reformed Egyptian" characters from the plates of the Book of Mormon. In the winter of 1828, Martin Harris showed these characters to Dr. Charles Anthon of Columbia College (now Columbia University), and hence the name.'"

Take a look-see:

Gold-plated proof, you say?


"According to archeologists, the only written language developed by the American Indians was the Mayan script, which bears absolutely no similarity to the Anthon script."

Below is a preserved example of Mayan writing:

As Professor Michael D. Coe of Yale University has noted:
"Of all the peoples of the pre-Columbian New World, only the ancient Maya had a complete script: they could write down anything they wanted to, in their own language." (Coe, "Breaking the Maya Code" [Thames and Hudson, 1992], preface)

"No sample of the Anthon type of writing has ever been found in the Americas."

But, wait! Faith, brothers and sisters! Faith!

The Mormon Church has itself declared that the Anthon Transcript is real!:
"The Mormon Church published color photographs of the Anthon transcript and an article containing 'compelling reasons for accepting it as genuine' in the July 1980 issue of 'The Ensign.' The Mormon leaders were completely sold on the document. According to the testimony of Donald Schmidt . . ., [forgerer Mark] Hofmann was eventually given 'roughly $20,000' worth of items from the Church Archives in exchange for the old Bible and the [phony Anthon] sheet of paper found within its pages.

"In 1980 Mormon scholars were rejoicing that . . . Hofmann had made such an outstanding discovery. Richard L. Anderson, of Brigham Young University, was quoted by the Provo Herald, May 1, 1980, as saying the following:

"'Joseph Smith's story is really vindicated by the finding of the document because he mentioned that he sent Harris to the East to show the characters on the gold plates to "the learned."

"'We have Anthon's story in letters explaining exactly what Harris showed to him. What Anthon describes is quite remarkably like what is on the new transcript.'"

"Dr. Anderson also commented: 'This new discovery is sort of a Dead Sea School [sic] Equivalent of the Book of Mormon . . . The noted Mormon scholar Hugh Nibley was quoted as saying: 'This offers as good a test as we'll ever get as to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon . . . .

"In the same paper, Dr. Hugh Nibley triumphantly announced: 'Of course it's translatable.' According to 'The [Provo] Herald,' 'Nibley also said he counted at least two dozen out of 47 characters in the Demotic alphabet that could be given phonetic value.

"'This offers as good a test as we'll ever get. Nobody could have faked those characters. It would take 10 minutes to see that this is fake.'" . . .

"As time passed it became evident that neither Dr. Nibley nor any other scholar was able to produce an acceptable translation of Hofmann's transcript. The President of the Mormon Church is supposed to be a 'Prophet, Seer, and Revelator,' and according to the Book of Mormon a 'seer' can 'translate all records that are of ancient date' (Mosiah 8:13). Instead of using the 'seer stone' to translate the characters, President Spencer W. Kimball examined them with a magnifying glass (see photograph in Deseret News, Church Section, May 3, 1980). He was apparently unable to throw any light on the subject."
From The Personal Library Of Ezra Taft Benson: Jesus Was Not Only Married, He Was A Polygamist
Tuesday, May 13, 2008, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
According to a book in my grandfather Ezra Taft Benson's personal library (and which he later gave to me), Jesus was not only married but was a plural wifer.

The book was written by the late, excommunicated Mormon author Ogden Kraut and entitled "Jesus Was Married." Kraut was booted from the Mormon Church in 1972 for “teaching and promoting the living of plural marriage in our day.”

In this book, Kraut argued that not only was Jesus married but that--according to early, original Mormon doctrine and, specifically, according to the teachings of Mormon founder Joseph Smith--Jesus was a polygamist.

Since the Kraut website requests that Kraut's material not be text-posted on any other website, below is provided the link to the full contents of his book, as they appear on the Kraut website itself. Check Chapter Six, entitled "An Everlasting Covenant of Marriage":

Investigation into statements by nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mormon leaders clearly points to the conclusion that Mormon doctrine and teaching has historically supported the original LDS notion that Jesus was not only married, but a polygamist.

As one researcher has noted:

". . . LDS leaders have gone on record saying Jesus was not only married, but that he was a polygamist as well!

"On October 6, 1854, Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde stated:

"'How was it with Mary and Martha, and other women that followed him [Jesus]? In old times, and it is common in this day, the women, even as Sarah, called their husbands Lord; the word Lord is tantamount to husband in some languages, master, lord, husband, are about synonymous . . . When Mary of old came to the sepulchre on the first day of the week, instead of finding Jesus she saw two angels in white, 'And they say unto her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" She said unto them, "Because they have taken away my Lord," or husband, "and I know not where they have laid him." And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, "Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?" She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus saith unto her, "Mary." She turned herself, and saith unto him, "Rabboni;" which is to say, Master.' Is there not here manifested the affections of a wife. These words speak the kindred ties and sympathies that are common to that relation of husband and wife" ("Journal of Discourses" 2:81).

"In that same talk he [Hyde] went on to say:

"'Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified' ("Journal of Discourses" 2:82). . . .

"It appears that Hyde's teaching was readily accepted by the LDS leadership. We find no record of Hyde being admonished for teaching such a notion. In fact, we find that he made a similar comment six months later. On March 18, 1855 Hyde said:

"'I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children' ("Journal of Discourses" 2:210).

"Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt agreed with his contemporary when he wrote:

"'One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that greatly loved Jesus -- such as Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene; and Jesus greatly loved them, and associated with them much; and when He arose from the dead, instead of showing Himself to His chosen witnesses, the Apostles, He appeared first to these women, or at least to one of them -- namely, Mary Magdalene. Now it would be natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were His wives.' (The Seer, p.159).

"On page 172 of the same book, Pratt wrote:

"'We have now clearly shown that God, the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born . . . We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings' daughters and many honorable Wives to be married.'

"On July 22, 1883, Wilford Woodruff recorded the words of Joseph F. Smith in his journal. At the time Woodruff was an LDS apostle while Smith was a member of the First Presidency serving as second counselor to President John Taylor.

"Woodruff wrote:

"'Evening Meeting. Prayer By E Stephenson. Joseph F Smith spoke One hour and 25 M. He spoke upon the Marriage in Cana at Galilee. He thought Jesus was the Bridgegroom and Mary and Martha the brides. He also refered to Luke 10 ch. 38 to 42 verse, Also John 11 ch. 2 and 5 vers John 12 Ch 3d vers, John 20 8 to 18. Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary and Martha manifested much Closer relationship than Merely A Believer which looks Consistet. He did not think that Jesus who decended throug Poligamous families from Abraham down and who fulfilled all the Law even baptism by immersion would have lived and died without being married.' (Wilford Woodruff's Journal 8:187, July 22, 1883, spelling left intact).

" . . . [T]here is no evidence to indicate that Woodruff disagreed with Smith's comments. Woodruff and Smith later became Mormonism's fourth and sixth presidents.

"Was this just a nineteenth century Mormon notion? Not entirely. In a letter dated March 17, 1963, Joseph Fielding Smith was asked if the phrase 'he shall see his seed' mentioned in Isaiah 53:10 meant that Christ had children. In the letter it also mentioned that 'only through temple marriage can we receive the highest degree of exaltation and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father' and since Christ came to set an example, is it correct to assume that Jesus was married? When Smith responded to this letter, he held the position of an LDS apostle. He would later become Mormonism's 10th president after the death of David O. McKay in January of 1970.

"Rather than retype the inquirer's questions, Smith handwrote his reply at the bottom of the letter. To the first question he gave a reference from the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 15:10-12, admonishing the inquirer to "Please Read Your Book of Mormon!" The contexts of these passages do not say that Jesus had children. Instead it implies that Jesus' seed are those whose sins Jesus has borne. However, Joseph Fielding Smith answered the second question (Was Jesus married?) by writing, 'Yes! But do not preach it! The Lord advised us not to cast pearls before swine!' Underneath his reply bore the signature of Joseph Fielding Smith."
Mormonism 101-The LDS Church Has Never Been Concerned With The Physical Safety Of Its Temple
Thursday, Aug 27, 2009, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6   -Link To MC Article-
In justifying the indefinite closing of its Nigerian temple, LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter deceptively declared, "The safety of our temple visitors and workers is always our first concern."

Safety of temple patrons has "always the Mormon Church's first concern"?

Oh, really, now. The actual temple evidence, please:

"Death Oaths Made by All Mormon Temple Patrons Prior to the 1930's:

"ADAM : 'We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots.'

"ADAM: 'All bow your heads and say Yes.'

"TEMPLE PATRONS: 'Yes.' (All patrons sit down).

"PETER: 'The brethren and sisters will now stand, push back the seats, place the robe on the left shoulder, and receive the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood. We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.'

'All bow your heads and say yes.'

"TEMPLE PATRONS: 'Yes.' (All patrons sit down).

"PETER: 'We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our bodies be cut asunder in the midst and all our bowels gush out.'

'All bow your heads and say yes.'

"TEMPLE PATRONS: 'Yes.' (All patrons sit down).

"Death Oaths Made by All Mormon Temple Patrons from the 1930's until April 1990:

"Mormon Temple Death Oath #1:

"ELOHIM: 'All arise.' (All patrons stand).

"ELOHIM: 'Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, by bringing your right arm to the square, the palm of the hand to the front, the fingers together, and the thumb extended. This is the sign. Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the execution of the penalty.'

'I ________, think of the new name, covenant before God, angels and these witnesses that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.' (Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them).

'That will do.' (Patrons sit down).

"Mormon Death Oath #2:

"PETER: 'The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign. (The officiator demonstrates). The Execution of the Penalty is represented by placing the right hand on the left breast, drawing the hand quickly across the body, and dropping the hands to the sides. I will now explain the covenant and obligation of secrecy which are associated with this token, its name, and sign, and penalty, and which you will be required to take upon yourselves.'

"PETER: 'All arise.' (All Patrons stand). 'Each of you make the sign of the Second Token of the Aaronic priesthood by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign.'

'Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Executing of the Penalty.'

'I, _________, think of the first given name, solemnly covenant, before God, angels, and these witnesses that I will never reveal the second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.' (Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them).

'That will do.' (All patrons sit down).

"Mormon Temple Death Oath #3:

"PETER: 'All arise.' (All patrons stand). 'Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail by brining the left hand in front of you with the hand in cupping shape, the left arm forming a square; also by bringing the right hand is also brought forward, the palm down, the fingers close together, the thumb extended, and by placing the thumb over the left hip. This is the sign.'

'Now repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Execution of the Penalty':

'I solemnly covenant in the name of the Son that I will never reveal the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, with its accompanying name,and sign and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.' (Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them).

'That will do.' (All patrons sit down).

"Even today, Mormon Temple patrons make the oaths of secrecy above, although without the gruesome penalties.

"Also, all Mormon Temple Patrons today still make an oath to sacrifice their lives and all they posses for the church:

"TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand). 'And as Jesus Christ has laid down his life for the redemption of mankind, so we should covenant to sacrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God.'

'All arise. Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you solemnly covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this alter that you will observe and keep the Law of Sacrifice, as contained in the Old and New Testament, as it has been explained to you. Each of you bow your head and say "yes."'


"ELOHIM: 'That will do.' (All patrons sit down).

"TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand). 'Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in this,' (The Officiator holds up a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants again), 'the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.'

"Each of you bow your head and say 'yes.'


"PETER: 'That will do.' (All patrons sit down).

"So why does God need death oaths in the temple covenants?

"If these death oaths were necesessary for exhaltation, then why were they removed from the covenants?

"Is it any wonder that faithful Mormons will give up everything, including their own family members and integrity to the cause of the church?

"It's likely that death oaths were originally introduced into the endowment ceremony in order to conceal the secret practice of polygamy in Nauvoo. For details, see: "

"Death Oaths: Until 1990, the endowment ritual included oaths of secrecy in which the initiates mimicked the taking of their own lives (by slitting the throat and by disembowelment) if they ever revealed the secret handshakes and passwords."

"Sign and Penalties

"Before April of 1990, patrons made certain oaths along with signs showing the 'penalty' for divulging the aforementioned tokens. For instance, after the patron was given the 'First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood,' he was instructed to place his right 'thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand down, and by drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the hand to the side.' A promise was then made that the person would suffer his 'life to be taken' rather than reveal the token. In the earlier days, members had to be more specific with their oaths. They had to promise that, if the secret was ever revealed, their throats would be 'cut from ear to ear' and their 'tongues torn out by their roots' ('Temple Mormonism,' pg.18).

"Members were also compelled to make another oath accompanied by a sign representing the penalty for divulging the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood. By promising that they would rather die than divulge the secret, they would draw their right hands (in cupping shape) across their chests. Again, this oath has been toned down. Earlier Mormons agreed to 'have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field' ('Temple Mormonism,' pg.20).

"A third oath was given when the patron received the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood. This penalty was represented by drawing the right thumb (palm downward) quickly across the stomach area. Earlier oaths made members promise that their 'bodies be cut asunder in the midst of all and the bowels gush out' should they divulge the secret given them ('Temple Mormonism,' pg. 20). The penalties were completely removed in 1990 although patrons still vow not to discuss the ceremony.

"By making these various promises or oaths, the Mormon is actually violating his own scripture found in the Book of Mormon. Throughout the Book of Mormon, secret oaths are considered to be an abomination (Alma 37:27, Helaman 6:22-26, 4 Nephi 42, Ether 8:15-16, 3 Nephi 12:34-36)."

Photographs of secret Mormon temple death oaths and death penalties imposed on faithful Mormon temple goers, for your viewing pleasure:

In justifying the indefinite closing of its Nigerian temple, LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter declared, "The safety of our temple visitors and workers is always our first concern."


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5,709 Articles In 365 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (365 Topics)

  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 3 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 4 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 5 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 6 (19)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 1 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 2 (21)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 4 (22)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 5 (37)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (100)
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  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
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  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DNA (23)
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  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
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  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITES (36)
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  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
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  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (13)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · VAN HALE (16)
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