Sunday, September 24, 2017

How Jesus Christ Was Ousted As Head Of The Church of Jesus Christ

Previously: The Leadership Hustle

In place of another blog post of my own in this space, today I'm presenting a link to a fascinating audio recording from Radio Free Mormon that explains the hostile takeover of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that occurred following the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you will recall I've touched on these issues quite a bit the past year,* but this presentation lays it out better than I could have, describing exactly how and why the church was corrupted from within by men who had been trusted by the members to be its guardians.
____________________________________
*See for example "Did The Lord Choose Not to Anoint The Lord's Anointed?" and "Evil Speaking of the Lord's Anointed."

Now I should make it clear that I am not the author of these two podcasts. The author is a fellow believer who goes by the online moniker "Radio Free Mormon," which is also the name of his podcast. He has graciously permitted me to link to those remarkable podcasts here, and also to provide transcripts of those podcasts on this forum.

Part One (Radio Free Mormon episode 014) shows how Jesus Christ revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith an orderly manner by which the church was to be governed, and how Brigham Young circumvented those instructions in order to illegally place himself in a position of power over the church.

Part Two (episode 015) goes into greater detail regarding the mechanics of Brigham's power grab, revealing the open perfidy engaged in by Brigham and certain members of the Twelve to cover up their duplicity. This betrayal took place over 170 ago, but it's important that we have a clear understanding of what happened then, because today the Church continues to operate contrary to God's law. Thus it is no longer operating under His direction. The evidence of his absence is all around us, from the palpable lack of spirit in our Sunday meetings, to the looting of church coffers by our leaders to fund their pet investments in Babylon.

We now know that the official history of the Church was doctored all those years ago in order to cover up the betrayal by Church leadership. But that false history continues to be quoted in church manuals and publications today to bolster the belief that the men sitting in the comfy red chairs in the conference center are the lawful successors of Joseph Smith.  The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through Joseph Smith is true and valid. But "The Church" has some serious problems, beginning with the authority claims of its leaders.

Here are links to both those podcasts:

Apostolic Coup D'etat, Part One

Apostolic Coup D'etat, Part Two

Now Read The Transcript
I hope you will listen to these podcasts, because they are very well presented, and fascinating to hear. Below is also the written transcript from Part One, which I'm making available so that readers who are interested can more easily access cites and resources.

Within a couple of weeks I hope to finish transcribing Part Two, so please keep checking back for that. I'll post it on a separate blog post, and again include a link to Part Two of the podcast on that post.

Please know that I consider these two presentations to be among the most important things I've ever posted on this blog, so I hope you will not only listen and read them yourselves, but that you will share links to these podcasts with your friends and family. We must be made aware of the errors of our false traditions if we are to repent as a people and have the Lord remove the condemnation that has rested on the church since 1832.

And now, here is the transcript to Part One:

Apostolic Coup d’état
How The Twelve Apostles, In a Breathtaking Power Grab, Assumed Absolute and Complete Control of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
                                                                                    -By Radio Free Mormon

Today’s situation in the LDS church is known to all Mormons. The power structure is: at the top we have a First Presidency; the president of the church and his two counselors. Beneath them is the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. Beneath them is the Quorum of the Seventy and other Quorums of the Seventy, and then there’s some mid-level management with area authorities and area seventies. And then we get down to the local level, with stake presidents and bishops.

But something is odd in this situation. And the thing that's odd is that even though we have a Quorum of Twelve Apostles, yet we don't just have twelve apostles; we have fifteen apostles. Because the members of the First Presidency are also apostles.

Although most members of the church are aware of this fact, it's not very often commented on. But the fact we have 15 apostles at the head of the church is a strange element in church administration that points to the power grab the apostles have conducted for authority over the entire church that began in 1844. Over the next 150 years the apostles took over or got rid of any competing power structures, to emerge today as the sole authorities in the LDS Church. Any other authorities are under their administration and must do as they direct.

This podcast will give a brief overview of the different power grabs the apostles did in order to arrive at their position today of absolute supremacy. We will look at the way the Quorum of Twelve took over the First Presidency; the way the Quorum of Twelve took over the First Quorum of Seventy.

Yes, the Quorum of the Twelve wasn't always over the Quorum of the Seventy. We'll look at the way the Quorum of the Twelve did away with the church Patriarch, which in Joseph Smith's day was the highest office in the church, even higher than that of church president. And we’ll also look at the way the twelve apostles took over all the stakes of the church. Because believe it or not, in the original church that Joseph Smith organized pursuant to the revelations Joseph Smith received, the Quorum of Twelve Apostles had no authority over stake presidents. In fact, they had­ no authority in any of the stakes of Zion. They were purely a missionary force that had power only where stakes were not organized. In other words, they have power in the mission field only.

The Quorum of Twelve Apostles apostles was not organized until 1835, five years after the church itself was organized in 1830. The First Presidency itself had been organized several years before that. So obviously the First Presidency was not composed of apostles. The apostles themselves were not chosen by the First Presidency. If you remember your history the apostles were chosen by the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. So going with the basic premise that a lesser power cannot select and ordain a greater power, it would appear that in 1835 the three witnesses who chose and ordained the first twelve apostles were considered to be greater in authority than the apostles.

One year later, in January of 1836, in the almost completed Kirtland temple prior to the temple dedication, which would happen several months later, all the different church offices and quorums were anointed on January 21st of that year 1836, in the Kirtland temple. Guess where the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was in this list of eight?

If you guessed number one, you’re wrong. If you guess two you’re wrong. If you guess three, four, or five, you're wrong, wrong, and wrong. The Quorum of twelve apostles was sixth in the list of quorums and officers anointed January 1836 in the Kirtland Temple. We will return to that list of eight later in this podcast.

Succession (Manufactured) Crisis
When Joseph Smith died unexpectedly in June of 1844, there was immediately a succession crisis. Who would now lead the church? The problem when Joseph Smith died was not that he had left no successor to the church. The problem was that he had left an over-abundance of successors to leadership in the church.

In other words, there were multiple people, in multiple quorums, who could, based upon the revelations and statements of Joseph Smith, claim leadership of the church. And this is what led to the succession crisis.

The first person we're going to talk about who had a good claim to taking over leadership of the church was Sidney Rigdon. Sidney Rigdon was the only remaining counselor in the First Presidency. Joseph Smith, being the president, had just died, and the other counselor, William Law, had been excommunicated by Joseph Smith only a couple of months before Joseph Smith died. So only Sidney Rigdon remained.

But, some might ask, isn't it a fact that when the president dies, the two counselors thereafter lose any ability to have any power or control in the church?

No, that's not a fact, at least it wasn't the fact back in Joseph Smith's day. In 1834, Joseph Smith himself established that his first counselor would preside in his absence. That can be found in History of the Church, Volume 2, page 51, that the first counselor would preside in his absence. Sidney Rigdon was the first counselor, and you can't get much more absent than Joseph Smith was after he was assassinated. Therefore there was a basis for Sidney Rigdon to preside in the absence of Joseph Smith. His claim to being the leader of the church was much stronger than you might know if you only attended Sunday School.

Nowhere did Joseph Smith ever foreclose the idea that a counselor in the First Presidency could succeed him upon his death. In contradiction to this idea some might point to another entry in the History of the Church.

Now the History of the Church is a six volume work, published after Joseph Smith’s death and afterHistory of the Church had to get the approval of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. And it appears that not only did it get their approval, in many instances it was changed. Words were added, words were omitted, in order to make it justify the leadership claims of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. So going back to the History of the Church, there is such a denial in the officially published History of the Church. These are in the published minutes of an 1836 meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.
the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had assumed leadership of the church. Anything that was published in

In the History of the Church, it reads "also the Twelve are not subject to any other than the First Presidency, ie. Myself” said the prophet -that would be Joseph Smith- i.e. “myself,” said Joseph Smith, “Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who are now my counselors; and where I am not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve.” (History of the Church Vol 2, pg 374)

If Joseph Smith had actually said this, the statement would have removed the possibility that a senior counselor, ie. Sidney Rigdon, could have succeeded him at his death.

But wait a second. There is Tom Foolery going on.The last part of this quote is not in the original minutes of Joseph Smith’s statement! In other words, the actual minutes from the 1836 meeting state (these are the words of Joseph Smith): “also the Twelve are not subject to any other than the First Presidency viz. myself S. Rigdon and F. G. Williams.” Period. (See minutes, 16 January 1836, The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals Volume 1, pg 158; Also available on the Joseph Smith Papers site is a photographic facsimile of the original journal, pg 123.)

The words after that, that are now in the official history of the church, ”who are now my counselors; and where I am not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve” were added later to the official version. They are not in the original minutes. They were added later, and presumably they were added in order to take away any claim that Sidney Rigdon might've still had in the hearts of Latter Day Saints, after he lost the election for who it should be who would lead the church in 1844 after Joseph Smith died.

Aside from his altered document, there is no record that Joseph Smith ever nullified the right of presidential succession by the senior counselor in the First Presidency. This can be found in D. Michael Quinn’s, Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, page 161. (See also Quinn, The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844, BYU Studies Vol 16:2, pg 188)

Additionally, the History of the Church, Volume 6, pages 592 to 93 quotes Joseph Smith on the eve of his assassination in Carthage Jail as expressing gratitude that Sidney Rigdon would not lead the church. Here's a quote from the history: “During the day Hyrum encouraged Joseph to think that the Lord for his church's sake would release him from prison. Joseph replied could my brother Hyrum but be liberated it would not matter so much about me. Poor Rigdon, I am glad he is gone to Pittsburgh out of the way. Were he to preside he would lead the church to destruction in less than five years.”

This is another statement put into the mouth of Joseph Smith right before he dies which is designed to delegitimize Sidney Rigdon's claim to leadership in the church. There are no original minutes of this meeting; this is simply a conversation that is alleged to have occurred in Carthage Jail. There are no minutes of a meeting to compare with what is in the History of the Church, as there are for the prior altered document. But D. Michael Quinn states this is certainly a retrospective addition.

So what we have are documents being altered in order to delegitimize Sidney Rigdon, who is the person who may have had the strongest claim to preside over the church. We will see this pattern again and again and again with the History of the Church, which is printed and published under the authority of the twelve apostles. Adding statements, taking statements away, altering statements, in order to delegitimize others with leadership claims and buttress their own leadership claims. This reminds me of the quote from Ben Franklin “History is written by the winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.”

The Reorganized Church (Of Brigham Young)
Because we are talking about the First Presidency right now, we're going to continue this thread of thought up to the present day and go to the reestablishing and the reorganizing of the First Presidency which occurred in December of 1847. Bear in mind that Brigham Young was not elected to be president of the church; rather he put forth the idea that in the absence of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles should now lead the church as a quorum.

But three and half years later, Brigham Young got it into his head that he wanted to reorganize the First Presidency, with himself as the new president of the church. As you will recall, in 1847 Brigham Young led the vanguard expedition of the saints to the Salt Lake Valley, and then at the end of the summer, he came back to join the saints once again in Winter Quarters. Once he was there in October he began to bring up this idea to the other apostles.

Wilford Woodruff, himself an apostle, recorded his uneasiness about Brigham Young’s suggestion. He wrote "I thought it would require a revelation to change the order of that Quorum.” (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, entry for October Twelve, 1847.)

Now today we're so used to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles choosing the First Presidency after the president dies, this may seem an unusual idea to us. This was a completely new idea that Brigham Young was proposing. There is nothing in the revelations that gives the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles authority to create a First Presidency. This is why Wilford Woodruff thought it would require a revelation to change the order of the Quorum of the Twelve. Brigham Young wanted the Twelve to appoint an apostle, i.e. himself, to be an independent president of the church with two counselors. But there was no authorization in Joseph Smith's teachings or revelations for this administrative act.

In Wilford Woodruff’s view, the Twelve had no authority to organize a separate First Presidency without a new revelation, presumably written and canonized. Other apostles shared Wilford Woodruff’s misgivings. So, in other words, Brigham Young is getting a lot of push-back from the apostles. Wilford Woodruff recorded on 15 November 1847 “I return to Winters Quarters with Brother Potter and met in council with the Twelve. Orson Pratt introduced the subject of the standing and rights of the president and also the Quorum. Orson Pratt was followed by George Albert Smith, Wilford Woodruff and Amasa Lyman.” (ibid.)

It is apparent that here or elsewhere Orson Pratt was challenging Brigham Young's and the Twelve’s ability to reconstitute the First Presidency because Young later said that Orson Pratt led the opposition to his reconstituting the First Presidency. A man named T.B.H. Stenhouse, who was a former confidante and associate of Brigham Young, and others of the hierarchy accurately identified Wilford Woodruff and Orson Pratt as opposing the organization of the First Presidency. (Stenhouse, The Rocky Mountain Saints, pg 263)

Also in opposition were apostles John Taylor and Parley P. Pratt, who were not present for the consultations. Minutes of Quorum meetings show that George A. Smith was the 5th dissenting apostle.

So here comes Brigham Young back to Winter Quarters with this great idea about reconstituting the First Presidency, and he's getting major league push-back from five members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. You will note that Brigham Young first brought up this idea in October 1847, and had to keep bringing it up and bringing it up in repeated meetings of the Quorum of the Twelve until December, when finally he was apparently able to wear resistance down to the point that he got the apostles to agree with this plan in spite of the fact that there apparently was no revelation ever given, as Wilford Woodruff thought there should be.

On November 30th, 1847, at another of these meetings, Orson Pratt focused on how much autonomy Brigham Young would have in a First Presidency. Now, this is interesting when you consider Orson Pratt’s position. Orson Pratt is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. They have the leadership over the church and what Orson Pratt is saying is how is it that we can have a Quorum of Twelve, and in order for us to make a decision we have to have a majority? Which means seven members have to vote one way in order for us to have a majority and make a decision.

But out of this Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, we're going to pick three apostles who are going to now become a “Super Quorum.” And these three apostles can have authority over us and can overturn any decision that we make. That didn't make sense to Orson Pratt and when you think about it, he had a good point. Could the presidency of three apostles set aside the will of the rest of the apostles?

This is not the first time Orson Pratt butted heads with Brigham Young. Ultimately, in this case, he
would lose in the sense that Brigham Young would have his way and reorganize the First Presidency on December 5 1847. However, as the years went by, Orson Pratt would repeatedly butt heads with Brigham Young over issues of doctrine; over issues of Adam-God; over issues of whether God is a progressing being; and ultimately it was Orson Pratt’s position that became adopted by the church.

But Orson Pratt had to pay a price for this and the basic price he had to pay was that he never became president of the church. Orson Pratt was in line to become president of the church; he was the next apostle in line after Brigham Young when Brigham Young died in 1877.

You will recall that when the apostles were originally organized in 1835 they were organized according to their age. Brigham Young was a few months older than Orson Pratt and therefore he became the president. But in 1875, two years before Brigham Young died, Brigham Young reorganized the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in order to avoid having Orson Pratt become the next president. And instead of making seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by age, he changed it and added the condition that it was determined on the basis of the length of time of continuous service in the Quorum of the Twelve.

This made it so Orson Pratt was no longer next in line. Because in 1842 Orson Pratt has left the church for a short period of time mainly because when he got back from England his wife Sarah told him that while he'd been gone Joseph Smith was hitting on her. He didn’t take this too well. He ended up leaving the church briefly, was reconciled to Joseph Smith before Joseph Smith's death. But this period of time removed his continuous period of service, pushed him back, and John Taylor then became the next in line to become president of the church. And indeed John Taylor became president of the church when Brigham Young died. Orson Pratt would continue to live for several years beyond that, but only as an apostle and never became president of the church. That was the price Orson Pratt had to pay for butting heads with Brigham Young.

Wonder Of Wonders, Miracle Of Miracles!
At this December 5, 1847 meeting in Winter Quarters, there is no contemporaneous record of any miracle happening. However, years later, Orson Hyde and Brigham Young began talking about a "miracle" that had happened, that there was a divine manifestation. In April conference 1860 (so this is 13 years later), Brigham Young claimed at Orson Hyde's “the power came upon us, a shock that alarmed the neighborhood.” This is where the story comes from that there was an earthquake that signaled the divine approval of the decision that the apostles made in order to reconstitute the First Presidency.

Six months later Orson Hyde expanded on what Brigham Young had said. This is October 1860 General Conference; he affirmed that the apostles organized the First Presidency because the voice of God declared "let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding priesthood in my church and kingdom.”

So in 1860, now Orson Hyde says the voice of God was heard by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the voice of God said “let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding priesthood in my church and kingdom,” and associated with this was an earthquake. By contrast, Wilford Woodruff later said he did not remember any particular manifestations at the time of the organization of the presidency. His diary mentions nothing unusual about the December 5 1847 meeting, and the minutes of the meeting mentioned nothing extraordinary. This appears to be a miracle that was seen to be needed to confirm that God approved of this step that was taken to reorganize the First Presidency. And this miracle was created later and was then inserted back into the narrative.

This is how the story gets told today. This is from an August Ensign magazine from 2002. The article is titled “Pushing on to Zion.” This part of the article is titled Reestablishing a First Presidency, December 1847. Here is how the Church portrays what happened, today:
Earlier, on 5th December, nine of the Twelve had met at Elder Hyde’s home. [Now remember, this is in Winter Quarters.] Elder Hyde later reported, [the article does not say how much later but we know it was from October 1860 and was in fact thirteen years later] Elder Hyde reported the voice of God came from on high and spake to the council saying  "let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding priesthood in my church and kingdom." He affirmed it was the voice of the Almighty unto us. I am one who was present and did hear and feel the voice from heaven and we were filled with the power of God.
It was moved and approved that president Brigham Young be sustained as president of the church. They approved his choice of counselors, Elders Heber C Kimball and Willard Richards. Outside, people came to the Hyde’s door and knocked, worried because they felt houses shake and the ground tremble and thought there had been an earthquake. It was the Lord speaking to his leaders, Elder Hyde assured them.
Let me read that part again. “Outside, people came to the Hyde’s door and knocked, worried because they feel houses shake and the ground tremble and thought there had been an earthquake.”

Why did they go to Orson Hyde's door? That seems like a very, very specific epicenter for an earthquake. But apparently, according to the story, everybody feels the earthquake and everybody knows it's coming from Elder Hyde’s house. But Elder Hyde assured them that was the Lord speaking to his leaders and apparently that satisfied their question. I’m not going to read this whole article but I have to go on to the next line because it is very interesting in what it admits.

At the December 1847 conference (now this is a conference of the church, this is after the apostles have been persuaded by Brigham Young to support him in his idea about reconstituting the First Presidency. Now it is put before the general conference in Winter Quarters). Going on with the article:
At the December 1847 conference, without saying anything about the revelation, the Twelve put before the people the proposal that the First Presidency be reestablished, consisting of Elders Young, Kimball and Richards.
That is fascinating to me that even in this article in the Ensign from August 2002 it admits that at the general conference, the Twelve put before the people the proposal that the First Presidency be reorganized, but they don't say anything about the revelation. What revelation? The revelation that 13 years later Elder Hyde said they received when the voice of God was heard.

Think about this. You are the Quorum of the Twelve apostles, you received a revelation from God. You heard his voice commanding that Brigham Young become the president of the church and the First Presidency be reorganized. And yet later the same month when you present this proposal to the general conference of the church, you don't say anything about the revelation. This also suggests that the revelation that Elder Hyde says was received was not received at the time, otherwise he would've mentioned it to the church. Instead, it's a later creation that Elder Hyde comes up with thirteen years later, and first mentions it in October 1860, and then said oh, this happened.

Because they needed a miracle.

This is a very, very, significant change in church administration, and as such it requires a miracle. And it appears that in retrospect they also thought that maybe a revelation would be a good idea and so they produced a revelation retroactively saying that the voice of God came from on high and said let Brigham Young be the president of the church. Again at the time, and according to Wilford Woodruff, no revelation was received as was thought proper by him. Only a general feeling that this was the right thing to do.

Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley in 2005 gave a talk titled “The Quorum of the First Presidency” in which he talked about the government of the church and the leadership structure. This is in the December 2005 issue of the Ensign.

He starts off by saying the place of the President of the church and that of the Quorum of the First Presidency, in having responsibility for the entire church in all the world, “is clearly set forth in these revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.”

Now the problem is that they are not clearly set forth in the revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. In fact, the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants actually say something quite different.

But going on with President Hinckley:
“At the same time, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is spoken of as being equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned. (D&C 107: 24.) The Seventy likewise form a quorum equal in authority to that of the twelve special witnesses or apostles just named.”
Now, Gordon B. Hinckley is right when he says that section 107 states the different Quorums are equal in power and authority. But he is about to controvert that statement from the scriptures, by a quote from Joseph F. Smith which says yes, D&C 107 says they are equal in power and authority but they really aren’t.

In other words, the Quorum of the Twelve is only equal with the First Presidency when the First Presidency ceases to exist. Which is not really equality at all. If we read the actual revelation itself we can see that Joseph Smith had something very different in mind than a simple top-down hierarchy as we have today. What Joseph Smith is doing here in section 107 is creating different quorums in the church, all of whom are equal in authority and power to each other.

In fact, if we go further into section 107, we'll find that the idea was that if one of the quorums started making decisions or coming up with ideas that were completely out of harmony with the will of the Lord, then all the other quorums would sit in judgment upon them. They would be brought before a Common Council of the church and therefore any erring quorum could be brought back in line by the other councils. This was seen by Joseph Smith as a way to have a balance of power. What Joseph Smith sets forth in section 107 is not a hierarchy; it is more a balance of power.

The other critical thing that's missing from doctrine and covenants 107 is the idea that any quorum can reconstitute another quorum. Specifically, nothing in section 107 says the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has the power to reconstitute the First Presidency as they ended up doing in 1847 -which is one of the reasons that there's so much push-back from the other apostles. Gordon B. Hinckley goes on to ask this question:
“The question arises: how can they be equal in authority? Speaking to this question, Pres. Joseph F. Smith taught 'I want here to correct an impression that has grown up to some extent among the people and that is that the Twelve Apostles possess equal authority with the First Presidency in the church.'”

Now that is what the revelation says. And notice that Pres. Joseph F. Smith is the president of the church; he is also the senior apostle in the church by this time and what president Joseph F. Smith is going to do now is he's going to actually contradict Doctrine and Covenants 107.

Once again he says “I want here to correct an impression that is growing up to some extent among the people.” So people are asking this question. There are still people around at the turn of the 20th century who were alive when Joseph Smith walked the earth, who know the revelations, and still for some reason believe that the Twelve Apostles possess equal authority with the First Presidency in the church.

In other words, they believe the revelation.

Here’s what President Joseph F. Smith says. Remember again he is being quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley:
“This is correct when there is no other presidency but the Twelve apostles. But so long as there are three presiding elders who possess the presiding authority in the church, the authority of the Twelve apostles is not equal to theirs. If it were so there would be two equal authorities and two equal quorums in the priesthood running parallel and that could not be because there must be a head.”
So once again the ruling apostle in the church, President Joseph F. Smith in 1906 says that there is an issue that has grown up to some extent among the people that the Twelve Apostles possess equal authority with the First Presidency in the church; and now Joseph F. Smith says that’s correct when there is no other presidency but the Twelve Apostles. But so long as you've got the three presiding elders who possess the presiding authority in the church, the authority of the Twelve Apostles is not equal to theirs.

Joseph F. Smith just contradicted Doctrine and Covenants 107.

Because in his mind there must be a hierarchy. We must by this time, 1906, have the First Presidency, who is over the Quorum of the Twelve, who is over the entire church. There has to be a hierarchy. This is not what Joseph Smith contemplates in Section 107, as I mentioned before.

And also notice that Joseph F. Smith does not quote to any revelation. He certainly doesn’t quote to Doctrine and Covenants Section 107 in support of his position. All he does is make the conclusory statement that “there must be a head” and if we had two equal authorities and two equal quorums in the priesthood ruling parallel there would not be a head, so that can’t be what it means.

So from this quote from Joseph F. Smith we find out that it took until 1906 for an answer to come to this question and this answer actually denies the language of the revelation itself.

Now we're going to look more in-depth at the revelation here. This is section 107 and was given in 1835 after the selection of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by the three witnesses. Once again nowhere does it say that one quorum is above the other; rather that all are equal.

Joseph Smith appears to contemplate a balance of power. Verse 22 talks about the calling of the First Presidency. Verse 23 talks about the Twelve Apostles, also known as the traveling high council, that they form a quorum equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned.

See, it says “equal in authority and power.” It does not say anything about they are only equal when there are not three presiding high priests in the First Presidency. Verse 25, the Seventy, are also called to preach the gospel and they form a quorum equal in authority to that of the twelve special witnesses or apostles just named.

Nothing about “they are only equal if there is no Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”

Then in verse 27 we start seeing how it is that Joseph Smith conceives of a balance of power between these different equal quorums:
"And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other."
So here’s this method of checks and balances coming in. Skipping down to verse 32:
“and in case that any decisions of these quorums is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church; otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision.”
And then in verse 81:
“There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church.”
In other words, this common council. “And inasmuch as a president of the high priesthood ( i.e. Joseph Smith, the president of the church himself), “and inasmuch as the president of the high priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the high priesthood.”

This is Joseph Smith’s way of making sure that there is nobody in the church who is over everybody else, but that if any person, including the president of the church or any quorum goes out of the way and makes decisions in unrighteousness or unholiness, that decision and that Quorum on that issue can be brought before all the other quorums assembled in what is called the common council of the church, and be corrected.

So as you can see, this is a very different system of church government set forth in 1835, section 107, than we have today in the church, which is strictly hierarchical.

Now it is very common today for people who are discussing the authority of the apostles, and that they are just under the First Presidency, and then under them is the Quorum of the Seventy, to point to section 107 and say this shows the authority and the hierarchy of the church because it talks first about the First Presidency, then it talks about the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and then it talks about the first Quorum of the Seventy. And even though it says they are equal to each other, the argument is usually made nowadays that this means they are in order of seniority; in order of power. And as Joseph F. Smith said, they are not equal in authority unless the Quorum above them has been disassembled in some way. In other words, the Quorum of Twelve Apostles does not have authority equal to the First Presidency unless the First Presidency has been dismantled, which we understand today means by the death of the president.

The pattern that is followed today is that upon the death of the president, the other two counselors who are selected from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles now assume their position in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in order of seniority.  With the death of the president, there are now fourteen apostles left, and the apostle that is the senior apostle becomes the next president of the church. In fact, at any given time the president of the church is the most senior apostle.

So, every time a church president dies, the apostles go into a quorum of fourteen now instead of twelve, and the apostles reconstitute the First Presidency. They recreate what it is Brigham Young did in 1847 that caused so much controversy and was contrary to the revelation that had been received through Joseph Smith. As I say, its very common for people today to look to section 107 as an argument for the fact that the Quorum of the Twelve should succeed as leaders of the church once the First Presidency was dissolved upon the death of Joseph Smith.

The amazing thing is that in 1844, when the Quorum of the Twelve apostles was vying for leadership of the church, none of them cited to Doctrine and Covenants section 107 as authority for their position. It is rather singular. The History of the Church notes that in 1844, no defender of the Quorum of the Twelve succession gave an adequate unfolding of the relationship of the respective presiding councils of the church based on the published revelation of 1835; in other words, Doctrine and Covenants Section 107.

There was good reason for why they did not do this, because, as D. Micheal Quinn says, ”Everyone in 1844, especially Brigham Young, knew the 1835 revelation did not mean what modern Mormons think it means concerning the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”

Now, we’ve gone through some of those reasons already, and we’ll go through a few more as we proceed. Going back to President Hinckley’s talk in 2005 published in the Ensign, he notes that in the early days of the church sometimes lengthy periods of time went between the death of the president of the church and the reorganizing of the First Presidency. Here’s what he says:
“There have been lengthy periods when there was no Quorum of the First Presidency. Following the death of the Prophet Joseph the presiding authority rested in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with Brigham Young as president. This continued for three and a half years.”
We’ve already talked about this, those three and a half years between the death of Joseph, and Brigham Young reorganizing the First Presidency. Going on with the article:
“Following the death of Brigham Young, the authority again reverted to the Quorum of the Twelve and continued so for three years and two months.”
In other words, between Brigham Young dying and John Taylor becoming president of the church, reconstituting the First Presidency was three years and two months. That’s significant. The reason it’s significant is because it was John Taylor who became president. And as you will recall, John Taylor was among the original five apostles who, in December of 1847, were not in favor of Brigham Young reconstituting the First Presidency.

So it may be significant that once Brigham Young died, John Taylor, now being next in line for the presidency, doesn't see this as a pressing issue. May even not like the idea so much. But regardless, he waits for three years and two months before the First Presidency is reorganized with himself as president of the church. During the three year and two month period the church was led by the Quorum of the Twelve apostles. Going on, following the death of John Taylor, one year and nine months passed before the First Presidency was reorganized. (See Edward Leo Lyman, Succession by Seniority: The Development of Procedural Precedents in the LDS Church, Journal of Mormon History vol 40 No. 2, 2014.)

Well, who became president after John Taylor? That was Wilford Woodruff. And Wilford Woodruff, you may recall, was also among those apostles who in December of 1847 at Winter Quarters were opposed -or at least not really enthusiastic about the idea- of Brigham Young reconstituting the First Presidency. In fact, he was the one who said that he thought that they should at least have a revelation in order to change the church government and the powers of the Quorum of the Twelve.

President Hinckley concludes here:
“Since that time the reorganization of the presidency has occurred within a few days following the death of the president. In every case the senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles has become president of the church. Seniority is determined by the date of ordination to the apostleship.”
So that's the end of the quote from that talk. What is interesting to me is that every step of this seizure of power by the apostles of the First Presidency in the church has been marked by a “miracle.” And that miracle is supposed to signify God’s approbation of the steps being taken.

In other words, God is totally on board, and signifying it by open miracles that this is what He wants to have happen. But, in each and every case it also appears that these miracles were not noticed by anybody at the time they are claimed to have happened, but were made up long after the fact. Or at least what we can say from the historical record, we can’t say they are made up; what we can say is that nobody said it at the time and they don’t end up being said until many, many years after the event was supposed to have happened, and then retroactively claimed to have happened.

The first “miracle” is Brigham Young being transfigured into Joseph Smith. Either he looked like Joseph Smith or he sounded like Joseph Smith in August of 1844 when he was presenting his case to the saints as to why the apostles should lead the church.

The fact is, there is no contemporaneous record that Brigham Young looked like Joseph Smith, or sounded like Joseph Smith, or that anything miraculous happened while Brigham Young was speaking to the saints that day. It is only many, many years after the fact that people start “recalling” that this transfiguration occurred.

In fact, it became so popular for Mormons to claim that they were present in Nauvoo to witness the transfiguration of Brigham Young into Joseph Smith that Orson Hyde, who was an apostle in the church in 1869, claimed,
“We went among the congregation, he [Brigham] spoke and his words went through me like electricity. This is my testimony; it was not only the voice of Joseph but there were the features, the gestures and even the stature of Joseph before us in the person of Brigham.”
Orson Hyde’s testimony is remarkable. It is remarkable not only for the miracle it claims to have witnessed, but it is also remarkable because he was not even in Nauvoo on August 8th. Instead, he arrived in the city 5 days later! (For two excellent academic studies on this topic, see Richard S Van Wagoner, The Making of a Mormon Myth: The 1844 Transfiguration of Brigham Young, and Reid L. Harper, The Mantle of Joseph: Creation of a Mormon Miracle. See also Why Mormon History Is Not What They Say.)

This goes to show how popular it was for Mormons to claim that they were in Nauvoo present to see Brigham Young be transfigured into Joseph Smith, and verify the miracle that showed that God approved the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taking control of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

And it is hard to overlook the fact that it is Orson Hyde, the same apostle who claimed that he was present to see Brigham Young transfigured into Joseph Smith in August of 1844 when he was not even present in Nauvoo to see it, who is the same apostle who claimed that three and a half years later, in his cabin in Winter Quarters in December of 1847, the voice of God was heard commanding that the First Presidency be reorganized and Brigham Young be president.

The second miracle that was talked about was that the December 1847 reorganization of the First Presidency, at the meeting of the apostles, when Brigham Young finally persuaded them all in Orson Hyde’s cabin at Winter Quarters after two months of meetings, to reorganize the First Presidency. And we have seen that nothing unusual happened there that day, but thirteen years later Brigham Young starts talking about an earthquake and Orson Hyde starts talking about the voice of God coming to them and all of them hearing it, and God said make Brigham Young the president, I am totally on board with reorganizing the First Presidency.

The third miracle that happens is the almost certainly apocryphal story of Jesus appearing to Lorenzo Snow in the Salt Lake City temple. Now, we probably know this story, and we've heard it from time to time, but we know about Lorenzo Snow with his granddaughter in the Salt Lake temple and they are walking through the temple and its nighttime and Lorenzo Snow says to his granddaughter “Hey, see that spot right there? That's where Jesus appeared to me and I saw him and he was standing above the ground and it was a wonderful experience.” And this is frequently trotted out as probably the most recent apostle that we can go to, or the most recent president of the church, who says he saw Jesus.

Now this is probably largely apocryphal, because there is no contemporaneous record of Lorenzo Snow saying it to anybody else at the time, and it doesn’t show up until many years later through a third party source.

But the reason that is given for Jesus appearing to Lorenzo Snow is of interest even though it is probably an apocryphal story. Because the reason that is given is that Jesus has something very important to tell Lorenzo Snow. And the thing that Jesus makes a special point of appearing to Lorenzo Snow in the Salt Lake temple in order to say is that the First Presidency should be organized immediately upon the death of President Wilford Woodruff.

Now, when I read that today I look at that and say “why does Jesus have to appear for a message like that?” That seems rather pedestrian; that doesn’t seem very special. It doesn’t seem like something that requires Jesus to appear in order to give it.

But look at in context of the fact that Brigham Young reorganized the First Presidency with a lot of push-back in the quorum: Brigham Young dies in 1877 and over three years go by before the First Presidency is reorganized with John Taylor as the new president. Then when John Taylor dies, a year and nine months goes by before the First Presidency is reorganized with Wilford Woodruff as the president. This may be significant. It will be remembered that both John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff were among the apostles who were not thrilled with the idea of Brigham Young reorganizing the First Presidency. They were among the five apostles who pushed back against the idea. And it is those apostles who, before they became the president of the church, there was an extended period of time where they felt they didn’t need to be the president of the church and the First Presidency did not need to be reorganized immediately.

At a minimum it shows they were comfortable with the idea of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles continuing to lead the church. And possibly it also shows their discomfort with the idea of being president of the church in a newly constituted First Presidency. Now we begin to see why it is that organizing the First Presidency immediately upon the death of the prior president is something that might provoke some controversy and might require a miracle in order to sanction it.

So, just as a miracle was retroactively invented that Brigham Young transfigured into Joseph Smith in order to sanction the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles leading the church; and just as the voice of God and an earthquake were created after the fact and used in order to show divine sanction for the reorganization of the First Presidency in 1847 under Brigham Young; even so it appears that the story about Jesus appearing to Lorenzo Snow in the Salt Lake City temple fits the same pattern: to show divine sanction on the First Presidency being organized immediately upon the death of the former president.

Westward Ho The Fictions
Finally, before leaving this part of the podcast, I have to address a story that we hear frequently in the church that the apostles gained the experience to lead the saints west because of their experience supervising the mass exodus from Missouri to Illinois in 1838 and 1839, during the winter of ’38, ’39. This story we hear all the time and it's sort of a post hoc justification for why it is and how it is the apostles were prepared to lead the church west when that time came a number of years later.

This whole story, though, appears to be a canard. Brigham Young and other apostles had only peripheral involvement in directing the exodus from Missouri. And if I understand my history correctly, there were actually only two apostles of the entire Quorum of Twelve who were active at the time. And those two were Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. You'll recall that there was a mass disaffection from the church in late 1838 during the Missouri wars. A separate committee of seven was appointed by John Smith (not Joseph Smith, John Smith) to superintend “the business of our removal.” 

Not a single apostle was on this committee, or on the expanded removal committee of eleven men. It was this group of non-apostles, not Brigham Young, who directed the Missouri exodus. In fact, Brigham Young was compelled to flee from Missouri to Illinois in February of 1839 while this non-apostolic committee on removal continued its work for thousands of Mormons still in Missouri.

So not only are “miracles” created and then retroactively inserted into the historical narrative in order to show divine sanction of these changes in leadership and, frankly, these power grabs; but also stories about how it is “the apostles were prepared to lead the church” were created. And this is an example of that kind of story; the idea that the apostles supervised the saints when they were expelled from Missouri, preparing them for supervising the saints going out to Utah, when actually that was not the case at all.

The apostles had little to no role in supervising the saints who were fleeing from Missouri to Illinois. Once again history is written by the winners as an excuse for hanging the losers.

The King Follett Distancing
It’s becoming obvious to me at this point that I have too much information for one podcast. I don’t want to overstay my welcome so I am going to save everything else that I was going to be saying now, for a Part Two episode which hopefully will be coming out in the near future. But before I conclude this part of the episode, I need to make it very clear that when I'm talking about Joseph Smith’s vision and the revelation in section 107 for the different quorums, there is obviously some way in which the First Presidency is in control and yet all the Quorums are equal in power and authority.

So even though there is some way in which the First Presidency is “in charge” in some kind of loose way, there is also a very important component of the government where all the quorums are equal in power and authority.

Some of that can be explained by the fact that different Quorums had different jobs within the church, and so they were in charge of different areas and had different spheres of influence; and yet the Quorums themselves were all considered to be equal in power and authority.

The reason I want to come back to that is because this is something that shows up in the King Follett Discourse. Not only did Joseph Smith see the different Quorums as being equal in power and authority, he also saw the same kind of relationship between God, and between the eternally existent spirits, one of which is you and one of which is me. He gave the King Follett discourse only a few months before he died, but in that discourse he talks about the eternal nature of spirit. He says that we have no beginning and we have no end, just the same way as God has no beginning and God has no end.

And Joseph Smith and the recorded notes of his sermon -there were four people present who transcribed notes from the sermon and those were all amalgamated into what we know today as the King Follett discourse- but the word that they recorded that Joseph Smith used when talking about the comparison between these eternally existent spirits and God, was that they are “co-equal” with God. That is what the record shows that Joseph Smith said about us and our eternally existent spirits and God. That we are co-equal with God.

Now, the LDS church, ever since that was written down, has distanced itself from that idea.

B.H. Roberts, who initially did a lot of work with the King Follett discourse, wrote a number of footnotes.You can find those footnotes incorporated into the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (pg 352, note 8). Those footnotes are there; they were written by B.H. Roberts, and he insists that when Joseph Smith said co-equal he actually said a very archaic and unusual term called “coeval.” Now that's C-O-E-V-A-L, not E-V-I-L.

"Coeval." You probably never heard of it. I would never have heard of it in my life, except that I read the footnotes that B.H. Roberts wrote in the King Follett discourse. But “coeval” is an archaic word that means “coextensive with.” So, in other words, it is basically saying the same idea that when Joseph Smith says that spirits have existed from all time past to all-time future, they are from eternity to eternity; there is no creation about them, the same as God.

But the actual word Joseph Smith used was not coeval. It was co-equal. "Spirits are co-equal with God."

B.H. Roberts doesn't like that. He wants it to be coeval with God; not that we're equal with God, but just that we're coextensive with God.

This is something that the LDS Church continues to do as recently as 1971, in an Ensign article about the King Follett discourse, when in a two-part series it was reproduced. Yes, there was a time when the church actually talked about the King Follett discourse, and that time was back in 1971. And there, where they're quoting this part of the discourse they say this. This is quoting from the discourse itself: “The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal with God himself.” That's from the King Follett discourse.

But they're not satisfied to leave it here. They can't just say it's co-equal with God. They have to put in brackets right after “co-equal,” the word “co-eternal.” You see, Joseph Smith really can't be trusted. He really doesn’t mean co-equal when he says co-equal; he actually means co-eternal because the Church is more comfortable with co-eternal.

This is what it reads in the Ensign article. This is May of 1971:
“The mind or the intelligence man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself.”
The co-eternal, being an addition by the editor to make sure the reader does not think Joseph Smith meant “co-equal” when he said “co-equal.” Because Joseph Smith, apparently like the bible, is true only insofar as he is translated correctly.

The point I am trying to get at is that Joseph Smith’s vision of the relationship of spirits and God is similar to his vision of the relationship of the different leadership quorums in the church. Certainly God, in some meaningful way, is superior to the other spirits. He is in charge in some way. He is more intelligent than all of them (going back to the Book of Abraham quote). But in a very important way the spirits -our spirits- are all also co-equal with God himself.

And similarly, Joseph Smith seems to have seen the quorums in the same way: that the First Presidency in some meaningful way is in charge, but also in a very meaningful way -and no less important way- all the Quorums, including the Quorum of the First Presidency, are co-equal. None is above the other. This idea that our intelligences are co-equal with God himself, is a fascinating idea and suggests the wide-ranging democracy of Joseph Smith's vision not only of his church, but also of the cosmos and the beings that reside in it.

To Be Continued
Well, that's all we have time for today. Next episode, Part Two of Apostolic Coup D'etat, we will get into the nitty and the gritty of how Brigham Young disassembled the Quorum of the Seventy because he perceived it as a threat. Because Brigham Young, yes, understood section 107 as meaning that the quorums are equal in power and authority, and that even the Quorum of the Seventy, which we typically think of as being obviously beneath the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Brigham Young saw as a threat to his power and leadership, so it had to be dismantled. We'll go into the details of that.

We'll also talk about what happened to the church Patriarch, which was considered to be the highest office in the church -at least by Joseph Smith, who did know a thing or two about that church that he established. Then we'll talk about how Brigham Young disassembled and dismantled the Nauvoo Stake High Council which, believe it or not, according to section 107 says is equal in authority to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as well as to the First Presidency. Nobody in the church ever reads that part; they always stop when they get to the Quorum of the Seventy. You actually have to read on to find out that the high council in Nauvoo was equal in power and authority to the Seventy, and to the Twelve Apostles, and to the First Presidency.

So we'll talk about how Brigham Young dismantled that, and ultimately put the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as the top dog in a strict, top-down hierarchy with no equality of power between the different quorums in the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

And finally we will touch on the sad and tragic fate of Samuel Smith, the brother of Joseph Smith, who died mysteriously, and some would say suspiciously, in Nauvoo one month after Joseph Smith was murdered.

Hopefully, that's enough to whet your appetite to read and listen to Part Two of this podcast.

145 comments:

Jason Wharton said...

So you are alleging that the presiding officer of the presiding quorum of the Church who was appointed by revelation and who was anointed by Joseph Smith Jr. to be his successor to the gifts, keys and powers of the mantle of Lord's Anointed Prophet was a displacement?

What in fact I sincerely believe you are doing is functioning as the blind leading the blind.

Anyone who buys into your hit-piece against Brigham Young and his appropriate exercise of the gifts, keys and power that were justly given to him by the Lord is bringing upon themselves to consequences of turning heel against the Lord's Anointed Prophet. It wasn't Brigham Young personally who was Joseph Smith Jr.'s successor as Lord's Anointed Prophet, but it was the Church body as a whole that was the rightful appointed and anointed successor, which Brigham Young presided over.

Frederick said...

Brigham Young was a tyrant and a power hungry egomaniac. Any objective study of his actions can only conclude that the man was a terrible person.

Mormons are too invested in the idea of their organization as the one and only true church, to objectively assess the actions of Brigham Young. However, once someone can truly look at the evidence without prejudice, then it is obvious who Brigham really was.

Brigham was not a man of god. He had no "keys," he had no "priesthood," and he did not follow Christ.

Robynn said...

Brigham was NOT anointed successor Hyrum was!Just as Brigham took several wives against Joseph's teaching that there was to be one man and one wife. This is what led to Joseph's and Hyrum's murders! Looks like you need to focus more on the history and actual documented events than hearsay the LDS Church brainwashes their people with. There is huge difference between the two!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Jason, you would be better equipped to comment on the podcasts if you listened to the podcasts before commenting.

James Q. Muir said...

Leaves more questions with all those details. How did Brigham command such loyalty in Nauvoo? Why was Joseph and Hyrum willing to step off? How could Brigham call and ordain the men of Nauvoo even the Stake High Council. And run off the Stake President? There had to be more to it. The power behind it all. WHAT? I have my suspicions.

James Q. Muir said...

Jason. How was Brigham Young the presiding authority in Nauvoo? The Stake High Council was.How do you figure? The voice of the people? How could he control that? What was up with that?

Alan Rock Waterman said...

James Q Muir,
In answer to your first question, "How did Brigham command such loyalty in Nauvoo?"
He didn't. Among the estimated 20,000 Saints living in the area, only around half followed him and the Twelve to the Rockies. By my reckoning, most of them were converts from the British Isles who had been converted by Brigham, Kimball, Whitney, and the rest of the Twelve who went with Brigham. These people did not know Joseph Smith, but were naturally partial to the missionaries who brought them into the church. It was natural for them to follow the leaders they knew and were accustomed to looking to for instruction. Add to that the natural proclivity of the lower classes in Britain to obey those above them in rank, and you have the makings of an automatic division in the church between leaders at the top, and the members below.

I don't know what you mean when you ask why Joseph and Hyrum were willing to step off. They were killed, you will recall.

Once Brigham had convinced a majority of the people of Nauvoo that the Twelve should take leadership of the Church until Joseph's 11 year old son came of age and could "take his rightful place among this people," (Brigham's own words) Those who opposed his rule, such as William Marks and other high council members who refused to go along, were simply excommunicated for refusing to acknowledge the authority of the presiding elders.

Most of the approximately 10,000 Saints who did not wish to follow Brigham Young to the Rockies (including Emma and her children) moved to Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and other parts of Illinois to escape persecution, where they became known as the "plains Mormons." Most considered themselves as separate branches of the same church until years later when the RLDS church was formed to distinguish these plains Mormons from the Utah Mormons who by then were becoming known for practicing plural marriage under an autocratic Brigham Young.

Jon Menough said...

Very interesting. Not sure if I agree totally with everything that was said ... there was a lot of conjecture ... but that doesn't mean that they weren't correct either. I have always given Brigham the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to do the best he could to hold things together. But, perhaps he had some different motivations as well.

OpenMind said...

At this point, they can't objectively assess a single thing. Not to pass responsibility of each individual to sift through the lies and deception, but scripture is clear the high priest hypocrites in power leading away from Christ have worse recompense coming than the follower trapped in tradition.

Sandra Harper said...

I was absolutely in awe of the facts of the case. I have come across some of this information in my research, but never had it all put together. I have known Brigham to be a devil for a very long time... but you painted the picture with perfection. THANK YOU

matt lohrke said...

I might need some popcorn and a cold beverage for the comment section of this post.

It's going to be spicy.

Robin Hood said...

I have only listened to the first section so far.

I admit to being thoroughly underwhelmed. Maybe the second will be better, and hopefully more accurate/truthful.

Robin Hood said...

Just started the second. My hopes regarding accuracy were dashed early on when we are informed that William Strang claimed an appointment from Joseph. Every teenage seminary student in the church knows it was James Strang!
At that point I realised I had something better to do with my time.

Dustin said...

You wrongly assume and assert that because the church fell into a state similar to when Moses was taken from the Israelites and we are left with the lesser priesthood that Christ is 100% absent from our church and sacrament meetings and no longer speaks to the leadership at all. I think this a errant belief. Christ will do his best to speak through the Holy Ghost to anyone who honestly seeks him. There are many good and honest people in both the congregations and leadership positions who are blinded by the craftiness of men. Just because they are heavily rooted in false traditions and are even making financial decisions that the Lord himself may not make if he was actually here does not mean they are malicious in intent and completely devoid of the spirit. The Lord does his best to teach any principle of truth, and I believe most of them seek that truth...although there are maybe some things they aren't ready to hear.

its hard to hear the truth once you've already defined the truth so solidly. Just because people like us are more open minded and willing or able to see false traditions does not make us superior. It's a different spiritual trait.

Remember the Lord said "where three or more are gathered in my name I will be there." I know this to be the case, even in non lds denominations I feel the spirit in their meetings.

The Lord also said throughout D&C to "teach nothing but repentance into this generation."

There is a reason for this. Some people just are not spiritually prepared to handle the meat. The simple truth is that Christ atoned for us and baptism through repentance, followed by the lords spirit beginning to work in our lives to make us more like him is the true essence of the gospel, and is still being taught and practiced, and once it is no longer bearing fruit god will cast it aside.

Perhaps the leadership of the church is teaching this milk. This milk is far better than nothing in this fallen world. But this milk is not to your satisfaction...that does not prevent you from getting the meat from the Holy Ghost directly... When I go to church, milk or even during a non spiritual talk it is still the Holy Ghost that teaches me what I need to know.

Instead of seeking to destroy the faith of men we should use our knowledge to gently redirect and guide others to a more spiritual path.

Every time I start to teach people or discuss the churches true history I remember that not every person can afford to lose there current testimony. Many people only have a testimony of the church and not the Lord, and when we destroy it they fall into very dark places and lives are easily destroyed. At least by going to church, the gospel is being discussed and the ground more fertile for a testimony of Christ to develop. My testimony of Christ is the only thing that held me up when I learned about the failings of the church organization.

The Lord teaches men line upon line precept on precept and I am often restrained from speaking to those unprepared to hear these things. Only the Lord knows what should be taught and what we are ready to hear.

The scripture "None but fools will trifle with the souls of men" reminds me that if I am not careful I could be the means of someone's spiritual destruction of I don't use caution. We should not take these things lightly.

Underdog2 said...

I doubt even one teenager in my ward has ever heard the name of James Strange. Probably all but a couple adults would not know who he is. So your use of (ironically) inaccurate hyperbole severely discredits you.

To be clear, you are saying that because the speaker misspoke that you're comfortable dismissing his overall message.

How convenient for one like yourself who has accepted and enforces and promulgates a different version of history.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Dustin, I think you are misinterpreting the point of the presentation. You appear to be hearing the words but coming to the wrong conclusion.

OF COURSE the spirit of God continues to operate within members of Christ's church as individuals. But what is clear as glass is that God no longer directs the LDS Church as an institution. Once the pure church of Christ was replaced by a hierarchy that began substituting His divine word for the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, and insisting the members look to THEM, the spirit departed from that earthly organization and left its leaders to wallow in their folly.

God is alive and well and directly operating in the lives of members of Christ's church -the church as defined by the savior in D&C 10:67. But He long ago stopped having anything to do with "The Church." Countless thousands of faithful members with eyes to see and ears to hear are discovering this truth and redirecting their loyalties.

Underdog2 said...

Dustin,

I understand where you're coming from, but you should, as one who is awake to the corruption and apostasy of the institutional church, understand intuitively that it's probably a losing battle (and ultimately unproductive) to sugar coat the reality of institutional apostasy.

True, the Lord can speak to anybody in the Church who's blinded by the craftiness of men. So? Does that remove the condemnation of the institutional church? Does that remove culpability from the church leaders who are wittingly or unwittingly rejecting Christ?

You say perhaps the leadership is teaching the milk of repentance. I say on this singular point alone, it is provable beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that they do NOT teach this milk.

The milk (the definition of repentance) the Brethren teach is certainly not up to my satisfaction. "Repentance" means (and even the Brethren would HAVE TO acknowledge this) turning away from sin and idolatry and turning to face Jesus Christ.

The Brethren teach UNEQUIVOCALLY to rely on THEM. To look to THEM (to not face Christ exclusively). There's an explanation for this. They think that THEY cannot lead you astray. Because a man, Wilford Woodruff, said so. Never mind that heresy was added secretly to our cannon (to OD 1) in 1981 without an announcement or Church vote. Somebody in charge of the Scriptures (the Brethren) snuck it in there.

There's no point in debating if some of the Brethren are intentionally deceiving or if they are victims of deception. The point is that they ARE teaching idolatry. And the encouragement of idolatry is NOT "repentance."

So this means they are in no way teaching "milk" as you say. They are teaching idolatry and I don't need to remind you that is a violation of the first of the TEN Commandments. They also violate the SECOND commandment by pretending to speak FOR the Lord. It is a grievous sin to take (use) the name of the Lord in vanity. To claim you speak for the Lord when you don't. Abinadi railed against the wicked priests of Noah for doing that. Those priests, Abinadi said, actually had INTENT. He said they KNEW the gospel but changed it, thus perverting it.

You said, "Instead of seeking to destroy the faith of men we should use our knowledge to gently redirect and guide others to a more spiritual path."

This is a legitimate concern and is the essence of your protest. I completely understand. But at the end of the day, how long can the sugar coating of the apostasy go on? That's really what you're saying. That we need to sugar coat the disappointing truth (that the leadership is apostate) because it might destroy someone's faith in man, and send them into a tailspin. As soon as you say, "Ahem, excuse me, but that pie you're eating has human feces in it," there is going to be shock if not disbelief, and in many cases anger. Because they KNOW that pie was made by their mom and their mom would NEVER put poop in the pie.

How to prevent a potential tailspin is a good question. I just don't see how sugar coating indefinitely will help. Eventually, the truth will be known by members. Choices will have to be made. Sides will have to be taken. The digital age will guarantee that the truth will not be restrained, no matter if it's an "approved source" or not. The case is being made by the leader. They are doubling and tripling down on the heresy that they cannot lead the members astray. On this question alone will the battle be fought. They are putting all their eggs in this one basket.

Radio Free Mormon said...

Radio Free Mormon coming to the party!

Thanks for posting links to these two podcasts, Rock.

You are awesome!!!

Radio Free Mormon said...

Robin Hood said...
Just started the second. My hopes regarding accuracy were dashed early on when we are informed that William Strang claimed an appointment from Joseph. Every teenage seminary student in the church knows it was James Strang!
At that point I realised I had something better to do with my time.

________________________

Good catch on that, Robin Hood!

It was indeed James Strang and not William Strang.

I hope you are not going to throw out the baby with the bathwater over a simple mistake like that.

I hate to think how the LDS Church would fare if you applied the same standard there.

Thanks for listening!

Unknown said...

What pretentious crap. You act like he accidentally said Bob Smith instead of Joseph Smith. Seminary students know who James Strang is? Give me a break. If you always use such simple minded excuses for completely writing off something, there must be nothing that meets your stringent criteria. Are you able to even glance at the scriptures with all the unbearable errors they contain? Please.

Radio Free Mormon said...

Nephi or Moroni?

Guy Noir said...

Look at the Focus of the LDS church today, it's all about Mormonism;
Love (Honesty, Kindness, Respect for others) is only lip service.

there is little if any transparency, contrary to what GBH said about 'we have nothing to hide'.

Radio Free Mormon said...

Usually a person with something to hide is the first to say "we have nothing to hide."

MrHFMetz said...

These two podcasts were referred at on the forum of the previous post, and I downloaded both right away, and put them on my MP3 player to listen while gardening and jogging. That did'nt work; one really has to be focused in order to follow the narrative, because the information is extensive and the narrator is fast speaking. So I listened to both a number of times. I find the content fascinating, especially the first one. So far this discussion has not been very effective, but maybe after the transcripts are ready things will turn out better (this means a lot of work, does it not?)
One thing in particular has stayed with me from listening: the office of Church Patriarch is evidently mentioned as the highest office belonging to the priesthood, being first mentioned on the list of offices in D&C 124: 123 and further. Today the LDS church has no Church Patriarch any longer. The last Patriarch, E. G. Smith, was given an emeritus status in 1979 and after he passed away the office was simply done away with, without any revelation on the matter. The office was simply abandoned; we are left to draw our own conclusion.
Good luck with the transcripts.

Radio Free Mormon said...

I agree that doing away with the Church Patriarch in 1979, combined with the (altered) statement in Church History that has Joseph Smith saying the office of the Patriarch is the highest office in the LDS Church, is damning indeed.

Joseph Smith's statement coupled with the canonized pronouncement in the Doctrine and Covenants makes the case air-tight, in my opinion.

It is hard to argue with this point.

Where did the apostles get the authority to do away with a church office greater than theirs?

(At least I got the first name of Eldred G. Smith right in the podcast.)

Underdog2 said...

It is interesting that there is one man, and one man alone, that I'm aware of, who has made the following claims:

1) That he was given by the voice of God (as in direct face to face conversation) the Patriarchal Priesthood (the greatest of the 3 priesthoods), meaning, the same priesthood that Eldred Smith had by right of his lineage, which was traced back to Hyrum, his great grandfather.
2) That he has been "sent" by God as Noah was sent, i.e, that he is warning the people of impending doom and destruction, and they must repent and be baptized.
3) He received the patriarchal priesthood directly by the hand of God after 1973 and previous to Eldred Smith's death in 2013.

Which means previous to Eldred Smith's death, exactly TWO people held this presiding authority in the Church, the highest of all priesthood. Eldred had been put out to pasture in 1979 by being made emeritus. Then he died in April 2013, 2 days before the Sat session of General Conference. The other man was excommunicated Sept 2013, but retained the priesthood bestowed upon him by God.

Then an appeal by the man was denied by the First Presidency in Nov 2013, meaning that the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelves, the Seventy, the local Stake President and High Council ALL had "blood on their hands" in casting out a man who held the patriarchal priesthood.

In summary: a rightful possessor of the patriarchal priesthood died April 4, 2013, leaving one known man on earth who retained this priesthood, and who by this time had gained much notoriety and reputation as one who BY HIS VERY EXISTENCE (as Eldred Smith was a "threat") would challenge the authority of the leadership. This man obviously had to be purged, just as BY purged "dissidents in 1844) and as the hierarchy did in 1979 to Eldred.

This man wrote the following about the GC in April 2014: "...the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord has brought about His purposes. This has been in His heart all along. He has chosen to use small means to accomplish it, but He always uses the smallest of means to fulfill His purposes."

Even the most TBM in the Church will have to confess the curiosity of the timeliness of Eldred Smith dying at the incredible prolonged ripe old age of 106 years-old in the SAME year that the OTHER possessor of the priesthood was cast out of the Church.

One can really appreciate the longsuffering and grace and commitment of the Lord towards the Church. Despite the condemnation He placed on the collective Church in Sept 1832, and despite the coup d'etat outlined in the podcasts, the Lord honored and blessed the Church in some degree through the decades, perhaps BECAUSE OF THE PATRIARCHAL PRIESTHOOD held by the rightful heir until 2013 AND because the Lord had given the same priesthood to another man in recent years.

But once Smith died in 2013 and the man was cast out by the leadership in 2013, and the GENERAL LEADERSHIP sustained EACH OTHER in April 2014, THEN the connecting link between heaven and the Church was totally and completely severed.

matt lohrke said...

@ Radio Free Mormon -

I very much enjoyed and appreciated the podcast. I learned a lot! I can't even imagine the amount of time and research went it to it.

Thank you for your efforts and insights. It was very valuable to me.

Radio Free Mormon said...

This is an interesting perspective.

I would be remiss, however, if I did not point out that Joseph Smith appears to have contemplated the office of Church Patriarch as being hereditary in nature.

_____________

D&C 124:91 And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right;

_______________

I am also intrigued by this verse's use of the phrase, "the office of Priesthood and Patriarch."

The office of Patriarch, I get.

But what is the "office of Priesthood"?

Any thoughts?

Occupy SLC said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=502SfQ6Mues

Denver Snuffer said...

The LDS members set a standard for evaluating LDS leadership so low that none of their leaders ever fail the test.

The LDS members set a standard for evaluating anyone who suggests there is something amiss so high that none of these voices can ever pass the test.

LDS members are caught in a trap, and cannot see the hypocrisy of the standards they employ, nor the errors to which they lead.

Robin Hood said...

@Unknown,
I first learned about James Strang in Seminary.
Admittedly it was quite a long time ago, but I had never heard of him until the succession issue was covered in the D&C/Church History course, which is re-visited every 4 years.

I just have a very low tolerance for basic elementary mistakes in what is supposed to be thorough research. There were a number of errors in the first presentation which I noted but gave the benefit of the doubt. But when the second installment continued in the same way, even getting something very basic like James Strang's name wrong, I realized that a pattern was emerging.

Having studied the succession issue at great length over many years as both LDS and RLDS/CofC, it was clear that I know more about the subject than the podcaster does. Like I said, I have better things to do with my time.

Underdog2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Underdog2 said...

Robin Hood,

Since this presentation is of earth shattering import to the claims of the LDS Church, perhaps you could contribute to the discussion by sharing your deep expertise or at least how the presenter erred?

Or is your mission simply to discredit?

Or are you attempting, as Denver noted, to set a standard so high for the presenter that he can never pass your test?

Please bring facts. The presenter painstakingly noted references.

Please enlighten us.

Radio Free Mormon said...

I am left to conclude that if only I had said James Strang instead of William Strang, Robin Hood would have agreed with me.

Liberty Ghost said...

Thanks RFM for such a great set of podcasts and Rock for bringing to our attention.

Unlike some of the self-proclaimed experts, I was unaware of a lot of what you brought up. It reaffirmed my suspicions of Brigham's perfidy, but I was still surprised at how aggressive his power grab was. I had thought that he was gradually corrupted by power rather than seeking it from the beginning.

I think one other thing that fed into the dynamic was that Brigham and perhaps half of the 12 were conspirators in underground polygamy. I believe that this was going on for a few years before Joseph was killed and ultimately precipitated his martyrdom. Those participants wanted their ideology to prevail, so acted in concert with Brigham to clear the decks of anyone not receptive to their views. This made for a solid block of votes within the 12 to support any of these ideas. It would appear that this block of votes made it easy to attack individuals and discredit them or get them excommunicated. At least, that is my speculation.

Dale B.

Radio Free Mormon said...

I agree with you, Dale.

In a very important sense, the dispute for leadership had polygamy at its core.

Brigham and the 12 were obviously in favor of polygamy.

William Marks was against polygamy, which is why Emma Smith backed him.

Looking at it from Brigham Young's point of view, if the anti-polygamy faction took control of the church, Brigham Young and other apostles would be branded as adulterers and apostates and excommunicated.

Brigham Young likely saw taking control of the church as a matter of survival.

I want to add that I know some posters here do not believe Joseph Smith and others were practicing polygamy in the Nauvoo period. I do not mean to discount those views.

But the same can be said if we look not at polygamy, but at the most sacred ordinances Joseph had revealed to the Quorum of the Anointed at the time; the ordinances of the endowment and the second anointing.

My recollection is that William Marks and Sidney Ridgon had not received these ordinances.

Brigham Young received them directly from Joseph Smith, and the rest of the 12 did not receive them from Joseph Smith, but to the extent they did receive them, received them from Brigham Young, I believe.

Nevertheless, Brigham Young could well have seen the continuation of these ordinances of exaltation as hinging upon his taking control of the church.

If he had not, the LDS church might have looked a lot more like the RLDS from the get-go.

Underdog2 said...

Radio Free Mormon,

I've seen Robin Hood at work. He will probably not only continue to disagree with you, but will UP his criticism to new heights. He will probably come up with several strawmen arguments and then prove you were wrong about those strawmen and claim victory. Or he often disengages when he can't "win" his argument.

Based on the bio I saw at your website, it appears you will welcome any and all criticism or rebuttals (from Robin Hood or anybody), as it will help you refine your message.

I do think that your presentation was done exceedingly well. It flowed so well, and you necessarily repeated yourself a lot, but that was appreciated because it's hard to keep all the facts of history straight. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your research and dedication of time.

It may be possible that your presentation goes viral, and turns out being a significant thorn, if not semi fatal injury, in the side of the hegemony of the 15 apostles. Despite the Church's desperate attempts to stop with their puny arm the flow of the Missouri River by trying to turn off "unapproved sources" to the members, no unhallowed hand can stop the truth from filling the earth. The digital age has changed everything.

I'm very saddened to learn that Samuel apparently was murdered, but it makes total sense, esp if Joseph and Hyrum fell by the same machinations of tares within. Jesus had a devil He willingly let into the Twelve and inner circle, and I'm guessing that Joseph had at least one or more devils next to him as well who betrayed him and led to his murder, and his two brothers. The difference is Joseph's betrayers are still unknown (as far as I know), though you've given us a hint of who ultimately may have been behind the crime.

You laid out a convincing case that Brigham had a well thought out plan to usurp power. The murders of the three Smith brothers (all who had a right to the "keys") would have been just one part of the plan. Indeed, BY's overall plans turned out to be brilliant (as in Ether 8 brilliant), and they worked flawlessly. The rewriting of history truly is as effective a tool of oppression as could ever be dreamed up.

Brigham Young got sex, wealth, and power beyond the wildest fantasies of even the most famously corrupt and evil men in the world, and he accomplished all of this while being respected as a religious leader. I'm stunned that for decades I revered him as a holy man of God. My sole fall-back "logic" was, "If the BoM is true, then EVERYTHING about the Church is true, esp the leaders." That's quite a moronic jump to conclusion. But I confess, that is exactly how I reasoned in my head. And yet, B.Y. did so much good too, it seems to me. I wonder if I ever would have heard of the BoM if it wasn't for the work he did. So I thank him on the one hand, and then marvel at his wickedness on the other hand.

Today, the same spirit of "don't cross the leaders" pervades Church leadership. They've defined apostasy as disobedience to THEM. They oppress the membership. And they certainly do not welcome exposure of BY's abominations to the light of day because that would expose them to the light of day.

MrHFMetz said...

Radio Free Mormon, I still have to say thanks for the podcasts. I found the broadcasts very interesting, though I have my own thoughts on some of the assumptions you have made. I am sure you have spent a lot of time in research and preparing, for which I commend you greatly.
Before taking part in any discussing of details – I'll wait for the transcripts – I notice your essay is for the greater part an attack on Brigham Young. That is also the popular approach on this forum, so you are in good company, as you may have noticed. I like to approach things in a more nuanced way. I am sure that Young was dictatorial during his presidency. But if he was not, the colonisation of the Salt Lake area would probably have had a miserable ending. The political kingdom, as set up by the Prophet in march 1844, with its Council of Fifty, was probably not yet equipped and experienced enough, I think, to get things done effectively. A strong man was needed, and Brigham was able to play that role. I'm sorry folks, but I think God raised him up to be the man that he was.
So I see him as a builder, whereas a person like Heber J. Grant could be considered a destroyer, taken into account the damage that was done during his administration. For the Lord the damage of the changing of doctrines, ordinances, policies, etc. maybe even greater than what Brigham Young did wrong, but it usually does not get the appropriate attention; it's always Brigham who has to be the bad guy.
Let me specify some things: during the administration of Heber J. Grant the pattern of the Temple garment was changed; the Seventy, originally general church quorums, were degradated to stake quorums; during 36 years starting under HJG a wrong method of priesthood ordination was introduced (people were only ordained to an office in the priesthood without the actual conferral of the priesthood itself) and it was not until 1956 that the original correct method of ordination was re-introduced by David O. McKay; in 1923 the church became a business entity while under that regime the Temple Block and other church properties were mortgaged in 1935 in order to get a loan from the Chase National Bank (Reminiscences of John and Lorin Wooley, by Lynn L. Bishop).
This is clear apostacy; how can people do these things without any fear of God.
Maybe Radio Free Mormon could do another broadcast some other time: on Heber J. Grant and his associates.

Elijah Stanfield said...

Can you please explain where you made an actual argument in your comment? Thanks

Elijah Stanfield said...

Wouldn't this make the absolute juiciest Netflix drama? Wow

MrHFMetz said...

Just one last remark in relation to my comment in regard to President Heber J. I don't want to leave the impression that I've lost my faith in the concept of the restoration as initiated through the Prophet Joseph Smith. To the contrary. Mistakes have been made, even big ones, but the ideas and ideals of the Restoration still stand. I strongly believe that one day things will be corrected by the Lord.

Robin Hood said...

Radio Free Mormon,
Unfortunately, your conclusion is in error.

Tom Kauffman said...

Rock,

Do you find the Radio Free Mormon podcasts historically accurate from your point of view? I really enjoy learning everything but would appreciate your stamp of approval. I trust Rock!

PS - Hope you are doing well.

Tom

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Well Tom, as I mentioned in this post, Many times in the past year or two I've touched on the failure of the Brethren to have been anointed of the Lord, and of their lack of any evidence of authority. This is a fascinating time for Mormon History. In the first place we have finally been able to read Brigham Young's words that were lost for years simply because no one knew how to translate the particular form of shorthand that was taken when he spoke.

Most notably absent from history was the talk Brigham gave persuading the Saints that government of the Church should be in the hands of the Twelve. Historians knew he had given a speech on that occasion, but nobody knew what he said until around 2011 when someone finally found another talk by that scribe that had been transcribed, and it was used as a sort of Rosetta Stone to decipher all the others. You can now find "The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young" in kindle format for about 9 dollars a volume. (The physical set of volumes is prohibitively expensive.)

We learn in Brigham's speeches that the prophet had been taken and he did not believe himself to be a prophet, that he expected Joseph's son would one day take "his rightful place among this people" and other admissions that proved he did not consider himself Joseph Smith's legal successor.

Another new source is the long-awaited publication of the minutes of the Council of Fifty, wherein Brigham actually corrected Orson Pratt on Pratt's assertion that Joseph had given the Twelve his authority to govern the church.

So there's a treasure trove of new stuff that proves the authority claims of the leaders of the Church are hollow. To answer your question, yes, I believe the Research presented by Radio Free Mormon is accurate, and probably the most important information ever presented on this blog.

The members of the LDS Church deserve to know these things so they can turn away from their idolotry and place their focus on Christ Jesus, the Book of Mormon, and the teaching of Joseph Smith, the one true prophet and the only one we have any evidence was called of God to the role.

Robin Hood said...

Rock,
I have to agree with you there. Joseph Smith was called by God to the role of prophet. He wasn't the only one of course, because by Joseph's own admission, and the testimony of scripture, Hyrum was too.

Brigham was never called to the role of prophet and he was consistently honest about that. He was, however, elected as the president of tbe church. This was not out of order, as the president does not have to be a prophet; the two roles can be mutually exclusive.

It should be plain to anyone who has studied the succession issue in any depth, that the church is under apostolic administration and has been since the martyrdom. This is much the same as the situation that existed in the primitive church following the ascension. Peter, James and John were clearly a senior presidential trio that emerged from amongst the Twelve at that time. The situation with Brother Brigham & Co at Winter Quarters was not dissimilar.

We are not meant to have a prophet/president in the Joseph Smith mode.
I know I have banged on about this in the past, but the last 2 verses of D&C 136 make this absolutely clear. I don't understand why people cannot see this. It is clearly there in plain sight.

Where the church has gone wrong in this regard is to assign prophetic status to the president, and present him as Joseph's successor in all respects. The president is Joseph's successor in the role of church president, but not in the role of prophet to the church.
I think you will agree that the historical record since the martyrdom supports this position.

So, I don't understand what all the fuss is about really. As Grant McMurray, former RLDS president said, we should not think of ourselves as a people with a prophet, but rather we should think of ourselves as a prophetic people.

Underdog2 said...

Robin Hood,

Radio Free Mormon in those 2 podcasts laid out a convincing case that the apostles, led by BY, usurped power. Much evidences were given. You have rebutted none that I have seen here. RFM welcomes rebuttals.

And yet you assert, "It should be plain to anyone who has studied the succession issue in any depth, that the church is under apostolic administration and has been since the martyrdom."

RFM has studied it in depth, as have others like DS, and the history appears to speak for itself. In other words, it should be plain to see that the apostles were usurpers. The case that a coup occurred is very strong. How would you rebut?

You say that the last 2 verses of DC 136 prove your point that "we are not meant to have a prophet/president in the Joseph Smith mode." Here they are the 2 verses:

41 Now, therefore, hearken, O ye people of my church; and ye elders listen together; you have received my kingdom.

42 Be diligent in keeping all my commandments, lest judgments come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you. So no more at present. Amen and Amen.

Can you point out what is hidden "in plain sight" please?

You "don't understand what all the fuss is about really," you say. Are you okay with Samuel dying under suspicious circumstances? Are you okay with what happened to Stake President Marks in the Nauvoo Stake? Are you okay with Brigham calling virtually every adult male to the 70 so the high council had nobody "under" them? Can you imagine the church today calling 35 Quorums of the Seventy within 18 months???!! That's astounding. That would be newsworthy. Why? One might ask. This fact doesn't cause you to ask, "What the heck was BY doing?" Are you okay with Brigham sending almost all the high priests out to be branch presidents to get rid of other local priesthood that would resist his claim to authority? I'm just going off memory here. Are you okay with the "miracles" being reported years (sometimes decades) later that were designed to support God called Brigham Young? In general, are you okay with the trail of deceit that in totality seems to prove that Brigham Young ruthlessly wrested the governance of the Church out of the hands other claimants? Are you okay with the polygamy he practiced? I could go on. Does it matter if there is evidence of murder, sexual exploitation off the charts, and all manner of unrighteous dominion? Do you give a complete pass to BY?

The fuss?

You're okay with all of these things Brigham did? If so, why are you okay? And why should an objective person just feel like you, and wonder what the fuss is about?

Robin Hood said...

Underdog2,
Really? You can't see it?
"...hearken... you have received my kingdom".
"So no more at present. Amen and Amen."

Those who have eyes to see will see. However, I suspect you don't want to.
Let's face it, the prospect of Brigham and the Twelve legitimately leading the church is many people's worst nightmare. It would mean very large portions of humble pie all round.

RFM did not present the whole story, nor, it has to be said, a well balanced one. He started with the view that Brigham was a usurper and presented his evidence accordingly. He is perfectly within his rights to do that, but don't kid yourself that it was the final word on the matter. Far from it.
Even the RLDS agree that the Twelve assuming leadership of the church at Nauvoo following the martyrdom was appropriate and correct. Their beef with Brigham developed later.
In this regard, an interesting story. When McMurray resigned he refused to designate a successor. The matter was referred to the Council of the Twelve, and the President of the Twelve became president of their church. Sound familiar? Proves nothing of course, but I find it interesting that when they lost a president unexpectedly they ended up doing the same thing as Brigham & Co.

Anyway, we're not going to agree I'm sure.
RFM's podcast was lightweight and poor in my view. It was highly unsatisfactory to me because I know a lot about this subject and I feel that RFM either doesn't, or does but is deliberately presenting a biased picture dressed up as scholarly research. Only he knows the answer.

Rather than simply accept what he says, why don't you test his claims? Perhaps you are afraid of what you might find.

Pepper Draper said...

Underdog2 your reply to Dustin was right on the mark. I have been doing my own exposing of the truth with our efforts to exonerate JS from polygamy and other heresies and have been scorned that I was going to destroy people testimonies and lead them away from Christ.

My feeling is that everyone has to find their testimony roots and if anyone expects to not have to be tested in that, they do not underand the scriptures.

Better to know the truth, than to live a lie


Pepper Davis

Pepper Draper said...

I deeply appreciate the podcast, but polygamy was absolutely at the root of this conspiracy

We have a fb group that is trying to address each these accusations.

Pepper Davis

MrHFMetz said...

I think our Robin Hood has hit some nails on the head in the above comment.
D&C 107 is sometimes called a “constitution” of the priesthood. I find it quite worthless as a legal document. It is vague, incomplete and inconsistent, and unfit to build a consistent administrative organisation upon. Naturally the Twelve had to take power over church matters in 1844, or else the organisation probably would have collapsed. It has even been suggested that Joseph Smith had authorised them to do so, during his “last charge”, but it seems there are some conflicting theories going around on that subject.
The political kingdom, with its Council of Fifty, that Joseph Smith had organised just a few months before his death, was still premature (though the Council made much progress in a short space of time, as it turns out that the exodus to the Salt Lake basin was exercised under the auspices of that organisation – not of the Twelve).
Considering the concept of the two shows, it feels like an attempt to discredit President Young; assumptions and accusations are made, but the hard evidence is not convincing. Besides that, the account contains some errors and half-truths that make it less reliable to me. Anyway the Brigham-haters on this forum will have loved it, I am sure. And there are many, I notice.
A coup d'état? A sinister power grab? Not just that. I wonder though if the subject is actually very relevant for us today; what was done during the presidency of Heber J. Grant was more serious and damaging, and more far reaching. Would'nt that be a more important period of church history to study?

Radio Free Mormon said...

Robin Hood said:

RFM did not present the whole story, nor, it has to be said, a well balanced one. He started with the view that Brigham was a usurper and presented his evidence accordingly. He is perfectly within his rights to do that, but don't kid yourself that it was the final word on the matter. Far from it.

________________________

I did not start my research with the idea in mind that Brigham Young was a usurper.

Instead, my research led me ineluctably to that conclusion.

The podcast starts with that conclusion because that is where my research has led me.

It's not like I started the podcast with no views on the subject and then gradually developed my views as it went along.

Radio Free Mormon said...

Robin Hood said:

Brigham was never called to the role of prophet and he was consistently honest about that. He was, however, elected as the president of the church. This was not out of order, as the president does not have to be a prophet; the two roles can be mutually exclusive.

* * *

Where the church has gone wrong in this regard is to assign prophetic status to the president, and present him as Joseph's successor in all respects. The president is Joseph's successor in the role of church president, but not in the role of prophet to the church.

_______________________________

As I understand your position, no church president since Joseph Smith has functioned in "the role of prophet to the church."

What do you make of the church's insistence, and repeated affirmation, that the president is, in fact, a prophet?

If the church is wrong about this, and the church is under apostolic administration, what are we to say about an apostolic administration that gets so fundamental a fact completely wrong?

Underdog2 said...

Pepper,

What is the FB page you refer to?

I agree. Women, or basically unlimited sex, does provide more than enough motive. The carnal and sensual nature of the natural man wasn't the only motive. No doubt, an astute and unscrupulous business mind could see that there was potentially a fortune to be made on the back of a subservient people. Then there is the devilish nature in man to exercise power and dominion over man, which causes them to abuse others with the "supposed authority" they think they have.

Thus there are 3 solid motives for a coup d'etat done by a secret combination of conspiring men. All Mormons who read the BoM know that Satan was ABSOLUTELY present during this critical juncture in time.

From Ether 8:

7 And now Jared became exceedingly sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.

8 Now the daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert, and seeing the sorrows of her father, thought to devise a plan whereby she could redeem the kingdom unto her father.

9 Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair. And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?

10 And now, therefore, let my father send for Akish, the son of Kimnor; and behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, and I will please him, that he will desire me to wife; wherefore if he shall desire of thee that ye shall give unto him me to wife, then shall ye say: I will give her if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.


If Satan was absolutely present, where was his influence? Well, first of all, you had two dead Smith brothers (3 including Samuel). Then in the wake of their deaths, you had a power play. Just as you would expect.

RFM lays out the details.

From the Ether 8 quote above, you see the LUST for sex. You see sorrow for potentially losing power, or the LUST for power. And you see the LUST for a great wealthy kingdom of power and glory.

Seems to be a perfect parallel, to me. Brigham and his conspirators got all the sex they wanted (hand picked "by God"), got all the power they wanted (ABSOLUTE power, as they crushed the authority of the other quorums), and wealth beyond most people's wildest dreams, served up under the auspices of the "kingdom of God."

I'm not saying this, because it's almost too much to contemplate, but it's very conceivable, though virtually impossible to prove, that these VERY oaths were administered in Brigham's day:

14 And it came to pass that they all sware unto him, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and by their heads, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life.

15 And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.


And yet the Church has still, despite its corruption mainly at the top, provided a valuable service to the world. God has once again outsmarted Satan.

I believe God still honored the Church through the decades and up to 2013 because the office of patriarchal priesthood (the highest of the 3 priesthoods) was present through Eldred Smith. Just as Lehi passed it down to Nephi to Jacob to Omni (who was wicked but still had the patriarchal office by right of lineage) down to Amaleki who had "no seed."

Radio Free Mormon said...

Underdog 2 wrote:

I'm not saying this, because it's almost too much to contemplate, but it's very conceivable, though virtually impossible to prove, that these VERY oaths were administered in Brigham's day:

14 And it came to pass that they all sware unto him, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and by their heads, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life.

15 And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.

____________________________________

Good points!

One could even argue that such oaths were made part and parcel of the temple endowment.

Now who put those oaths in there and why may be up to debate, though my understanding is that some historians hold that these were inserted by Brigham Young.

So in response to your question, such oaths being administered in Brigham Young's days may be somewhat less than "virtually impossible to prove."

;^)

Underdog2 said...

RFM,

Wow! I've not studied the temple endowment under Brigham (and pre 1990). With what you say in mind, I'll have to make that a point of study. Can you point me in the right direction? Got a podcast on that?

Underdog2 said...

(part 1)

MrHFMetz said:

"D&C 107 is sometimes called a “constitution” of the priesthood. I find it quite worthless as a legal document. It is vague, incomplete and inconsistent, and unfit to build a consistent administrative organisation upon."

Doesn't DC 107 lay out the principle of checks and balances, or equality, where no man or organization could rise and abuse others. Would you agree? On this one principle alone, do you agree, or are you opposed? Do you prefer a kingship or strongman model, if you will, like the Nephites had prior to 91 BC? Or do you want a kingdom of equals?

I detect that you are discrediting the idea of equality as institutionalized as best as could be possible in DC 107. You use the words "worthless", "vague", "incomplete", and "inconsistent" and "unfit" to describe a section whose major contribution is to argue for Liberty over Tyranny. It's the age-old battle, light verses darkness, Freedom v. Slavery, Freemen vs. Kingmen, Christ v. Satan.

I'd like to challenge you to reconsider your position.

There is much sophistry utilized in and outside the Church to lobby for centralization of power, or COLLECTIVISM. You see the position of the Kingmen argued on a daily basis by the globalist MSM and its victims. It's argued in the classrooms at BYU and every other major university. It's argued here by the likes of Robin Hood, unless he wants to jump in and reverse himself, as I invite you to do.

I think the scriptures condemn the philosophy of centralized power.

The Brother of Jared said the centralized model "lead to captivity." So did King Mosiah and Alma, a true prophet. So did Ezra Taft Benson, a true patriot and inspired man of God. SO did our Founding Fathers, who were raised up by God.

You see the battle waged by the leftist authoritarians every day in the news. The latest manifestation is the Left through their sophistry trying to dishonestly DISGUISE their hatred of Liberty (what America should stand for) as their right to protest (as some NFL players have done by kneeling). People can be confused by such lies of the Left. The Left goes after the low-hanging fruit -- the uneducated -- who can be easily manipulated by emotion, and divided by cries of racism. The battle of Truth v. Error rages.

We who have the restored gospel should be united with no discord by our Scriptures which teach God is the Author of Liberty, and that Satan wants to reign and oppress and stamp out Liberty through instituting inequality in society, where a dictator at the top dictates. In Satan's case it was the lie, "I'll save you. None will be lost. Follow me!"

(part 2 next)

Underdog2 said...

(Part 2 of 2)

Today the Church teaches that very dogma, disguised as "we can't lead you astray." Brigham lived this idea because he portrayed himself as one with authority who could exalt you, all the while crushing all who opposed him, as RFM carefully explained in the 2 podcasts.

We can boil the discussion down to this: did Brigham try to centralize authority under his rule, or did he seek for a system of equals? What do you say?

And even that question is not to the root. The root is: was anybody, post June 27, 1844, declaring to be "sent" by God? Omni was honest. He actually HAD the presiding authority by lineage, but confessed he was wicked. I love him for his honesty. The key question is "Who is SENT"? Who was it back then, and what was his message? The answer: NOBODY said they were "sent." The biggest question of all, from a "legal administrator" standpoint, is "Who has been SENT"? So since nobody claimed to be "sent", then there was a mad scramble get established as one "with authority." And I say, if you're arguing for inequality in the kingdom, then you are disqualified from consideration. That meant Brigham as in no way qualified.

But the question is moot, because, after all, if you haven't been "sent", you frankly do not matter. Why would or should we bother listening?!

"I am looking for messengers from my Father," is what we should all be saying, as Adam did. True messengers are "sent". Joseph claimed this. There is at least one man alive today who claims that. We should scrutinize the heck out of his message, and more importantly, seek God by the power of the Holy Ghost for ourselves.


On a related note that you bring up, could you please share what you're referring to about Heber J Grant please? Are you speaking of the deletion of the Lectures on Faith from our canon in 1921 or the conversion of the Church to a Corporation Sole in the 1920's?

Pepper Davis said...

Underdog2

We absolutely believe their were and are secret combinations involved in the plot to kill JS and HS. I am actually writing up a document on Sarah Ann Whitney that I believe reveals this. I will then be exploring more of the occult and the sexual aspect in a future document

https://m.facebook.com/groups/225800241220709

I realize there are many who support break away movements, so I want to make it is clear, that in our group there is no discussion of them to avoid any and all possible arguments as they have in the last. We focus on Joseph and polygamy

Pepper Davis said...

RFM and Underdog

In reading about HCK you will have many aha moments. He is life long friends with BY, he becomes a Freemason in 1829 and then goes silent until 1844, he is a major player in the take over. I have not seen any evidence that JS had been a free mason until this time when HCK said that JS and Rigdon were the first to go through. Which begs to ask the question, who was administering the oaths if it wasn't JS

https://archive.org/stream/PresidentHeberC.KimballsJournal/president_heber_c_kimbal_journal_djvu.txt

Underdog2 said...

Pepper and RFM,

I'm very late to the game in reading or knowing Church history. But at least I've spent the last 30 years studying the Scriptures. Shame on me for not looking at LDS history more.

I'll read the link.

And thanks for the FB link too.

I have read several books on Free Masons but none recently. I'm familiar with the Illuminati (founded just a few years before Joseph was born --- very interesting!), and Albert Pike, and more.

I didn't know Heber C. Kimball was a Free Mason.

I do know that Joseph uttered the Mason distress call, so that means he was trying to save his life and he knew their were Masons in the murderous mob.

"Oh Lord my God, is there no help for the widow's son," is at least part of the distress call, and Joseph Smith attempted to yell it out to save his life.

Darkness prevailed that day. I'm so sorry to learn about Samuel in RFM's podcasts. That means there were demons lurking everywhere, and that the Smith family trusted them!

Mr. Ebenezer Rider said...

RFM
I was riveted by the podcasts. I'm hopeful a written form will be forthcoming as you reference several things I've never found in my own research.

You ask about the "office of priesthood and patriarch" and you do what most of us do and assume two offices are being referred to, namely the office of Patriarch and secondly the office of Priesthood. I have learned to look at this another way, namely "the office of Priesthood and Patriarch", a single office held by the legal administrator on earth having the right of dominion over the earth, the sealing authority, & the power to ask and receive, held since 1841 by Hyrum and for a minute, after Hyrums death, by Joseph Smith.

The restoration scriptures project capitalizes both words reflecting the above understanding.

Anyway, hope that sheds a little light. Loved the podcasts. One of the few paradigm shifting online experiences of my life.

Rock, thanks for once again breaking your rule and allowing this fascinating podcast on your site.

McKay

MrHFMetz said...

Doesn't D&C 107 lay out the principle of checks and balances...(underdoag2)? No it does'nt lay it out; it just makes a mess of it. It only mentions it but that's all. About equality; 107 may promote the principle, but it is not institutionalised at all in it.
BTW how can equality exist between complete unequals (Apostles and the high council in Zion for instance).
It should be clear that this 107 remains enigma in this regard.

MrHFMetz said...

To underdog: O wait, at the end you write: “On a related note that you bring up, could you please share . . . “ Sure, please check my comment on this forum dated September 26, 2017 at 1:45 PM and you will find more details. Indeed the omission of the Lectures of Faith is part of the damage that was done. Do you know that Heber J. (together with his companions of course) was panning to take out 95 Sections of the D&C, having no enduring value, as they explained it? Fortunately this plan was abandoned after much opposition from the church.
But the method of priesthood ordination was definitely changed: people were only ordained to an office without conferral of priesthood. George Q. Cannon once prophesied: “ . . . you will find out that there will be hundreds who have no Priesthood, but who believe they hold it, they only holding an office in the church”. (from Truth 3:153/Keys of the priesthood illustrated by Lynn and Steve Bishop).
So you better check your line of authority (if you have ever been ordained, that is).

DarkMatter said...

Assuming that Brigham Young did usurp authority I am interested in knowing what should have happened after Jospeh and Hyrum died. Maybe because of Saints' unworthiness in not finishing the Nauvoo Temple on time the Lord withdrew the fullness of the Priesthood for a season and nothing could have changed that so no good outcome was possible. Or maybe Brigham could have humbled himself before Emma Smith and done whatever it took to keep her and Joseph Smith III with the church (including renouncing polygamy) so that when Jospeh Smith III came of age he would have become the President of the Church in which case the LDS church might look more like the RLDS church. Would that have been a preferable outcome?

Pepper Davis said...

Underdog you have to realize that the narrative of what JS and HS did and said came from two of the conspirators watch this link
https://www.facebook.com/groups/225800241220709/permalink/319016288565770/

Pepper Davis said...

HFMetz, woah! Thank you for the priesthood reference. That is important information !

Dave P. said...

I saw that the doctrine of "The thinking has been done so sit down and shut up!" was in its usual form during Conference this weekend. Caught a snippet of Ballard's talk and he was outright telling people not to listen to anything church-related if it doesn't come from the mouths of church leaders.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

It's the beginning of the end for those frauds, Dave P. All they got left is to try and convince the members they still need them.

Too many awakening members are beginning to ask, "what for?"

Robin Hood said...

Re. Elder Ballard's comments:
That's the likes of Snuffer, Dehlin, Waterman et al told.
Not before time.

MC said...

Very interesting podcast. Like Robin Hood I believe that the revelation given to Brigham Young in D&C 136 is legit. I also agree with his take that the conclusion of that revelation makes it pretty clear that the saints would not be receiving "thus saith the Lord" revelations for some time. Having said that the saints were expected to remain faithful to the Lord and that is where the problem lies. The church has drifted farther and farther off course from top to bottom.

Here's a few thoughts for all you Brigham Young haters. Was Brigham Young appointed to lead the church by the law of common consent? Yes he was. Of that there is no question. Now what about Sidney Rigdon, shouldn't he have been elected to lead the church? This question is a mute point, because the people chose Brigham Young. Furthermore, if it was up to Joseph Smith Sidney wouldn't have been his councilor anymore. He tried to cast him off, but the saints voted to retain him as his councilor. Joseph Smith then said that he would no longer sustain Sidney, or something to that effect. You guys can't have it both ways. Brigham was elected by common consent to lead the church and by common consent Sidney Rigdon was retained as a councilor in the first presidency against Joseph Smith's wishes. Seriously you guys need to be more objective and stop trying to throw Brigham Young under the bus every chance you get.

Also, the idea that the Brigham Young and the 12 were polygamy conspirators against a monogamist Joseph Smith is unsustainable for many reasons. Like it or not the facts point very strongly to Joseph introducing them to polygamy.

Also, many of Brigham Young's unpopular teachings regarding Adam-God or Blacks can be supported in the scriptures and from statements made be Joseph Smith. That's uncomfortable, but it's nevertheless true.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

Just about every sentence you wrote is false. And I don't have time to rebut the sheer volume of inaccuracies. It would be a circular argument anyway.

What I would like to do is this, to keep it simple. One question...

Was Brigham Young for Liberty, for freedom of thought, for checks and balances, for a kingdom of equals? RFM lays out FACTS that show he was against everything I just mentioned.

How do you reconcile Brigham's actual actions (as laid out in the podcasts) with the Gospel of Jesus Christ which preaches liberty and equality and preaches against abuse of power? Seriously, what is your argument? Or will you just turn a blind eye?

It all boils down to, Did Brigham abuse the authority he 'supposed' he had? You know that we learn by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will IMMEDIATELY begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

The FACTS of Brigham's abuse are indisputable. Or will you try to excuse his abuse? Why would you even want to do this? You do realize that excusing the abuse of your leaders means that you are making the case for YOU to be abused. Stockholm Syndrome.

MC said...

Underdog2,

The issue is not whether or not Brigham abused his power. I believe that he abused his power at times. The same could be said about Joseph Smith in Nauvoo if you want to start picking apart people's actions.

The issue us whether or not the saints voted to have Brigham Young lead them under the law of commen consent. The answer is absolutely yes. It's also a fact that Joseph tries to have Sidney removed as his councilor and the saints voted to compell Joseph to keep him. Rock has posted about the story of Joseph trying to remove Sidney and the saints overruling him.

Go ahead and keep telling yourself that Brigham seized power illegally in Nauvoo. It's not sustainable by the facts and is revisionist history. Same thing for the idea that Brigham and the 12 came up with polygamy and pinned it on Joseph. It's not sustainable by facts and is revisionist history. The RLDS church went into a tailspin over these very issues. Their claims that this was the case were proven unsustainable.

But hey there's no point in fighting over it. You can believe whatever you want. Truth is truth whether we accept it or not. Joseph Smith started polygamy and Brigham Young was elected to lead the church by common consent.

Linda Gale said...

I am so glad that the fact of common consent is brought up in these comments, because being elected by the people does not confer prophetic status to any of the leaders. So why are we sustaining 15 apostles as prophets when they clearly are not? Yet in the TR interviews, we are pressed to sustain them as such (when clearly they are no more inspired than your average Christian is).

The more I learn about the workings of the LDS church -- policy and leadership-- the less inclined I am to put much faith or stock in their pronouncements.

Perhaps this is as it should be. Perhaps the Holy Ghost is saying to us, "remember those scriptures which proclaim that you are NOT to put your trust in the arm of flesh? well, this is exactly why those scriptures were preserved for you to read, contemplate and apply." If we trust these "mortals" more than, or even equal to, Jesus Christ and His written word, then we have displaced our faith. These men are as shifting sand, changing 'doctrine'as easily as one changes their socks.

I am a lifetime member, and I am currently having a huge case of "broken heart and contrite spirit" over the obvious errancy of the LDS church leadership and policy.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

I agree with the Lord that common consent is important. Some relevant scriptures:


"No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church;" – D&C 20:65

"And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen." – D&C 26:2

"For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith." – D&C 28:13

"And now, I give unto the church in these parts a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church;" – D&C 38:34

"And a commandment I give unto you, that you should fill all these offices and approve of those names which I have mentioned, or else disapprove of them at my general conference;" – D&C 124:144

"Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord." – Mosiah 29:25

"Now this was alarming to the people of the church, and also to all those who had not been drawn away after the persuasions of Amlici; for they knew that according to their law that such things must be established by the voice of the people… And it came to pass that the voice of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people." – Alma 2:3, 7

(See also D&C 104:21, 71-72, 85; Mosiah 7:9; Mosiah 22:1; Mosiah 29:2; Alma 27:21-22; and others)

But Rock mentioned that the Church was very split up. It appears that most people weren't involved in voting. Wasn't it at most 50% of the people? but here's the most important thing to remember:

Common consent can only work in an environment where leaders are: loving, patient, humble, meek and tolerant, etc.

Do you agree?

If these virtues aren't present, then the common consent nature of the community collapses into something more akin to tyranny.

I believe oppression, intolerance, impatience, and these types of characteristics are what marked Brigham's rise to power with his group of followers.

What factual points that RFM brought up do you disagree with which shows an utter contempt for equality and balance of power?

Linda makes a good point too, common consent in no way MAKES you a true prophet, seer, or revelator!

Isn't it self evident that a man (Brigham) who removed all checks and balances to his power and who basically staged a coup for him and his conspiring apostles, isn't it evident that he lost any priesthood power/authority that he ever had? DC 121 is the citation. "Amen to the priesthood, or the authority of that man"!

Why do men not learn the lesson? Because they ASPIRE to the honors of men and because their hearts are set so much on things of this world (sex, money, and power).

Is there any denying that Brigham Young achieved all the sex, money, and power that even a ruthless dictator could ever want? Contrast Brigham with Joseph. No money, married to one woman (despite false claims of the apostles), and as far as power (you could make an argument that he had power, but did he use the army at his disposal to crush rebellion? No he didn't). Compare Brigham to Jesus. No evidence of corruption with sex, no evidence of monetary wealth, and he commanded his disciples to not fight for Him. Compare with Denver, a man who declares he's been sent: he's into monogamy, he had money that he makes as lawyer, but takes no money from his preaching, and he condemns those who who follow him. He points people to Christ. Brigham's rise to power is astonishing!

How do you rebut the facts that RFM brings up in his podcasts?

Robin Hood said...

Underdog2,
You are using the same flip-flop tactics the anti-Mormons use.
MC didn't say that common consent confers prophetic abilities or keys. But he did point out that it is the law of the church. The law was followed in Nauvoo when the Twelve were elected to lead the church and Rigdon's claim was rejected.
That is both a matter of record and of church law. The character of Brother Brigham, in terms of the exercise of common consent, is irrelevant.
With regard to plural marriage, I believe it did originate with Joseph, but not in the form that developed in Utah. That is not to say that the Utah practice was evil, just different.

As I've said before, RFM is presenting a narrative which is informed by a specific mindset. We all do that at times. But in this instance his views have compromised the truth and resulted in a biased piece of work being passed off as objective research. This is unfortunate, but it is even more unfortunate that there are so many so willing and eager to accept his position. It's quite sad really.

The fact is that the Twelve were legitimately elected to lead the church and no amount of sour grapes from the likes of Rigdon or Marks etc could change it, no matter how much RFM wishes it did.

MC said...

Underdog2,

Robin Hood is right on the money on this one. You are using anti-Mormon type arguments. Speaking of anti-Mormons, they have the exact same gripes about Joseph Smith as you have about Brigham Young. They accuse him of being power hungry, controlling, and sex crazed. They have plenty of contemporary evidence to support their claims, too. So you'll have to forgive me if I don't take the bate on your sweeping statements attacking Brigham Young's character, which are irrelevant to my point about common consent anyway.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

Those anti Mormon allegations are based on statements made by Brighamites.

Brigham through Joseph under the bus!

I believe things can be boiled down to discerning the spirit of Liberty v. the spirit of oppression and tyranny.

MC said...

Underdog2,

As much as the Snuffer led remnant movement wants say that Brigham Young threw Joseph Smith under the bus, the facts do not support this.

The anti-Mormon arguments against Joseph Smith I've read are not generally based on statements by those who followed Brigham Young west. The attacks on Joseph's character generally come from apostates prior to Joseph's death like William and Wilson Law, the Booth boys, John C. Bennett, Sarah Pratt, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, members of the eight witnesses, etc. The Nauvoo Expositor is proof enough that Brigham did not invent polygamy and pin it on Joseph.

DeeLyn said...

If people don't think Brigham Young and most other LDS leaders were evil and don't see how evil polygamy always is in every case, no matter who instigated it, then they almost surely won't see a big problem with much lesser issues about common consent or the changes in the Church's leadership policies, etc.

Most people today and throughout history have supported or lived polygamy, either serial or concurrent, for it's our natural man tendency as mortals to desire polygamy in some form. The adversary has tried to get all mortals to live polygamy. Few have lived or believed in God's standard of true eternal unconditional love and faithfulness to 1 person for a lifetime.

Pepper Davis said...

MC, your comments reminded me of something else we need to find out if JS actually did and said about Sydney
Additionally, if you gain common consent by fraud is that righteousness and will God sustain a fraud? The Saints trusted the remaining twlve because they had been missionaries among them and had gained their confidence.
Finally, you better hold on to your seat because the evidence the JS did not love polygamy far out weighs hearsay and lost mortem accounts that we are dismantling right and left.

Pepper Davis said...

MC you are making me laugh.
You think that it is only members who are associated with any of those names you mentioned are the only ones exposing the conspiracy. I am not associated with any of those teachings and am in full blown activity of showing the "narrative" seriously flawed. However, even though I do not subscribe to any of the people you mentioned , your condescending antagonism is so typical of the LDS leaders Pavlov dogs
Who do their defending. I find it interesting that the leaders never answer to the points made about their activity but they have done the best
Job at indoctrinating the members that the moment they hear the "whistle" of criticism of the leaders they go into a trance and spew the garbage with no substance

I never trust someone who hides behind a username. So easy to sit there and act like an attack dog in anonymity.

Again, common consent when done through fraud is not sanctioned. It supported by god

MC said...

Pepper,

Not really sure why it matters what my username is. What if I used the name Samuel Thompson instead of MC, would that make a difference? How would you even know if that was my real name or not? How do I know if your name is really Pepper Davis? It shouldn't matter.

I'm curious how I'm acting like an attack dog by pointing out that Brigham Young and the 12 were rightfully elected to lead the church according to the law of common consent or by taking exception to all of the Brigham Young bashing and misinformation that is being held up as fact to justify the attacks on his character? I think I know why you find my comments offensive, it's because I have exposed the seriously flawed logic in the Snuffer remnant claims that Brigham Young hijacked the church and started polygamy.

I'm not really sure how I'm defending everything the LDS leaders do by pointing out that Brigham Young and the 12 were legitimately elected to lead the church? I have stated on a number of occasions, including on this thread, that I believe the church is on the wrong track from top to bottom. I have serious concerns about some of the practices in the church today, such as the obsession with money, the constant follow the prophet rhetoric, changed temple ordinances, correlated curriculum, the pervasiveness of graven images, the softened stance towards homosexuality and abortion, the flip flopping on Blacks and the priesthood, the obsession with being popular, the lack of the true gifts of the spirit, and on and on.

Believe it or not I don't have an ax to grind with polygamy. I have no desire to practice polygamy, nor do I fully understand how polygamy fits into God's purposes. Having said that it really rubs me the wrong way when people ignorantly bash Brigham Young and the early Utah saints for practicing it and claim Joseph Smith was a strict monogamist. While the facts are admittedly a little hazy, it is clear that Joseph Smith was sealed to quite a few women besides Emma and these women were sealed to him as wives. The evidence is also remarkably strong that he had marital relations with a number of these wives. You claim to have new evidence that proves he didn't have wives besides Emma. I'd be happy to look at what you have to say, but I honestly doubt you have any info that I don't already know about. I've read "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy", I've read the essay on the to the Remnant blog about the lack of polygamous births in Nauvoo prior to Joseph's death, I've read Denver Snuffer's polygamy lecture, etc. All of these works have some valid points, but at the end of the day it is a cold hard fact that Joseph was sealed to additional wives besides Emma. This is beyond debate. It is a fact. It is also a fact that Joseph was accused of being a polygamist by both his friends and his enemies in Kirtland and Nauvoo, this includes Sidney Rigdon. I know Joseph always publicly denied it, I know he brought court cases against the Higbees for slander, I know there is no proof that he fathered children with any woman besides Emma, etc. All of those facts complicate the issue, but the fact still remains that he was sealed to other wives and the evidence is strong that he had relations with at least some of them. I'm sorry but the whole Brigham invented polygamy and slandered Joseph just doesn't hold water.


Pepper Davis said...

MC why it matters is because people who hide behind usernames have no accountability for what they say. You can go to my public profile and see everything about me. I post almost everything as public because I take accountability for what I say and do

I will say it once again, gaining common consent was done by fraud. Additionally, the whole church was not present when he gained the consent to be president. As it was pointed out in the pod cast he did not gain consent to dismantle and change the affairs of the church. The the order of consent would have gone through all the quorums and then through the general body, which it didn't. So having the body say they will consent to have the twelve be guardians and govern together is not the same thing that BY did.

Now as for your assertion that the facts are irrifurable shows your lack of understanding how evidence is determined as factual. I am in the process right now of writing up Sarah Ann whitmer's story. It's so full of holes, it's ridiculous that it was ever even considered.

Let us take that just one step further, you have read all of the Prices work and you can sit there and say that Joseph was a liar? I mean really? I will never understand people who when faced with the testimony of JS himself about his innocence will still believe he is a liar.
There can only be one person who was telling the truth JS or BY, you can't have both

This is why you are acting as an attack dog. You have all these issues with the church and you can't bring yourself to admit that they could have been lying about JS? You can't believe that they murdered him and took over the church in a coup de ta ? You want to say that by common consent he did nothing wrong? That is some serous indoctrination if you are going to go down that line of defense.
Very soon there will be another book out that will show you that your stance that BY was a good guy, JS was a liar and all this is perfectly fine because the unsuspecting members gave their consent. Lol 👌🏻

MC said...

Pepper,

You seriously believe that the 12 apostles had Joseph Smith murdered so they could take over the church? You seriously believe that Brigham Young and the 12 fully intended to completely change the government of the church at the time of the succession crisis?

You are entitled to your opinion, but neither of those theories are supportable by reality.

Also it's not Brigham's word against Joseph's when it comes to polygamy. It's Joseph public denials against dozens and dozens of testimonies that he taught and practices plural marriage in Nauvoo. As I pointed out many of these testimonies are not from Brighamites, and even if they were, historical evidence does not support the narrative that Brigham Young had the kind of control over the saints that would compel so many of them to lie about who founded polygamy. You are of course free to believe whatever you want.

The Price's argument is basically that dozens of independent and unrelated conspirators were working to defame Joseph's character so they could practice spiritual wivery. That just isn't reasonable. They also fail to include really any counter arguments in their work which shows how shaky it is.

Also just because I see many problems in the church today doesn't mean I'm in denial about your little conspiracy theory, it means I believe that the major problems began some time after the saints were led by the hand of God to Utah, not at Joseph's death. Hosea prophecied that the saints would be led to the desert and then the Lord would depart and return at a later date. The saints were to remain fully faithful to the Lord. This has unfortunately not been the case, again as prophesied in many places in the scriptures.

MC said...

Pepper,

I forgot to answer one of your questions. The fact that only about half of the church was there to vote at the time of the succession crisis is not evidence of fraud on the part of the 12. It is evidence that as many of the saints as possible were gathered as quickly as possible to vote on the matter. Having every member in the church be present to vote is not required under the law common consent and would be impractical today and flat out impossible in the 1840s.

Also, I'm not really sure why you keep saying that Brigham Young defrauded the saints and that they only votes for the 12 because they knew them from the missionfield. Perhaps they trusted them because they had seen the spiritual power that these men had. It's also irrelevant whether or not Brigham Young looked or sounded just like Joseph Smith as was reported years later. The Holy Ghost witnessed to the saints that he was the one to lead the church. How exactly that happened is not important.

Log said...

Actually, properly understood, those who are arguing that Brigham or some other mortal was the rightful leader of the LDS Church, on whatever basis, are completely correct: Brigham, or whomever, was, indeed, the rightful leader, on whatever basis.

But that's precisely Rock and RFM's point, as announced in the title of this post.

Pepper Davis said...

MC

i know crazy right? I mean that whole Book of Mormon secret oaths and combinations was simply for entertainment value. If it was for us as members you honestly think that it's only referring to the Govt ?

Motive, means and connections are how conspiracies get carried out

Good luck with your UT LDS bed time story. When you wake up and realize you were in a day dream then you can make sense of all the other garbage you are concerned with

MC said...

Log,

I think it just depends on how one wants to look at things. Even today with all of the problems in the church the brethren still declare that Christ is at the head of the church. They don't say that it is President Monson's church. Now of course we know that the church is really a corporation that is exclusively in President Monson's name, but from a doctrinal stand point it is still taught that Christ is leading the church.

The D&C sets forth a model were a church president and two councilors lead the church (under the direction of Christ of course). Whether or not Brigham Young had the right or authority to reestablish the first presidency can be debated, but at the end of the day we just don't know what the will of the Lord was. RFM has his opinion, but that's what it is, an opinion. Brigham and the 12 were rightfully elected to lead the church by common consent. That is a fact. RFM can try to twist that around all he wants to, but he can't change what happened. The church voted for Brigham and the 12. If the church had voted for Sidney and Brigham took control of the church anyway then RFM would have a valid point about Brigham seizing power by fraud or whatever.

Like I said the brethren still say that Christ leads the church. I have some concerns with that claim, but that doesn't change history and make Brigham Young into a power hungry sexed crazed jerk. Brigham never claimed to be a prophet. He preached against putting blind trust in leaders. He tried very hard to reform the church when things started to go sideways. Was he perfect? No. But he isn't the villain everyone is making him out to be. He was a flawed mortal man who did the best he could to keep the church together and move the work forward under very difficult circumstances. I have a lot of respect for him warts and all.

Good Will said...

Dustin,

I loved your comment! As one who was excommunicated from the church and consequently saw all of his children and family apostatize -- because their faith was grounded in the church and not in Christ, as yours and mine is -- I can attest to the truthfulness of what you've said. They are in a far darker place now.

However, our faith and knowledge ought to be grounded in truth. And that which is presented here is the facts as best we can tell. The Mormon church is erected on a foundation of myth. Inasmuch as anyone builds on it, they shall fall. Let the truth be known that all may wisely build on a more sure Rock and Foundation!

DeeLyn said...

The bottom line is, even if Joseph practiced polygamy too, it still doesn't make polygamy ok with God. It still is against Christ's commandments and against natural law and would only prove Joseph a false prophet like all the other LDS prophets who didn't follow Christ either.

And even if most of the members did vote for and choose Brigham Young to lead them, it didn't make BY righteous or a true prophet nor did it make the Church he took to Utah true. And it doesn't mean it was the Holy Spirit (and not the Adversary) that inspired the members to vote that way even if they assumed it was the HS, for the Holy Spirit would never do such or support such a man like BY who didn't follow Christ.

History has shown that the majority in any church or society usually votes for wrong things and people, so it would be expected that most members would fall for and vote for an unrighteous leader or false prophet, as most people have always done through the ages.

But it wasn't just that Joseph denied living polygamy that shows that Joseph was probably innocent of it, but it was the fact that he continually warned and taught the Saints that if they ever fell for or supported any man or prophet or even angel that preached or practiced polygamy, even if it was 'he' himself that started doing so, then those who followed or believed in him or such a man or prophet or angel would lose their salvation, for they should completely reject such a person or angel.

So Joseph was setting up the Church to reject him or BY or anyone else who might eventually start preaching or practicing polygamy. That and the fact that Joseph understood and purposely taught in the scriptures he published (the BoM and the D&C), how evil polygamy always is and contrary to Christ's teachings.

If Joseph had fell for polygamy and was secretly living it, he wouldn't have put all those teachings against it in his scriptures, (like saying that the wicked Lamanites were actually more righteous than the Nephites because the Lamanites loved, honored and respected their wives and vows, while the Nephites lived polygamy and thus didn't love and respect their wives and women in society.

Had Joseph really believed in polygamy he wouldn't have mentioned taught against it in his scriptures and he wouldn't have set the Saints up to reject him if he thought they would one day have to accept polygamy or find out he lived it.

And there is no real proof that Joseph was sealed to other women, but there is real proof that he taught and understood and warned how evil polygamy always was and is and that it is contrary to Christ's teachings.

God would want us to follow the Golden Rule in deciding who to believe, whether Joseph's own words when he could speak for himself or the hearsay of everyone else after he was gone.

For those who really follow Christ, it really doesn't matter if Joseph fell for polygamy or not, for Christ completely condemned polygamy (serial or concurrent) in all circumstances. So to even support leaders or a Church who believes in or allows serial or concurrent polygamy, past, present or future, is to not follow Christ, for as Joseph so correctly pointed out, Christ would have nothing to do with such a church or leaders.





Underdog2 said...

DeeLyn,

I'm not a proponent of polygamy. But if God commanded it, I guess I'd have to obey.

Seriously though, was not a true prophet, Abraham, commanded?

As a principle, as Jacob 2 says, IF God commands it, it's okay, right?

Or do you disagree?

Good Will said...

Don't overlook the oaths made in LDS temples (until 1990) by those receiving their endowments. Patrons promised to keep these oaths upon pain of death! And their executions were dramatized in various ways (the slitting of the throat, opening the chest cavity or disembowelment). Is this not reminiscent of Ether 8? And were not these oaths of allegiance even more specific and vindictive in Brigham's day? The ordinances, indeed, have been changed many times.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

You said, "The issue is not whether or not Brigham abused his power. I believe that he abused his power at times. The same could be said about Joseph Smith in Nauvoo if you want to start picking apart people's actions.

"The issue us whether or not the saints voted to have Brigham Young lead them under the law of commen consent. The answer is absolutely yes. It's also a fact that Joseph tries to have Sidney removed as his councilor and the saints voted to compell Joseph to keep him. Rock has posted about the story of Joseph trying to remove Sidney and the saints overruling him."

Really interesting. I can agree with you that the issue is not whether or not Brigham (or anybody) abused his power on rare occasion(s). Joseph wasn't perfect, so we should expect him to err from time to time.

So perhaps we ought to look at SUSTAINED abuse, or habitual abuse? I'm not aware of any abuse by Joseph Smith. But I'll concede the point and say there may be and probably is evidence of SOME abuse by Joseph. I'll concede the point you make, but do you concede the refined point I'm coming back at you with, that the issue is: Is there evidence of sustained, habitual, unrepented of abuse; was there an attempt to institutionalize abuse by, for example, trying to centralize power at the top, by Brigham?

Let me gut check you...you do agree that unrighteous dominion is of utmost importance? DC 121 points out that an abuser LOSES his authority when he abuses it and he loses it unknowingly ("ere he is aware"). So he carries on (with his abusive tendencies) as if he still has the authority, and naturally SAYS he has authority by virtue of the authority he says he has, entirely forgetting that "no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by" saying "I have authority."

Common consent is important, as I quoted many scriptures above that back up common consent. However, in my mind, it's a lot like democracy in that people can be easily manipulated by power-hungry people through deception. However, people are still accountable for their choices, and even for being deceived. Common consent is a built-in check and balance.

It seems to me that God has had a hand in the affairs of TCOJCOLDS up until just recently when idolatry and unrighteous dominion have gotten really out of hand. Perhaps common consent legitimized Brigham. Idk. I am still persuaded by DC 121 that the bigger issue is who connects to the powers of heaven? Who communes with God? THAT is whom we should listen to, and not just because someone had/has a debatable claim to authority, when they don't even testify to being "sent".

Good Will said...

They are equal in power and authority in their respective spheres (which don't overlap).

The twelve were entrusted with the duty to preach the gospel to the world.

The High Council in Nauvoo was entrusted with the affairs of the Kingdom in Nauvoo.

The 12 were specifically precluded from interfering in the affairs of the kingdom within organized stakes of Zion.

Thus the power and authority of God was "equalized" and distributed among the people of the church.

Underdog2 said...

Goodwill,

That's how I read DC 107, and that seems "right" to me. This equality is in stark contrast to what Brigham did, and to the authoritarian "iron fist" rule from the top we have today.

The 70 were (v. 25) called to preach the gospel and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world. The 12 were "special witnesses". Interesting how the word changed from "special" to "especial" from v 23 to v. 25. I don't know the difference in meaning.

Good Will said...

I fear that Brigham Young et al were handed the reins of church leadership by common consent in the same way that the Jaredites selected a king by common consent (against the advice of the brother of Jared, who said it would lead to tyranny) in opposition to the light and truth established by Section 107.

In absence of revelation (and later influenced by deceit), the church was led astray, plain and simple.

Revelation (of Jesus Christ) was to be that rock upon which Jesus established His church, cementing the direct connection between Him and the church.

Brigham Young (and his followers) seditiously altered the affairs of the kingdom (not to mention its scriptures and history) and interjected themselves between God and man.

The hierarchical nature of the LDS church, with its present lines of authority, is a direct affront to God and the association that should exist between us and our true Savior.

The LDS regime is a "counterfeit" to the kingdom of God -- where ALL know Him (and speak in His name) from the least to the greatest.

Good Will said...

What "strong" evidence do you have, MC, the Joseph Smith had sexual relations with women other than Emma?

Good Will said...

I honestly believe that both Pepper and MC are correct! You are both correctly looking at two sides of the same coin.

matt lohrke said...

I'm just an idiot with an internet connection, but I've been thinking lately a lot about Jacob 4:14 lately. What if we swapped out "Jews" for "saints":

"But behold, the [Saints] were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble."

I think it works. Prior to 1830, Christ described His church those who repented, were baptized and came unto Him. As I understand it, there were many who wanted a formal organization--the New Testament church. God gave the Jews the opportunity to become His covenant people and rejected it, according to Joseph. He gave the early saints the same opportunity and they, too, rejected it, or so it seems.

Could it be that some of Joseph's revelations, which are indeed "true" revelations in the sense they came from God, were given to make the Saints stumble because of their unwillingness to accept what God initially offered them? I don't know. I'm just thinking aloud. But is it a possibility? Maybe. Have we learned the difference between what God wants and what we want? Does not God give to every man according to *his* desire, either unto salvation or damnation? I may be wrong or naïve, but I can't see Christ's church or kingdom as some bureaucratic, hierarchical nightmare. That type of organization seems more the invention, or the desire, of man who constantly seeks put himself in positions of power over others despite whatever checks and balances may exist.

Underdog - I know many people believe Jacob 2 makes an allowance for polygamy if God commands it. I understand it differently. Jacob calls polygamy a "grosser crime." Not just immortal or a sin, but a crime. It seems contrary to God's nature to command anyone to engage in a "gross crime." http://confessionsofanelder.blogspot.com/ explains it far better than I can. You may or may not find it useful, but I believe the author is correct regarding Jacob 2.

I also find it HILARIOUS that in verse 23 the Lord chastises the Nephites for not understanding the scriptures in seeking to justify their crimes of polygamy, when the church points to the same Jacob 2 as justification for this wicked practice.

You just can't make it up.



Linda Gale said...


Dear Underdog 2,

In reading Genesis 16 in the Bible, it appears that the Lord did not COMMAND Abraham to take Hagar, but it appears that Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham. So the polygamy "commandment" according to my understanding, was not a direct commandment from the Lord to Abraham.

Please help me understand it correctly if I am in error on this matter.

1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

2 And Sarai said unto Abram: 'Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall be builded up through her.' And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.

And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

MC said...

Underdog2,

I hear you on D&C 121. Perhaps Brigham Young was controlling enough to loose his priesthood authority (or power). That would still be irrelevant to the succession issue.

Here's a thought that just came to me. Joseph Smith was anointed King of Israel as part of the council of 50. Brigham was also annointed king of Israel later by the reinstated council of 50 when he was leading the church. I think there may be a connection there between being crowned king of Israel and creating a top down leadership. I'm not saying that Brigham was right in everything he did, but I think he had reasons beyond being power hungry. Perhaps the church needed a strong armed leader during this time to keep things together. Brigham Young may have used some fiery rhetoric, but I don't believe he was forcing people into doing what he wanted or believed was right. Just some thoughts.

MC said...

Pepper,

That's a really odd comment. I actually do take what's written in the Book of Mormon very seriously including the warnings about secret combinations. While agree with you that those warnings may very well apply to the church organization in addition to the secret societies of the world who seek to destroy freedom and the Christian religion, I don't see the connection to Brigham Young. That is unless you want to include Joseph Smith as part of the secret spiritual wivery and free masonry combination. Since I'm thoroughly convinced that plural marriage began with Joseph Smith and that the secret signs and tokens of the temple came from God I really don't see where secret combinations apply to Brigham Young. Where is the evidence that he swore an oath of secrecy by his own head that would allow him to commit secret murders, let alone create a band of secret murderers? Where is the evidence of him committing murders? Even if you could produce a quote or two accusing him of such, I could dig up many more that accuse Joseph Smith of the same thing. Now I'm not suggesting that Joseph was wicked or a fallen prophet, but my research has led me to conclude that nearly everything Brigham Young did or said could find it's roots in something he got from Joseph Smith. Polygamy, Blacks and the priesthood, and God, you name it. That's not believing in Utah LDS bedtime stories. That's based on years of intense study into the matter.

MrHFMetz said...

MC, thanks for your comments; on spot as usual.
About your last comment, about Brigham Young being king of Israel, I have a theory, as follows:
The political kingdom of God, including its Council of Fifty, that was established in march/april 1844 by the Prophet, was designed to be an organisation separate and distict from the church.
About Brigham Young being anointed as king of Israel (though not many will believe that), this would not give him any rights in church (ecclisiastical) affairs, as King is an office in the political kingdom only – if I understand things correctly.
It would be different if we assume that he was also (or only) the Lord's Anointed at the time (though not many will believe that either) which is an office above the eclesiastical and the political branch of the Kingdom of God.
Compare this with Mosiah chapters 25 – 28. Mosiah was not only the King but also the Lord's Anointed. He had a seer stone and was able to use it to translate records (chapter 28).
He had his own quorum of priests (Mos. 27:1); today we would call that the quorum of the Anointed, or the quorum of the Friends of God (not very well known terminology but I found these names in different sources, like “Joseph Smith, the prophet and seer”, the chapter on the Nauvoo Temple, and “The keys and and order of the house of God” by Lynn Bishop).
Mosiah's superior position above Alma also becomes clear in Mos. 25: 19 and 26: 8, making Alma what we would call the President of the church.
The chapters in this part of the BoM indicate that different matters were handled either by Mosiah or by Alma, so here we see a separation of power between the political and the ecclesiastical sphere (for instance 26: 11 and 12)
BTW, I just read a very interesting vers: 27:13 – the church can indeed be led astray: by its membership

Underdog2 said...

It was just mentioned above that this verse indicates the church could be led astray by its members:
Mos 27:

For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.

These related verses also indicate how common consent can have disastrous effects:

Mosiah 29
25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the claws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.

26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything bcontrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the cpeople to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.


It follows then that if the people (not God, but the people) chose a usurping Brigham and the apostles that sided with him and that even today the people still choose apostles who rule with unfettered unrighteous dominion (see Hel 12:6), then destruction awaits:

I would expect something horrible to happen to SLC.

DC 112
24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.

Dave P. said...

@Underdog2,

Note that a whirlwind struck Salt Lake City in the late '90s and damaged both the Christus statue (graven image) and the then-incomplete Conference Center.

That is when it began and the cleansing continues as more and more people wake up and leave the corporation pretending to be the restored church.

Underdog2 said...

Dave P, I wasn't aware of that.

My hunch is that the fulfulling of "a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind" will have to be something that I couldn't miss (I don't recall the tornado you're referencing).

It'll be big and unmistakable, not subject to LDS spinning the catastrophe as something that wasn't a divine manifestation.

MC said...

Underdog2,

Great point about D&C 112. I agree with you that something big is going to happen to completely cleanse the church. Salt Lake City will likely be completely destroyed. If my memory serves me correctly Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff all warned this was coming in the church's future. The scriptures are clear that it will happen. I hope it happens soon, but that is up to the Lord's time table.

Dave P,

I was aware of the tornado you're referring to. I look at that as a warning that the destruction of Salt Lake and the church is drawing closer. That tornado made it very clear about how the Lord feels about all of the images and statues of Christ that are venerated by the church. They are graven images and the Lord hates them. The tornado also demonstrates the Lord's disfavor with the church's building projects such as the conference center, not to mention His anger towards are acceptance of homosexuality and our love of riches.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

I personally think that it'll be one of the signs of the times. The Bible says the Dead Sea will "be healed". I think that means it'll be converted to fresh water.

I think the great Salt Lake will similarly be healed. And the entire valley flooded, or baptized and cleansed with water. There's apparently a great amount of water (like an ocean's amount of water) BELOW Utah right now! All it takes is an earthquake to release the water and flood the valley. Casualties would be enormous.

Robin Hood said...

I know I'm not alone in believing that the "house" referred to in D&C 112 is likely to be the House of Israel.
I'm pretty sure Rock wrote something to this effect a while back.

I need to do a lot more reading up on this issue though.

MC said...

MrHFMetz,

Excellent points. I'll have to defer to you on the purpose of the council of 50 and the political kingdom of God. The specifics of that council are out of my area of expertise. I think you are correct that Brigham Young was acting in both capacities as a religious leader and also as a political leader. It seems to me that he was justified in doing both. As we know a king has great power and authority and rules through top down leadership. If Brigham Young was truly Joseph's succesor as the polital king of Israel then his actions of creating a power hiarchy are completely understandable and justified in my opinion. That's not to say Brigham Young didn't make any mistakes.

You make an excellent point about King Mosiah as well. The fact that one is a king and has a great deal of authority and power does not automatically make one bad. It all depends on what one uses the power for. If a king for example is righteous then the will use their power and influence to defend and preserve righteousness. A king does not maintain a righteous society by allowing people to do whatever they want. In the Book of Mormon it says that people were still punished for their crimes under a righteous leader and among those punishable crimes was the sin of adultery.

MC said...

I need to clarify my statement that "I hope Salt Lake City will be cleansed and destroyed soon."

I wasn't trying to say that I wish death and destruction upon the church. What I meant to say was that I hope the church is set in order and zion is established soon. That is what I look forward to. Unfortunately the scriptures seem pretty clear that one of the steps in establishing zion and ushering in the second coming is the cleansing and destruction of the Lord's house.

Robin Hood makes a good point that D&C 112 may very likely include all of the house of Israel and not just the church. Since only the tribe of Ephraim (LDS church) and the tribe of Judah (Jews) are currently identified I believe they will be the primary focus of the Lord's day of vengeance and burning. I think Ephraim will be the main focus personally and not just in Salt Lake City. If we believe the scriptured then the great beast, the anti Christ will be let loose to make war with the saints and overcome them for a time prior to the Lord's coming.

My understanding is that the reign of the anti Christ and the destruction he causes is directly related to those verses in D&C 112. I guess we'll see.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

What's your interpretation of the Rev 12 Sept 23 sign which looked to be fulfilled in a precise manner?

MC said...

Underdog2,

I'm not sure what you are referring to with the revelation 12 september 23rd sign? Can you clarify what you mean? Is there something that happened on September 23rd that you believe connects back to revelation 12?

MC said...

Underdog2, I just googled september 23rd revelation 12. I hadn't heard about that very rare star allignment. I'll have to think about it for a while and I'll get back with you if I come up with anything. Perhaps the beast is about to rise. My gut tells me it's close regardless of whether or not that star alligment recently is what revelation 12 was referring to or not, but what do I know.

Underdog2 said...

MC,

My apologies for bothering you.

Fyi, in the Christian world it is virtually universally recognized that Rev 12:1-2 was fulfilled on Sept 23, 2017.

On the other hand, I'm coming to realize that Mormons outside the remnant are almost completely in the dark regarding the irrefutable sign. Not that remnant folks understand it but at least there's awareness and analysis.

So Fyi, perhaps the greatest Biblical and apocalyptical sign was fulfilled that day. YouTube it. There are literally hundreds of videos on the subject. The Christians just don't understand it like Mormons can.

Something major happened. Since you've been talking about the kingdom of God and appear to be well researched, I valued your opinion - so I asked you. What happened is the kingdom of God was born that day. Jupiter came out of the womb of the Virgin.

The clock has started ticking now. As you read the rest of Rev 12, you can expect the dragon to wage war. But the child will flee into the wilderness.

Look at the JST version.

This prophecy has been fulfilled multiple times. And it just was fulfilled a couple weeks ago, with precision accuracy. The last days are here!

Underdog2 said...

My gut tells me you're right.

I've been thinking we are on the brink for the last 25 years. The difference is that sign.

Can't argue with heavenly signs and wonders like was displayed in the skies above on Sept 23. Man can't control the stars. Man can't deny it happened. That particular alignment won't happen again for over 1,000 years.

MC said...

Underdog2,

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you might be on to something. I need to pay more attention to the signs in the heavens. You make a really good point about protestant Christianity paying closer attention to the signs of the times, but being unable to understand as well as we Mormons should be able to with all of the additional scriptures we have.

I think there are lots of signs all around that it is likely very close. The recent hurricanes may very well be a sign that the destruction of the U.S. is close. It's going to happen sometime. Our once righteous God fearing nation has become very wicked. Even the so-called believers generally draw near unto the Lord with their lips but their hearts appear to be far from Him. I have some work to do in that area myself. Whenever the Lord has had enough He'll turn the anti-Christ loose, or King of Assyria as he's called in Isaiah. He'll strike suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere like a whirlwind. It really could happen any day. Then again it could be a ways off. Joseph Smith thought it would happen in his lifetime, as did many of the early saints.

I think Wilford Woodruff had some good advice on the matter when he said "I live like it's coming tomorrow, but I'm still planting cherry trees." We still have to go on living our lives and living the gospel until it all goes down, whenever that is.

Underdog2 said...

And don't forget about the rare solar eclipse that crossed America in August, just as its path crossed Nineveh the day Jonah began his ministry to that people.

Robin Hood said...

OK, here's my two-penneth worth.
The anti-Christ that made war with the saints and over came them has already been and gone. There may be another (a lot of people are anti-Christ), but I don't personally think so. The appearance of Gregory the Great, the final defeat of the Christian church and it's replacement with the Roman church... and so on.
This was fulfilled in 570AD (coincidently, also the year Muhammed was born), which was 1260 years (days i.e. 3.5 years) before 1830. We all know what happened then.

Also, having read D&C 112 in context, it appears to me to be addressing the Kirtland apostasy, which of course is still raging today, though in another guise.

Just some thoughts.

MC said...

Robin Hood,

Good points. Especially about the context of the verses in D&C 112. The verses about the day of vengeance and burning don't really seem to fit with everything else in the section. Perhaps there was an allusion in there about the Kirtland apostasy.

My personal opinion is that the most of the ancient prophecies, including the prophetic time sequences in Revelation and Daniel, have both shadow and literal fulfillments. I think the literal fulfillment is still in the future.

For example, Daniel and Matthew 24 both mention the abomination of desolation. If one reads the JST translation of Matthew 24 carefully it becomes clear that the abomination of desolation in which the holy city is destroyed and the temple is desecrated happens twice. The first time was long ago when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. The second is a future event that happens shortly before Christ's return. The D&C also mentions the desolation of abomination (though it may not be the same thing as the abomination of desolation).

There's also the Lord's command in the Book of Mormon to diligently search the words of Isaiah because everything he wrote "has been and shall be" just as he wrote it. Isaiah spends a great deal of time writing about the destruction of Israel and the establishment of Zion. Israel was destroyed and scattered anciently, but Zion was never established. It seems to me that it will have to happen again, especially when one considers the parable of the nobleman in D&C 101. Just my take. I don't know how it is all going to play out. No one does. We just have to sit back and watch I guess.

Underdog2 said...

Linda,

I'm not studied on the issue of polygamy back in Abram's / Jacob's day.

It does appear Sarai gave her maid to her husband. It doesn't appear Hagar was his wife, but a servant (a slave?). So in that sense, I suppose there was legal justification in having sexual relations with your property? Idk. But we know he did it "to raise up seed."

So it's hard to say Abram practiced polygamy.

But I ask the same questions about Jacob. Jacob married two sisters: Rachel and Leah. Each of them gave to Jacob one of their handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah, respectively. The gift of their servants was "to raise up seed." But the question remains: how should we view Jacob's concurrent marriage to two living sisters?

I've not studied it. I can sort of understand giving a female servant (your own property according to the culture / custom of the time) to your husband to give you children, but what about the concurrent marriage to two sisters? I'm not a student of this topic at all. As a Mormon, I've always just chalked it up to something weird that God condoned or even authorized. I need to examine my assumptions, that's for sure.

Robin Hood said...

Thanks MC.
Makes sense.
I really ought to read Isaiah more, but I don't find it easy. I even have a couple of Avraham Gileadi's books, but really struggle to get into them too.
I'm at the temple tomorrow, so might call in at the nearby LDS bookshop to see if there is anything else that can help me.
I could do with an "Isaiah for Dummies". :)

MC said...

Robin Hood,

Good luck finding a good Isaiah commentary at the church's bookstore. Might be something there to get you started anyway. I'm not an Isaiah expert by any means, but some things aren't too difficult to piece together with a little study.

I've got a commentary by an LDS scholar named Robert Smith on Isaiah, Revelation, and Daniel. It's called Scriptures of the Last Days. It's been out of print for years and the author actually passed away recently. I have a digital copy of it, but I haven't been able to locate a hard copy. Gileadi has a webset called isaiahexplained.com that is pretty interesting. The full text of his Isaiah translation is on there as well as audio commentaries on each section. He has some pretty interesting insights in his commentaries. I've found the Gileadi translation useful because it's easier to understand, but I still prefer the JST translation and the Isaiah passages from the Book of Mormon. I know for me studying Isaiah really opened my eyes to how serious some of the issues in the church are. To me it seems like much of what Isaiah wrote is directed at us LDS, which is both good and bad I guess.

Linda Gale said...

Dear Underdog2,

Thank you for responding on the matter of polygamy in Abraham's life.

I guess I didn't speak very clearly in my former comment. So sorry.

The point I was trying to make is that so many LDS say that God commanded Abraham to take Hagar, and LDS even call it "Sarah's law"; but I quoted the Bible, because it was Sarah's idea, NOT a commandment from God, for Abraham to take Hagar to wife. So was there really a commandment from God?

It appears from the Bible that there was no commandment from God, which means that polygamy in this instance was not sanctioned. I think that Abraham and Sarah were supposed to continue in faith in the Lord's promise to them, and should not have determined to take matters into their own hands. What they did was start a rivalry which continues these many thousands of years later.

Just my thinking out loud. I am always open to discussion or someone sharing a differing opinion, which seems to be the best way for me to consider opinions which I may not have entertained.

Sorry for being unclear. My bad.

Robin Hood said...

MC,
I didn't find anything today. It isn't a church bookstore like Deseret Book (we don't have DB in the UK), it's an independent, so I thought they might stock something. They didn't, though they can get me anything I want.
I notice DB sell Gileadi's books again.
My problem with Gileadi is that he seems to make an awful lot of assumptions which, to me at least, appear difficult to justify. Then he piles more assumptions on top and, well, I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.
Never mind, I'll just persevere with the scriptures and hope I can access a little inspiration now and then.

Good day at the temple though.

Wayne Reeves said...

The Church is designed for the people it serves, lifting them to a presumably "higher level" on the spiritual ladder of Eternal Progression. One goes up that ladder but then it seems the ladder ends, but Eternal Progression does not. Then, some "graduate" and move forward which sometimes, means they are "cut off". Others are wise enough to remain silent and still serve those who are struggling up the ladder. We can never criticize the Church as long as it is helping so many up the ladder. It is when we start "camping out" at the top of the ladder that the LORD is not pleased with us. We need to move on and upward, until that perfect day which cannot be achieved through the Church only. It comes as you study, ponder and pray on your own and learn the Mysteries of Godliness by personal revelation.

MC said...

Robin Hood,

I've noticed the same thing about Gileadi's assumptions. Robert Smith does that too. One certainly has to be careful and not take everything the scholars say as the gospel truth. One thing that works pretty well for me when I read Isaiah or the other Old Testament prophetic books using using an online Hebrew interlayeer bible like the one on biblehub.com. I have found this to be very helpful because it lets you discover the general meaning of the root words pretty quickly by showing you how that word is used in other scriptural passages. For example I found something interesting recently using this method. In the book of Hosea there is a verse which says that "Isreal has forgotten his maker and buildeth temples." Well not only is this the only place in scripture that mentions multiple temples suhgesting a possible connection to LDS temples (plural), the root words of the Hebrew make it clear that LDS temples are indeed being referred to. The word used for temple in this verse is hekalowt. This is a combination of two words hekal and owt. Hekal is the most common word for temple in the Old Testament and owt is used in other verses to denote "signs, tokens, or marks." Put the two together and you get a temple of signs, tokens, and marks.

Now that's not to say that LDS temples are bad, but it does suggest (at least to me) that as a people we have largely for God during all of this temple building excitement that has swept the church since President Hinckley took office.

Perhaps the temples dotting the earth does not suggest that we are a truly righteous people spreading the pure gospel of Christ throughout the earth as we suppose. It's hard to say. I've always enjoyed going to the temple. I haven't been in about a year, because I'm not sure I can still sustain the brethren as prophets, seers, and revelators as required.

MrHFMetz said...

MC, I think there's something wrong with one sentence, in the comment you just came up with:

"Now that's not to say that LDS temples are bad, but it does suggest (at least to me) that as a people we have largely for God during all of this temple building excitement that has swept the church since President Hinckley took office."

Am I right? How must we read it? I think I know, but just to be sure, this question.
I lust would like to know, as you came up with some very interesting ideas, in this regard.

Robin Hood said...

MC,
Thanks for the advice. I'll give it a go.
Interesting example from Hosea, though assumptions still required of course. A temple of signs, tokens and marks could be a superior temple to the slaughter-house temples the Hebrews were used to.
Just a thought.

MC said...

Sorry for the typos. I really need to proof read my comments better before I post them. That sentence should read "... we as a people have largely forgotten God during all of this temple building excitement..."

Also adding to that thought, the Temple building explosion under President Hinckley happened after the major changes to the Temple endowment in 1990. I see a possible connection between those changes prior to the massive Temple building explosion and Hosea's prophecy that "Israel has forgotten his maker and buildeth temples."

As we know historically there were never multiple temples until the restoration, so it has to be reference to LDS temples or somekind of mistranslation. This is were knowing the meaning of the root words hekal and owt are critical.

MrHFMetz said...

Ok that makes sense. Thanks and greetings.

DeeLyn said...

Underdog2,

I understand why you see things the way you do, for I also was raised LDS and thought things were that way too, because that is what the Church teaches, and we grow up assuming the Church is true and can't be wrong, just like people in other religions do.

But gradually I began to see how the Church and it's leaders do not really follow Christ and keep his commandments.

Despite the claims of men (who like the idea of polygamy) God did not and could not ever command polygamy, for it goes against natural law and the commandments of Christ. Christ condemned all polygamy, even in Abraham and Issac's cases.

Christ's standards, are what he told us to use to discern truth from error or true prophets from false ones in any age of time, anciently or today.

So it's clear to see that Abraham was either a false or a fallen prophet who at least towards the end of his life, did not keep Christ's commandments and fell for polygamy. It does seem that Abraham did try to do what was right and not live polygamy (for he easily could have, he was rich and it was the custom of the day and he had reason cause he wanted a son), but around 100 it appears he lost faith in God's promise and succumbed to his wife's insistence to have a child through Hagar. But then later he also went on to have concubines etc. and it appears he had lost the spirit from living polygamy for he tried to sacrifice Issac (which was also contrary to Christ's and God's commandments.

And regarding Jacob 2:30, that verse can be interpreted 2 ways, the original way Joseph taught it to read (and he would know, for he wrote it), which was totally against polygamy in every instance like Christ taught, or it can be interpreted the way polygamists later in Utah started twisting it's meaning to allow polygamy in certain circumstances to justify their adultery. We today in the Church think the polygamist's interpretation is right cause it's the only thing we have been taught, we didn't know Joseph interpreted it oppositely.

But bottom line we know Christ condemned polygamy in all circumstances, so such a teaching could never be true. Truth and right and the commandments of Christ never change for all eternity. That's why Christ said to use them as the standard to discern prophets and truth in any age.

Underdog2 said...

DeeLyn,

It had never occurred to me that Abraham became possibly a fallen prophet. I will have to admit that he COULD have fallen. But I don't think so.

I can see that you are absolutely against polygamy, and will not consider that God COULD command it. The verse in Jacob says God may command it to raise up seed. Pretty straightforward.

It APPEARS that's exactly what happened with Jacob. The first 10 of 12 sons, or 10 of the tribes of Israel came BECAUSE OF having sex with 3 other women besides Jacob's first wife - Rachel, the 4th of which was Judah, through which Christ descended.

To me, you lost a lot of credibility as one who understands things when you said, "it appears he had lost the spirit from living polygamy for he tried to sacrifice Issac (which was also contrary to Christ's and God's commandments."

You don't believe God commanded this as an Abrahamic test? I think you've strayed from the scriptures here and far from the spirit of truth. Sorry, but I disagree with you assessment.

You concluded: "But bottom line we know Christ condemned polygamy in all circumstances, so such a teaching could never be true. Truth and right and the commandments of Christ never change for all eternity. That's why Christ said to use them as the standard to discern prophets and truth in any age."

We do NOT know Christ absolutely condemned polygamy. The Jacob 2 verse clearly teaches He CAN command polygamy for a very specific purpose -- to raise up seed.

I can read a the strongest of rebukes in Jacob 2 of polygamy. There's no question about that.

That being said, I'm still in doubt as to what happened in the case of Hagar and Leah, Zilpah and Bilhah. Abraham was a very righteous man, even a true prophet, as was Jacob and they in fact were having relations with women not their first and living wife. Very strange!

Underdog2 said...

Self Correction to my 3rd paragraph immediately above:

It APPEARS that's exactly what happened with Jacob. Six of the 12 sons came through Leah, and the other 6 came through having sex with 3 other women besides Jacob's first wife, Leah.

In my last paragraph, it should read Rachel (2nd wife) and not Leah (his first wife, though he was deceived):

That being said, I'm still in doubt as to what happened in the case of Hagar and Rachel, Zilpah and Bilhah. Abraham was a very righteous man, even a true prophet, as was Jacob and they in fact were having relations with women not their first and living wife. Very strange!

DeeLyn said...

Underdog2,

I'm against polygamy because I see how destructive it always is, and it can't sustain or create a happy free righteous society. God could and would never command it because God can't go against natural law and remain God, not to mention that Christ totally condemned it, as well as JS.

Natural law is science, it is eternal truth. We can see the natural effects of a certain behavior on people, marriages, families and society over time. It always has the same outcomes as a society, just like 2+2. And polygamy is destructive to society.

As I said before, Jacob 2:30 only sounds straightforward to us today because that's the way we were taught but when we study the original interpretation, then it makes far more sense the way Joseph Smith and the early Saints interpreted it. Whereas the verse makes no sense if read the way the Church teaches it today.

Because polygamy is not a way to raise up a righteous seed, for it destroys families, abuses women and sets a bad example for children wherein they lose trust and faith in their fathers (as Jacob 2 even teaches), and is a much slower way than monogamy to procreate children, as well as it's against the Golden Rule, which Christ taught is the basis for all law (for men would not want to live polygamy the other way around, and have 1 wife he never sees cause she is always living with her multiple husbands or seeking new ones) and polygamy makes it so most men can't have wives and families at all, because some men have more than 1 wife. There are many other reasons also.

Most people believe in the teachings of men like BY, because their teachings (like polygamy) appeal to the natural desires of mortals and are far easier than Christ's teachings, while Christ's teachings usually go against what our natural tendency would be.

But I would suggest a closer study of Christ's teachings in the NT and examine how he taught that once men get married they commit adultery if they ever marry any other woman. Polygamy, both serial and concurrent, was a very common practice in his day and he very clearly addressed it and condemned it. So much so that it surprised his apostles, and thus they concluded that it was 'best not to ever marry', than to get stuck in a unhappy marriage your whole life, when you can't get out or marry another. They would have never said such a thing if Christ allowed any form of polygamy.

You can also study Joseph Smith's teachings against all polygamy, for even he continually taught how evil it always was and said that if anyone falls for it or for a prophet who preaches or practices it, even if it was him someday, then they will lose their salvation. He repeatedly taught the Saints to reject any prophet or person or even angel or spirit who might teach that polygamy was ok or right. Do you believe BY over JS?

The adversary has always tried to get everyone to believe in or live polygamy in some form, and he has been very successful, for it's our natural desire. Monogamy is not and must be worked at.

One way to tell if something is right is to ask yourself, "What if everyone did it?" What would the effects be on society?" When everyone does good things it has a positive effect on society, and when everyone does bad things it has a negative effect or destroys society and freedom, etc. History has shown the effects from polygamy are very negative on society. Even Brigham Young admitted that most all women in the Church hated polygamy and were very unhappy about it.

DeeLyn said...

Underdog2,

Christ had no alternative but to come thru a line of mostly unrighteous people, for no one is perfect and righteous people have always been very rare, in any society or generational line.

If you believe that a man who abused his wife by unfaithfulness and tried to sacrifice his child, could be a righteous man, let alone a true prophet, then you may not know the kind of good men I know who would never do such things or think any such prompting came from God. But I can see why men like BY and his teachings and those in the Church who came after him seem to appeal to you and seem good or right. But I believe in Christ and in his commandments in the NT, which teach the opposite.

If you received revelation to do such things why would you think those revelations were from God and not the Adversary? Abraham was not living according to Christ's teachings, so of course he fell for the Adversary's revelation to sacrifice Issac and assumed and claimed it was from God.

Would you believe in church leaders today if they did such things like Abraham did and claimed God commanded them? I hope not, yet we sometimes can think that just because someone anciently wrote and claimed God commanded something evil, we believe them. You are repeating what BY and other LDS leaders have taught, that it was some kind of Abrahamic test, when Christ never taught that but just the opposite.

There are thousands of prophets around the world and through out history in all kinds of religions that have claimed all kinds of things, should we believe all of them too, just because they claim to be prophets who speak to and for God and receive authority from him? Or do we just believe the most popular ones who taught the most pleasing things that appeal to people (like polygamy) and thus they get written about and called a true prophet in an ancient book? While true prophets like John the Baptist have almost no followers because their teachings are too hard and don't appeal to mortals.

Do you not know that Joseph Smith also condemned all polygamy? Do you think he was lying to everyone his whole life? If you think that, why would he do that and set himself up for the whole church to reject him once they found out he was lying and living polygamy? They would have no more faith in him. Just like many or most of the Saints refused to follow BY out west because they remembered Joseph's and Christ's warnings about not following polygamist prophets and men.

Bottom line is, we believe in the prophets and people that teach the things that we want to hear and do, right or wrong. While everyone thinks they are right and righteous.

Underdog2 said...

DeeLyn,

Thank you. I had implicitly trusted the LDS Church for almost 30 years with regards to the polygamy question.

But I'm persuaded that Joseph was anti polygamy (though he may have sealed women, even married women to him so that they may be connected to the fathers), and that B.Y. was up to no good.

Is polygamy evil? Does it lead me to believe in Christ or to deny him (using Moroni 7's promise)? I have to truthfully answer that the idea of having sex with women not my first and living wife would not encourage me to believe in Christ.

In fact, getting to have sex with other women would undoubtedly lead me to be a very carnal man. I have to confess that seems to be a self-evident truth. Like, obviously that would make me more centered on the things of the flesh. That would feed my carnality.

So, using the way to judge, as Mormon taught in Moroni 7, which we are told is like telling the night from day, then I have to proclaim that polygamy is of the devil.

But there still remains the problem of Jacob 2:30.

Please make the case that the Lord isn't saying what He appears to be saying.

I read the verse like this: "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people" TO PRACTICE POLYGAMY; "otherwise they shall hearken unto these things."

"These things" refers to the clear and harsh condemnation of polygamy just mentioned in previous verses and verses following v. 30.

"Raise up seed unto me" -- what does this even mean? I've thought it means to have more children through the normal procreative method of sexual intercourse. Do you agree?

"I will command my people"...to practice polygamy. That's how I interpret that line. If He's not referring to polygamy, what is He referring to? Seems like He'd want to be very clear, don't you agree? Why would the Lord poorly word this so as there could be opposite interpretations?

As for Abraham or Jacob being fallen prophets, that's a hard one to swallow. Do you believe that? We have no prophet statement that they were, do we? If your stance is that they are fallen, then you appear to stand apart from all the true prophets who've lived since then who did not declare they were fallen. It seems like a harsh test, but the Lord could have tested Abraham. We are to be proven, so this is entirely reasonable and even TO BE EXPECTED. 1 Kings 13 shows that the Lord may even go to the extraordinary and remarkable length of sending a true prophet to get us to DISOBEY the Lord, testing whether we will obey what He had previously and personally commanded us.

Greg Jackson said...

“For if I will, saith the Lord of hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people [the Lord commands his people]; otherwise [if the Lord is not their commander], they shall hearken unto these [wicked] things [or in other words polygamy].” The word 'things' is important. Look at all of the uses in Jacob 2 of the word 'things'.

"Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.  Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord:  For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women.  And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts." No exceptions here.

Jacob 2:26-28

Craig Morris said...

Greg Jackson,

I have followed with interest the discussion on Jacob 2 and its condemnation/sanctioning of polygamy. Your comment on things is the most compelling point I have heard:

14: if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you
20: persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you
21: such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh
23: seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written
34: for ye have done these things

To then have things in verse 30 refer to the commandments of God seems a stretch. Thanks for pointing this out.

DeeLyn said...

Underdog2,

Greg explained it very well. That verse is really saying that unless God commands or leads his people (to keep his commandments) then they will hearken unto these evil things, like polygamy, like all societies have done that weren't taught to live the commandments. Only a society who allows God to lead them and keeps his commandments, can raise up a righteous seed.

Also, the Bible or BoM is written a little confusing in places (like Jacob 2:30) because they often spoke and phrased things a little differently 200 or 2000 years ago, that today can sound odd to us today.

I believe it was very fallible men who wrote the BoM (and Bible) and not true prophets. Again, LDS teachings can give the impression that authors of the scriptures (Bible, BoM or D&C, etc) were righteous men or that God just perfectly dictated to them what to write. I believe Joseph Smith wrote the BoM with help from others and other sources. I no longer believe it was an ancient record by true prophets, for those prophets taught and did things contrary to Christ, that Christ taught no true prophet would have taught or did, let alone wrote or published such a book that teaches such falsehoods and errors.

Christ or even a righteous person would not have done or condoned what Nephi did to Laban, nor did Nephi even need those plates to take with him to lead a righteous people, for he would have already known and lived all the commandments of God and easily could have written them down again. I believe there are many other false things taught in the BoM, like Lehi's Dream was almost surely the dream Joseph's father' had that he repeatedly told the family while Joseph grew up. Etc, etc.

The BoM is filled with many wonderful truths and good teachings, amid it's falsehoods, as most all religious books by men and false prophets. Just because the true principles in it enlighten our minds doesn't mean it is all true or an inspired book. Who knows why Joseph made up stories and scriptures and pretended to have authority from God, etc, he likely was deceived by a false Christ or personage appearing to him as many are even today. But the errors Joseph taught and did contrary to Christ are what prove he was a false prophet, despite any good deeds or doctrines that all false prophets do and say to look and sound good. For Christ taught that true prophets are near perfect. They would not start churches or ask for tithing $ or make up new doctrines, etc.

So yes, I believe Abraham was a fallen and probably a false prophet, just like Moses was. If Moses had been a true prophet he wouldn't have claimed Abraham was. Did they do and teach some great or good things, maybe with sincere intentions? It appears so, but that doesn't make them true prophets.

And so of course most of the other so called prophets thru the ages thought and taught Abraham was a true prophet also, for most of them weren't true prophets either and thus easily deceived. There probably a few true prophets mixed in, but I believe the Bible was written mostly by and about false prophets, who didn't teach or keep most of Christ's/God's commandments.

According to Christ and natural law and logic, God never 'tests' us by asking us to sin and do evil things, but he tests us by seeing if we will keep all of his commandments (the ones Christ taught in the NT and the Golden Rule). Christ also taught us to 'test the spirit's' and even all prophets, to see if what they ask us to do is right or not. It seems Abraham didn't do that and just assumed his promptings came from God, when clearly they didn't. For God doesn't play fickle and change his mind or laws, otherwise there would be no way to tell truth from error, without a sure and eternal standard to judge by. And 1 Kings 13 is contrary to what Christ taught and thus just another Bible falsehood.

Underdog2 said...

DeeLyn,


I like how you think outside the box, but to throw the writers of the Scriptures (true prophets) under the bus as you have done is going too far. I've had powerful spiritual manifestations that the BoM is true, and to accept your attacks/ assertions would be asking me to deny the witness I've had from God. I have been wrought upon by God and can't deny it. I would offend God and most certainly become a child of the devil full of great evil if I ever did deny the manifestations God has given me.

I am willing to look at polygamy as an evil, just as murder is, but the fact remains that if God commands it (as Nephi was commanded to kill Laban), then it is not a sin. Nephi initially thought incredulously just like you when initially commanded, but he was able to reason through the logic of the stunning command to slay Laban, as he was led by the Spirit.

I was going to respond to your attacks, one by one, but I can see it would be in vain. You appear to have made your bed, and you're determined to lay in it. I hope you repent and choose to face Christ.

You reject Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Nephi, Joseph Smith, and others as true prophets.

That means you believe the Scriptures are mostly filled with lies.

I'm sad for you. While it's true many plain and precious things have been removed, it is not true that the scriptures are mostly filled with lies. That is a lie. Such a lie is despicable. The examples you cite don't prove that, they just prove your confusion.

Do you even believe in God anymore? If you reject true prophets, then you reject God.

I wish you the best, DeeLyn.

Pepper Davis said...

Is God double-minded? To use Nephi and Laban as an example of God xommdnainf to real a commandment is foolishness

Nephi was told to slay Laban because he was guilty of murder in his heart. If had been able to lay hold on the four men he would have murdered them. He was guilty of theft as well. Laban was not innocent and since Nephi was his target, under the mosaic law it was his obligation to “throw the condemning stone”

God did not ever command any man to live polygamy. Not ever

DeeLyn said...

Underdog2,

I understand why you believe what you do, for I used to think the same things. But if you study and put Christ's teachings 1st above LDS teachings and scriptures then you can come to see how easy Christ made it to discern true prophets from false ones.

We can condense Christ's NT teachings down to probably 10-12 main commandments and then just compare prophets to those few commandments to see if they kept them or not. Christ clearly taught true prophets will keep all those commandments, and that's how we will know, not by feelings and warm fuzzies or even by revelation (that could be just as easily from the Adversary).

This is not rocket science, for even children can discern this, but it does take being willing to live those commandments ourselves in order to be able to see them correctly. If we don't want to live by Christ's teachings then we will easily fall for false prophets who teach opposite.

So all those so called prophets didn't keep Christ's short list of commandments, so then it's as easy as telling the night from the day that they were not true prophets, no matter how many people fall for them. (And it's normal for the majority to fall for false prophets while very few recognize and follow true prophets).

And it is again LDS teaching to use emotion and feelings and spiritual experiences to discern truth from error, which is not what Christ taught. Christ taught us to use facts not feelings, outward behavior we can see not inward fuzzy revelation we think comes from God.

Millions in all different religions believe they have just as strong a 'witness from God' as you or any LDS person feels they have, that 'their' religion or opposite beliefs or leaders are true and right. To think they are all deceived and only LDS are getting real inspiration from God is just our natural man pride.

God is either 'witnessing' to everyone that all religions are correct, OR we are just as likely to be deceived as anyone else in the world, to think our feelings or revelation are from God confirming that our religion, prophets or scriptures are correct.

Until we can acknowledge how easily and how greatly we have been deceived in the past about so many things pertaining to our beliefs and scriptures, and how constantly we continually are deceived as mortals, then we will not be able to see where we are currently deceived.

Thus deception is a choice. If we like what false prophets teach then we will let them deceive/convince us. For we 1st have to study and agree with what Christ taught before we can see that most of the prophets thru out history did not teach or live those same commandments.

The LDS prophets, OT and many NT prophets are very well received by most people because they taught a much easier Gospel than Christ did, if we care to study and compare the differences.

I know I can't convince you, for we all believe the prophets that teach the level we are willing to live.

Brenda said...

I just want to thank you, brother Waterman, for posting the things you have. My family (of 9 including son-in-laws) and I are truly grateful for you shedding so much light on so many things that have truly frustrated and confused us. I can remember being a small child of about 5 years old and I was riding in the car with my parents. We passed some black people standing on the sidewalk and my dad said something about them not having the priesthood or being allowed in the temples. I asked why they wouldn't have the priesthood in their homes or want to go to the temple and my dad told me about how the church wouldn't allow them to. I was horrified. I can vividly remember, that my 5 year old world flipped upside down and I was so upset that my parents didn't go to the true church after all. I knew, even at that age, that our loving Heavenly Father would NEVER discriminate between his children (even though I didn't know the word discriminate yet). Up until that time, everything my parents had ever told/taught me was gospel and I knew they were always right. All of a sudden, I didn't see things that way. I was confused by the church teaching that because of an ancestor's choices, someone else would be punished... it has never fit with our beliefs. If God is the same today, yesterday and forever, then why would we have an article of faith (#2) that talks about not being punished for Adam's transgressions, and then do it later on in time with someone else. Then as I grew older and learned the horrors (in my opinion) of polygamy, women not getting to continue to bless one another, presidents of the church outright lying, etc... I have always felt so confused and have never truly been able to grab hold of the gospel. As my kids grew up and would ask me about those things that I mentioned, I would tell them I thought it was wrong, but that the gospel principles were at least beautiful and right to me and that we went to church to learn about them and to take the sacrament, and to just try to ignore the old/strange cultural teachings. I can't thank you enough for having the courage to speak up and help some of us who felt so lost, find hope again. My testimony has been saved... Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! :)

MC said...

DeeLyn,

You keep beating on the same old warn out drum, but as always you can't provide any scriptural support for your claims.

You say we should follow the words of Christ only. Fine. Then lets look at what he said and didn't say in regards to polygamy.

He never said that polygamy is evil in the 4 gospels, which appears to be the only books of scripture you still accept as having any authenticity and authority.

Christ said that a man should not put away his wife to marry another. The only permissible reason to divorce someone is for the cause of fornication. He also said that if a man marries a women who has been put away (is divorced) he causes her to commit adultary and is committing adultery himself.

There is nothing in there about polygamy.

Christ also does not say that a man or women can never remarry. In fact he was presented with a scenario in which a woman was married to several brothers during her life time as one brother after another died and the next one married her (which was commanded under the Mosaic law). Christ did not say this was wrong but merely said that they didn't understand the scriptures in regards to whose wife she would be in the resurrection.

Now as for Abraham being a false or fallen prophet. That can not be supported by the words of Christ. Christ clearly said that Abraham was saved in the kingdom of heaven and had nothing but good things to say about him. Same goes for Isaac and Jacob. Christ also had nothing but good things to say about Moses and the biblical prophets in general.

I'm sorry but in all of your anti polygamy and anti prophet rants you don't have a leg to stand on. You keep harping on everyone to not trust their emotions and follow the words of Christ, but you don't follow that. All you do is throw out emotion filled sweeping statements without any reference to the actual words of Christ on the matter.

If you want to be taken seriously you need to at the very least play by your own rules. Take that for what it's worth.