Back in 1848, the mormon crickets were swarming the crops and had they kept going the mormons never would have made it through the winter, but seagulls swooped in and saved the day. The leaders put up a monument and called it a miracle...what do you think?
And the thing about seagulls showing up - Wanda, a.k.a. "Eve"
In Utah is not such a manifestation. If you've ever been whalewatching, you know that miles and miles from the coast, where there are no islands, rocks, or anything for them to stand, out in the open ocean, spotting seagulls is a sure sign that whales are feeding right underneath. The animals are good at finding prey.
I used to live between the Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City - mckay
And the seagulls were a daily occurance in the spring and summer. Flock of seagulls would come into the valley looking for anything that looked good to eat especially a field being irrigated. Seaguls looking for crickets hardly seems a God inspired event.
It wasn't a "miracle" until decades later - scarecrowfromoz
I have seen it before when this subject was discussed on the list, but from reading journals of those there at the time they didn't consider it a "miracle." It only became a "miracle" several decades later (I'm thinking 1870s or 1880s?) when the Cult started to portray it as one.
What is miraculous about a winged-rat eating crickets? Mormons try to make it a "miracle" by claiming 30 to 40 years later that because they are SEAgulls, they only lived by the sea until 1848. God sent so many seagulls from California to Utah in 1848, that they blackened the sky, like the flying monkeys in the movie when they came to take Dorothy away to the Wicked Witch.
How the miracle REALLY happened - Webz
A Mormon Pioneer and his 13 wives are sitting on the front porch, looking out on the fields, covered in hungry crickets.
Farmer Elmer Skousen: "Them dern crickets done ate all the barley that Bro. Brigham was gonna buy from us to make into his private label beer! We gonna all starve come winter! God has forgotten us! Lets all pray for a miracle!"
They all kneel to pray.
Farmer Elmer Skousen: "Please oh Lord, deliver us from these evil crickets you sent to test us! I repent, O Lord, for pinching the page corner to mark my place in the Book of Mormon!"
Suddenly, the sky grew dim. Millions of wings were heard and the entire valley was swarming with seagulls. The seagulls ate tons of crickets. After two days, there wasn't a cricket to be heard or a seagull to be seen. In fact, all that could be seen around the town of Salt Lake was the beautiful sight of the first snow covering the ground.
Farmer Skousen stepped out onto his porch, looked to the heavens and said, "Thank you, God, for getting rid of the crickets, but what am I to do about all this damn bird shit?"
Seagulls like to eat crickets and - bona dea
If for some reason, the crickets had skipped the feast, the Mormons could have taken a page from the Paiutes and eaten the crickets. Either way, it isn't likely they would have starved. As I understand it, the story has been embellished a lot too.
Crickets and Seagulls. Yes it was real, not a miracle. - Baxter
Mormon crickets go through cycles like locusts, some years they become very very prolific in swarms, about ten or twelve years ago there were huge swarms of crickets in Northern Utah and southern Idaho. We went out to our family dry farm and caught huge jars full of them and yes they were devouring anything in their path, it is likely they could have eaten all of the Mormon's hard planted crops.
I love the great salt lake and have spent a lot of time exploring it, there are several islands that are home to seagul hatcheries. One of them is called Gull Island and in the 70s had thousands and thousands of baby seaguls. I imagine the Seagulls and Crickets have evolved together so when there is a bumper year of crickets there is also a bumper year of seagulls. I agree the story got embellished quite a bit. There is a a real funny Mormon Folk Song about the seagulls (not faith promoting tripe), I'll see if I can find the words and post later.
And I have witnessed the miracle first hand, when I was in grade school our town was being overun by grasshoppers in Utah, thousands of them .... and guess what thousands of Seagulls showed up too, ate the grasshoppers for a whole day in the fields near my house, gorged themselves on them and then flew back towards the great salt lake to the rookeries I imagine.
It is also told in this 'miracle' - furthermore
That the gulls gorged themselves, regurgitated, them regorged themselves. This was merely getting rid of the exoskeleton of the cricket. It has been witnessed often by those watching in recent times. There was no miracle, only the natural result of a bumper crop of crickets.
The rest of the story? The pioneers were not saved in any miraculous way that 'day'. They almost starved to death that year. So much for legends and traditional myths. It was a bitter time. And yes, it was not a 'miracle' until decades later when it was mentioned in passing during a conference talk in BY's era.
My, how those stories grow....taller and taller... just like the stories from the founder.
Personally - SL Cabbie
I think the Mormons ate the crickets to keep from starving and then made up the story about the seagulls afterwards . . .
Well, as the apologists say, it could've happened.
The seagulls' eating of the pests wasn't unique to the Mormon situation - Randy J.
Mormon historian William Hartley wrote an article published in the book "The New Mormon History" in which he pretty much debunked the "miraculous" aspect of the phenomenon. Some contemporary reports did indeed mention the seagulls eating the crickets, but the stories and the impact of the phenomenon were embellished over time and eventually reached "miraculous" status.
As other posters have noted, those gulls had been feasting on crickets in the west for eons, but the activity appeared to the Mormons to be heaven-sent because they were new to the region and had never witnessed such activity.
Hartley notes similar gull habits in other western areas: "Mandan, North Dakota, reported thousands of seagulls in the grain fields in 1921 attacking grasshoppers. A Montana report in 1924 said that gull flocks numbering from 4,000 to 5,000 birds preyed upon grasshoppers for more than six weeks. Colorado reported thousands of gulls attacking grasshoppers in 1926. An estimated one million gulls were feeding on Saskatchewan grasshoppers in 1933. Four years later gulls feasted on Mormon crickets in Oregon. An estimated 5,000 to 8,000 gulls raided crickets southeast of Tooele City, Utah, in 1937 during a cricket invasion which lasted until the next year... "In 1848 Mormon farmers felt that their experience was uinque. But these numerous examples suggest that encounters between gulls and crickets are common to the natural history of the western United States."
Hartley also noted, as one poster on this thread also did, that "Gulls habitually regurgitate the indigestible parts of insects they have swallowed." So the seagull activity was nothing more than the "circle of life" being played out, as it had been for eons before the Mormons arrived there.
There was another incident similar to this in American history, although it was legitimate and the reverse of what happened in the Mormon situation: The city of Enterprise, in southeast Alabama, has a statue of an insect called the boll weevil in its town square. The reason is that decades ago, the area's economy was based on cotton. But the boll weevil destroyed the cotton crops, which forced area farmers to develop another crop. At the same time, the peanut was becoming popular via the research of Dr. George Washington Carver, so peanuts replaced cotton as the region's primary crop, and they made far more money off peanuts than they did from cotton. So the city fathers erected a statue to the lowly boll weevil to pay joking homage to it.
But unlike Mormons, the residents of Enterprise don't view the boll weevil infestation as a miracle from God, and they don't repeat faith-promoting stories about the incident in church meetings.
All my life I've been taught that the Mormons were innocent victims in Missouri. These lies began when I was a small child on my mother’s knee... they continued as a member of Jr. Sunday School as I learned how Joseph Smith was innocently sent to Liberty Jail. Then as I advanced in Seminary the graphic elements of Haun’s Mill were played out over and over again in sickening details. Through out my 4 years of Institute at University more and more of the lies were reiterated and reinforced. By the time I went out on my mission I had heard “All” the stories or so I thought.
The Hauns Mill Massacre”, Farr West, The Mormon Extermination Order and finally the expulsion of the Saints from Missouri were all burned into my mind. By the time I was an adult Mormon I had a deep inbreed incredulous impression of those Missourians of 1838 for what they had done to my people. How could there be so much evil among men. Lilburn W. Boggs was the ultimate villain; he was the anti-Christ in these stories of my youth.
Now I feel like such a putts for buying everything I was fed hook line and sinker. They say the winners write the history...well when it comes to the Mormon’s...this rule doesn’t apply...I swear these revelations make me sick and those fuckers wonder why we get so mad and angry and can’t leave it alone. There is no end to the length the Mormon Church will go to whitewash and rewrite its history.
I make no excuses for the excesses of the Missourians...But Haun’s Mill and the events that took place in Farr West were directly in retaliation for actions STARTED by the Mormon’s.
It was the Mormon’s that FIRST issued an extermination order against the Missourians.
It was the Mormon’s that gave its own apostate members 24 hours to leave or be killed ... driving them into an alliance with the Missourians.
It was the Mormon’s who started a secret society of thugs that went on a burning and killing spree against the Apostate and non-Mormons.
Clearly it was the Mormons who fired that first fateful shot across the bow
There were no Innocents here... the Mormons set into motion events that would have cataclysmic consequences for them. as they tried to purge the Mormon counties of all non-Mormons.
Read the following historical chronology of the events that took place in Missouri after Joseph arrived in 1838 ... fleeing from authorities in Ohio I might add ... who wanted his hide for the failure of his Kirtland anti-bank fraud.
I might add one more thing... was it a coincidence that at this time when the church was literally falling apart (1/3 of the 12 apostles and its membership left the church) that Joseph bolstered his image among the extreme faithful with his new and improved First Vision story? (which is now the official story)
Thanks to Randy J who directed me to a sight that provided this chronology of the Missouri events that led up to the events of 1838
Its interesting to follow these events knowing that the Mormons set into motion events that soon sealed their fate in Missouri
Apr 1, 1805 - Joseph Smith is conceived. He is born nine months later on Dec. 23.
Apr 1, 1842 - Joseph Smith publishes what is to become the official version of the first vision in a special "Aprile Foole's" edition of the TIMES AND SEASONS.
Apr 1, 1836 - Parley P. Pratt's Patriarchal blessing states, "Brother Parley P. Pratt, thou shalt pick pecks of pickled peppers, pecks of pickled peppers shalt thou pick." After a period patriarchal prophecy proceeds when Parley P. Pratt, in Pittsburg, picks a plethora of pickled peppers producing pecks of pickled peppers piled profoundly.
Apr 1, 1844 - Orson Pratt applies for a patent for his invention of the dribble glass. The invention is a popular source of amusement at the Mansion House and at ward parties throughout Nauvoo. A disgruntled William Law later publishes scurrilous accusations regarding Joseph Smith's use of the whoopie cushion.
Apr 1, 1877 - Brigham Young reveals that his Adam-God doctrine was due to a defective seer stone. Brigham's seer stone had suffered a chip in the upper right corner in a fall during the trek to Utah. He tells his secretary, L. John Nuttall, that he regrets any misunderstandings that may have resulted from the error.
Apr 1, 1885 - George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith fight each other in an eight-round boxing match in the upper room of the Logan Temple. This is the last known instance of the use of temple boxing matches to settle doctrinal disputes among the apostles.
Apr 1, 1902 - The First Presidency quietly announces changes in the presentation of the Endowment ceremony. The ceremony is reduced from 12 hours in length to 9 hours. The main changes involve the removal of calisthenics, the change from Aramaic to English in the veil ceremony, and the elimination of the time-consuming practice of tattooing during the initiatory phase.
Apr 1, 1904 - Joseph F. Smith prophesies from the pulpit that, "The day will come when our people will number among a majority in Utah." Since Mormons had been a majority in Utah for 57 years not many in the congregation are very impressed.
Apr 1, 1924 - Gordon B. Hinckley answers a high-school history teacher's question, "I don't know; I don't think you should teach that." The infuriated teacher punches young Hinckley in the mouth giving him a fat lip which lasts his whole life.
Apr 1, 1928 - B. H. Roberts takes his last plural wife with the consent of Church President Heber J. Grant. All of Roberts's future plural wives are taken without asking consent of the church president. Roberts is the last general authority to take plural wives without getting the president's permission first.
Apr 1, 1951 - President George Albert Smith gives a prophecy ending with the words, "And if I'm not telling you the truth may God strike me dead." Three days later he dies in Salt Lake City. The text of the prophecy is, understandably, never canonized.
Apr 1, 1959 - First Presidency letter instructs mission presidents in areas where cannibalism is still practiced, that missionaries, when transporting investigators to and from meetings, must never allow the number of cannibals to be greater than the number of missionaries. This leads to a new position in many missions of "Cannibal Logistics Assistant to the President" known among the missionaries as the "CLAP."
Apr 1, 1962 - All copies of the first press run of BYU president Ernest Wilkinson's book FREE AGENCY AND HOW TO ENFORCE IT are recalled from bookstore shelves and hidden away in the First Presidency's vault.
Apr 1, 1978 - Confronted with the fact that the passage in the Book of Abraham which had been used to justify withholding the priesthood from Blacks is based on the translation of a hole in the sen-sen papyrus, the First Presidency initiates the process of changing the policy.
Apr 1, 1994 - The practice of secret polygamy among the general authorities is quietly discontinued in a confidential memo signed by Church President Ezra Taft Benson's Autopen machine.
Apr 1, 1998 - After thousands of Mormons claim that reading anti-Mormon literature only strengthens their testimonies, the Church secretly begins to subsidize Jerald and Sandra Tanner of Utah Lighthouse Ministries. This is the Church's first subsidizing of actual anti-Mormons. Ed Decker of "Ex-Mormons for Jesus" had been on the Church's payroll for over a decade.
Apr 1, 2004 - The First Presidency, impressed by the success of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ," considers producing a film about the martyrdom at Carthage called "The Passion of Joseph Smith." The project is abandoned when someone points out that the title could be taken in more than one way.
11/25/2005 - by cricket
The First Vision - All Nine Versions - by Collen Ralson
I've been checking out farwesthistory.com. Some interesting stuff on the Mormons in Missouri. I'm reading the evidence the state of Missouri brought against the Mormons on the charges of treason.
It's interesting that many prominent Missourians such as Governor Boggs himself befriended Mormons in the early 1830's but the Mormons alarmed local communities by ignoring local and state law. The Mormons did whatever they damn well pleased and even though the state of Missouri had a Governor, Senate, and House of Representatives, and carried out law as specified under the state constitution and US constitution, the Mormons felt they were a law unto themselves.
Conflicts arose and the Missourians tried to use the law to gain order. It didn't work and things escalated into an armed conflict. The situation degraded into a full out war and atrocities were committed on both sides like in all wars.
Governor Boggs infamous "Extermination Order" was basically an order to leave the state of Missouri or be shot. Before Boggs issued the order he tried everything else. He had to get tough or the 5,000 Mormons in his state were going to jeopardize law and order.
The Mormons later sent Porter Rockwell to Independence to assassinate the former governor in 1842. Rockwell was arrested, jailed, but acquitted because of a lack of evidence.
The Mormon version makes Missourians look like a bunch of pirates raping and pillaging in a lawless frontier. Western Missouri had court houses, judges, and the rule of law. The militia was organized and under state control. The Mormons were systematically dealt with but when everything failed, they had to be driven out at the point of a gun.
The Mormons got in big trouble for not recognizing the elected leaders and for ignoring state and local laws. Well, guess what, you get arrested for such behavior.
Funny Joseph Smith was arrested in every state he lived in. That should tell us something of his character right there. The Mormons say it was people being under the influence of Satan. Please. Give us a break.
Governor Boggs in his many written statements--specifically pointed out that the Mormons had the constitutional right to worship as they wished but that right didn't exclude them from the responsibility of being good citizens and observing city, county, and state laws.
One thing that is apparent, Joseph Smith and his followers viewed any govt. but theirs as evil and not valid. That's what got them ran out on a rail and shot. Not because they were weird peculiar people.
Faithful and guided by God or gullible and misguided by delusions? For many of the Mormon handcart pioneers and their innocent children the "burning in their bosoms" failed to prevent hypothermia, frostbite and slow death.
"Levi Savage used his common sense and his knowledge of the country. He declared positively that to his certain knowledge we could not cross the mountains with mixed company of aged people, women, and little children, so late in the season without much suffering, sickness, and death. He therefore advised going into winter quarters without delay.; but he was rebuked by the other elder for want of faith…Savage was accordingly defeated, as the majority were against him." He then added; "Brethren and sisters, what I have said I know to be true; but, seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help you all I can, will work with you, will rest with you, will suffer with you, and if necessary I will die with you. May God in his mercy bless and preserve us. Amen" - by James and Eliza Hurren
"Bodil apparently was assigned to care for some small children as they crossed Rocky Ridge. When they arrived at camp, she must have been sent to gather firewood. She was found frozen to death leaning against the wheel of their handcart, clutching sagebrush."
"When little Joseph became too weary to walk, James, the older brother, had no choice but to carry him. Left behind the main group, James and Joseph made their way slowly to camp. When the two finally arrived at the fireside, James "having so faithfully carried out his task, collapsed and died from exposure and overexertion." - Elder James E. Faust - November 1992 Ensign
"I had to take a portion of poor Robert's feet off which pierced my very soul. I had to sever the leaders with a pair of scissors. Little did I think when I bought them in old England that they would be used for such a purpose. Everyday some portion was decaying until the poor boy's feet were all gone. Then John's began to freeze; then afterwards my own. We kept meeting teams from Salt Lake City now, which rendered all the assistance they could. I remember asking one of the drivers if he could give me a cob of corn to eat. He looked so pitiful and said, 'Oh, sister, I hate to refuse you but my horses haven't enough to eat now, and I do not know how we will get back to Salt Lake.' I said, 'I ought not to have asked you, but myself and children are so hungry.' He said, 'Keep up your faith sister.'" - Stewart E. Glazer
"Poor little Nellie, nothing could be done to save her feet. When they took off her shoes and stockings, the skin, with pieces of flesh came off too. The doctor said her feet must be taken off to save her life. They strapped her to a board and without an anesthetic the surgery was performed. With a butcher knife and a carpenter's saw they cut the blackened limbs off. It was poor surgery, too, for the flesh was not brought over to cushion the ends. The bones stuck out through the ends of the stumps and in pain she waddled through the rest of her life on her knees." - She Stood Tall On Her Knees by William Palmer
It has general appeal, the underlying lampoonable scenario being that early Mormons were stupid enough to not only risk their own lives, but also the lives of their children to cross the plains to get to Zion. I read up on the history a little in my Seminary textbook. Turns out that the handcart companies were not even close to the first expeditions to Utah. The handcarts were apparently invented to save money and enable poor new converts from England and Scandinavia to cross the plains for about $50 each.
Curious that it's a source of pride in Mormondumb to have frozen your children, instead of being a badge of hyper-stupidity and child abuse. The frozen children phenomenon happened when a couple handcart companies left too late in the season to miss the brunt of winter. There were delays, I think. They should have aborted and turned back. Too bad that still, small voice of survival instinct apparently got frozen also.
Click on www.handcart.com to download plans to build your own handcart.
Frozen child handcart jack - When your handcart gets a "flat", you prop up one of your unfrozen children under the axle you need to jack up. Wait overnight with subzero temperatures. As the child freezes it naturally expands (gets taller) and automatically jacks up your handcart - enabling you to change the wheel. Thaw and breastfeed the child for reuse later if needed.
Emergency handcart bridge - If you come to a chasm in the trail that not even Evil K'nephite can jump his handcart across, do the following: Chop down two stout trees taller than the chasm is wide. Chop off all the branches. Lay the tree trunks across the chasm about 3 feet apart. Line up frozen children across the tree timbers - packed closely together - to form a bridge roadway. Drive the handcarts across the frozen children to safety on the other side. If you have time (and your fingers aren't too cold), inscribe and erect a brass plate plaque to honor the sacrifice of the children to make the handcart journey a faith-inspiring success.
What's the difference between a frozen handcart child and person having a grand mal seizure during Fast & Testimony Meeting?
Answer: Tough question. Both are structurally sound, but frozen handcart children generally don't make those embarrassing seizure noises or bite the end off their tongues.
10. Jesus Wants Me For An Icicle
9. I Know That My Right Femur Lives, Though No More It Sensation Gives
8. Please ReFreeze Me, Let It Snow.
7. Put Your Coldest To The Wheel, Slush Along.
6. Many are cold, but most were frozen (sorry, not a song)
5. There is a snow drift, far away
4. We Thank Thee O God For Frostbite (much better than being bored to death and/or forced to attend Seminary)
3. Oh How Lovely Was The Morning - Radiant Gleamed My Frozen Child
2. There's Ice Crystals in My Soul Today
1. Sing We Now at Freezing
9. Lil' Frosty
5. Stiffy No Stockings
4. Icepicker Bait
3. The Little Numb-er Boy
2. G. Frozed Myassoff
1. Shatter Baby
0. Subby Zero
1. The handbook relied upon by handcart drivers for safe operation of their vehicles on the trail is entitled the Magna Handcarta. This rulebook has instructions for safe passing and merging of handcart trail traffic. (
2. Handcart Driver's Licenses are required on the trail, with Handcart Learner's Permits available as long as the driver in training learns to handcart with a properly licensed handcart driver at least 21 years old.
There is a statute in the Magna Handcarta against Word-of-Wisdumb violations by handcart drivers. A citation can be issued for an HUII infraction (pronounced "Hughey"). That's Hand Carting Under the Influence of Intoxicants. This citation can be avoided by appointing a Designated Hand Carter (prior to the festivities).
3. There is a fairly long list of useful and functional Handcart Accessories, all available from Brigham's Buggies, Inc., Winter Quarters Div.
- Handcart Spoiler: This aerodynamic attachment helps to reduce wind resistance and increase the top speed of your handcart.
- Family Pak Body Bags (one dozen count - graduated sizes): Useful when handcart children freeze to death on the trail to Zion.
- Handcart Kickstand: Not required if one of your frozen-stiff children happens to short enough to use as a handcart kickstand.
- Handcart GPS Locator: Useful for marking the coordinates along the trail each time one of your children freezes to death, and you have to pile rocks and snow on top of the body because the tundra ground is frozen solid - making it impossible to dig a proper grave. Later in the spring, you can use the GPS locator to return for the purpose of properly burying your frozen children.
4. Handcart customizations:
- Handcart Ambulance: This is a specially outfitted handcart used to transport injured or frozen saints to . . . well - I guess there's really nowhere to take injured or frozen handcart company saints. Even if there were somewhere to take them, even at M.H.C.V. (maximum handcart velocity), the patients would die before they got there. Never mind.
- Monster Handcarts: Huge, oversize wheels that raise the handcart bed about 8 feet off the ground. Monster Handcart Competitions were organized to entertain the Bladder Spray Stains along the trail.
- Hispanic Handcart low rider suspension: The handcart bed is lowered using specially designed axle offsets to ride within 2 inches of the ground. This looks really cool to Hispanic saints, but hits bottom frequently along the uneven, rocky trail to Utah.
- Handcart Cruising: Aaronic Penishood boys like to soup up their handcarts with mag wheels and neon accessory lighting and hand cruise up and down the trail with hopes of impressing the young girls who haven't frozen to death yet.
5. Handcart Exhibitions:
- Frozen children jumping: First, several frozen children are laid side by side in a row next to a launching ramp. Then the famous handcart daredevil driver, Evil K'nephite, races his handcart up the ramp to see if he can clear all of the frozen children with his airborne handcart. If he misses, the frozen children at the end of the row might shatter on impact, but hey . . . That's Entertainment!
- Frozen baby breastfeeding competition: Handcart company mothers are each presented with a frozen baby. The first one able to thaw the baby out enough for it to start breastfeeding is declared the winner.
6. Handcart evolution: Because of all of the children frozen along the handcart trail, a species of bird eventually evolved to capitalize on this unique source of food. Ornithologists have dubbed this new bird species the Brigham's Frosted-Crest Yellow-Bellied Ice Picker. This "bird of pray" uses a unique jackhammer and bill-twisting action to quickly chop thru the ice surrounding a delicious frozen child. This seems somewhat heartless and brutal at first, but not when you remember that the parents won't have to return in the spring to bury their frozen offspring if the Ice Picker bird does his job. Nature has a way of taking care of things like this. It's part of Heavenly Father's Plan.
7. Handcart progeny:
- It's been observed that babies of handcart company parents are frequently born with core body temperatures around 32 degrees. Some even spit ice cubes out of their tiny mouths right after being born.
- Strange but true: A recent survey disclosed that descendants of handcart company survivors curiously own 5.2 times more wheelbarrows than the general population.
This is a review of the Mark Hofmann affair for those unfamiliar with it. I also want to try to lay forth the reasons we disbelievers see it as an important faith-demoting event. I’m doing this from memory, so feel free to correct any mistakes.
Mark Hofmann was a forger and shrewd observer of human behavior. Like any good con man, he knew part of his success manufacturing and selling fake historical documents depended on willing victims – people who wanted to believe his claims.
Growing up Mormon, Hofmann realized he was surrounded by credulous people who were trained to trust those who presented themselves as authorities. He also saw they were nuts about their sacred history and legends. There was a situation ripe for exploitation.
Hofmann’s method was to learn what kind of documents people really wanted to find and then he would “find” them. Producing what people already wanted assured a lucrative market. Or he would create things no one imagined existed because it was harder to challenge their authenticity.
Hofmann had a grudge against the church, so he took special glee in selling bogus church-related documents. It was one thing to fool collectors, it would be quite another to fool the supposedly inspired leaders of the church. Besides, they had deeper pockets.
From his years of poking around old documents and studying church history, Hofmann knew there were skeletons in the Mormon closet. Authentic LDS history is far murkier than the official version. He also knew the church was interested in acquiring potentially embarrassing documents so they could suppress them. Again, the situation was ripe for exploitation.
Like most inactive Mormons, Hofmann was pretty sure the brethren had no special divine light, no powers of discernment. They did have access to document experts, though. So Hofmann tested the waters with some minor forgeries. The fish took the hook.
Hofmann knew Joseph Smith and his family had been heavily involved in ritual magic, astrology and alchemy. He knew they believed in charms and incantations, in ghosts and shape-shifting creatures. And he knew that the brethren knew and that they didn’t want others to know, because it wasn’t faith-promoting.
So Hofmann concocted the “salamander letter,” an account of JS encountering a talking salamander that turned into an angel. The forgery neatly connected the Smith family’s occult practices with the origins of Mormonism.
The fact church leaders accepted the salamander letter as authentic tells us several things. First, they didn’t say, “Joseph Smith, the Lord’s chosen prophet of the restoration, never saw any talking salamanders. That would never have happened, so this document is obviously fake.” Rather, they accepted that JS might have had such a vision because they knew there were even weirder things recorded.
Secondly, we know none of the brethren involved said, “Um, wait, something’s not quite right here. I’m having a stupor of thought, a bad feeling.” Either the brethren didn’t consult the Lord about the document and its “finder” (contrary to the claim they don’t spend a dime of the Lord’s money without his blessing) or they were insufficiently in tune with the Spirit to get the message, or the Lord didn’t care, or there was no divine force out there to give them a clue.
How is it that church leaders could meet several times with Mark Hofmann and never discern the dark spirit inside him? How could they not recognize the devil within their midst? And how many times before had they failed at similar challenges? How many more times would they fail?
Yet, in the meantime, a member of the church, with far lesser credentials than the brethren, began to suspect Hofmann was a forger – based on personal experience, facts and research rather than feelings or divine guidance. Hofmann realized he might be exposed, so he blew the guy up with a letter bomb. To throw the investigation away from himself, he tried to blow up the first guy’s business associate, but unintentionally killed the associate’s wife instead. He was trying to deliver a third bomb, but it blew up on him.
Two innocent people died because the supposedly inspired brethren didn’t have a clue they were dealing with a criminal. (I don’t know, but I suspect Hofmann was smart enough to wear garments and a thin shirt when meeting with the brethren. A “smiley” is all the recommendation some Mormons require.) If they had discerned Hofmann’s character earlier and exposed him, two families wouldn’t have suffered the loss of a parent. And the brethren would have looked exceptionally inspired instead of like unexceptional business guys with exceptional opinions of themselves.
What about the church’s document experts? Well, they turned out not to be so expert. (Who hired these guys? Oh yeah, the brethren.) Besides, as many church employees know, their duty is to sustain the brethren, not to tell them they’re wrong.
Before Hofmann started blowing up people, the church trumpeted the salamander letter as a marvelous, wonderful new find while carefully spinning its content. After law enforcement forgery experts declared the salamander letter a fake, however, the brethren had to spin their way back out without making it look like they had been duped and swindled. Furthermore, they resisted cooperating with the investigation out of fear their ineptitude would be further exposed.
The Hofmann case was a shameful moment of ecclesiastical bungling. I don’t imagine it’s an isolated case. The brethren work pretty much in secret, with no checks and balances, answering to no one, except each other and the still, small voices they hear in their heads.
But it didn't happen that way, did it.
God tells the prophet, “This letter is a forgery and Mark Hoffman is a criminal who will do far worse things if not stopped. Call in the authorities, tell them you’re going to buy the letter and turn it over to them as evidence.” So that’s what the prophet does.
Word gets out that the church questions the authenticity of Hofmann’s document. Some people, particularly document experts who vouched for his work, think it’s preposterous. Others, who have paid good money for Hofmann documents, resubmit their documents to other experts. Some even call in law enforcement for their opinion. Because that's how people who live in the real world behave. They don't just take someone's word, they check it out. They don't see the world divided into those who support them without question and those who are their enemies, intent on doing evil to them at every turn. If I'm in charge of a university library or other collection, proper stewardship and fiduciary responsibilities obligate me to find the truth, no matter how embarrassing. I have to answer to others, unlike the brethren.
Forensic and forgery experts in the FBI expose Hofmann’s forgeries, arrest and convict him. He never gets a chance to blow anyone up. Or, knowing he's about to be exposed, he flees the country. Or he blows himself up.
Those who once criticized the prophet now acknowledge his exceptional powers of discernment. Some even investigate the church, wondering about this remarkable man called a prophet.
But it didn't happen that way, did it.
As long as we're on the subject of the Hofmann forgeries...
Let's see what the real damage was...besides the obvious high price in loss of innocent life. Here is a highlight list of documents Hofmann either sold or traded to the Church [or Hinckley’s go-betweens] over a five-year period. This list it by no means conclusive as newly discovered Hofmann forgeries are still popping up occasionally, including a faked Emily Dickinson poem that surfaced at an auction just a couple years ago.
1. May '80--Hofmann trades the Anthon transcript to Hinckley for $20,000 worth of other authentic old documents from the vaults. This is the one that appeared in all the newspapers with Hofmann, Hinckley, Kimball and others sitting around the table together. Kimball was examining the document while holding a magnifying glass. Guess he should have used a seer stone, eh?
2. Feb '81--father's blessing from Joseph Smith the prophet to Joseph Smith III, stating that the young boy was next in line to lead the church. $10,000+ cash.
3. Mar '81--"Valley Notes" early Mormon currency certificates, $20,000.
4. Mar '82--Martin Harris Testimony, $20,000 in trade for other authentic historical documents.
5. July '82--"Lucy Mack Letter", $30,000+ in trade for other authentic historical documents.
6. Sept '82--"Maid of Iowa" riverboat tickets, $7,500.
7. Jan '83--"Stowell Money-Digging Letter to Joseph Smith", $15,000 cash received directly from Hinckley with the parting comment- "this is one letter that will never see the light of day."
8. Jan '84--"Salamander Letter", $40,000.
9. Oct '84--"Betsy Ross letter" $12,000.
10. Nov '84--"Jim Bridger signatures", $10,000.
11. June '85--"McLellin Papers" $185,000.
12. July '85--"Martin Harris Personal Copy of 'View of the Hebrews'" sold directly to Hinckley for an undisclosed amount.
13. Aug '85--"David Whitmer Letter", sold directly to Hinckley for an undisclosed amount.
14. Oct '85--Hinckley extends $500,000 line of credit to Steve Christensen to locate and purchase damaging documents with Hofmann's assistance.
15. Oct '85--"Kinderhook Translation", Direct offer from Hinckley to purchase for $150,000, but due to the bombings the sale was never completed.
As you can see, Hofmann took the Church [and Hinckley's go-betweens] for a long and twisting roller coaster ride to the tune of nearly a million dollars in sales, trades, and offers. If Hofmann hadn't gotten greedy towards the end, who knows how long he could have rubbed "the Brethren's" noses in it. In fact, who knows how many more Hofmann creations they still have sitting in their vaults right now that they are just too embarrassed to mention?
Discernment my a$$!
Yes, Joseph Smith filed for bankruptcy protection, along with his brother Hyrum. It is my understanding that Jos was NOT granted the bankruptcy through & went to his death beating hundreds & possibly thousands out of their money. - 08/22/2003 - anon
This is a sworn statement by Abigail Harris, Martin Harris's sister. If she can be trusted, it sounds like the Smiths were making up all sorts of stories about the Golden Plates.
Palmyra, Wayne Co. N. Y. 11th mo. 28th, 1833.
In the early part of the winter in 1828, I made a visit to Martin Harris and was joined in company by Jos. Smith, senior. and his wife. The Gold Bible business, so called, was the topic of conversation, to which I paid particular attention that I might learn the truth of the whole matter.--They told me that the report that Joseph, junior. had found golden plates, was true, and that he was in Harmony, Pa. translating them--that such plates were in existence, and that Joseph, junior. was to obtain them, was revealed to him by the spirit of one or the Saints that was on this continent, previous to its being discovered by Columbus. Old Mrs. Smith observed that she thought he must be a Quaker, as he was dressed very plain. They said that the plates he then had in possession were but an introduction to the Gold Bible--that all or them upon which the bible was written, were so heavy that it would take four stout men to load them into a cart--that Joseph had also discovered by looking through his stone, the vessel in which the gold was melted from which the plates were made, and also the machine with which they were rolled; he also discovered in the bottom of the vessel three balls of gold, each as large as his fist. The old lady said also, that after the book was translated, the plates were to be publicly exhibited--admittance 0-5 cents. She calculated it would bring in annually an enormous sum of money-that money would then be very plenty, and the book would also sell for a great price, as it was something entirely new-that they bad been commanded to obtain all the money they could borrow for present necessity, and to repay with gold. The remainder was to be kept in store for the benefit of their family and children. This and the like conversation detained me until about 11 o'clock. Early the next morning, the mystery of the Spirit being like myself (one of the order called Friends) was reveal by the following circumstance: The old lady took me into another room, and after closing the door, she said, "have you four or five dollars in money that you can lend until our business is brought to a close? the spirit has said you shall receive four fold." I told her that when I gave, I did it not expecting to receive again--as for money I had none to lend. I then asked her what her particular want of money was; to which she replied "Joseph wants to take the stage and come home from Pennsylvania to see what we are all about." To which I replied, he might look in his stone and save his time and money. The old lady seemed confused, and left the room, and thus ended the visit.
In the second month following, Martin Harris and his wife were at my house. In conversation about Mormonites she observed, that she wished her husband would quit them as she believed it was all false and a delusion. To which I heard Mr. Harris reply : "What if it is a lie ; if you will let me alone I will make money out of it ! I was both an eye and an ear witness of what has been stated above, which is now fresh in my memory, and I give it to the world for the good of mankind. I speak the truth and lie not, God bearing me is witness.
I love the way old Lucy tried to suck Abigail into things by conjecturing the angel was a Quaker, like Abigail. A Quaker? Yeah, that's the ticket. And can I borrow a few bucks?
And they just keep piling on the story. Not just gold plates, but plates so big and heavy they take four men to lift. And balls of gold as big as your fist!. And the vessel and machinery used to roll the plates! Are you buying it yet? Huh? Huh?...
Looking back on the famous Salamander Caper, I had a few interesting experiences I'd like to revisit before I slip into that famous Benson senility:
First, with Dallin Oaks. He told me a few years ago in Salt Lake that the Apostles had decided not to turn over the McLellin documents which were in the Church's possession, despite a request from the Salt Lake police for them. Oaks said that the Brethren had determined they weren't relevant to the police investigation, even though he admitted to me that none of the GAs knew what was in the documents which the Church had. Oaks also informed me that even if the Church had wanted to pass them over to law enforcement officials investigating Hofmann, the GAs were all on vacation at the time, so no one at Church HQ could make an authoritative decision.
Second, with Hofmann's car. When a reporter and myself went up to Salt Lake after the bombings, we were poking around in the area where Hofmann's car blew up. There, in the gutter, among the leaves, I found a piece of black automobile vinyl stripping. It's now in my home office, next to my Latter-day Lampoon Salamander trinket.
Third, a well-off friend of mine paid big bucks for a document "discovered" by Hofmann that ended up being a forgery. I think he had to eat it (not the document; just the expense).
Fourth, I ran into the Church bagman in the whole sordid affair--Hugh Pinnock--on a commercial airline flight several years ago. As I passed him in the aisle, I asked him how the banking business was going. He didn't think that was funny.
Fifth, when I drew a cartoon about how the scandal was driving Church public affairs spokesmen to coffee drinking, I got a stern phone call from my grandfather who had been provided a copy of the doodle, telling me to "go easy on the Church," while reassuring me that he still loved me.
Sixth, the first cartoon I wanted to do on the affair was killed by my editor. It showed Joseph Smith on the Hill Cumorah, standing over the open stone box. Inside the box was a white salamander, dressed in robes and handing Joe the gold plates. Joe says to the salamander, "No one's going to believe me. Can't I just say an angel gave them to me?"
Sigh, those were the days.
The church always avoids the real history of Joseph Smith's assassination by teaching that he was killed because people didn't like his religious beliefs. The reality is that few people in the mob knew the Mormon beliefs and most could care less. Here are some of the contributing factors -- a far cry from the sanitized version the church promotes:
1. JS could have a revelation and deliver mass votes with the snap of his fingers. This power gained Smith a lot of political friends. It also created lots of enemies.
2. He organized a militia of almost 3,000 troops, the Nauvoo Legion. By comparison, the U.S. Army only had 8,500 soldiers at that time. Having a military force this large frightened the surrounding people.
3. Owning the court system protected the Mormons from the Gentiles. If a Mormon was charged with a crime, he often ran to the city court, got the case dismissed, then was free from double jeopardy.
4. There was some counterfeiting going on. In the area, it was called "Nauvoo bogus." No one could ever be charged. Bitter merchants and neighbors often got stuck.
5. There were rumors of the polygamy practices of the church leaders, although it was still publicly denied at this time. This was a minor factor however, since few knew about it.
6. Tales of the vigilante activities of the Danites terrorized non-Mormons of the area. Night riders burning barns of church enemies was not good PR, even though some of these activities may have been falsely blamed on the Mormons.
7. Smith's old enemy, Gov. Boggs of Missouri, was wounded and left for dead in a failed assassination attempt. Everyone knew it was Porter Rockwell, Smith's loyal bodyguard, acting on his orders.
8. Joseph Smith had taken advantage of the new federal bankruptcy law by placing over $100,000 of assets in Emma and the children's names, then declaring bankruptcy. This left his creditors high and dry, including the Lienholdersof a steamboat JS had bought on credit and destroyed accidentally.
9. Smith had himself appointed trustee-in-trust for the church. This meant that in order to buy real estate in the Nauvoo area, one had to go through him. Many converts would plunk down their life savings for a few acres, then become disillusioned with the church. Smith and cohorts would "freeze them out", allowing no members to buy their properties, or either offer a token pittance to those who dared to leave the Mormon city. Several of the mob members were ex-Mormons who felt cheated out of their life savings.
10. Smith declared himself a candidate for the U.S. Presidency. Not that he had a chance of winning, but he could act as a third party "spoiler". Non-Mormons in the area could see right through this ploy, and could picture their votes being nullified.
11. A month before his death, JS made a famous speech, reported by the area newspapers, wherein he declared "he had more to boast about than Jesus Christ." The area's reaction was, "what a pompous, blasphemous jerk this Mormon leader is"!
12. The final straw, the ordering of the destruction of the Expositor for exposing the true Joseph Smith to the world, was merely the spark his enemies needed -- violating the freedom of the press.
13. In declaring martial law to resist state troops enforcing his arrest, this constituted treason and in many eyes was an attempt to place himself above the law.
For references, all of the above items can be found in the History of the Church, the diaries of the Apostles, Quinn's "Mormon Hierarchy, Origins of Power", and in a more sanitized version, Dallin Oaks' book, "Carthage Conspiracy."
Nothing here should be construed as justification for the murder. Mob violence is a terrible thing and should never be condoned. This is merely to show that the church's omission of the historical facts behind the act serves as a ruse to create a sense of martyrdom and deceitfully misleads the members.
From The Manx Liberal 1838 on an instance of "healing".
SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A MORMONITE PRIEST AT PRESTON - There was an exhibition made at the town Jail, Preston, on Wednesday week, and which supported by such a series of indisputable facts, as must have made many persons ask themselves the question, "Are the actors in such abominable fooleries to be considered accountable beings ? And if so, should not the laws be enforced to prevent a repetition of practices which are stamped with villainy and delusion in their front?"
Let us, however, present the reader with the facts. On Wednesday last, a fellow who calls himself Waller Richards, and arrogates the title of being an elder of the sect called Mormorites, or Latter-Day Saints, along with a woman named Ann Dawson, of Pole-street, who was charged before the magistrates with killing and slaying a young woman, named Alice Hodgson, daughter of the defendant, Dawson.
It appeared that the de ceased had been confined in childbirth, on which occasion she was attended by Mr Spencer, surgeon, and that whilst under his judicious treatment she made the most favorable approaches to a perfect recovery of health and strength. This happy consummation was, however, doomed to be frustrated, by the interference of a rascally system of fraud and folly being practiced upon the poor creature ; for the medical gentleman was desired to discontinue his visits, and the further use of medicine also prohibited The deceived dupe was thus enjoined by the two accused persons to entirely to rely on the treatment which they would adopt for her recovery.
Well, the stupid system as then commenced and it consisted in rubbing the body of the poor creature with rum, and giving her tea, made of what? Cayenne pepper at out, time, and ginger at another.
The criminal absurdities, however, were not allowed to rest here ; she as next impressed with the notion that these applications were mere secondary agents, and that the prime restorative agent was unlimited faith, but in what? Not the Omnipotent Being, who can slay and make alive again ;bring down to the grave, and by His all merciful goodness, raise the enfeebled frame of man to enjoy again the blessings of health and strength .
No, He that is all good to hear, and almighty to save, was disregarded and forgotten, and the virtue of healing was to be obtained from? We blush to name the blasphemous profanation the walking stick of the elder!
The virtue of healing, he said, had been found to exist in the garments of St. Paul, and, therefore, it was a1 concealed in the elder's walking stick. The silly woman them absolutely had the stick put into her bed, and in an abandonment of reason and common sense, she persuaded herself to expect a benefit from pressing it with her hands This was the system which the elder enjoined, and which the worse than idolatrous devotee was weak enough to put in practice.
We need not say what was the melancholy result, for who that is possessed of any share of penetration but must have already anticipated it? She survived for rather more than a fortnight, and then death drew thee curtain over the deceit, but must at the same moment have awakened her to an awful conviction of the guilt of the deceivers.
We shall not further dwell on this most humiliating prostration of human intellect at the shrine of ignorance neither shall we waste the time of the reader by pouring out indignant denunciations on the knaves who propagate these absurdities, but simply dismiss the subject by saying that the facts stated in evidence did not seem to warrant a conviction on the serious charge alleged against the defendants, and consequently the elder and his silly convert were allowed to he discharged.
The inquiry. lasted no more than an hour, and the hall was thronged during the whole time. The Mormorite elder, Richards is from America, is a good-looking fellow enough, and may be seen walking in the street with his talismanic walking stick. We understand he forbids his dupes the use of snuff or tobacco, and requires the money so saved, to he transmitted to Zion, a district which one may better conceive than safely describe.
Manx Sun June 6th 1841 - England - a local newspaper article
Mormon Miracles.- We have been favored with the perusal of a letter from Mr. James Quill am, late of Baldwin, in this Island, dated Westfield, Chautauqua county, State of New York, April 12 1841, addressed to Mr. Daniel Cain, Ballagrawne, Marown. In that letter there is along account of the doings of the Mormon priests in that part of the Union; not far from the place where Joe Smith said he found the golden plates.
He expresses the greatest surprise that the emissaries of that arch imposter should have met with any success in the Isle of man; and after detailing at great length the progress of the delusion in America, the main features of which are already familiar to most of our readers - relates the following anecdote regarding their absurd pretensions to the miraculous gifts of unknown tongues and the performing miracles:- he states that in the neighborhood of Freedonia, 16 miles from the place he lives, they undertook to raise a man from the dead; a vast crowd, as a matter of course, congregated to witness the miracle,-but a little before the time appointed for this achievement, a man stepped forward out of the crowd with a sword in his hand and addressing Joseph Smith, said "now Mr. Smith of course it will be all the same thing to you, I will just cut off the head of the corpse;" when, lo and behold! the dead man sprang up out of the coffin, and made off at full speed!
Another time Joe had a great meeting in a barn to exhibit the gifts of the unknown tongues - whereon this occasion, a man went in out of mere curiosity and began to utter some absurd gibberish - Joe remarked "that man is high in grace, and will become a great man in the church". The man answered "you are mistaken this time at least, that which I gave utterance to was no language at all," Smith characteristically replied, " the Lord is not with me to-day - there are persecutors crept into the church."
Numerous tricks of this sort were attempted- till at last the sect had to leave that part of the country and fled to Ohio; not before Smith prophesized that the place would be deluged in blood in less than five years.; more than six, Mr. Quilliam however says, have since elapsed, "and yet we live in peace." He concludes by describing the sufferings and hardships many of the converts have been subjected to, in attempting a journey of 5,000 miles, to the "Swamps of Illinois" i.e. the New Jerusalem. He describes the whole scheme as a vile fraud,- and cautions his countrymen to have no fellowship with the propagators of the imposture.
Mormons are fond of spreading "faith-promoting rumors." Members so badly want for the church to be true, in the absence of any evidence they are prone to grab on to anything that might help promote that belief. Then that rumor gets repeated and embellished to the point where most actually believe it to be true. Here are my top ten, yours may differ.
1- The Smithsonian Institute uses the Book of Mormon in its research. This one started over a hundred years ago and just won't die. Periodically the Smithsonian Institute (and the National Geographical Society) sends notices to the church saying "please, please tell your people to stop calling us. We have never found any connection with your book and any archeology discovered in the Americas."
2- Polygamy was needed in the early church because there was an overabundance of single women who needed husbands. Not so! A check of every census record of Illinois and Utah, from 1840 through 1900 reveals that (like all western frontier locations) men outnumbered the women by a good margin.
3- The LDS church has no paid ministry. This in true only at the local level through the stake presidency. The top 85 or 90 leaders (General Authorities) do quite well. They receive a salary, allowances, and also are paid as board members for the vast number of church-owned corporations. In the early history of the church, Joseph had a revelation that God desired "he should not labor" and in an act of nepotism, he named his dad the "patriarch," authorizing him to charge a dollar a blessing. (today's patriarchs receive no compensation)
4- The LDS church is the fastest growing church in the world. It's certainly fast growing, but if you are talking raw numbers, the Catholic church is probably growing fifty times as fast, simply from the birth rate alone. If you are talking percentages, the Assembly of God in Brazil went from almost zero to ten million in only four years! It took the LDS over 160 years to reach that level.
5- The reason the original LDS temple ceremony and the Masonic ritual were virtually identical was that they were both the original ceremonies of Solomon's Temple. Completely untrue! Secret ceremonies weren't practiced in Solomon's Temple, it was open. Masonic leaders will explain that when Masonry originated in the 16th century, few people could read or write, so it designed a ritual of skits and symbolism to convey its message, as was done in Solomon's time. Within a few days after he became a Master Mason, Joseph simply copied the same ceremony for the Mormon Church.
6- The church name, "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," is divinely inspired. If it is, God sure fumbled around a good while before doling out a little inspiration. The original church name in 1830 was "Church of Christ." In 1834 it was changed to "Church of the Latter Day Saints." Then four years later, in 1838 it was again changed to its present name.
7- Joseph Smith made a great prophecy in 1842, the Rocky Mountain prophecy, by predicting the Mormons would come to the Rocky Mountains and become a mighty people. Church historian Dean Jessee produced the original manuscript from History of the Church showing the authorship was in 1845, after Smith's death. Then years later, after the Saints were in Utah, someone penciled "Rocky Mountains" into the document. Jessee was chastised for revealing this historical tidbit.
8- After Joseph Smith was killed, the apostles knew Brigham Young was the successor by his "transformation" into the image of Joseph. All the apostles were requested to keep diaries, which are now historical documents. On this Aug. 8, 1844 meeting not a single one recorded it. It didn't pop up as a folk legend until about twenty years later.
9- In the first year of the Mormon settlement in Utah, a plague of locusts (Mormon crickets) threatened to wipe out their crops. God responded with a "miracle", sending an army of seagulls to devour the insects. This one is true -- however the miracle part is somewhat embellished. The locusts have a seven-year hibernation cycle, and unfortunately the early settlers hit it on the end of the seventh year. For mutual protection, they had made the mistake of planting all their fields together. Therefore, the locust attack was concentrated in one spot in the valley. And the seagulls, which by their fossil remains have been at the Great Salt Lake for over 2,000 years, simply enjoyed their every-seven-year feast. They still do -- only now it's spread over thousands of square miles. (2001 was a bad year, 2008 is next).
10- And for the last one, I want to collectively group thousands of "magic underwear" tales. You've got to hear some of these! When any TBM survives any accident, calamity, or near miss, the reason is always attributed to his/her wearing the holy drawers.
The reality is that safety records, medical records, and the observations of safety experts, paramedics and hospital emergency room personnel all show that Mormons have the same percentages of accidents per capita, and the same injury/death ratios as anybody else in the general population. But the imagined protection continues to make good fodder for monthly Testimony Meetings.
The following historical events regarding sex and marriage have been compiled from the extensive historical church chronology from D. Michael Quinn's book "The Mormon Hierarchy : Extensions of Power" For references, refer to the book.
Jan 14, 1848 - Brigham Young instructs Seventy's meeting: "For the first act of adultery you may forgive a man, but if a man beds with a woman and does it 10 times he is guilty."
11 Mar, 1848 - Benjamin Covey is excommunicated for having sexual intercourse with two girls "less than Twelve years of age" who are his foster daughters. He is re-baptized and serves as bishop of Salt Lake City Twelfth Ward from 22 February 1849 until 1856.
1 Feb, 1849 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball tells Sunday meeting that plural marriage "would end he said when the Church had gone to the Devil or the Priesthood taken from this people - then God would give it to another people."
3 Mar, 1849 - At council of Fifty meeting, Brigham Young speaks concerning thieves, murderers, and sexually licentious: " I want their cursed heads to be cut off that they may atone for their crimes." Next day, the council agrees that man has "forfeited his Hed," and decides it would be best "to dispose of him privately." Instead, they allow him to live.
29 April, 1849 - First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve make following decisions concerning sex in marriage "not to unite with woman in view of impregnation till 7 days after the cessation of the menstrual discharge in order for the most healthy procreation. Also that after childbirth if delivered a son she should continue 40 days in her purification [without sexual intercourse with her husband]. If daughter she [the new mother] should be 70 days separated as unclean for a man. As to sexual connation during pregnancy, do just as they please about that - suit themselves." This is the earliest known LDS discussion of what is appropriate in sexual relations of married couples. These rules are based on Book of Leviticus, rather than on current medical writings.
15 Jan, 1851 - First of Brigham Young's' five formal divorces from plural wives. He is only one formally divorced while serving as church president. Joseph Smith informally ended several plural marriages, and four LDS presidents are formally divorced as apostles (John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith)
19 Jar, 1851 - Utah legislature enacts law against "Sodomy" by "any man or boy," but removes Sodomy from criminal code on 6 Mar. 1852, without explanation. As governor Brigham Young signs both laws. Due to absence of sodomy statue, Utah judge drops charges against soldier for raping LDS boy in 1864. Young claims Utah's legislators never criminalized sodomy and he declines to instruct them to do so for the next twelve years. Utah legislators criminalize sodomy in 1876 only because federally appointed governor asks them to adopt entire criminal code of California which has five-year imprisonment for Sodomy. For next twenty years LDS judges give 3-6 months of imprisonment to those convicted of homosexual rape, the same sentencing given to young males and females convicted of consensual fornication. Mormons of this era give no known explanations for any of these legislative and judicial actions/inactions.
17 Mar, 1851 - Brigham Young speaks in favor of Madison D. Hambleton who is being tried for shooting and killing man at LDS church services, immediately after closing prayer. The man "seduced" wife of Hambletone who is "acquitted by the Court and also by the Voice of the people present." Hambleton later becomes sheriff in Utah.
18 Oct, 1851 - Trial of confessed murderer (and newly returned-missionary) Howard Egan. His lawyer Apostle George A. Smith popularizes phrase "mountain common law" and argues: "The man who seduces his neighbor's wife must die, and her nearest relative must kill him!" Fifteen minutes later jury finds Egan not guilty of murder. Church authorities print Smith's closing argument in Deseret News, in two church pamphlets, and later in Journal of Discourses 1:97. Egan is one of Brigham Young's enforcers.
24 July, 1853 - Brigham Young preaches, "The Father came down in his bodily tabernacle and begot Jesus."
19 Feb, 1854 - Seventy's president Jedediah M. Grant preaches: Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife that he asked for? He did not...."
16 July, 1854 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball recommends decapitation for adulterers and preaches from the pulpit concerning "unclean" women: "we wipe them out of existence."
8 Oct, 1854 - In what Apostle Wilford Woodruff describes as "the greatest sermon that ever was delivered to the Latter Day Saints since they have been a people," Brigham Young announces from the pulpit: "I believe in Sisters marrying brothers, and brothers having their sisters for Wives. Why? because we cannot do otherwise. There are none others for me to and the opposite idea has resulted from the ignorant and foolish traditions of the nations of the earth." Young's secretary George D. Watt has already married his own half sister as a plural wife. Her letter to Young shows that he was initially "unfavorable" toward allowing them to marry, but this sermon reveals theological basis for Young's authorizing Watt's brother-sister marriage and the three children born of their union.
27 Apr, 1855 - Lieutenant in Colonel E. J. Steptoe's command in Salt Lake City writes to friend about his romance and near seduction of one of the wives of Brigham Young's son Joseph (who is on a mission): "Mary [Ayers] Young and I had to give up. Brigham sent me word that if I took her away he would have me killed before I could get out of the Territory. He is a man of his word and little matters of this sort are concluded, I had better not do it, although I went back to the city purposely to get her. We wrote each other affectionate notes."
27 Mar, 1857 - Brigham Young permits woman to select faithful elders to act as "proxy" to father children for her sexually impotent living husband. Young performs polyandrous ceremony "for time," and the relationship lasts for several years producing two sons, (1858, 1861). Mother's legal husband raises boys with her, and later tells them he loves them as much as if they were his natural sons. Both boys grow up to become devoted Mormons and polygamists. This is last known case of authorized polyandry.
2 June, 1857 - Brigham Young says from the pulpit, "I feel to sustain him," when informed that the bishop in Manti. Warren S. Snow, has castrated twenty-four-year-old Welshman, Thomas Lewis, for undisclosed sex crime. "Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it," Young writes Snow in July about the castration, "and it will soon die away among the people." Snow's counselor confides to his diary that this poor young man "has now gone crazy."
14 June, 1857 - At a prayer circle of the First Presidency and apostles, Brigham Young refuses to seal three young girls (ages 12 and 13) to "Father James Allred" (age 73) because they "would not be equally yoked together" in marriage.
27 Jan, 1858 - Judge Hosea Stout describes with no disapproval how Mormons "disguised as Indians" drag a man "out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square and close amputation."
5 Apr, 1858 - Bishop of Payson, his brother the Sheriff, and several members of their LDS congregation join in shooting to death twenty-two-year-old Henry Jones and is mother, Mrs. Hannah Jones Hatch, for committing incest by which she has a daughter. The men also kill infant and also castrate brother/father. Perpetrators are indicted next year, but not brought to trial. When indicted again in 1889, Deseret News article criticizes trial of this "antiquated Payson homicide" as anti-Mormon crusade against those who were justifiably "disgusted and greatly incensed" against "the brutal mother and son." Former sheriff is convicted of murder, former bishop is acquitted.
12 Sep, 1858 - Church historian's office notes discovery this morning of severed head of Provo woman who has been at U.S. military camp for a week. Six weeks earlier another woman's head is discovered. These are earliest verified examples of someone taking literally the repeated teachings of Mormon leaders that apostates and adulterers should have their heads "cut off" as "blood atonement" for their sins.
2 Jan, 1859 - Brigham Young begins custom of having all Mormon congregations sit with women on north side of center aisle, men on south side, and children on front benches. This seating arrangement lasts for decades, remains in temples to this day.
8 Oct, 1859 - Brigham Young from the pulpit tells bishops to give Melchizedek priesthood to eighteen-year old boys, even if they "have been sowing their wild oats for years."
8 July, 1860 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit, "Children are now born who will live until every son of Adam will have the privilege of receiving the principles of eternal life." He also preaches, "The birth of our Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action."
23 Feb 1862 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit that the concept of Mother in Heaven is as essential as concept of Father in Heaven.
1 Aug 1862 - Brigham Young writes to a local bishop: "my advice is for bro jams TVS. Allured to marry the Indian girl in question. It is written that 'not many generations shall pass away before they become a white and delightsome people.'" Dozens of men marry Native Americans as plural wives in pioneer Utah and Arizona.
12 Apr, 1866 - Deseret News reports murder of S. Newton Brassfield on 2 Apr. He legally marries plural wife of absent Mormon missionary, and Deseret News editorializes that "the illegally married couple would probably have been suffered to pursue their way to their own liking," except that she filed for custody of her children. Deseret News also reports Brigham Young's sermon about the murdered Brassfield: "Were I absent from my home on a mission, I would rejoice to know that I had friends there to protect and guard the virtue of my household; and I would thank God for such friends."
19 Aug, 1866 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit: "Mary, the wife of Joseph, had another husband. On this account infidels have called the Savior a bastard... he was begotten by God our Heavenly Father." She was a polyandrist, like the women he authorized in 1857.
11 Dec, 1866 - Brigham Young, Jr. writes in his diary that "a nigger" is found dead in Salt Lake City with this note pinned to the corpse: "Let this be a warning to all niggers that they meddle not with white women."
10 Jan, 1868 - Deseret News Editorial: "In this Territory we jealously close the door against adultery, seduction and whoredom. Public opinion here pronounces the penalty of death as the fitting punishment for such crimes."
4 Feb, 1868 - Deseret News editorializes that "it is a pity" LDS father did not succeed in killing his daughter's lover when the father "drew a revolver and shot him down in the court room."
5 Mar, 1868 - Deseret News article titled "Served Him Right" reports that a Gentile is given "sound thrashing" when he visits LDS meeting to see young woman.
15 Aug, 1869 - Apostle George Q. Canon preaches from the pulpit: "We close the door on one side, and say that whoredoms, seductions and adulteries must not be committed among us, and we say to those who are determined to carry on such things: WE WILL KILL YOU..."
27 Oct, 1869 - Brigham Young preaches at Lehi, Utah that "by marriage Lot's two daughters were sealed to him, and will be his to all eternity." Young adds that it might one day become necessary to seals a man's daughter to him as a wife, "but it is not likely ever again to occur." There are verified instances of LDS leaders performing polygamous marriages between men and their foster-daughters or step-daughters, but not actual daughters.
18 June, 1870 - First counselor George A. Smith tells Salt Lake School of the Prophets about "the evil of Masturbation" among Utah Mormons. Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that "Plural Marriage would tend to diminish this evil self-pollution," and he believes that "indulgence on the part of men was less in Plural marriage than in Monogamy." Elder George Reynolds (Secretary to Brigahm Young) also tells the School that "where Monogomy was the Law, it compelled a more frequent (sexual) cohabitation than is right and proper." Mormon medical books of the time advise sexual intercourse only once a month.
11 Sep, 1871 - Counselor Daniel H. Wells tells Grantsville School of the Prophets that "a great many of our young men are abusing themselves by the habit of self-pollution: or self abuse, or as the Bible terms it, Onanism," which he regards as "one great cause why so many of our young men were not married, and it was a great sin, and would lead to insanity and a premature grave." Polygamy is likelier cause for prevalence of bachelorhood in nineteenth-century Utah. First, every national census lists more males than females in Mormon population. Second, 10 to 40 percent of Mormon men marry polygamously which demographically requires bachelorhood in Utah's majority population of males.
16 Dec, 1871 - Seymor B. Young, son of senior Seventy's president, writes: "Salt Lake City has for the first time in its history houses of Ill fame almost on every corner."
27 Feb, 1872 - LDS publication Millennial Star editorial titled, "Motherhood of God," repeats a child's question: "Why don't you tell me about the Heavenly Mother? Don't she give us anything?" Editorial speaks of those who "yearn to adore her" and expresses approval of praying to "Father and Mother God." Editorial conclusion: "When we draw nearer the Divine Man, lo! we shall find a Divine Woman smiling upon us...In the Father's many mansions, we shall find her and be satisfied."
7 Mar, 1875 - Apostle Joseph F. Smith's wife writes to him that "you know how brother (Apostle) [Albert] Carrington thinks a deal of women." In Dec. 1882 Apostle John Henry Smith writes President John Taylor that maid at British Mission headquarters "found Bro. Carrington lying upon the lounge and Sarah Kirkman lying upon top him." Upon Brigham Young's inquiry about other women in 1873 and John Taylor's inquiry about Sarah Kirkham in 1883, Carrington denies serious wrongdoing. he is not excommunicated until 1885 when protests from Sarah's husband become too insistent to ignore.
24 June, 1876 - Brigham Young confides that it is "a curiosity to him that men could commit adultery and still retain the spirit of the Lord as he had witnessed on one occasion. The man is now dead."
26 Sep, 1877 - Grand Jury describes Salt Lake County probate court as a "divorce mill" which granted 300 divorces in previous twelve-month period, primarily on "grounds of incompatibility of temperament, different aims and objectives in life." Eighty percent of divorced couples come to Utah for divorces from such places as San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Terre Haute, and St. Louis. Report finds that 13 percent of divorces are granted same day of complaint, total of 25 percent within week of application, and total of 85 percent are granted within a month of application. Report continues, "And your committee have good reason to believe that other country probate courts of the territory are likewise engaged in this class of divorce business, to an equal if not greater extent." Two months later U.S. senator Dawes introduces bill to remove divorce from jurisdiction of Mormon probate courts and limit divorce cases to federally-appointed non-Mormon judges.
13 June, 1878 - LDS political newspaper Salt Lake Herald's editorial on "Unhappy Marriages" begins: "We cannot say how many divorces the (Mormon) Utah probate courts have granted during the last few years, but the number is enormous, amounting to perhaps thousands."
8 Oct, 1881 - First Counselor George Q. Cannon tells general conference: "We hear now of men having got married to cover up certain things; of children born wonderfully soon after marriage in some of our settlements, and perhaps in this city no less than in our rural settlements."
31 Mar, 1883 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. tells stake priesthood meeting: "There are many girls in Utah who have never had an offer of marriage from a man of the Church... Girls who marry outsiders are not worthy of the Sacrament."
9 Oct, 1883 - In several hours of meeting with stake presidents, First Presidency and apostles give instructions about "Masturbation...self-pollution of both sexes and excessive sexual indulgence in the married relation." This is the first-known Mormon reference to female masturbation.
7 Nov, 1885 - Quorum of Twelve excommunicates Apostle Albert Carrington "for crimes of lewd and lascivious conduct and adultery" with several women dating back to 1871. This is the first time since 1842 that a general authority is excommunicated for sexual misconduct, and its publication on 10 Nov. stuns the community.
27 Mar, 1886 - Polygamist husband confides in his personal diary: "How delicate is the position of a man in plural marriage who loves his wives and who in turn is loved by them. Every move he makes, in his relation or intercourse with them, is an arrow that pierces deep into the heart of one or other of them... A thousand thoughts and plans may come into his mind, but there is only one true solution. He must please God. In doing this, it may be hoped that by and by, he may also somehow please them."
15 July, 1886 - Apostle Lorenzo prophecies from the pulpit that in the future "brothers and sisters would marry each other in this church. All our horror at such a union was due entirely to prejudice, and the offspring of such unions would be as healthy and pure as any other. These were the decided views of President Young, when alive, for Bother Snow talked to him freely on this matter."
27 Dec, 1886 - Sarah M. Granger Kimball, counselor in Relief Society General Presidency teaches from the pulpit that "her brother Lafayette Granger and the late Bishop George Miller in conversation once with the prophet Joseph smith were told by him that when Mary the mother of Jesus was on her way to the hill country she was met by God the Father and the Angel Gabriel and the latter performed the marriage between Father (God) and Mary."
21 July, 1887 - Apostle Franklin D. Richards: "God the Father came down in his tabernacle of flesh and bone and had (sexual) association with Mary, and made her pregnant with Jesus."
27 Feb, 1889 - LDS political newspaper Salt Lake Herald's article titled, "FAILED MARRIAGES," regarding "the report of the Labor Commissioner Wright, presented last week, on the statistics of marriage and divorce in the United States from 1867 to 1886 inclusive," with following: In 1870 Utah had highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1870 Utah's rate was one divorce per 185 marriages. National averages was 1:664. States with lowest divorce rates are South Carolina at 1:4,938, Delaware at 1:123,672, New Mexico at 1:16,077, North Carolina at 1:4,938, and Louisiana at 1:4,579. In 1880 Utah had tenth highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1880 Utah's rate was one divorce per 219 marriages, which was more than twice the national average of 1:479. In twentieth century, divorce rates for LDS temple marriages starts out three times higher than this "divorce mill" rate for early Utah civil marriages.
13 Mar, 1890 - Plural wife writes to her husband: "We are more like lovers than husband and wife for we are as far removed from each other - there is always the embarrassment of lovers and yet we have been married more than 37 years."
8 Sep, 1890 - Apostle John Henry Smith preaches from the pulpit that "married people who indulge their passions for any other purpose than to beget children, really committed adultery."
1 Oct, 1890 - An apostle asks "how the Son of God was begotten," and Lorenzo Snow tells apostles, "that he was begotten just the same as you and I were or as our sons today are."
2 Dec, 1890 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow tells the Quorum of Twelve that "he expects to see the day when a man's blood is shed again for the crime of adultery."
24 Mar, 1891 - Utah's chief justice Zane writes: "Polygamy has demoralized the people of Utah. I presume there are more sexual crimes here in proportion to the population than anywhere else."
6 Mar, 1892 - Stake president "condemns the practice that existed among the Saints to some extent of taking means to restrict the number of their children to only two or three."
20 Sep, 1896 - Seventy's president J. Golden Kimball preaches: "There are 500 girls who are public prostitutes in Salt Lake City. Some of these are daughters of Latter-Day Saints."
5 Nov, 1896 - Apostle Lorenzo R. Snow's youngest plural wife bears his last child in Canada. At age 82 he is the oldest general authority to father a child.
15 Jan, 1897 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Co. because first counselor George Q. Cannon allows its property to become "a first class" brothel on Commercial Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J. Grant is invited to its opening reception and is stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891 and for fifty years church-owned and controlled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.
7 Oct, 1898 - At general conference Apostle John W. Taylor reports that in one rural area in Utah, 80 percent of LDS marriages involve pre-marital sex.
14 June, 1900 - First Presidency and apostles agree to give $3,600 to Brigham Y. Hampton for his prior "detective work" in which he paid prostitute to allow him and nearly thirty LDS "Home Missionaries" and policemen to spy on anti-Mormons engaging in sex acts in Salt Lake City brothels in 1885. Although first counselor denies it at this meeting, in private meetings of First Presidency George Q. Cannon refers to Hampton's brothel work as "services rendered the Church" and "work in behalf of the Church." Hampton has been set apart as a Salt Lake temple worker since 1893, and another coordinator of brothel spying is the temple doorkeeper (1893-1910).
10 July 1901 - Apostle Anthon H. Lund reports to apostles that during six-month period, 58 percent of LDS marriages in rural ward were "forced."
7 Nov, 1901 - First Presidency decides and announces that there is "no rule in the church forbidding cousins to intermarry" and that first cousins can have temple marriages if they present civil license. General authorities such as Brigham Young, Williard Richards, Joseph F. Smith and Abraham H.Cannon married their first cousins as legal and plural wives.
23 Nov, 1902 - Apostle John W. Taylor tells stake priesthood meeting that "those who have sexual intercourse with their wives or touch any dead body are unclean until the evening, and therefore during that day should not enter the temple or officiate in any ordinances of the gospel."
26 Mar 1903 - Joseph F. Smith tells apostles "there would be no daughters of perdition" in final judgment. General authorities authorize rebaptism without church discipline for young man who confesses "secret crime he committed in having to do with animals."
7 July, 1903 - Apostle Rudger Clawson tells other apostles "that the practice of self-abuse existed to an alarming extent among the boys in our community who attended the district schools, and also, he doubted not, the church schools. He felt that the boys and girls should be properly instructed in regard to this evil."
25 Oct, 1905 - Public criticism of Joseph F. Smith's remarks that Father Damien of Hawaiian leper colony was immoral before his death. LDS church president is convinced that leprosy is contracted through sexual contact.
9 May, 1913 - First Presidency learns that James Dwyer, co-founder of Salt Lake City's LDS University (now LDS Business College), has been "teaching young men that sodomy and kindred vices are not sins..." Dwyer's daughter, actress Ada Dwyer Russell, is already in long-term relationship with lesbian poet Amy Lowell. Dwyer's bishop and stake president want to excommunicate him, but First Presidency allows Dwyer, now in his eighties, to voluntarily "withdraw his name" from LDS church membership.
29 Sep, 1914 - Quorum of Twelve learns that mission president has "discovered that 15% of the missionary Elders in the Netherlands during the past two years, have been guilty of immoral practices, and that a much greater percentage of Elders have been exposed to these evils."
8 June, 1941 - First Councilor J. Reuben Clark tells annual general conference of youth and their leaders: "When I was a boy it was preached from the stand, and my father and my mother repeated the principle to me time and time again. They said, 'Reuben, we had rather bury you than have you become unchaste.' And that is the law of this true Church."
26 Jan, 1842 - First Counselor J. Reuben Clark tells reporter for Look Magazine: "Our divorces are piling up." Church Historian's Office in 1968 compiles divorce statistics since 1910 for temple marriages, "church civil" marriages, and "other civil" marriages. Although temple marriages have lowest divorce rate of the three categories, in 1910 there was one "temple divorce" for every 66 temple marriages performed that year., 1:41 in 1915, 1:34 in 1920, 1:27 in 1925, 1:30 in 1930, 1:23 in 1935, 1:27 in 1939, 1:17 in 1945, 1:31 in 1950, 1:30 in 1955, 1:19 in 1960 and 1965. Last rate for temple divorce is almost ten times higher than Utah's civil divorce rate century earlier.
2 Oct, 1952 - Second Counselor J. Reuben Clark warns women of Relief Society general conference against "self-pollution," prostitution, and "homosexuality, which it is tragic to say, is found among both sexes." He cautions LDS women against allowing homosexually oriented males to use them as male-substitutes in dating or marriage: "I wonder if you girls have ever reflected on the thought that was in the mind of the man who first began to praise you for your boyish figures." Clark also tells the ladies, "I forebear to more than mention that abomination and filth and loathsomeness of the ancients - carnal knowledge with beasts." Church Relief Society magazine publishes this talk in full.
21 May, 1959 - Executive committee of Church Board of Education discusses "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality." Spencer W. Kimball reports that David O.McKay has said "that in his view homosexuality was worse than heterosexual immorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit."
12 Feb, 1964 - First Presidency letter that all prospective missionaries "found guilty of fornication, of sex perversion, of heavy petting, or of comparable transgressions should not be recommended until the case has been discussed with the bishop and stake president and the visiting General Authority."
7 Jan, 1969 - First Presidency secretary Joseph Anderson answers letter about "the Church's stand pertaining to birth control," with the concluding statement: "After all, however, the brethren recognize that this is a personal matter involving the individuals concerned, and concerning which they must make their own decision."
14 April, 1969 - First Presidency makes official statement on birth control which omits any reference to their own feelings about birth control as "a personal matter," and states: "We believe that those who practice birth control will reap disappointment by and by," and repeated earlier letter's emphasis on "self control as a dominant factor" in marriage.
9 June, 1978 - First Presidency letter instructs that interviews of married persons "should scrupulously avoid indelicate inquiries," yet also emphasizes: "Married persons should understand that if in their marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure or unholy practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent and discontinue any such practices." This reverses position of First Presidency prior to Spencer W. Kimball's ascendancy.
17 June, 1978 - Church News headline "Interracial Marriage Discouraged" in same issue which announces authorization of priesthood for those of black African descent. Sources at church headquarters indicate that Apostle Mark E. Petersen requires this emphasis.
Sep 1981 - Branch presidents at the Missionary Training Center in Provo receive 21-point handout to help "both male and female" missionaries avoid masturbation. Point 19: "In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken." In May 1995 article about masturbation, national magazine "Details" publishes seventeen of the recommendations and identifies Apostle Mark E. Petersen as author of "Steps in Overcoming Masturbations: A Guide to Self-Control." In 1996, spokesman at LDS headquarters denies that Elder Petersen authored this document and denies that it was ever distributed.
5 Jan, 1982 - First Presidency repeats its 1978 instructions for "interviewing married persons," but adds: "The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure or unholy practice."
15 Oct 1982 - First Presidency instruction to all stake and mission leaders that many letters from church members "indicate clearly that some local leaders have been delving into private, sensitive matters beyond the scope of what is appropriate.... Also, you should never inquire into personal, intimate matters involving marital relations between a man and his wife." Letter continues that even if a church member volunteers such intimate information, "you should not pursue the mater but should merely suggest that if the member has enough anxiety about the propriety of the conduct to ask about it, the best course would be to discontinue it." In response to widespread complaints from married couples being asked if they have oral sex, this returns First Presidency stance to what it was prior to presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, now incapacitated.
4 Mar, 1983 - Salt Lake Tribune reports lawsuit filed in February against LDS church for $28 million. A father blames LDS bishop for contributing to his sixteen-year-old son's suicide for counseling his son "that masturbation is a terrible sin.. and being a normal adolescent in the puberty state, KIP ELIAS ON became increasingly less able to reconcile his sexual desires with the strict doctrines of the said LDS Church. He became filled with self-hate."
15 Apr, 1983 - "University Post: The Unofficial Newspaper of Brigham Young University" reports interview with director of Standards Department. He acknowledges that students suspected of cheating, illegal drug use, stealing, or homosexuality are expelled from BYU if they refuse to take polygraph examination. BYU Security has licensed polygraph examiner.
4 Apr, 1987 - First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley tells priesthood session of general conference that "marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices..." This reverses decades-long church policy formulated by Spencer W. Kimball.
9 Aug 1991 - Salt Lake Tribune article, "Of LDS Women, 58% Admit Premarital Sex."
There was an LDS man in AZ named Dan Talbot. One of his hobbies was researching Church history. When he retired he retraced the entire path of The Mormon Battalion's Zion March, much of it with the assistance of an ultra light airplane. He compiled his research, photos, and observations into a book titled A Historical Guide to the Mormon Battalion and Butterfield Trail which he was very enthusiastic about. His research also showed that some of the Battalion members perished contrary to Brigham Young's "Prophetic" promise to them that they would be unharmed because of their obedience. BookCraft and Deseret book totally shunned the project! However, all the above mentioned material and Lund and all subsequent insider copycats romanticized "factual" based "Mormon Fiction" can be purchased through them. What a joke!!!! And to top it off Talbot remains True Believing Mormon.
Some of you have asked how church historian and writer D. Michael Quinn can
still have a testimony after documenting so many problems with church history
A few years ago, Quinn participated in a Sunstone symposium discussing Brigham Young and the many evidences that he had dissenters killed (decapitated) in early Utah. Quinn provided the most conclusive evidences of Young's involvement in the documented cases.
A good friend of mine made it a point to go up to Quinn after the forum discussion and ask him about his testimony. Quinn bore his testimony again and said that he still believed Young was a prophet led by God, even though he was involved in these murders. As Quinn explained it, just because they are prophets doesn't mean their human and make poor decisions. God may not have guided them in all of their actions, but they were divinely called to lead the true church.
My friend also asked Quinn how he felt after being excommunicated from the church. Quinn said that although the current leadership of the church had excommunicated him on paper, Quinn felt that he was still a "spiritual member" of the church because he still believed it to be true.
Quinn not only still has a testimony of the restoration, but he also strongly believes in intellectual honesty and that the church should be completely open about its past. Quinn explains that honesty and full disclosure are why he writes his books and that they do not detract from his testimony.
I have a hard time with the logic of his testimony, but I respect his exhaustive research and honesty.
RLDS scholar Dale Broadhurst wrote: "Whilst on my way to Nauvoo a few days ago, I took the opportunity to stop in for the guided tour at the Carthage Jail LDS Visitors' Center.
All was going well -- a most interesting tour which I had not taken for about twenty years -- when the tour guide (Sister Cannon, the wife of a descendant of Frank Cannon, as I recall), got to the part about Bro. Joseph having destroyed the "Nauvoo Expositor" newspaper. Sister Cannon assured us all that Joseph's actions in this regard were all "perfectly legal" and that legal charges were only brought against him thereafter because of "Gentile persecution."
Here I interrupted the good Sister to see if she agreed with the RLDS stand, saying that the "Expositor" was a filthy, lying little rag, because it repeatedly accused the Prophet of engaging in secret polygamy at Nauvoo.
Our trustworthy guide then told the tour group that this was impossible, because Joseph had not engaged in his polygamy in secret -- and that Joseph had never denied living in polygamy while at Nauvoo.
All of this seemed a bit contrary to established facts -- but I take it that our tour guide had been instructed in this matter by her Church superiors, and was not about to change her stance on the matter.
All of which reminded me of my tour of Liberty Jail last year, where LDS Elder Bear, the tour guide there, assured us that the Mormons had NOT burned Gallatin and Millport prior to the beginning of the 1838 "Missouri War," and that President Rigdon had NEVER challenged the Gentiles to a War of Extinction there.
Have I been reading the wrong history books?
Dale's account of his visit to Carthage Jail was especially interesting to me, since I also visited that holy site just last month. I was last there forty-six years ago.
My never-mo wife was with me, very patient as we toured Carthage, Nauvoo, and Independence (we were between conventions in Wisconsin and Nebraska, so we had some time to kill). We did not watch the video at the visitors' center, but simply joined the walking tour of the jail. When we headed up the stairs to the actual room where the Prophet was Martyred, my wife bailed out and went and sat in the car. I was in a group of about fifteen people, and my guess is that every single one of them was True Believing Mormon. Our guide was an old guy who couldn't remember much of the details of anything that wasn't directly connected with the Events of That Day.
As we all entered the room where the Prisoners were at the time of the attack, our guide closed the door reverently. I noticed that boxes of tissues were placed strategically around the room, so that if we were overcome with emotion, we could grab one and weep appropriately and without restraint. He paused for a moment, crossed his hands piously over his abdomen, and said quietly, "I'm sure you all feel the Spirit in this room."
I couldn't resist. I said, "Of course, what spirit one feels depends on what one believes, doesn't it?" He said, somewhat flustered, I think, "Of course," and said that we would now listen to a tape recording which re-enacted the sounds of the Prophet's last minutes on earth. One man knelt down and bowed his head as the tape played.
When the tape ended, our guide bore his testimony, assuring us of his admiration for Joseph Smith, for his divine calling, for his great contributions to mankind, and so on. After he finished, he just stood there. Nobody moved, nothing was said. There was a full two minutes of silence. I suppose there was a lot of silent praying going on among my fellow pilgrims. Even the children in the group were silent (having been well-trained, I suppose, in Sunday School). Finally I dared to break the silence and said, "May we ask questions?"
Our guide said that we could. I asked first, "Why didn't the tape recording say anything about the shots Joseph Smith fired at his attackers, using the pistol which he was carrying?"
The guide acknowledged that the Prophet did, indeed, have a pistol that was smuggled to him, and that he did shoot it. He didn't say why no mention was made on the tape of this brave act.
I then asked, "Exactly how many widows did Joseph Smith leave behind?"
He said, "Well, we don't know, but a number of women had been sealed to him for eternity only." One woman spoke up and said, "We don't know how many!"
I said, "Todd Compton's - you know, the Mormon historian? - book lists about forty, doesn't it? You've read it, haven't you?"
My next question was going to be why there was no mention on the tape of the fact that Joseph Smith, just before he fell from the window, gave the Masonic sign of distress. But then I realized that I was standing right in front of that very window, surrounded by what was becoming an "angry mob," and there were no Masons standing below to come to my aid. Also, unlike Joe, I had no pistol. So I took the coward's way out, and scurried down the stairs.
My wife had entertained herself by watching Mormons having their photos taken in front of the life-sized statue of Joseph and Hyrum on the grounds.
In late September, after visiting the Carthage Jail in the morning, we drove to Nauvoo the same day. It's a lovely drive, along the Mississippi, the waters of the great river almost lapping at the road. Driving in from the south, the first thing one sees upon entering town is the "Joseph Smith History Center," where we made our first stop.
This is the center run by the Reorganized church, now officially known as "The Community of Christ." The center includes a very nice museum and the buildings and several acres of ground around the property that once belonged to Joseph Smith, the "Homestead," the "Mansion House," the "Nauvoo House," and the "Red Brick Store," as well as the Smith family burial plot where Joseph's, Emma's and Hyrum's graves are located. These properties are now all owned by the RLDS because Emma and her boys did not follow Brigham Young to Utah, and later participated in the "Reorganization," with her son Joseph III becoming the first RLDS president. Naturally, the RLDS ended up owning those family properties, rather than the "Brighamites."
Red Brick Store
Smith Family Cemetery
Not once did our RLDS guide bear his testimony. I suspect that everybody in the tour group (about 25 people) except us were "Brighamites," because when we left at the end of the tour, not a single person in the group put any money in the donations box (labeled "To Help Maintain The Property"). Every single Mormon stiffed them. I was not surprised. I know the mentality: Why would I want to support those apostates?! They shouldn't even OWN these sacred places! But my wife was astonished and angry.
She insisted on going back to the visitors' center and finding our guide. First we thanked him for such an informative tour, unlike the earlier tour at Carthage, which had been mostly preaching and very little history. Then my wife suggested that the RLDS should put a fence around the whole compound and charge admission, so that the throngs of Utah Mormons who will be coming in ever greater numbers once the temple is completed will HAVE to help maintain the places they want to visit.
That had never occurred to them, he said (so I guess they are no more inspired of God than the Brighamites). He called over a couple of other staff people, and they decided they will suggest it to the higher-ups. So, if you should visit Nauvoo in the future, and are charged a couple of dollars to visit the Smith homes, you will have my wife to blame. (My wife was much more attracted to the RLDS than to the LDS: she heard one of the RLDS guides at their visitors center ask another: "Hasn't anybody made the coffee yet?" They also don't wear white shirts, but dress rather casually. And their local minister [bishop] is a woman!)
We visited the Masonic Temple, owned by the LDS. Four older sister missionaries were sitting around in period costumes, quilting. No visitors were in the building, so one sister offered to show me around. She was totally clueless about Masonry in Nauvoo, its connection with Mormonism, or the history of the building. She offered to show me the "Masonic markings" on the cornerstone, but it was just a Masonic date, and she had no idea what it was.
At the LDS Visitors' Center I went in alone. Janet said she wanted to wait in the car and have some coffee from our thermos. It is a huge, cavernous building at the foot of the hill below the temple, occupying four lots, but with not much inside of it in the way of historical artifacts. I asked the old missionary who offered to answer my questions if he could tell me where the office of the Nauvoo Expositor was, which Joseph Smith ordered destroyed (leading directly to his own death). He had no idea. But I could watch a video about early Nauvoo, if I wanted. I declined.
I asked him if the reconstruction of the temple was going to be faithful to the original plans (aside from including modern plumbing and electrical systems). He assured me that it was. I asked specifically about the endowment rooms, since in the original building, the endowment ceremonies were conducted only in the rooms on the top floor, what one would call the attic. He admitted that some "modifications" had been made so that more of the building could be used for endowment ceremonies than in the original.
I asked, "Are they going to show the movies, or will it be live?"
He said, "It will use films, yes, but,..." - and here he paused dramatically - "they will move from room to room!" "Oooh!" I thought.
We checked into our hotel, the Hotel Nauvoo, an old Mormon-built house, very nicely restored into a bed-and-breakfast by non-Mormons (it had a very well-stocked bar, no Book of Mormon in the bedside table). The hotel is in the small present-day business district, at the top of the hill, just a block from the temple.
The hotel seems to be a popular place to have dinner. It offers a very nice buffet dinner for about ten dollars, and there were a lot of people eating. Most were Mormons - you could tell by the white shirts on the men and the absence of wine, beer or coffee. Janet insisted that we order a glass of wine - "otherwise people will think we're Mormons!" The assistant manager brought the wine list, and became very friendly as he talked about the wines he had available. We asked him about a local wine, "Nauvoo Red," which we had seen mentioned. It has apparently been made in Nauvoo since the days of the Icarians, a French communal group that occupied Nauvoo after the Mormons abandoned it. He suggested that real wine drinkers would probably not like it. So we ordered something else. Our wine order had the effect Janet desired: a number of water-drinkers at other tables gave us looks as though we were drinking human blood.
After dinner, since it was a very pleasant evening, we strolled around the temple block. Although it was already dark, workers were still busy, both on the interior and the exterior, some even working by flashlight. We learned that much of the labor is being performed free of charge by volunteers, who give up working in their own towns as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and so on, to donate their skilled labor at the temple. The exterior stonework appeared to be about 80% completed, the tower is complete, with the statue of Moroni on top. It is another sign of apostasy, I believe, that it is not a replica of the original Nauvoo Moroni, which was depicted as actually "fly[ing] in the midst of Heaven (Rev. 14:6)," horizontal, with a pole supporting him at his chest and his feet extended behind him, but the more modern one, showing the angel just standing there, tooting his horn.
It is unfortunate <smirk> that the temple is overshadowed by the City of Nauvoo water tower, just a block away. Devout Mormons wanting to photograph the temple will have to position themselves just right if they don't want their photos to show Moroni appearing to be rising toward heaven in what looks like a huge white balloon with "City of Nauvoo" written on it.
Facing the temple across the street (and somewhat obscuring the view of it from the foot of the hill) is a complex of buildings with a huge cross and signs indicating that it is the home of the Sisters of a Catholic monastic order. There were some young people sitting in front of it, enjoying the pleasant evening and watching the activity at the temple building site. We stopped a chatted for a few minutes.
We learned that the Catholics had recently sold the monastery to the LDS church, and the buildings now house "The Joseph Smith Academy," which is now part of the church education system. These young people, regular students at BYU, were spending a semester there to study church history. I mentioned that we were going to be attending the Exmormon convention in Salt Lake City in October, where we were going to hear Sandra Tanner speak, an authority on Mormon history. They were completely ignorant: "What's 'Exmormon'? Is that some kind of church?" "Who's Sandra Tanner?"
I discovered that even though they were "studying church history" they had never heard of the Tanners, Michael Quinn, the Adam-God theory, the Danites, the Council of Fifty, the various versions of the First Vision - in other words, anything in church history that is problematical. I suggested very gently to them that they should realize that they were probably getting a pasteurized version of church history, and that they should delve into original sources if they really want to learn about church history.
With the completion of the temple, Nauvoo will swarm with Mormons. The LDS church is frantically building replicas of early homes. We saw perhaps half a dozen under construction. As the RLDS folks put it, "The Utah Mormons are busy building a theme park!" There is plenty of room to do so: even though the town is fairly large in area, with streets all laid out, there are few buildings. It resembles a large, grassy park more than a town.
If one had money to invest, one would probably make money by building motels
in Nauvoo with Mormon tourists in mind (e.g., lots of rooms with a double bed
for the parents and bunk beds for six to eight kids).
The temple dedication is planned for four days: June 27 - 30, 2002 (I've always wondered what actual good any of the ceremonies are after the first one: didn't the very first ceremony do the job properly?). Public open house will be held daily except Sundays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (to 6 p.m. on Mondays) from May 18 through June 22. Unlike other temple open houses, although admission will be free of charge, tickets will be required. You can request them after November 1 at www.lds.org or by a toll-free telephone number that will be at that website. I'm going to request some tickets, just in case. They may become scarce, and I can maybe scalp them on eBay <eg>.
It's an unfortunate fact that unfiltered history turns people into liars. No greater example of this can be found than in the likes of D. Michael Quinn, Todd Compton, or Leonard Arrington.
Here in the LDS Church Historian's Office, we're well aware of the hazards of "advanced" history. That's why we toss anything we don't like in our vault and throw away the key. Brother Arrington never did quite understand this principle of the gospel.
Recently, we learned that a certain godless university (Utah State) released papers of Leonard Arrington to researchers. Well, nothing would give us greater pleasure than to reassure you that our historians are hard at work identifying the dangerous bits so that our well–financed legal department can snatch them away before anyone sees them.
Sure we may have lied to you in the past, but you wouldn't hold that against us now –would you?
See, the Lord works line upon line, precept upon precept to teach us. The fact that we have lied to you from the moment we opened our mouths is actually a sign that you're getting closer to the truth.
The important thing is to continue making large cash donations to the Church and avoid speaking evil of the purveyors of said lies. All will be revealed – in due time.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
After we left Nauvoo, since we still had a lot of time to
kill before we had to be in Nebraska, my long-suffering never-Mormon wife
agreed to spend time in Independence to let me see some of the Mormon
historical sites there only because we could also spend some time visiting
the Harry S. Truman sites.
The bed-and-breakfast where I had made reservations turned out to be right across the street from the Temple Lot and the RLDS temple and Auditorium. The LDS Visitors Center is just a block away.
Independence swarms with various "Restoration" churches, not only the LDS and RLDS, but also the Church of Christ Temple Lot, the Outreach Restoration Church of JC of LDS, the Remnant Church of JC of LDS, and probably a few others which we didn't see because they are probably housed in somebody's garage. After all, Brigham Young may have looked at the Salt Lake Valley and said "This is the Place," but Joseph Smith (who had seniority on BY) had said already in 1831 (D&C 57:1-3) that Independence was the Place, and that it would "not be removed" from there (D&C 90:37, 101:17).
I realized that the RLDS was even less the "true church" than the LDS by taking one look at their temple, built in the 1990s: if you can believe it, it is even uglier than any LDS temple I have ever seen, which I had thought would be impossible. It is bright silver in color, and looks like a shiny whirlwind turned upside-down, with a very sharp metallic point extending far into the sky, spiraling upward. It resembles a carnival ride ("Ride the Giant Twister!") more than a house of worship.
The RLDS like to point out that "ANYBODY is welcome in OUR temple!" and offer guided tours of the whole building. We took the tour. It was very exclusive, since we were the only two tourists there. Our guide was a very pleasant lady who had moved to Independence with her husband so that he could be taken care of in the RLDS retirement home (it occurred to me that I couldn't think of any such church-run facility for Utah Mormons...).
The bulk of the building is occupied by the main chapel, whose ceiling spirals up and up and up (I was reminded of the scene in "Logan's Run" where the people rose upward and upward in their final life-crowning ritual, until they were zapped). Its main purpose seems to be a daily "Prayer Service for Peace" at 12:30. In another part of the building they were setting up for a luncheon meeting for 200 people. I thought that was an odd use for a sacred building, until I remembered that there is a movie production studio in the basement of the Salt Lake temple, and they show movies in all of the rest of the LDS temples, as well as provide cafeterias.
The Temple is also the meeting place for the RLDS Quorum of Twelve. We saw their official photograph. Their quorum includes two women and one black man. The actual church headquarters are in the huge Auditorium next door.
The walls of some of the rooms in the Temple were hung with paintings by the RLDS "official painter," depicting typical scenes in RLDS religious life. Again I was convinced that they are not the true church: I have never seen such awful religious art except in Watchtower publications.
Not a word was said about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon, neither by our guide, nor in any of the printed matter I picked up. It is the blandest form of general Christianity. I asked about the RLDS view of the Book of Mormon. They view it as "inspirational, but not historical." I asked about the overwhelming evidence (denied for many years by the RLDS) that Joseph Smith had practiced polygamy. "Joseph made many mistakes," I was told, "and he will have to answer for them before God."
As in Nauvoo, the RLDS guide did not preach or bear her testimony, although when I asked what the RLDS office of "evangelist" was (it's equivalent to the LDS "patriarch"), she told us the inspiring story of an old RLDS sister who had died recently, and when the woman's daughter found her mother's "evangelist's blessing," given many years before, it had actually promised her that she would live long enough to "see the Temple built in Jackson County." And she DID, and we were actually standing in it!
From the RLDS Temple, we walked next door to the small and very plain wooden building which is the World Headquarters of the Church of Christ Temple Lot, "Founded in 1830." Again, we were the only visitors. This is the sect also known as "Hedrickites," i.e., followers of Granville Hedrick, who led the first Mormons to return to Jackson County after their expulsion, and who was able to buy the land which Joseph Smith had marked out and dedicated as the site of the temple to be build in the New Zion. Our guide (who I think must have been one of the Hedrickite apostles) gave us a brief history of the church and how they acquired the property, how the RLDS tried to get it from them by taking them to court ("But WE WON!" the apostle proudly cried). We saw the actual stones which Joseph Smith had set into the ground, with his marks. And they are just waiting for Christ to come back so they can deed the lot over to Him.
Reading the printed testimonies of the Josephites and the Hedrickites, they sound just as sincere and as Spirit-inspired as anything I ever heard from any Utah Mormon. The RLDS have published a little booklet of comments from their members about their reactions when asked to vote (yes, they actually vote, not just "sustain"!) on the change of name to "Community of Christ." Their testimonies are very moving, saying they "felt the Spirit," "a powerful manifestation," "a rush of affirmation," etc. So,... ??
You can get more information about the RLDS at www.CofChrist.org. The Hedrickites will send you free information if you write them at Church of Christ, PO Box 472, Independence MO 64051-0472. Ask for their newsletter "Zion's Advocate."
We went into the LDS Visitors Center. Same as their visitors centers everywhere else: swarming with missionaries with phony smiles, "free video presentations" (read: "propaganda and historical fiction") and not much else, in a huge building that must have cost several million dollars.
There is a guide to Independence called "Missouri Mormon Walking Trail,"which is produced by "The Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation" and the City of Independence. MMFF claims to be "non-sectarian," but its guide clearly tells a pro-Mormon version of the Missouri conflict. You can get the guide by calling 1-800-604-3100.
We did not take the time to visit other Mormon sites in Missouri such as Far West, Liberty Jail, or Adam-ondi-Ahman. Liberty Jail is only a modern reconstruction (cut-away, at that). And my impression is that there is nothing at Far West and Diahman to see except historical markers placed there by the Mormons. You can't even locate them on general maps of the area, they have so completely disappeared; you have to get a special map from the LDS Visitors Center. (The map indicates that several sites "cannot be reached by public road" and that others are only "accessible by dirt road only - do not visit in wet weather.")
It's too bad... I would have liked to see the actual stones out of which Father Adam built his altar. I've never been able to find out what happened to them, so I guess they must still be there. Or maybe Moroni took them back, along with the Urim and Thummim?
Feb 5,1852 - Brigham Young announces policy of denying priesthood to all those black African ancestry, even "if there never was a prophet, or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before" because "Negroes are the children of old Cain....any many having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot hold the priesthood." Contrary to Joseph Smith's example in authorizing the ordination of Elijah Abel, this is LDS policy for the next 126 years.
Jan 3,1854 - Brigham Young invites Elijah Able, free black and ordained Seventy, to party with 98 other men in Social Hall. Some of these parties are male-only dances.
Nov 22,1855 - Brigham Young secretly ordains his eleven year old son John W. an apostle in connection with receiving the endowment. Young later ordains three other sons apostles.
Mar 21,1858 - Brigham Young tells this special conference that Joseph Smith disobeyed revelation by returning to Nauvoo to stand trial, that the church's founding prophet lost Spirit of God the last days of his life, and died as unnecessary martyr. He published this talk as pamphlet.
Dec 15,1958 - Young readily grants divorce to unhappy plural wives but requires husbands to pay him $10 fee. Young issues 1,600 certificates of divorce for unhappy polygamous marriages. (this equals 16 thousand dollars)
Aug 20,1859 - Brigham Young regarding slavery: "We consider it of divine institution, and not to be abolished until the curse pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants.
Sep 7,1859 - Salt Lake City clerk records sale of twenty six year old "Negro boy" for $800 to William H. Hooper. Until federal law ends slavery in U.S. Territories in 1862, some African-American slaves are paid as tithing, bought, sold and otherwise treated as chattel in Utah.
Nov 18,1861 - Abraham Lincoln checks out Book of Mormon from Library of Congress. He returns it on 29 July 1862, apparently first U.S. president to read Book of Mormon.
Dec 10,1862 - Desert News reports that Church Historian's Office is displaying sample of tobacco crops grown in Provo during past summer.
Oct 6,1863 - Brigham Young prophesies to general conference: "Will the present struggle (of the U.S. Civil War) free the slaves? No..... and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the Negroes." The 13th Amendment legally ends slavery in the United States in 1865.
May 15,1864 - Brigham Young preaches, "I don't want Mormonism to become to popular... we would be overrun by the wicked."
Dec 9,1869 - ZCMI Drug Stores advertises that is has just opened on Main Street with "Liquors, Draught and by the case."
Jun 18,1870 - First Counselor George A Smith tells Salt Lake School of Prophets about "the evil of masturbation" among Utah Mormons. Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that "plural marriage would tend to diminish the evil of self pollution and the indulgence on the part of men was less in plural marriage than in monogamy."
Sep 1,1870 - Salt Lake City's 9th Ward reports that only thirty one of its 181 families attends Sunday Services regularly and 50% of families are perfectly indifferent.
Jun 3,1871 - Salt Lake Tabernacle service: "Pres D.H. Wells spoke 25 minutes following Pres Young's remarks. Not very good attention. Considerable moving about, passing out, and drowsiness."
Jan 4,1877 - Joseph Smith's last born child David is committed to Illinois Hospital for the Insane. Proclaimed by Brigham Young in 1866 as rightful heir of LDS presidency, he has served as counselor on RLDS presidency since 1873. He dies in asylum in 1904.
Aug 29,1877 - Brigham Young dies. His last words are "Joseph, Joseph, Joseph!"
June 4,1879 - John Taylor and apostles decline to allow Elijah Abel to receive temple endowment because his is Negroid, even though Abel received Melchizedek priesthood with Joseph Smith's authorization. This African American regularly attends his Seventy's quorum meetings and serves proselytizing mission just before his death.
Dec 27,1879 - Apostle Wilford Woodruff tells stake conference in Snowflake, Arizona, "There will be no United States in the year 1890."
Jan 9,1880 - Apostle Orson Pratt writes his children that city of New Jerusalem will be constructed by April 1950.
Jan 7,1882 - Apostle Francis M Lyman's diary begins recording month-long nervous breakdown of Heber J Grant, his successor as Tooele Stake President. Physician diagnoses Grant's condition as "nervous convulsions" and warns that condition could lead to "softening of the brain," if Grant continues his stressful pace of activity. Grant becomes apostle ten months later and is first LDS leader with diagnosed history of emotional illness.
Mar 31,1882 - John Taylor closes Church Historian's Office to public.
Mar 22,1884 - James E Talmage begins using hashish at Johns Hopkins University as "my physiological experiment" of its effects. By April 6 he is using twenty grains, "and the effect was felt in a not very agreeable way." This is last reference in his diary. Four months later he becomes member of stake high council.
May 17,1888 - At dedication of Manti Temple, Wilford Woodruff says, " We are not going to stop the practice of plural marriage until the Coming of the Son of Man."
Feb 27,1889 - LDS political newspaper Salt Lake Herald: "In 1870 Utah had second highest rate of divorce and in 1880 the tenth highest for all states and territories."
Jun 8, 1889 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that "his sister, the late Eliza R. Snow Smith, was a firm believer in the principle of reincarnation and that she claimed to have received if from the Joseph the Prophet, her husband. He said he saw nothing unreasonable in it, and could believe it, it came from the Lord or His oracle."
Dec 5, 1891 - Stake President relates "incident of the Prophet Joseph telling Dimick B Huntington.....that Noah built the Ark in the land where South Carolina is now.
Nov 29,1893 - Presidents Wilford Woodruff and George Q Cannon meet with three apostles and James E Talmage: "That there will also be daughters of Perdition there is no doubt in the minds of the brethren."
Dec 7,1893 - First Presidency and Twelve decide that garments worn under clothing should be white. This is first departure of Utah temple garment from contemporary "Union Suit" which comes in various colors and upon which Utah "street garment" is based.
Apr 5,1894 - At meeting of First Presidency and apostles, Wilford Woodruff announces revelation which ends practice of adopting men to LDS leaders.
Apr 9,1894 - Death of Thomas C Sharp, principal conspirator in murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. He has had a successful career as mayor, judge, school principal and newspaper editor.
Apr 15,1894 - Juvenile Instructor publishes hymn "Our Mother in Heaven," which is phrased as prayer to the goddess.
May 18,1894 - In Salt Lake Temple, "Jane Elizabeth Manning (a Negro woman) is sealed as a servitor for eternity to the Prophet Joseph Smith." Joseph F Smith acts as proxy.
Aug 26,1894 - "First time a woman has spoken n the Salt Lake Tabernacle on the Sabbath at the regular service- the people don't know what to make of it-it must bode good for women." The speaker is a non-Mormon.
Oct 24,1894 - Wilford Woodruff and his two counselors each give approval for Apostle Abraham H Cannon to marry plural wife. In all, ten general authorities marry post-Manifesto plural wives by permission of church president or his counselors during next ten years.
Mar 1,1895 - Some non-Mormons are given tour of dedicated Salt Lake Temple interior.
Apr 7,1895 - Wilford Woodruff tells conference: "Cease troubling yourselves about who God is; who Adam is, who Christ is, who Jehovah is. For Heaven's sake, let these things alone.
Aug 22,1895 - First Presidency and apostles decide to deny temple endowments to "Black Jane" Manning (James) because of her "Negro blood."
Mar 12,1896 - First Presidency gives James E Talmage "an instruction to smoke tobacco to relieve his persistent insomnia."
Aug 23,1896 - Sugar House Ward congregation votes against man proposed as Bishop of new ward to divided from the old. Salt Lake stake president Angus M Cannon furiously shouts, "Sit down! and shut your mouths, you have no right to speak!" When Cannon engages in shouting match with dissenting congregation, a ward member and policeman threaten to arrest stake president for disturbing the peace. Cannon more calmly repeats his attempt but is voted down "again several times." Secretary of the First Council in attendance writes: "I have been taught that the appointing power comes from the priesthood and the sustaining power from the people and that they have the right of sustaining or not sustaining appointees."
Aug 26,1986 - Apostle Moses Thatcher begins treatment with Keeley Institute for his addiction to opium and morphine. First Presidency and apostles tolerated Thatcher as a "morphine fiend" and "opium eater", but on 26 July his family and friends considered involuntary commitment to treatment. His is most prominent drug addict in Mormon history. Twelve drop Thatcher from quorum membership on 19 Nov because of four year conflict over his insubordination in political matters, but Thatcher's drug addiction aggravates that conflict.
Nov 5,1896 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow's youngest plural wife bears his last child in Canada. At age 82 he is the oldest General Authority to father a child.
Jan 15,1897 - Apostle Brigham Young, Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Company because first counselor George Q Cannon allows its property to become " a first class" brothel on Commercial Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J Grant is invited to its opening reception and is stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891, and for fifty years church controlled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.
Oct 7,1898 - At general conference Apostle John W Taylor reports that in one rural area, 80% of LDS marriages involve premarital sex.
Feb 7,1901 - Apostle Brigham Young, Jr writes that proposal to provide Utah's school children with smallpox vaccinations is "Gentile doctors trying to force Babylon into the people and some of them are willing to disease the blood of our children if they can do so, and they think they are doing God's service.
Mar 3,1901 - Lorenzo Snow promises Salt Lake temple workers that "some of us would go back to Jackson County, Missouri.
July 11, 1901 - First Presidency and apostles agree that Danish beer is not harmful or in violation of Word of Wisdom.
Nov 7,1901 - First Presidency decides there is no "rule in the church forbidding cousins to intermarry" and that first cousins can have temple marriages if they present civil license.
Apr 3,1902 - First Presidency and apostles read letter that U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and Republican Part leader Mark Hanna guarantee they will arrange to defeat proposed constitutional amendment on polygamy and unlawful cohabitation. They expect Mormons to vote Republican in exchange.
Mar 26,1903 - Joseph F Smith tells apostles "there would be no daughters of perdition" in final judgment.
Oct 22,1903 - First Presidency and Twelve authorize purchase of twenty five acres of the original temple lot at Independency, Jackson County, Missouri Purchase is complete on 14 Apr 1904. These purchases continue throughout twentieth century.
Feb 20 1904 - First verified suicide of full time LDS missionary. He shoots himself as he is returning to Utah.
Mar 2,1904 - Before committee of U.S. Senate, Joseph F Smith testifies: "I have never pretended to nor do I profess to have received revelations. I never said that I had a revelation except so far as God has shown me that so-called Mormonism is God's divine truth, that is all."
Apr 14,1904 - First Presidency and apostles decide to resume sale of liquor at church resort of Saltair due to need for non-Mormon patronage.
Jan 10,1906 - First Council of Seventy instructs B.H.Roberts to go to Los Angeles for "recuperation from a weakness for liquor that had fastened itself upon him."
Oct 6, 1907 - At sustaining of church officers a man votes against Joseph F Smith because of his admitted violation of Utah's cohabitation law. Smith has him ejected from Salt Lake Tabernacle.
1904 - Church president instructs twelve apostles to walk through doorways in order of seniority.
1906 - Joseph F Smith pleads guilty to unlawful cohabitation for which he pays $300 fine.
1907 - General Conference votes to send twenty tons of flour to China for famine relief. This comes from Relief Society grain storage program.
1909 - October at General Conference, Apostle George Albert Smith stops speaking after three minutes as he begins to "tremble and perspire." Apostle Reed Smoot referred two weeks earlier as Smith's "mental trouble." Since January Smith's diary has described symptoms of his eventual collapse. At age thirty-nine he is first general authority whose debilitating mental problems cannot be attributed to senility. Hospitalized for ten weeks at Gray's Sanitarium in Salt Lake City, Smith does not recover from his emotional breakdown until 1913. Problem re-emerges in 1930's and in 1949-51.
1910 April - stake president writes of church members "complaining on account of so many Smiths being chosen." Recent conference sustained John Henry Smith as second counselor and President Smith's son, Joseph Fielding Smith, as new apostle. In addition to appointing his son Hyrum M. an apostle in 1901, Smith also appointed his son David A. Smith to Presiding Bishopric in 1907.
Oct 2,1910 - first anti-Mormon film, Victim of the Mormons ("Mormonens Offer"), opens in Copenhagen, Denmark. Film goes into international distribution, is publicly condemned by Apostle David O. McKay at next general conference. It is target of first censorship effort led by Utah governor (William Spry, LDS).
Jan 1913 - Deseret News favorably reviews One Hundred Years of Mormonism, first commercial film about Mormons made with cooperation of church officials. The 6 reel, 90 minute silent film features one of Brigham Young's grandsons in the role of his grandfather. During Joseph F. Smith presidency, Hollywood produces other silent features which portray Mormonism less favorably: A Trip to Salt Lake City (1905), The Mountain Meadow Massacre (1912), The Mormon (1912), Deadwood Dick Spoils Brigham Young(1915), Cecil B. DeMille's A Mormon Maid (1917), and The Rainbow Trail (1918).
Dec 17,1913 - death of Joseph Smith's last surviving plural wife, Mary E. Rollins Lightner. She helped save the still-unbound Book of Commandments from printing office set afire by mob in 1833. She witnessed adoption of 1835 D&C, which prohibited polygamy, and became secret plural wife of Joseph Smith at Nauvoo while still living with her non-Mormon husband.
Mar 22,1919 - "The Nigger" is the new production to be given at the Social Hall, proclaims Deseret News with explanation: "The Nigger" is distinctly Southern. It is a romance based on Southern ideals and the race problem.
Nov 11,1919 - Apostle James E Talmage attends Third Christian Citizenship Conference in Pittsburgh as delegate chosen by Utah's governor. Utah delegates are booed and hissed by 4,000 other delegates. Talmage hurriedly leaves after some delegates surround him and threaten to strip off his clothes in order to display his temple garments.
Jan 4,1922 - from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Brigham H Roberts presents detailed summary of textual and historical problems in Book of Mormon to combined meeting of First Presidency, apostles, and Seventy's presidents He recommends that these problems should be researched and publicly discussed.
May 17,1923 - May First Presidency and Twelve agree to alter temple undergarment worn outside temple:" buttons instead of strings; no collar; sleeves above the elbow and few inches below the knee and a change in the crotch so as to cover the same." Mormons regard this as a dramatic change from endowment garment introduced by Joseph Smith.
Nov 26,1923 - Corporation of the President, successor of the Trustee-in -Trust as center of church financial operations.
Jan 21,1925 - Grand Lodge of Utah officially prohibits Mormons from membership in any of its Masonic lodges and provides for expulsion of any Mormons who are current members of any Utah lodge. Utah is only state with formal Masonic restriction against religious group or denomination. Some Mormons (primarily converts) affiliate or preside in Masonic lodges outside Utah after 1925.
May 22,1925 - Deseret News editorializes in favor of new Utah law which legalizes horse racing and pari-mutual betting. Legislature has appointed Brigham F. Grant as chair of Racing Commission. He is manager of Deseret News and brother of church president.
Feb 15,1927 - Apostle George F Richards notifies temples that it is decision of First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve to immediately omit from prayer circles "all references to avenging the blood of the Prophets. Omit from the ordinance and lecture all reference to retribution." Letter also instructs to "omit the kissing" at the end of the proxy sealings.
Jan 19-20,1928 - Frederick M Smith, RLDS president, supervises disinterment of his martyred grandfather and granduncle, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, from coffin less burial place kept secret since 1844. They are reburied in coffins, one on each side of Emma Hale Smith Bidamon, next to Mansion House in Nauvoo.
Sept 24,1929 - Heber J Grant writes: "I am free to confess that I am disappointed with the Yosemite valley. It seems only about one-half as grand as the American Fork canyon of Utah.
Aug 16,1930 - Heber J Grant remarks that Apostle George Albert Smith "is getting very nervous. We don't want him to have another breakdown such as he had years ago, almost costing him his life." Apostle Smith doesn't begin describing his symptoms until Jan 1932, and year later writes," My Nerves are nearly gone but am holding on the best I know how." Symptoms gradually subside and do not resume until he is church president.
April 2,1932 - Heber J Grant launches campaign against use of tobacco as part of his emphasis on observing Word of Wisdom by total abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee.
May 5,1932 - Apostle Stephen L Richards tells First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve that he will resign as apostle rather than apologize for his general conference talk which says church is putting too much emphasis on Word of Wisdom. He confesses his error to Heber J Grant on 26 may and retains his position.
July 29,1932 - death of George H Brimhall from self inflicted gunshot. He served as BYU President from 1904 to 1921 and is only BYU president to commit suicide.
Dec 9,1933 - Church Section article "Mormonism in The New Germany," enthusiastically emphasizes parallels "between the LDS Church and some of the ideas and policies of the National Socialists." First, Nazis have introduced "Fast Sunday." Second, "it is a very well known fact that Hitler observes a form of living which Mormons term the Word of Wisdom. Finally, due to the importance given to the racial question by Nazis and the almost necessity of proving that one's grandmother was not Jewess, there no longer is resistance against genealogical research b German Mormons who now have received letters of encouragement complimenting them for their patriotism.
Jan 25,1936 - Church Section photograph of LDS basketball team in Germany giving "Sieg Heil: salute of Nazi Party.
Oct 31,1936 - First Presidency publishes unsigned editorial in Deseret News, which argues against re-election of Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Editorial, written by J. Reuben Clark, accuses F.D.R. of unconstitutional and Communist activities. In response one thousand Mormons angrily cancel their subscriptions to the News. Three days later, 69.3 percent of Utah's voters help re-elect Roosevelt. Utah's electorate re-elects F.D.R. again (1940,1944), despite First Presidency's opposition.
Mar 29,1940 - First Presidency asks Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith to chair "Literature Censorship Committee authorized by Quorum of the Twelve last Thursday."
Mar 10,1941 - First Presidency orders Clayton Investment Company to get rid of its "whore-houses," no matter the financial loss, so that church affiliated company can merge with church owned Zion's Securities Corp. Ends fifty years of church's leases to brothels.
June 8,1941 - first counselor J Reuben Clark tells annual conference of youth and their leaders: "When I was a boy it was preached from the stand, and my father and mother repeated the principle to me time and time again. They said, 'Reuben, we had rather bury you than to have you become unchaste.' and that is the law of this Church."
June 1945 - Improvement Era states: "When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done." This is the ward teacher's message to all members for month. To inquiring Unitarian minister George Albert Smith writes that "not a few members of the Church have been upset in their feelings, and General Authorities have been embarrassed" by above statement. "Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church," he continues. However, church president's retraction reaches one non-Mormon, while original statement reaches entire LDS population without similar retraction.
Oct 6,1946 - public release of Joseph Fielding Smith (b. 1899) as Patriarch to Church due to "ill health" but actually due to discovery of his recent homosexual activity.
Oct 9,1946 - First Presidency and apostles decide to allow faithful African-American Mormons to receive patriarchal blessings, and Patriarch Eldred G Smith blesses black couple.
April 16,1948 - Apostle Mark E Petersen asks for permission to instruct local leaders to begin excommunication trials for persons he suspects of having disloyal attitudes towards LDS Church. First Counselor J Reuben Clark warns Petersen "to be careful about the insubordination or disloyalty question, because they ought to be permitted to think, you can't throw a man off for thinking."
Jan 20,1949 - President George Albert Smith begins week's stay in California Lutheran Hospital for his "tired nerves," which his diary first refers to at Oct 1948 general conference. He is first LDS president with history of severe emotional illness and hospitalization. He does not recover from this episode until mid May 1949, when able to be in First Presidency office at least half day. Smith is absent from church headquarters 12 Jan to 27 Feb 1950 to stay a Laguna Beach, California, "to rest my nerves." He returns there to recuperate again for ten days in March. Year later his nurse notes that church president is "very confused, very nervous." Ten days before his death, nurse adds that George Albert Smith is "irrational at times."
April 5,1949 - first counselor J Reuben Clark tells meeting of bishops: "I wish that we could get over being flattered into almost anything. If any stranger comes among us and tells us how wonderful we are, he pretty much nearly owns us."
Aug 17,1951 - First Presidency statement that church's restriction on Negroid peoples receiving priesthood "is not a matter of the declaration of policy but of direct commandment from the Lord."
Oct 16,1951 - temple council of First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve Apostles and Patriarch to church decides to allow beer commercials on church owned KILL television station.
Nov 5,1951 - First Presidency learns of plans by Warner Brothers to make film about Mountain Meador Massacre, based on recent scholarly book by LDS Juanita Brooks. Within seven days First Presidency successfully persuades Hollywood studio to kill project.
Mar 3,1953 - First Presidency secretary answers Mormon's inquiry about receiving blood transfusions from African Americans:" The LDS Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood." This represents five year effort to keep LDS Hospital's blood bank separate from American Red Cross system in order "to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church" (Counselor J. Reuben Clark's phrase.)
March 30,1955 - Quorum of Twelve recommends establishment of separate unit or branch for African-American members in Salt Lake City.
April 10,1956 - non-LDS governor of Utah, J. Bracken Lee, speaks of his counsel to prominent non-Mormons: "I said to them you are never going to have any success in Utah unless you let the leaders of the Church give you some advice."
Dec 4,1959 - Budget Committee reports that church spent $8 million more than its revenues that year. As result church stops releasing annual reports of expenditures.
Jan 7-8,1960 - First Presidency decides that Bruce R. McConkie's Mormon Doctrine "must not be re-published, as it is full of errors and misstatements, and it is most unfortunate that it has received such wide circulation." They are exasperated that McConkie and his publisher released the book without pre-publication publicity or notifying First Presidency. Even his father-in-law, senior apostle, Joseph Fielding Smith, "did not know anything about it until it was published." This is McConkie's way to avoid repetition of Presidency's stopping his pre-announced Sound Doctrine three years earlier.
Committee of two apostles (Mark E Petersen and Marion G Romney) reports that McConkie's Mormon Doctrine contains 1,067 doctrinal errors. For example, page 493 said: "Those who falsely and erroneously suppose that God is progressing in knowledge and gaining new truths cannot exercise sufficient faith in him to gain salvation until they divest themselves of their false beliefs." However, McConkie is affirming doctrine of omniscience officially condemned by previous First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1865. In announcing their decision to the Twelve on 28 Jan 1960, First Presidency says there should be no revised edition of Mormon Doctrine. Presidency reverses initial decision on 7 Jan. "that the book should be officially repudiated."
By 28 Jan Presidency decides against requiring McConkie to make public apology because "it might lessen his influence" as general authority.
In 1966 year after his father-in-law becomes assistant counselor to First Presidency, McConkie publishes second edition of Mormon Doctrine. It corrects only a few of first edition "errors" cited by First Presidency and apostles in 1960. Book becomes best seller among Latter-day Saints. McConkie becomes member of Quorum of Twelve Apostles to fill vacancy which his father-in-law's death creates in 1972.
Nov 10,1960 - Brigham Young University's president tells Executive Committee of BYU's trustees "about a colored boy on campus having been a candidate for the vice presidency of a class and receiving a very large vote." The three apostles present want to exclude all African Americans from BYU. "If a granddaughter of mine should ever go the BYU and become engaged to a colored boy," Apostle Harold B Lee fumes, "I would hold you responsible."
May 14,1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu: "We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it." Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds: "The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen." In May 1962, he privately instructs that this view be taught to "the boys and girls in the Seminary System." On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon. Six months later Joseph Fielding Smith becomes church president.
June 22,1961 - First Presidency supports plan to persuade U.S. Army to send its "colored contingents" to California rather than to Utah. At its same meeting Presidency agrees to allow baptism of Nigerians seeking membership in church.
Feb 3,1962 - Church News Headlines, "MIA Bans The Twist," popular dance among teenagers and young adults. This prohibition is widely ignored by youth and even by adult leaders in some wards and stakes, especially in Britain and Europe.
May 25,1962 - Boyd K Packer is first to earn regular doctorate while serving as general authority. He receives Ed.D. degree from Brigham Young University.
Sep 19,1962 - First Presidency rules that prominent Egyptian polygamist can be baptized because polygamy is legal in Egypt. This is in reference to "an earlier ruling in the matter of Indians who had married more than one wife and it was decided that they may be baptized, if they were legally married according to their tribal customs.
Oct 27,1962 - in midst of Cuban Missile Crisis, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson publicly endorses John Birch Society as "the most effective non-church organization in our fight against creeping socialism and godless communism," and his son Reed A Benson announces that he is Utah coordinator of the society.
Jan 1,1964 - "Home Teaching" replaces traditional "ward teaching" program of monthly visits of priesthood men to church members. This begins new emphasis on family life which subtly (yet fundamentally) replaces previous priorities of God, Church and family with new ranking of family, church and God.
Feb 29,1964 - after forty one years teaching in Church Education System, George S. Tanner writes that " a large majority" of CES teachers are so narrow and ignorant that it is a shame to have them indoctinating our young people. I would much rather my sons and daughters go to other schools in the state than have them led by these religious fanatics."
April 15,1964 - Daryl Chase, Mormon president of Utah State University, confides that "the LDS church has a greater strangle hold on the people and institutions of the state now than they had in Brigham's time. Complete academic freedom is actually non-existent."
March 3,1965 - Apostle Harold B Lee is "protesting vigorously over our having given a scholarship at the BYU to a Negro student from Africa. Brother Lee holds the traditional belief as revealed in the Old Testament that the races ought to be kept together and that there is danger in trying to integrate them on the BYU campus.
April 29,1965 - BYU President Ernest L Wilkinson makes first reference in his diary to receiving reports from student "spy ring" he has authorized and which becomes national scandal within ten months.
July 1967 - Priesthood Bulletin prohibits women from praying in sacrament meeting.
Nov 27,1967 - New York Metropolitan Museum of Art gives to LDS church the Egyptian papyri upon which Joseph Smith based "Book of Abraham" in Pearl of Great Price. Egyptologists, LDS and non-LDS, verify that these papyri are typical "Book of Breathings" in form and content.
June 33,1967 - BYU's president receives "confidential draft" by Terry Warner, professor of philosophy and religion, that "freedom of speech as it is known today is a secular concept and has no place of any kind at the BYU."
Nov 19,1967 - BYU's administration discuss possibility of taking legal action to close down off campus student newspaper.
Dec 19,1967 - BYU's Daily Universe publishes article in favor of recruiting African American athletes. BYU's president writes: "This argues all the more in favor of our making the student newspaper an agency of our Communications Department rather than a student publication." Universe ceases to be independent student paper on 18 Apr 1969, but "nothing would be announced about this new policy."
Sep 14,1971 - Apollo 15 astronauts present to President Joseph Fielding Smith a Utah state flag that has traveled with them to the moon.
May 13,1972 - May Presidency letter that "fluoridation of public water supplies to prevent tooth decay" is on of the "non-moral issues" that Mormons should vote on "according to their honest convictions." John Birch Society, which Apostle Ezra Taft Benson and many other Mormons support, is condemning fluoridation as Communist "plot."
April 6,1974 - April conference sustains Neal A Maxwell as Assistant to the Twelve, first general authority who previously worked for U.S. Government's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Maxwell becomes member of the twelve in 1981.
Aug 14,1976 - New York Times reports U.S. patent granted to Mormons G. Richard Jacobs, Cluff Peck, Dean G. Doderquist for "speaking mannequins" at LDS information centers.
Nov 1,1977 - Spencer W Kimball dedicates Osmond Family Studio in Orem, Utah.
Feb 15,1978 - First Presidency letter that Mohammed and Confucius "received a portion of God's light."
June 9,1978 - First Presidency announces "priesthood now available to all worthy male members." First Presidency secretary Francis M Gibbons writes that this change "seemed to relieve them of a subtle sense of guilt they had felt over the years."
June 17,1978 - Church News headline "Interracial Marriage Discouraged" in same issue which announces authorization of priesthood for those of black African descent. Sources at headquarters indicate that Apostle Mark E Petersen requires this emphasis.
Dec 29,1978 - First Presidency allows women to pray in sacrament meetings again.
August 1979 - church's Ensign magazine publishes first counselor N. Eldon Tanner's statement:" When the prophet speaks the debate is over," which echoes Improvement Era's message of June 1945.
Feb 7,1980 - Dallin H Oaks, president of BYU, is chair of board for television's Public Broadcasting Service. He continues as PBS Chair after his appointment to Twelve in April 1984.
March 2,1980 - introduction of "Consolidated Meeting Schedule" of three-hours on Sundays. This eliminates week-day meetings of auxiliaries, as well as traditional twice daily Sunday meetings. This eases transportation and weekly scheduling but erodes fellowshipping opportunities and diminishes tightly knit social environment of LDS Wards. By 1996, this has severely diminished emotional ties of North American Mormon youth to LDS community, eroding what is called "Mormon ethnic identity." Most dramatic manifestation of this trend is fact that for first time in Mormon history, young women cease LDS participation at greater percentages than young men (according to general authority Jack H. Goaslind's statement in BYU Daily Universe, 31 Aug 1992). Likewise, despite absolute increase in missionary numbers, proportion of Mormon males who accept full time missions has decreased significantly in North America.
July 3,1981 - after nearly eleven years of losing advertising revenues, Deseret News begins publishing ads for R-rated movies.
August 22,1981 - Apostle Boyd K Packer instructs BYU religion faculty, all seminary and institute teachers, and administrators of Church Education System that Mormon history, "if not properly written or properly taught, may be a faith destroyer," and he affirms that Mormon historians are wrong in publicizing controversial elements of Mormon past. BYU Studies publishes this address in full. At request of students, BYU history professor gives his perspective on Elder Packer's talk and role of historical inquiry to meeting of BYU's history majors. Summarized within days by off-campus student newspaper Seventh East Press, this conflict between some apostles and some Mormon historians is subject of Feb 1982 Newsweek article which quotes BYU professor that "a history which makes LDS leaders flawless and benignly angelic would border on idolatry."
Oct 1,1981 - New York Times reports official announcement that new edition of Book of Mormon changes prophecy that Lamanites will "become white and delightsome." Instead of continuing original reference to skin color, new edition emphasizes inward spirituality: "become pure and delightsome."
Oct 31,1981 - Apostle Bruce R McConkie preaches to combined stakes of BYU that second coming of Jesus Christ will not be in his lifetime or in lifetime of his children or his grandchildren. This runs contrary to the common folk belief that Christ will come in year 2000 or shortly thereafter.
Jan 5,1982 - First Presidency repeats its 1978 instructions for "interviewing married persons" but adds: "The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice."
March 2,1982 - in televised sermon at BYU Apostle Bruce R McConkie denounces "spiritually immature: students and other Mormons who devote themselves to gaining a special personal relationship with Christ." He criticizes widely circulated book on that topic by popular religion professor George Pace who writes public letter of apology within days and is released as stake president shortly thereafter.
April 2,1982 - First Presidency announces service of male missionaries is reduced from 24 months to 18 months. "It is anticipated that this shortened term will make it possible for many to go who cannot go under present financial circumstances," counselor Gordon B Hinckley explains. "This will extend the opportunity for missionary service to an enlarged body of our young men." Instead annual number of new missionaries level off. Annual convert baptisms decline more than 7 percent each year rather than increase by same proportion as before.
Jan 11,1983 - second counselor Gordon B. Hinckley pays document dealer Mark Hofmann $15,000 for alleged Joseph Smith letter about his treasure digging activities. He has Hofmann agree not to mention the transaction to anyone else and then he sequesters document in First Presidency's vault. First Presidency does not acknowledge its existence until Los Angeles Times is about to release story about document, which Hofmann later admits he forged.
April 15,1983 - University Post: The Unofficial Newspaper of Brigham Young University reports interview with director of Standards Department. He acknowledges that students suspected of cheating, illegal drug use, stealing, or homosexuality are expelled from BYU if they refuse to take polygraph examination. BYU Security has licensed polygraph examiner.
Oct 7,1984 - Ronald E Poelman gives general conference talk stressing need of central headquarter
Nov 26,1984 - First Presidency announces that as of 1 January mission service for young men will return to 24 months.
May 5,1985 - LDS Astronaut Don Lind administers sacrament in zero gravity Skylab 3.
June 9,1985 - Church headquarters telephones bishops in Utah, Idaho and Arizona with instructions to forbid discussion of Linda Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery's biography Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith in Relief Society or other church meetings. Lasting for ten months, this ban is apparently what triples book's sales.
April 4,1987 - First Counselor Gordon B Hinckley tells priesthood session of conference that "marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations of practices..." This reverses decades long policy formulated by Spencer W. Kimball.
Oct 12,1989 - Deseret News reports that representative of Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company confirms that Utah has highest per-capita use in nation of anti-depressant Prozac.
April 1,1991 - student at BYU's commencement offers prayer to "Our Mother and Father in Heaven."
April 17,1991 - Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Utah "ranks last in proportion of students who are female" throughout the United States. This is result of Utah's "traditions that inhibit the educational progress of women."
Aug 9,1991 - Salt Lake Tribune article, "Of LDS Women, 58% Admit Premarital Sex."
April 4,1992 - Apostle Richard G Scott tells general conference that LDS women should avoid "morbid probing into details of past acts, long buried and mercifully forgotten," and that "the Lord may prompt a victim to recognize a degree of responsibility for abuse."
Among his concluding remarks: "Remember, false accusation is also a sin," and 'bury the past." Unspoken background to his remarks is that in recent years current stake presidents and temple workers have been accused of child abuse by their now adult children. Salt Lake Tribune reports that suicide prevention lines are swamped with telephone calls by women in days after Scott's remarks.
Aug 8,1992 - Salt Lake Tribune reports that First Presidency's spokesman has acknowledged existence of special "Strengthening the Members Committee" that keeps secret files on church members regarded as disloyal. Due to publicity on this matter, including New York Times, Presidency issues statement on 13 Aug. defending organization of this apostle-directed committee as consistent with God's commandment to Joseph Smith to gather documentation about non-Mormons who mob and persecute LDS Church. Presidency lists Apostles James E. Faust and Russell M. Nelson as leading the committee.
May 18,1993 - Apostle Boyd K Packer tells All-Church Coordinating Council that LDS church faces three major threats: "The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals."
June 27,1993 - counselor Gordon B. Hinckley dedicates former Hotel Utah as new Joseph Smith Memorial Building to serve primarily as additional office space for LDS central bureaucracy. Its large theatres also begin showing devotional film, "Legacy" (about Mormon pioneers), scripted by Academy award-winner Keith Merrill according to Hinckley's instruction:" I want them to leave the theatre crying."
Nov 6,1994 - Apostle M. Russell Ballard tells 25,000 students at BYU that general authorities" will not lead you astray. We cannot." This claim of infallibility is officially published, and he repeats it to another BYU devotional meeting in March 1996.
May 3,1995 - agreement between LDS church and American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors "over the issue of posthumous baptisms of Jewish Holocaust victims." First Presidency agrees to "remove from next issue of International Genealogical Index [public-access record only] names of all known posthumously baptized Jewish holocaust victims," and "to discontinue any further baptisms of deceased Jews, including all lists of Jewish Holocaust victims who are know Jews, except if they were direct ancestors of living members of the Church."
Sept 19995 - Ensign magazine publishes First Presidency message by second counselor James E. Faust which denounces "the false belief of inborn homosexual orientation." Next month's Ensign contains what appears as one apostle's direct challenge to First Presidency's unequivocal statement. In his October article "Same-Gender Attraction," Dallin H. Oaks writes: "There are also theories and some evidence that inheritance is a factor in susceptibilities to various behavior-related disorders like aggression, alcoholism, and obesity. It is easy to hypothesize that inheritance plays a role in sexual orientation."
1996 Fall, Brigham Young University Studies publishes study by two sociologists who analyze 1,384 questionnaires submitted by LDS "householders," including discovery that LDS men are more likely to think they are going to heaven ("celestial kingdom") than women think of themselves. Men are less likely to attend church or pray privately than women.
03/22/2009 - guest
I know many of these facts are true from earlier contact with them. But you would really do well to try and provide sources. You spell-checked a few years ago, but the page is still riddled with errors.
A good proofreading and a reliable source for each "fact" would do wonders for your credibility.
03/21/2009 - twra plaka mas kaneis h sovarologeis?
Brigham Young, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and founder of Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, in a letter to his friend Albert Carrington in England, October 3, 1873
12/09/2008 - darth_ender
It should be obvious to any who read this page that the entire thing is a farce. All but the most eager to believe that Mormons have horns could easily see through this, but I'm sure that was your intention: not to lie, just to be funny. What saddens me is just how tasteless you are willing to be in order to belittle the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I honestly believe that God frowns upon such mockery of any religion, because most of the religious world is genuinely trying their best to worship God in truth. But hey, at least you know that you got a reaction out of three visitors in 4 1/2 years.
08/12/2008 - texan
You're an idiot.
07/16/2008 - Being arrested does not make you a bad person.
"Funny Joseph Smith was arrested in every state he lived in. That should tell us something of his character right there. The Mormons say it was people being under the influence of Satan. Please. Give us a break" - top of page.
How about Peter, James, Paul, Stephen, Moses, and other prophets of God? Did they not also get arrested? your correlation isn't correct. By your reasoning, anyone who gets arrested repeatedly must be of bad character.
I think you should do a little more research.
Benjaman Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, ect... committed treason! Oh no! They must be bad bad men. Their character was terrible! They started a war!
Or how about Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and others, did they not also get arrested? These are bad bad men, right? They went across the grains of the time, they were seekers of truth, and, they were persecuted and arrested. Bad bad men right?
Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, and others, were bad men right? They got arrested and arrested over and over again, for what? Just saying 'can't we all just get along?' They must be bad right? They were arrested in every state I imagine, they practiced their views of brotherhood. It threatened the very structure of society, and in doing so they must be bad. (like al revolutionist[like George Washington right?]).
Gandhi must be a bad, bad person, he was treasonist! Can you believe him? He wanted to break away from the great country of GB! He must be bad. Must be. Only bad people have people persecute them right?
How about Christ? He got arrested! He must be bad. Only bad people get arrested. His arrest really showed his character, right? He was treasonous! He was ursupling power that others held on to dearly. He died not because he was bad, but because his character. This is correct. He was the Son of God. The Saviour of the world. A threat to those to opposition to the plan of God. His character shown through when he was arrested. Even under all these circumstances, he was our Saviour, he fulfilled his mission on Earth so we could return to him.
The fact of the matter is, whenever power is threatened, the other side, like a cornered lion/tiger, will fight with all its might to fight the threatening force be it, Moses, Socrartes, Plato, Aristotle, Peter, James, Paul, Stephen, Gaundi, Benjaman Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Joseph Smith, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, or Christ.
Being arrested does not make you bad. It makes you unpopular with the current body of power. These men above were inspired. They were not bad people.
When the forces of evil feel threatened it will do everything it can to thrawt God's Plan.
12/20/2007 - Steve
Yeah, you're obviously full of crap and I bet you know it too. Anyone who knows what's going on can see that. Though I'm sure there are people out there who will listen to you.
11/04/2004 - from firstname.lastname@example.org
This site is obviously not run by Paul Harvey. Does his family know that you illegally use his name and photo? The number of things misspelled, written incorrectly( i.e. improper use of grammar), taken out of context or just plain made up is overwhelming. I don't mind reading other peoples views on our church, but how about a little bit of honesty and, at the very least, the use of spellcheck?
Editor's note: Thanks for the spellcheck suggestion. This page was spellchecked 11/04/2004.
02/23/2003 - from anon
You might think things differently if you didn't quote just part of what people said. That way you could make anything good sound bad.
11/07/2002 - from demark
I don't think Mims is any more hypocritical than any other religion. All religions state opinion as fact; they all falsify their history. Why would anyone believe any of them?
10/04/2000 - anon
church true or false, at the end of the day i have lived a wonderful life.
08/09/2000 - Ken
It seems that at Mountain Meadows, Mormons massacred ~100 unarmed people. In contrast, Mormon America says that in all of the Ohio/Missouri/Illinois persecutions, about 40 Mormons died. Excepting the Haun's Mill massacre where 17 died, in most of those incidents, Mormons were armed and fighting back.
40 Mormons killed, and they kill 100 Missourians. But who has the persecution complex?
08/02/2000 - anon
15% tithing? Wrong. Makes one wonder about the accuracy of the rest of these 'facts'
04/24/2000 - anon
When was it anyway, late 1998? this website begins operations.
03/24/2000 - Zondel
In you "low lights" list of Mormon history, you left out some of the tragic and misleading statements by general authorities concerning the Vietnam War. You might do well to add some of these to you list.
02/28/2000 - anon
We Must Believe in Slavery: 148 years later, we still do!
02/16/2000 - anon
Little did the gentiles suspect in whose honor all the holiday lights decorating the Mesa temple were REALLY for.
01/24/2000 - anon
December 23rd, 1805 Birthday of Joseph Smith. The closeness to another holy day two days later gives rise in the late 1990's to the tongue-in-cheek greeting "Merry Smithmas"
01/23/2000 - email@example.com
This is one that has bothered me for a long time. James Talmadge, October 8, 1916, 87th Semi-Annual conference. "The [ten lost] tribes shall come: they are not lost unto the Lord; they shall be brought forth as hath been predicted; and I say unto you there are those now living - aye, some here present - who shall live to read the records of the Lost Tribes of Israel..." Hmm. Even a baby in the tabernacle would now be 84 years old. My hope is facing that this prophesy will come to pass.
1969: Internet invented. Church leadership fails to immediately notice the implications
1999: LatterDayLampoon.com debuts
2000: After reading attributed quotes/deeds and related dates, True Believing Mormon declares how "low" it is to actually hold these people accountable for what they have said and/or done.
01/14/2000 - anon
This whole page is a low light OF HOW LOW PEOPLE WILL GO TO TRY AND DISCREDIT THE LDS CHURCH.
01/14/2000 - drserious
My mother made homemade "Danish beer". It is not alcoholic. It is carbonated and has a ginger taste. More like homemade root beer.
01/12/2000 - anon
Oct 6th, 1990: Official notification of my removal from the records of the church. OOOPS! That's a HIGHLIGHT!
01/12/2000 - Robert B
Marvelous! If you don't mind, I'd like to add a bit of commentary to a few items ;-)
May 15,1864 - Brigham Young preaches, "I don't want Mormonism to become to popular... we would be overrun by the wicked."
--as told to Jebadiah King, great-great grandfather of talk show host Larry King
Dec 9,1869 - ZCMI Drug Stores advertises that is has just opened on Main Street with "Liquors, Draught and by
--By the case. The Mormons practiced food storage even back then.
Jun 18,1870 - First Counselor George A Smith tells Salt Lake School of Prophets about "the evil of masturbation"
among Utah Mormons. Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that "plural marriage would tend to diminish the evil of self
pollution and the indulgence on the part of men was less in plural marriage than in monogamy."
--Unless the wives were all ugly. Then the brethren would like fantasize about Smith while indulging themselves.
Jan 4,1877 - Joseph Smith's last born child David is committed to Illinois Hospital for the Insane. Proclaimed by
Brigham Young in 1866 as rightful heir of LDS presidency, he has served as counselor on RLDS presidency since
1873. He dies in asylum in 1904.
--Like father, like . . .
Aug 29,1877 - Brigham Young dies. His last words are "Joseph, Joseph, Joseph!"
" . . . you bastard. You got all the good-looking ones when they were young, and left me with them when they were old!"
Jan 7,1882 - Apostle Francis M Lyman's diary begins recording month-long nervous breakdown of Heber J Grant,
his successor as Tooele Stake President. Physician diagnoses Grant's condition as "nervous convulsions" and
warns that condition could lead to "softening of the brain," if Grant continues his stressful pace of activity. Grant
becomes apostle ten months later and is first LDS leader with diagnosed history of emotional illness.
See Latterday Lampoon on the effect of the Holy Ghost on the brains of the leaders.
Mar 22,1884 - James E Talmage begins using hashish at Johns Hopkins University as "my physiological
experiment" of its effects. By April 6 he is using twenty grains, "and the effect was felt in a not very agreeable
way." This is last reference in his diary. Four months later he becomes member of stake high council.
James E. "Timothy O'Leary" Talmage. The phrase "Tune in, turn on, and drop out" were expunged from early editions of Jesus the Christ.
May 17,1888 - At dedication of Manti Temple, Wilford Woodruff says, " We are not going to stop the practice of
plural marriage until the Coming of the Son of Man."
They must of all cum plenty then stopped.
Nov 29,1893 - Presidents Wilford Woodruff and George Q Cannon meet with three apostles and James E Talmage:
"That there will also be daughters of Perdition there is no doubt in the minds of the brethren."
They were probably married to some.
May 18,1894 - In Salt Lake Temple, "Jane Elizabeth Manning (a Negro woman) is sealed as a servitor for eternity
to the Prophet Joseph Smith." Joseph F Smith acts as proxy.
Proxy for Joseph Smith or Jane Elizabeth Manning? How *did* Joseph F. look in a dress and blackface?
Aug 26,1894 - "First time a woman has spoken n the Salt Lake Tabernacle on the Sabbath at the regular service-
the people don't know what to make of it-it must bode good for women." The speaker is a non-Mormon.
And her hometown was Stepford.
Apr 7,1895 - Wilford Woodruff tells conference: "Cease troubling yourselves about who God is; who Adam is, who
Christ is, who Jehovah is. For Heaven's sake, let these things alone.
" . . . because after all the yapping Brigham did about it, we sure the hell don't know!"
Aug 22,1895 - First Presidency and apostles decide to deny temple endowments to "Black Jane" Manning (James)
because of her "Negro blood."
But they'd be glad to make her a "servitor" in eternity.
Mar 12,1896 - First Presidency gives James E Talmage "an instruction to smoke tobacco to relieve his persistent
Or maybe a little pot.
Aug 26,1986 - Apostle Moses Thatcher begins treatment with Keeley Institute for his addiction to opium and
morphine. First Presidency and apostles tolerated Thatcher as a "morphine fiend" and "opium eater", but on 26
July his family and friends considered involuntary commitment to treatment. His is most prominent drug addict in
Mormon history. Twelve drop Thatcher from quorum membership on 19 Nov because of four year conflict over his
insubordination in political matters, but Thatcher's drug addiction aggravates that conflict.
He should have asked James Talmage for a blessing.
Nov 5,1896 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow's youngest plural wife bears his last child in Canada. At age 82 he is the oldest
General Authority to father a child.
She's 66 and they make the front page of The Star the next week.
Jan 15,1897 - Apostle Brigham Young, Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Company
because first counselor George Q Cannon allows its property to become " a first class" brothel on Commercial
Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J Grant is invited to its opening reception and is
stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891, and for fifty years
church controlled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.
Did they take tithing in cash or in trade?
Oct 7,1898 - At general conference Apostle John W Taylor reports that in one rural area, 80% of LDS marriages
involve premarital sex.
. . . with sheep.
July 11, 1901 - First Presidency and apostles agree that Danish beer is not harmful or in violation of Word of
The brand, of course, was Pay Lay Ale.
Feb 20 1904 - First verified suicide of full time LDS missionary. He shoots himself as he is returning to Utah.
I felt the same way on my last trip to Utah.
Mar 2,1904 - Before committee of U.S. Senate, Joseph F Smith testifies: "I have never pretended to nor do I
profess to have received revelations. I never said that I had a revelation except so far as God has shown me that
so-called Mormonism is God's divine truth, that is all."
". . . except when I am talking to Mormons only. Then I lie like hell to them."
Jan 10,1906 - First Council of Seventy instructs B.H.Roberts to go to Los Angeles for "recuperation from a
weakness for liquor that had fastened itself upon him."
You'd drink, too, if you tried to write an accurate, truthful history of the Mormon church.
1904 - Church president instructs twelve apostles to walk through doorways in order of seniority.
"C'mon, Boyd, quit shovin'!"
Mar 22,1919 - "The Nigger" is the new production to be given at the Social Hall, proclaims Deseret News with
explanation: "The Nigger" is distinctly Southern. It is a romance based on Southern ideals and the race problem.
This production was followed by the productions The Intellectual, The Gay, and The Feminist.
Jan 4,1922 - from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Brigham H Roberts presents detailed summary of textual and historical
problems in Book of Mormon to combined meeting of First Presidency, apostles, and Seventy's presidents He
recommends that these problems should be researched and publicly discussed.
After the meeting, Elder Roberts resumes drinking.
Feb 15,1927 - Apostle George F Richards notifies temples that it is decision of First Presidency and Quorum of
Twelve to immediately omit from prayer circles "all references to avenging the blood of the Prophets. Omit from
the ordinance and lecture all reference to retribution." Letter also instructs to "omit the kissing" at the end of the
Joseph F. couldn't keep his tongue in his mouth.
Aug 16,1930 - Heber J Grant remarks that Apostle George Albert Smith "is getting very nervous. We don't want
him to have another breakdown such as he had years ago, almost costing him his life." Apostle Smith doesn't begin
describing his symptoms until Jan 1932, and year later writes," My Nerves are nearly gone but am holding on the
best I know how." Symptoms gradually subside and do not resume until he is church president.
A case of the pot calling the kettle black.
April 2,1932 - Heber J Grant launches campaign against use of tobacco as part of his emphasis on observing Word
of Wisdom by total abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee.
The church had recently sold its alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee commodities stock.
July 29,1932 - death of George H Brimhall from self inflicted gunshot. He served as BYU President from 1904 to
1921 and is only BYU president to commit suicide.
But the way BYU has gone for the past few years, maybe we could try for two.
Oct 6,1946 - public release of Joseph Fielding Smith (b. 1899) as Patriarch to Church due to "ill health" but actually
due to discovery of his recent homosexual activity.
He was then sent to BYU to undergo "aversion therapy." Later, he is caught in a homosexual sting by BYU security and expelled.
April 16,1948 - Apostle Mark E Petersen asks for permission to instruct local leaders to begin excommunication
trials for persons he suspects of having disloyal attitudes towards LDS Church. First Counselor J Reuben Clark
warns Petersen "to be careful about the insubordination or disloyalty question, because they ought to be permitted
to think, you can't throw a man off for thinking."
Oh yes you can.
Nov 5,1951 - First Presidency learns of plans by Warner Brothers to make film about Mountain Meadow
Massacre, based on recent scholarly book by LDS Juanita Brooks. Within seven days First Presidency
successfully persuades Hollywood studio to kill project.
Instead, the Brethren circulate a script entitled "Battlestar Galatica" in which a faithful remnant of the Twelve Tribes flee Packer-like robots.
Mar 3,1953 - First Presidency secretary answers Mormon's inquiry about receiving blood transfusions from
African Americans:" The LDS Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored
blood." This represents five year effort to keep LDS Hospital's blood bank separate from American Red Cross
system in order "to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this
Church" (Counselor J. Reuben
"Damn! The gave me wrong bottle. Now I don't have the priesthood no more, and I have this strange craving for watermelon and for killin' white-folk."
May 18,1993 - Apostle Boyd K Packer tells All-Church Coordinating Council that LDS church faces three major
threats: "The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are
relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals."
Elder Packer then went on to write a theater production titled "The Nigger," which was a Southern production about "the race problem."
June 27,1993 - counselor Gordon B. Hinckley dedicates former Hotel Utah as new Joseph Smith Memorial
Building to serve primarily as additional office space for LDS central bureaucracy. Its large theaters also begin
showing devotional film, "Legacy" (about Mormon pioneers), scripted by Academy award-winner Keith Merrill
according to Hinckley's instruction:" I want them to leave the theater crying."
Which Hinckley did by increasing tithing to 15%.
Sept 19995 - Ensign magazine publishes First Presidency message by second counselor James E. Faust which
denounces "the false belief of inborn homosexual orientation." Next month's Ensign contains what appears as one
apostle's direct challenge to First Presidency's unequivocal statement. In his October article "Same-Gender
Attraction," Dallin H. Oaks writes: "There are also theories and some evidence that inheritance is a factor in
susceptibilities to various behavior-related disorders like aggression, alcoholism, and obesity. It is easy to
hypothesize that inheritance plays a role in sexual orientation."
It's easy to talk out your ass, too.
I've heard of a great book used by many lawyers called "How to Lie with Statistics." Have I found the authors?! - 02/07/2004 - anon
I read it all. I'm really glad I did. My belief that the Church of Jesus Christ is Christ's true church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith is stronger than ever. I love you all and pray that you find peace and joy in your lives. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. - 05/25/2002 - anon
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