A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

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_Dr. Shades
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _Dr. Shades »

grindael wrote:He was told that he must "study it out in his mind", but one has to wonder how that would work when one is "translating" a language one had never seen before? There is also no evidence that Cowdery had the plates with him when he tried to "translate". When Joseph put his head into his hat and looked in his stone, what was he "studying out in his mind"?

I'm convinced that, in the scripture's context, God meant that Oliver must "study out in his mind" whether or not he should attempt to translate, NOT study out in his mind the translation itself.
"Finally, for your rather strange idea that miracles are somehow linked to the amount of gay sexual gratification that is taking place would require that primitive Christianity was launched by gay sex, would it not?"

--Louis Midgley
_Jesse Pinkman
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _Jesse Pinkman »

grindael wrote:
The Erotic Apologist wrote:Add me to the list of grateful readers. Excellent stuff.

Too kind. Thanks a lot, EA. Hopefully, I can keep you all reading as I craft more chapters. This isn't going to be any kind of formal thing, it's just my thoughts on how I put the historical evidence together focusing on things that I find interesting along the way. When I first read Harding's letter in the Prophet of Palmyra, I was just wowed by it, and when it really checked out (he had the dang title page), I was pretty impressed with it. I'm sure he took some artistic license, but I think he captures them pretty well. That dynamic played (I think) an important role in what transpired after.

I also want to add my appreciation of your extensive research here. Would you think about self publishing this in PDF format for those who would like to read this in a cohesive manner minus the comments?

Also, Shades, could you pin this thread? I think it definitely meets the pinnable criteria. :smile:
So you're chasing around a fly and in your world, I'm the idiot?

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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _grindael »

Dr. Shades wrote:
grindael wrote:He was told that he must "study it out in his mind", but one has to wonder how that would work when one is "translating" a language one had never seen before? There is also no evidence that Cowdery had the plates with him when he tried to "translate". When Joseph put his head into his hat and looked in his stone, what was he "studying out in his mind"?

I'm convinced that, in the scripture's context, God meant that Oliver must "study out in his mind" whether or not he should attempt to translate, NOT study out in his mind the translation itself.

But what was Oliver to study out in his mind?
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _grindael »

25 And, behold, I grant unto you a gift, if you desire of me, to translate, even as my servant Joseph.

26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people;

27 And now I command you, that if you have good desires—a desire to lay up treasures for yourself in heaven—then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my scriptures which have been hidden because of iniquity.

28 And now, behold, I GIVE UNTO YOU, and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry; and in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (D&C 6)


1 Behold, I say unto you, my son, that because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., even so I would that ye should continue until you have finished this record, which I have entrusted unto him.

2 And then, behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate.

3 Be patient, my son, for it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you should translate at this present time.

4 Behold, the work which you are called to do is to write for my servant Joseph.

5 And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you.

6 Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner.

7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, [Because that's what he was told!!!!] when you took no thought save it was to ask me.

8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.

10 Now, if you had known this you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now. (D&C 9)

What then, is a "GIFT"? You are "translating" an ancient text but you do not know how to read it. How are you supposed to "study it out in your mind" and then ask if it is right, when you have NO IDEA what it says? This is all simply ridiculous.

Yet, all the accounts of people that observed Joseph said that all he did was look in the stone and God GAVE him the "translation" word for word on the stone, because HE COULD NOT READ THE LANGUAGE. So, what did Joseph "study out in his mind"? What would he do, GUESS, and then ask if it was right? :rolleyes:

Then the kicker: "you cannot write that which is sacred save it be GIVEN you from me." Huh? And how was Cowdery supposed to "know this"? Know what? That God told him he gave him the GIFT to "translate", the "keys" to "translate", then when he tried, he took it away for apparently no reason, and then blamed Cowdery's inability to "translate" an ancient language he did not know on Cowdery not "studying it out in his mind"? And that if Cowdery had only magically known this, all would have been ok?

This is pure gobbledygook.
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_Dr. Shades
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _Dr. Shades »

grindael wrote:But what was Oliver to study out in his mind?

Whether or not he should take over some of the translating duties, as opposed to just letting Smith do it all (as eventually happened anyway).
"Finally, for your rather strange idea that miracles are somehow linked to the amount of gay sexual gratification that is taking place would require that primitive Christianity was launched by gay sex, would it not?"

--Louis Midgley
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _grindael »

Dr. Shades wrote:
grindael wrote:But what was Oliver to study out in his mind?

Whether or not he should take over some of the translating duties, as opposed to just letting Smith do it all (as eventually happened anyway).

Shades, this was about why Cowdery couldn't "translate". I'm really not getting your point. If you read the two "revelations", God supposedly gives Cowdery the "gift" to translate, (a gift is free) then just arbitrarily takes it away. His reason, "because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me", which was the gold plates. It is THEN, that the "revelation" mentions "other records" to appease Cowdery. The revelation even says "that I will GIVE UNTO YOU POWER to translate. This means the power is GIVEN. Again, what exactly is Cowdery to "study out in his mind" to enable him to successfully "translate" as Joseph did?

Of course Cowdery couldn't "translate" a phony record.
Riding on a speeding train; trapped inside a revolving door;
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _grindael »

Part I: Out of the Frying Pan [Continued]


Interlude: The United Firm

Robert Owen, a wealthy Scottish reformer and industrialist, may have also indirectly shaped Joseph Smith's utopian ideas through one of his most influential American followers. Arriving in the United States in the mid-1820s, Owen promised a "new Eden in the far west" and began establishing communities based on common ownership and equality of work and profit. After purchasing New Harmony from the Harmonists in 1825, he established several other communitarian societies in Ohio, at Kendal and Yellow Springs. Sidney Rigdon, a prominent Protestant minister in the Western Reserve area of Ohio and a follower of Alexander Campbell's Disciples of Christ, attended a debate between Owen and Campbell in 1829. Taken with Owen's system of "family commonwealths," he tried to implement such a communal order within the Disciples of Christ (Ericksen 1922, 17). Campbell's objections caused Rigdon to leave the Disciples and, with other dissenters, to set up "common-stock" societies at Mentor and Kirtland, Ohio. By the fall of 1830 Rigdon and more than one hundred members of "the family," as they were known, had converted to Mormonism, which, by then, numbered nearly one thousand. (Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p.2).

When Joseph Smith arrived in Kirtland in February, 1831 he convinced those who were participating in "the family" experiment, to abandon it for a "more perfect law of the Lord."

On 9 February 1831 Smith announced God's "Law of Consecration and Stewardship." Members were advised that "all things belong to the Lord" and were directed to deed all personal property to the bishop of the church. The bishop then returned a "stewardship" to each head of a household, who was expected to turn over any accrued surplus to the church. Known as the "Order of Enoch," "the Lord's Law," and the "United Order," the Mormon principle of stewardship was intended as a pattern of social and economic reorganization for all mankind. The dream was to unify "a people fragmented by their individualistic search for economic well-being." The Saints, as a group, divested of personal selfishness and greed, were to be prepared by this communal discipline to [p.3] usher in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. (Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p.3).

Though polygamy is strongly denounced in several Book of Mormon passages (Jac. 1:15; 2:23-27; 3:5; Mos. 11:2-4, 14; Eth. 10:5), a reading of the Old Testament provides ample evidence that it was acceptable in ancient Israel. Abraham was not the only husband of multiple wives. Jacob had two wives and two concubines (Gen. 29-30); Elkanah had two wives (1 Sam. 1:2); Rehoboam had eighteen wives and sixty concubines (2 Chron. 11:21); Abijah married fourteen women (2 Chron. 13:21); David had a large harem (1 Chron. 14:3); and Solomon managed seven hundred wives and more than three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3).

It is difficult to determine exactly when Joseph Smith first felt compelled to practice polygamy. W. W. Phelps recollected three decades after the fact in an 1861 letter to Brigham Young that on 17 July 1831, when he and five others had gathered in Jackson County, Missouri, Smith stated: "It is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites [Indians], that their posterity may become white, delightsome and just." Phelps added in a postscript that "about three years after this was given, I asked brother Joseph, privately, how 'we,' that were mentioned in the revelation could take wives of the 'natives' as we were all married men?" He claimed that Smith replied, "In the same manner that Abraham took Hagar and Keturah; and Jacob took Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpha, by Revelation." (Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p.3)

An extraordinary charismatic religious leader, Jacob Cochran (1782-1836), founded the Cochranites, “The Society of Free Brethren and Sisters” and established his small denomination in the area between Boston, Massachusetts, and Saco, Maine. He impressed his listeners with commanding oratory and scriptural knowledge, and claimed to be restoring Christ’s apostolic church, with miracle healings, and exorcism. Once he had secured a firm place within the community, his revival included a startling new phase with “spiritual wifery” a practice which included polygamy based on Biblical passages such as Isaiah 4:1 “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man…” He admonished married members to prepare themselves to dissolve their traditional marriages. As their prophet, through “revelation” he assigned women to men and shifted them between partners. Cochran was known for the habit of “taking young women into his private rooms for extended periods of time.” (Wiki entry)

Vol. XI. Kennebunk, Mass. [Me.], May ?, 1819. No. ?


Saco, May 25.

The county of York, particularly this town, Kennebunk, Buxton, &c. has long been infested by a religious Impostor, named Jacob Cochran; who pretended to have a mission to spread a new religion. His process was, to gull a few men, then to seduce women, married and single, to attend his ministrations, swear them to secrecy, and then induce them to commit the most lascivious and criminal practices. This conduct had become notorious; and the Grand Jury of the county, at the late term of the Supreme Court, found no less than five bills of indictment against him. On one of these, for lascivious behavior, he was cleared, the Jury, after being up all night, not agreeing, one of their number, a disciple, refusing his assent. He was then tried on an indictment for adultery, and convicted; but having been admitted to bail, and not having been surrendered into Court, he hopped the twig, and has not since been heard of; has thus probably escaped a three years visit to the State Prison. Jacob Cochran is about 35 years old, common size, well built, light complexion, rather sandy hair, dresses well, and has the manners half a half gentleman. (The text of the above clipping was taken from a reprint published in the New-York Evening Post of June 7, 1819, For more on the Cochranites, See Dale Broadhurst's Webpage, http://olivercowdery.com/gathering/JCochran.htm).

An interesting but questionable account:

In 1827 I hired the Russell house, in the central part of the village of Batavia [in Genesee Co., New York], an old stand, and a much larger house. All at once came Joseph Smith, with James [sic - Jacob?] Cockrane and James [sic - George?] Harris. Cockrane and Smith boarded with me; Harris lived in Batavia. The history of James Cockrane, as I learned it, was that he was a preacher down somewhere in Maine, who held the doctrine that men and women, when converted, became innocent as Adam and Eve before the fall, and had no shame -- went naked. He was taken up and lodged in jail for his blasphemy and crime, tried and sentenced to State prison for ten [sic - four?] years. In 1826 his crime was out, and he came west to Batavia and found Joe Smith a fit companion. Cockrane wanted to preach in the court house and was permitted. I went to hear him, and a flow of words thick and fast, like hail upon a shingled roof, was about all I could hear, not a word spoken intelligently. He and Smith were very intimate....

Smith went to Victor and in a schoolhouse opened his doctrine. At the close of his speech he fell flat on the floor, and claimed that God had met him, who did Paul at Damascus, and had converted him to the true doctrine of Mormonism. Some said Smith was drunk and fell down, but Smith held to the fact that Mormonism was approved of the Almighty, and the true state of society, as of old, was returning to bless and confirm the true doctrine of a multitude of wives and no absolute distinction of families....

On the 2d inst., December, 1877, an elderly lady called at my house. She was raised in Cunnebunk, Maine, and when about 15 years old she knew James Cockrane and many of his followers, and confirms the statement I have made of his doctrine and followers. (Samuel D. Greene's letter, published in the Chicago Christian Cynosure of Dec. 20, 1877, Thanks to Dale Broadhurst, http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/IL ... htm#122077 Be sure and read Dale's Note #6, as it raises many questions about this account).

In 1832 Mormon Missionaries were sent out and they encountered the Cochranites:

Preached in the evening ... two ladies confessed their faith in the work, and a Miss and Mrs. [Augusta Adams] Cobb. (Journal of Orson Pratt, June 29, 1832, Boston).

Baptized three: Augusta Cobb, Elizabeth Harendeen and __________ Porter. (Journal of Samuel H. Smith, June 29, 1832, Boston, Augusta Adams Cobb would later become the Spiritual Wife of Brigham Young).

Attended to Sacrament, considerably disturbed by false spirits in a man and woman that believed in the Cochranite Doctrine. We cried against them and after a little got them considerably quelled.... Not a very good time because of disturbance (Journal of Orson Pratt, July 1, 1832, Boston)

Somewhat interrupted this day in the meeting by a man and woman that taught the doctrine of the devil, such as ... having spiritual wives.... They came to our meeting. The woman arose and began to preach and we requested her to stop and she would not, and we cried against her spirit, for we knew that it was an unclean spirit, and we cried against it that it was of the devil, and it made considerable stir. The man that had the same spirit tempted us, saying: "Cast the Devil out," crying amen to the words of the woman. After considerable muttering and grumbling and shaking of her frame, she stopped and we proceeded with our meeting. (Journal of Samuel H. Smith, July 1, 1832).

Preached to a congregation of Cochranites who gave liberty; told them again to repent and go up to Zion, and we lifted our cry in the Spirit, and I hope some of them will go; but they had a wonderful lustful spirit, because they believe in a "Plurality of wives" which they call spiritual wives, knowing them not after the flesh but after the spirit, but by the appearance they knew one another after the flesh. (Orson Pratt, October 11, 1832, Ogunquit, Maine).

A clerical friend (a professor in an eastern college) has informed the writer, that having heard of the wonderful sway, which Cochrane held over his disciples, and indeed of the impressions he made upon casual hearers, he determined one evening to go and witness his performances. While present, although a very cool and grave personage, he said he felt some strange, undefinable, mysterous influence creeping over him to such a degree, that he was obliged actually to tear himself away in apprehension of the of the consequences. This gentleman, however, is a believer in animal magnetism, and is inclined to attribute the power of Cochrane to that cause. It was said that if the impostor did but touch the hand or neck of a female, his power over her person and reason was complete. The consequence, therefore, was the most open and loathsome sensuality. So atrocious was his conduct, that he seduced great numbers of females, married and unmarried, under the pretext of raising up a race of holy men. The peace of many families was broken up, and the villain kept an establishment like a seraglio. (Matthias and His Impostures, by William L. Stone, 1835, pg. 297).

The many similarities between what Cochran practiced and what Joseph Smith later practiced early on in Nauvoo (before Joseph revealed "eternal marriage", including the term "Spiritual Wife" that Joseph and his Spiritual Wives used) are compelling.

About this time, (Spring 1832) Smith had a "revelation" about "The United Firm". This probably arose out of Smith’s translation of the Bible, as it was also called ‘the Order of Enoch’ which replaced "The Family". As Max H. Parkin explains:

“While Latter-day Saints may not typically think of Joseph Smith as an energetic businessman or an assertive entrepreneur, multiple business interests captured his attention beginning shortly after the Church was organized. By February 1831 in Kirtland, Ohio, he began to inquire about economic matters, and by July, the twenty-five-year-old Joseph Smith embarked on a path of land acquisition, community planning, and other commercial ventures. He operated his businesses under the principles of consecration and stewardship and coordinated his enterprises through a business management company he named the United Firm. He supervised the firm by revelation, including a final lengthy revelation in April 1834 that terminated the company.” (Max H. Parkin, Joseph Smith and the United Firm, B.Y.U. Studies, 46 No. 3, (2007), pages 3-4).

On the dispersal of property after Smith ended the United firm, Parkin writes:

“The [April] revelation, however, did name a commercial lot owned jointly by Whitney and Gilbert, across the street from the Whitney store, and a tannery. Arnold Mason, a non-Mormon, had purchased an acre lot from French in 1832, immediately east of the Whitney store, and built a tannery on it. On April 2, 1833, a council of high priests authorized Ezra Thayer to purchase the tannery from Mason for the Church, but no purchase was made until May 3, 1834, ten days after the April revelation that distributed the firm’s properties. The revelation awarded the tannery to Sidney Rigdon, who afterwards managed it as a successful personal stewardship and business.” (ibid, page 23. see D&C 104:20; Geauga County Deed Record, 18:487; see n. 177 herein; Times and Seasons 4 (May 15, 1843): 193.)

Mike Quinn noted in The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power:

A revelation ends the Kirtland United Order and distributes its real estate assets among Smith, Cowdery, Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Martin Harris, Newel K. Whitney, and John Johnson. Although the revelation says, "it is my will that you shall pay all your debts," Smith requires Whitney to absorb the $1,151.31 Whitney had loaned to him personally as well as $2,484.22 of other men's debts to Whitney. (D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.621).

The United Firm had its roots in the appointment of certain church leaders as stewards of "the revelations, and commandments" starting on November 12, 1831. See D&C 70, 72, 78 & 82. During its lifetime it included the Gilbert, Whitney & Company in Zion, and Newel K. Whitney & Company in Kirtland, W. W. Phelps & Co., and F. G. Williams & Co. In 1834 the United Firm was divided into the United Firms of Kirtland and Zion, and most Kirtland members were given title to land and homes in Kirtland. (Which was interesting in that Smith only predicted five years of peace there).

“Meanwhile in Hiram, Joseph Smith and leading elders held five conferences, November 1–13, 1831, to prepare his revelations for publication. At their final meeting, they organized a “literary firm,” an antecedent to the United Firm, to manage Church publications and provide an income for its officers. Named at a meeting with a “claim on the church for recompense” for past publishing services were Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, John Whitmer, and Martin Harris. The conference of elders then elected these men, whom a revelation ratified, and added the name of Phelps to help manage the literary firm in Zion. The revelation appointed the men “stewards over the revelations” and guardians over both their publication and sales; hence, they were to be the beneficiaries of the revenue because “this is their business in the church,” it declared. Until the literary firm could generate enough income of its own, however, the officers were allowed to draw from the Lord’s storehouses for their needs; once acquired, surplus earnings from the sales of publications were to be turned over to the storehouse for the Church’s use. John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery left Ohio on November 20 with manuscript copies of the revelations and arrived in Independence on January 5, 1832, to assist Phelps in operating the new printing house. Quickly, with Phelps’s help, they began preparing a printer’s copy of the revelations from which they set type for the prospective “Book of Commandments.” The following June, their new publishing firm, W. W. Phelps and Co., began printing the Church paper The Evening and the Morning Star, which contained imprints of the revelations awaiting fuller publication in the Book of Commandments.”(Ibid, pages 10-11. See also, D&C 70:3–7).

Smith said, “Br. Oliver has labored with me from the beginning in writing &c Br. Martin has labored with me from the beginning, brs. John and Sidney also for a considerable time, & as these sacred writings are now going to the Church for their benefit, that we may have claim on the Church for recompense.” (Far West Record, November 12-13, 1831)

In the same meeting it was “Voted that in consequence of the dilligence of our brethren, Joseph Smith jr. Oliver Cowdery John Whitmer & Sidney Rigdon in bringing to light by grace of God these sacred things, be appointed to manage them according to the Laws of the Church & the Commandments of the Lord.” Also, “that in consequence of the families of Joseph Smith Hiram Smith Peter Whitmer Christian Whitmer Jacob Whitmer Hiram Page & David Whitmer in administering to their wants in temporal things, & also the labors of Samuel H. Smith Peter Whitmer jr. William Smith & Don Carlos Smith. Voted by this Conference that the above named brethren be recommended to the Bishop in Zion as being worthy of inheritances among the people of the Lord according to the laws of said Church.” Notice the nepotism at work here.

As for the United Firm itself, it was not the same as communal ownership of property. Those in the Church were required by revelation to surrender their properties, but they still retained legal ownership, except in some special cases. Also, those who were given ‘inheritances’ in many cases if the inheritance was revoked by the church, had no legal precedent for staying on the land. In addition to this, according to Smith’s revelations, if one who actually owned the property ‘transgressed’, their right to the property could be revoked, but the church found it hard to retain the property if the owner went to court. Smith later changed this, modifying the arrangement so as to "give a deed, securing to him who receives . . . his inheritance . . . to be his individual property, his private stewardship." This gave the hierarchy of the church and those who they saw fit actual ownership of the property.

This created problems in the church later, for some sold their property without the permission of the church, and were retaliated against by being ex-communicated. Oliver Cowdery is an example of this. (See letter from Joseph Smith to Edward Partridge, 2 May 1833, Joseph Smith Collection, Church Archives. For references to the challenging of the legality of these proceedings, see History of the Church 1:380, cited from Evening and Morning Star 2[July 1833]:110 and the Painesville Telegraph [Painesville, Ohio], April 26, 1833. For Oliver Cowdery, see the Far West Record, Minutes of April 12, 1838 which documents the Cowdery excommunication. The 5th Charge against him reads: “For selling his lands in Jackson County contrary to the Revelations.” (This unsustainable charge was later dropped.)

David Whitmer, who had helped Smith with the Book of Mormon and was one of it’s ‘three witnesses’ and who was present during these conferences, was excluded from the literary firm. According to Whitmer:

“Publishing the early revelations, or any of them, was contrary to the will of the Lord, as I will show you from the revelations themselves. The revelations in the Book of Commandments up to June, 1829, were given through the "stone," [Smith’s peepstone] through which the Book of Mormon was translated. These are the only revelations that can be relied upon, and they are not law. The Lord told us not to teach them for doctrine; they were given mostly to individuals, the persons whom God chose in commencing His work for their individual instruction, and the church had no need of them. They should have been kept with the sacred papers and records of the church, and never published in a book to become public property for the eyes of the world. It was not necessary for the whole church to ever see them. The written word is full on all matters pertaining to the Church of Christ. Of course I believe in God revealing His will to His servants in these days, by the various gifts of the Holy Ghost; but I believe in it according to the Scriptures. In the revelations themselves are positive commands to keep these things from the world, that they are sacred, etc. A revelation was given to Oliver Cowdery in April, 1829, (Sec. v:11, 13), in which he is told that he would be granted a gift "to translate even as my servant Joseph," warning him as follows: "Remember, it is sacred, and cometh from above.... Trifle not with sacred things....Make not thy gift known unto any, save it be those who are of thy faith." But they published these things in a book, and made them known to the world!

In a revelation to Martin Harris (Sec. 18) concerning endless punishment, are these words: "And I command you that you preach naught but repentance; and show not these things, neither speak these things unto the world, for they cannot bear meat, but milk they must receive: wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish." This revelation reads as I have quoted it, in the Book of Commandments; but in the Doctrine and Covenants it has been changed to read thus: "Show not these things unto the world, until it is wisdom in me." The words, "until it is wisdom in me," were added to this revelation. You see they had to add these words in order to publish the revelations. Judge for yourselves, brethren: I will make no farther comments to magnify the errors of the leaders of the church. My policy throughout will be to speak of no more of their errors than is necessary in order to prove all false doctrines as being false, and establishing the doctrine of Christ as it is set forth in the written word.

The main reason why the printing press was destroyed, was because they published the Book of Commandments. It fell into the hands of the world, and the people of Jackson county, Missouri, saw from the revelations that they were considered by the church as intruders upon the land of Zion, as enemies to the church, and that they should be cut off out of the land of Zion and sent away. The people seeing these things in the Book of Commandments became the more enraged, tore down the printing press, and drove the church out of Jackson county. (See Doc. and Cov., Sections 52:9, 64:7, 45:15.) "Which is the land of your inheritance. Which is now the land of your enemies." "And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land." "And now I say unto you, keep these things from going abroad unto the world, until it is expedient in me, that ye may accomplish this work in the eyes of the people, and in the eyes of your enemies, that they may not know your works until ye have accomplished the thing which I have commanded you." This is sufficient. I will quote no more to show you that the leaders made a mistake in publishing the revelations in a book. It is too plain.

Brethren, does it not look strange that they should have been so blind as to go ahead and publish these revelations in the face of this plain language to keep these things from the world? It surely does look strange.” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers In Christ, 1886, pages 53-54).

Whitmer continues:

“I will now tell you of a prophecy which the Lord gave through me to Brothers Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon, of what should come to pass if they printed those revelations. In the spring of 1832, in Hiram, Ohio, Brothers Joseph and Sydney, and others, concluded that the revelations should be printed in a book. A few of the brethren — including myself — objected to it seriously. We told them that if the revelations were published, the world would get the books, and it would not do; that it was not the will of the Lord that the revelations should be published. But Brothers Joseph and Sydney would not listen to us, and said they were going to send them to Independence to be published. I objected to it and withstood Brothers Joseph and Sydney to the face. Brother Joseph said as follows: "Any man who objects to having these revelations published, shall have his part taken out of the Tree of Life and out of the Holy City." The Spirit of God came upon me and I prophesied to them in the name of the Lord: "That if they sent those revelations to Independence to be published in a book, the people would come upon them and tear down the printing press, and the church would be driven out of Jackson county." Brothers Joseph and Sydney laughed at me. Early in the spring of 1833, at Independence, Mo., the revelations were printed in the Book of Commandments. Many of the books were finished and distributed among the members of the church, and through some of the unwise brethren, the world got hold of some of them. From that time the ill-feeling toward us began to increase; and in the summer of 1833 the mob came upon us, tore down the printing press, and drove the church out of Jackson county. Brothers Joseph and Sydney then saw that I did have some of the Spirit of God, after my prophecy had been fulfilled. To show you that Brother Joseph and myself still loved each other as brethren after this, I will tell you that he had so much confidence in me that in July, 1834, he ordained me his successor as "Prophet Seer and Revelator" to the Church. He did this of his own free will and not at any solicitation whatever on my part. I did not know what he was going to do until he laid his hands upon me and ordained me.

Now, bear in mind, brethren, that I am not claiming this office; as I have told you, I do not believe in any such an office in the church. I was then in error in believing that there was such an office in the Church of Christ. I suppose this is news to many of you — that Brother Joseph ordained me his successor — but it is in your records, and there are men now living who were present in that council of elders when he did it, in the camp of Zion, on Fishing River, Missouri, July, 1834.

This is why many of the brethren came to me after Brother Joseph was killed, and importuned me to come out and lead the church. I refused to do so. Christ is the only leader and head of his church” (Ibid, pages 54-55)

Concerning this time, Whitmer added:

“The Spirit of God came upon me and I prophesied to them in the name of the Lord: "That if they sent those revelations to Independence to be published in a book, the people would come upon them and tear down the printing press, and the church would be driven out of Jackson county." Brothers Joseph and Sydney laughed at me.”

This would still not deter Smith from choosing Whitmer as his successor in the Church, and appointing him the President of the Stake of Zion. Smith should have listened to Whitmer, for his words did turn out to be prophetic.

As for Smith and his claims that the church had no paid clergy, documents show that this is not the case, and that Smith’s revelations concerning a ‘united order’, or ‘united firm’ were dictated for one purpose, and that is for Smith and those in his confidence to get other's property.

“The United Firm as a company did not own the properties it managed, nor indeed did its officers own them collectively. The deed titles to its businesses remained in the names of individual Latter-day Saint landowners or business proprietors. Various officers of the United Firm owned and managed the following properties: N. K. Whitney and Company; Gilbert, Whitney and Company; W. W. Phelps and Company (entities previously identified); F. G. Williams and Company; Whitney’s Kirtland ashery; the firm’s real estate—including a commercial lot owned jointly by Whitney and Gilbert; the farm of Frederick G. Williams; the former Peter French farm at Kirtland; and Bishop Partridge’s stewardship lands in Missouri— and other properties. The revelations admonished the partners to be wise in their stewardships and manage them righteously under the bond of the sacred covenant they had made; otherwise they placed themselves in jeopardy, and, in doing so, they understood that judgment might befall them.” (Max H. Parkin, opening post. cited, pages 15-16).

Being wise in their stewardships, meant obeying the Mormon ‘prophet’ in all things, and giving up their properties to suit his purposes. For example, shortly after Smith moved to Kirtland in 1831, he took over Frederick G. Williams 144 acre farm, and gave it to his parents to run. An unpublished “revelation” states:

“Let mine aged servant Joseph govern the things of the farm . . . inasmuch as he standeth in need.” (Kirtland Revelation Book, 92).

In January of 1833, Smith had another “revelation” telling Williams he must give up his farm completely.

“Let thy farm be consecrated for bringing forth the revelations,” Smith wrote. (“Revelation for Farm,” unpublished revelation, January 5, 1833, Frederick G. Williams Papers, CHL).

“Smith apparently hoped that the cost of publishing the scriptures in Missouri could be covered by the sale of lots from the Williams farm, which he integrated into the United Firm. Furthermore, five months later, on June 5, 1833, Church leaders broke ground for the construction of the Kirtland Temple on a lot on the southeast edge of the adjacent Peter French farm, which the United Firm had just acquired.

This was an early step in the much larger vision of Kirtland municipal planning, in which both the Williams farm and the French farm would play a major role, as Joseph Smith and other officers of the United Firm began to lay the foundation for an expanded Latter-day Saint Kirtland. On August 2, 1833, a revelation instructed the Church at Kirtland to commence building the “city of the stake of Zion” with the temple to be in the city’s center. The Williams farm would provide most of the southwest quarter of the proposed city and the French farm would provide most of the northwest quarter. Joseph Smith and other leaders of the firm quickly platted the area into a one-mile square community with a Kirtland plat map showing the temple lot on the city’s center block.” (Max H. Parkin, opening post. cited, pages 17-18).

A later revelation in April 1834 (D&C 104), which distributed the properties of the United Firm, assigned these two small contiguous lots to Joseph Smith to manage as a single larger temple lot while his followers were to build the city around them. A few weeks later, Williams transferred title of his farm to Smith in two separate deeds, one for the temple lot on his farm and the other for the rest of his farm, which then was just over 142 acres. (The date for the transfer as recorded on both deeds was May 5, 1834, but the agreement for the transfer was probably much earlier. (Geauga County Deed Record, 18:477–80).

Smith would reward Williams by ordaining him “to be equal with him in holding the keys of the Kingdom and also the Presidency of the High Priesthood."

In March of 1832 Smith clarified the commitment his followers were required to make with this “revelation”:

“for verily I say unto you the time has come and is now at hand and behold & lo it must needs be that there be an organization of the Literary and Merchantile establishments of my church both in this place and in th[e] land of Zion …that you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things yea and earthly things also for the obtaining of heavenly thing[s] … organize yourselves by an everlasting covenant that cannot be broken & he who breaketh it shall lose his office & standing in the church and shall be delivered over unto the buffitings of satan untill th[e] day of redemption” (The Kirtland Revelation Book page 16. See D&C 78).

On April 1,1832 Joseph Smith, Newell K. Whitney, Jesse Gause & Peter Whitmer head out for Zion, Jackson Co., Missouri, stopping briefly in Wheeling, Virginia to buy paper for William W. Phelps' press.

A few weeks later, a newspaper in New York published the following:

“Mormonism is said to have taken deep root in the Baptist church, in the town of Mendon, in this county. A number were re-dipped on Sunday last. The preacher said that he should never die, but be translated, after the manner of Enoch, and that in eighteen months Mormonism would be the prevailing religion; and, that in five years the wicked were to be swept from the face of the earth. When we see the degradation to which weak human nature has been reduced of late, we cannot wonder at such fanatical extravagance.” (April 14th 1832 the Rochester New York, Liberal Advocate)

Notes by Dale Broadhurst:

Note 1: This article was paraphrased in the Apr. 18, 1832 issue of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel, but with no mention that it originated from the pen of journalistic rival Abner Cole. While living in Palmyra in 1829-30, Cole used the Wayne Sentinel press to run off his own paper, the Reflector.

Note 2: The story of the 1832 Mormon conversions at Mendon centers primarily upon the activities and experiences of Phinehas (or, Phineas) H. Young (1799-1879) and his near relatives. On Sept. 28, 1818, at Auburn, Cayuga, NY, Phinehas married Clarissa Hamilton (1799-1834). Phinehas was apparently a journeyman printer who successively moved his family to Onondaga Co., Steuben Co., and Tompkins Co., before joining the Methodist Reformed Church in 1824. He soon became a preacher for that group and moved again, first to Canandaigua, Ontario, NY, and then, two years later, to Mendon, Monroe Co. Phinehas and Clarissa's residence at Canadaigua was during the interesting episode of the trials of the abductors of William Morgan, the rise of Anti-Masonry, and the burning of the Royal Arch Chapter in that town. Whether Phinehas was a printer for the pro-Masonic or anti-Masonic press in Canadaigua history does not record, but he apparently also served "Reformed Methodist preacher" in the area, perhaps in company with his brother-in-law, the Rev. John P. Greene. In 1828 Phinehas moved to Mendon, where his father, John Young, Sr. had relocated his family, along with those of two sons-in-law (John P. Greene and Joel Sanford) a few years previously.

Note 3: Heber C. Kimball moved to Mendon, Monroe Co., NY in 1823, where he joined the Masons and married Vilate Murray. As early as Sept. 1827 he was acquainted with John P. Greene, the traveling Methodist preacher. Probably by 1828, at the latest, Heber was a friend of the extended Young family. In mid-April, 1830, Samuel H. Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, came across Phinehas Young, who was dining at the Tomlinson Inn in Mendon township. Young accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon from Samuel and doubtless showed the volume to his brother-in-law, the Rev. John Portineus Greene (1793-1844). Greene married Rhoda Young (sister of Phinehas and Brigham Young) on Feb. 11, 1813. The couple at first lived in Cayuga Co., NY, spent the first half of the 1820s in Watertown, Jefferson Co., then went back to Cayuga Co. for a while, moved west to Conesus, in Livingston Co., and finally ended up in Mendon, Monroe Co., at the end of the 1820s. John was a preacher for the Reformed Methodists (and briefly for Methodist Protestant Church when that group was founded in Nov. 1830). John's reason for moving his family to Mendon evidently hinged on the fact that his wife's father and brothers were then living in that place. Even before John P. Greene moved to Mendon, Brigham Young (1801-1877) relocated his family there (apparently at the end of 1828). There he built a shop and a mill, and did various kinds of finish work in building construction.

Note 4: In June of 1830, Elder Samuel H. Smith returned to Mendon and loaned a second copy of the Book of Mormon to Rhoda and John P. Greene. Phineas lent his copy to his father, then to his sister Fanny, who gave it to Brigham Young. John's copy also circulated among relatives and friends of the Young family, including Brigham. In August 1830, Phinehas Young and his brother went to Ontario, Canada, to preach for the Reformed Methodists. Along the way they visited with a former member of their order, Solomon Chamberlain, who was then living in Lyons twp., Wayne Co., NY. Solomon was a former Reformed Methodist who became a Mormon during April 1830. Solomon Chamberlain accompanied the Youngs to a Reformed Methodist meeting at Manlius Center, Onondaga Co., NY where the party met up with Brigham Young. While most of the Methodists rejected Chamerlain's Mormon religion, he managed to catch the interest of Brigham Young.

In 1831 Mormon Elder Alpheus Gifford and his missionary companions came through the Mendon area, further arousing the interest of the Greenes, Youngs and Kimballs to the possibility of Mormon conversion. According to Vilate's Autobiography, "Five elders of the Church of Latter-day Saints came to the town of Victor, which was five miles from Mendon, and stopped at the house of Phineas Young, the brother of Brigham. Their names were Eleazer Miller, Elial Strong, Alpheus Gifford, Enos Curtis and Daniel Bowen. Hearing of these men, curiosity prompted Mr. Kimball to go and see them. Then for the first time he heard the fullness of the everlasting gospel and was convinced of its truth. Brigham Young was with him." Elder Alpheus Gifford and Elder Miller returned again to the Mendon area at the beginning of April 1832. They had some initial success among the Baptists, the ranks of whom Vilate Murray Kimball 1806-1867) and her husband Heber C. Kimball had joined the year before. According to one account, Brigham was baptized on Sunday, April 15th, 1832, by Eleazer Miller, and the Kimballs were baptized by Elder Alpheus Gifford the next day. However, Brigham's own private journal places the baptism on April 9th. Assuming this date is the correct one, the Liberal Advocate report is the first (implicit) mention in the public press of Brigham Young joining the Mormons.

Note 5: Exactly who the Baptist converts, mentioned by the Liberal Advocate were, remains a mystery. Certainly they must have been friends of Heber C. and Vilate Kimball. Joel Sanford and his wife Louiza Young Sanford, as well as William B. Stilson and his wife Susannah Young Stilson, were Mendon Mormons, but previously Methodists, not Baptists. The same can be said for Israel Barlow, his mother, his brother and sisters. Other early Mendon Mormons include: Nathan Tomlinson and his wife (proprietors of the Tomlinson Inn); Ira Bond and his wife Charlotte W. Bond (baptized Mormons in 1833); John Morton and his wife Betsey; Isaac Flummerfeli and his wife; and Rufus Parks. Perhaps one or more of these people were among the converts from the Baptists, spoken of by the Liberal Advocate. http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/NY ... htm#041432

On April 26, 1832 at a conference of high priests and elders in Independence, Jackson County, Smith is acknowledged as President of the High Priesthood, and he dictates D&C 82, establishing a "firm" among Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, A. Sidney Gilbert, Edward Partridge, N. K. Whitney, John Whitmer, W. W. Phelps, and Martin Harris. Partners are to be:

“bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression except judgment shall immediately follow, in your several stewardships, to manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the bishopric both in the land of Zion and in the land of Shinehah [Kirtland] … This order I have appointed to be an everlasting order unto you and unto your successors, inasmuch as you sin not: and the soul that sins against this covenant, and hardeneth his heart against it, shall be dealt with according to the laws of my church, and shall be delivered over to the buffitings of satan until the day of redemption. … make unto yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, and they will not destroy you.” ( D&C 82:11-22).

But the cost of helping ‘gather in’ his poor followers, did not seem to sit well with Smith, and his mother Lucy Smith writes that, in 1835 “we were still living on the farm, and labouring with our might to make the droves of company, which were constantly coming in, as comfortable as possible. Joseph saw how we were situated, and that it would not answer for us to keep a public house, at free cost, any longer.” (Lucy Mack Smith, see also Dean C. Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2:123).

With his ‘gathering revelations’ firmly entrenched in the minds of his followers, Smith, during that first visit to Missouri in July of 1831, needed to purchase land for them. Buy “every tract lying westward” to the Indian border and southward “every tract bordering by the prairies,” he ordered in a “revelation” received by him that July. Bishop Edward Partridge would acquire a total of 2,136 acres in Jackson County, most of which he doled out as stewardships to the “saints” of about twenty acres each. Partridge retained the titles to all the land he purchased, including the sixty-three acres of the temple lot a half mile west of the courthouse, which he purchased on December 19, 1831, for $130.

The size of the temple lot, purchased by Bishop Partridge from Jones Flournoy, was 63 43/160 acres. (Jackson County Deed Record, B 1–2).

Brigham Young, in 1848 gave Partridge’s widow, Lydia, permission to sell the temple lot to help get her family “over the mountains” to the Salt Lake Valley. Lydia sold it on May 5, 1848, for $300. (Jackson County Deed Record, N 203–4; Journal History, April 26, 1848). Young obviously was unconcerned with who owned the land, as his wishful thinking years later shows:

“I wish the state of Missouri would take fire and burn up--everything except that which is pure and good. Then we could go back, for I want to go pretty soon. We don't want to stay here long.” –Woodruff Journals, August 22, 1860.

The Mormons were now buying up land in Jackson County, and preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus as predicted by their young prophet, Joseph Smith. For the next few months they were filled with optimism, many ‘saints’ gathering to Zion in increasing numbers while in Kirtland Smith drew up plans for the City of Zion and a massive temple complex. All seemed well, until great numbers of Mormons began to settle in Jackson County, and the church began publishing the ‘revelations’ of Smith in a newspaper they called The Evening and Morning Star. They did not know it, but the prophecy made by David Whitmer was about to be fulfilled.

(To be Continued...)
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _grindael »

Part I: Out of the Frying Pan [Continued]


King "David" of the Latter Days…

In 1834 Levi Lewis, a cousin of Emma Smith who knew Joseph well when he lived in Harmony Pennsylvania gave a statement about him in 1834:

LEVI LEWIS states, that he has "been acquainted with Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Harris, and that he has heard them both say, adultery was no crime. Harris said he did not blame Smith for his (Smith's) attempt to seduce Eliza Winters &c.;"-- Mr. Lewis says that he "knows Smith to be a liar; -- that he saw him (Smith) intoxicated at three different times while he was composing the Book of Mormon, and also that he has heard Smith when driving oxen, use language of the greatest profanity. Mr. Lewis also testifies that he heard Smith say he (Smith) was as good as Jesus Christ; -- that it was as bad to injure him as it was to injure Jesus Christ." "With regard to the plates, Smith said God had deceived him -- which was the reason he (Smith) did not show them." Susquehanna Register and Northern Pennsylvanian, 1 May 1834, See also Mormonism Unvailed, 268-269).

FAIRMORMON, in an attempt to defend Joseph against what Lewis claimed he observed, writes,

The claim to have seen Joseph drunk during the translation is entertaining. If Joseph were drunk, this only makes the production of the Book of Mormon more impressive. But, this sounds like little more than idle gossip, designed to bias readers against Joseph as a "drunkard."

Yet, if this was simply “idle gossip”, why did Martin Harris in 1834 claim the same thing, then when confronted about it backpedal it to “before the Book of Mormon was translated”:

After the council had received much good instruction from Bro. Joseph, the case of Bro. Martin Harris against whom certain charges were preferred by Bro. Sidney Rigdon. One was that he told Edqr. A.C. Russell that Joseph drank too much liquor when he was translating the Book of Mormon and that he wrestled with many men and threw them &c. Another charge was, that he exalted himself above Bro. Joseph, in that he said bro. Joseph knew not the contents of the Book of Mormon until after it was translated. Bro. Martin said he did not tell Eldr Russell that bro. Joseph drank too much liquor while translating the Book of Mormon, but this thing took place before the Book of Mormon was translated. He confessed that his mind was darkened and that he had said many things indavertently calculating to wound the feelings of his brother and promised to do better. The council forgave him and gave him much good advice. (Kirtland Council Minute Book, February 12, 1834).

We know that when it suited him, Joseph would tell the truth about certain things. What is missing from Joseph and his father’s testimony at his 1826 Examination is interesting. Joseph Smith Sr.,

…delineated his [Joseph Jr.’s] characteristics in his youthful days--his vision of the luminous stone in the glass--his visit to Lake Erie in search of the stone--and his wonderful triumphs as a seer. He described very many instances of his finding hidden and stolen goods. He swore that both he and his son were mortified that this wonderful power which God had so miraculously given him should be used only in search of filthy lucre, or its equivalent in earthly treasures, and with a long-faced, "sanctimonious seeming," he said his constant prayer to his Heavenly Father was to manifest His will concerning this marvelous power. He trusted that the Son of Righteousness would some day illumine the heart of the boy, and enable him to see His will concerning him. (Norwich, N.Y. Thursday, May 3, 1877 JOSEPH SMITH, THE ORIGINATOR OF HISTORICAL REMINISCENCES OF THE TOWN OF AFTON, by W. D. Purple. Purple claimed that “I was an intimate friend of the Justice, and was invited to take notes of the trial, which I did.”)

There was no mention of an “angel”, gold plates or anything of that kind. This was in March, 1826, when Smith had supposedly been visiting with the “angel” for the last few years. None of the witnesses in the Examination testified about any “angel”, gold plates, or anything about Joseph seeing God, or having any kind of commission from God. These were all men who were intimate with Joseph and had spent a lot of time with him. Yet, Smith Sr., claims that perhaps “someday” God would “illumine the heart of the boy”, even though they were using the “wonderful power” of peeping to search for “filthy lucre”.

One of Joseph’s neighbors, Peter Ingersoll claimed in 1833 that,

"One day he [Joseph Smith] came and greeted me with a joyful countenance. Upon asking the cause of his unusual happiness, he replied in the following language, 'As I was passing, yesterday, across the woods, after a heavy shower of rain, I found, in a hollow, some beautiful white sand, that had been washed up by the water. I took off my frock, and tied up several quarts of it, and then went home.

"'On my entering the house, I found the family at the table eating dinner. They were all anxious to know the contents of my frock. At that moment, I happened to think of what I had heard about a history found in Canada, called the golden Bible; so I very gravely told them it was the golden Bible.

"'To my surprise, they were credulous enough to believe what I said. Accordingly, I told them that I had received a commandment to let no one see it, for, says I, no man can see it with the naked eye and live. However, I offered to take out the book and show it to them but they refuse to see it, and left the room.'

"Now, said Joe, 'I have got the damned fools fixed, and will carry out the fun.' Notwithstanding, he told me he had no such book and believed there never was any such book, yet, he told me that he actually went to Willard Chase to get him to make a chest in which he might deposit his golden Bible. But, as Chase would not do it, he made a box himself, of clapboards and put it into a pillow case and allowed people only to lift it and feel of it through the case." ("Peter Ingersoll Statement on Joseph Smith, Jr.," sworn affidavit, Palymra, Wayne County, New York, 2 December 1833, affirmed as truthful by Ingersoll before Thomas P. Baldwin, Judge of Wayne County Court, 9 December 1833).

Since there is testimony that Smith would get drunk, (there are account books of Lemuel Durfee which this author has seen and handled, that show the Smith family buying barrels of hard cider in 1826 and 1827), it is not implausible that Joseph (or his father for that matter) would say things to certain people when intoxicated that they wouldn’t normally say.

The Smith’s worked hard for their cider, and charged up barrels of it from one Lemuel Durfee:

Durfee allowed the Smiths to remain in the frame house and on the farm. According to Lucy, Durfee “gave us the privileage [sic] of the place one year with this provision that Samuel our 4th son was to labor for him 6 months.”

Almost one year after the family became renters, the Wayne Sentinel announced, “MARRIED – In Manchester . . . Mr. Hiram Smith, to Miss Jerusha Barden.” They were married on 2 November 1826. Jerusha was twenty-one years old, and Hyrum was twenty-six. Lucy heartily approved, noting in her history, “My oldest son [Hyrum] . . . Married him a wife that was one of the most excellent of Women.” Two months later Joseph Jr. married Emma Hale in Bainbridge on 18 January 1827, bringing her back to live in the family home in Manchester. That same year, Sophronia married Calvin Stoddard on 30 December.

Young Joseph was often hired by Martin Harris to work “on his farm, and that they had hoed corn together many a day, Brother Harris paying him fifty cents per day. Joseph, he [Harris] said, was good to work and jovial and they often wrestled together in sport, but the Prophet was devoted and attentive to his prayers.”

Samuel Harrison Smith worked for the elder Durfee in 1827, according to one of Durfee’s account books: “April the 16 day the year 1827 S. Harrison Smith Son of Joseph Smith began to Work for me by the month. (Marquardt & Walters, Inventing Mormonism, Ch.6, p.122)

Hyrum continued working as a cooper and with his father and brothers for local farmers including Lemuel Durfee. They apparently took their wages in credits toward their purchases. In Durfee’s account book for 1827 he noted:

Joseph [Sr.] and Hiram Smith Dr [debit] to three barrels of Cider at 9/ per barrel May the Last 1827 [9 shillings per barrel]

June the 26 day Joseph Smith Dr. to Veal hind Quarter 23 pound $0.69 also one fore Quarter Wt. 22 pounds $=55 55

august Credit by Joseph Smith by mo[w]ing three days & Joseph Smith Ju Jnr. two days mowing & Hiram Smith one day mowing even

Sept. first to two barrels of Cider racked of[f] to Joseph & Hiram Smiths at 9/ per barrel $2=2532*

*Lemuel Durfee Account Book, 41-42, location of original in the King’s Daughters Library, Palmyra, New York, in 1973. (Marquardt & Walters, Inventing Mormonism, Ch.6, p.123)

As for Joseph claiming to be better than Jesus, he once bragged,

Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. 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 majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast 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. (Smith sermon, May 26, 1844).

As for using profane language, Smith himself admitted this (See Post #1). Yet FAIRMORMON writes,

Thus, three of the charges that are unmentioned by Van Wagoner are extraordinarily implausible. They are clearly efforts to simply paint Joseph in a bad light: make him into a pretend prophet who thinks he's better than Jesus, who admits to being deceived, and who gets drunk. Such a portrayal would be welcome to skeptical ears. This Joseph is ridiculous, not to be taken seriously. (ibid, http://en.fairmormon.org/Question:_Did_ ... in_1830%3F)

So why are the Smith’s ordering barrels of hard cider from Lemual Durfee? Why did Harris claim that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon while drunk? Why did Joseph himself later boast to be better than Jesus? Of using profanity? And to harm "the Lord's Anointed, is the same as harming the Lord, as Mormonism has always taught. "Speak no evil of the Lord's Anointed." These claims are not ridiculous, they are credible claims supported by other evidence that doesn’t come from his critics. Joseph preached this in 1841:

Let not any man publish his own righteousness, for others can see that for him; sooner let him confess his sins, and then he will be forgiven, and he will bring forth more fruit. When a corrupt man is chastised he gets angry and will not endure it. The reason we do not have the secrets of the Lord revealed unto us, is because we do not keep them but reveal them; we do not keep our own secrets, but reveal our difficulties to the world, even to our enemies, then how would we keep the secrets of the Lord? I can keep a secret till Doomsday. What greater love hath any man than that he lay down his life for his friend; then why not fight for our friend until we die? (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 4, p.479, December, 1841)

Benjamin Johnson, an intimate friend of Joseph’s, later wrote:

…although so social and even convival [sic] at times, he would allow no arrogance or undue liberties. Criticisms, even by his associates, were rarely acceptable. Contradictions would arouse in him the lion at once. By no one of his fellows would he be superceded. In the early days at Kirtland, and elsewhere, one or another of his associates were more than once, for their impudence, helped from the congregation by his foot. (Johnson, Letter to George Gibbs, 1903).

I have discussed the Eliza Winters charge above. There is also other evidence about Joseph and the subject of adultery. Early on Joseph compared himself to King David, as is borne out by dissenters such as Ezra Booth.

Booth was an early convert in the Church of Christ. At the June 3, 1831, church conference he was ordained to the high priesthood. Called by revelation to go to Missouri he witnessed the laying of the foundation of the latter-day Zion including the cornerstone of the proposed New Jerusalem temple. Ezra wrote nine letters explaining his experiences with Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. He also touched on what he regarded as failures in prophetic leadership. The letters to Rev. Ira Eddy were written during the period of September 12 through December 6, 1831. As an eye witness and participant Booth explores some of the earliest teachings of church leaders. (H. Michael Maruardt, Ezra Booth on Early Mormonism, PDF, 31, https://user.xmission.com/~research/fam ... abooth.pdf).

In two of Booth’s letters, he mentions how both Sidney Rigdon and Joseph himself claimed they could justify committing adultery, likening it to what King David did:

Now, permit me to inquire; have you not frequently observed in Joseph, a want of that sobriety, prudence, and stability, which are some of the most prominent traits in the christian character? Have you not often discovered in him, a spirit of lightness and levity, a temper of mind easily irritated, and an habitual proneness to jesting and joking? Have you not repeatedly proved to your own satisfaction, that he says he knows things to be so by the spirit, when they are not so? You most certainly have. Have you not reason then to believe, or at least to suspect, that the revelations which come from him, are something short of infallible, and instead of being the production of divine wisdom, emanate from his own weak mind? Some suppose his weakness, nay, his wickedness, can form no reasonable objection to his revelations; and "were he to get another man's wife, and seek to kill her husband, it could be no reason why we should not believe revelations through him, for David did the same." So Sidney asserted, and many others concur with him in sentiment. (Ezra Booth to Edward Partridge, September 20, 1831).


There are also some other things, the meaning of which, you will not be likely to apprehend, without some explanation. In this, as well as several of the commandments, it is clearly and explicitly stated, that the right of delivering written commandments, and revelations, belong exclusively to Smith, and no other person can interfere, without being guilty of sacrilege. In this office he is to stand, until another is appointed in his place, and no other person can be appointed in his stead, unless he falls through transgression; and in such a case, he himself is authorized to appoint his successor. But how is he to be detected, should he become guilty of transgression. The commandment makes provision for this. His guilt will become manifest by his inability to utter any more revelations, and should he presume "to get another man's wife," and commit adultery; and "by the shedding of blood, seek to kill her husband," if he retains the use of his tongue, so as to be able to utter his jargon, he can continue as long as he pleases in the bed of adultery, and wrap himself with garments stained with blood, shed by his own hands, and still retain the spotless innocence of the holiest among mortals; and must be continued in the office of revelator, and head of the Church. Some others, and especially Cowdery, have earnestly desired to relieve Smith of some part of his burden. (Ezra Booth to Ira Eddy, November, 29, 1831.)

During this time we find the only mention of the word “adultery” in Smith’s published revelations. Book of Commandments “revelations” that contain the word adultery:

A Book of Commandments 24:23 (August, 1831)
23. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out; and he that committeth adultery and repenteth with all his heart, and forsaketh and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive him; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out.
A Book of Commandments, 47:5 (February, 1831)
5. But if any man shall commit adultery, he shall be tried before two elders of the church or more, and every word shall be established against him by two witnesses of the church, and not of the world. (Changed to read “man or woman” in 1835)
A Book of Commandments, 47:22 (February, 1831)
22. But if ye shall find that any persons, have left their companions, for the sake of adultery, and they themselves are the offenders, and their companions are living, they shall be cast out from among you.
A Book of Commandments, 60:14 (August, 1831)
14. Neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do any thing like unto it.
A Book of Commandments, 64:18 (August, 1831)
18. And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear:

There is one other “revelation” that mentions adultery that was not printed in the BOC, from 1830, addressed to William McClellin, which was later published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. Notice that all of the above mentions of the word “adultery” are between February and August, 1831, the period of time that Ezra Booth writes about. There are no other published “revelations” that speak of “adultery” until the polygamy “revelation” almost ten years later, in 1843. Above we see again, Joseph's pattern of public denials of things he was doing in private.

When Joseph “married” Sarah Ann Whitney in 1842 he wrote a “revelation” which contained the ceremony that was to be pronounced. That “revelation” reads:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto my servant N. K. Whitney, the thing that my servant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your family and which you have agreed upon is right in mine eyes and shall be rewarded upon your heads with honor and immortality and eternal life to all your house, both old and young because of the lineage of my Priesthood, saith the Lord, it shall be upon you and upon your children after you from generation to generation, by virtue of the holy promise which I now make unto you, saith the Lord.

These are the words which you shall pronounce upon my servant Joseph and your daughter S. A. Whitney. They shall take each other by the hand and you shall say,

You both mutually agree, calling them by name, to be each other's companion so long as you both shall live, preserving yourselves for each other and from all others and also throughout eternity, reserving only those rights which have been given to my servant Joseph by revelation and commandment and by legal authority in times passed. If you both agree to covenant and do this, I then give you, S.[arah] A.[nn] Whitney, my daughter, to Joseph Smith, to be his wife, to observe all the rights between you both that belong to that condition. I do it in my own name and in the name of my wife, your mother, and in the name of my holy progenitors, by the right of birth which is of priesthood, vested in me by revelation and commandment and promise of the living God, obtained by the Holy Melchisedeck Gethrow [Jethro] and others of the Holy Fathers, commanding in the name of the Lord all those powers to concentrate in you and through you to your posterity forever. All these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that through this order he may be glorified and that through the power of anointing David may reign King over Israel, which shall hereafter be revealed. Let immortality and eternal life hereafter be sealed upon your heads forever and ever. (“Revelation” to Newel K. Whitney, July 27, 1842. The complete document with footnotes can be found in H. Michael Marquardt, The Joseph Smith Revelations: Text and Commentary (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999), 315-16).

Joseph speaks of a latter-day “David” who would be “anointed” and “reign King over Israel”. Six months later Brigham Young testified at a High Council trial that was convened to determine what to do with Orson Pratt, who had found out that Joseph had tried to “marry” his wife Sarah and was almost driven to suicide over it. The minutes read,

Nauvoo January 20th 1843

The Quorum of the Twelve assembled at the / home of Elder Brigham Young- present viz, B. Young / H. C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, W. Woodruff, John Taylor/ Geo. A. Smith, & W. Richards. also. President / Joseph Smith. & Hyrum Smith of the first presidency / also Orson Pratt

--the meeting having been / called to investigate his case:--

President Joseph Smith remarked that as there / was not a quorum when Orson Pratt's case came / up before that he was still a member--he had not/ legally been cut off--/

O. Pratt remarked that he had rather die / than go to preach in any other standing than I had / before.

Joseph-Let him have the same calling that Paul / had. let him have the keys to the Jews. first unto / the Gentiles then unto the Jews--/Paul held the keys of transfer--that is when / the Gentiles have heard all they will--it shall be / given to the Jews.--/

Jos.--Orson by transgression laid himself liable to have / another ordained in his stead.--and brought Jacob and Esau / were brought for example-- (p. 2)

[Brigham] Young. said there was but 3 prsnt. when Amasa / was ordained--/Joseph said that was legal when no / more could be had. Young said all he had against Orson was when he / came home he loved his wife better than David./ [Joseph Smith]

Joseph--She lied about me--I never made the offer / which she said I did.--I will not advise you to break up your / family--unless it were asked of me. then I would / concil you to get a bill from your wife / & marry a virtuous woman--& raise a new family / but if you do not do it shell never throw it in / your teeth.

Joseph Orson I prophesy in the name of the Lord / Jesus Christ that it will not be 6 months before / you learn things which will make you glad you / have not left us.--/

Prest. Joseph said to Orson Hyde--I can make / a swap with Amasa Lyman.--& let him have / the office we were going to give you.--Orson, the latter part of your life shall be more / joyful than the former

-- 3 o.clock adjourned to President Josephs. /

4 o.clock Orson Pratt, Sarah Marinda Pratt (p. 3) & Lydia Granger were baptized in the River /

Per Prst--Joseph Smith--& confirmed in the / Court Room--Orson received the Priesthood & / the same power and authority as in former days. W. Richards [Willard Richards' hand] B. Young [Willard Richards. hand] (BYU Collection, Ms/f/219/Reel 79; CHO, Ms/d/1234/Bx 47/fd 2; January 20, 1843. These minutes were formerly in a box entitled "High Council Meetings etc, Conference and Public Meetings", in a folder marked "Minutes of the Council of Twelve," in the Church Historian's Office. They were recataloged and placed in the Brigham Young Collection. "/" in this typescript means end of a line in the original minutes. (Typed as in the original. See, History of the Church, V, 253-6; Millennial Star, XX, 27 (Saturday 3 July 1858), 422-3; and Manuscript History of the Church, under date given).

These are very interesting minutes, for they do indicate that Smith made some kind of “offer” to Sarah Pratt (which Smith denied publicly) and it is the word of Smith (a known liar) over Sarah Pratt who had no reason to lie. He also accuses Sarah Pratt of being unvirtuous. (Also a lie propagated by affidavits made at Smith’s direction) Sarah Pratt is faulted for having anything to do with Bennett even though Bennett was publicly defended by the Church as an upright and honest man until the summer of 1842, and Joseph later admitted covering up his and others “iniquities”. (Nauvoo Court minutes, May 8th, 1844). This is simply guilt by association after the fact.

Here we see Brigham Young referring to Joseph as “David”. In his letter to Nancy Rigdon a few months before the Sarah Whitney “revelation” Joseph wrote,

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another."

"God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. If we seek first the kingdom of God, all good things will be added. So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation."…

"This principle will justly apply to all of God's dealings with His children. Everything that God gives us is lawful and right; and it is proper that we should enjoy His gifts and blessings whenever and wherever He is disposed to bestow; but if we should seize upon those same blessings and enjoyments without law, without revelation, without commandment, those blessings and enjoyments would prove cursings and vexations in the end, and we should have to lie down in sorrow and wailings of everlasting regret. But in obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness—and the happiness of all His creatures, he never has—He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances. Blessings offered, but rejected, are no longer blessings, but become like the talent hid in the earth by the wicked and slothful servant; the proffered good returns to the giver; the blessing is bestowed on those who will receive and occupy; for unto him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundantly, but unto him that hath not or will not receive, shall be taken away that which he hath, or might have had."

"Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive; and, at the same time, is more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be. He will be inquired of by His children. He says: "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find;" but, if you will take that which is not your own, or which I have not given you, you shall be rewarded according to your deeds; but no good thing will I withhold from them who walk uprightly before me, and do my will in all things—who will listen to my voice and to the voice of my servant whom I have sent; for I delight in those who seek diligently to know my precepts, and abide by the law of my kingdom; for all things shall be made known unto them in mine own due time, and in the end they shall have joy." History of the Church, Vol. 5, 134-136, See also "The Letter of the Prophet, Joseph Smith to Miss Nancy Rigdon," Joseph Smith Collection, CHL.

Joseph told the "talent" parable to Benjamin Johnson in 1843 when he was teaching him about his Spiritual Wifeism. One wife, was only a talent and would be taken from you, if you did not multiply your talents (wives). In 1844 Smith taught,

The doctrin that the Prysbeterians & Methodist have quarreled so much about once in grace always in grace, or falling away from grace I will say a word about, they are both wrong, truth takes a road between them both. for while the Presbyterian says once in grace you cannot fall the Methodist says you can have grace to day, fall from it to morrow, next day have grace again & so follow it, but the doctrin of the scriptures & the spirit of Elijah would show them both fals & take a road between them both for according to the scriptures if a man has receive the good word of God & tasted of the powers of the world to come if they shall fall away it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have Crucified the son of God afresh & put him to an open frame shame, so their is a possibility of falling away you could not be renewed again, & the power of Elijah Cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals & power of the priesthood, I will make evry doctrin plain that I present & it shall stand upon a firm bases And I am at the defiance of the world for I will take shelter under the broad sheler cover of the wings of the work in which I am ingaged, it matters not to me if all hell boils over I regard it ownly as I would the crackling of thorns under a pot A murderer; for instance one that sheds innocent Blood Cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God Carefully with tears, but he could ownly get it through Hell, he got a promise that his soul should not be left in Hell, Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage Peter refered to the same subject on the day of pentecost, but the multitude did not get the endowment that Peter had but several days after the people asked what shall we do, Peter says I would ye had done it ignorantly speaking of crucifying the Lord &c He did not say to them repent & be baptized for the remission of your sins but he said repent therefore & be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, Acts iii, 19 this is the case with murderers they could not be baptized for the remission of sins for they had shed innocent Blood.

Again the doctrin or sealing power of Elijah is as follows if you have power to seal on earth & in heaven then we should be Crafty, the first thing you do go & seal on earth your sons & daughters unto yourself, & yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory, & go ahead and not go back, but use a little Craftiness & seal all you can; & when you get to heaven tell your father that what you seal on earth should be sealed in heaven I will walk through the gate of heaven and Claim what I seal & those that follow me & my Council The Lord once told me that what I asked for I should have… (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Vol. 2, 1841–1845, p.365, March 10, 1844).

Joseph gave the above discourse the day before he organized the Council of Fifty. Notice that Joseph in 1842 writes, "So with Solomon: first he asked wisdom, and God gave it him, and with it every desire of his heart, even things which might be considered abominable..." God gave Solomon what he asked for, every DESIRE of his heart, even things that were abominable... then two years later, Smith gives a discourse and says, "The Lord once told me that what I asked for I should have..." like Solomon and David. What is "special" revelation? What Smith wanted? Convenient that he is the one who speaks for God. (See Council of Fifty Minutes below).

Andrew Ehat notes,

Although David was anointed a king by the Prophet Samuel, it was not, according to this teaching of Joseph Smith, after the order of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood (see 1 Samuel 16:12-13). For this reason, when David ordered the murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11), he did not commit the unpardonable sin.

2 Samuel 6:12-13, 17-19 does not mention whether David had an attending priest offer the sacrifices in his behalf, which would seem likely because David was not of the lineage of Levi. Nevertheless the Prophet seems clear that David held the priesthood. See also 2 Samuel 24:18-25

Instead of murdering other men so he could have their wives, Joseph sent them on missions or convinced them that it was in the interest of their “eternal salvation” to acquiesce. (After all, he was told that “what I asked for I should have”). He threatened to excommunicate one husband if he did not go on the mission that Joseph assigned him to. (John Snider, in "The Book of The Law of the Lord). As for murder, Joseph only speaks of killing “innocent blood”. There is no penalty for anyone they determined was guilty. And who would determine their guilt or innocence? The ruling King of Israel? According to the minutes of the Council of Fifty, Joseph was so ordained:

Prest. J. Smith arose and said that the committee were first appointed to bring forth all the intelligence they could, and when their productions were presented to him he could correct the [p. [103]] errors and fill the interstices where it was lacking. He had considered that a Theocracy consisted in our exercising all the intelligence of the council, and bringing forth all the light which dwells in the breast of every man, and then let God approve of the document & receiveing the sanction of the council it becomes a law. Theocracy as he understands it is, for the people to get the voice of God and then acknowledge it, and see it executed. It is necessary for the council to exhaust their wisdom, and except they do they will never know but they are as wise as God himself, and ambitious men will, like Lucifer think they are as wise as God and will try to lift themselves up and put their foot [p. [104]] on the necks of others. There has always been some man to put himself forward and say I am the great I &c. I want the council to exert all their wisdom in this thing, and when they see that they cannot get a perfect law themselves, and I can, then, they will see from whence wisdom flows. I know I can get the voice of God on the subject. Vox populi, Vox Dei. The voice of the people assenting to the voice of God. There never has been a man in this age who could tell the people what the true principles of liberty was. Washington did not do it. I dont want to be ranked with that committee I am a committee of myself, and cannot mingle with any committee in such [p. [105]] matters. The station which I hold is an independant one and ought not to be mingled with any thing else. Let the Committee get all the droppings they can from the presence of God and bring it to me, and if it needs correction or enlargement I am ready to give it. The principles by which the world can be governed is the principle of two or three being united. Faith cannot exist without a concentration of two or three. The sun, moon and planets roll on that principle. If God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost were to disagree, the worlds would clash together in an instant. He referred to brother Lot [Cornelius P. Lott] and his farming & said God would prosper him because he gets [p. [106]] his mind right. When I get any thing from God I shall be alone. I understand the principles of liberty we want. I have had the instructions It is necessary that this council should abide by their instructions. From henceforth let it be understood that I shall not associate with any committee I want every man to get knowledge, search the laws of nations and get all the information they can. There can be no exceptions taken to any thing that any man can say in this council. I dont want any man ever to assent to any thing in this council and then find fault with it.

Dont decide in favor of any thing untill you know it. Every man ought to study Geography, [p. [107]] Governments and languages, so that he may be able to go forth to any nation and before any multitude with eloquence

Er Erastus Snow arose to repeat the expression of Er [George J.] Adams the other evening for he feels this to be the happiest moment he ever enjoyed. He feels as though his soul expanded every time we meet. We have never realized the strength and power of the simple expressions in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants—“Be patient for I am laying the foundation of a great work”. It may yet be said that we are still laying the foundation of a great work, and I am happy that I have the privilege of associating with our beloved prophet and the members of this council, and [p. [113]] prays that I may live as long as Moses” He said he never rejoiced as much as he did to day when Prest. Joseph was making his remarks. He concluded by offering a motion that this honorable assembly receive from this time henceforth and forever, Joseph Smith, as our Prophet, Priest & King, and uphold him in that capacity in which God has anointed him. The motion was seconded and accepted unanimously. (Council of Fifty Minutes, 102-107; 112-113, 11 April, 1844).

So, Joseph was to be the theocratic ruler and was the only one who spoke for God. Therefore, they were required to "assent". And I always thought that Vox populi, Vox Dei meant that "the voice of the people is the voice of God". But Joseph changes this to mean: The voice of the people assenting to the voice of God. And who was "the voice of God"? JOSEPH SMITH. And how convenient that he is ANOINTED King over them. He was their latter day "David", anointed King of Israel. His word was law, something that many testified to, including Lorenzo Snow and Wilford Woodruff at the Temple Lot Trial. Therefore, whatever he dictated to them was believed and accepted as law. That is why Lorenzo testified that he "threw a cloak of charity" over Joseph's doings when they were "IMPROPER".

In January 1989, an article written for the Ensign magazine stated:

Doctrine and Covenants 113 identifies the “Stem of Jesse” as the Lord Jesus Christ (D&C 113:1–2) and the “rod” as “a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power” (D&C 113:3–4). The “root of Jesse,” verses 5 and 6 tell us, is “a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.” [D&C 113:5–6]

Undoubtedly, the terms rod and root, like the term Elias, can be used to designate different people in different situations. Since they are symbols, the terms can also be applied to the same person. It is possible, therefore, that Joseph Smith is both the “rod” and the “root.” Not only was he a descendant of Ephraim, of the house of Joseph, but he was probably a descendant of Jesse, King David’s father, as well. See the Prophet’s patriarchal blessing as recorded in Archibald F. Bennett, Saviors on Mount Zion, Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Union Board, 1950, p. 68; see also Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973, pp. 533–40. George A. Horton, Jr. Ensign, January, 1989, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1989/01/prop ... h?lang=eng ).

Joseph also saw his own future son, (named David) as a future King over Israel. Mike Quinn writes,

Brigham Young said that in the spring of 1844 Smith told him: "I shall have a son born to me, and his name shall be called David; and on him, in some future time, will rest the responsibility that now rests upon me." Young added that Smith made this statement to Young and several others. This occurred before Young's departure from Nauvoo on 21 May. (D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.230).

Mike Quinn writes about the Whitney “revelation”:

Sarah Ann Whitney and Heber C. Kimball did their best to fulfill .Joseph Smith's theocratic intentions to have a son named David. Following the prophet's death, Sarah Ann married Kimball "for time." In Mormon theology their children were spiritual heirs of Joseph Smith, and Apostle Kimball named Sarah Ann's first born son David, who died in infancy. They named her second son David Orson, but he died young as well. They named their third son David Heber. This Davidic heir of Joseph Smith's 1842 revelation lived to manhood, but at age seventeen was too young to be among Kimball's three sons (the youngest was twenty-three) who entered the theocratic Council of Fifty in 1867. Heber C. Kimball died the next year, after which the Council of Fifty did not meet again until 1880. By then Sarah Whitney Smith Kimball's last son David had also died. See Kimball, Heber C. Kimball, 314; Quinn, "Council of Fifty and Its Members," 194; Ehat, "Joseph Smith's Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question," 279n408. (Origins of Power).

Thus we see the recurring theme of Joseph being the latter day "David", and that "adultery was no crime" because David did it. Joseph could "craftily" seal all the women he asked for, to himself, and then "claim them" in this life and the afterlife. Joseph claimed to be a descendant of both Joseph and Jesse, the father of King David.

One other thing to note. Joseph said,

A murderer; for instance one that sheds innocent Blood Cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God Carefully with tears, but he could ownly get it through Hell, he got a promise that his soul should not be left in Hell

David was being punished for murdering an innocent, not the adultery he committed. Joseph doesn't mention that. Funny though, they blamed the Mountain Meadows Massacre on John D. Lee, so he was a murderer, but he was given his priesthood and all his blessings and standing back by the Church (I think) around 1960. Why not David too? I guess 100 years in the "Spirit Prison" was enough for Lee. Poor David, he had to spend a lot more time there, unless someone "restored" his blessings and we don't know it?
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _grindael »

Part I: Out of the Frying Pan [Continued]


The 1832 Assault of Joseph and Sidney


"In the summer of 1831 the Johnson family took Joseph and Emma Smith into their home as boarders, and soon thereafter the prophet purportedly bedded young Marinda [Johnson]. Unfortunately, the liaison did not go unnoticed, and a gang of indignant Ohioans—including a number of Mormons—resolved to castrate Joseph so that he would be disinclined to commit such acts of depravity in the future." (Under the banner of heaven: a story of violent faith by Jon Krakauer, page 117).

This is what some are claiming, but this really does go beyond the evidence. So what happened? Joseph and Sidney were assaulted. According to a reliable source, there was a Doctor there who intended on castrating Joseph. Why? Was this normal when someone was tarred and feathered? Was the objective of the mob to kill Smith and Rigdon? Did they try to poison them? These are some of the questions that have been asked, and that some have tried to answer. What do you think, readers? Here is what I've gathered about the incident:

According to Smith, on the 24th of March 1832, he and Sidney Rigdon (while living in Hiram) are attacked and tarred; the mob included Simonds Ryder, McClentic, Streeter, and Felatiah Allen. One of the mobbers (while he tries to get pillows for the feathers) is temporarily trapped by a woman at Sidney Rigdon's. The mobbers are chased off by John Poorman and Father (John) Johnson, who mistake each other for mobbers and struggle, with Poorman striking Johnson. [History of the Church, Vol I]

Todd Compton gives this account of the events:

"According to Luke Johnson, Smith was stretched on a board, then 'they tore off the night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation. But when the Dr. saw the prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate.'

"The motivation for this mobbing has been debated. Clark Braden, a late, antagonastic, secondhand witness, alleged in a polemic public debate that Marinda's brother Eli led a mob against Smith because the prophet had been too intimate with Marinda. This tradition suggests that Smith may have married Marinda at this early time, and some circumstantial factors support such a possibility. The castration attempt might be taken as evidence that the mob felt that Joseph had committed a sexual impropriety; since the attempt is reported by Luke Johnson, there is no reason to doubt it. Also, they had planned the operation in advance, as they brought along a doctor to perform it. The first revelations on polygamy had been received in 1831, by historian Daniel Bachman's dating. Also, Joseph Smith did tend to marry women who had stayed at his house or in whose house he had stayed.

"Many other factors, however, argue against this theory. First, Marinda had no brother named Eli, which suggests that Braden's accusation, late as it is, is garbled and unreliable. In addition, two antagonistic accounts by Hayden and S. F. Whitney give an entirely different reason for the mobbing, with an entirely different leader, Simonds Ryder, an ex-Mormon, though the Johnson brothers are still participants. In these accounts the reason for the violence is economic: the Johnson boys were in the mob because of 'the horrid fact that a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it in the control of Smith.' The castration, in this scenario, may have only been a threat, meant to intimidate Smith and cause him to leave Hiram.....While it is not impossible that Marinda became Smith's first plural wife in 1831, the evidence for such a marriage, resting chiefly on the late, unreliable Braden, is not compelling. Unless more credible evidence is found, it is best to proceed under the assumption that Joseph and Marinda did not marry or have a relationship in 1831." ("In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith," 231-232.)

Of course, one has to assume that Joseph was contemplating “restoring” polygamy, but there is no evidence of this.” Yet, many will speculate:

"Evidence suggests that although Joseph believed he was commanded by God through revelation to establish plural marriage as part of the 'restoration of all things,' questions undoubtedly arose. For example, who would perform the marriages? Could Joseph officiate in his own behalf? Who should be told of the doctrine? How would Emma and others react to such an unorthodox practice? There is no record that Joseph received immeditate instructions in these matters, making his early attempts to instigate plural marriage most difficult for Emma when she encountered them.”

Mary Elizabeth Rollins claimed that Joseph had a private conversation with her in 1831; she was then twelve years old. She said Joseph 'told me about his great vision concerning me. He said I was the first woman God commanded him to take as a plural wife.' ( (Mormon Enigma, page 65).

This "private conversation" may be important in interpreting the events that played out in March, 1832. If Smith was having conversations with young girls that they would be his future wives, what if one of them talked about it? How would that be accepted in 1831-1832?

Orson Pratt relates over forty years later:

“Within six months of Joseph's conversation with Mary Elizabeth Rollins, he and Emma had moved into the John Johnson home.” Orson Pratt later quoted Lyman Johnson as saying that 'Joseph had made known to him as early as 1831 that plural marriage was a correct principle,' but remarked also that 'the time had not yet come to teach and practice it.' ("Latter-day Saints Millennial Star (Liverpool England), 40 (16 Dec. 1878):788)

Donna Hill concludes:

“Perhaps Joseph was not discreet in his discussions about plural marriage, because rumor and insinuation fed the fury of the mob that tarred and feathered him. When the Johnson boys joined the mob that entered their own home, they clearly suspected an improper association between Joseph and their sixteen-year-old sister, Nancy Marinda." ("Joseph Smith: the First Mormon", p.146).

Although Compton makes some good points, he didn’t know (apparently) that John Johnson had a brother named Eli, so that would have been the one that Joseph himself was referring to. (This would be Marinda Nancy’s uncle Eliphaz Johnson, who was born in 1782 https://www.geni.com/people/Eliphaz-Joh ... 8890833484).

The Luke Johnson account is as follows:

“In the fall of 1831, while Joseph was yet at my father's, a mob of forty or fifty came to his house, a few entered his room in the middle of the night, and Carnot Mason dragged Joseph out of bed by the hair of his head; he was then seized by as many as could get hold of him, and taken about forty rods from the house, stretched on a board, and tantalized in the most insulting and brutal manner; they tore off the few night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation; but when the Dr. saw the Prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate. The mob then scratched his body all over, saying, `Damn you, this is the way the Holy Ghost falls upon you.' And in attempting to force open his jaws, they broke one of his front teeth to pour a vial of some obnoxious drug into his mouth.

The mob became divided, and did not succeed, but poured tar over him, and then stuck feathers in it and left him, and went to an old brickyard to wash themselves and bury their filthy clothes. At this place a vial was dropped, the contents of which ran out and killed the grass. About the same time part of the mob went to the house that Sidney Rigdon occupied, and dragged him out, and besmeared him with tar and feathers. My father, hearing the outcry of the family, went to the door, but finding it held by someone on the outside, he called for his gun, when those who held the door left; he pursued, and was knocked down; his collarbone was broken; he was taken back to the house, and hands laid upon him by David Whitmer and immediately healed. A few minutes after this accident, we heard the voice of Joseph calling for a blanket; some person handed him one, and he came in, the tar trickling down his face; his wife was very much alarmed, supposing it to be blood, until he came near enough to see that it was tar. My mother got some lard, and rubbed it upon him to get the tar off, which they succeeded in removing.

Waste, who was the strongest man on the Western Reserve, had boasted that he could take Joseph out alone. At the time they were taking him out of the house, Waste had hold of one foot, Joseph drew up his leg and gave him a kick, which sent him sprawling in the street. He afterwards said the prophet was the most powerful man he ever had hold of in his life. (End of Luke Johnson Account).

It is important to note that Luke wasn’t in Hiram at the time, but he was close to the family and those that were there.

Sidney Rigdon mentioned the assault in 1844:

"I was dragged out of my bed, was put on a large wood pile -- some were putting it on me. My head went thump thump upon the hard frozen ground -- they then threw a quantity of pitch upon me and when they attempted to throw some thing else on me I fell and the next morning when I went to the same place I found it was a quantity of aqua fortis [nitric acid] that they were going to throw on me." (Bullock, Minutes of April Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois, April 6, 1844).

Mark Staker (whose book "Hearken O Ye People" is a must read) wrote,

According to Joseph's account, the mob carrying him first went to where Rigdon was and then "turned to the right, and went on about thirty rods further; about sixty rods from the house, and thirty from where I saw Elder Rigdon, into the meadow, where they stopped." Aerial photographs show a drainage area 990 feet (sixty rods) southeast of the Johnson home, which could have been a meadow at an earlier date.

Someone emerged from the orchard beside the road carrying a plank; the "rail" was a traditional element in tar and feathering. At this point, the mob manifested remarkable confusion. One man Joseph thought it was Symonds Ryder -- was concerned about his being chilled and ordered the group to keep Joseph off the frozen ground. Another argued for killing him. A third proposal was to castrate Joseph. Dennison stood five feet seven inches tall, had blue eyes, light hair, fair skin, and a scar on his upper lip. Though only thirty-eight, he was quite frail with a thin, "very wrinkled" face, a "high forehead," and an "irritable appearance." He was apparently slated to perform the castration, but the murderous Dennison forthrightly had killing on his mind. I hypothesize that the castration was an afterthought by some of the men, perhaps to divert Dennison's plan of murder. …The mob forced a paddle of tar into Joseph's mouth with such violence that they broke out one of his upper front teeth. The group scratched, hit, and kicked him, severely injuring his "side" -- certainly bruising him and possibly cracking a rib. Joseph assumed from the few words he overheard that there was a serious argument about whether to kill him. He was justified in his perceptions that some were intent on murder. Joseph began pleading with the mob saying, "You will have mercy and spare my life, I hope." Cursing, they rejected his plea. Dennison now made determined efforts to pour the acid into Joseph's mouth, but Joseph clenched his teeth and resisted so violently that the vial broke and the liquid burned his face. Frederick Kesler, later a bishop in Salt Lake City, argued that, at this point, they actually did kill him. Joseph's spirit, Kesler noted, "left his body, and hovered over it in the air, and returned after it was over. They supposed they had killed him, but he had to come back and take his body." Heber C. Kimball agreed: "Joseph's life was at stake then he had been mobbed and slain I heard him say himself when they killed his body and his spirit was in the heavens looking down upon his body and saw the mob pouring aquafortis down his neck trying to break his neck and calling upon him to call upon his God to help him." Joseph's out-of-body experience ended at this point when his spirit returned. "Joseph is reported by the mob to have said be merciful gentlemen[.] [W]hen they told him to call on his God for mercy they immediately as he began to pray heard [an] alarm which made them think [they were] about to be surprised and they left [.]" (Mark Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 350-52)

Joseph Smith wrote this account:

On the 24th of March, the twins before mentioned, which had been sick of the measles for some time, caused us to be broken of our rest in taking care of them, especially my wife. In the evening I told her she had better retire to rest with one of the children, and I would watch with the sicker child. In the night she told me I had better lie down on the trundle bed, and I did so, and was soon after awakened by her screaming murder, when I found myself going out of the door, in the hands of about a dozen men; some of whose hands were in my hair, and some had hold of my shirt, drawers and limbs. The foot of the trundle bed was towards the door, leaving only room enough for the door to swing open. My wife heard a gentle tapping on the windows which she then took no particular notice of (but which was unquestionably designed for ascertaining whether or not we were all asleep) , and soon after the mob burst open the door and surrounded the bed in an instant, and, as I said, the first I knew I was going out of the door in the hands of an infuriated mob. I made a desperate struggle, as I was forced out, to extricate myself, but only cleared one leg, with which I made a pass at one man, and he fell on the door steps. I was immediately overpowered again; and they swore by G-- --, they would kill me if I did not be still, which quieted me. As they passed around the house with me, the fellow that I kicked came to me and thrust his hand, all covered with blood, into my face and with an exulting hoarse laugh, muttered 'Gee, gee, G-- d-- ye, I'll fix ye.'

They then seized me by the throat and held on till I lost my breath. After I came to, as they passed along with me about thirty rods from the house I saw Elder Rigdon stretched out on the ground, whither they had dragged him by his heels. I supposed he was dead. I began to plead with them, saying, "You will have mercy and spare my life, I hope." To which they replied, "G--d--ye, call on yer God for help, we'll show ye no mercy;" and the people began to show themselves in every direction; one coming from the orchard had a plank; and I expected they would kill me, and carry me off on the plank. They then turned to the right, and went on about thirty rods further; about sixty rods from the house, and thirty from where I saw Elder Rigdon, into the meadow, where they stopped, and one said, "Simonds, Simonds," (meaning, I supposed, Simonds Ryder,) "pull up his drawers, pull up his drawers, he will take cold." Another replied: Ain't ye going to kill 'im? ain't ye going to kill 'im? when a group of mobbers collected a little way off, and said: "Simonds, Simonds, come here;" and "Simonds" charged those who had hold of me to keep me from touching the ground (as they had done all the time), lest I should get a spring upon them. They held a council, and as I could occasionally overhear a word, I supposed it was to know whether or not it was best to kill me. They returned after a while, when I learned that they had concluded not to kill me, but to beat and scratch me well, tear off my shirt and drawers, and leave me naked. One cried, 'Simonds, Simonds, where's the tar bucket?' "I don't know," answered one, 'where 'tis, Eli's left it.' They ran back and fetched the bucket of tar, when one exclaimed, with an oath, 'Let us tar up his mouth;' and they tried to force the tar-paddle into my mouth; I twisted my head around, so that they could not; and they cried out, 'G--d--ye, hold up yer head and let us give ye some tar.' They then tried to force a vial into my mouth, and broke it in my teeth. All my clothes were torn off me except my shirt collar; and one man fell on me and scratched my body with his nails like a mad cat, and then muttered out: 'G-- d---ye, that's the way the Holy Ghost falls on folks!'

They then left me, and I attempted to rise, but fell again; I pulled the tar away from my lips, so that I could breathe more freely, and after up, whereupon I saw two lights. I made my way towards one of them, and found it was Father Johnson's. When I came to the door I was naked, and the tar made me look as if I were covered with blood, and when my wife saw me she thought I was all crushed to pieces, and fainted. During the affray abroad, the sisters of the neighborhood had collected at my room. I called for a blanket, they threw me one and shut the door; I wrapped it around me and went in. [[3 History of the Church, I, pp. 261-263.]

Where did Staker get his idea that Dennison wanted to murder Smith? There is absolutely no evidence to back this up. As we see, Joseph himself mentions that there was an "Eli" in the mob. Compton should have mentioned this. The mob left because they thought they were going to be "surprised", but didn't care about that when they stopped and had a debate about what to do with him?

There are some problems with the accounts of the poison. First, Sidney Rigdon claims that they were going to throw some on him, but only knew this because they found dead grass the next day. (And this was a long way off from where Sidney was dragged). If they tried to force a vial down Smith's mouth, why would they just pour it out on the grass in Riddon's case? And where is there any evidence of multiple vials of nitric acid?

Joseph claims that they actually tried to force it down his throat, but the vial broke. But Luke Johnson states that they broke the vial at the brickyard, no one mentions any dead grass where Joseph was assaulted, ONLY at the brickyard. Joseph doesn’t mention at all that he was burned. All of the accounts about how Joseph’s front teeth were broken were from much later, after Joseph died. More than likely, his teeth were broken when they tried to force the tar paddle into his mouth.

From wiki,

Nitric acid is a corrosive acid and a powerful oxidizing agent. The major hazard posed by it is chemical burns as it carries out acid hydrolysis with proteins (amide) and fats (ester) which consequently decomposes living tissue (e.g. skin and flesh). Concentrated nitric acid stains human skin yellow due to its reaction with the keratin. These yellow stains turn orange when neutralized. Systemic effects are unlikely, however, and the substance is not considered a carcinogen or mutagen.

The standard first aid treatment for acid spills on the skin is, as for other corrosive agents, irrigation with large quantities of water. Washing is continued for at least ten to fifteen minutes to cool the tissue surrounding the acid burn and to prevent secondary damage. Contaminated clothing is removed immediately and the underlying skin washed thoroughly.

There are no accounts that speak of Joseph being burned by acid. I believe that the vial was discarded before the attack, (as they settled on castration) and that it was found later, and everyone assumed that it was brought along, and that is what broke Smith’s teeth, but it was probably a stick with tar on it that caused his teeth to break.

Rigdon would later claim to see dead grass in the area where he was mobbed, but I believe that this was from the brickyard, where they discarded the unused nitric acid. He was so messed up during the account that he went crazy afterwards and tried to kill Smith and his own wife. It is highly unlikely that he remembered specific details about the account due to his head trauma. Luke Johnson wrote,

they tore off the few night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation; but when the Dr. saw the Prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate.

Richard Bushman wrote in 2005:

In early 1832, opposition took a violent turn. On Saturday, March 24, Joseph was dragged from his bedroom in the dead of night. His attackers strangled him until he blacked out, tore off his shirt and drawers, beat and scratched him, and jammed a vial of poison against his teeth until it broke.

Why did they simply not pour the liquid down his throat when he was unconscious? Again, how would Smith escape from being burned all over his face and neck from the nitric acid? Also, even breathing in the fumes of nitric acid can damage the lungs. It also could be fatal if swallowed. See cases from the 19th Century and earlier discussed here... https://books.google.com/books?id=WfkzA ... &q&f=false

If they tried to pour it in his mouth, why would they not hold his nose? 60 men (according to some accounts) could not overpower one man? These observations cast doubt that the mob tried to poison him with nitric acid.

The mob only consisted of about 25-30 people. There were no set plans to outright kill Joseph or Sidney. Even in his own account, (History of the Church) Joseph claimed that someone, perhaps Symonds Ryder was concerned about his (Joseph) catching cold and to “pull up his drawers”, and that the mob was divided about what exactly to do to him. But this division was obviously whether to castrate him or not.

According to Joseph, some wanted to kill him, and some did not, (they wanted to castrate him which Joseph never mentions) and the mob even stopped everything and had a debate about it, which seems far-fetched, considering that they were probably pressed for time. What we do know is that they brought a plank with them, and tar. This is clearly what they intended to do from the beginning. Joseph knew this and so he probably exaggerated that they wanted to kill him. There may have been later rumors that the mob had assembled and argued about what to do before the attack at the brickyard, and that it is there they discarded to vial of aqua fortis.

This is borne out by this notice which appeared in a local paper at the time,

That on Saturday night, March 24, a number of persons, some say 25 or 30, disguised with coloured faces, entered the rooms in Hiram, where the two Mormonite leaders, Smith and Rigdon were sleeping, and took them, together with the pillows on which they slept, carried them a short distance and after besmearing their bodies with tar, applied the contents of the pillows to the same.

Now Mr. Editor, I call this a base transaction, an unlawful act, a work of darkness, a diabolical trick. But bad as it is, it proves one important truth which every wise man knew before, that is, that Satan has more power than the pretended prophets of Mormon. It is said that they (Smith and Rigdon) had declared, in anticipation of such an event, that it could not be done -- that God would not suffer it; that those who should attempt it, would be miraculously smitten on the spot, and many such like things, which the event proves to be false.” (The Geauga Gazette – April 17, 1832, “Triumphs of the Mormon Faith.”

They simply report that Joseph and Sidney were tarred and feathered.

Joseph more than likely lost more than one tooth. (George Moore account, Nauvoo, 1842) He also had an injury to his side, which he complained about a few years later when he lost a fight with his brother William, claiming that it was due to the injury he had received in his side by the mob at Hiram. But Joseph hated to lose (he was always boasting about his physical prowess), and so could have used this as an excuse when his younger brother whipped him so badly.

As for Nancy Marinda Johnson, Smith later sent her husband Orson Hyde on a mission and secretly married her in Nauvoo. The Johnson family was divided about Smith. Most of them (at first) believed in the Book of Mormon. It was Smith’s later “revelations”, about the United Order, and others that Ezra Booth revealed, that divided many and caused them to turn against him. The mob was probably divided, some angry at Joseph for his probable advances or conversations with Nancy Marinda, others over what they claimed were land grabs. This division obviously played out in the assault. If the Dr. didn't want to castrate Smith, then why wouldn't someone else do it, if they really didn't care if he lived or died? It's not like most of them didn't understand the nature of the operation. Most of these men were farmers.

It was claimed that Dr. Dennison brought the nitric acid and was going to do the castration, but “his heart failed him”, and he could not castrate Smith. (Luke Johnson account) If he (Dr. Dennison) was squeamish about castration (which was hardly lethal), why would he even consider pouring nitric acid down someone’s throat, which would have burned out his esophagus and stomach and most likely killed him? That doesn’t make any sense.

Neither does it that they would break Smith’s teeth with a vial, and not spill a drop on him - his whole mouth and chin and neck area would have been burned severely if that were the case, and there is no evidence that this happened to Smith.

Also, they were apparently choking him to death (according to some) and then just stopped, just so they could castrate him and then poison him? But then waited until he woke up to try forcing the vial into his mouth? That makes absolutely no sense at all. (See picture of nitric acid burns)


If they were going to kill Joseph with the tar, (which some apologists claim) why carry it over 1000 yards from the brick yard in the cold? Why not carry Joseph there? If you look at the Staker/Hammer maps, they carried him all over the place.


If they couldn’t get his mouth open to give him nitric acid, how were they going to do this with tar? Why then, save that for last? Why not do it first? It (tarring and feathering) was absolutely not meant to kill a person, but to humiliate them. Most victims of this were later paraded around town squares to reinforce the humiliation, they were not killed.

Symonds Ryder left this account in 1868:

In the winter of 1831 Joseph Smith, with others, had an appointment in the south school-house, in Hiram. Such was the apparent piety, sincerity and humility of the speakers, that many of the hearers were greatly affected, and thought it impossible that such preachers should lie in wait to deceive.

During the next spring and summer several converts were made, and their success seemed to indicate an immediate triumph in Hiram. But when they went to Missouri to lay the foundation of the splendid city of Zion, and also of the temple, they left their papers behind. This gave their new converts an opportunity to become acquainted with the internal arrangement of their church, which revealed to them the horrid fact that a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it under the control of Joseph Smith the prophet. This was too much for the Hiramites, and they left the Mormonites faster than they had ever joined them, and by fall the Mormon church in Hiram was a very lean concern.

But some who had been the dupes of this deception, determined not to let it pass with impunity; and, accordingly, a company was formed of citizens from Shalersville, Garrettsville, and Hiram, in March, 1832, and proceeded to headquarters in the darkness of night, and took Smith and Rigdon from their beds, and tarred and feathered them both, and let them go. This had the desired effect, which was to get rid of them. They soon left for Kirtland. (Symonds Ryder, "Letter to A. S. Hayden," February 1, 1868)

Ryder's account was almost forty years later, and he always denied that he was involved in the assault. He credits the assault on "a plot was laid to take their property from them [the Mormons] and place it under the control of Joseph Smith the prophet. Sidney Rigdon wrote of Ryder four years later, in 1836:

Symonds Rider [sic]... could blow like a porpoise when there was no person to oppose him; but when called upon to be as bold in the presence of those whom he envied, as in their absence, he had recourse to the same means of slander and abuse: but to the credit of Symonds, we will say that since that time [when a challenge to debate was issued in 1832] he has been silent on the subject, in this he has displayed more honesty than some others of his brethren." (Messenger & Advocate, January, 1836, p. 243).

Some have asked why would Rigdon be writing this if he believed that Ryder was the head of the mob that attacked him in 1832? Still, Rigdon was badly injured and may not have been able to remember who assaulted him.

Richard Van Wagoner writes,

The miscreants in the Hiram area were primarily local Reformed Baptists (Campbellites), many of whom viewed Rigdon, their former pastor, as a schemer, out "to get their property into a common fund, and allow certain persons to live without work." Brothers Olmstead and John Johnson, Jr., viewed Rigdon and Smith as grafters intent on defrauding them of their future inheritance. Samuel F. Whitney, brother of prominent Mormon Newel K. Whitney, reported that the Johnson boys were angry because Joseph and Sidney continually urged their father to "let them have his property." Evidence supporting a property dispute was provided by Mormon apostle Orson Hyde, who married a Johnson sister, Nancy Marinda. In 1844 Hyde accused Rigdon of holding an old grudge against the Johnson family because "Father [John] Johnson, after giving him and his family a living for a long time, building a stone house for them to live in, etc., would not give him his farm and all his property; for he once demanded of Father Johnson a deed of all his property with offering one dollar as an equivalent."

Symonds Ryder, probable ringleader of Campbellite mischief,30 clarified that [p.115] Rigdon and Smith were not assaulted because of their beliefs. "The people of Hiram were liberal about religion and had not been averse to Mormon teaching," he said afterwards. What infuriated the evildoers were some official documents they found, possibly a copy of the revelation outlining the "Law of Consecration and Stewardship," which instructed new converts about "the horrid fact that a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it under the control of Smith."

Intimidation of the Rigdon and Smith families lasted several weeks. One contemporary account reported that in response to threats, Smith and Rigdon proclaimed that no harm could befall them, "that it could not be done—that God would not suffer it; that those who should attempt it, would be miraculously smitten on the spot." Then the threats escalated into violence. The 15 February 1860 Portage County Democrat (Ravenna, Ohio) reported that "someone bored an auger hole into a log of the house in which Rigdon lived, and filling it with powder, tried to blow it up."

Rigdon, later remembering the siege during general conference on 6 April 1844, recounted that he and Smith "had been locked up for weeks and had no time only to eat." But bandittis came to the place—some 20 or 30 men came rushing to the place cursing & blaspheming. This was the reason why we were shut up. They never cease[d] their warfare.… A gentleman from Mexico having heard rumors of the Mormons came to see us[.] One night he went out of my house and found in the fence one after another a dozen men—he returned into the house in fury and got his pistols and said he would kill them but they r[a]n away.

During the darkest hour of Saturday, 24 March, infuriated Campbellites—some accounts say fortified by a keg of whiskey—stepped up their intimidation. A company from Shalersville, Garrettsville, and Hiram assembled outside Rigdon's cabin. One account reported that when the door was forced, Rigdon, to no avail, tried to reason with the intruders, presuming "they were gentlemen." But Rigdon recalled that "they broke into my house[,] drag[ged] me out of my bed—out of the door my head beating on the floor. [T]hey drag[ge]d me over the wood pile[,] and on they went my head thumping on the frozen ground, after which they threw tar and feathers on me—and endeavored to throw aqua fortes [nitric acid] in my face but I turned my face and it missed me."

Wickliffe Rigdon's account noted that by the time his 225-pound father was dragged by his heels to the place where he was tarred and feathered "he was insensible," yet his assailants "pounded him till they thought he was dead and then went to get Joseph Smith." Smith, then only twenty-seven, was more inclined to fight than Rigdon. But he was quickly overpowered and carried to the spot where Rigdon lay unconscious, stretched out naked on the ground. "I supposed he was dead," Smith later wrote, and "I began to plead with them, saying, [p.116] 'You will have mercy and spare my life, I hope.'" They did, but not before stripping him, threatening castration, and smearing him with tar and feathers.

Smith was not permanently injured. He was bruised around the head and suffered a chipped tooth but was able to carry out his normal Sunday duties the following day. Rigdon, on the other hand, was badly hurt and lay on the ground for some time before he regained consciousness. "At last he got up in a dazed condition," Wickliffe wrote, "and did not know where he was nor where to go[.] …[H]e went reeling along the road not knowing where he was; he would have passed his house but my mother was out the door watching for him and went out as he came along and got him in the house. She got the tar and feathers off from him as best she could and got him to bed."

Mormon accounts imply that the Hiram mob intended to kill Rigdon and Smith. Had this been their intent they would have brought weapons and succeeded. But the fact that they came prepared with a bucket of hot tar (they got feathers from Rigdon's pillow) suggests they were proffering a warning. Symonds Ryder wrote, "This had the desired effect, which was to get rid of them. They soon left for Kirtland." No one was ever brought to trial. Such action, particularly against curious religious beliefs, was tolerated in America during Rigdon's lifetime. For example, despite the fact that a 17 April 1832 letter to the editor in the Geauga Gazette (Painesville) called the events of 24 March "a base transaction, an unlawful act, a work of darkness, a diabolical trick," one writer noted that vigilantism proved "one important truth which every wise man knew before, that is, that Satan hath more power than the pretended prophets of Mormon." (Richard S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, p.114-116)


Joseph and Sidney were assaulted in March, 1832. The accounts state that there was a Dr. (Dennison) there who was going to castrate Joseph. There was an Eli in the mob, according to Joseph Smith and others. Joseph had made it known to one of his future spiritual wives that he was interested in her as early as 1831. Joseph "married" her, the niece of Eli Johnson, Nancy Miranda Johnson, after sending her husband on a mission to Jerusalem. Others claimed that Joseph and Rigdon were assaulted because of their supposed land schemes. (There was also a temple being planned for Hiram). Above is the evidence, readers, you decide.

Edited to add: Some claim that because Ryder did not provide any other reason for the attack other than land dealings, that it is less likely that this attack was linked in any way to Smith's philandering. But since Ryder always denied involvement, what good would it do him to reveal details that only members of the mob knew about? In other words, it was in his interest to not divulge too much about the attacks because he did not want to incriminate himself. It is my opinion that the assault was instigated by three things, Smith's land grabbing, his inappropriate behavior towards some women, and Smith and Rigdon's bragging that they could not be harmed because they were the Lord's "Anointed".

(End of Ohio, Pt. I - To be Continued in Ohio, Pt. II)
Last edited by Guest on Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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_Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: A History of Jo's Spiritual Wifeism

Post by _Doctor CamNC4Me »

Wow. It's so interesting to read a matter of fact synopsis of the events surround Mr. Smith's carousing and subsequent fall out. I've read so much fiction, literary fiction, about early Mormonism it's incredibly fascinating to see how early Mormons evolved their faith and how Mr. Smith's proclivities had a very serious cause and effect on everyone around him.

It makes all the Church-produced propaganda and faithful fan fiction so much more insidious.

- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

Every record...falsified, every book rewritten...every statue...has been renamed or torn down, every date...altered...the process is continuing...minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Ideology is always right.
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