Friday, June 22, 2012

Part 10 - A Case for Joseph Smith; A Case Against Polygamy

A Case for Joseph Smith; A Case Against Polygamy

Ether 3:12:  “And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.”

2 Nephi 33:6:  “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.”

Jacob 2:27-28:  "Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women.  And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts."

3 Nephi 16:10:  "And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them."


There are essentially three alternative views of Joseph Smith:

LDS Doctrinal View

Joseph had approximately thirty-four wives but was commanded to enter into these reluctant polygamous marriages by the Lord.  Joseph married Fannie Alger in early 1833 at the age of sixteen and Helen Mar Kimball at the age of fourteen.  The marriages were likely sexual.[1]  Although polygamy (including a marriage between a 37 year old Joseph and a 14 year old girl and the adulterous marriage of Joseph to ten women who were already married) is under today’s standards highly deplorable and should result in immediate excommunication, the Lord ultimately determines what is right and wrong and the doctrine of polygamy is sometimes right (D&C 132) and sometimes wrong (Book of Mormon). 

Joseph and the other leaders in the Church repeatedly lied about polygamy only in order to protect the Church from its many enemies.  Lying and obfuscation about polygamy is permitted by God.  Because D&C 101 was added to further conceal the sacred doctrine of polygamy, it had to be removed once contradictory D&C 132 was added.  Brigham Young was a tremendous Prophet, Seer, and Revelator as is Thomas S. Monson today.  Although polygamy has always been a stifling cloud on the progress of the Church, it was a necessary doctrine brought through the “restoration of all things” and to raise a “righteous seed.”

Anti-Mormon View
Joseph Smith (and his successors) was a lecherous fiend (no better than Warren Jeffs) who sexually exploited young teenage girls and repeatedly lied and caused others to lie about these crimes.  (Yes – polygamy was a crime under the laws of the states in which Joseph practiced polygamy.)  Furthermore, Joseph conspired to burn down a newspaper that had printed true reports of Joseph’s ignominy for which he was rightly thrown in prison.  Any person who can hold up Joseph Smith as a great religious man is either insane, highly brainwashed, and/or of debase moral character.  Although the polygamous "facts" surrounding Joseph Smith are undisputed by the LDS Church, the LDS Church actively conceals its immoral past and now falsely pretends that the Church has no association with polygamy.  

Revisionist View
Brigham Young and several other influential leaders, including Dr. John Bennett, in the Church secretly engaged in adulterous and polygamous practices which originated with the conversion of the polygamous Cochranites who first began the practice (as early as 1818-1819 the Cochranites were referring to “spiritual wivery”).  Brigham Young visited the Cochranites alone[2] in violation of the rules set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants.  See D&C 52:10; 60:8; 61:35; 75:30–36.  Brigham concealed his polygamy and undisputed adultery (e.g., Cochranite Augusta Adams Cobb married Brigham in 1843 but was still married to her first husband until 1847) from Joseph Smith but developed a strong following with other apostles close to Joseph Smith (especially among the converted Cochranites). 

The cancer of polygamy spread among the members of the Church.  After learning of the spread of polygamy in the Church, Joseph, Hyrum, and others assiduously attempted to rid the Church of polygamy and published many statements, communications, and official declarations to such effect (including D&C 101).  Joseph even sued Chauncey Higbee in the State of Illinois for slander.  Chauncey had claimed that Joseph was secretly teaching polygamy.  Unfortunately, Joseph and Hyrum were murdered before they could eradicate polygamy from the Church (largely as a result from the lies of polygamy).  In retrospect, Joseph’s biggest mistake may have been that he did not try to destroy polygamy more overtly (most likely to keep the Church from further splitting or as a result from the decentralized nature of the LDS Church at that time).[3] 

Because his polygamy was largely unknown and denied, Brigham Young eventually won the leadership of the Church by his strong persuasive and leadership skills (in fact he won because he argued for a decentralized Church).  Eventually, Brigham Young and other Church leaders rewrote Church history to create the impression that Joseph Smith was the first polygamous leader in the Church.  Brigham Young and his followers removed the verse in D&C 101 that denounced polygamy and altered other statements from Joseph Smith showing the Church’s opposition to polygamy.  D&C 132 was added under highly questionable circumstances.  Without question, D&C 132 was a complete fabrication. 

Many of the polygamous wives of Brigham Young and other leaders later claimed to be former wives of Joseph Smith, but were likely under pressure from their husbands to make the fallacious claims.  However, not one person has been proven through DNA testing to be a direct descendant of Joseph Smith outside Joseph’s marriage to Emma.  Emma and Joseph's children always maintained that Joseph Smith was innocent of polygamy. 

The false doctrine of polygamy has hindered the progression of the Church and will continue to stain its progression.  The leaders of the current LDS Church likely know of the Church’s sordid past and have prosecuted polygamy with full force ever since, but will not reveal the truth since it would injure their claim to an unbroken path of leadership.  Notwithstanding the many lies and cover-up by the Church, much of the truth is readily accessible if you will open your eyes and put forth the effort to see it.

Richard and Pamela price poignantly wrote:  “There is no halfway ground.  Either Joseph Smith was true and clean, open and above board . . . or else he was a hypocrite and a fraud through and through, as his enemies claim.  The Utah Mormons cannot long continue seriously to contend that he was a real prophet of God, and a good man, yet blowing hot in private and cold in public, a monogamist in the pulpit and press and a polygamist in his home . . . Joseph’s grandson, Elbert, was correct when he said that Joseph was either monogamous, or he was a hypocrite and a fraud.  Joseph’s writings, and the fact that he had no polygamous children, are proofs that he was not a polygamist.  The LDS Church’s position is based upon the theory that Joseph was a hypocrite – that he denounced polygamy in public and practiced it in private.  This is indeed a fragile foundation for the Mormon Church, considering that Joseph was a bold man who never hesitated to proclaim all the doctrines of the gospel, regardless of the opposition.”  P. 108-109.

Weighing the Evidence

Scriptural Denouncements Against Polygamy (Book of Mormon and D&C 101)
Falsification of the Record and Doctrine by the LDS Church
Joseph's and Other Church Leader's Repeated and Vehement Denouncements Against Polygamy; testimony of Joseph's family
Scriptural Support of Polygamy (Old Testament, D&C 132)
No Child Proven through DNA Evidence to be a Descendant of any Professed Polygamous Wife of Joseph Smith
After-the-fact Affidavits and Testimonies from LDS Polygamists that Joseph Smith First Introduced Polygamy
LDS Church

Beyond a reasonable doubt, (1) Joseph Smith never introduced polygamy, but was a victim of a polygamous doctrinal conspiracy led by Dr. John C. Bennett, William Law, Brigham Young (and the converted Cochranites), (2) the evidence in support of Joseph Smith’s monogamy strongly outweighs the claims of the LDS Church, (3) Brigham Young led the effort to falsify Joseph's history and introduced the fradulent Section 132 in order to invent the claim that Joseph was the founder of polygamy, and (4) Joseph made every effort to publicly and privately proclaim his innocence regarding polygamy and even brought a lawsuit against Chauncey Higbee for slander (which would have clearly been against Joseph's self-interest).

 For much more research and expertise, please read (free online):


Richard and Pamela Price

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[1] In total, thirteen LDS women who claimed to be married to Joseph Smith swore in court affidavits that they also had sexual relations with him.  Accordingly, if you believe their story that they were married Joseph, then you must also believe that the polygamous relationships were sexual.  However, if you believe as I do that these women were lying, it makes clear sense as to why no child has been proven to be a result of Joseph’s purported polygamous relationships.  See  See also:  “Partly to maintain secrecy, Joseph could not have spent much time with [Louisa] Beaman or any of the women he married.  He never gathered his wives into a household – as his Utah followers later did – or accompanied them to public events.  Close relationships were further curtailed by business.  Joseph had to look after Emma and the children, manage the Church, govern the city, and evade the extradition officers from Missouri.  As the marriages increased, there were fewer and fewer opportunities for seeing each wife.  Even so, nothing indicates that sexual relations were left out of plural marriages.” Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 438-39.  See also:  “Meanwhile, the Prophet, with Louisa Beeman and my sister Delcena, had it agreeable arranged with Sister Almera, and after a little instruction she stood by the Prophet’s side and was sealed to him as a wife, by Brother Clayton; after which the Prophet asked me to take my sister to occupy number ‘10’ in his Mansion home during her stay in the city.  But as I could not long be absent from my home and business, we soon returned to Ramus, where on the 15th of May, some three weeks later, the Prophet again came and at my house occupied the same room and bed with my sister, that the month previous he had occupied with the daughter of the late Bishop Partridge, as his wife.” Benjamin F. Johnson, Letter to George S. Gibbs, 1903, cited in E. Dale LeBaron, “Benjamin Franklin Johnson:  Colonizer, Public Servant, and Church Leader” (M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1967). 
[2] “The council also decided that Elder Brigham Young should travel alone it being his own choice . . . and that there should be a general conference held in Saco, in the state of Maine, on the 13th day of June, 1834.”  Times and Seasons 6 [November 1, 1845]: 1022–1023.
[3] For example, Joseph Smith wrote:  “[Dr. Bennett] had not been long in Nauvoo before he began to keep company with a young lady, one of our citizens; and she being ignorant of his having a wife living, gave way to his addresses, and became confident, from his behavior towards her, that he intended to marry her; and this he gave her to understand he would do.  I, seeing the folly of such an acquaintance, persuaded him to desist; and, on account of his continuing his course, finally threatened to expose him if he did not desist.  This, to outward appearance, had the desired effect, and the acquaintance between them was broken off.”  Times and Seasons 3 [July 1, 1842]: 839.  See also, John Taylor’s (editor) reference with respect to Francis Higbee, the editor explained:
“Here follows testimony which is too indelicate for the public eye or ear; and we would here remark, that so revolting, corrupt, and disgusting has been the conduct of most of this clique, that we feel to dread having any thing to do with the publication of their trials; we will not however offend the public eye or ear with a repetition of the foulness of their crimes any more.  Id. at 538–539.


  1. Ben, your an attorney. If all the evidence we have today were brought to court do you feel the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum would be honored and celebrated as never teaching polygamy or living it? And that the current LDS Church would be seen as either being beguiled or trying to hide a lie?