History of Joseph Smith & Polygamy

Discussion in 'FLDS Raids and Related Items' started by PattyCake, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. PattyCake

    PattyCake Gypsy By Heart

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    I have read many a book with respect to the true nature of the history with regards to Joseph Smith and how this religion 'began'.

    I tried to temporarily delete this thread with no luck. I want to post my knowledge of the history of Joseph Smith and how the FLDS evolved however I don't have the time to dedicate to this important issue in the short term.

    What do I do?
     
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  3. Spangle

    Spangle New Member

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    That is an interesting topic. But be warned, such a discussion can be had with any religion. Been there, done that. If you think it can't be done with yours, remember, everyone thinks that. Including those that follow Smith. How you will feel while your religion is being picked aprart, is how they will feel. And how you would try to defend, attack, explain, etc.. so would they.

    I wouldn't start any such discussion without rules in place dealing with how to 'chat' about it. Respect being high on the list. IT's not as easy as it seems.
     
  4. PattyCake

    PattyCake Gypsy By Heart

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    Well since this didn't get deleted, here's my original post. You will see that I am attempting to be respectful & that I TOO acknowledge the past of my own religion.



    I have a few things to add over the next few days or weeks. Please know that today's 'modern' Mormons, I respect. It is not today's modern Mormons that I will be discussing. The religion that exists today is far different from how it began.

    It is the history I have huge problems with. Should you belong to the church, please know I am not attempting to bash you or your beliefs. You love the Lord like I do and you are a child of God no matter how you came to believe in him.

    I have many an issue as to how the religion evolved from the likes of someone like Joseph Smith. I think there are too many of us that are not aware of the history nor evolution of what occured in the beginning parts of this 'religion'. I find Joseph Smith to be a con artist, a criminal and even his own wife had a lot to say against her own husband.

    In order to understand the current conditions of FLDS, it's own evolution and how women decide to seemingly 'choose' to stay under circumstances like that, we need to understand the religion that they believe in. I hope this thread stays and we can have a healthy discussion on how FLDS came to be good, bad or ugly.

    I believe this is an appropriate post as it completely relates to todays FLDS church - NOT mainstream Mormons!

    I'll come back soon to post my thoughts on Joseph, his upbringing, his childhood and his previous scams & crimes prior to the creation of the Mormon religion.

    Everything I will post will either have a link or a source. You can decide for yourself.

    While I respect & love my fellow Mormon and I have friends that are within this religion, I believe the beginnings of this religion was out of a lust for money & well.... lust of young women / teens.

    I am not spewing falsehoods, not making up stories. I've had a sincere desire to educate myself about the evolution of religions including my own Catholicism. And yes even Catholics have commited many crimes in biblical history all in the name of religion & God. There are many priests in jail as we speak for unspeakable crimes, I admit, I may be pointing a finger at the FLDS CHURCH - I know there's 3 more fingers pointing back at me.

    I believe in order to understand the current FLDS we need to understand the underlying reasons and motivations. It stems completely back to Joseph Smith and the battle that ensued after his death as well. It is then that the church split... it is from then that todays FLDS still hold the original writings and intentions of Joseph Smith to be the REAL way to live.
     
  5. awareness

    awareness New Member

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    What books have you read?

    The most comprehensive book Ive read about Joseph Smith Jr, his life and the beginnings of LDS is "No Man Knows My History" by Fawn Brodie. Ms. Brodie herself was a LDS.

    PS - the Mormon church had at least one other split. Like after Joseph Smith died, I think one of his sons and Emma formed the Reformed Church of Latter Day Saints in Independence, MO (IIRC, the book is at home for me to verify 100%).

    Then the other split happened after polygamy was renounced and FDLS as we know it today was born.
     
  6. missyjane77

    missyjane77 Inactive

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    It is my understanding that Smith encouraged polygamy. Said it was what God wanted. I believe he actually received a "vision" stating such. I could be wrong though. He encouraged this practice until it was looked down upon by the US Government, at which time he received another "vision" saying that polygamy was wrong.
     
  7. Spangle

    Spangle New Member

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    He kept the vision a secret, except to those he wish to share it with. Mainly, those who's daughters he wanted to marry. LOL! It was kept from his first Wife. Who claims it's all lies and he didn't do any of that stuff.

    Basicly,he didn't have to do what the others had to do to get this thing rolling. He didn't have to take home his second, third, etc.. wives. He just had the 1 at home. SHE didnt' have to 'accept' any other wives. His other wives were secret and mostly continued to live with their parents.

    He truelly had his cake and ice cream..

    The men who followed.. not so nice. They were given wives, took them home. and all "H" broke loose. Not a happy home anymore for them. Doubt they ever got cake served again. It wasn't like they fell in love with another wife and took her home happly to join the family. The first set ups were widows and women needing husbands. Some where older, some where younger, etc.. It was a mess..

    But once it was started, They didn't want to admit it was wrong. For the men who gave their daughters to Joseph Smith, they wouldn't want to back down. Cause that would mean their daughters were not wives, but whores. It would matter not that their Father forced them. At that time, it made a big difference to the woman and her kids. A widow could be remarried. A whore, could never be married and was stuck being a whore for the rest of their live... Those families had a vested interest in making sure it 'took.'
     
  8. weasel

    weasel New Member

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    If anyone would like a good, informative book about mormonism, try "Under the Banner of Heaven". It's the story of the Lafferty boys killing a young mother and her infant daughter. Very, very good.
     
  9. WholeLottaRosie

    WholeLottaRosie Dancing on a moonbeam!

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    I have that book on its way to me now - ordered it last week. I also just got The Refiner's Fire, The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 by John L Brooke. I read part of it from the library but it was interlibrary loan and I had to return it before finished,so I decided to buy it. FASCINATING book. I have no clue why the Mormons are so interesting to me.

    When I get and read Under the Banner of Heaven maybe we can discuss it. If anyone knows of any other good books, please share them!
     
  10. WholeLottaRosie

    WholeLottaRosie Dancing on a moonbeam!

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    I got the book, Under the Banner of Heaven, Friday and am half through. This is a GREAT book, and while it is really stirring up emotion in me, and has left me very angry, I am still glad I am reading it. The author does a really good job of explaining many things. Unfortunately, I doubt I can really post or discuss my opinions without getting banned, and am probably just going to take a nice little break after I finish it. But, if one wants to know about the faith, in an relatively easy to digest format, this book is one of the best I have encountered. I thought (prior to reading it) that I knew a great deal, but, I was very wrong.
     
  11. Glow

    Glow Active Member

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    A little info on your book...

    The title is drawn from an 1880 address by John Taylor, the third president of the LDS Church, defending the practice of polygamy: "God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of heaven against the Government.
     
  12. WholeLottaRosie

    WholeLottaRosie Dancing on a moonbeam!

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    Yes, it is. That is explained in the book. I have finished the book. As mentioned it is very disturbing in many ways, however, it is a fascinating read and one I would highly recommend, even if it is upsetting.

    I am currently coming off that with a pleasant little fiction hiatus, and, then am going to read The Refiner's Fire. I just ordered the Brodie biography, one on Mountain Meadows and am probably going to add a few more.

    I have no idea why I have a need to read all this. Not Morman, but I have had a fascination for years.
     
  13. weasel

    weasel New Member

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    It is upsetting, isn't it? But I have to say, I learned alot about mormonism from this book. I'll never look at mormons, or any other organized religion, the same way again. Have you read the one on Mountain Meadows yet and if so, did you like it?
     
  14. sunflowerchick

    sunflowerchick New Member

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    First of all, polygamy didn't start with Joseph Smith. There were prophets in the Bible who were also polygamists.

    Secondly, it wasn't Joseph Smith who had a vision that polygamy was wrong. He was dead by that point. The new leader of the LDS Church was the one who did that, and it was after the Momons had migrated to Utah due to the persecution they were facing.

    Thirdly, I am not sure what good it does to discuss history if no one knows what the history actually is. A conversation like this could be helpful if everyone has their facts straight, but honestly to come in here and make accusations about someone that MILLIONS of people view as a prophet, that is just wrong.

    Fourthly, I am not pointing any fingers at anyone specifically, but how does discussing the history of the LDS church help determine anything about the FLDS church. They are two completely different things! Even the leaders of the LDS church have said that.

    Finally, if you really want to read a book that will give you the history of the LDS church, try the Book of Mormon.

    This is just my opinion and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, but I also know that when you talk about religion you always offend people even if you say you don't want to.
     
  15. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

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    Here is one of the most fascinating sociological and historical documentaries on the subject of polygamy and Joseph Smith, that I have ever seen. Furthermore, the heartfelt personal stories from numerous individuals who were raised in various sects, hundreds of miles apart, parallel each other to the stories we heard recently in the Jeff's trial. The last part of this video (over an hour) are personal stories of those personal stories and how they feel their upbringing with the teachings of Joseph Smith differ from mainstream Christianity.

    I am not trying to start a religious discussion. . . this is purely for a historical understanding of this lifestyle related to the church(es) who embrace Joseph Smith as their founder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bjDJs7wvGLg
     
  16. OneLove

    OneLove New Member

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    Being that I knew descendants of the few infants not murdered by the mormons in the Mountain Meadow Massacre, along with having lived for 15 years near the meadow in Arkansas where the original wagon train met up and from which they started their journey, along with a son attending college near where the entire wagon train was murdered in what is now the state of Utah, I visited the site of this horrific massacre several years back.

    Then I read everything I could get my hands on in an effort to understand how 'human beings' could perpetrate such atrocity against other humans.

    The most interesting reading was about Joseph Smith's early life in treasure hunting and sales schemes way before he became a messenger of God. It's worth the read and gives insight into his later choices and the path he chose and how he collected enough followers to leave his land of birth and early life where he was disdained and travel across country looking for a place where he could "lead his people" without interference.

    I firmly believe were he to live today and attempt the same series of actions, he would be quickly recognized as a charismatic narcissistic cultist with a sexual perversion.

    Having said that, the present-day Mormons I have known and loved have been amazingly wonderful people and the Mormon "social service" programs are unprecedented world wide. I have tremendous respect for them, individually and collectively. They are no more accountable for what happened before they were even born than Catholics today are responsible for the Inquisition.
     
  17. FLmom777

    FLmom777 Active Member

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    Polygamy was not started, or endorsed by Joseph Smith. This was something said by Brigham Young and his followers in order to get the members to accept the practice. I have a lot of documentation on this subject if anybody us interested. Joseph Smith had but one wife. There has never been any evidence that shows otherwise.
     
  18. OneLove

    OneLove New Member

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    Ok, Joseph Smith had more than one "female sex partner" if we don't want to use the word "wife". I also have lots of documentation and it is all freely available to anyone and easy to find.

    Understandably for that day and time, his wife objected strenuously and those closest to Joseph Smith worked to keep his "extracurricular activities" under wraps so as not to lose the earliest followers. As I recall, Joseph Smith's first known extramarital affair or plural marriage, whichever you choose, was with a young girl he and his wife had 'adopted' into his family. Today we call that incest.

    His wife eventually found him to be untrue to their marriage, defrauding his own congregants, and left him in deep disappointment. He chose to "spin" his affair then as a spiritual mandate from God. So sayeth Joseph, so stayed SOME but not all of his followers, and so was a budding "religion" saved.

    But Brigham Young continued to serve a 'next generation' of followers in growing numbers. He worked to legitimize polygamy openly and by this time there were many who joined the ranks BECAUSE they were attracted to the sexual liberties granted them.

    And the rest is history.
     
  19. wenwe4

    wenwe4 Active Member

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    One Love - so eloquently written - I applaud you! Just as an aside . . . Joseph Smith "translated" the "golden plates" using a urim and thumin (sic?) or seer stones. He was an avid treasure hunter. He also wrote the Doctorine and Covenants that endorses polygamy. Therefore, Joseph was purporting to be the "prophet" and wanting to "spread the word" as well as live the life. Thus the reason he the "mob" attacked him in Navoo. BTW - such "treasured items" such as those seer stones were never mentioned again.
     
  20. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Well-Known Member

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    I've just finished reading "Under the Banner of Heaven". It is very well written - by an author with whom I am very familiar, and who does not normally write about religion. The book was meticulously researched. I had known some of the background of Joseph Smith prior to reading this book, because I had encountered the writings of Sidney Rigdon as part of a genealogy project I am working on. (The split between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon - Smith's "second in command", and suspected of having supplied Smith with a novel that was later turned into the Book of Mormom - was due to Joseph Smith soliciting Rigdon's teenage daughter to become one of his "celestial" wives.)

    As author Krakauer points out in the book, Mormonism is the only major religion founded here in America, and founded during a time when printing presses existed. So there exists documentation of who Joseph Smith was, where he lived when, when he was arrested and what for, etc.

    By all accounts Joseph Smith was a tall (6 ft.), good-looking man with great charisma who was known to "like the ladies" so to speak. He founded his "religion" - as did many others of the day - and after publication of the Book of Morman he gained many, many more followers. Not that he didn't have any followers before the book was published, he did. But publication and distribution of the Book of Mormon was the thing that really "spread the word".

    For some interesting reading, just google "Who really wrote the Book of Mormon?". Scholars have been pondering this question for the past 100 years or more. What with computers nowadays, linguists can examine and compare writing styles much more thoroughly and easily than they could in years past. Historical linguists have now been able to identify previously unknown authors of documents through use of such programs.

    As for myself, I think all organized religions are a bunch of bullshyte. And that's my right.
    But - and this is my own humble opinion - I tend to place Mormonism somewhere in the realm of Scientology. And hey, there's another interesting "religion".

    And then there is King Henry VIII who wanted to divorce his wife. The Pope said no, so Henry said "Screw you, I'll start my own religion". Voila, the Episcopal Church (Church of England) is founded. And then there is Martin Luther, a priest.................

    It goes on and on.

    Bottom line: Joseph Smith is indeed the prophet who introduced polygamy into his Mormon church. And Mrs. Smith was not happy about it, that's for sure. Astoundingly, after Mrs. Smith expressed her unhappiness to husband Joseph, he had ANOTHER "revelation" from God in which God mentioned Mrs. Smith by name. In THAT revelation God told Emma Smith that she better obey her husband!

    Brigham Young - who wrested control of the church away from several others who thought they were more "entitled" - including Sidney Rigdon - wholly embraced the practice of polygamy. He had something like 55 or so "wives". Oh, and he was not 6 ft. tall and good-looking with lots of charisma. So he really needed the church sanction of polygamy to get himself a new woman when he wanted one.

    Today's LDS church is uncomfortable with the history of their church. But it is what it is.
     

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