My (changing) version of the narrative(s) Warning: Do not believe ANYTHING I say at face value!!! Study it our for yourselves.
“ The Church welcomes inquisitiveness ....[but] not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole.” Church.”
From “Approaching Mormon Doctrine” LDS Church
4 May 2007
“ A man’s called a traitor, or liberator. A rich man’s a thief, or philanthropist. Is one a crusader, or ruthless invader? It’s all in what labels are able to persist. There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.” So we act as though they don’t exist.”
From “Wicked” The Musical
“ No black hats, no white hats.” Gregory Prince Gregory Prince
“ Joseph and Emma Smith's marriage of 17 years was blessed with 11 children (2 adopted), 6 of whom died in infancy.” http://JosephSmith.net http://JosephSmith.net http://JosephSmith.net
In his journal for 1842, Joseph reflected: "Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through. The fatigues, and the toils, the sorrows, and sufferings, and the joys and consolations from time to time [which] had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh! What a co-mingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here . . . undaunted, firm and unwavering, unchangeable, affectionate Emma."
"To my certain knowledge, Emma Smith is one of the damnedest liars I know of on this earth. Not six months before the death of Joseph, he called [her] into a secret council.... He told her of the time she undertook to poison him, and he told her that she was a child of hell, and literally the most wicked woman on this earth, that there was not one more wicked than she.” Brigham Young -- Utah Historical Quarterly, vol. 48, Winter 1980, 82 From http://fairlds.org
Joseph received revelation in 1831, but apparently others were not informed (Emma & 1st presidency members, etc.)
Emma found out about it by finding Joseph with other women
The 1835 version of the D&C openly renounces polygamy, and denies its practice by the church
In 1838 Oliver Cowdery was excommunicated for accusing Joseph of “adultery” -- not knowing about the revelation
Joseph Smith, himself, publicly denied the practice of polygamy until his death.
The church did not publicly acknowledge it into the 1850s.
Even after we promised to stop (1890), we kept doing it
“ I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal.” President Gordon B. Hinckley on Larry King Live President Gordon B. Hinckley on Larry King Live Aired September 8, 1998 - 9:00 p.m. ET
In B. H. Roberts' The Truth, The Way, The Life , [t]he hottest issue ... was organic evolution. [H]is assertion that countless plants and animals lived long before the biblical chronology was controversial. “ Richard Sherlock and Jeffrey E. Keller “The B. H. Roberts/Joseph Fielding Smith/James E. Talmage Affair”
Apostles James E. Talmadge and John A. Widstoe seemed to share B.H. Roberts’ Views on Evolution
How did the LDS church become so “anti-Evolution”?
"The doctrine of organic evolution which pervades the modern day sciences .... is as false as their author who lives in hell." Joseph Fielding Smith Author of “Man: His Origin and Destiny”
“ How weak and puerile the intellectuality which ... finds comfort in the theoretical postulates that mortal life began in the scum of the sea, as it were, and has through eons of time evolved to its present varieties and state! Do those with spiritual insight really think that the infinite Creator of worlds without number would operate in this way? Bruce R. McConkie Mormon Doctrine
The answer: Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie outlived Roberts, Talmadge and Widstoe Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie outlived Roberts, Talmadge and Widstoe Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie outlived Roberts, Talmadge and Widstoe
DAVID O. McKAY, PRESIDENT February 15, 1957 Professor William Lee Stokes 2970 South 15th East Salt Lake City, Utah Dear Brother Stokes: On the subject of organic evolution the Church has officially taken no position. The book "Man, His Origin and Destiny" [by Joseph Fielding Smith] was not published by the Church, and is not approved by the Church. The book contains expressions of the author's views for which he alone is responsible. Sincerely your brother, [signed] David O. McKay Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary.. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12:? (Winter 1979): 90–92 , with commentary..
George Q. Cannon, then president of the LDS California Mission, responded to initial news reports of involvement by Mormons by charging ... journalists with writing "reckless and malignant slanders", despite knowing that the southern Utah Mormons were "as innocent ... as the child unborn".
The Deseret News, was initially slow to comment on the massacre. Several months later, the paper disclaimed Mormon involvement, then remained largely silent until 1869, when it again denied involvement by Mormons.
In 1872, Young excommunicated Lee and Haight for their role in the massacre -- 15 years after the event. From http://fairlds.org
In 1877, 20 years after the massacre, John D. Lee was the sole person punished (executed) for the massacre.
President Young was then interviewed by a reporter, and [said] that he considered Lee's fate just. He denied personal involvement, and denied that the doctrine of blood atonement played a role in the massacre, but stated that he believed in the doctrine, "and I believe that Lee has not half atoned for his great crime."
In the late 1950s, LDS President David O. McKay created a committee, chaired by Delbert L. Stapley to investigate the Mountain Meadows massacre. This committee recommended that McKay restore John D. Lee's church membership, and McKay allowed one of Lee's grandsons to be baptized by proxy for him, and the church restored Lee's priesthood and full fellowship in the church. http://fairlds.org
“ Mountain Meadows Massacre” by Juanita Brooks by Juanita Brooks
Juanita Brooks on the Mountain Meadow’s Massacre
Mormons, and local Mormon church leadership were involved
It was unfair to blame MMM on the indians
After the MMM, there was a major coverup for 20 years by the church at all levels to avoid punishment and persecution
John D. Lee was unfairly scapegoated
Wanted to publicize the secret, posthumous re-baptism of Lee
...ostracized by local church membership and leadership
...threatened with excommunication by Elder Delbert Stapley
David O. McKay ultimately denied the excommunication request, saying “Leave her alone”
2007 Ensign Article “The Mountain Meadows Massacre” by Richard E. Turley Jr. by Richard E. Turley Jr. by Richard E. Turley Jr.
Mormons, and local Mormon church leadership were involved
It was unfair to blame MMM on the indians
Only John D. Lee was punished for the crime
2007 Announcement by the LDS Church on the 150th Anniversary of MMM
"We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time."
"A separate expression of regret is owed the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre," he said. "Although the extent of their involvement is disputed, it is believed they would not have participated without the direction and stimulus provided by local church leaders and members." Elder Henry B. Eyring LDS Church Apostle September 11, 1857
“ [Juanita Brooks] probably helped the church come to grips with something that all of us wish had never happened.” Jeffrey R. Holland LDS Apostle Transcript from PBS “The Mormons” March 4, 2006
“ In all of this, Juanita became something larger and greater than simply a respectable historian. For the numerous Mormons who, early or late, have accepted her interpretation of the massacre, she has served as a tragedian and a shriver. She has confronted us with grisly, disillusioning facts, roused us to grief and vicarious contrition, then led us to understanding and forgiveness of our errant ancestors. Equally important, this courageous little housewife inspired and encouraged non-conformists and protesters of all varieties among the Mormons. Unquestionably, Juanita Brooks will remain famous as one of the foremost champions of free inquiry and open debate in the history of Mormonism.” Levi Peterson Sunstone Magazine Issue 73 Issue 73 Issue 73 Issue 73 Issue 73
Most inspiring of all.... “She always kept the ironing board up and had a basket of dampened clothes near her desk and when someone came by she’d start ironing so they’d never know that she was really writing. In addition, Brooks would travel on overnight buses to do research in Salt Lake or at the Huntington Library. Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman Claudia Bushman
Founded the University of Utah LDS Institute of religion with T. Edgar Lyon and taught there for 27 years
Published over 100 manuals and articles for the church
Founded the Teton Valley Boys Ranch for troubled teens
Inspired countless LDS thinkers, including many of the founders of Dialogue and Sunstone
“ The biggest problem in the world today...is the need of men of all races ... to feel their own worth and dignity as human beings. [I]t is my belief that white men are not superior to men of other races. If we had faith in Christ, we would be anxiously and voluntarily engaged in seeing that [all races] had equal opportunity for education, culture, employment, and housing as we who are Caucasian.” Lowell L. Bennion 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor 1965 Instructor
“ Withholding the priesthood from the Negro is not a doctrine of the church; it is a church practice, which needs to be justified by church doctrine.” Lowell L. Bennion: Teacher, Counselor, Humanitarian p. 253 Mary Lythgoe Bradford Mary Lythgoe Bradford Mary Lythgoe Bradford Mary Lythgoe Bradford
"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.... There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan.....The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits." Joseph Fielding Smith writes in Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pages 66-67
"Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest kind of education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation?" Apostle Mark E. Peterson remarks during a 1954 address given at BYU entitled, "Race Problems - as They Affect The Church" Apostle Mark E. Peterson remarks during a 1954 address given at BYU entitled, "Race Problems - as They Affect The Church" Apostle Mark E. Peterson remarks during a 1954 address given at BYU entitled, "Race Problems - as They Affect The Church"
“ McMurrin then described that part of his March 1954 conversation with [President David O.] McKay in which [President McKay stated] his own belief that the priesthood ban was policy, not doctrine, and therefore susceptible to change.” David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism p. 97 Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince Gregory A. Prince
Eugene England and Lowell Bennion were not permitted to publish with Deseret Book or Bookcraft by direct intervention of 2 members of the Quorum of the 12.
Carol Lynn Pearson was blacklisted from church publications until she was able “through prayers and tears” to get one of the Twelve to reverse the decision.
Claudia Bushman and Scott Kenney could not be published or mentioned because of their connection with Exponent II and Sunstone
Several Mormon intellectuals were publishing under pseudonyms. Adventures of a Church Historian p. 154 Leonard J. Arrington
After 10 years, the LDS Church History department was dissolved in 1982, and Leonard Arrington was quietly released (not in General Conference) (not in General Conference) (not in General Conference)
Other important events within this chronology.....
The balance that must be walked (by church leaders)
"It is the duty of the General Authorities of the Church to safeguard and protect the membership of the Church from the introduction of controversial subjects and false doctrines which tend to create factions and otherwise disturb the faith of the Latter-Day Saints." Council of the Twelve to Heber J. Grant, 15 May 1930, Clawson Papers Council of the Twelve to Heber J. Grant, 15 May 1930, Clawson Papers Council of the Twelve to Heber J. Grant, 15 May 1930, Clawson Papers
"The gospel embraces all truth. Brigham Young especially emphasized the propriety of seeking all truth. The assumption that because a man understands something about the operation of the Universe, he will necessarily be less faithful is a gratuitous assumption contradicted by numberless examples. God, who understands all about the Universe, is apparently, not troubled by this knowledge. Some people drift when they study, but some people drift when they don't study. If the Church espouses the cause of ignorance, it will alienate more people than if it advises man to seek after truth, even at some risk." Henry Eyring Father of Henry B. Eryring
“ Our prophets have been given clearly to see the road we should follow and can point the path to the Celestial Kingdom, but being human they too must walk and wait and study in order to partly understand many of God's wonderful works. I can understand "Man--His Origin and Destiny" as the work of a great man who is fallible. It contains many serious scientific errors and much ill humor, which mar the many beautiful things in it. Since the Gospel is only that which is true, this book cannot be more than the private opinion of one of our great men to be admired for the many fine things in it. I find it much less satisfactory in scientific matters than the excellent writings of Brother Talmage and Brother Widtsoe with which it is frequently in disagreement. ” Henry Eyring (Father of Elder Henry B. Eyring) Henry Eyring (Father of Elder Henry B. Eyring) Henry Eyring (Father of Elder Henry B. Eyring)