All You Really Need to Know About Mormon History

Have you ever read one of Jonathan Stapley’s carefully crafted historical posts, and then said to yourself, “Sheesh, how in the world does he know all that?” Do you ever finish disgesting JNS’ latest analytical piece, only to proclaim, “Surely it is a sin for a man to know so much!” Do you ever read a Brad Kramer tour-de-force, and think, “Oh my heck, Brad probably forgot more Mormon history this morning than I’m likely to learn all year!”

Well, you shouldn’t. In fact, I’m going to let you in on a little secret… With only a modicum of effort, exerted over the course of one evening, you can successfully feign erudition and scholarliness when it comes to Mormon history. That’s because all you really need to know can be summarized in 10 short statements:

1. Joseph didn’t talk about the 1st Vision until years afterwards, and the 1st vision accounts are all different.

2. The Book of Mormon was translated with a top hat and a seer stone.

3. Brigham Young believed the Moon was inhabited by Quakers in period garb.

4. The Adam-God Theory was some freaky sh*t, and it blows all our popular theories about “doctrine” to Hell.

5. 19th Century Mormon leaders drank and smoked. Even in Carthage jail.

6. Elijah Abel was ordained a 70.

7. J. Reuben Clark’s arguments in favor of the KJV are crappy.

8. David O. McKay hated Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine.

9. Ezra Taft Benson read John Birch Society pamphlets over the pulpit in GC, verbatim.

10. Mormon Women used to give blessings of health.

Seriously, that’s it. Everything else is details. Memorize this list, show it off, and you’ll get 90% of the respect of a Kramer, Seawright or Stapley with 0.0001% of the work.

And be honest … Do you really envy J. Stapley reading obscure pioneer diaries in the Archives until 3 am? No, of course you don’t.


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  1. Aaron,

    You mean in last year the hundreds of hours I’ve spent on the 1873 Arizona colonization has all been wasted? I already knew all this other stuff. I’m all over the 0.0001% effort thing.

  2. Wow, according to this list I’m an expert on Mormon history. After a short history of correlation blew my correlated mind, I was beginning to wonder.

  3. AB,
    You forgot treasure hunting, Fanny Alger, Zelph, and Kinderhook plates. But this is an excellent primer on Mormon History’s darker skeletons.

  4. Yeah, that’s a pretty good list.

  5. Well, I guess we can go ahead and close down JI since you have everything covered here. :)

    I always think it’s great when people list helpful sources and links; I wish I would have found something like this when I started in Mormon history. It also makes us appreciate the joys of having so many online resources (i.e., JMH and Dialogue online)!

  6. Brad, you are right, of course. I’m sure there are others I’ve missed as well. But no more than 10, surely.

    By the way, can someone explain to me how to link to Dialogue articles correctly at the site? Sometimes my link goes straight to the article (which is what I want). Sometimes it only goes to the cover of the issue. I don’t think i did anything differently in the two instances. I’m confused.

  7. B.Russ (152) says:

    Did you have a prayer in your heart when you inserted the html coding?

  8. Aaron, first click on the page you want to link to, then look right above the page and there is a link called “reference url”, click on that link, use the path it give you with a prayer in your heart.

  9. Apparently #10 doesn’t warrant a link?

    Sexist pig.

  10. KLS,
    Don’t hate Aaron for the fact that Stapley’s paper is stuck in “Forthcoming” status. Hate the reviewers at JMH!

  11. Dang, now I wasted an hour of billable time reading that very well-written Dialogue article in #9. Thanks a lot.

  12. A great start with link for women and healing here:

    Click to access 115-6-30-43.pdf

  13. KLS,

    I thought about giving the womens their link, but then I thought “why should they get 10%, when General Conference only devotes like 1% to women’s voices?”

    See, I know how to follow the Brethren, including even their indirect messaging.

  14. How can I believe that memorizing this list is all I need when you added links to actual articles? You seem conflicted, and I am left confused.

  15. An additional 10:
    1) Peter, James, and John’s giving the Melchezedek priesthood isn’t mentioned before 1835.
    2) Joseph Smith’s wives included 11 who were currently married to other men.
    3) Masonic elements show up in LDS ritual.
    4) Despite the “Rocky Mountain Prophesy”, Wisconsin, Texas, and Oregon were also looked at as the next landing place for saints after Nauvoo.
    5) There are an exceeding number of “problems” with the Book of Abraham, recognized by scholars going back to 1912.
    6) American horses & chariots in 600 b.c. (not necessarily LDS, but certainly “Mormon” history)
    7) MMM
    8) Sister Addison Pratt formulates the “polynesians are descendants of Lehi” doctrine
    9) Polygamy continues to be practiced with a wink from certain GA’s for 14 years after the Manifesto
    10) Fanny, Zelph, and Kinderhook that Brad mentions.

    ok, on looking over my list, your’s is definitely better.

  16. I have no idea how the smiley face replaced the number 8.

  17. I’ve fixed/improved a lot of the links, FYI.

  18. It’s the cool smiley: he’s wearing shades. B]

  19. I’m going to be a stick in the mud on this thread, so prepare to dismiss me as I go on a self-righteous tirade.

    I appreciate what is being attempted here, but honestly, I usually have to go to my local exmo blog to find this kind of list. Frankly, I find that the post (especially when including #15) would be better titled, “A List of Stuff that Makes Us Scratch Our Heads In Confusion and Wish Life Were Different” or “A List of Stuff to Ask the Missionaries if You Want to See Them Squirm” or something to that effect.

  20. I think it’d be awesome to us these 10 (or 20, because I like larry’s list, too, although some of them are a little more obscure) items to produce a modern Mormon history primer: not necessarily an apologetic work, but one that an average Mormon would be able to read without being too disturbed. Almost as though you could, as a Seminary or Institute instructor, give a one-page hand-out on each of the items to your students to give them the proper context before you start discussions. I’m not sure if that possible, though. Still, it’d produce a rising generation much better equipped to deal with this stuff, especially since they’ll be able to learn about nearly all of them just at Wikipedia.

  21. C Jones says:

    Amen Scott B.

  22. Scott, with all due respect I think you’re missing the point of the post. Part of the curiousness of Mormon Studies is that it seems so focused on esoteric items and historical anomalies that in some ways Mormon Studies only rarely is talking about a Mormonism experienced by folks like you and me. Hence the ability to feign erudition in Mormon Studies by knowing a bunch of esoteric stuff.

  23. I don’t think the title of the OP is bad, although it is admittedly a bit misleading. I think what AB’s trying to get at is something like “this is the list of things which someone with a CES-generated sense of Mormon History does not know but which are nonetheless taken for granted in conversations between really serious Mormon historians.”

  24. B.Russ (152) says:

    You have a point. At the same time, I’m not sure that all of them should make missionaries squirm. Some of them are confusing just because they’re contradictory to what we learn in primary, there’s really no need for that.

    For instance point #2: I learned this from South Park. And you know what, Joseph translating from a top hat looking at a seer stone really isn’t any weirder than with his head under a sheet looking at Gold Plates. Why do we teach the false account of these two? I really don’t know.

    Point #5: Every primary child could tell you the story of when Joseph had surgery as a child and refused alcohol, yet none of them would have a clue that he had a bar in his home when he was older. Why? Should this shake our faith in any way?

    Point #8: I think this should be taught to every member because it teaches us two things: A) revelation is hard, and there are conflicting views among the brethren. A lot. and B) Mormon Doctrine kinda sucks.

  25. I’m okay with missing the point of the post–I initially laughed at it, because it’s funny, as everything Aaron touches is, and then liked it, because it was a good collection of topics that are very frequently discussed in Mormon Studies–as you point out. Then, I realized that this post and the comments–including mine (the required Mormon preacher self-righteously calling everyone to repentance)–reminds me a lot of exmo forum discussions I’ve seen.

  26. Sure, and there’s a reason for that. These are potentially troubling things to talk about. That doesn’t make us exmo fodder for talking about them.

  27. Eric S. says:

    I think you forgot my most recent discovery: Talmage used himself as the “dependent variable” in his own scientific experiments involving “Cannabis Indica”.

  28. I’m not saying there is no merit to the list or the post–just saying that that’s what it reminds me of.

  29. Eric Russell says:

    larry, that’s because BCC refuses to uncheck the box in wordpress that says to convert text to emoticon. They love smilies.

  30. If you want to read a fun Mormon History Chronology, I recommend :

    It’s only up to Sept. 1838, though, so you don’t get all of those. Still, some juicy stuff, in bite-sized chunks. I wish there were more discussion, though, because some of the events really are head-scratchers.

  31. Okay, Eric, it’s done. But we’ve enjoyed torturing Steve with that for ages. I hope you’re happy.

  32. Eric S. says:

    Re link to #8 above, I have always liked President McKay’s hair preference (notwithstanding how he felt about Mormon Doctrine).

  33. Love this list! And I have to admit number 3 really caught me off guard. A sign that Mormon “erudition and scholarliness” is still far far away beyond my reach.

    I agree with others that treasure hunting (and treasure sinking due to weak circle casting to protect against treasure guarding spirits), and the adventures of Zelph and prophet Omandagus/Onendagus are also great additions.

  34. Ah!, lets not forget the gift of the divining rod!

  35. I am SO saving this post to my quicklinks lol :) I have the basics down, but the links are uber nice. Thanks!

  36. Left Field says:

    A top hat? Wait, I didn’t think there was any reliable contemporary source that identified it as a top hat. Do I know less about Mormon history than I thought?

  37. Eric S. says:

    36 Left Field – The Emma quote is Bushman’s tome re her observing him looking into “the hat.” I guess it may not say “top” hat. So the observation is well taken: it could have been a “bottom” or other style hat (probably not the baseball-style cap that has become popular today).

  38. So it was a top hat Joseph used.
    That’s what I’ve been doing wrong!
    Anyone know where I can get a top hat?

  39. Left Field says:

    I am not aware of any reliable descriptions of the hat(s), but I guess I always envisioned a sort of small floppy hat. It seems like Joseph Smith wore such a hat in the First Vision film, so perhaps that’s what put that image in my head. I was rather startled when I first saw a clip of the South Park depiction, with Joseph being shown using a top hat.

    A top hat seems particularly unlikely for several reasons. If the purpose was to exclude light, a rigid hat could leave gaps between the hat and face, being designed to match the circumfrence of the crown of the head, rather than the outline of the face. The accounts tend to describe the hat being “drawn up” to the face or similar language. With a top hat, you would probably put your face down into the hat. And it just seems unlikely that a top hat would be the most common style of hat the Smiths would have had access to.

    I’m just a little queasy about accepting into the historical canon a detail that apparently originated with a 21st Century satirical cartoon.

  40. Hey! I just read the entire link to #9, and I didn’t see it claim that ETB read John Birch pamphlets in GC. Sure, he was very political and read some John Birch material over the pulpit in the tabernacle, but not GC.

  41. I love the “top hat” term. It gives the whole translation process a sort of Fred Astaire elegance.

  42. Martin–
    Good question–but when else would ETB have been speaking in the Tabernacle?

  43. Kristine says:

    Aaron B. and all–next week, the Dialogue website will go live, and all content except the last 2 or 3 years will be available, searchable, accessible all in one nifty link, and the U of U archive will no longer be needed (although, of course, Dialogue is very grateful for the service they’ve provided for the last several years). I think you’ll be very pleased.

    Watch this blog for the big announcement :)

  44. Aaron B says:

    Yay, Kristine!!!

    Looking forward to it.

  45. “For instance point #2: I learned this from South Park. And you know what, Joseph translating from a top hat looking at a seer stone really isn’t any weirder than with his head under a sheet looking at Gold Plates. Why do we teach the false account of these two? I really don’t know.”

    I think the problem is that you’re assuming that one is true and the other is false. The contemporary evidence is that both methods were used. So we might be telling an incomplete story to our primary kids, but not a false one. Both are probably correct.

  46. “Some of them are confusing just because they’re contradictory to what we learn in primary, there’s really no need for that.”

    Scott B.: I didn’t mean to offend by adding my 10 also, but as you said, they are things that make you scratch your head, and often unnecessarily so. I use BRuss’ quote to make a point: if we came to be raised on stories of liahonas and urim and thummims, why not a seer stone in a hat? Or to use one of mine, if the Savior can borrow the bread and wine from the Passover seder and use them as symbols for the Christian Last Supper, why can’t Joseph Smith borrow symbols from current esoteric traditions that he finds compelling to introduce an ordinance?

    Do some of the things on the both lists concern me? Sure, but often it’s because I found out about them through the back door. Since most of the things on both lists are 19th century – and clearly well-known to the various leaders of the Church who didn’t blink an eye – many of them are mere curiosities and have little to do (as Steve Evans says) with the Mormonism known to you and me.

  47. Cameron says:

    I think Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada was also considered for colonization after the Nauvoo period.

  48. Stephen D says:

    I decided to read the article referenced in note #3: “Brigham Young believed the moon was inhabited by Quakers in period garb.”

    And, I’d have to say #3 is a dishonest amalgam of the article referenced.

    Was there someone who believed the moon was inhabited by Quakers in period garb? Yes. Was it Brigham Young? No. It was Oliver B. Huntington.

    Did Brigham Young say people lived on the moon? No. He did say, though, that there was life on the sun–unfortunately he doesn’t talk about their clothes.

    Would you say in writing #3 you were dishonest? Or was the idea a joke to begin with? And, were you, in writing #3, being sarcastic, and drawing attention to the ludicrous way in which people sensationalize and distort truth?

  49. Are you saying the moon isn’t inhabited by Quakers in period garb?

    Loved the list.

  50. Stephen D,
    Another good question. Anyone know the answer?

  51. Aaron B says:


    1. With respect to the Quaker garb, I confess I did conflate the Brigham Young quote with the Oliver Huntington reminiscence. I hadn’t read the Van Hale piece in years, and I linked to it without reviewing it. Good catch. (This was an innocent error on my part — hopefully a believable claim, given that I’d have to be pretty stupid to intentionally link to the undoing of my own argument).

    2. With respect to Young’s belief in an inhabited moon, I realize the JD citation is often read as an affirmative declaration of belief in Sunmen, not Moonmen, but I personally think it’s better interpreted as a reference to Young’s affirmative belief in Moonmen, even if an oblique one.

    I’ll happily edit the Quaker line…

  52. Aaron B says:

    Yes, the post was in some sense a “joke,” but not in the way you’re suggesting. I was being intentionally glib and eschewing complexity and apologetics for the sake of blunt concision, but I wasn’t wanting to be intentionally misleading.

  53. Aaron B says:

    Steve P,

    I actually once engaged in a serious argument online with an apologist for Brigham’s belief in Moonmen, who insisted that the Moon must be inhabited because Young said so and he was a Prophet. Not a common apologetic tack to take, to be sure, but defenders of this claim (of anything, really) do exist in the real world.

  54. #42 — Scott B.

    I re-read the thing, and now I can’t even find where I thought he’d quoted the Bircher material in the Tabernacle. I can only find where he quoted the Bircher material in a BYU devotional. He did say things like the NAACP was actually run by communists in GC, though.

    The biggest wave he made was when he introduced the Bircher founder at a speech given in the Hotel Utah during conference weekend. Elders Lee and Petersen really came down on him then.

    Anyway, no Bircher material in GC that I could see.

  55. It’s a mystery!

    I will check a couple of places shortly, unless someone else beats me to it.

  56. 45 I guess I’d have to ask what contemporary evidence that you are referring to. I’m not a historian, so I could easily be convinced otherwise, but to my knowledge, the first claims of JS translating directly from the gold plates with a sheet to conceal him/them came some years after his death from a person that didn’t witness the event. Whearas the hat/stone version came directly from Emma.
    You are probably correct in that one isn’t necessarily false, but its not necessarily true either. I guess for me it’d be like teaching that Enoch-ians had the technology for flight, I don’t know it to be false . . . but I don’t have any reason to teach it to be true.
    Then again, if someone has evidence to the contrary, I don’t have a lot wrapped up in the arguement, and I don’t reeeeeally care. It was kind of beside my point.

  57. B.Russ,
    I think you give too much credence to the authoritativeness of one picture over another. john f. wrote a great post about how certain artwork becomes “canonized” without intent a while back, which might give some nice context.

  58. C Jones says:

    “I was being intentionally glib and eschewing complexity and apologetics”

    Well, I’m dumb enough to need more context than this post to be able to feign erudition and scholarliness. All I could think when I read your list was that you forgot to mention how Jesus and Satan are brothers.

  59. Aaron B.,

    I have checked my sources at home as well as re-read the article you linked to, and it does not say at all that ETB read Bircher stuff over the pulpit in GC verbatim. It doesn’t say he read it in GC at all.

    What it does say, and this is corroborated by Prince’s text on McKay, is that Benson quoted the Birch text verbatim for approximately 24% of his speech in the Logan Tabernacle on December 13, 1963.

    (See p. 26 of the article you linked, or p. 299 of the Prince text)

  60. 57 Crap. I usually avoid making history claims so that I can completely avoid all research. I make one little mistake and now you’re going to make me back it up. . .
    For the record I don’t think my claim has anything to do with artwork. But I’ll go ahead and read that post tomorrow just for arguments sake. For now I’m off to watch Lost.

  61. What am I going to find out next, the arguments for the KJV were good afterall and Aaron never read the Barlow piece in Dialogue?

  62. 58. Amen, C Jones.

  63. It was the Hogwarts sorting hat. That explains everything, since that hat never is wrong.

  64. Actually, it was a bowler.

  65. Actually, it was a curtain drawn between Joseph and the person who dictated. The hat was not mentioned by Emma (I am pretty certain), but by one or both of the other two who helped him. Joseph switched between the Urum and Thummum and his sear stone, although its vague when in the process he used them. There was a point he didn’t use either.

    You can sum up 10 short sentences, but the real erudition comes in the details. I think this should be called “other things you should learn about outside of Sunday School class.” And I totally agree that the treasure hunting should be on a must list of this type.

  66. Sear stone = charcoal briquette

  67. Sear stone = “seer stone” said with a Spanish Fark accent

  68. Emma mentioned the use of a hat. See the statement quoted on page 50 of the Van Wagoner/Walker article linked above.

  69. Jettboy, if there was a cutain the whole time then no one would know what he used to translate.

  70. When Justin has spoken, the thinking is done.

  71. OK, Scott, I made the other change.

    FYI, I came up with this list on the fly, and then decided to link to well-known pieces related to each assertion afterwards. I didn’t review each piece to ensure it was the absolutely best, most on-point link imaginable.

    I remembered a couple details wrong. Embarrassing, but I’m old and senile. I certainly wasn’t trying to misrepresent a source while crossing my fingers that no one would read my links.

    Jacob J, feel free to scour the other links for errors in my list. Good luck. I think you’ll need it.

  72. Aaron, I agree with several things you said in 71:

    1. You’re old and senile
    2. You weren’t trying to misrepresent anyone or anything
    3. Jacob J is a weakling

  73. and, of course, #70 is Absolute Truth.

  74. One the one hand, this is a really great post, Aaron.

    On the other hand, those are the 10 things, and now that everybody knows, I’ll never be able to impress anybody with my knowledge of Mormon history again.

  75. DKL, if it’s any consolation, you can always turn to readers of Philip Barlow’s book, and say, “But seriously, do you realize the KJV is even CRAPPIER than Barlow says? Let me tell you just how crappy it is …”

  76. Wow, so sensitive. It is true I’m a weakling but most of us are weaklings when compared to one so mighty and strong as Aaron B.

  77. Dead Doctrine Society says:

    Clever synopsis, but there really are so many more curiosities to explore! How about the “Five Points of Fellowship & Penalties” portion of the Temple Ceremony that was quietly “excised” in 1993? This was lifted word for word from the Masonic ritual dating back to at least 1818. [search an 1818 edition of their “Monitor”]

    Or, the “Lectures on Faith” being adopted as the “Doctrine” part of the Doctrine and Covenants (replacing the Book of Commandments) in 1836…and remaining in the D & C clear until 1921. Only problem was that it contains a few “misstatements” – one major one was that there were only two members of the Godhead; “the Holy Spirit exisiting as the mind and will between the Father & Son…”. [Sorry, Holy Ghost – Not to mention that Joseph and Sidney taught and wrote in L on F that only Jesus had a physical body – God was a tabernacle of spirit.]

    There’s so much more to round out your intellectual and spiritual curiosity – don’t stop reading and exploring because of all the weirdness! An old saying applies: “There’s a Pony Under that Pile!”

    After years of searching like Diogenes, I offer my own brief synopsis: 1. The Gospel is still True, but only about half of it as taught.
    2. The Church [History] is True, but only about half of what has been taught.
    3. The difference between the 19th century church and the subsequent 20th-21st century church is quite remarkable and something to be proud of for how far it has evolved. Applied Chaos Theory in action!

    Have fun and relax about all the ambiguities – Use “Ockham’s Razor” when you encounter something strange or downright testimony shaking: it will pull you out of the mire.

    In closing, remember “Aragorn’s Theorem” from Lord of the Rings”; “All who wander are not lost!”

  78. “quietly ‘excised’ in 1993?” It was 1990, and it wasn’t all that quiet–the New York Times covered it.

  79. It is likely no surprise that I tend to get annoyed by glib lists of decontextualized historical issues, even if just for fun. Also, the sky is blue.

  80. Kristine says:

    Oh, J.

  81. D.D.S., Aragorn was wrong. “All who wander are not lost!” is false. Some of those who wander are in fact lost. Perhaps the translator moved the negation away from its rightful place at the beginning of the sentence?

    Anyway, I admire your comfort in mentally rewriting ancient quotes to suit your modern understanding, as well as quoting wisdom from a fictitious source. Such powers are the hallmark of a faith that needs no rock to build on, for verily it floats.

  82. Latter-day Guy says:

    “All who wander are not lost!”

    I believe the sense of this quote is not that “no one who wanders is lost,” but rather “not all who wander are lost.”

  83. Left Field says:

    The words are actually Bilbo’s, in reference to Aragorn, and the correct quote is “Not all those who wander are lost.”

  84. Larry (#15),

    The problem with your list is there are no links to articles that spell out the details. So while Aaron’s original post is marked by his trademarked mildly obnoxious smugness, it at least is also mildly amusing. More importantly it is educational. Your non-linked list in #15 is not educational or amusing so all that is left is the mildly obnoxious ingredient.

  85. Neal Kramer says:

    Sorry to be so negative, but random facts not tied together by some sort of intelligent explanation are virtually meaningless.

    Anybody wanting to be a serious student of LDS history has to start somewhere, but even complex narrative, interpretations, and number crunching don’t give you everything.

    The historian’s quest is never finished.

    And the scholar never has the last or the best word.

    We swim in an ocean of discourse and reductionism is always reductionism. That’s the core of all academic study. Reduce complexity to simplicity. No matter how hard you try, that’s what you get on the last page.

    There’s always room for the next book.

  86. Aaron Brown says:

    Neal, “virtually meaningless,” except as a fun exercise in tossing around random esoterica. Indeed, you can even read the post as self-deprecating, poking fun at those of us (myself included?) who often want to reduce meaningful historical analysis to decontextualized facts laid out precisely so as to prompt cheap gasps(!). It’s all in good fun.

    J.(79) — And to think I told myself you’d LOVE this, and that you’re secretly jealous of my mad skillz at producing definitive, groundbreaking history. :)

  87. Clearly, if the moon is inhabited it is by spirits who can only be seen with purer eyes. Also, if the KJV were abandoned by the Church in favor of something like the NIV, I would cry in my sleep.

  88. Mark D., no problem. At least your crying won’t annoy the rest of us, as you’ll be at home in bed. Unless your’e snoozing during Sacrament Meeting or Gospel Doctrine class, in which case your somnambulistic sobs will probably scare the children. Also, the fact that you’re not awake and paying attention in class will probably count as external evidence against the inspiration of your preferred Bible translation, and I won’t hesitate to use you as evidence for the superiority of my Jewish Study Bible. Thanks for playing! :)

  89. Now you are just being mean.

  90. “Hey! I just read the entire link to #9, and I didn’t see it claim that ETB read John Birch pamphlets in GC. Sure, he was very political and read some John Birch material over the pulpit in the tabernacle, but not GC.”

    Correct. It seems like the reference is to the Logan tabernacle (p. 26) on the occasion of his Dec. 1963 farewell address before embarking on a stint supervising the European mission.

  91. #85: Reductionism is a fair tool. Better than writing on a thing so long you can be both right and wrong.
    But, I agree, it’s a starting point, (often fighting words), and should not be left as the last word on anything.

  92. Kristine says:

    It’s not a starting point, it’s a JOKE. Lighten up, folks.

  93. Aaron Brown says:

    Folks, I KNOW with every fibre of my being that this is the most important historical post ever put up in the Bloggernacle, and if you can’t see it, it must be because you have Law of Chastity problems.

  94. This is the most important historical post ever put up in the Bloggernacle

    This is the most important historical post ever put up in the Bloggernacle

    This is the most important historical post ever put up in the Bloggernacle…

  95. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Aaron: Well done.

    ETB may not have read JBS material at conference, but he repeated JBS-style dogma many times during conference.

    I know that this post is true….and funny (I must be more chaste than I thought).

  96. Another to add to the list:

    Did the early Mormon prophets believe HF and Jesus were polygamists? I have not researched this by any means to know if it is valid, but I did come across this:

    It may not be a reliable source, but they cite Church sources and their arguments do make me wonder. Has anyone heard of these things being taught by church leaders?

    If you think about it,

    1) JS taught plural marriage is a necessary law to live in order to reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom, to become a God.

    2) “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be”.

    Therefore, HF took the path will have to to become Gods?

    3) Jesus commanded JS that none can enter into heaven unless they enter into the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage

    4) Jesus had to follow all of the commandments in order to fulfill all righteousness

    First HF, now Jesus?

    IF the early brethren really did teach that HF and Jesus were polygamists, I assume they used the above logic.

    Can anybody shed light onto this subject?

    Another “unreliable” source:

  97. I love this list! I actually love the hat. To me that detail just makes the whole thing that much realer. When I was a kid we often got glow-in-the-dark trinkets and things, and we all knew the best way to see the glowiness during daylight hours was to put it in some sort of hat or cap and look inside. Making a dark place by cupping two hands together was a notably inferior method because of the difficulty of closing off all possible openings for light to access.

    It’s like, if it were a lie, they would have made up a much more fancy, official sounding method of translation. The hat method is to me a complete 100% guarantee of the truthfulness of this whole translation exercise.

  98. Aaron Brown says:

    Tatiana, I anxiously await the upcoming Ensign article, or GC talk, that makes use of your argument as definitive external evidence of JSmith’s truth claims!!!

  99. Dear Geoff J (84):
    Thank you for your warm and heartfelt comments. I don’t think there was anything on my list that hasn’t been dealt with by FAIR, or FARMS, or Bushman. The fact is, I’m just too d..n stupid to know how to set up links. As I did in #46, I again apologize for participating in this discussion and offending someone.

  100. Dear Aaron B:
    It was really a huge mistake for me to have participated on ldsblogs. I would really appreciate it if you could remove my comments (#15,16,41,46,99 and this one).

  101. larry,

    Don’t go! I really like your contributions. Although I completely understand why you feel the way you do. Some people on here are better at bullying their opinions than others. You aren’t a bully so I hope you stay.

  102. Aaron Brown says:

    Yeah, larry, I’m not sure why you think your participation was a “huge mistake”. One of the standard rites of passage in Bloggernacledom is having Geoff J take a dump on your plate. Consider yourself one of the Illuminati now.

  103. (Meanwhile, Geoff J thinks to himself in voice that is eerily reminiscent of Mr. Burns: “Excellent…. Another blog participant deeply offended by my comments” )

  104. For what it’s worth, I think larry’s comment #41 is best of the thread.

  105. Also, I forgot to say a big “Wowzer” to Matbsy’s artwork for the post. Well done, Matty.

  106. #1: Joseph didn’t write down anything about the First Vision for some years. Hence, the actual date is unknown for that event. He did mention of it to others.

    #2: This is supported by Patriarch Eldred G. Smith, for he mentioned at a Fireside I was at that Joseph used several means of translation for the BOM:

    1 “The interpreters”, aka the Urim & Thummin as we call it now.

    2. The Seer stone.

    3. Shear revelation.

    #5: I remember as a teen a class at Education Week talking about the evolution of the Word of Wisdom. Tea, coffee, & alcohol were part of the list of supplies to be carried on wagon trains or handcart groups to the Salt Lake Valley.

    7. Weaknesses were known for centuries in the KJV. Yet, some churches believe it dropped from Heaven into King James’ hands directly, all finished. One church in North Carolina was going to burn all the non-KJV Bibles they could find, per one internet piece.

    8. McKay was not the only one with issues about MD. It seems the recent revision of [i]Gospel Principles[/i] removed quotes & references to MD.

  107. Aaron, well played. I’ve seen at least 21 complicated bits of history in this post and the ensuing comments, many of which are head-scratchers for me. I’m okay with that, because I don’t have a testimony that everything every apostle ever did was inspired. On the contrary, I have a testimony that God lives, that Christ lives, that the Holy Ghost comforts, that Joseph restored the gospel, and that the modern church runs on high-octane revelation. The rest is a delicious stew of fun, truth, pain, and mystery.

  108. Shear Revelation = How lambs know the truth of all things.

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