The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out with an official Gospel Topics essay entitled “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo,” in October of 2014. Here is the link to this official, authoritative LDS essay:
Interesting to note, that if you go to http://www.lds.org, the LDS Church’s official website, click “Scriptures and Study” on the top, go to the “Learn More” heading, and click on “Gospel Topics.” You’ll see every letter of the alphabet lined up in a row, and if you click on one of them, it shows you all the articles that begin with the letter “P.” So, click on “P.” Why is it that you cannot find the article “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo?” Interesting.
It is only when you type in the name of the article in the search box that it even comes up. But how are Latter-day Saints who are unaware of Joseph Smith’s polygamous and polyandrous marriages to know that the authoritative essay exists? Sure, Tad Walch of Deseret News announced on October 25, 2014 that the essay had been published. His article is entitled “Polygamy essays provide information about early LDS Church – and current leadership.”
One wonders why still so many Latter-day Saints have not heard that Joseph Smith had between 30-40 wives, several of whom were currently married to other men’s wives when he married them.
Anyway, research the history of Joseph Smith and when he married these women. Read Richard Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling, or Todd Compton’s In Sacred Lonliness, both recount solid facts about these polygamous and polyandrous marriages and the affairs Joseph was involved in.
The point of this article is to establish the fact that Joseph Smith, the first Mormon Prophet and founder, lied about his ways and lied about being married to more women other than Emma.
On Sunday, May 26, 1844, just one month before Joseph Smith died in a gun battle at Carthage Jail in Illinois, Joseph Smith preached a sermon toward his dissenters at “the Stand,” a grove close to the Nauvoo Temple.
Joseph Smith said the following:
“What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.”
This is recorded in History of the Church 6:411 (see pp. 410-412 for context) and Millennial Star No. 42, Vol. 23, pp. 672-674.
If you know your history, Joseph Smith had at least 30 wives by this time. Joseph Smith lied and said he only knew of himself having one wife, when clearly, he had many more. This quote was given in May of 1844, AFTER he took those several wives. This is why he destroyed the Nauvoo Expositor magazine, because it published the truth about Joseph Smith, that he practiced polygamy. Joseph’s treasonous actions of destroying a free press and silencing of what is labeled as “anti-Mormon” literature continues to this day, as many Mormons loath Christian ministries critical of Mormonism and try to silence them.
Yet Mormonism thrives on a martyrdom and persecution mentality. After all, Jesus talks about persecution that will follow a believer. If you want to talk real persecution, try talking to the millions of Christians in Africa and Asia who have suffered their lives to be taken because of being a Christian. This is nothing compared to a Mormon getting offended by a Christian posting something that hurts his/her feelings on a blog website. We way too often find ourselves pulling out the “I’m offended!” card way too many times nowadays. We need to stop doing that. If I am against the teachings of the LDS Church, which I am, some militant theological Mormons will not like what I have to say and they will get offended, like some have. If I was firmly LDS and taught that all other churches were corrupt, I would be offending the Christians. So either way, I will be offending someone simply because I take a stand on one side, rather than being on the fence.
Breaking open the truths about Joseph Smith and writing truths about the falsehoods of Mormonism is not persecution. If Mormons believe that a trademark of being the “only true Church” is the ‘persecution’ that follows, then why silence what they consider to be “anti-Mormon?” If they silence who they call “anti-Mormons” then there would be no more ‘persecution,’ therefore, would the LDS Church still be considered the only true church if persecution no longer follows them because the persecutors have been silenced? Not in the slightest.
As a matter of fact, much of what is “anti-Mormon” is simply true historical facts that the some LDS faithful refuse to look at, simply because it is not ‘faith-promoting.’ Why do you think the LDS Church came out with at least 13 authoritative Gospel Topics Essays since 2013 that address controversial topics that so-called “anti-Mormon” writers have been saying for decades? Because the non-Mormon sources actually had the information and put it out there to the world. Why are Mormons just now in the past few years learning about the seer stone in a hat used to translate the Book of Mormon? Or that Joseph Smith really didn’t translate the Book of Abraham from the papyrus? And many other issues? Are we just now learning this information for the first time? No. But the Mormon Church hierarchy suppressed this information from their own people. That is information control, and is very dangerous.
In a temple-recommend “worthiness” interview given upon preparing to enter the temple based on one’s personal ‘worthiness,’ a Mormon is asked: “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” This is why there are several Mormons who do view my website and many other Christian ministries who present facts about Joseph Smith and the truth claims of Mormonism who know they cannot get themselves to support these facts because their ‘worthiness’ is at stake. If their worthiness is at stake, then their temple recommend is at stake. If their temple recommend is at stake and they are found guilty of ‘apostasy,’ then they could face excommunication. If they face excommunication, then their eternal family is at stake.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Family is the most important unit in Mormonism. Fear of being excommunicated drives the questioning Latter-day Saint into a predicament. On one hand, he/she has learned real, hard facts about his Church that he cannot seem to reconcile with the ‘faith-promoting’ agenda the LDS Church has in their selective information control. On the other hand, if they leave, they can lose their family for eternity.
Jesus Christ says that if we love our families more than Him, we are not worthy of Him. To the struggling Latter-day Saint, Jesus Christ is more important than the family unit, because if your family members know and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they will be spending eternity in Heaven with you and Christ anyway! Hence, temple sealings are vain and fruitless acts because salvation is individualistic, never collective. We each need our personal relationship with the Lord. We cannot be saviors on Mount Zion, as the LDS Church claims. We cannot dare think for a second that we can be saviors! What blasphemy! Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and the only name by which men are saved. If we find the truth about the LDS Church and leave it in order to find Christ and it means that the family will disown you for doing it, what will you choose? This is why Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:35, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.” Christ knew that the day would come when his followers would have to choose between Him and between the family because of situations like leaving Mormonism and what it often does to a family unit when family members leave the Church. Choose Jesus Christ, and whatever consequences come with that, know that it is worth it because Jesus has your back when everything else seems like its falling away.
Yes, some “anti-Mormon” writings are demagogic, and magnify things that are not really there. I do not support those efforts. I do not support the showmanship of Ed Decker’s The God Makers or The God Makers 2, because Jerald and Sandra Tanner have exhausted a number of reasons why The God Makers 2 is full of misleading information. Neither do I endorse Bill Schnoebelen’s Mormonism’s Temple of Doom DVD teaching. If I was a Latter-day Saint, I would be more willing to listen to a soft approach on the truth of a matter, rather than something that pulls emotions into a mix of half-truths.
Many times when an ex-Mormon comes out of Mormonism and becomes a Christian, they want to start a ministry to Mormons right off the bat. When this happens, they are still a novice Christian, and try to take on a ministry position. This can lead to both burn-out and corrupt teachings because of the lack of time they have had to really grow in the Word of God, the Bible. This is why there are some strange teachings on Mormonism that they put forth that I would agree with Mormons that they are not passionate about the Mormon people themselves and more than anything, grasp at the wind and try to pull the wind down and tackle it.
The most “anti-Mormon” writings out there are not writings written by non-Mormons being critical of Mormonism, they are simply Mormon, official LDS documents, Conference Reports, General Conference speeches, and the LDS scriptures themselves. The contradictions and inconsistencies are overwhelmingly there. Just look at the one quote in itself that Joseph Smith said about himself not having more than one wife when clearly he had at least 30. That was recorded in History of the Church, an LDS source. This stuff does not come from “anti-Mormon” writings. Yes, Christian writers on Mormonism quote LDS sources, the only reason Mormons identify these Christian writers that document polemics on Mormonism is because they are not ‘faith-promoting,’ meaning, they are full of actual facts, yet those facts eat away at the truthfulness of the truth-claims of Mormonism.
When you realize that Joseph Smith lied, what does that make you think? Will you attempt to rationalize it, throw that quote under the bus and say, “Well, Joseph wasn’t perfect. He even said he wasn’t. He had many sins, but God decided to use him as the Prophet of the Restoration.” Or are you going to look at the fact as simply a fact and realize that this “prophet” of God was lying? What are the implications about that?
LDS President Wilford Woodruff said, “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.”
Does that include Joseph Smith? Because Joseph Smith was the LDS Church’s president from 1830 until 1844. Did Joseph Smith lead the people astray by lying to them about his marriages with other women, including 14-year old girls?
If we have a conscience, this information should bother us. As a matter of fact, yes, it gets us frustrated with what men can do in the name of God and religion, and really on the inside, they are lustful, ravenous wolves. But even by this point, knowing this should help us be more convicted that it is NOT men that we should follow, we should follow Jesus Christ, our Savior, and our God.
Jesus Christ is the Prophet of the Restoration. Not the Restoration of Mormonism. But the Restoration of our lives back to God, our reconciliation with God, our relationship with God. This restoration is individual, yet it is sweeping the true Church of Jesus Christ world-wide. God truly is fulfilling Malachi 4:5-6 and restoring the generations to each other by living relationships, not through dead works for the dead.
The fact that Joseph Smith lied about having many wives got a Mormon excommunicated from the LDS Church simply for posting it on Facebook. Bruce Holt posted his story on LifeAfterMormonism’s forum in April of 2016. The link to his post is here: https://www.facebook.com/bruceah/posts/10207772042792812?pnref=story
What amazes me is that bringing up actual quotes from LDS Church leaders (including Joseph Smith) to your bishop and/or stake president, can get you excommunicated. Try asking serious, foundational questions to your stake president or bishop, or bringing up Church history issues, and see how the discussion unravels. See what responses you get.
Joseph Smith did lead his Church astray. I have a lot of empathy for early Mormons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who wanted to follow something that was true, and followed Joseph Smith for a time, yet left because they simply found themselves followers of a liar, deceiver, and an adulterer. The pain they went through was unimaginable, as they followed a false prophet.
In a sliver of ways, I can relate. Not entirely, but I did once upon a time trust Joseph Smith. I used to believe what he said, and it was unbelievably crushing to me finding out that he was not a true prophet, before I actually almost joined the LDS Church. I found a best friend in Joseph Smith when I believed what he said. It was crushing to me when I found out he lied about so many things and that his Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham were fabrications. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to a Latter-day Saint who finds out the truth about Joseph Smith, how crushing that would be.
With that said, let it be known that I am understanding that this is a difficult journey. But know that God has a plan for you in this life. If you are a Latter-day Saint, I’m not questioning if you really know Jesus Christ or if you don’t, only Christ knows that. But it is the doctrines and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the life of Joseph Smith that have huge problems, which have even bigger implications for the foundation of the LDS Church and its validity, which in turn have even BIGGER implications for current active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is the concern I have, it is not a frustration for Mormon people, nor am I anti-Mormon; it is the deceiving doctrines, cover-ups, contradictions, and unbelievably un-biblical doctrines of Mormonism that deserve to be called out.
LDS President J. Reuben Clark once said,
“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”
So if Mormonism’s claims are false and Christians are proclaiming this, this LDS leader says it is okay to do so, and that we have an obligation to shed light on the falsehoods of Mormonism.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this in the following speech entitled, “Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Worldwide Leadership Training, February 11, 2012:
“Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?”
Latter-day Saints, I encourage you to keep asking questions. Keep asking questions. Do not stop thinking.
Why are some Latter-day Saints even ousted from their Church for believing other doctrine[?], when Joseph Smith himself said the following in History of the Church 5:340:
“I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.”
Do Mormons not have the liberty of thinking and believing as they please? If a man errs in doctrine in the LDS Church, yes, he cannot speak it publicly or cause others to ‘stumble’ in that sense, otherwise this is considered acting in ways contrary to teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then why are Mormons throughout this country excommunicated because they err in doctrine? Does that not make the Mormon Church like the Methodists, in Joseph Smith’s line of thinking? Do you see the irony here?
Stumbling in doctrine, according to Joseph Smith, does not prove that a man is not a good man.
1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV) says plainly that there are false doctrines brought forth by the devil himself, so yes, if you err in doctrine, that is a serious issue. Here is the scripture:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
People are deceived by false doctrines. False doctrine is a huge issue. It can be easy to throw the word doctrine around to sound all theological, but it is really an issue of right teaching and wrong teaching. Period.
Listen closely to what prophet you follow in these latter-days. False prophets will arise, says the Lord. If something is in existence that is false, that denotes that something in existence must be true of that same category. Hence, how can there be false prophets lurking in these last days if there is not a true prophet in existence? How can there be a false answer to a test if there is not a true answer? How can there be a false piece of information when in fact there is a true piece of information to counter it? Thereby, since there are many false prophets in the world today, this means there is a true prophet in existence today.
I will tell you who He is… His name is Jesus Christ. He is our Prophet in these last days, and He is the only High Priest of His Church since his resurrection. He sits on His throne in Heaven, fulfilling His High Priestly duties, making intercession to the Father for us.
This is why the veil was torn in the temple in Jesus’ day: we can now have direct access to God and we as believers (men and women) are all a part of the holy priesthood, we can go before the holy of holies, and submit our prayers directly to Christ.
What God tore down in the temple, Mormons put back up by having a veil in their temple. Jesus tore that thing down for a reason, to show us that we are indeed in a better covenant.
He is the new and everlasting covenant. And in Him, and only Him, may we find life everlasting through having faith in Him.