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Truth, or lie? ...you decide.
This chapter is the first investigation in a series of investigations. I begin
with the investigation of anti-Mormon literature. Why? Because that’s where this book began for me. I grew up
in the church. I
was raised by goodly parents who taught me the teachings of this church from the
time I was just a
babe. I had grown up accepting the idea that this church was true. But when I
was sixteen years old,
one of my best friends came to me and said, “Sam, do you really believe that Joe
Having never been asked that before I said, “Yeah, Doug! I really do!.” Doug
replied, “Sam, the only
reason you believe that Joe Smith story is because your parents told you to
believe it!” I didn’t have
an answer for him. He continued with, “The only reason you believe that Book of
Mormon or your
church to be true is because your parents told you to believe it. In fact, if
your parents were any other
religion, you would think that religion was true!” He then said,
“Sam, I’m amazed that you would believe in a story by some guy
who has a name of Joe Smith!”
Doug then laughed and walked away and left me standing there, wondering about
what he had said.
I remember his words as if they were yesterday. I turned and walked away but I
thinking about his comments. How did I know this Church was true? Since that
time, I have never
stopped investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not
afraid to be proven
wrong, I decided that I would investigate and know for myself. I have always
looked for the evidence,
the proof that this Church was true. I’ve also looked for the evidence that it
This book began in early ‘95 and was completed in mid ‘99. During ‘95 and ‘96,
Julie and I were
called on a stake mission for the LDS Church. This was also a time period when
we would find
ourselves confronted with more anti-Mormon literature than ever before. It seems
there is always
someone who wants to tell you something, they bet you didn’t know. In the past,
I listened but never
said anything and I always went my own way unaffected. But this time was
This time I had to deal with it. ...My family was being attacked.
This time, saying nothing
would be suggesting that the anti-Mormons were right.
All my life, I knew there had to be one true church. I have never been able to
believe that Christ
taught conflicting teachings or doctrines. I’ve never been afraid of being
wrong, and I wasn’t afraid
of being wrong now. In fact, I can honestly say that I am more willing to be
wrong in my current
beliefs, than I am willing to be a member of the wrong church. Therefore I did
the only thing I knew
how to do. I investigated this Church and the anti-Mormon claims as a police
investigate a crime scene. When the police investigate the scene of a crime, we
piece together the
known facts creating a skeletal picture of what happened. Then we use logic and
coupled with an investigative process of elimination of several different
hypotheses to fill in the
picture and arrive at the truth. And we do that ...from the middle of the road
and on no one’s side.
When I started this book, I wrote it more along the lines of the way a police
investigation would be
presented to a jury and a court of law. In a police investigation, when we find
an untruth, part of what
we do is to use the suspect’s own words against them. We show: what he said, we
prove: that he lied
and then we prove: he knew he was lying when he said it. After my investigation
of the facts, I was
able to prove that the writers of anti-Mormon literature had lied time and time
again. So I went after
them, proving those three things over and over. Though not everything I read was
a lie, there was
so much of it that was an obvious lie, that proving their work was propaganda
was easier than I
expected. I used as my expert witnesses for the prosecution, real (meaning
I was done, I had a bullet proof case against them. I had caught them in so many
lies, they had no
place to go. My evidence was so strong against them, that in a court of law,
they would have to admit
one of two things. A) They had been misinformed in what they said, or B) They
were liars. And
because they had taken the time to write a book, the presumption could be proven
that they had also
taken the time to research what they had said. Therefore, getting a guilty
verdict from the jury for
untruthfulness and intentionally fabricating information, would have been easy.
However, I also had
a problem. This chapter was too confrontational, and I didn’t want that. So I
decided to send the
evidence against them through a suppression hearing.
Before every major trial, the defense attorneys will ask for a suppression
hearing. In a suppression
hearing, the defense will try to prove that the evidence that is going to be
presented against the
accused, has lost its evidentiary value. Either by arguing that it was obtained
improperly due to an
illegal search, or that the chain of custody on the evidence was broken or
handled improperly by the
police, etc. Whatever evidence the prosecution loses in a suppression hearing,
cannot be presented
to the jury at trial. Let me give you an example of what I mean and why I did
Not long ago at about 2000 hrs., I was to meet two officers by the names of
Jalyn and Derrell. They
were working an order of protection violation where the suspect had beaten up
his old girlfriend. In
running the suspect’s name through the computer, we learned he had outstanding
felony warrants for
one count of assault, three counts of aggravated assault on police officers, one
count of escape, one
count of forgery and now a new charge of assault/Domestic Violence. Trying to
locate him at this
address on 3rd. Ave., was just a shot in the dark, but it was all we had.
Because we were expecting
a physical confrontation, as well as a foot pursuit, we asked the air unit to
circle overhead. We parked
down the street and quietly walked up. We saw a guy and a girl in the carport.
The guy seemed to
fit the general description of the person we were looking for, but he didn’t
match the profile of the
person we were looking for at all. He was well dressed and well groomed. His
he was very conservative and mild mannered. We asked him his name and it wasn’t
the name we were
looking for. After a few minutes of questioning, we felt certain he was the
wrong guy. We called off
the air unit and were about to leave ourselves. He was very polite and
cooperative throughout. We
apologized for interrupting his evening and before we left, we asked him for
some ID. He didn’t have
any and so he gave us his information verbally. I went to channel six and ran
him. It came back: no
record found. I told radio to run it by the SS number. This time, it came back
to the right name, right
SS number, but different date of birth.
...oops, we had just caught him in his first lie.
When confronted with the fact that he gave us the wrong DOB, he tried to explain
it by telling us
some things we already knew were lies. Little by little, we caught him in one
small lie after another.
Finally we told him that we had enough probable cause to believe that he was the
guy we were
looking for. We told him he was coming with us and that we were going to the
department where we
would fingerprint him and identify him that way. As I walked him to the patrol
car, he sobbingly said,
“This isn’t fair. I’m not the guy you are looking for, but because you came here
looking for him and
I have a few things in my past that I’m trying to get away from, the guy you’re
looking for goes free
and I go to jail.” He was weeping and he said it so convincingly, it was hard
for me not to believe him
and even feel sorry for him.
While at the department, he asked if he could use the bathroom. He seemed like
he was taking a long
time in there so Jalyn went in after him. Suddenly Jayln realized that his
fingertips were bleeding. He
had bitten several small chunks of flesh out of six of his ten fingers pads so
as to prevent himself from
being identified. However, he still had four fingers that he hadn’t gotten to
yet. From those four
remaining fingers, he was printed and identified by a lazar printer and computer
searching system. He
was in fact, the suspect we were looking for.
Point #1 is this: He was so convincing, so polite and seemed so sincere, that at
first and even
throughout, we had a hard time believing he was the suspect we were looking for.
It was only because we latched onto him and kept investigating him, that we
finally found him out.
That is the point with the anti-Mormon propaganda engineers too. They seem so
convincing, so polite
and so sincere, that at first and sometimes even throughout, it is hard to
believe that they could be
lying. Yet time and time again, when I latched onto them and continued to
investigate them, like the
suspect on 3rd Ave, I found each and every one of them out.
“The greatest trick the devil ever played,
was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Point #2 is this: In a court of law, you don’t care if your case is
confrontational. Your job
is to show
the judge and jury the truth about the person you are dealing with. But I didn’t
a confrontational chapter. So even though I could easily prove how grossly
inaccurate the anti-Mormons writers were, I subjected this book to a suppression hearing,
eliminating the strong
confrontational arguments. Fearing it was still too confrontational, I enlisted
the aid of others and
subjected the book to a second, even a third suppression hearing. I needed to
present the facts and
I could show where the anti-Mormon engineers had perjured themselves several
times in their books,
but rather than do a butcher job on the engineers, I decided to explain and
demonstrate their tactics
so you could recognize them when you see them yourself. ...With that, let’s
I have read a lot of anti-Mormon literature and I have investigated most of what
I have read. Julie
and I were invited to a person’s house a while back. A person who “knew the
truth” about Mormons.
We love and respect the couple that invited us so we went with them. The
“expert” lived in Mesa and
he gave us directions to his house. I knew the area but followed his directions
neighborhood streets twist and wind and end without notice.
This was a fairly nice area of town and on the drive to his house we passed
several nice homes. When
I arrived at his home I was surprised at what difficult directions he gave me.
After seeing where he
lived I realized that I could have gotten there much easier and faster from a
more direct route. But
I gave it no more thought at the time. His home was a nice middle class home on
the fringe of the
upper middle class homes I had passed by. He was a friendly looking fellow,
about 50 years old. I
honestly felt I would hear some new shocking evidence that I had not heard
before. But what I heard
not only was an insult to my beliefs (which I was prepared for), but was an
insult to my intelligence.
Here are a few of his repeatable statements.
He told us he was a convert to the
church and that he
was made a bishop after one year. He said he had to “sneak to read his Bible
because Mormons don’t
believe in the Bible.” He said he had to, “Leave it in my bathroom under a stack
of magazines and
read it when the door was shut.” He told us that he (as a Bishop) “had to read
the no more polygamy
letter to his congregation.” After more ridiculous statements I finally got up
and left. Later, I found
out that this guy is fairly popular among local Christian groups and that he
goes around giving
speeches on the truth about the Mormons! How about that! ...I guess that old cliche is right! Some
people will believe anything.
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof
all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance.
That principle is; ...condemnation, before investigation!”
I am not offended by anti-Mormon statements. They don’t bother me and I was
prepared for that. But
I wasn’t prepared for his ridiculous absurdities. I thought they would be honest
statements and not
ridiculous lies! I’m certainly no expert on The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, but he
must have thought he was talking to some Mormon who had never gone to church a
day in his life
and never went to school past the 2nd grade.
Like a lot of the anti-Mormon literature that I’ve read, his statements
were statements that I wouldn’t have believed ...about any religion.
Polygamy stopped over 100 years ago and I don’t have any idea why he had to hide
his Bible. The
rest of us take them to church with us on Sunday and study from them all the
time. Those and the rest
of the things he said were as ridiculous as the story the Missourians used to
tell about the Mormons
when they said, “The Mormons have horns on their head!” Seeing that this guy
knew the truth but
had no intention of telling the truth, I then realized what he had attempted to
do with his complex
directions to his house. He had me drive past all the nice homes in the
neighborhood to lend
credibility to his arguments with his seemingly prosperous lifestyle.
Information can be categorized into four groups. Truth, Lies, Misinformation and
Propaganda is engineered information that is distorted and biased. It is seldom
a complete lie and is
usually a blend of truth and lies with the intent to mislead the investigator.
In order to have a crime,
the law says the officer has to show the “culpable mental state” of the
perpetrator. Regardless of the
act, if it’s accompanying culpable mental state cannot be shown, there is no
crime! For example, the
verdict: “Innocent by reason of insanity.” In order for misinformation to be
propaganda, the engineer
has to have an accompanying culpable mental state. The highest culpable mental
state as defined by
law is: Intent.
Arizona Revised Statutes, Criminal Code, Title 13, section 13-105.9, defines
what intent means. It
says, “Intentionally; means with respect to a result...that a person’s objective
is to cause that
result...” Information available about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints is found in all
four categories of truth, lie, misinformation and propaganda. The information I
want to target is in
the propaganda category. The culpable mental state of the propagandist is
Intent. They will tell you
that their intent is merely to help misguided LDS people, or to save others from
LDS people. But their actions speak much louder than their words. In fact, their
actions speak so
loud, that they develop “MO’s” as their real intent becomes identifiable and
traceable. In this chapter
we will take a look at some skillfully done propaganda. I will not address all
of it, I will only be
showing you how it is done, and what to look for, when faced with it yourself.
In reading anti-Mormon literature, I have noticed a striking resemblance between
one writer and the
next writer. It’s as if one writer will read three or four anti-Mormon books and
then write his own
anti-Mormon book, regurgitating what he read and quoting references from other
writers as his evidence. I’m not being sarcastic, that’s the truth. Most of it
focuses on the early
beginnings of the Church. There is very little that targets the current Church.
In the Book, Behind
the Mask of Mormonism on page 372, Ankerberg and Weldon say, (talking about the
wrongs of the early Christians after the Council of Nicaea and through the early
Christianity) “Second, the early Christians were hardly perfect, nor did they
have centuries of study
in systematic theology behind them.” I find that an interesting excuse,
especially when they won’t
allow The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that excuse.
I am a person who loves history. History books are my favorite books and
documentaries are my
favorite programs. I especially love history about the American Indians and the
Jews. I also have a
special place in my heart for battles and especially WWII. Among other things,
propaganda skills and tactics to an all time high. A little background on how it
was used then is
essential so you can understand how it is being used now. With a little study,
you soon realize that:
When it comes to propaganda, the targets change, ...but the tactics don’t.
The tactics are always predictable and identifiable. They have been used
throughout history and they
were used very successfully against the American Indians, the Jews and the LDS
Church. Let me
show you some interesting and historical correlations and parallels between the
early Mormons, the
American Indians, the Jews and people in general. Remember: When it comes to
targets change, but the tactics don’t. That’s why understanding those tactics is
Propaganda stems from hatred and jealousy. The reason Cain killed Abel was
because of jealousy.
Jealousy, hatred, propaganda and murder, have been with us since the fall of
Adam. To give you
some background and demonstrate the power of propaganda in our own century,
let’s start with
Hitler. You can learn a lot about how propaganda and evil works by studying
Hitler and his tactics.
He used propaganda heavily throughout his life of infamy. Often, he would create
a crisis that he
could solve and therefore, be the hero as a result of his clever propaganda.
For instance, before WWII actually began, he walked in and took over Austria,
the Rheinland without even firing a shot. In fact, he was even hailed as the
“Savior of the Sudeten
Land” (an image he created himself). He did it while the rest of the world
looked on and did nothing
about it. Why? Because of his masterful use of propaganda. On 083139 at 2000
hrs., he engineered
an attack on a German radio station in the town of Gliewitz, near the Polish
border. Four Germans
were killed. Left behind were dead concentration camp inmates dressed in Polish
blamed the attack on the Polish people. Outraged at their assault and demanding
justice, on 090139
at 0445 hrs., Hitler attacked Poland and WWII began.
“The horoscope of time does not show peace, but war.”
It’s probably a fair and accurate statement to say that the 20th Century
European hatred toward the
Jews can be traced to the book, The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion. It
was a propaganda
book engineered by Czar Nicholas II of Russia. The book was purported to have
been written by the
Jews and outlined how they were “going to take over the world.” Even though it
was later proven
to be an engineered product of Czar Nicholas II, the book generated so much
momentum, the Jewish
people could not stop the hatred frenzy. The book provided the needed fuel for
hatred toward the
Jews by Lenin, Stalin and Hitler. That’s how effective propaganda can be. The
tactics of propaganda
are repeated throughout history every time you find one group of people who
hates another group.
To the person who is aware of those tactics, the MO is recognized immediately.
During WWII, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda was Paul Josef Goebbels. Goebbels
was a polished
expert in the use of propaganda. An early Nazi party member, he was responsible
for much of the
pageantry and propaganda that made Nazism popular. He took control of the
national media when
Hitler came to power in 1932. I own several old and out of print history books.
One of them is a 1948
book translated and written by Louis P. Lochner called, “The Goebbels Diaries.”
It is from, “considerable fragments of Dr. Goebbels diaries” which were found
“in the courtyard of
his ministry where they had evidently narrowly escaped burning.” Much can be
learned from such
books. Propaganda is a hate tool. It is always: misinformation, with the intent
to mislead and injure.
So think about this: Who would use the tactics of propaganda? Someone prompted
by the Lord? Or
someone prompted by Satan? The fact is, the Lord would have nothing to do with
it. Propaganda is
fostered and nurtured by the father of all lies, Satan himself!
In the book, Germany Without Jews, by Brent Engelmann, (translated by D.J. Beer)
about the propaganda against the Jews in Russia during WWI. In his book he has a
diary entry that
outlines the most recent propaganda against the Russian Jews at that time. As
you read them, think
about some of the anti-Mormon literature you have read. Think about the “expert”
that I went to see.
The man who had to “leave his Bible in the bathroom and read it when the door
was shut.” Notice
the logic similarities.
1. The Jews had taken a coffin for burial, but the coffin had contained not a
gold for the Germans.
2. The Jews stuff geese with gold coins and then take them to Germany.
3. A Jew had suddenly thrown himself to the ground in an epileptic fit, while in
had been speaking to the Germans through a secret telephone.
4. The air-force officers throwing bombs on Russian positions and towns were
Unknown Russian citizen, Diary entry, Nov. 23, 1914
In the very early stages of WWII, Hitler decided he would nationalize the masses
propaganda until he had it shaped into a “superbly organized fighting force.”
Hitler’s prime scheme
was to gain, maintain, and expand his power through propaganda. “Without
propaganda, it is
impossible to reach the hearts of the people and fill them with a sense of
purpose or mission. In order
for propaganda to be effective, you have to teach people a fanatically one-sided
Germany, Klaus P. Fischer. Italics added) Which is exactly what the anti-Mormons
do. They teach
a fanatically one-sided doctrine against the LDS Church.
“All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt it’s spiritual level to the
perception of the least intelligent of those toward whom it intends to direct
more modest, than it’s scientific ballast is, and the more it exclusively
feelings of the masses, the more striking will be it’s success.”
Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf, p232-233
The anti-Mormon literature that I have read contains examples of both good and
techniques. In choosing which topics to investigate with you, I selected what I
felt were the most
popular topics targeted by anti-Mormons. I selected their “Grade A” evidence. As
I said before, not
all anti-Mormon literature is inaccurate. Some of their literature is accurate.
But most of it vacillates
between good and bad quality propaganda. I will show you examples of both and I
will show you
how to recognize the difference and the techniques used. I will also show you
some accurate anti-Mormon statements, as well as some very interesting propaganda techniques that I
throughout all of the anti-Mormon literature writers I have read.
Misinformation-propaganda... First, let me give you the definition of
propaganda. This is from the
Macmillan Dictionary, p.802. “Body of doctrines, ideas or attitudes of a
particular group promoted,
often through public allegation and in a distorted or biased form, in order to
influence the point of
view of others, gain supporters or damage an opposing group.”
Misinformation-type propaganda is
the most damaging because it is the most effective. One of the keys to
successful propaganda is the
truth to lie ratio. If you stretch the truth too much, people won’t believe it.
The most believable
propaganda is a blend of lots of truth, laced with a few lies. The truth-to-lie
ratio is very critical. The
goal of the propagandist is to get his point across without having the people
question or investigate
“The Bolsheviks are now dropping forged handbills over the German
issued by the Party of the Propaganda Ministry. They are phrased exceedingly
in that they imitate our slang and contain only two or three dangerous points.”
Josef Goebbels, Diary entry, May 11th, 1942.
So with that little bit of back ground, let’s begin. In producing propaganda
remember that: A
successful new scrimmage is better than a failed touchdown. Let me show you a
simple example of
what I mean. I’m going to give you the same sentence seven times. Each time I
will emphasize a
different word in the sentence. By doing so I can change the meaning without
changing the words.
As you read it, emphasize the bold word.
1) I never said he stole the money
2) I never said he stole the money
3) I never said he stole the money
4) I never said he stole the money
5) I never said he stole the money
6) I never said he stole the money
7) I never said he stole the money
See what I’m getting at? This is how easy it is to mislead someone with what you
say. If I change,
add or delete a word or two in a sentence and do that to one or more sentences
in a paragraph, the
meaning of the paragraph can completely change. If I am speaking and I add the
sincerity on my part, (which Hitler was an artist at) hopefully I can have you
believing exactly what
I want you to believe, unless you study it out for yourself! However,
fortunately for the propagandist
most people don’t, and that’s the problem!
How do you know I’m not using propaganda tactics on you in this book?
Because I am asking you to investigate on your own! ...Think about it.
Some anti-Mormon writers are more slanted than others but it’s all pretty much
the same topic: the
early beginnings of the Church. William J. Mitchell writes a booklet called “A
Christian Looks at
Mormonism.” He investigates and writes with a very heavy slant. He looks for the
facts that support
his side of the story only. He also loads it with his own interpretation of the
events, giving the reader
a lopsided view of things. Sometimes I wish the police could do that!
Never a case would be lost in court,
if only one side of the story were allowed to be told!
My biggest book of anti-Mormon literature is by John Ankerberg and John Weldon.
“Behind the Mask of Mormonism.” The subtitle is, “From it’s Early Schemes to
it’s Modern Deceptions.” Their book ranges from true statements to false
statements. From very good propaganda tactics to very poor propaganda tactics
and everything in between. Most of what I’ve chosen to example is from this book
because it is my biggest and most complete and it comes with the most credits.
The elephant in the jungle, you might say. Like I said before, not all negative
statements against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are false or
are propaganda. What makes a statement propaganda is when the statement is a
blend of truth and lie with the intent to mislead. This investigation is based
on evidence and reasonableness. If I received such a thing as a fringe benefit
in investigating anti-Mormon claims, it was the total absence of fear of it. I
didn’t expect that, it just came as a result of seeing what they had done. So
like they say on the firing line in Hogan’s Alley, “Keep your eyes open! Don’t
get tunnel vision, it could cost you your life!”
Almost all anti-Mormon literature I’ve seen begins with Joseph Smith. Every
single aspect of his life was examined and re-examined under the finest
microscopes. Any and all short comings are brought to light. Mitchell has done a
fairly good job of reporting the negative facts, but uses for some of his
reference sources, other anti-Mormon writers. Two things to remember in reading
about this type of scrutiny of anyone, is that everyone is human and makes
mistakes and the only one in the history of the world who didn’t, ...doesn’t
live here anymore.
One of Mitchell’s topics is about Joseph Smith receiving a heavenly vision.
Mitchell argues that
Joseph Smith’s two visions came to him while he was alone and we only have his
word that they took place and that we are asked to believe that Joseph Smith was
telling the truth. Mitchell goes on to say there is “serious difficulty” in
believing Joseph Smith because three years after his first vision, Joseph was
brought to trial for being a “disorderly person and an imposter.” He further
argues that Joseph Smith was charged with being “a glass looker” and that he
used a peep-stone to locate hidden treasure. “After due process the court found
Joseph guilty of all charges.”
Was Joseph Smith found guilty? I don’t believe so! Why? Two very big reasons.
Mitchell offers no proof of his statement or proof of any conviction or even an
arrest and where was being “a glass looker” a crime? Mitchell doesn’t offer any
information in regards to his statement, so let me help him out. Joseph Smith
was brought before Justice Albert Neely on March 20th, 1826. The court document
read: “same [The People] vs. Joseph Smith The Glass Looker.” The charge was a
misdemeanor, but it doesn’t say for what. The only notes I could find that the
Judge left behind for us, were these: “To my fees in examination of the above
So tell me. Was being “a glass looker” a criminal offense? Or was it an
accusation. Let’s take the position that it was a crime and that Joseph Smith
was found guilty and investigate it from that point of view. When you
investigate that era you find there was a lot of animosity toward Joseph Smith.
In fact, Joseph Smith was arrested several times. But does being arrested or
found guilty tell the whole story? Can people lie under oath? Let me tell you
two quick examples that will require some effort on your part and demonstrate
what I’m talking about.
One: I made a traffic stop on a motorcycle once in the 300 block of N.
LeSueur. The violator
stopped in his carport. The
stop turned into an argument and the violator ran into the house. I ran after
him and with the aid of my Sgt., we pushed the slightly opened door in and took
one step inside. The violator was inside the house with a shotgun in hand.
Suddenly there was a blast and the center of the door I was standing behind
disappeared. The shotgun blast missed my stomach by one foot. Needless to say,
that fellow went to jail that day! Inside the living room was an old school
friend of mine. At trial my friend was one of the key witnesses. He told the
court that I came in threatening the suspect’s life and that the suspect was
scared to death and that’s why the suspect shot at us. Other witnesses refuted
my friend’s testimony and my friend was later charged with perjury. But he still
lied and what if the other witnesses lied too?
Two: Late one night I saw a speeding vehicle. I gave chase and after
trying to elude me for
about four blocks, I backed
off. I turned off my overhead lights, kissed him goodbye and cut my speed. The
violator kept speeding away. Two blocks later the suspect vehicle ran a stop
sign as he crossed an intersection. He did it just as a man and his pregnant
wife were crossing northbound in a blue Volvo. The suspect’s vehicle struck the
victim’s vehicle in the passenger door, ejecting the wife. The impact threw the
man’s wife almost 100 feet and killed her and her unborn child. She was the
mother of five. I was almost two blocks away but close enough to watch the
impact and the aftermath. I got sued, the City got sued, and we lost. The
argument was that if I had not tried to stop the violator in the first place,
the violator would not have tried to get away. Even though I had already turned
off my top lights, cut my speed and let the violator go, I still lost the suit.
Did losing the lawsuit show that I was wrong? You decide!
Susan B. Anthony believed that women should have the right to vote. In 1872, she
was arrested and convicted for voting in an election. So tell me. Did the fact
that she was found guilty show she was wrong? Did the assumption that Joseph
Smith was found guilty show he was wrong?
Did the fact that Christ was found guilty and legally killed
by the laws of the land, show He was wrong?
Later on, I will show you some of the strong prejudice against Joseph Smith.
Some of the proof of that statement are these charges. So keep that in mind. If
you read Joseph Smith’s writings you will find that he too complained of his
many weaknesses and mistakes. But so did the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to
Timothy (I Timothy: 1-15) when he said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to
save sinners of whom I am chief.”
So remember that when you read about Joseph Smith. No one’s life, except
Christ’s can stand a magnifying glass. No one’s. Everyone is effected by
prejudice and hatred. The perfect example is Christ Himself. The Jews hated Him.
They followed Him, scrutinizing everything He did and said. Where there wasn’t
evidence against Him, they made some up. Finally they felt they had enough to
demand His life, and they got it. This is what has been done with Joseph Smith.
Every area of his life has been examined by the anti-Mormons. Every detail. When
he stumbled, they were there! When he said something he shouldn’t have, they
were there! And when there wasn’t evidence against him, they made some up and
finally, they took his life.
Anthony A. Hoekema in his book Mormonism, (p11) discredits Joseph Smith by
saying that Joseph eloped with Emma after Emma’s father had refused to give his
consent to their marriage. He argues that the official Church reason for this is
because according to Joseph Smith’s own writings, the persecution which
surrounded Joseph Smith was so intense. He argues that Fawn M. Brodie in her
biography about Joseph Smith, gave evidence to prove that the real reason for
Mr. Hale’s refusal was Joseph Smith’s only occupation was that of “digging for
money with the help of a peep-stone.”
The statements by Hoekema are designed to discredit The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints by discrediting Joseph Smith. It is designed to make Joseph
Smith look like a genuine snake oil salesman type individual. After all, what
kind of person goes around trying to find buried treasure with a “peep stone”?
But let’s examine the statements a little closer. You have one statement from an
autobiography, another statement from a biography with no evidence to prove
either statement. Both contradict each other and therefore cancel each other
out. It’s an I said-you said statement. If you pride yourself in being a
fair-minded judge of things, Fawn Brodie’s statement is not enough for you to
make a ruling on. Also, the writer talks about “evidence,” yet offers none. At
best, if you rule in favor of Fawn Brodie, with no more than the information she
has given, it leaves you with a feeling that you must be missing part of the
story. Surely the leader of such a movement wasn’t merely some guy who stared
into peep stones looking for buried treasure in peoples’ backyards! Surely a
person like that could not have organized a religion that has turned into what
it is today, by being the kind of person Hoekema has portrayed him to be! As you
investigate, remember to use reasonableness and logic when you listen to, and
judge anti-Mormon literature. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not true.
It should be noted that Fawn M. Brodie (now deceased) was a strong anti-Mormon.
She, like most other anti-Mormons, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. For some personal reason she turned bitter against the
Church. She was excommunicated and became an anti-Mormon. She wrote a biography
on Joseph Smith called No Man Knows My History. This is the book Hoekema is
referring to. The book was so inaccurate it caused Hugh Nibley, Ph.D. to write a
book called, No Ma’am, That Ain’t History. In the preface, Dr. Nibley writes,
“When the writer first read Mrs. Brodie’s
book 13 years ago (now 9th printing) he was
struck by the brazen inconsistencies that swarm in it’s pages...At the time he
means of knowing that inconsistency was the least of the author’s vices, and
other reviewers that when she cited a work in her footnotes, she had actually
read it, that
when she quoted she was quoting correctly, and that she was familiar with the
her bibliography. Only when other investigations led the reviewer to the same
in ensuing years did the extent of Mrs. Brodie’s irresponsibility become
The point is this... Fawn Brodie knew her book
was full of errors, but she didn’t care! She is stereotypical of the once
Mormon, now anti-Mormon! They are motivated by revenge and hatred. Their intent
is to get even, or cause hurt for some supposed valid reason. Secondly, Brodie’s
book was written in 1945. The Anthony Hoekema book has a copyright date of 1963.
The one I have has a reprint date of 1975, thirty years after Brodie’s book.
Plenty of time for Hoekema to have found out that Brodie’s book was filled with
errors. So why did Hoekema quote Brodie’s book as a credible reference? I can
only guess! ...Think about it.
I used to feel anger toward the once Mormon, now anti-Mormon, but I don’t
anymore. I feel sorrow. I also understand them and their motives. I’ve seen a
lot of marriages of my friends begin in love and end in hate and bitter words.
I’ve even seen them spread lies about their mate in an attempt to hurt them. Or
in their eyes, get even. This is usually the case with the once Mormon, now
anti-Mormon. The more I investigate, the more I know for a surety that this is
the true church of Jesus Christ and the stronger my testimony becomes. And the
more I realize what the anti-Mormon has done to himself. Here is one example of
what I’m talking about.
Thomas Marsh was once an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints and a close friend of Joseph Smith. He was sharing the milk from a cow
with another family. The two wives began to argue over who was getting more of
what. The issue over the milk striplings led to a hearing and the Marsh family
was ruled against. Thomas felt he was ruled against unfairly and the issue grew
until he left the church and for a while, he became an anti-Mormon. Years later
he wrote a letter to Heber C. Kimball, his friend and associate member of the
Quorum of the Twelve. (Apostle). It’s rather sobering. This is what he said.
“Having lost my wife three years since, I
began to awake to a sense of my situation;
..I know that I sinned against Heaven and in thy sight and have rendered myself
unworthy of your confidence; or of a place in the family of Heaven...I deserve
place among you in the church even as the lowest member; but I cannot live long
so without a reconciliation with the 12 and the Church whom I have injured.
The Lord could get along very well without me and He has lost nothing by my
out of the ranks; but O what have I lost?! Riches, greater riches than all this
Thomas B. Marsh
Here’s an interesting piece of journalism!
It’s on page 51 of Ankerberg’s book. Speaking about
Joseph Smith they state that Joseph had a “secret Council of Fifty” to ordain
him as “King on Earth” and that the council wanted him to run for President of
the United States. There is a footnote at the bottom of the page and it states,
“Some scholars” believed that Joseph Smith was trying to “rule the United States
as its King.” (Does that accusation sound familiar?) There is a reference as to
where this information came from. I looked it up and the source was ...another
Well, pray tell! Who are these scholars! Hitler used the same tactic to
incite the Germans against the Jews. He told the people that he had uncovered a
plot by the Jews and that the Jews were plotting to take over the world.
...Interesting similarity, don’t you think?
The Secret Council of Fifty?
The “Council of Fifty” was formed in Nauvoo in 1844. It’s formation was to
provide a pattern of government that was guided by the Holy Priesthood and
revelation. Its formal name was the “Living Constitution.” It became known as
the Council of Fifty because of the number of members. The beliefs of the
members were consistent with the “ethics of scripture and with the protections
and responsibilities of the Constitution of the United States.” Three of the
original fifty men were non Mormons. It disappeared as a functioning body after
the westward migration. (The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p.326-327)
An Apostasy ?
“And also those to whom these commandments
were given, might have power to lay the
foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of
only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, which I, the Lord,
pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually.” (D&C 1:30)
Joseph Smith is constantly attacked for his
claim of starting the Lord’s true church. He is constantly attacked for even
suggesting that there is just one true church and that there was an apostasy in
the first place. Anti-Mormon writers try to prove that Mormons are not even
Christians so how could Mormonism be the Lord’s true church? A lot of time is
spent by them trying to prove this issue. One of their “proofs” is a quote by
Orson Pratt. (one of the Apostles for Joseph Smith) In Ankerberg and Weldon’s
book it’s found on p.67. It’s a January 1854 issue of The Seer. This is what the
article said. (Speaking about the Christianity that arose after Christ and the
Apostles were gone.)
“A set of wicked apostates, murderers, and
idolaters, who after having made war with
the saints, and overcame them, and destroyed them out of the earth, were left to
wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up false
Another one of the anti-Mormon “proofs” is
this quote by Joseph Fielding Smith (tenth President and Prophet of the Church).
“For hundreds of years the world was wrapped
in a veil of spiritual darkness, until
there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the plan of salvation that was
in the year 1820 so obscured by false tradition and ceremonies, borrowed from
paganism, as to make it unrecognizable, or else it was entirely denied.”
Here’s another quote. Another “proof” from
Joseph Fielding Smith, same issue, same page.
“By heavenly direction and command of our
Lord Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith restored all
these principles in their primitive beauty and power...True Christianity, so far
as the latter
days are concerned, is very young, for it has only been since 1830 that the
Jesus Christ has been organized on the earth, and the gospel restored.”
Their intent is to try and prove that we
believe there is but one true church, and that it is
“Mormonism.” Also, that we are trying to prove that their church is false, when
ours is the new kid on the block, so to speak. And theirs, or “real
Christianity”, has been around since Christ’s time. They claim that “how could
Christianity have been lost to the world?” And “how could Mormonism be the true
church?” Especially when “...the Mormons don’t even believe in Christ!”
One thing I want to point out is that we are always referred to as Mormons. The
word Mormon is a nickname given to us by early non-members and it stuck. It’s
not offensive but it is not the name of the church. The name of the Church is
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To someone who doesn’t know
anything about the LDS Church, the words Mormon and Mormonism are extremely
misleading. The anti-Mormons use them because to the unknowing, it sounds like
we are one of the non-Christian religions that believe and follow a prophet
named Mormon. Like the religions of Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism. They
all teach good principles, but they are all non-Christian religions. On p.41 of
Hugh Nibley’s book he says, “In all her account of the evolution of things,
Brodie never once mentions the true name of the Church, though great importance
has always been placed upon it by the Mormons...The name describes a very
specific thing and implies an unvarying and uncompromising program. It is
undeviating and unshakable firmness of the prophet following a single line...”
If you will take the time to go to your public library and investigate these
quotes by Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith, you will find that these three quotes
are not only accurate quotes, they are accurate statements. However, the
anti-Mormons have taken them out of context with the hope of inferring the
authors meant something different than what they did mean. They are talking
about the falling away from the true Church as Christ established it. Look up
and investigate the early years of Christianity and compare them to Bible
teachings. After Christ was crucified, the Christians were persecuted severely.
After Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, ...seemingly
everyone else was persecuted severely. Even to death. Thousands, perhaps
millions were killed. To argue that there was no apostasy is to say Christ had a
hand in those things.
they say? ...Impossible!
...Unless, ...Christ completely changed His
teachings and tactics after His crucifixion!
If Jesus Christ is in fact: “Jesus the Christ, Savior of the world,” then with
an apostasy, there would have to be a restoration! In Matthew Chapter 13: 24-30
Jesus tells a parable to the people. Read it carefully:
“Another parable put he forth unto them,
saying. The kingdom of heaven is likened unto
a man which sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came
tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and
forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder
came and said
unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt
thou then that
we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares,
ye root up
also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the
time of the
harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind
bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
What are the tares and what are the wheat? A
tare is a weed that looks like wheat, so it can’t be the non-Christian
religions, they look nothing like Christianity. The wheat is obviously the
Lord’s true church. It can’t be merely all good Christians from all sects, or
the parable wouldn’t make sense because then there would be confusion in the
house of the Lord with no one knowing what to believe. It has to be the look
alike Christian churches. Those that draw near to Him with their lips but not in
deed. Those that profess His name, but don’t do things the way He wants things
done. The whole point of the parable is the look alike product in the field. So
tell me, which one better fits the parable? Here’s another scripture that I
believe proves my point and one I have also found in Ankerberg and Weldon’s
book. They say it proves we are an anti-Christian church of the devil.
Let’s look at it. It’s Matthew chapter
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord,
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me
day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast
devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And I will profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
This parable, like the other, is not about
non-Christian religions! It can’t be. They don’t believe in Christ; they have
never cast out devils in the Lord’s name, prophesied in the Lord’s name, or done
many wonderful works in the Lord’s name or anything else in the Lord’s name. So,
it can’t be them. He’s talking to somebody in the Christian world. So either
Christ is saying that all Christian religions are good, and you can believe,
worship, teach, baptize, think whatever you want, etc., or there is one true
church and He is talking about the other Christian religions not of His fold,
but which profess to be of His fold. Which one fits the parable?
Is it possible that scripture is referring to individuals who profess to be good
Christians and not the actual churches themselves? That’s a possibility, but
only if you can believe that there is disorder and confusion in the House of the
Lord. Think! Christ said we must do the will of the Father in order to gain
entrance to the kingdom of God. Well how can we do the will of the Father if we
can’t agree on what it is? Either God is confused, or we are confused. ...Which
Are Mormons Christians?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is constantly attacked by
accusations of being non-Christian. As “proof,” the anti-Mormon writers quote
statements made by early Church leaders like these; (this is Ankerberg and
Weldon quoting us on page 91 of their book. Notice how they selectively quote
just the exact words, to infer the exact inference they want to infer).
“We talk about Christianity, but it is a
perfect pack of nonsense...And the Devil could
not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the 19th
John Taylor. Third President-Prophet of the Church. Journal of Discourses, 6:167
Let’s look this quote up and read more of the
quote shall we? It’s an eight page talk given in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on
Sunday morning, January 17, 1858. Here are a few surrounding paragraphs.
“What is God going to do, to set the world
right? We are the people who are called to do
Him His work; and if so, He must put us right...Yes, we are that people, with
all our faults,
our foibles, and vanities. We do acknowledge the hand of God; we do acknowledge
Prophet of God and the teachings of the Most High, and we do feel willing to be
by those teachings. We must first learn submission to the will of God
We must see that we ourselves first learn obedience, and then teach others...”
“There is no nation now that acknowledges the hand of God; there is not a king,
nor ruler that acknowledges Him His jurisdiction. We talk about Christianity,
but it is a
perfect pack of nonsense. Men talk about civilization...Myself and hundreds of
around me have seen it’s pomp, parade, and glory’ and what is it? It is a
and tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a
to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century.”
“How are the nations going to be redeemed? How is the Kingdom of God going to be
planted upon the earth? ...How is it going to be done? I answer, these things
will be accomplished by the guidance of the Lord through Him His Prophets...If
we pursue a
right course and magnify our calling before God, then everything else will be
surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets to his
Prophets. Sectarians profess to believe in the Bible, but they will not let the
any prophets. But we will listen and try to keep the commandments of our God.”
“Brethren, I pray that God may bless us, enlighten our minds, lead us in the way
and save us in Him His Kingdom, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
What John Taylor is saying is that the
Christians of his era professed Christianity but look at their actions. Look at
the persecutions they put others through who do not believe as they believe? All
in the name of real Christianity. What the anti-Mormon writers are trying to
infer with their partial quote is that Mormons don’t believe in Christianity
period. But notice John Taylor’s statement just before he says “We talk about
Christianity...” he said, “There is no nation now that acknowledges the hand of
God; there is not a king, potentate, nor ruler that acknowledges Him His
jurisdiction.” Isn’t it interesting how the whole meaning changes of what John
Taylor said when you look at more of what he said. Isn’t it also interesting how
selective of his words they were. So tell me. This example, like the others I’ve
shown you about partial quotes, are not mistakes. Is it propaganda? You decide.
The words quoted were the exact words used by President John Taylor. But they
selectively chose the exact words to infer the exact inference they wanted you
to believe, AND, the meaning they wanted you to believe is not the meaning the
speaker was conveying to the audience.
Interesting newspaper articles...
Here’s a really interesting statement. Look at the tactics and decide for
yourself if it’s propaganda. On p.70 of Ankerberg and Weldon’s book they write:
Furthermore, The Salt Lake Tribune,
February 2, 1975 revealed that the
“frequency of adultery...and the number of illegitimate births...have reached
an appalling figure” within the Utah Mormonism.
Notice the sentence structure. The whole thing
is a quote, but I didn’t use quote marks because I needed to use their quote
marks to show what they did. This is exactly how the sentence reads in their
book. The italics portion of the sentence is to give power and authority to
their reference. In other words, “The Salt Lake Tribune said...” The same with
using the date, but here’s the trick. Notice that the actual quote from the
paper is, “Frequency of adultery...and the number of illegitimate births...have
reached an appalling figure.” That is the obvious totality of the newspaper
quote. That statement does not indicate if they are talking locally, statewide,
nationwide, some other country or worldwide. Ankerberg and Weldon added the
words: within the Utah Mormonism. The quote marks stop at the word: figure. Most
people don’t catch the quote mark placing, and read the sentence as one complete
quote. That, “the frequency of adultery and the number of illegitimate births
have reached an appalling figure within the Utah Mormonism.” ...Interesting
The actual quote does not say anything specific at all. Yet with the italicized
newspaper name, the newspaper quote, and with the last four words added to the
quote, you have taken a broad statement and now have a completely narrowed
statement directed at one group of people. Had the newspaper article actually
targeted the Utah Mormons, the newspaper quote would have included that, and
Ankerberg and Weldon would not have added the words, “within the Utah Mormonism”
after their quote mark. The overall statement gives the feeling that honest
facts are being presented and the facts are surrounded by an honest statement.
Hitler was good at clever newspaper articles like that too. Here’s one of his
examples of honest facts being presented and surrounded by an honest statement.
“The National Church of the German Reich
declares that the greatest written
document of our people is the book of our Fuhrer, Mein Kampf. It is completely
aware that this book incorporates not only the greatest but also the purest and
truest ethics for the present life of our people.”
Manchester Guardian, May 6th. 1936. (occupied Prague)
So what did the Salt Lake Tribune article
actually say? I don’t know! I ordered the paper through the library system and
read through everything twice that was even remotely close to that topic and
couldn’t find it. My brother read through it twice and my wife read through it
as well and they couldn’t find it either. I have to believe that it’s not there
at all. However, I did learn three interesting things: In 1975 you could buy a
VW Beetle (aka: The Bug) for only $2,695 and fresh top quality beef was only .68
cents a pound. But even more interesting than that, and what made the whole
effort worth while, was an article about a guy named, “Hiroo Onoda.”
Onoda was a WWII Japanese soldier that was stationed on the Philippine Island of
Lubang in 1944. He was told by his division commander, “Whatever happens, we’ll
come back for you.” He told his commander, “I will fight till that day comes.”
The war ended for Japan on 090245, when they signed their surrender on the USS
Battleship Missouri. Twenty-nine years later, true to his word, Onoda was still
standing his post on the island of Lubang. One day in 1974, Onoda’s division
commander returned to the island, and with the aid of loud speakers, went around
the island calling for all Japanese soldiers under his command to surrender.
Onoda came forth and surrendered his weapon. What an incredible story! What
incredible honor! To think that a soldier taking orders, would remain true to
his word regardless of the hardships he suffered, and would stand his post until
his commander returned thirty years later, and ordered him to stand down.
years on Lubang, I had polished my rifle everyday...
For thirty years, I had thought I was doing something for my country.”
Lt. Hiroo Onoda
To Lt. Hiroo Onoda of the WWII Japanese Army, ...I salute!
Joseph Smith’s “Civil War Prediction”
In 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation quite often referred to as the
“Civil War prediction.” Anti-Mormon writers and lecturers attack Joseph Smith
constantly for this “prediction.” Let’s take a look at it. William J. Mitchell,
in his book, A Christian Looks at Mormonism, says that Joseph Smith predicted
the Civil War. He says, “Yet thousands of Americans in 1832 already knew the war
was coming just from their intelligent analysis of the current political
situation...” He says that what is even more serious is that Joseph Smith said
the war would draw Great Britain and other nations into the war creating great
destruction and famine. He finishes with, “Yet this never came to pass.”
Well, let’s start with the prophecy itself. It’s found in the Doctrine and
Covenants section 87.
“Verily thus saith the Lord concerning the
wars that will shortly come to pass,
beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate at
death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured
all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be
the Northern States and the Southern States will call on other nations even the
Great Britain as it is called, and they shall call upon other nations...and then
war shall be
poured out on all nations. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves
shall rise up
against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. And it
shall come to
pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves,
become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.”
This is the passage that Mitchell is referring
to. So let’s look at history and see what happened.
Joseph Smith gave this prophecy, or prediction if you prefer, in 1832. In 1861
there were eleven states that seceded from the Union. Eleven of the existing 34
states. Of the eleven that seceded in 1832 when Joseph Smith gave this prophecy
(or prediction), Texas, Arkansas and Florida were not even states yet. Georgia,
Virginia and South Carolina had been states for 44 years. North Carolina for 43
years. All four were part of the original 13 colonies. Tennessee had been a
state for 36 years, Louisiana for 20 years, Mississippi for 15 years and
Alabama, 13 years!
That’s pretty soon to already be
dissatisfied and want a war, don’t you think?
Mitchell says that, “Thousands of Americans in
1832” already knew that the war was coming just from their “intelligent analysis
of the current political situation.” Well that’s an interesting statement! I
wonder how he backs that up? In 1832, three of the states were not even states
yet, and three others had less than 20 years in the Union! How did the
intelligent, politically aware people of the day in 1832 know that almost 30
years from then, war between the states was going to begin and South Carolina
was going to secede first and throw the first blow?
According to The Southwestern Company Authoritative Reference Book on
page 2203, “At the outset of the war, the North and South each proclaimed
confidence in gaining victory in a short war-90 days perhaps.” If the rumor of
war was in the air 30 years prior to the war, why did both sides feel it was
only going to be just a, “90 days perhaps,” war? In the prophecy, or prediction,
Joseph Smith states the war will “eventually terminate at the death and misery
of many souls.” Well, according to Time Life Books, Master index:
“The economic and social devastation wrought
by four years of civil war was immense, and
the effects long lasting. America’s bloodiest conflict cost nearly 1,100,000
casualties and claimed more than 620,000 lives...estimates...wartime clashes in
excess of 10,000”
Mitchell argues that what is far more serious,
is the part of the “prediction” where Joseph Smith said that the war would draw
Great Britain and other nations into the conflict, causing great destruction and
famine and yet it never happened. Well, what Joseph Smith actually said was,
“The Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States and the
Southern States will call on other Nations even the nation of Great Britain...in
order to defend themselves and then war shall be poured out on all nations.”
Let’s take another walk through Time Life Books, The Civil War series. In doing
so, we learn that the south did go to Great Britain for help and received arms.
And that Great Britain was even considering breaking the Union blockade around
the southern seaports for the south. The south even put an embargo on cotton to
England, hoping it would force England into the war. The “Trent Affair” was
expected to do more for the Southerners than ten victories. “Benjamin Moran was
convinced that nothing but a miracle could prevent Lord Palmerston from getting
up for war...” Britain’s Navy went on alert and 11,000 British troops were
deployed to Canada.
Fighting broke out between Texas and Mexico, and Mexico and the French
Government. War on the frontier was made even more difficult for President
Lincoln by “French adventurism” south of the Texas Border. Napoleon, shocked by
the French setback at Puebla, dispatched three battalions of vaunted Foreign
Legion to Mexico. “Three confederate commissioners had been sent abroad before
the outbreak of hostilities to negotiate treaties of commerce and to secure
diplomatic recognition from Britain, France, Belgium, Spain and Russia...”
Over 200,000 Germans served in Northern armies, 50,000 Englishmen, 50,000
Canadians and over 150,000 Irishmen. In fact, the Irish made up the majority of
at least twenty federal regiments. The French residents of New York made up the
55th New York. The 15th Wisconsin was all Scandinavian. The South went to the
Europeans for loans with the largest being the Erlinger Loan for fifteen
million. So on and so on! I guess the Civil War was a little more complex than
we first thought, wouldn’t you say? The part of the prophecy concerning,
“...slaves shall rise up against their masters...” Did you ever see the movie,
“Glory”? It was based on a true story. It was about the “Fighting 54th.” The
Civil War was more complex than most people realize. In fairness, the term
“foreign born volunteers” obviously means now immigrants or new immigrants. Many
came to America just for the war and or, the spoils of war.
Joseph Smith said in the prophecy that, “The wars that will shortly come to pass
beginning with the rebellion of South Carolina, and the time will come when war
will be poured out on all nations.” Well, let’s take a look around the world and
see what happened. I started with the year 1861, because that is the year South
Carolina fired on Fort Sumter. April 12th, 1861 at 0430 hrs. Thirty-five hundred
cannon rounds were fired at Fort Sumter before Col. Anderson surrendered.
“In your hands, my
dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine,
is the momentous issue of civil war. We are not enemies, but friends.
We must not be enemies.”
President Abraham Lincoln, March 4th, 1861
“The audience was large and brilliant.
Upon my weary heart was
showered smiles, plaudits and flowers,
but beyond them, I saw trouble and thorns innumerable.”
President Jefferson Davis
to his wife, February 18th, 1861
“Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God,
and each invokes His aid
against the other...
The prayers of both could not be answered...
The Almighty has His own purposes.”
Abraham Lincoln, March 4th 1865
Fort Sumter was the match in the haystack for the Civil War. So I started from
there and began
counting the wars or major military battles between countries. I picked a
twenty-five year period from 1861 to 1886. In doing so, I counted eighty (80)
separate wars or major military conflicts. I used as my source, the Timelines of
War, by David Brownstone and Irene Franck (p340-365). I think eighty wars or
major battles in a twenty-five year period is rather significant, don’t you? But
there are two reasons why I chose this time period.
One: It shows that war really was poured out upon the land. Maybe not
every piece of land
and not all the time, but
remember the words of Joseph Smith? “And the time will come when war will be
poured out upon all nations beginning with this place.” He’s talking about a
series of wars, beginning with this war. I chose that twenty-five year period
but the wars and rumors of wars did not stop there, they continue ...still.
“The estimated dead of men, women and
children from wars in
our century alone, is well over: one hundred million and rising.”
Edward Hermann, for the History Channel. 060997-1158 hrs.
Two: To me the saddest battle of them
all, not including the Civil War which also took place
during that time, was the
twenty-five year battle with the American Indians. The twenty-five years from
1861 to 1886 were probably the darkest and bloodiest years in American Indian
history, not including the era after the arrival of Cortes in 1519.
“Our land ...is melting away like the snow.”
Chief Red Cloud, 1866
“I want a place where my people won’t die so soon.”
Chief Joseph, 1887
“It has been to the everlasting disgrace of the Indian,
that he allowed the Mayflower to land!”
Compare the words said by Joseph Smith, to
actual world events. ...Where is the discrepancy?
Interestingly, Joseph Smith was not the only person in recorded history to
receive a revelation about the future event that would be called: The
Civil War. George Washington did also. During the battle of Valley Forge in the
winter of 1777, he received a vision showing three great battles that would be
fought on our land. The first was his battle, the American Revolution. The
Second was the Civil War. The third battle as quoted by the angel, would be “The
most fearful.” George Washington saw “vast armies devastate the whole country.”
He saw “cities burning” and heard the “cries of millions in mortal combat.” The
angel said, “Let every child of the Republic learn; to live for his God, his
land and the Union.” George Washington’s vision is recorded in the Library of
“Instantly a light as of a thousand suns
shone down from above me, and pierced
and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same
moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word Union, and who bore our
national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens
attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined in inhabitants of
America, who I perceived were well nigh overcome, but who immediately taking
courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle.”
General George Washington. Valley Forge, 1777
“I have more to boast of...”
One of the statements Joseph Smith made that is constantly used against him by
anti-Mormons is this one. I’ve seen it numerous times and the anti-Mormons use
it, saying that Joseph Smith “was an arrogant braggart, unworthy to be called a
Prophet of God” Here it is:
“I have more to boast of than ever any man
had. I am the only man that has ever
been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large
of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did. I
that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him,
but the Latter Day Saints never ran away from me yet.”
That statement by Joseph Smith was made on
Sunday, May 26th 1844, (32 days before he was killed) during a church service at
1000 hrs. (The minutes by Thos Bullock.) During the church service, a mob
interrupted the meeting and Joseph Smith had to deal with it. He was reading
from II Corinthians about the Apostle Paul. The above quote was made as a
continuation from the quote below that anti-Mormons always leave out. (Funny how
they continually do that.) Before making the above statement, Joseph Smith also
“I, like Paul have been in perils, and
oftener than anyone in this generation. As Paul
boasted, I have suffered more than Paul did. I should be like a fish out of
water, if I were
out of persecution. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me
they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of a
mountain and crow
like a rooster. When facts are proved, truth and innocence will prevail at
last...In all these
affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil...Come on! Ye prosecutors! Ye
I have more to boast of than ever any man had...” Then it continues on as above.
So, was Joseph Smith bragging? That’s
possible! But it’s far more probable that he’s being flippant! At most, he was
taunting the mob. I say that because it’s rather obvious that he’s directing
that comment at the mob. There are two pieces of evidence that indicate that.
One: That speech took place during a Sunday service. The mob interrupted
the service, forcing
Joseph Smith to deal with the
mob and their interruption.
Two: Notice the statement he makes before he tells them he has more to
boast. He says;
“Come on! Ye persecutors! Ye
But remember that little trick I showed you with the sentence; “I never said he
stole the money?” What Joseph Smith actually meant by that statement depends on
the inflection in his voice. The words were recorded, but the inflection wasn’t.
Based on the totality of what we have, it more than suggests he’s just being
flippant! But don’t be too hard on him, Joseph Smith was a farm boy with only
three years of formal education. He was honest and frank and at times it caused
him a lot of grief. The more I learn about him the more I like him, and yes, I
think he was a true Prophet of God. He wasn’t perfect and he never said he was.
He was the Lord’s prophet at that time. Our prophets are the Wheel Men, the
Straw Boss, the Mouth Piece or as the Sioux Indians say, the Shirt Wearer.
Some people have a problem with the fact that
Joseph Smith could have made any mistakes at all. Why? All through the Bible
there was never a prophet who did not look like and come from the general
populous. All the prophets in the Bible lived in the neighborhood someplace,
worked for a living, caught colds, etc. They all made mistakes and were not
accepted by the majority of the people! In fact, show me one prophet in the
Bible who was any different than Joseph Smith! Joseph Smith was an ordinary man
who was called from among the people. He felt inadequate, unworthy, made
mistakes and the majority of the people did not accept him!
Still other people can’t accept the fact that God would have gone to such a
common person as Joseph Smith. However, God picking a common person for His work
is not inconsistent either. When God chose the slayer of Goliath and leader of
the Jews, He didn’t choose the mightiest man in Israel! He chose a young
shepherd boy. When God needed a prophet in Moses’ time, He didn’t go to Pharaoh
or any recognized religious leader of the day. When God chose a successor to
Moses, He chose Joshua. A commoner and a former slave. When God chose the birth
place of His Only Begotten Son, He didn’t choose a king’s bed in a king’s
mansion. He chose a manger in a stable. When God chose the earthly father of
Christ, He didn’t choose an earthly king, He chose a carpenter. When Christ
chose His apostles, He didn’t choose any of the Pharisees, He chose fishermen.
In fact, Joseph Smith fits the historical profile of God’s servants. Picking
someone like Joseph Smith to be the prophet, is more consistent with the way the
Bible showed God did things, than inconsistent. Christ didn’t select his
servants from among the wealthy, the popular or even the highly learned.
Everyone He chose shared three common denominators. They were the pure in heart,
they were willing to do what was right and they loved God.
“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down
from a high mountain; and the only
polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with
thing else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry...lying
editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured
executives...knocking off a corner here and
a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft
in the quiver of the Almighty...” (HC 5:401)
Propaganda is heavily slanted, even fabricated
information engineered specifically to injure someone else. The engineers of
anti-Mormon literature know LDS history. So why do they tell you information
that is heavily slanted, even fabricated about Joseph Smith? ...Good question!
Anti-Mormon literature has several quotations from One Mormon; a prominent
Mormon; or, a
devout Mormon. Who are those people? No one seems to know. But let me give you
some quotes from some people or newspapers that do have evidentiary value and
can be traced.
A letter from Mathew L. Davis, (Portions only. It’s a long letter.)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Feb. 6th, 1840
My Dear Mary,
“I went last evening to hear Joe Smith, the
celebrated Mormon, expound his doctrine. I, with
several others, had the desire to understand his tenants as explained by
himself...He is not an
educated man, but he is a plain, sensible, strong minded man...He said, ‘I will
state you our belief so far as time will permit.’ He then spoke rationally of
the attributes of Divinity, such as
foreknowledge, mercy, etc. etc. He then took up the Bible. I believe he said ‘In
volume.’ In it the Mormon faith is to be found. We teach nothing but what the
Bible teaches. ‘We believe nothing, but what is to be found in this book.”
“During the whole of his address...There was much in his precept, if they were
would soften the asperities of man towards man...There was no violence, no
appears to be the religion of meekers, lowliness, and mild persuasion...Towards
the close of his
address, he remarked that he had been represented as pretending to be a Savior,
a worker of
miracles, etc. All this was false. He made no such pretensions. He was but a
man, he said, a
plain untutored man, seeking what he should do to be saved...I have changed my
of the Mormons. They are an injured and much abused people.” (HC 4:78-80)
“I first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith at a
conference held in Canada...I had the privilege
of seeing and hearing him almost daily, living in the same town. I can
truthfully say I never heard
or saw anything in his conduct but what was in accordance with strict morality.
He was cleanly in his person, temperate in his habits, drank no intoxicants,
used neither tea, coffee, or tobacco, used no bad vulgar language, was honest
and upright, taught his followers correct principles, to be honest and virtuous
and keep the commandments of God. In fact I never heard anything fall from his
lips but what was pure and good. He taught the Gospel of Christ. He was not only
a teacher, but a restorer. This is my testimony, and my testimony is true.”
(Shaun Jeffs’ family history)
“My family, with myself, were also taken
sick, and I laid so for two or three weeks. I was so far
gone that I was quite senseless, and all thought I was dying. Doubtless I should
have died, but one day Joseph Smith was passing by my door, and was called in,
and, as I was afterwards informed, laid his hands upon me, and commanded me to
rise and walk in the name of the Lord. The first thing I knew was that I found
myself walking on the floor, perfectly well, and within ten minutes afterwards I
was out of the house visiting my daughter...This man, Joseph Smith, was the one
that the world says was an impostor, and a false prophet. Was it the power of
imagination over the body that cured me when I did not even hear Joseph’s voice
until I found myself well? The honest in heart will judge righteously.” (Susan
Udall family history)
So, who do we think Joseph Smith was?
An ordinary man with unordinary integrity who was
called to be the
prophet of the Lord. Just like all the ordinary men of old, who had
integrity and who were called to be prophets for the Lord.
Do we worship him? No! Like all the other prophets in history, he was a
man selected by the
Lord to be
His prophet on earth during a particular time period.
Do we look up to him? Absolutely! As we do all of the Lord’s prophets.
And we don’t
apologize for that,
and we don’t apologize for him. Joseph Smith made some mistakes.
Nobody will tell
you he was perfect. But if you will read more than just the anti-Mormon
him, you will find that he was actually an outstanding man with
and character. I challenge you to compare your own character with
his. See how
you measure up against “the great Mormon prophet”. He was honest,
fair, and kind. He
could be counted on and he sacrificed everything to follow the Lord
and in the end, it
cost him his life.
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he
revealeth his secret
unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7
The book Behind The Mask Of Mormonism
has several paragraphs similar to this one in it. “From Mormon and other
credible sources, primary documentation can be supplied for numerous examples
of...” and “For example, a formerly devout Mormon wrote in 1875 that
Missouri...” When you see literature like that, ask: who are they? When it says
“primary documentation can be supplied...” ask: where is it? You will almost
always notice that their reference is another anti-Mormon writer. The fact that
we are dealing with an anti-Mormon writer, with an intent to discredit the
Mormons, believe me,
if there was such documentation,
it would be supplied!
The fact that his evidence is not supplied, is proof that it does not exist!
After all, he came with
the intent to discredit the LDS Church,
so why would he leave his evidence at home?
“Propaganda is not a mistake. It’s an intentional act!”
Josef Goebbels, Diary entry, Feb. 22. 1933
Any time an anti-Mormon writer quotes another anti-Mormon writer, you can count
on it being their best shot. If they actually had credible sources from real
history and real historians, those references would be stapled to the front,
back, and all throughout the book. Think about it! They won’t quote a lesser
reference if they have a greater reference. And, if they had evidence, they
would present it. So remember folks, the Missourians were telling people, “the
Mormons had horns,” too!
William J. Mitchell in his book, A Christian Looks At Mormonism, makes this
comment on page 47. He says that non-Mormons are not allowed to see the inside
of the temples. He argues that in itself, added to the “performance of secret,
mystical rites” gives the LDS religion an air of mystery which attracts
membership because it appeals to “certain types of people” and gives them a
“feeling of superiority” over their neighbor. ...Interesting remark. Actually
the Church doesn’t allow a lot of Mormons in there either. The temples are not
secret, they are sacred. Entrance requires above average conduct in your
personal, professional, family and religious life. Can you lie about your
conduct and get in? Sure! But who’s getting fooled?
However, you might find it interesting to know that before any of the LDS
temples are dedicated, approximately a week of tours is given to the general
public and non members are encouraged to come. I encourage you to go to any of
the LDS Temple Visitor Centers located on most temple grounds. They are open to
the public. They will tell you all about the temples, show you pictures of the
inside and probably answer more questions than you can think of. It costs you
nothing, they will treat you with the utmost kindness and you will leave with a
very warm feeling in your heart. But one of the big questions I have had all my
life is, “Why does the rest of the Christian world have a hard time accepting
the idea of temples?” They are mentioned all throughout the Bible! Christ talked
about them, worshiped in them and taught from them. The temples ceased to exist
when the Bible ended. The Bible ended when Christ, His Apostles, and the Church
were finally destroyed. Perhaps the reason the rest of the Christian world has
such a hard time accepting the idea of temples is because the church that grew
up out of the dust of Christ’s Church didn’t have temples and didn’t believe in
temple ordinances. ...Maybe that should be a clue!
Late one night a few years back, there was a burglary call at the Arizona
Temple. The call was
assigned to me. When I arrived, I met the security guard and found an
unconscious suspect lying on the floor inside the west foyer. He was unconscious
because he tried a trick he had seen on television. He dove through (or tried to
dive through) a window. The window was security glass and even though it
shattered and bulged outward, it did not fail. He was lucky the impact didn’t
break his neck. My back-up arrived and took custody of him. I now needed a new
back-up. Because the temples are very sacred to us, entrance requires a “Temple
Recommend.” I knew that the Church makes exceptions for emergency personnel, but
because it was my call, I called specifically for Craig. He was a neighboring
beat officer. Not only is he one of the finest men I have ever met in my life
but he was also the only other recommend holder that I knew of, that was on duty
Because the security guard saw a second suspect run into the presidents office,
we started our search there. His office turned out to be the point of entry as
well as the point of exit. In searching the office, beneath the broken window we
found a mans, brown tri-fold wallet. Inside we found a photo, DES (Department of
Economic Security) ID card. We knew that nearby, the DES had a food line every
night at 1800. We asked the security guard if he could recognize the other
suspect if he saw him again. He said he could. The next night, we sent him to
dinner with a police radio in his pocket. His job was just to notify us if the
suspect showed up for dinner. Craig and I were hiding out of view. By 1830, the
second suspect was in custody. Every time I think of that incident,
I can’t help but wonder if there was an angel standing
next to that broken window
that picked the pocket of that burglar as he jumped out.
I don’t suppose I’ll ever know, ...but I chuckle every time I think of it.
If you are interested in what goes on inside an LDS Temple, ask an LDS member if
you can get a copy of, Come Unto Christ, Through Temple Ordinances and
Covenants. It’s about a thirty page book that helps members understand the
Temple and our ordinances. If you don’t have an LDS friend, look up an LDS
Bishop and ask for one. He will give you one and answer any questions you may
have. It’s a nifty little manual, complete with color pictures.
“Temples are places of personal revelation.
When I have been weighed down by a
problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the House of the Lord with a prayer in
for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways.”
Ezra Taft Benson
“And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this
grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized
to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing.”
Joseph Smith, D&C 109:14-15
Anti-Mormons talk about the “atrocities” committed by Mormons in Missouri that
they could supply evidence for, yet conveniently don’t. An atrocity is an
outrageous, ghastly act, that’s coupled with enormity. So trust me, if there was
evidence of such, they would have it in big, bright, bold letters, backed up
with evidence for you to look at. Remember, these are people who actively
campaign against the Church. So why would they spare the evidence?
Unless, ...it doesn’t exist. In reality, they just want to discredit the Church
and hope you won’t ask for the evidence.
In my search to look up their claims of “atrocities”, I did find one factual
account of an atrocity
committed by a group of Mormon men in southern Utah. It was called the “Mountain
Massacre” where 123 migrating Missourians were killed by a group of men, all of
Mormons, except for the participating Indians. That’s the only real historical
account of an atrocity I’ve read about. In fact, the History Channel had two
different programs on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
Mountain Meadows Massacre...
In September of 1857, the Fancher wagon train (migrating Missourians) passed
through Cedar City, Utah, en route to southern California. Word had reached the
local LDS communities that the US Army was marching their way and that the Army
was going to march against them. Not because of anything the Mormons had done,
but because of the rumors that had been started by the anti-Mormons. When the
wagon train came into town, a lot of anti-Mormon statements and insults were
made by the members of the train. The insults caused the Mormons to refuse to
sell supplies to the wagon train. Some of the wagon train members then told the
Mormons that they hoped the invading army killed or imprisoned them, etc. They
threatened to raise an army when they got to California and come back and
“settle the score.” They said, “We’re going to do to you here, what we did to
you in Missouri.” Some bragged that they had been part of the mob that had
killed Joseph Smith. To further taunt the Mormons, some would say as they were
whipping their team of oxen, “Go Joseph, Go Hyrum” as well as several
other antagonistic remarks and behavior.
The departing wagon train stopped in Mountain Meadows, thirty-five miles
southwest of Cedar City. A meeting was held in Cedar City, and proposals were
made to attack and completely wipe out the immigrants before they could get to
the coast and carry out their threats. Calmer heads prevailed and a rider was
sent to Salt Lake to seek Brigham Young’s advice and counsel.
Meanwhile, a band of Indians had attacked some of their herds, gunfire was
Missourians left the camp for California for help and were killed by a
combination of Mormons and Indians. The decision was made to not wait for
Brigham Young’s advice. “It would be too dangerous to let word spread...that
Mormons were helping Indians attack the immigrant trains.” Under a flag of
truce, John D. Lee approached the encampment and promised them safe passage back
to Cedar City if they lay down their arms. The Missourians agreed to do so and
then the Mormon militia turned their guns on the wagon train, killing the men.
The Indians killed the women and older children with 17 small children spared.
Total killed: 123. The small children were ultimately, with government help,
returned to their relatives in the mid-west. (Utah History, p.171) The History
Channel, “Mountain Meadows Massacre” reported 120 killed, 18 children spared.
The incident started on September 7th. It ended on September 11th. The rider to
Salt Lake returned with Brigham Young’s return message on September 12th. ...One
day too late.
“In regards to immigrant wagon trains
passing through our settlements, you must
not meddle with them. If those who are there will leave, just let them go in
There isn’t any good way of looking at that
incident. It was wrong and those involved will be held accountable and pay
dearly for it. But there are a lot of mitigating circumstances that will be
presented at their sentencing hearing on judgement day. Many of those involved
in the Mountain
Meadows massacre had been driven from their homes as many as five times. Many
had relatives and friends that were killed in the Haun’s Mill Massacre. This
group of southern Utah Mormons also helped build the City of Nauvoo, which was
built out of river side swamp land. Many had seen their prophet killed. When
they were forced from Nauvoo during the winter, to escape further persecution,
they made their way west across the plains. During their exodus, many lost
friends and family members to the bitter winter of the plains. Over 1500 miles
later they settled in southern Utah, which at the time was not even in the
United States. There they forged a life out of the desert. After all that, lo
and behold, here comes a wagon train full of Missourians yelling things such as,
“We’re going to do to you here what we
did to you in Missouri.”
All that doesn’t justify what they did, but
like Crazy Horse’s attack on Custer at the Little Big Horn, it came after many
treaties and promises had been broken. Many Indian villages had been wiped out
by US Soldiers. The Indians had been driven out of their lands time and time
again and whatever land the white man wanted that the Indian had, the white man
took. What land the Indian could keep, was what the white man didn’t want. Like
the Indians, a lot of hatred was directed at the Mormons simply because of who
“Now don’t get greedy, Custer, as there are Indians enough for all of us.”
Colonel John Gibbon to
General George Armstrong Custer. June 25th, 1876
“They say we massacred them, but they came to do that to us!”
Chief Crazy Horse
Think about this... The Massacre at the Little Big Horn came after many promises
of peace had been broken by the US Government. It came after sixteen years of
severe persecution beginning in 1860, when it seemed to be open season on
Indians. It came after they had been forced off their lands, where hundreds,
possibly thousands, died as they walked to their new lands in the mid-west and
it came six years after one of the most ghastly massacres in American history,
the Sand Creek massacre. Most importantly, it came after further threats of
“Sand Creek was nothing more or less than a
murder by Federal troops of
Indians who thought they were under the protection of the Army.”
Ulysses S. Grant to Colorado Governor, John Evans.
Likewise, the Mountain Meadows massacre by
this group of Mormons came after many promises of peace had been broken by the
Missourians and the government itself. The Mountain Meadows Massacre took place
nineteen years after the Haun’s Mill Massacre and thirteen years after the
murder of their prophet Joseph Smith. It came after they had been run out of
town after town and many Mormons had been beaten or killed. It also came after
the Mormons had been forced from their lands and homes, where hundreds, even
thousands, died as they walked to their new home in the west. And most
importantly, it came after further threats of violence. Do I think they were
right in what they did? ...No! Am I willing to throw rocks at them? ...No! Why?
Because I didn’t live through what they did and neither did you. So I’ll leave
their judgement to someone a whole lot wiser than I.
Ankerberg and Weldon say, “John Whitmer, one of the eight witnesses to the Book
of Mormon,” said that Joseph Smith and others formed a “secret society, The
Brotherhood of Gideon” where they took “Masonic-like oaths” so they could
protect fellow Mormons, “right or wrong, even to the shedding of blood.” They
further state that because of these oaths, coupled with “adultery, wickedness,
and abominations” that Whitmer said these were the reasons why Joseph and Hyrum
Smith were “brought to an untimely end” and caused the scattering of the Church.
“As history records, Joseph Smith and his brother were killed by angry residents
while in jail in 1844.” (P43)
There is fact, fiction and misrepresentation in their statements. The source
cited for their information is another anti-Mormon book by, Jerald and Sandra
Tanner in their book, Mormon Kingdom. John Whitmer’s history itself, is not
cited. There’s our first red flag. John Whitmer was one of the eight witnesses
to the Book of Mormon plates. He was a trusted missionary and was the Church
historian during early 1838. He and W. W. Phelps, for whatever reason, had taken
personal title to the gathering site of Far West. Declining to be called to
accountability for it, he was excommunicated on March 10th, 1838. He lost a lot
of friends over this and became bitter. But even so, he never denied his
testimony that he saw the golden plates.
The sentence, “The formation of these things together with adultery, wickedness
and abominations which grew and multiplied in the heads and members of the
Church...” is cited from the book, Mormon Kingdom. It is not from Whitmer’s
history. So where is the proof that Whitmer said it? Who knows! At the public
library, I looked for real evidence by real historians to support their claim.
It may exist somewhere but I could not find it. However, one thing I do know is
that if Ankerberg and Weldon didn’t quote Whitmer himself, it could only be for
one of three reasons. They couldn’t find it either, or it doesn’t exist, or the
actual statement doesn’t match the inference they wanted to make. So which is
it? If it matched their inference, they would have cited it in big bold letters.
So what they did was quote another anti-Mormon person. Therefore they can remain
truthful! How clever! They offer as their proof a: They said, he said statement.
However, they were right about one of their facts; Joseph Smith was killed in
1844. In looking for this supposed statement by John Whitmer, I came across
these two statements I think you will find most interesting.
“Therefore I desire to testify to all that
will come to the knowledge of this address,
that I have most assuredly seen the plates from whence the Book of Mormon is
and that I have handled these plates, and know of a surety that Joseph Smith,
translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God.”
John Whitmer, 1836. His last editorial in the:
Messenger and Advocate
“Old Father John Whitmer told me last
winter, with tears in his eyes, that he knew as well
as he knew he had an existence that Joseph translated the ancient writing which
the plates, which he ‘saw and handled’ and which as one of the scribes, he
helped to copy,
as the words fell from Joseph’s lips, by supernatural or almighty power.”
Letter of William Lewis. November 29th, 1877
Joseph and Hyrum... Carthage
To address Ankerberg and Weldon’s last statement: “As history records, Joseph
Smith and his
brother were killed by angry residents while in jail in 1844.” I have to say I
like the term “angry
residents” don’t you? It’s so much nicer than the term “mob!” In the days of the
wild wild west, when a lynch mob took a prisoner away from the Sheriff and
lynched him, they were a lynch mob! To term them “angry residents” is an attempt
to displace blame from the mob to the victim of the lynching! It’s a
tactic used to hide guilt.
In police work we call it blame
Nowhere in history has a lynch mob been
reduced to angry residents! That whole statement is
designed to infer to the reader that because of the violence committed by the
Mormons, Hyrum and Joseph Smith got what they had coming. That it was a natural
reaction to the Mormon’s violence, being directed toward the rest of the
community. Well if that is so, where are the real historians saying that? How
come history doesn’t support that inference? How come there aren’t any cited
examples? The reason there aren’t any cited examples by real historians, is
because that information doesn’t exist. It’s an inference used specifically to
justify the deeds of the mob.
Hitler did the same thing several times. One of his many examples was the yellow
Star of David that he made the Jews wear. Hitler hated the Jews and he wanted to
separate them from the rest of the people, but he didn’t want to offend or alert
his countrymen. So after gaining control of the media, he told the German people
the propaganda story that the Jews in America under Roosevelt’s Administration
were forcing Germans in America to wear the Swastika over their left breast.
Therefore in reprisal, the Nazi Government “reluctantly” ordered the German Jews
to wear the Star of David to force the American Jews to stop this persecution of
the American Germans. Even though his claims didn’t make sense, the unsuspecting
freely accepted what he told them. (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
William Shirer p.91)
Now wasn’t that clever of Hitler? He got the German people to accept his claims
by giving them a reasonable explanation of why it must be so. The same thing is
done with a lot of the anti-Mormon propaganda. A “reasonable explanation” is
given and quite often the unsuspecting freely accept it. The truth is always
good enough for the honest, but it is never good enough for the propagandist. So
who is the victim in a barrage of propaganda? You are! Propaganda is designed to
mislead the unsuspecting listener. Who would try to mislead you?
Think about this... Who would use those kind of tactics?
Who inspires a person to lie and misrepresent the truth?
Christ? ...Or Satan?
Joseph Smith and Christianity...
Here’s something you may find interesting, again citing Ankerberg and
Weldon’s book. This one is on page 35. It’s concerning Joseph Smith when he was
fourteen years old, and his first vision. In Joseph Smith’s prayer to God he
asks which church to join. Joseph Smith’s exact words were: "My object in going
to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all sects was right, that I might
know which to join. I was answered that I must join none of them...[For] they
draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach
for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny
the power thereof."
In talking about Joseph Smith’s vision, Ankerberg and Weldon say this: "He
was convinced that God had appeared to him to inform him that Christianity was a
false religion." That’s an interesting interpretation by them because Joseph
Smith said nothing like that, nor did he infer anything like that. The meaning
of Joseph Smith’s vision was completely changed by Ankerberg and Weldon by
simply changing the meaning of what Joseph Smith said. Joseph Smith’s words were
"which sect." Ankerberg and Weldon’s word change to you was "Christianity." His
request was: which sect to join. Their inference to you was: he was
convinced...Christianity was a false religion. Clever inference change, don’t
you think?. When reading anti-Mormon literature, you will notice that
anti-Mormon writers reference each other quite often. Ankerberg and Weldon are
Surprised at how many times they were quoting other anti-Mormon writers on
significant issues as their sources of credible information, I decided to count
their references in their first two sections. (Totaling seven chapters). Section
One was, "Mormon Power and Origins." Section Two was, "Mormon Belief and
Practice." Many of the reference sources were Ankerberg and Weldon quoting other
anti-Mormon writers, who were quoting LDS sources! Why would they do that? In
other words, their arguments are "...John said that Bill said that Jack said..."
If you are going to quote what someone said, you should quote them directly and
not what someone said they said, don’t you think? That’s called hearsay and is
inadmissible in court. Not only is it inadmissible in court, but it should be a
red-flag to you any time you see it. Why? Because why would a writer do that
unless, ...unless the actual quote didn’t match the inference he wanted it to
make, or, he couldn’t find it, or, the quote didn’t exist in the first place! So
buyer beware! ...At any rate, here is what I came up with.
One: Two sections, seven chapters, 55 pages.
Two: 143 total references.
Three: 41 of the references were from anti-Mormon writers.
Four: 14 of the 41 references, were Ankerberg and
Weldon referencing themselves from
books they have written.
Five: Several pointless references were used, but
the actual amount depends on one’s own
perception of the need to reference the issue talked about. Let me give you an
example of what I mean. When I was in the Phoenix Police Academy I had to write
500 word essay on: "The proper use of a motor vehicle horn." So how do you come
up with 500 words on a subject like that? You talk about and reference
When you are done, the overall appearance of the document you wrote is rather
impressive. But what was the subject matter again? "The proper use of the motor
vehicle horn!" Now stop and take a second look at those totals for a minute.
one third of their references are anti-Mormon writers. (Why aren’t they using
historians?) And secondly, one third of those references are where they
Brigham Young’s "Blood Atonement!"
Another person that the anti-Mormon people pound on is Brigham Young. Most of
their attacks on him are from the LDS, Journal of Discourses. The anti-Mormons
like to think the Journal of Discourses are the thorn in the side of the LDS
Church. Well, a lot more is made about the Journal of Discourses by anti-Mormons
than is really the case. They are a twenty-six volume set of books and they are
exactly what they say they are. A journal of discourses. They span from about
1853 to 1886. Approximately 33 years worth of everything from conference talks,
to meeting house talks, to firesides. They were hand written by members who were
usually the Church clerk. Some reference who wrote them and some don’t. They are
very rarely referred to.
What’s the official Church stance on the Journal of Discourses? Well, I can’t
speak for the Church but this is the general feeling about them: They are part
of Church history but be careful what you quote. Most of it is what we believe,
but some is a little off. That’s probably as close and accurate a feeling as
anyone can give you on them. Brigham Young is pounded unmercifully for some of
the things he is quoted as saying from the Journal of Discourses. Let me give
you a few examples.
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